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DFS deep dive: RBs in Wild Card week

By Scott Barrett
Jan 5, 2018

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KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 17: Running back Kareem Hunt #27 of the Kansas City Chiefs celebrates after scoring a touchdown during the game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Arrowhead Stadium on September 17, 2017 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

All season I’ve been writing this column for looking at the top DFS plays at each position. This week, we’re back on PFF and behind the paywall for the Wild Card Round of the playoffs. We’ll be looking at each positional grouping for each team, and examining their DFS value and upside on both DraftKings and FanDuel. Below is the look at the quarterbacks.

(Click for quarterbacks, wide receivers, and tight ends)

Before digging too deep into the specific players on this slate, I did want to mention two important notes this week:

  • On a typical full-game slate, I want to feel comfortable with every player I’m rostering. Ideally, even my punt-plays are tremendous values with high-upside. On a shorter slate like this (four games, eight teams) it’s okay to roster a relatively “gross” name if you feel they give you a stronger lineup overall – allowing you to pay up elsewhere.
  • I can’t stress enough the importance of late-swap on these smaller slates. If you have any tournament lineups that, after a bad game or two, seem unlikely to cash, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain by adding exposure to some “riskier” lower-owned players. This was the case for me last season in the playoffs when I shifted exposure to Randall Cobb on a number of presumably dead lineups. Cobb was not an on-paper good play up against the Giants’ Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie in the slot, but Rodgers-Cromartie suffered an injury within the first few snaps of the game and Cobb exploded for 116 yards and three scores. I profited by thousands of dollars that week, despite making some poor decisions elsewhere.

Notes: All numbers in parentheses refer to a player’s salary rank on each site.

Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans

(DK: RB9, FD: RB9)

DeMarco Murray is out this week, setting Henry up for a bell-cow workload. In Murray’s absence last week, Henry played on 63 of the team’s 65 offensive snaps, racking up 28 carries and one target for 117 total yards and a score. Although drawing just one target last week (note: other sites credit him with two) should be a concern in a game Kansas City is favored by 8.5, it might not be too relevant in this matchup anyway. Kansas City ranks 10th-worst in yards per carry allowed and ninth-worst in rushing fantasy points per game allowed to running backs, while ranking best in receiving fantasy points per game allowed. Although Henry’s target totals were low, this analysis feels nitpicky considering he did run 17 routes (22nd-most among running backs last week), and we’re not going to find a better per-snap or per-touch value at this price.

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