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Mid-Range Running Backs Will Pay Big Dividends in Week 3 DFS Contests

DFS players won't need to bust their budget if they use one of these running backs on FanDuel or DraftKings.

When investing in running backs with salaries between $6,000 and $7,500 at DraftKings and FanDuel, a daily gamer is looking for someone with a chance at a high volume of touches, multiple scores, or impact receptions. Last week, Nick Chubb fit into the plus scoring category, helping him to the top output at running back (32.30 fantasy points). Pass-catching backs have an easier path to success if their team is forced to chase on the scoreboard.

Week 3 Positional Rankings: QB I RB I WR I TE I DST I K I Flex

D'Andre Swift, Detroit Lions (DraftKings – $7,200/FanDuel – $8,000)

An ankle issue and a big lead in Week 2 led to the Lions limiting Swift’s snaps (51 percent) and touches (7). He already has two runs over 50 yards, leading to him gaining 10.0 yards per rush (20/200/1) with success as well in his yards per catch (12.4). Detroit held him out of practice midweek, but the reports have been positive on the recovery of his ankle. In his only start vs. the Vikings last season, Swift gained 104 combined yards with a touchdown and six catches. Minnesota struggled against running backs over the first two weeks (310 combined yards with one touchdown and 13 catches). If the Lions fall behind, Swift's role in the passing game will be much higher. He looks to be on a path for a special season if he can stay healthy for 17 games.

Joe Mixon, Cincinnati Bengals (DraftKings – $7,600/FanDuel – $8,200)

Pittsburgh and Dallas shut down the Bengals’ run game, leading to Mixon gaining only 3.0 yards on his 46 rushes. Over the first two games, he has 56 touches with 228 combined yards and 10 catches. The Bengals had him on the field for 74.1 percent of their plays. In 2021 on the road against the Jets, Mixon gained 91 yards with two touchdowns and four catches. This season, New York allowed three rushing scores by backs despite giving up only 4.1 yards per rush (46/187). Running backs have 10 catches for 74 yards on 10 targets against this Gang Green defense. Cincinnati should play better offensively, giving one of their star players a chance to post an impact game. Mixon’s opportunity points to better days and he should score his first touchdown in this matchup.

Related: Week 3 Start/Sit Fantasy Advice for RB/WR

Leonard Fournette, Tampa Bay Bucs (DraftKings $6,500/FanDuel $7,200)

After an impressive, chest-pumping showing in Week 1 (21/127/0 with two catches for 10 yards), Fournette struggled to find running room against the Saints (74 combined yards with two catches on 26 touches). Tampa had him on the field for 81.4 percent of their plays over the first two weeks. Fournette did miss practice midweek with a hamstring issue. Running backs have gained 6.1 yards per carry (47/286) so far against Green Bay, but they have yet to allow a rushing touchdown with minimal chances in the passing game (seven catches for 41 yards on nine targets). The Buccaneers’ passing game is a mess right now due to injuries and the one-game suspension of Mike Evans. Fournette should be active again while having an excellent chance at finding paydirt for the first time.