Finding a running back for Week 2 DraftKings and FanDuel contests that will not only produce RB1 stats but come at an RB2 or even RB3 price is somewhat of an arduous task. However, the list of rushers we include in our mid-tier section fits that mold well. Here’s who we’ve identified as mid-priced options that will exceed their DFS salary grouping.
Javonte Williams, Denver Broncos vs. Texans (DraftKings – $6,500/FanDuel – $7,300)
In Week 1, Denver gave Williams 58 percent of their running back snaps. He finished with 108 combined yards and 11 catches on 19 touches. Despite success in the run game (7/43 – 6.1 yards per rush), game flow led to only two carries in the second half. He finished with no runs over 20 yards and a disappointing fumble at the goal line. Houston struggled to defend the Colts’ running backs (239 combined yards with one touchdown and 10 catches). The Broncos need to bounce back in a big way in Week 2 and I expect Russell Wilson to rise to the occasion. Williams is the top projected running back (130 combined yards with 1.25 touchdowns and four catches) in the second week of the season. The key to his ceiling will be the goal-line calls by Denver.
Aaron Jones, Green Bay Packers vs. Bears (DraftKings – $6,800/FanDuel – $6,900)
The wide receivers in Green Bay’s passing attack in Week 1 were lackluster (12/120 on 16 targets). As a result, the Packers leaned on their running backs (15/94/1 with eight catches for 73 yards). Jones was on the field for 61 percent of their running back plays, but he finished with only eight touches (76 yards with three catches). Despite his light workload, Jones averaged 9.5 yards with the ball in his hands. Last year he gained 175 combined yards with three touchdowns and seven catches in two games vs. the Bears. Chicago played in heavy rain in Week 1, helping their run defense against running backs (15/63). Jones has a more attractive salary at FanDuel. I expect one of the Packers’ running backs to be an edge in Week 2. His salary and usage vs. the Vikings will make him an overlooked asset in this matchup.
Antonio Gibson, Washington Commanders vs. Lions (DraftKings – $6,200/FanDuel – $7,400)
The rags-to-riches running back in Week 1 was Gibson. His draft value plunged over the summer when Washington’s coaching staff suggested Brian Robinson had the inside track to their lead running back role. An unfortunate incident off the field has sidelined Robinson for the time being, providing Gibson with a window to shine in Week 1. He responded with 130 combined yards with seven catches on 21 touches in Week 1. The Commanders had Gibson on the field for 64 percent of their plays. Detroit surrendered four rushing touchdowns to the Eagles and was a disaster when it came to defending the running backs (147 combined yards with three touchdowns and four catches). Gibson’s three-down upside points to another active game while continuing to have a favorable salary.