DFS Roundtable: Rebound Running Backs

The DFS team discusses rebound running backs for Week 15

Of the disappointing performers in Week 14, who is your best bet to rebound this week? Who would you fade from lineups? On the opposite end, are you buying Derrick Henry as a strong late-season play after his historic Week 14?

Leonard Fournette
Sony Michel
James White
Adrian Peterson
Jordan Howard
David Johnson
Marlon Mack

James Brimacombe: I am not liking this group of players this week as I think I will just pay up for both Barkley and Elliott and lock in the guaranteed workload and look to save money at the wide receiver position. If I had to pick one out of this group I would probably take another look at David Johnson against the Falcons defense who has struggled all season against pass-catching running backs. This is a great spot for Johnson to have a potential blowup game and he could come at lower ownership after his let down last week.

I won’t be buying in on Derrick Henry this week as I will actually look to flip the script with the Titans and look to lock in a lower-owned Corey Davis in the passing game instead.

Phil Alexander:

Of the disappointing performers in Week 14, who is your best bet to rebound this week?

Sigh. I've been heavy on David Johnson in tournaments each of the last two weeks. But despite watching him burn my money on both slates, I'll be waiting in line for a chance to roster him again this week. It's no secret Atlanta schemes targets towards opposing running backs and has trouble making tackles. Johnson, for all his struggles this season, remains one of the best pass-catchers out of the backfield in the NFL and is coming off a 10-target game. If his 2016 ceiling is still in there somewhere, this would be the matchup to lure it out of hibernation.

Who would you fade from lineups?

Everyone else on this list.

On the opposite end, are you buying Derrick Henry as a strong late-season play after his historic Week 14?

Am I buying another 50-point game any time soon? Of course not. But it would be somewhat surprising if the Titans didn't give Henry a chance to assume the lead-back role moving forward. It's not like Dion Lewis has done anything recently to keep Henry off the field. The Giants have been worn down by bruising running backs several times this season and have allowed the fourth-most normalized fantasy points per game to the position over the previous five weeks. The matchup is there for a solid encore performance from Henry and he's still priced in still middle-of-the-pack. Get some exposure in tournaments.

Justin Howe: David Johnson is intriguing against the Falcons’ undermanned front seven. He’s yet to get off the ground this year, for a number of reasons, but he’s set up nicely for one of his most efficient weeks. Let’s also not forget the Falcons’ struggles against receiving backs - Christian McCaffrey (102 yards), Alvin Kamara (124), Ezekiel Elliott (79), and Stevan Ridley (75) have all posted season-highs in this matchup. If Johnson is treated as the Cardinals’ offensive engine, he could easily turn 25 touches into 150 yards.

Henry is a fade for me, coming up 39% in DraftKings salary on the strength of that big performance. I don’t necessarily see a repeat, though. Henry benefited last Thursday from a handful of missed gaps and some of the weakest open-field tackling I’ve seen in years. Remember: it’s volume we want to chase, not efficiency, which is far more fluid and less projectable. Prior to last week, Henry hadn’t topped 14 touches since Week 3 - also against the Jaguars - and I’m not paying a 39% premium to chase another 14.0 average.

Devin Knotts: Leonard Fournette has to be the guy that we can expect to rebound here. The Redskins once-stout run defense has largely fallen apart as the young inexperienced players have hit the proverbial "Rookie Wall". Even though not all of their defensive lineman are not rookies, they are at snap counts they have not reached in their young careers. Over their last four games, the Redskins have allowed 128 yards or more to opposing teams rushing. This is a perfect bounce back spot for Fournette this week.

I can't get behind anyone else on this list, as they've been far too inconsistent this season for me to trust any of them. David Johnson I'm sure will gather interest, but he has been far too disappointing and people are still using him every week.

I'm not buying Derrick Henry, what has the guy done in his career for us to trust him? The Giants rush defense has been better as of late and shut down a very similar power running back in Adrian Peterson last week holding him to just 1.6 yards per carry. Taking Henry would be the definition of point chasing this week.

Will Grant: Leonard Fournette is an interesting play this week. While he was held in check by the Titans last week, that's not a shock since their run defense is pretty solid. This week he faces Washington - a team that gave up almost 230 yards on the ground to the Giants last week, and over 130 yards rushing to the three-headed monster that is the Philadelphia running game. While both teams are playing for pride at this point, I think Fournette has something to prove after a disappointing season and he'll get plenty of opportunities this week against Washington.

Derrick Henry had three consecutive weeks of less than 50 yards from scrimmage each week before exploding against the Jaguars last week for 238 yards on the ground. This feels like an outlier as Henry's next highest rushing total this season has been just 58 yards. I suppose you might take a flyer on Henry just in case he goes off again, but I wouldn't expect a big game from him again this week.