DFS Roundtable: Running Back 2

If we pay up for RB1 who do we look at for our RB2?

Running Back 2 - Le'Veon Bell, LeSean McCoy, Todd Gurley, Mark Ingram II, and Leonard Fournette are all the top plays on the slate this week at running back but they come at a high price. Are you paying up for two of these backs this week? Give me your top Running Back not named Bell/McCoy/Gurley/Ingram/Fournette and explain why you like him.

Phil AlexanderThe cap is tight this week on DraftKings, making it near impossible to pay up for two from this bunch, while also rostering a quarterback in the $7K range (Russell Wilson, please) and at least one wide receiver over $5,500. 

In cash games, I think you choose one of the five backs from the top tier and then lock in Alex Collins as a mid-priced RB2. If Collins' explosive 27.6 PPR point performance from Sunday night had taken place before Week 15 pricing was published, he'd cost at least $1,000 more. He should be good for his usual 18-20 total touches on the road in Cleveland, where the Ravens are favored by more than a touchdown. The Browns rush defense is still ranked best in the league (DVOA), but it hasn't been showing up in box scores lately. The last four running backs Cleveland has faced -- Leonard Fournette, Joe Mixon, Melvin Gordon III, and Jamaal Williams -- were all able to top 100 scrimmage yards against them.

Of the high-end running backs mentioned, I'd be most likely to pay up for Le'Veon Bell if I can fit him. There's a chance the Patriots go all in to stop Antonio Brown, which could cause Ben Roethlisberger to rely even more heavily on Bell in the passing game than usual. Regardless, Bell has flashed a 30-point floor and 40-point ceiling in the Steelers last three games. Gurley would be second. His difficult road matchup in Seattle improves a great deal with All-Pro middle linebacker Bobby Wagner looking doubtful for the Seahawks. Hopefully, the crowd gets scared off by the little red 5th next to Gurley's opponent ranking.

Chris Feery: As a general rule of thumb, I start my running back builds by zeroing in on what I view as the top stud and the top value play of the week on the respective sites. While there are weeks where it makes sense to roster either a pair of studs or a pair of value plays, you’ll normally be able to build a roster that you’re quite happy with by balancing out salary at the position. At this early juncture, I’m leaning towards Mark Ingram II as my top high-priced back. This is subject to change depending on whether or not Alvin Kamara is able to suit up this week, but Ingram looks like a fine play either way in a home matchup against the New York Jets. On the lower-priced front, I’m normally not one to chase points, but it’s hard not to be intrigued by Kenyan Drake’s prospects after his explosive performance on Monday Night Football. He could be in line to deliver another one against the Buffalo Bills, a club that has been having some serious struggles against the run in the latter part of the season.  

Dan Hindery: There is too much value at the running back position (and not enough cheap value at wide receiver) to pay up for two top running backs this week. Especially if you want to try to get Rob Gronkowski into your cash game lineup, as I do. 

I prefer Alex Collins narrowly over Kenyan Drake as my favorite RB2 option. Collisn has scored five touchdowns in the last four games. He is coming off of an extremely impressive performance against Pittsburgh, in which he racked up 166 total yards. The Cleveland Browns defense against running backs has faded considerably in recent weeks. Over the past four games, the Browns allowed 118 total yards to Jamaal Williams, 106 yards to Melvin Gordon III, 165 yards to Joe Mixon and 118 yards to Leonard Fournette

John Mamula: Most of my lineups build will start with Leveon Bell as he stands alone in my top tier at running back. Over the past four weeks, he has continued to be a weapon in the passing game averaging 10.25 targets/per game. After a slow start, Bell has at least 93 total yards in every game since Week 3. That's remarkable consistency that you can count on in your DFS lineups. Through his first 60 games, no player in NFL history has more total yards than Bell. 

At first glance, for GPP tournaments, I am warming to the idea of pairing Bell with either Samaje Perine or Alex Collins. Since the injury to Chris Thompson, Perine has been a workhorse averaging 21.7 touches over his past four games. Collins is also receiving a steady workload as he looked sharp running for 166 total yards and 1 touchdown against the Steelers this past Sunday. 

Devin Knotts: It is really difficult to pay up for two of these players based on what some of these elite wide receivers have been doing recently. It is tough to build a roster without one of Antonio Brown or Keenan Allen based on their recent performances. My favorite player of this is Le’Veon Bell, but to answer the question being asked, Kenyan Drake is my favorite running back outside of these players. 

Excluding last week when there was so much snow you could barely see the field, the Bills have allowed the most points to opposing running backs in the NFL. Kenyan Drake is a player who is a true dual-threat catching and running the ball and he has the speed to add to this. He is in a perfect spot where the price has not adjusted accordingly due to playing on Monday, but he is in a perfect spot this week and will be one of the more popular plays.
James Brimacombe: I am with the rest of the group and I feel like Kenyan Drake is becoming a must play at the RB2 spot this week in cash. It is easy to go boxscore chasing with Drake over the past three weeks but just looking at what he did against the Patriots on Monday Night it is hard to ignore. He rushed 25 times for 114 yards and added 5 catches for 79 more yards and the game before that he had 141 total yards and a touchdown against the Broncos. Now the best part of all is Drake's matchup this week against the Bills. The Bills are ranked last at defending the running back spot right now allowing 112 rushing yards, 1.2 rushing touchdowns and 5/42/0.1 receiving to the position. This is a perfect spot for Drake this week as your RB2, don't over think it in cash games.

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