Turkey Day RB Projections/Analysis

Running Backs (DraftKings Prices)

Reggie Bush – $7,100 – Projection: 22 – FP Per $1,000: 3.10

(Floor: 12 / Ceiling: 30)

For the first time this season, Reggie Bush has failed to produce a 20+ FP outing over a three game stretch, scoring just 14, 6.4, and 17.3 FP in his last three games. Slade’s (Not Really That) Bold Prediction: The streak ends on Thanksgiving! The Packers have been an atrocious against the run lately allowing an average of 157 rushing yards and TD over last four games. After receiving less than 20 carries the past three games, it would make way too much sense for the Lions to give Bush around 20 or more. That way, they can dominate the clock and keep Matt Flynn on the sidelines instead of burning the Lions secondary like most QB’s have lately. Plus, he’s always an active member in the passing game which is great for DraftKings PPR format. Don’t fade Bush. I’m expecting great things.

Eddie Lacy – $6,900 – Projection: 13 – FP Per $1,000: 1.88

(Floor: 10 / Ceiling: 20)

Here’s a dirty little secret about the Lions. They’re 4th in the NFL in rushing yards allowed and haven’t allowed a rushing score or more than 61 yards in total rushing in their last seven games. Now, Ed Lacy is a pretty good running back so if you think he will A) be underowned tomorrow and B) be the one to break the Lions streak of dominance on run defense…take him. I’m probably going to avoid him, considering he registered just 10.7 points in the prior meeting with the Lions. Also, coming off a season high 30.8 FP in Week 12, I don’t expect his ownership percentage to be low. Consider fading.

DeMarco Murray – $6,500 – Projection: 14 – FP Per $1,000: 2.15

(Floor: 10 / Ceiling: 20)

The Raiders are a tricky run defense to figure. They typically allow 80-to-100 yards to an opposing rusher but have only allowed six rushing TD’s on the season. All in all, I rate them a solid average run defense. DeMarco Murray is a solid average running back. That should add up to somewhere between 12 and 16 FP for Murray. I don’t see a high ceiling for him, so I wouldn’t highly endorse using him tomorrow in a GPP. But, he should be good for 80 rushing yards and 2-t0-4 catches for 30 yards (about 14 FP) with 20 FP his ceiling if he scores a TD.

Le’Veon Bell – $6,000 – Projection: 14 – FP Per $1,000: 2.33

(Floor: 12 / Ceiling: 22)

You know how these Ravens-Steelers games go. The ground and pound act should be on full display which means Le’Veon Bell should see about 20 carries and catch 4-to-6 passes out of the backfield. The bad news is that Le’Veon Bell has a low ceiling against a defense that has allowed just ONE rushing TD on the season, fewest in the NFL. I’m projecting Bell for 70 rushing yards, 4 catches, and 30 receiving yards, which adds up to a solid little 14 point game. And on the off chances he does score, he could be one of better values at running back tomorrow. I doubt he’ll be highly owned so he might be worth a shot as a contrarian play.

Ray Rice – $5,900 – Projection: 12 – FP Per $1,000: 2.33

(Floor: 8 / Ceiling: 18)

Here’s a guy that many are going to peg as “the contrarian play” and they’ll cite the Steelers 23rd ranked run defense as the main reason. As a Ravens fan, I can tell you: don’t do it. The offensive line’s attempts to run a zone blocking scheme have been a disaster this year. The Steelers defense, one bad outlier versus the Patriots, have been much improved against the run since their bye week, not to mention held Rice to just 45 rushing yards and no score in Week 7. Now, Rice may end up seeing a lot of checkdowns in this game if Flacco struggles to find open receivers against the Steelers. But, unless Rice scores a TD, I don’t see him scoring more than 12 FP.

Rashad Jennings – $5,900 – Projection: 15 – FP Per $1,000: 2.54

(Floor: 12 / Ceiling: 22)

This is a ridiculously low price for someone who has averaged 22 PPG since becoming the Raiders starting running back. Now lets talk about that Cowboys (lack of) run defense. Seven of their last eight games, they have allowed at least 111 rushing yards. They are LAST in points allowed to opposing RB’s. They are particularly bad against pass catching RB’s and Jennings has seen his fare share of targets in the Raiders backfield. It’s an obvious play and Jennings will be among the most popular players chosen tomorrow. Sometimes the obvious choice is also the correct choice. I like Jennings to rush for 80 yards and catch 4 passes for 30 yards.

UPDATE: Darren McFadden ($5,000) will be active as well tomorrow, which could limit Jennings’ ceiling now but he will still start and should still post an above average game.

Joique Bell – $3,000 – Projection: 9 – FP Per $1,000: 3.00

(Floor: 4 / Ceiling: 18)

Bell is hit or miss but has more upside than probably any other minimum priced player. And he has a fighter’s chance of finding the endzone against the Packers run defense that we’ve established is sub-par. I’ll project him for 9 points because that’s what he scored in the previous meeting with the Pack.

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