Oh boy. I’m struggling to get through the day, but don’t worry because I just popped a pain pill. This shouldn’t affect my column on running backs because I haven’t really had any problems with hallucinations or anything like that. If for some reason I write about someone you’ve never heard of, just shrug it off and blame it on the lortabs.
Every week this season I have looked at the player pool and decided I want to load up on receivers. I always made sure to use most of my salary on the wideout position, but this week I am salivating over the running back choices. I could field a team of running backs with just SEC players that is how deep this weekend is. This little fella on my shoulder is telling me to stop fumbling around, and just get to the picks so here they are.
**DraftKings pricing on all selections
Top RB Plays:
1. Melvin Gordon Wisconsin $6,500– Against Ohio State expect Gordon to see the majority of carries. Last season Monte Ball was the number one running back for Wisconsin while James White was the number two. In big games you saw Ball with the majority of the carries while White saw less than usual carries. Against Ohio State this season Gordon should get the majority of carries because of how big of a game this is. Last season, Monte Ball received 39 carries against Ohio State while James Whites only had eight. With Gordon’s price this low and the potential for a high-scoring game, I consider Gordon a must play for his $6500 price.
2. Ka’Deem Carey Arizona $7,750 – Ka’Deem Carey is one of the best running backs in college football, but you wouldn’t know it due to him playing on the West Coast. With Carey being under $8,000 and price on drafting is, I think you have to seriously consider him due to his star power. This week against Washington he sees a matchup that he played very well in last season. He ran for 172 yards and a touchdown against the Huskies in a big home win against them last season. He has four touchdowns in his last two games and I think that he scores again against the Huskies Saturday.
3. Tyler Gaffney Stanford $7,000 – The Cardinal offense is built around consistent play out of the running and passing games. Gaffney is the stud running back for the Cardinal offense and it has shown as he has scored six touchdowns on the season. He has run for 100+ yards in two of the three games, and has also shown consistency by scoring two touchdowns in each game. Against Auburn and USC, Washington state gave up over 400 total yards rushing. Look for Gaffney to be a safe play this weekend to get 100 yards and at least one touchdown.
4. Bishop Sankey Washington $8,750 – As long as Sankey is healthy this weekend, he is a great play. Sankey has put up outstanding numbers this season rushing for over 7 yards per carry and five total touchdowns. When you spend this kind of money on a player, you want to see them play the whole game, which should happen against Arizona on Saturday. As I’ve said before, Sankey is a workhorse running back that gets goal line caries and third-down usage. Sankey is an expensive, but reliable option.
5. De’Anthony Thomas Oregon $8,000 – Thomas was not supposed be a rushing threat coming into the season, but he is showing otherwise as he is ran for 100+ yards in two of three game so far this season. In each game this season has run over six yards per carry. Add the fact that he has scored six touchdowns on the season, andyou see why he’s priced so highly. Against the dreadful California defense, I expect Oregon to put up close to 70 points and if you agree you should use at least one Ducks player. Thomas could be your guy.
Top Value Plays:
1. Jeremy Hill LSU $5,000 – Hill has come back from dismissal from the team with a bang. On the season he has run for 351 yards and six touchdowns. Against Auburn, Hill ran for almost 200 yards and three touchdowns. The Georgia defense is not spectacular and we are sure to see a high-scoring game Led by Hill, Mettenberg, Landry, and Beckham. The Tigers offense is much better this season and more well rounded. At this price you could do much worse, and I consider Hill a very strong play Saturday.
2. Mike Davis South Carolina $5,250 – At first I wasn’t sold on Mike Davis, but his recent performances against Vanderbilt and Georgia have shown me that I was wrong. I list this as a value play even though this isn’t as cheap as usual, but the value here is that he could put up 30+ points like he did against Georgia. No longer are we going to get $3,000 dollar studs, so we have to look at the $4-$5,000 range for value which is what Davis is against the Central Florida defense who gave up 128 yards on 21 carries and three touchdowns to Zack’s Zwinak of Penn State.
3. Rajion Neal Tennessee $4,250 – Neal is a stud running back who has seen himself go up against two matchups that were not favorable for him. The Florida defense is no joke. As fantasy players we are almost lucky to have Neal face Florida because his price dropped due to a bad game. Bad fantasy players will see it as two bad games in a row, but will ignore the fact that he put up four touchdowns and over 200 yards on 31 carries against Western Kentucky and Appalachian State. Expect another great day from Neal and great value out of his cheaper price.
4. Kenneth Harper Temple $3,250 – Harper is getting the majority of the carries for Temple now, and has had two very good games fantasy wise in his past two performances. He has run for 156 yards and three touchdowns on 30 carries in those two games. If you think the Idaho defense is any better than Houston or Fordham then you have another thing coming. Harper is a great option at this price.
5. Ben Malena Texas A&M $4,750 – Malena gets limited carries, but sees more touches due to passes of the backfield. He has scored a touchdown in every game for a total of six. Although he is he a second running optional team because of Johnny Football, Malena sees a great amount of carries close to the end zone as we can tell from the touchdown numbers. If this game gets out of hand early against Arkansas you’ll see Malena get the brunt of the carries to keep Johnny Football safe.
Top Fool’s Gold:
1. Marion Grice Arizona State $8,000 – Grice is a great option due to his touchdown scoring ability, but against a defense like USC I am staying away. His price is just too high for me to consciously go with him when there are many other options that I like for cheaper. Add in the fact that USC’s defense has only given up 11 points per game this season and to me that says fade Grice.
2. Tre Madden USC $6,000 – Madden has had a very good season, but other than his yardage gained, he doesn’t get many points besides that. He only has three touchdowns on the season, and although Arizona State isn’t a powerhouse defense they aren’t bad enough to warrant a player with limited upside. For $6,000 on DraftKings, there are many other options I like and I’m looking elsewhere Saturday.
3. Kevin Parks Virginia $5,750 – Parks had an outstanding game against VMI, but against Pittsburgh the defense should be better. Pittsburgh gave up a lot of yards to Duke, but Parks hasn’t done much against FBS teams like Oregon or BYU. Do you really want to draft a running back who is averaging 3.3 yards per carry against FBS teams this Saturday? For this price, give me Hill or Davis. Not Parks.
4. Jeremy Smith Oklahoma State $6,500 – Smith has not put up the yards to be a top running back, but his touchdown total is high as he has six in three games. It’s because of the lack of yardage in the Lamar and UTSA games that I don’t like him against West Virginia. If you’re going to spend this much on that, I should really hope you feel confident that he’ll gain over 40 yards against much better defense than Lamar. You’re not going to be able to play him against West Virginia and hope he scores two or three touchdowns just to hit value.
5. Terron Ward Oregon State $6,000 – Ward filled in for Storm Woods this past weekend and he had a decent performance as he had over 16 fantasy points for a very cheap price. This weekend against Colorado he sees his price double and there’s no reason to say his numbers will get any better. Ward has 69 yards on 30 attempts this season and even though Colorado’s defense is not good, the Oregon State offense likes to pass, pass, pass.
Got something in mind you want to add? Why not throw it up and bring it to the table in the most active DFS College Football Forum on planet Earth? We want to hear from you!