Fanduel Week 1 Running Backs Preview

We are still a week away from kickoff across the league, but it is never too early to preview Fanduel prices for opening day. Here is a breakdown of the running back plays in Week 1.

Note: Reaching value on cash games = 2x salary. 

An example of this: Matt Ryan is $8,800, so 2 x 8.8 is 17.6. To reach value in cash games, Matt Ryan must score 17.6 fantasy points.

Reaching value on GPP = 3x salary.

Using the same Matt Ryan example, 3 x 8.8 = 26.4. For Matt Ryan to reach value in GPP’s, he must score 26.4 fantasy points. 

Generally, if all your players hit that multiplier mark, you will be in the money in almost all your contests.

Eddie Lacy, $8,500 - The Packers have absolutely dominated the Chicago Bears over the course of last season, and in Week 1, they are currently sitting at -10 favorites over Jay Cutler and company, according to Sportsbook. Lacy should see a boatload of targets in what should be a blowout. Green Bay should have the ball in scoring position multiple times throughout this game, giving Lacy a prime chance to find the end zone, especially with the absence of Jordy Nelson on the outside. Lacy has an extremely high ceiling in Week 1, so consider him in both your cash games and tournament lineups. 

Jonathan Stewart, $7,100 - In Week 1, Stewart will have the luxury of facing the Jacksonville Jaguars, who ranked 28th last season in defensive DVOA ratings. In 2014, the Jags also gave up the third most fantasy points to opposing running backs. With DeAngelo Williams now in Pittsburgh, Stewart is poised to be the three down back in Carolina. In 2014, the Panthers gave Stewart 20 or more touches in four of the last six games. With the perfect matchup, seemingly depressed price, and expected workload, Stewart makes for a fantastic cash-game play. Take caution when using him in GPP's though, due to the fact that it looks like he is one of the highest-owned running backs of the weekend. 

Alfred Blue, $5,800 - Talent-wise, Blue is a below-average NFL running back, but that doesn't matter in DFS when your price tag is near the minimum. As a cash-game only play, Alfred will most likely be one of the highest-owned running backs of Week 1. So playing him to block your opponent, a commonly used strategy, is ideal. The matchup isn't what you'd hope for against Kansas City, but the Texans love to run the football, leading the NFL in rushing attempts last season. Blue only needs 11.6 fantasy points to reach value, which seems extremely likely given the expected workload.

Other plays - Adrian Peterson, $9,200; Jeremy Hill, $8,600; Doug Martin, $6,900

GPP Only Play

Ameer Abdullah, $5,900 - Abdullah busted onto the scene during a preseason game against the Jets with a run highlighted by an ankle breaking juke.

With Joique Bell's week-one status still up in the air, Abdullah becomes a more and more interesting GPP play. Even if Bell suits up opening day, Abdullah will still see work on passing downs. With recent reports that the Lions want to give Abdullah double-digit touches each game, he makes for a great GPP play, given his boom-or-bust potential and near minimum price tag.

Joseph Randle, $6,900 - The recent acquisition of Seattle Seahawks running back Christine Michael has only thrown another kink into the Dallas backfield. As of now though, it's Randle's job to lose to either Darren McFadden or Christine Michael. The Cowboys open the season with a terrific matchup for their running game: the New York Giants. The G-Men ranked 27th last season in rushing defense DVOA ratings, and Randle has the luxury of running behind the best o-line in football. It's unclear how big of a workload or what percent of the carries Joseph will get, which makes him a GPP-only play. If he gets the hot hand, the potential for Randle is sky-high in a perfect prime-time match up.

Off the board play

Chris Ivory, $6,400 - This season, Ivory will be the workhorse back in an offense that loves to ride one runner. In week one, the Jets face off against 2014's second worst rushing defense according to Football Outsiders: the Cleveland Browns. The Jets know that the way to beat Cleveland is on the ground and not in the air, as the Browns ranked second in passing defense DVOA ratings last season. Ivory should see all the work he can handle Sunday behind a very serviceable offensive l ine. One last stat: only the Seattle Seahawks and Dallas Cowboys gained more yards on the ground than the Jets last season.

Running back to avoid

Marshawn Lynch, $8,600 - In his two games against St. Louis last season, Lynch didn't rush for more than 61 yards in either contest. The Rams finished last season with the fourth best rushing defense, according to Football Outsiders, and look to be just as stout against the ground game this season. Seattle also traded on of its best run blocking offensive linemen, Max Unger, to New Orleans as a part of the Jimmy Graham deal. Without Unger last season, the Seahawks rushing game took a dramatic dip. With Lynch's expensive price tag, there are much better options at running back week one.

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