FanDuel NFL Pricing Day 2015: Running Backs

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Editor's Note: We're hosting a one-day $50,000 fantasy baseball league on FanDuel tonight. It's only $2 to join and first place wins $5,000. Enter by 7:05pm ET (today, July 21st). Here's the link.


In traditional fantasy football leagues, the running backs are the aces in the deck. Outside of a QB king or a few WR diva queens (or a Gronk joker), RBs usually trump everything else in your drafts. But that's not always the case in one-week fantasy football, as a top-notch quarterback with four-touchdown-pass ability is usually the smart way to go in 50/50s and Double-Ups.

More than anything, you want consistency in cash games, and no position has more consistent scorers than quarterbacks, with running backs a close second place. Obviously, there are exceptions to every rule, but as we look at running backs prices for Week 1 on FanDuel, think about varied lineups, consistency and health.

Now that we have Week 1 RB prices to consider over the next six weeks or so, I wanted to share three running backs whose prices are good values, four who I think might be a little too expensive considering their matchup, and five I think are worth a look in big Week 1 GPP tournaments!

3 Running Backs to Own

These three backs are worth the price on FanDuel for Week 1 in cash games, specifically.

DeMarco Murray, Philadelphia ($8,600) at Atlanta

Sure, he'll give up some carries to Ryan Mathews, and Darren Sproles will work into the passing game, but you can expect head coach Chip Kelly to lean heavily on the NFL rushing leader from a year ago. The Falcons allowed a league-high 21 rushing touchdowns last season. Murray was markedly consistent in 2014 (and 2013 for that matter), and we like that in cash games.

Andre Ellington, Arizona Cardinals ($8,000) vs. New Orleans

The addition of David Johnson should scare some, as he'll certainly steal some touches. Ellington will get more rest, but that should mean more home-run ability on every touch, and the Cards love throwing to him (FanDuel awards 0.5 points per reception). The Cardinals signed three-time Pro Bowler G Mike Iupati this offseason, and they drafted RT D.J. Humphries in the first round this spring. The revamped offensive line and the return of QB Carson Palmer is a good thing for Ellington. New Orleans is a perfect Week 1 opponent for him, as the Saints defense allowed the most rushing yards to running backs last season.

Jonathan Stewart, Carolina ($7,200) vs. Jacksonville

Is there a less sexy pick than Stewart in Week 1? Yet, he's facing a Jaguars defense that was one of just six teams to allow more than 125 rushing yards per game last season, and their top pick (DE Dante Fowler) is already lost for the season.

4 Running Backs to Pass On

Here are four running backs I'm going to let my opponents use in Week 1.

Adrian Peterson, Minnesota ($9,300) at San Francisco

He's the most expensive running back on the board, and he's coming off a lost year. Sure, he has a chip on his shoulder, and he's likely hellbent on making up for lost time. But he's on the road (he averaged nearly 30 rushing yards fewer away from Minnesota in 2013, compared to at home), and he's facing a 49ers defense that allowed just seven rushing touchdowns last season (fourth-best in NFL). Pass on A.P.

C.J. Anderson, Denver ($8,500) vs. Baltimore

The Ravens had the toughest defense against the run last year, and while they lost DT Haloti Ngata to the Lions this past offseason, there shouldn't be that much of a difference. Expect your opponents to load up on Anderson, citing Gary Kubiak's new run-centric offense, but you should buy shares elsewhere.

DeAngelo Williams, Pittsburgh ($7,700) at New England

You'll be tempted to play Williams in place of the suspended Le'Veon Bell because he's not a bad price and the Patriots were mediocre against the run last year. But you'll be better off letting all the newbies load up on the very first game of the season, hoping for excitement, creating better opportunities for you to win contests on Sunday. (Still join some Thursday games, but think about avoiding Thursday night players in your lineup as an advantage.)

Tre Mason, St. Louis ($7,400) vs. Seattle

At this point, there's actually a good chance that rookie Todd Gurley (knee) is able to play in this game. Really, though, neither this year's rookie Rams RB or last year's rookie Rams RB are going to be good starts against a Seahawks defense that ranked among the best at holding running backs to minimal yardage.

5 Running Backs Worth a Look in GPPs

These five players won't be the most popular choices on FanDuel, but that's usually what you want when you're playing in tournaments with guaranteed prize pools (GPPs). You want some players that few other owners have.

Joseph Randle, Dallas ($7,000) vs. N.Y. Giants

We expect Randle to take over behind the best offensive line in football, and the Giants allowed an NFL-high 4.9 yards per carry in 2014.

Chris Ivory, N.Y. Jets ($6,500) vs. Cleveland

If you need a bargain back that works as a low-key player facing a decent matchup, Ivory's your guy. First, though, he has to beat out Stevan Ridley for this job in preseason. But if he does win the gig, he'll face a Browns defense that was better against the pass, allowing the most rushing yards of any defense last season.

Charles Sims, Tampa Bay ($6,300) vs. Tennessee

He's $700 cheaper than Doug Martin, the team still isn't sure which tailback they'll lean on in 2015, and the Titans had a horrible rush defense in 2014. The Buccaneers line might be bad, but it could be a push against the Titans, with Sims picking up more points in passing downs.

Matt Jones, Washington ($5,600) vs. Miami

While others load up on Lions rookie Ameer Abdullah for $400 more, look to this third-round draft pick to work the passing downs in place of Alfred Morris. The Dolphins were below average against running backs in fantasy points last season.

David Johnson, Arizona ($5,400) vs. New Orleans

I already dumped on the Saints defense against running backs last year. But Johnson might also see goal-line work, considering he's the bigger back. It's doubtful, but a high-scoring affair could give owners of both backs some DFS love. Johnson is also a good pass-catcher, which counts for more in FanDuel, and the Saints gave up an NFL-high carries of 20 yards or more.

Over the next couple months, mull over some different lineup combinations and figure out different ways to load up on some of these Week 1 running backs ...

Editor's Note: We're hosting a one-day $50,000 fantasy baseball league on FanDuel tonight. It's only $2 to join and first place wins $5,000. Enter by 7:05pm ET (today, July 21st). Here's the link.

*All current prices are subject to change between now and the official launch of FanDuel NFL contests.

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