The Weighted Opportunities DFS Value Index identifies undervalued running backs in daily fantasy. Each week, we will compare Weighted Opportunities Per Game and Opportunity Shares against FanDuel salaries at the running back position. Slight adjustments will be made to the final ranking to account for projected personnel changes, matchups, Game Script, and other information the value metric cannot capture on its own. The focus will be on players under $6,500 salary on FanDuel. The best lineups can and should be based around the true workhorse RBs, but these value plays can be useful to differentiate GPP lineups or find sneaky values in cash.
All rankings listed in parentheses are based on the 36 active players under that salary threshold.
10. J.D. McKissic – FD: $4,700
Weighted Opportunities Per Game: 7.9 (No. 15)
Opportunity Share: 29.8-percent (No. 14)
Value Rating: 33.63 (No. 6)
Game Script: -7.88
Look, no one wants to play J.D. McKissic. He is not an exceptional athlete and has basically no chance to be more than a specialist player in the NFL. However, the one thing he does well, catching passes out of the backfield, can provide a solid fantasy floor. In a game against the Ravens where Washington will likely be playing from behind, McKissic will be on the field often enough to soak up targets and the occasional carry.
9. Latavius Murray – FD: $4,900
Weighted Opportunities Per Game: 8.1 (No. 14)
Opportunity Share: 34.0-percent (No. 11)
Value Rating: 30.60 (No.10)
Game Script: -0.12
Latavius Murray continues to carve out a role in the New Orleans offense despite Alvin Kamara‘s heroics. Murray quietly recorded 12 carries and one target in last week’s loss to the Packers. He uses his 4.43 (93rd-percentile among qualified running backs) straight-line speed to gain chunk plays behind a solid offensive line. While this week’s matchup against a rejuvenated Lions team is not a smash spot, Murray has weekly touchdown upside at minimal cost.
8. Antonio Gibson – FD: $5,500
Weighted Opportunities Per Game: 9.9 (No. 10)
Opportunity Share: 45.2-percent (No. 6)
Value Rating: 29.83 (No. 11)
Game Script: -7.88
While Antonio Gibson has reached paydirt in each of the last two weeks, he has yet to truly break out and is still priced accordingly. Gibson is seeing more than enough usage to be a viable cheap option and has multiple pathways to upside.
Gibson’s electric 4.39 (98th-percentile) speed gives him a chance to turn any touch into a home run. In addition, clearly being the most talented back in Washington, there’s a good chance he takes over a featured back role at some point this season. Getting on board early can make for a huge payoff, but this week’s matchup against the Ravens is not the ideal spot.
7. Zack Moss – FD: $5,100
Weighted Opportunities Per Game: 8.2 (No. 12)
Opportunity Share: 41.2-percent (No. 9)
Value Rating: 30.71 (No. 9)
Game Script: +7.32
Zack Moss returns in Week 4 for a matchup against the Las Vegas Raiders, who have been absolutely gouged by running backs so far this season. Moss has seen decent work as part of a committee with Devin Singletary. The most intriguing development is that Moss has already received nine (No. 19) red zone touches in his two games played.
Moss will likely improve on his paltry 3.2 (No. 59) Yards per Touch and has good touchdown potential for his price point.
6. Adrian Peterson – FD: $5,500
Weighted Opportunities Per Game: 10.7 (No. 7)
Opportunity Share: 53.4-percent (No. 4)
Value Rating: 38.09 (No. 4)
Game Script: -0.41
What is dead may never die. Adrian Peterson continues to be a thorn in the side of exciting, young backfields. Matt Patricia seems content to keep trotting Peterson out as his primary option, and fantasy players must adjust accordingly. Peterson is no longer a transcendent, tackle-breaking machine, but he can get the yards the defense gives him. The Week 4 matchup with the Saints, however, is not ideal for his skillset. He will be a smash value if the Lions take a surprising lead, but the Game Script can easily make him irrelevant. As such, Peterson is only viable as an upside GPP option.
5. Joshua Kelley – FD: $5,300
Weighted Opportunities Per Game: 11.2 (No. 6)
Opportunity Share: 42.5-percent (No. 7)
Value Rating: 36.62 (No. 5)
Game Script: -2.20
When Joshua Kelley was drafted by the Los Angeles Chargers, the hope was that he would immediately step in and take most of the departed Melvin Gordon‘s workload. So far, Kelley has mostly lived up to those expectations. Austin Ekeler continues to be more valuable, but Kelley has seen good work on the ground and has recorded ten (No. 13) Red Zone Touches. That role should be most valuable in games where the Chargers are expected to lead.
Beings seven-point underdogs against a stout Tampa Bay run defense, Kelley likely needs a touchdown or breakaway run to be viable. He is another low-floor, high-upside GPP play.
4. Mike Davis – FD: $6,300
Weighted Opportunities Per Game: 17.5 (No. 1)
Opportunity Share: 54.4-percent (No. 3)
Value Rating: 41.39 (No. 3)
Game Script: -5.41
No one else is Christian McCaffrey, but Mike Davis did his best facsimile in Week 3 against the Chargers by compiling 91 total yards and a touchdown on 13 carries and nine targets. As long as Davis sees that large of a passing game workload, he is a lock to provide value, especially in cash lineups.
Teddy Bridgewater has shown a propensity to throw underneath, and Davis will keep drawing targets with McCaffrey on the mend. The Panthers have little motivation to test out higher-upside running backs since McCaffrey will be back soon to take over the bulk of the workload.
3. Devin Singletary – FD: $6,000
Weighted Opportunities Per Game: 14.3 (No. 2)
Opportunity Share: 65.3-percent (No. 2)
Value Rating: 33.43 (No. 2)
Game Script: +7.32
Devin Singletary’s Opportunity Share and per-game numbers are inflated by Zack Moss’ Week 3 absence. Yet, Singletary has been much more involved in the passing game this season. He has also continued his penchant for Breakaway Runs, his 9.4-percent Breakaway Run Rate currently ranking No. 5 after he finished No. 3 in that metric last year. The Bills are now among the top offenses in the league, which leaves room for both Moss and Singletary to be productive in their roles. Singletary’s red zone usage compared to Moss is worth monitoring, but Singletary is among the top plays of the week in a plus-matchup against the Raiders.
2. Kareem Hunt – FD: $5,900
Weighted Opportunities Per Game: 13.6 (No. 3)
Opportunity Share: 46.7-percent (No. 5)
Value Rating: 33.43 (No. 7)
Game Script: -3.63
So far, the two-headed backfield in Cleveland has lived up to all the hype. Kareem Hunt was the top backup drafted in many seasonal leagues and has been more than good enough to justify that price. His role is mostly solidified, being the primary pass-catching back that also takes some drives as the lead back on the ground. This week, the Browns face an explosive Cowboys offense that will lead to a Game Script that favors Hunt over backfield partner Nick Chubb. There is nothing stopping Hunt from a top-10 RB performance at a fraction of the cost of the workhorses.
1. David Montgomery – FD: $5,800
Weighted Opportunities Per Game: 13.3 (No. 4)
Opportunity Share: 68.4-percent (No. 1)
Value Rating: 50.54 (No. 1)
Game Script: -2.52
Fantasy football does not have to be hard. David Montgomery ranks No. 1 among these players in a volume-driven metric that has no idea Tarik Cohen is out for the season. Montgomery was already seeing over 65-percent of the opportunities and will now be a true workhorse. Nick Foles takes over the offense, which should increase the team’s play volume, touchdown potential, and efficiency.
The Week 4 matchup against the Colts is not great, and Montgomery is not particularly explosive, but this is a rare opportunity to get this large of a projected workload at under $6,000.