Week 15 Mouthwatering Matchups (Running Backs)
By: Derek White
Finding value every week in Daily Fantasy Sports is the ultimate goal, but sometimes the matchup is just too good to pass up on. This segment looks to give you some players at each position who – regardless of price – have favorable matchups that you should consider taking advantage of.
For this edition of Mouthwatering Matchups, I focused on the running backs and chose four players who are all facing defenses that have struggled to stop running backs in one way or another:
Joe Mixon, Cincinnati Bengals (vs. Raiders, 1 PM ET)
I will admit, the Raiders surprised me with how well they played defensively last week against an explosive Steelers offense. They only gave up 40 yards on the ground, which was a season low for the unit, and just the third time that they held an offense under 100 yards rushing this season. With all of that said, it’s going to take a few more performances like last weeks, to convince me that the Raiders defense is turning the tide. This is still a defense that has allowed over 140 rushing yards in nine out of their 13 games, and ranks 21st in rushing touchdowns allowed. Joe Mixon has been on a nice roll over the last three games, rushing for at least 80 yards, including an impressive 26 carry, 111 yard performance against the Chargers last week. With AJ Green out for the year and Jeff Driskel taking the snaps at QB, look for Mixon to continue being the bell cow for the Bengals offense not only on the ground, but through the air as well.
Jeff Wilson Jr., San Francisco 49ers (vs Seattle, 4:05 PM ET)
This one all hinges on whether or not Matt Brieda (Questionable) is able to suit up for Sunday’s game. If Brieda is not ready to go, look for Wilson to continue to take advantage of his expanded role in the 49ers offense. Wilson ran for 90 yards on 20 carries last week, and the week before that had over 130 total yards against the same Seahawks defense that he will be facing on Sunday. The Seahawks’ main weakness on defense is containing pass catching running backs, which is Wilsons’ strength. Seattle has given up the second most receiving yards and the sixth most catches to running backs this season, so if Wilson ends up being the Niners main back, look for him to exploit this weakness once again.
Gus Edwards, Baltimore Ravens (vs Tampa Bay, 1 PM ET)
It is not a secret that the Ravens want to run the football. They rank second in the NFL in rushing attempts and yards, and have added an even more dynamic aspect to this rushing attack with the mobile Lamar Jackson starting at QB. Gus Edwards has been the main back in this offense ever since Alex Collins went on IR with a foot injury, and has filled in quite nicely. Over his last four games, Edwards has averaged 19 carries and 95 yards, and goes up against a Tampa Bay defense that has allowed at least 100 yards on the ground in eight straight games. Edwards has failed to reach the end zone in three weeks, but looks to turn that luck around against the Bucs, who have allowed the third most rushing touchdowns in the NFL with 16.
Leonard Fournette, Jacksonville Jaguars (vs Washington, 1 PM ET)
Fournette hasn’t had the greatest holiday season so far. After being suspended in Week 13 for his role in an on field fight, and only rushing for 36 yards against a tough Titans defense last week, Fournette looks to bounce back against a much better matchup versus the Redskins. Before the suspension, Fournette posted back to back 95 yard rushing performances, and had 3 touchdowns in those two games. The Redskins have allowed 100 yards rushing over the last six games, and are probably still recovering from being absolutely obliterated by Saquon Barkley and the Giants, to the tune of 227 rushing yards last week. Fournette is in a much better spot to deliver a big time performance in week 15.
Good luck this weekend and bon appétit!