2016 Draft Kit

Boom or bust running back projections for NFL Playoffs: Divisional Round

There was little doubt in my mind that Marshawn Lynch was going to come out on top of this list this week.

To see him at fourth was an even bigger surprise.

You’re going to start him in your playoff league, for sure. If you make him a priority start in your daily fantasy cash games, I’m there with you.

These are boom-or-bust projections after all, meant to shift our perception a bit.

One of the things that hurt Lynch’s numbers the most was Carolina’s fantasy points allowed numbers. They are the stingiest defense against opposing running backs in defense-adjusted fantasy points allowed. In the last five weeks they’ve allowed just 14.9 PPR fantasy points per game to opposing running backs. That’s second-best in the NFL — better than Seattle.

I’ll still have him in some cash games, but I’ll probably have more exposure to Eddie Lacy — who gets the best RB matchup of the week — and Dan Herron, who gets a Denver team with a bit of a split personality of late.

The Cowboys are 10th in the league against running backs in Defense-adjusted Value Over Average. They’ve also allowed 26.1 PPR fantasy points per game to opposing running backs in the last five games, the 8th-highest total in the NFL. Add to that the Packers’ recent tendency to lean heavily on Lacy and you get a projection pretty far ahead of a pretty good top of the field in C.J. Anderson, DeMarco Murray and Marshawn Lynch.

The Broncos rank 30th in DVOA, making them the third most effective defense against running backs this system. However, over the last five weeks they’ve allowed 26.9 PPR points per game to running backs, the 7th most in the league. In their last three games, the Broncos have allowed 31.0 points per game, the second most in the NFL. That means Herron should provide good value again this week.

Projections: QB | RB | WR | TE | FLEX | K | DEF | IDP

PPR projections: RB | WR | TE | FLEX

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