2016 Draft Kit

Running back matchups for conference championship weekend: Sleepers and busts

There are very few great matchups this week and quite a few bad matchups. That’s the price fantasy owners must pay during playoff football season.

It’s cool though. There are still values to find. Using matchups to build winning lineups is not the one key to winning at sites like FanDuel and Draft Kings. But used as part of a greater knowledge base they can lead to huge gains.

I built a lineup using just the top matchups across the list and was pleasantly surprised with the results.

Just like last week I’m going to present the matchups for all teams and positions still alive in the playoffs. In the preseason we added and subtracted some statistics in cases where there were strong good and bad matchups to accentuate the players we could expect to do better or worse than they might normally.

All players except kickers and defenses will be ranked based on reverse Defense-adjusted Value Over Average, a Football Outsiders’ exclusive statistic which tries to eliminate outliers and give us a true sense of how a defense performs against each position.

I’ve also included the DVOA rank (again top-10 and bottom-10 rankings should really be noted). For quarterbacks, running backs, tight ends, kickers and defenses, I’ve included PPR fantasy points per game allowed by the opposing defense in the last five games. For wide receivers I’ve included targets and yards allowed.

Conference championship boom or bust projections

Matchups: QB | RB | WR1 | WR2 | WR3/4 | TE | K | DEF | RB (rec.)

Thanks for reading all season. If you have any interest in other daily fantasy sports — and you should, especially for NBA games — please check back this week. I’m going to have some fresh content coming soon. I’ve entered a pile of low-end tournaments in the last week, gathering information and seeing how the chips fall. I’m starting to feel confident enough to write about them.

Running back matchups

Marshawn Lynch/Robert Turbin vs. Green Bay — 24th in DVOA, 20.7 FPPG/5 — The last thing a Packers fan wants to see is this kind of matchup against Beast mode.

LeGarrette Blount/Shane Vereen vs. Indianapolis — 19th in DVOA, 19.4 FPPG/5 — I’ll have Shane Vereen in a few lineups but after thinking about if for a while I’ll probably lean more on LeGarrette Blount. I think there’s more upside there despite Vereen’s pass-catching ability. Here’s the test to ask yourself: Do you think Vereen is more likely to get 5 catches and 100 total yards or do you think Blount is more likely to get 100 yards and a touchdown? Yep, Blount for me too.

Daniel Herron/Zurlon Tipton vs. New England — 14th in DVOA, 17.7 FPPG/5 — Trent Richardson didn’t travel with the team due to a personal matter or a missed practice, depending on who you talk to. He didn’t do anything last week but, then again, neither did Tipton. It was Daniel Herron’s show. I suspect that will continue this week.

Eddie Lacy/James Starks vs. Seattle — 2nd DVOA, 15.9 FPPG/5 — I probably won’t have Lacy in any lineups. He’s a great contrarian option, but it feels like a lot of things have to fall in order for him to meet value. Seattle allowed two 100-yard rushers this season — DeMarco Murray and Jamaal Charles. Lacy had just 34 yards on 12 carries against the Seahawks in Week 1.

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