2016 Draft Kit

Running back matchups for the divisional round: Sleepers and busts

In the regular season, the matchups highlighted here included only the top 10 and bottom 10 matchups in the league.

Now that we have narrowed the field down to only the best teams the matchups are a lot less clear. There’s only one good matchup at a lot of positions. Last week, I limited these matchups to just good and two bad matchups per position.

This week I’m going to list them all. Despite not having a lot of great matchups, we still need to fill out a full roster. And there’s going to be a lot of variance. Maybe a middle-of-the-pack matchup is all you care about to make a WR2 startable in your lineup.

So, with that out of the way, let’s talk about presentation. I’m not going to give you good and bad matchups this week. You get one list per position, eight-ish players. They are listed in order of best to worst. The best-to-worst listing is based on Football Outsiders’ Defense-adjusted Value Over Averages for QB, RB, WR1, WR2, WR3/4, TE and RB (Rec.). K and DEF are ranked based on season-long schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed.

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

Divisional round boom-or-bust projections

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Running backs

DeMarco Murray vs. Green Bay — The Packers rank 9th in DVOA against running backs, but they are 23rd in schedule adjusted fantasy points allowed.

Eddie Lacy vs. Dallas — The Cowboys rank 10th in DVOA. In the last five games they allowed 26.1 PPR fantasy points per game to running backs, the 8th-highest total in the NFL. Best matchup of the week here.

Marshawn Lynch vs. Carolina — The Panthers rank 11th in DVOA, but they have been particularly stingy the last five weeks, allowing just 14.9 PPR points per game. That’s the second-lowest total in the NFL.

C.J. Anderson/Ronnie Hillman vs. Indianapolis — The Colts rank middle of the road in both DVOA (14th) and adjusted FPA (11th).

Justin Forsett vs. New England — The Patriots are 19th in DVOA and rank 27th in fantasy points allowed per game in the last five weeks.

Shane Vereen/LeGarrette Blount/Jonas Gray vs. Baltimore — With a 28th-ranked DVOA and just 16.4 fantasy points (fourth-lowest) allowed per game in the last five weeks, the Ravens are one of the toughest teams in the NFL to run on.

Daniel Herron/Zurlon Tipton vs. Denver — The Broncos rank 30th in DVOA, but their recent statistics show there might be something here to capitalize on. Denver has allowed the 7th most fantasy points (26.9 per game) to opposing running backs in the last five weeks. They’ve allowed 31.0 per game in the last three weeks. And their season-long FPA puts them in the middle of the pack.

Jonathan Stewart vs. Seattle  — Stewart beat up a tough run defense last week, but the Arizona Cardinals are not the Seattle Seahawks. The Seahawks rank 31st in DVOA, 30th in FPA the last five weeks (15.9 per game).

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