Week 4 DFS NFL DraftKings Running Back Plays & Picks

Written By Nate Lawson on September 27, 2017

Week 4 DraftKings.com DFS NFL Running Back GPP & Cash Game Plays

Week 4 NFL is upon us and everyone is looking to cash in on the big money at DraftKings. Every week, we’ll bring you our top DFS NFL picks at each position, separating them into Cash Game and GPP plays.

Cash game options generally come with less risk and a more stable floor, while the best GPP plays can come with tons of risk and upside. Taking a chance on players with high ceilings and low floors is a good way to separate from a large tournament field.

As with any DFS sport, the advice below is relevant for fantasy purposes. A player or team might be better or worse from a fantasy perspective than they are in real life due to matchup, price, game flow, etc. This is important when constructing a roster. And if you’re looking for new ways to play DFS, be sure and give BOOM Fantasy and DRAFT a try!

In DFS NFL, predicting game flow can be vital towards success. Teams that are heavily favored and come through with a comfortable win will be far more likely to lean on their running game, while two teams with poor defenses and high-powered offenses could pay off by getting into a shootout. Later in the season, especially, weather will play a key factor in NFL games, so make sure to check the forecast for each Sunday.

In general, GPP plays are high-risk, high-reward prospects that can fizzle out and leave you empty handed. That said, if you want to win the big money, you have to take big chances and sometimes that means fading a safer choice for a risky play with more upside.

Week 4 DFS NFL Running Backs for Cash Games

LeSean McCoy @ ATL ($8.4k DraftKings)
When building a cash lineup, an elite talent at a decent price against a bad defense is what you want. Sure, McCoy’s price tag jumped by a whopping 20% week over week, but he gets to face the defense allowing the fourth most fantasy points to opposing running backs. Toss in the fact they’ve allowed two rushing and two receiving touchdowns to opposing RBs (as well as the second most receiving yards), and it’s hard to argue against the versatile McCoy. Find a way to get him into your cash game lineup.

Ezekiel Elliott vs. LAR ($8.2k DraftKings)
And I thought McShady was in for a big week. As good as McCoy’s matchup is, Elliott’s might actually be better. Aaron Donald is back for the LA Rams after debuting last week, and that does concern me to some degree. But, the Rams defense is on pace to allow 2,128 rushing yards this season (133 ypg) and has allowed more rushing touchdowns than any other defense thus far this season. Further, Elliott is averaging 18.3 carries per game, so the volume we DFS players love so much, is there. Conveniently, the Rams are allowing one touchdown every 18 carries. The math checks out. And the fact that Carlos Hyde scored twice against LA bodes very well for the superior Elliott.

Jacquizz Rodgers vs. NYG ($4.4k DraftKings)
He’s the lead back in Tampa until Doug Martin returns, and that makes Jacquizz Rodgers a solid cash game play this week at just $4.4k. Oh, I should also mention that the Giants are allowing the most rushing yards per game on the season on the second most rushing attempts. Teams know they can run on this New York defense and they’re doing it. With Janoris Jenkins back healthy, all the more reason to keep the ball on the ground. Look for Rodgers to put up a solid outing in Week 4, as he fights for reps heading into a certain timeshare come week 5.

Week 4 DFS NFL Running Backs for GPPs

Jay Ajayi vs. NO ($7.4k DraftKings)
It was a tough week last week for Ajayi, who managed just 16 rushing yards on 11 carries against the Chargers. This week, Ajayi and the Dolphins head to London to face off against the New Orleans Saints, the worst defense at stopping RBs so far this season. In three games, they’re allowing an average of 36 DK pts to opposing RBs, and they’ve given up more receptions and receiving yards to opposing running backs than any other team. They’re also allowing more than 120 yards per game and the seventh highest yards per carry.

Ajayi isn’t eligible for your Milly Maker lineup, and he’s also questionable, so he might not play at all. But if he’s given the green light, Ajayi deserves a spot in your tournament lineup – if you’re playing the alternative slates, that is.

Jamaal Charles vs. OAK ($4.2k DraftKings)
Welcome back, Jamaal Charles. The veteran back averaged more than a point per touch on Sunday against the Bills, a defense allowing the fourth fewest DK pts per game on the season. His workload is still a big question mark, but considering his dynamic history and after outperforming C.J. Anderson in week 3, there’s upside for Charles at this price.

Now, the Raiders are middle-of-the-pack against the run from a DraftKings scoring perspective. But DeMarco Murray is the best running back they’ve faced so far this season, and the Raiders forced Tennessee to pass far more than they were likely comfortable.

Denver shouldn’t have much of a problem keeping the game flow in their favor and allowing their two leading backs to each get touches. There’s risk in rostering either, but Charles appeared to turn a corner last week, and his price tag, coupled with sheer talent, give him the upside to potentially set your tournament lineup apart.

Andre Ellington vs. SF ($3.8k DraftKings)
Ellington’s sub-$4,000 price tag doesn’t reflect his true value as one of the Cardinals top options. Yes, Chris Johnson is getting carries, and Ellington isn’t getting many. But the latter has taken over (or at least attempted to take over) the pass catching responsibilities of David Johnson. Last week, Ellington was targeted a whopping eight times, reeling in five of those for 59 yards. He added 22 yards on the ground to manage 13.1 fantasy points.

That figure won’t excite many, but Ellington’s usage should. Palmer is very clearly keen on feeding him the ball, and San Francisco’s defense is allowing the sixth most DK PPG this season. They’ve also allowed four TDs to opposing backfields, two of which were receiving touchdowns. If you need salary relief with some upside, I really like Ellington to see a good amount of targets and to find the endzone against a bad 49ers team.

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Nate Lawson Avatar
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Nate Lawson

Nate began playing DFS back in 2013, focusing on low stakes MLB contests over at DraftKings. Now, the vast majority of his DFS time is spent identifying optimal picks and player exposure for NBA and NFL GPPs, though MMA and eSports are his DFS guilty pleasures. With a focus on constant iteration, Nate spends a lot of his non-DFS time reading books and essays by leaders in finance and entrepreneurship for application to his DFS strategies...with a bit of cryptocurrency trading on the side.

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