NFL DFS Tip: Running Backs as Home Favorites

One of the key factors to look at when deciding between Running Backs not named David Johnson (prior to injury) and Le’Veon Bell is which ones are at home and favored.  It’s a widely known, but often forgotten, trend to utilize running backs who are at home and favored as this typically leads to better results for DFS.

In week one 8 of the top 10 RB’s (DK scoring) were home running backs, of which 4 were home favorites.  Not as high as expected with Tarik Cohen coming in as the #1 back and Leonard Fournette coming in as the #2 back, neither of which were home favorites.

However, when comparing the “High End” running backs we saw LeSean McCoy and Ezekiel Elliot, both home favorites out perform David Johnson and Le’Veon Bell in week one.  The big flop in week 1 was Lamar Miller who came in as a -5.5 home favorite and only produced 11.6 fantasy points.  Most of this though can directly be attributed to a good Jacksonville defense along with Tom Savage being terrible and putting the Texans behind early.

Looking ahead to week two with early lines as of Tuesday morning, we can look at the following running backs as being potential safe plays as home favorites.  Again, we’re looking for guys who are usually the main resource out of the backfield.


Best Situations (Single RB with great matchup as home favorite)

  • Marshawn Lynch (OAK) – Nobody is a better home favorite this week than the Raiders against the Jets as -14 favorites.  Lynch’s odds to score a touchdown may not be higher than they are this week.
  • Melvin Gordon (LAC) – Gordon is the workhorse back for the Chargers and is involved a ton in their offense.  The Chargers shockingly are 4.5 favorites over the Dolphins who didn’t play in week one but were among the bottom in the league in 2016 against pass catching RB’s.
  • Terrance West (BAL) – West saw the primary duties in week 1 against Cincinnati and now will face Cleveland at home with the Ravens opening as 8 point favorites.  Given his price this week he should be expected to be a popular choice in cash games.



  • Le’Veon Bell (PIT) – A disappointing start in week one transitions into a week 2 matchup that on paper looks rough against the Vikings strong run defense.  Bell’s threat out of the backfield and the fact that he is the best RB in the game make him still a great option — especially as a -7 home favorite.
  • Kareem Hunt (KC) – The week 1 darling welcomes in the Eagles fast, but not physically dominating defense into Arrowhead where the Chiefs have opened as 4.5 favorites.
  • Todd Gurley (LAR) – Gurley was involved enough in week one to definitely rank him highly heading into a week 2 matchup with the Redskins.  The actual results were not good but given the volume and the Redskins poor showing in week one, Gurley will be high upside play again in week 2.
  • Devonta Freeman (ATL) / Tevin Coleman (ATL) – This is a one off backfield where we can consider both RB’s as RB1’s because both are so good in the passing game.  I expect Atlanta to try and attack the Packers through the air more than on the ground but this should be a high scoring affair and Freeman always produces well at home.  The Falcons, however, are only favored by 2.5


Split Situations

  • Tampa Bay – Jacquizz Rodgers / Charles Sims – The Bucs are heavy 7.5 home favorites against the Bears.  This is a good matchup for these two running backs but it’s likely we see a split workload.
  • Carolina – Christian McCaffery / Jonathan Stewart – The notable issue with both of these backs is the threat of Cam Newton stealing TD’s on the goal line.  The Panthers are home versus Buffalo this week.
  • Seattle – CJ Prosise / Thomas Rawls / Chris Carson / Eddie Lacy – The issue is obvious here.  Who’s going to get not only the snaps but the touches inside the red zone?  With Rawls out in week one it was Chris Carson leading the way on snaps and Eddie Lacy bringing up the rear (no pun intended).  Seattle is huge home favorite against San Francisco who does have a healthy Navarro Bowman back but remains a defense that gives up plenty of yards on the ground.  Monitor this situation all week but with the uncertainty this is a tournament play to consider Rawls (if he plays) or Carson.
  • Cincinnati – Gio Bernard / Joe Mixon / Jeremy Hill – Gio and Mixon dominated the snap counts in week one and as long as the Bengals are trailing in games that likely will remain true.  However, with the Texans coming into town on a short week this week I could see Hill getting a few more carries.  This is a messy situation that I wouldn’t touch, especially considering it is on the Thursday-Mon slate only.
  • NY Giants – Paul Perkins/Shane Vereen: I never trust either of these guys much and don’t expect them to have a big game and since it is the MNF game we can ignore it on the Main slate



About Steve Renner 1215 Articles
Steve has been a part of the Full Time DFS team from the beginning when we migrated over from Scout Fantasy Sports. As a former contributor on the message forums at Scout he developed a following for his unique writing on MLB DFS. He continued this over with the launch of FullTimeDFS and built a team and platform focused on the common every day DFS player and not those who are just looking for a quick win or to build out MME in every sport for screenshot glory. Steve (sdchickens) specializes in MLB (Dongers Club), NHL (Slap Shot) and NFL (The Ambush). On a personal level he also loves College Sports and will dabble in them for DFS purposes a ton. And yes, he's an avid Saints fan.