I’m 2-0 in my last two running back matchup recommendations so it just felt right to go after the position again this week! The two matchups I’ll highlight for this Sunday are James Conner (+0.5) vs. Damien Harris and Saquon Barkley vs. Christian McCaffrey (+1.5).
James Conner (+0.5) vs. Damien Harris
One of the worst Rush DVOA against teams in the NFL this season are the Detroit Lions. They rank dead last through four weeks. That’s who Damien Harris gets to go against this Sunday. I like that….a lot. He’s matched up this week against James Conner who gets half of a point. Conner has to run against the Philadelphia Eagles who have allowed the eighth fewest rushing yards and second fewest rushing attempts. The undefeated Eagles have also been efficient of offense, ranking fourth in offensive DVOA ahead of the Chiefs, Bills, and Packers. They’re putting teams in negative game scripts which doesn’t bode well for the opposing team’s run game.
Rhamondre Stevenson might eat into Damien Harris’s workload, but I still like him over James Conner this week. Especially considering rookie Bailey Zappe projects to be under center.
Play: Damien Harris > James Conner (+0.5)
Saquon Barkley vs. Christian McCaffrey (+1.5)
Another team that’s been more friendly against the running back position this season is the Green Bay Packers. They rank 28th in Rushing DVOA against. The New York Giants and Saquon Barkley get that matchup this Sunday. Barkley also leads the NFL in rushing with 463 on the ground averaging 5.5 yards per carry. Another matchup I really like.
A team on the opposite end of the Rush DVOA against spectrum are the San Francisco 49ers. They rank first overall in that category and 10th in yards allowed on the ground. Christian McCaffrey gets to play against that stout defense and while he does enter this matchup with Barkley with a 1.5 point edge, I’d still prefer Barkley. They’re both the center pieces of their team’s offenses, but the matchup this week seems to favor Saquon.
Play: Saquon Barkley > Christian McCaffrey (+1.5)
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