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The Wild Card games proved to be wild indeed, with a couple of underdogs advancing to the second round of the NFL playoffs. If you're in a one-and-done fantasy league, hopefully you didn't burn your RB picks on disappointing players like Mark Ingram or Devonta Freeman, as the limited pool of players makes each pick that much more important. There aren't too many backups making noise at this juncture of the season, but nevertheless let's look at some DFS bargains and lesser-owned running backs that could make an impact.

This article will aim to highlight playoff league targets and DFS plays for running backs, players that you should consider targeting for your various fantasy football leagues and lineups. Running backs will be split up into three tiers - from most desirable, to most desperate.

Instead of a FAAB amount, I will list DraftKings prices for those looking for value DFS plays beyond the obvious RBs.

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Frontrunners for Divisional Round - Running Back Targets and DFS

Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans - $7300 DK

If you weren't a believer in Henry before, you certainly are now. With the backfield to himself, Henry sliced through the Chiefs all afternoon and led the Titans to an improbable second-half comeback. Henry led the way among all runners with 156 rushing yards--even more impressive since Todd Gurley was the only other RB to go over 100. DeMarco Murray's status is uncertain, but Henry has already been declared the starter and it would be downright shocking if he didn't get 20 or more carries in an effort to slow down the juggernaut Patriots. New England wasn't as bad against the run on defense as they were in the passing game, finishing 20th overall and only allowing six scores on the ground. You still have to think that if Tennessee gets anywhere near the red zone, they will give Henry the ball first and foremost. Being the third-highest priced running back on the slate this weekend might make him a more affordable stud than Le'Veon Bell, who has to face the Jags.

Latavius Murray, Minnesota Vikings - $5400 DK

They say momentum is everything heading into the playoffs. If that's the case, let's see which Minnesota RB has the most juice heading into a matchup with the Saints. Murray's last three games: 61 carries, 256 yards, three TD with three receptions for 37 yards. Jerick McKinnon: 28 carries, 110 yards, and eight receptions for 123 yards. Oh, and zero touchdowns. That might be a selective sample, but you can't argue it's one that counts. Murray has become the lead back and has owned the red zone role all year, nearly tripling McKinnon in carries where it matters most (47-17). If the Vikings fall behind early, it could force them to pass more than they'd like and involve McKinnon more, but with the way they beat New Orleans earlier this year and the level their defense is playing at, I don't foresee that happening.

James White, New England Patriots - $4300 DK

White has hovered around 50% ownership all season, so it's not surprising to see him right near the middle of the salary range for RB this week. Dion Lewis and Rex Burkhead will both cost you quite a bit more ($6600 and $5700 respectively) because they finished the season as the strongest contributors in New England's backfield. It's playoff time, though, and we know who Tom Brady really trusts when it comes to crunch time. White had been questionable after missing the last two games of the season with an ankle injury, but he is said to be ready for this weekend. As I mentioned last time, the Titans give up quite a bit of yardage to running backs through the air. White is a great differentiation play because many have written him off due to recency bias.

 

In The Running - Divisional Round Running Backs and DFS Targets

LeGarrette Blount, Philadelphia Eagles - $3700 DK

The starting running back for the #1 seed in the NFC isn't getting much love on the betting circuit. Blount is the 16th-most expensive RB this week on DraftKings, barely above players guaranteed to do nothing such as Mike Gillislee and T.J. Yeldon. Jay Ajayi has higher ownership rates in many leagues, but it's unclear why we should expect him to do much more than Blount. This is still a full-blown committee that is best avoided in anything but tournaments, but if you're going to pick an Eagles back you may as well save a few bucks and go with the bigger red zone threat.

Zach Line, New Orleans Saints - $3000 DK

Who's your buddy? While I didn't go as far as guaranteeing a touchdown from Line, I had a strong feeling it was possible. Until John Kuhn returns, which could be next week (if the Saints are still in the playoffs), Line is someone who could take a short plunge and turn it into points. He is simply a punt play if you're loading up on stars across the other positions, but he's in better position to score you something than Tennessee's third-string RB that will never see the field.

Corey Clement, Philadelphia Eagles - $3200 DK

Is Clement totally touchdown-dependent for any fantasy value this week? Probably. Can you think of any better options at a price point just above the 3K minimum? Not really. Again, you're better off taking chances elsewhere this week than at running back, but at his price tier Clement should have the highest chance for usage. He scored a surprising six total touchdowns this year, thanks in large part to 13 red zone rushes. The Eagles may lean on their running game more than ever with Nick Foles looking shaky to close the season.

 

Dark Horses - Divisional Round Running Backs and DFS Targets

Stevan Ridley, Pittsburgh Steelers - $3900 DK

Honestly, it would be a shock if Ridley gets more than five touches in this game. Brought on at the tail end of the season due to a slew of injuries to backup running backs in Pitt, Ridley only saw extended action in Week 17 because the Steelers chose to rest nearly all their starters on offense. Frankly, seeing him at a higher price point than a starter like LeGarrette Blount or a primary backup like Chris Ivory is a bit confusing. You can spend your money far wiser, but I'd still take Ridley over Fitzgerald Toussaint.

Tommy Bohanon, Jacksonville Jaguars - $3000 DK

See Line, Zach above. Bohanon is simply another fullback who could sneak in a random touchdown for a bargain price in DFS. The Jags have gotten unconventional near the red zone all season, and the playoffs are no exception as evidenced by the Brad Koyack touchdown last week. Bohanon has four TD on the year despite touching the ball exactly 11 times. He could put up more points on one play than Chris Ivory or Corey Grant will on several carries or receptions.

Kenjon Barner, Philadelphia Eagles - $3000 DK

How many running backs do the Eagles have exactly and how is that legal? If you're in a league where special teams count, you could take a flier on Barner as a return man. He does get mixed into the offense on occasion, so when you get to the depths of the running back list, you still might prefer him to any of the backups on other teams that are sure to be sitting on the sidelines.

 

More Divisional Weekend Lineup Prep