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NFL DFS Running Backs On The Rise In 2020

Joe Mixon – Cincinnati Bengals

Volume has never been an issue for Joe Mixon, but the Cincinnati Bengals offensive line sure has. Mixon averaged just 4.1 yards per carry in 2019, but ended up with 1,137 rushing yards thanks to toting the rock 278 times. This ranked as the sixth-most rushing attempts by a running back last season. Mixon’s eight combined touchdowns helped his DFS output.

Still just 23-years-old, Mixon needs some support. Teams didn’t have to worry about A.J. Green last season. They’ll gladly welcome their star receiver back and also spent a second-round draft selection on wide out Tee Higgins. More scoring opportunities could be on the way for Mixon. The worry is that Joe Burrow won’t receive a ton of reps in the offseason, but the offensive line can’t be worse than it was in 2019.

In the first-round of the 2019 NFL Draft, the Bengals took the first offensive lineman at 11th overall. Jonah Williams missed the entire season after undergoing surgery to repair a torn labrum. They’ll welcome him at left tackle this season, along with free agent signing Xavier Su’a-Filo at guard. This should help an offensive line that ranked fourth-worst with a 22 percent stuffed rating last season.

David Montgomery – Chicago Bears

Things didn’t go as well as one would have hoped for David Montgomery’s rookie season. The tailback averaged just 3.7 yards per carry, going for 889 rushing yards and seven combined touchdowns. The Chicago Bears were one of the biggest disappointments in the league and missed their over under line by a mile. The Bears also did nothing to upgrade their offensive line in the draft, but they also should be more fortunate in 2020.

Chicago’s offensive line was a little banged up last season. Two of their starters missed significant time. This led to the Bears having the second-worst power run success rate (percentage of runs on third or fourth down with two yards or less to go that achieved a first down or touchdown) at just 50 percent. This is a brutal and frustrating way to end drives.

On top of that, Mitch Trubisky was a nightmare. Trubisky ranked 27th in DYAR and 26th in DVOA last season. He was atrocious, which led to opponents stacking the box 19.83 percent of the time against Montgomery. Expect Nick Foles to get a shot early on, which should really bolster Montgomery’s output. A threat of a quarterback with a real arm should provide Montgomery some breathing room.

Raheem Mostert – San Francisco 49ers

Here’s a back wasn’t a top NFL pick, but he may be on the cheaper side of DFS salaries to start 2020. The San Francisco 49ers dealt Matt Breida to the Miami Dolphins for a fifth-round draft pick during the NFL Draft. This leaves Raheem Mostert, Tevin Coleman, and Jerick McKinnon in their backfield; however, McKinnon hasn’t played since 2017.

San Francisco’s offensive line got better in the offseason when 35-year-old Joe Staley decided to hang it up after battling injuries all of 2019, playing in just seven games. They replaced Staley with another first-round selection in Trent Williams, who has seven-straight Pro Bowls to his name. The 49ers ranked third-best in open field yards (yards which a team’s running backs earn more than 10 yards past the line of scrimmage).

Mostert is a former track star that hadn’t received much of an opportunity in the NFL until Breida’s injury in 2019. Mostert’s 5.6 yards per carry allowed him to go for 772 rush yards and eight touchdowns last season. In fact, Mostert ranked seventh-best in DYAR and DVOA among running backs in 2019. This team should continue to rely heavily on their rush attack considering they didn’t upgrade their wide receiver situation.

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