Thursday, September 17, 2015

Jamaal Charles and a Note About Thursday Running Backs

If you read my chapter about Thursday vs. Sunday contests in our Cracking DraftKings e-Book, you probably plan on entering a bunch of contests that start tonight and fading players from Denver and Kansas City. While I've obviously got no qualms with that strategy (especially since Broncos-Chiefs has a 42 point over/under), I wanted to make sure you didn't gloss over my note about Thursday night running backs.

In the e-Book, I pointed out running back fantasy production over the last three years is 8.5% higher on Thursdays than on Sundays. Over the three year sample, 1.98 rushing touchdowns per game were scored on Thursdays versus 1.53 per game on Sundays - a 29% difference.

There were more interesting tidbits I came across during my research, we elected to leave on the cutting room floor:
  • RB1s had the greatest chance out of any position to reach tournament value on Thursday nights. In 2014, RB1s from the Thursday game returned 4x value or greater 23% of the time. Quarterbacks reached their tournament value threshold only 6% of the time, and WR1s 17%.
  • Thursday night games tend to be lopsided. Last year, 12 out of 17 games played on Thursday were decided by 13 points or more. The Vegas favorite was on the winning side of the blowout eight times. In those eight games, the average stat line for the RB1 on the winning team was 21.13 carries, 102.5 rushing yards, and one TD.
This was a long way of saying, if you put anyone from the Thursday game in your lineup this week, make it Jamaal Charles. The Chiefs are at home, favored by Vegas, and Charles remains the centerpiece of Kansas City's offense. Last year, nine of Charles' touchdowns came at home versus only five in road games. His ownership percentage will likely be a little higher than it should be in a tough match-up, but if the Chiefs are going to come out with a win, they'll have to get Charles going. Don't be afraid to use him tonight.


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