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Week 4 Fantasy RB Rankings: Must starts, sleepers, potential busts at running back


Week 2 was not kind to the running back position, so fantasy football owners were probably relieved to see few players go down with major injuries in Week 3. Some RBs did suffer unfortunate injuries, such as Tarik Cohen and possibly Chris Carson, but for the most part, our Week 4 fantasy RB rankings won’t be impacted all that much by new injuries. Of course, there are still plenty of key absences, including Christian McCaffrey (ankle) and Le’Veon Bell (knee), and there are questions about Raheem Mostert (knee) that make it important to identify sleepers and find potential streamers to help teams get a “W” this week.

Fortunately, there are plenty of good matchups that fantasy football owners can take advantage of. Notably, Kenyan Drake and Melvin Gordon move from the RB2 to RB1 range. Drake has disappointed this year, but he’s playing a woeful Panthers run defense that has been the worst in the league since the start of last season. Meanwhile, Gordon will be playing the Jets’ mediocre defense on a short week and Denver, still could be without Phillip Lindsay (toe). He should be a top-10 play and will likely be a top-15 play even if Lindsay does return.

WEEK 4 PPR RANKINGS:
Quarterback | Wide receiver | Tight End | D/ST | Kicker

Elsewhere, it looks like Darrell Henderson can officially be trusted as he has emerged as the Rams’ lead back, though that might be threatened if Cam Akers (ribs) returns. Henderson will get a great matchup against a Giants defense that was just gashed through the air by Jerick McKinnon and Jeff Wilson Jr. James Robinson is also officially an RB1 after his performance against the Dolphins. He’s playing the Bengals, who have had a hard time against RBs this year, so fire him up as a top-10 producer.

WEEK 4 STANDARD RANKINGS:
Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight End | D/ST | Kicker

There are still some frustrating committees that will be tough to make sense of. Devin Singletary did well for the Bills with Zack Moss (toe) out in Week 3, but will he have as many opportunities if Moss returns? (And would it kill him to score from inside the five-yard line?) And how will the touches be split between the aforementioned McKinnon and Wilson in the 49ers backfield? Those questions will need to be answered as owners try to decide who to start and who to sit, but generally, those involved in committees can at least be flexed. The committee members just have lower floors.

If you’re looking for sleeper flex plays that could be on the waiver wire, Myles Gaskin could be a good pickup. The Dolphins RB is emerging as the team’s leader at the position and could have an opportunity to catch some passes against a porous Seattle pass defense. Frank Gore (vs. Broncos) and Adrian Peterson (vs. Saints) also figure to get enough volume to pay off as flexes in standard leagues.

Reminder: As always, we expect to make plenty of changes to these RB rankings throughout the week, so check back for updates and analysis.

These rankings are for standard, non-PPR leagues.

Week 4 Fantasy RB Rankings (Standard)

These rankings are for non-PPR leagues.

Rank Player
1 Alvin Kamara, NO @ DET. Kamara had one of the best plays of the year against the Packers when he turned a dump-off pass that should’ve gone for no gain into a 52-yard TD. He should have no problem carving up a Detroit defense that gives up the fourth-most fantasy points per game (FPPG) to RBs at 32.1.
2 Aaron Jones, GB vs. ATL
3 Ezekiel Elliott, DAL vs. CLE
4 Kenyan Drake, ARZ @ CAR. Drake has only topped double-digit fantasy points once this year but he should have a chance to do it against the Panthers awful run defense. The Panthers allow 36.5 FPPG to RBs and have allowed seven rushing TDs this year. Drake should find the end-zone and should have a chance to crack 100 yards, provided that Kyler Murray doesn’t vulture too many red-zone carries from him.
5 Dalvin Cook, MIN @ HOU
6 Nick Chubb, CLE @ DAL
7 Derrick Henry, TEN vs. PIT
8 James Robinson, JAX @ CIN. If you were one of the astute fantasy owners that scooped up Robinson before the start of the season, you have to feel pretty good about yourself right about now. Robinson is averaging 113 yards and a TD per game and is taking on a Bengals team that allows the second-most FPPG to RBs at 34.3. He’s now a top-20 play every week and an RB1 in favorable matchups like this one.
9 Jonathan Taylor, IND @ CHI
10 Melvin Gordon, DEN @ NYJ. If Phillip Lindsay is out again on a short week, Gordon will get a chance to go against a Jets defense that has allowed the eighth-most rushing yards to RBs this year at a mark of 344. And if the Broncos want to find success on offense with Drew Lock out, they’ll have to ride the run game to success.
11 Chris Carson, SEA @ MIA. Carson is dealing with a knee sprain that he suffered late in the Seahawks’ win over the Cowboys when Trysten Hill rolled up on him unnecessarily. If he plays, Carson has a great matchup against a Miami defense that just allowed James Robinson to rack up 27.9 fantasy points.
12 Joe Mixon, CIN vs. JAX. Finally, Mixon will play in a matchup that looks favorable on paper. The Jaguars have allowed the sixth-most FPPG to RBs this season at 29.9 and Mixon is handling most of the workload for the Bengals. If Mixon can get more involved in the passing game, he could take advantage of the team’s porous pass defense against running backs (22 catches allowed is fifth-most in the NFL).
13 David Montgomery, CHI vs. IND. With Tarik Cohen (torn ACL) out for the season, Montgomery will take on a larger role in the Bears backfield than he already had as he’ll play more on passing downs. His ceiling is higher as a result and he’ll be a borderline RB1 because of that potential volume.
14 Todd Gurley, ATL @ GB. The Packers defense just let Alvin Kamara and Latavius Murray trample them, as the duo combined for 262 scrimmage yards and two TDs against them. Gurley’s Falcons may try to ride the run game early against the Packers as a result and that could open the door for a score for the veteran, who has found the end-zone twice in three games to start the season.
15 Miles Sanders, PHI @ SF. In each of the two games he has played this season, Sanders has rushed for exactly 95 yards. He has also been targeted 15 total times which should give him a PPR boost at some point, provided that he has the opportunity to make these catches behind a beat-up offensive line. The 49ers could be without three of their top defensive linemen on Sunday night in Nick Bosa, Solomon Thomas, and Dee Ford, so Sanders may be the Eagles’ best hope of staying alive on offense.
16 Clyde Edwards-Helaire, KC vs. NE
17 Josh Jacobs, LV vs. BUF
18 Austin Ekeler, LAC @ TB
19 Darrell Henderson, LAR vs. NYG
20 James Conner, PIT @ TEN
21 David Johnson, HOU vs. MIN
22 Kareem Hunt, CLE @ DAL
23 Jerick McKinnon, SF vs. PHI
24 Mark Ingram, BAL @ WAS
25 Mike Davis, CAR vs. ARZ
26 Devin Singletary, BUF @ LV
27 Sony Michel, NE @ KC
28 JK Dobbins, BAL @ WAS
29 Myles Gaskin, MIA vs. SEA
30 Adrian Peterson, DET vs. NO
31 Leonard Fournette, TB vs. LAC
32 Jeff Wilson Jr., SF vs. PHI
33 Joshua Kelley, LAC @ TB
34 Antonio Gibson, WAS vs. BAL
35 Frank Gore, NYJ vs. DEN
36 Ronald Jones II, TB vs. LAC
37 Zack Moss, BUF @ LV
38 Devonta Freeman, NYG @ LAR
39 Latavius Murray, NO @ DET
40 Malcolm Brown, LAR vs. NYG
41 James White, NE @ KC
42 Jordan Howard, MIA vs. SEA
43 Nyheim Hines, IND @ CHI
44 Cam Akers, LAR vs. NYG
45 Carlos Hyde, SEA @ MIA
46 D’Andre Swift, DET vs. NO
47 Jamaal Williams, GB vs. ATL
48 Gus Edwards, BAL @ WAS
49 Kerryon Johnson, DET vs. NO
50 Matt Breida, MIA vs. SEA
51 Chris Thompson, JAX @ CIN
52 Royce Freeman, DEN @ NYJ
53 Chase Edmonds, ARZ @ CAR
54 Dion Lewis, NYG @ LAR
55 Damien Harris, NE @ KC
56 LeSean McCoy, TB vs. LAC
57 Boston Scott, PHI @ SF
58 Rex Burkhead, NE @ KC
59 Darwin Thompson, KC vs. NE
60 Giovani Bernard, CIN vs. JAX
61 Alexander Mattison, MIN @ HOU
62 Benny Snell Jr., PIT @ TEN
63 Tony Pollard, DAL vs. CLE
64 Brian Hill, ATL @ GB
65 Corey Clement, PHI @ SF
66 La’Mical Perine NYJ vs. DEN
67 Devontae Booker, LV vs. BUF
68 Jalen Richard, LV vs. BUF
69 Reggie Bonnafon, CAR vs. ARZ
70 J.D. McKissic, WAS vs. BAL
71 Peyton Barber, WAS vs. BAL
72 AJ Dillon, GB vs. ATL


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