Football

Week 4 Fantasy Football Running Backs: Start/Sit

Week 4 of the NFL Season is here and it wouldn’t be a true season without complications. In week 4, we will see at least one game postponed with the Steelers-Titans both going on a bye due to Covid-19 positive tests. Anyone on these teams will unfortunately have to be left on your bench for the week, but in this article, we’ll break down the quarterbacks you should start in your lineup or leave on your bench. We intentionally will leave players out such as Dalvin Cook and Aaron Jones as they should be in your starting lineup every week they play.

Running Backs to Start:

James Robinson – The undrafted rookie has blown the Jaguars away with his strong performances coming completely out of left field. Robinson quickly took over as the lead back in Jacksonville as we saw Chris Thompson and Ryquell Armstead fade into a secondary role. Robinson went off for 129 total yards, 6 receptions, and 2 touchdowns in his week 3 performance against the Miami Dolphins. Despite losing the game, Robinson was the lone bright spot for the Jaguars offense during this game. Robinson is playing the Bengals who are notorious for giving up huge performances to running backs in fantasy which puts Robinson in a good position.

Mike Davis – Mike Davis has had big shoes to fill for Pro Bowl running back Christian McCaffrey amidst his battle with injuries. With McCaffrey set to be out for another couple weeks, the Panthers are in good hands with Davis leading the charge for the injured CMC as Davis has had a total of 166 yards and 2 touchdowns through 2 games in CMC’s absence. This hasn’t been anything crazy so far but has shown Davis is someone the Panthers can trust. Arizona is a friendlier team for offensive weapons to have breakout games and this is the game for Davis to break out, especially in PPR leagues as he looks to fill that void that CMC left as a dual-threat running back. 

Devin Singletary – The Bills are off to a strong 3-0 start and sitting atop the AFC East. The Bills are looking to go 4-0 as they play a surging 2-1 Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas. The Raiders offense led by Josh Jacobs, Derek Carr, and their receiving corps has carried them to their 2-1 record. Their defense has seen better days allowing the most fantasy points to opposing running backs this season. Even though rookie Zack Moss is set to come back this week from his short-lasted injury, this statistic should still be convincing for you to put Devin Singletary in your lineup against this poor Raiders defense. 

Running Backs to Sit:

Joshua Kelley – In recent years, the Chargers have gone with a committee at running back and have seen success with this. They previously had the Gordon-Ekeler combo until Gordon went off to Denver in the offseason. The Chargers started the season with this approach by trying the Ekeler-Kelley-Jackson approach. After last week’s effort, this does not seem to be the case for the near future as Ekeler had 72% of the snap count during the game and Kelley only managed 29% of the snaps during the game. This was a difference from the 57% and 52% for Ekeler and Kelley respectively in week 2. Ekeler took more of the workload and proved himself as the lead back for the Chargers. Kelley had a disappointing performance and with a tough matchup looming against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, we expect Ekeler to have a solid showing but Kelley takes another step back. Kelley might bounce back later on in the season, but would better be left on the bench until we see more usage out of the young running back.

Todd Gurley – Gurley had a surprisingly strong performance in week 3 against the Chicago Bears putting up 80 rushing yards and a touchdown. Atlanta has been a circus show of a team this season with 2 chokes in consecutive weeks against the Dallas Cowboys and the Chicago Bears. The circus show in Atlanta has allowed for Matt Ryan to put up strong numbers in the passing game with a huge connection to Calvin Ridley to start the season. Matt Ryan has not utilized Todd Gurley with short passes out of the backfield but has been throwing long balls to Ridley, Gage, and Jones this season. Although Green Bay allows the 4th highest rushing yards per attempt, they allow the 2nd fewest running attempts through 3 weeks. Oftentimes, teams are playing catch up or are amidst a tough battle going shot for shot with Rodgers which has put their running game on the backburner. With this being the case, we don’t expect Gurley to see  the workload he should be receiving and Gurley will be better left on your bench for this week.

Myles Gaskin – Gaskin has been a surprising player for the Dolphins this year and showing promising signs for the future. The Dolphins are a team in the middle of a long rebuild and Gaskin has been showing glimpses that he could be their franchise running back during this rebuild. A young core of Tua, Parker, Gesicki, and Gaskin will be a strong offensive regime for the next several years. Gaskin has been strong this year but Seattle is the toughest matchup that the Dolphins will have faced this season so far and they’ve already faced the Buffalo Bills and New England Patriots. Seattle will be a friendly matchup for Ryan Fitzpatrick and Devante Parker, but with the Dolphins most likely going to be down big during this game, they will turn to their passing game and Gaskin will not see the yardage he’s been putting up in recent games. If Fitzpatrick turns to the young running back on short passing attempts allowing for Gaskin to potentially be a risky start or flex option in deeper leagues. Gaskin might breakout in this game for the Dolphins, but it’d be safer to keep Gaskin on your bench if you have other more consistent options.

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