Week four of the NFL fantasy football season sees the first byes, and with both the Green Bay Packers and Carolina Panthers off, not many superstar running backs are out of action this week. ESPN reported on Sept. 25 that the Indianapolis Colts have a quandary on their hands as newcomer Trent Richardson and Ahmad Bradshaw will end up competing for touches through the season.
Here is a look at the fantasy football start ‘em and sit ‘em options at running back for week four. Remember that this is not an obvious list with names like Adrian Peterson on it, but a bubble starter list.
Darren McFadden – McFadden had a weird game in week three, with only nine rushing yards, but he threw a touchdown pass and ran for another to redeem himself. In week four, he gets a Washington Redskins defense who can’t really stop anyone and have given up the third most fantasy points to running backs this season. Expect a lot more rushing yards this game, but maybe no touchdown pass.
DeMarco Murray – After not rushing for 100 yards in a game since week one of 2012, Murray exploded against the St. Louis Rams and hopes to keep running hard against the San Diego Chargers. They are allowing over five yards a run this season and Murray should have another big game.
Frank Gore – After starting out the season playing very lackluster football, fantasy football owners might be ready to give up on Gore. Don’t give up on him this week because he is playing the St. Louis Rams, who let DeMarco Murray run for over 170 yards in week three.
C.J. Spiller – When fantasy football drafts were taking place, Spiller was a big-name sleeper and owners expected big things. He has been injured this season and has not provided owners with RB1 performances. He still has sore quads and will be used sparingly in a shared backfield with Fred Jackson against Baltimore. Don’t expect much.
Ryan Mathews – By now, Mathews should be on fantasy football benches more often than not, and week four is no different. The Dallas Cowboys have shut down most fantasy running backs this season, including Jamaal Charles. Mathews is not Jamaal Charles.
Rashard Mendenhall – When it comes to Mendenhall, he is all or nothing, and against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, don’t expect much more than RB3 value from him. He is splitting carries with two other running backs and the Bucs have not given up a rushing touchdown this season.