Week 4 Fantasy Football RB Report: Starts, Matchup Downgrades and the Consensus No. 1

Sep 26, 2018 10:58 PM EDT
  • The Action Network ranked fantasy football running backs across standard, PPR and half-point PPR leagues for Week 4.
  • Here's a deeper dive on four RBs you should start, including Alvin Kamara and Melvin Gordon.

Which running backs have the most favorable fantasy matchups? Who should you consider sitting?

Here’s a breakdown of five of the top fantasy football running backs, as ranked by Sean Koerner, Chris Raybon and Matthew Freedman in their Week 4 fantasy football rankings.

The No. 1 RB

Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints
Kamara is always going to have a high floor because of his work in the receiving game. He possesses 29.7% of the target share for the Saints, and his 38 targets and 30 receptions are top-four marks among all skill positions this season.

Kamara’s median projection leads all running backs in the FantasyLabs Player Models.

The Most Favorable Matchup

Giovani Bernard, Cinncinati Bengals
Joe Mixon (knee) is likely a longshot to suit up in Week 4 after it was reported he was expected to be out for two to four weeks.

The Falcons are beat-up on defense with FS Ricardo Allen (Achilles), SS Keanu Neal (ACL) and LB Deion Jones (foot) all out. Through three games the Falcons have already allowed a league-high 36 receptions to opposing running backs, which bodes well for Bernard. The Bengals are 5-point underdogs.

Koerner, Raybon and Freedman all have Bernard ranked inside the top nine.

Melvin Gordon, Los Angeles Chargers

Gordon has one of the best matchups on the board, as Pro Football Focus grades the 49ers with the fifth-worst run defense this year.

The Chargers are in a good spot as 10.5-point home favorites with an implied team total of 28.75 points. Gordon has averaged 18.99 fantasy points per game over the past three seasons as a favorite (per the FantasyLabs Trends tool).

He ranks inside the top four for all of our rankers, and he leads all running backs with a 36.3-point projected ceiling in the FantasyLabs Player Models.

Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys

Elliott’s 19.7 touches per game is the 10th-highest mark among running backs, and he leads the Cowboys with 18 targets, further solidifying his floor. It also doesn’t hurt that Zeke possesses 53% of the Cowboys’ red-zone market share of opportunities.

Overall, it’s a good spot for Elliott, as the Lions have surrendered a league-high 448 rushing yards and 5.4 yards per attempt.

Matchup Downgrade

Kareem Hunt, Kansas City Chiefs

Hunt’s 17.7 touches per game is solid, but his lack of usage in the passing game isn’t ideal. He’ll be up against a Broncos defense that ranks sixth (per PFF), allowing just 77.7 rushing yards per game and 3.3 yards per attempt.

Hunt had two layups for touchdowns in Week 3 on the 1-yard line, but the Chiefs have scored 87% of their touchdowns in the red zone via the pass this year, giving Hunt a shaky floor if he doesn’t find paydirt.

Want another edge? Be sure to keep up with the week’s news on FantasyLabs.

Credit:

Sep 23, 2018; Seattle, WA, USA; Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott (21) rushes against the Seattle Seahawks during the first quarter at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Follow Justin Bailey on Twitter
@justinbailey32

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