Fantasy Football: Week 4 running back rankings

Alex Butler
Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott gets away from New York Giants defender Curtis Riley for a short gain during the first half on Sept. 16 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Photo by Ian Halperin/UPI
Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott gets away from New York Giants defender Curtis Riley for a short gain during the first half on Sept. 16 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Photo by Ian Halperin/UPI | License Photo

Sept. 27 (UPI) -- Ezekiel Elliott is back on top of my running back rankings for Week 4.

Los Angeles Chargers star Melvin gordon, New Orleans Saints slasher Alvin Kamara, 2017 NFL rushing champion Kareem Hunt and Arizona Cardinals weapon David Johnson are also in my top five.


If you have Adrian Peterson, Chris Thompson and Christian McCaffrey, make sure they are out of your lineup in Week 4 as the Washington Redskins and Carolina Panthers are on a bye. A slightly watered-down pool of backs means that there are other options in my top 30 that come into play.

If you are needy at the position, check out my waiver wire add/drops for Week 4.

RELATED Fantasy Football: Best Week 4 add/drops from waiver wire

Here are my Top 30 options at the position this week.



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The Dallas Cowboys didn't get off to the start that they desired, but Elliott has still been a very productive fantasy football player. The RB1 had at least 100 rushing yards or a touchdown in each of his first three games this season. He is my top back for Week 4 with a matchup against the Detroit Lions, a unit that has allowed a league-high 450 rushing yards and the third-most fantasy points to opposing running backs. "Zeke" could win your week.


Johnson is my No. 5 running back for Week 4. The Arizona Cardinals star has yet to go off as he hasn't eclipsed 100 yards from scrimmage in a game this season. He played better in Week 3, piling up 61 yards and a score on a season-high 16 touches. This week Josh Rosen gets his first career start for the Cardinals. I expect Rosen to use Johnson with regularity out of the backfield for high-percentage throws. Johnson should heat up over the next few weeks and help out those fantasy team owners who chose to pull the trigger on him in the first round of their drafts.


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Chicago Bears star Jordan Howard is my No. 7 running back in Week 4. Howard is getting plenty of work, but only averaging 3.4 yards per carry through three weeks. He gets a matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 4. The Buccaneers are tied for allowing the second-most rushing touchdowns and sixth-most fantasy points to running backs. Howard is a midrange RB1 until further notice.

Seattle Seahawks running back Chris Carson (32) rushes for a 13-yard gain against Dallas Cowboys cornerback Byron Jones (31) during the third quarter on September 23 at CenturyLink Field in Seattle. Photo by Jim Bryant/UPI

Seattle Seahawks playmaker Chris Carson went off for 102 yards and a score on 32 carries in Week 3. He also had two catches for 22 yards in a win against the Cowboys. I expect the Seahawks to continue feeding Carson in Week 4. Carson is my No. 13 option at the position, making him an RB1 in deeper leagues and RB2/flex in more shallow formats. This week he is facing the Cardinals, who are allowing the most rushing scores and fantasy points to opposing running backs.



Oakland Raiders veteran Marshawn Lynch is my No. 14 option for Week 4, landing in fringe RB1 territory in deep leagues. Lynch looks somewhat rejuvenated this season in Oakland and has the 11th-most fantasy points among running backs, aided by three rushing scores. This week he faces the Cleveland Browns, a unit tied for allowing the second-most rushing scores and seventh-most fantasy points to opposing running backs. Lynch should definitely stay in your starting lineup until he switches off of "Beast Mode."

1Ezekiel ElliottDallas Cowboysvs. DET
2Melvin GordonLos Angeles Chargersvs. SF
3Alvin KamaraNew Orleans Saintsat NYG
4Kareem HuntKansas City Chiefsat DEN
5David JohnsonArizona Cardinalsvs. SEA
6Todd GurleyLos Angeles Ramsvs. MIN
7Jordan HowardChicago Bearsvs. TB
8Giovani BernardCincinnati Bengalsat ATL
9Saquon BarkleyNew York Giantsvs. NO
10James ConnerPittsburgh Steelersvs. BAL
11Tevin ColemanAtlanta Falconsvs. CIN
12Carlos HydeCleveland Brownsat OAK
13Chris CarsonSeattle Seahawksat ARI
14Marshawn LynchOakland Raidersvs. CLE
15Kenyan DrakeMiami Dolphinsat NE
16Dalvin CookMinnesota Vikingsat LAR
17Leonard FournetteJacksonville Jaguarsvs. NYJ
18Phillip LindsayDenver Broncosvs. KC
19Lamar MillerHouston Texansat IND
20Kerryon JohnsonDetroit Lionsat DAL
21Derrick HenryTennessee Titansvs. PHI
22Alex CollinsBaltimore Ravensat PIT
23James WhiteNew England Patriotsvs. MIA
24Matt BreidaSan Francisco 49ersat LAC
25Dion LewisTennessee Titansvs. PHI
26Jamaal WilliamsGreen Bay Packersvs. BUF
27Sony MichelNew England Patriotsvs. MIA
28Aaron JonesGreen Bay Packersvs. BUF
29Javorius AllenBaltimore Ravensat PIT
30Isaiah CrowellNew York Jetsat JAX

Denver Broncos rookie Phillip Lindsay had a great showing in Week 1, but really exploded onto the scene in Week 2, breaking loose for 107 yards on 14 carries against the Raiders. Lindsay also had more than 100 yards from scrimmage and a score in Week 1. He disappointed in Week 3, getting ejected from the game after rushing for 20 yards on four carries. Rev up Lindsay once again in Week 4 as he faces the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs are the only team in the NFL that has allowed more than 600 yards from scrimmage to opposing running backs, aided by allowing a league-high 334 receiving yards to the position through three weeks. The Chiefs have also allowed the second-most fantasy points to the position. Lindsay is my No. 18 option at running back in this matchup, landing in RB2 territory. He would be ranked higher if I believed that the Broncos could stop the Chiefs' offense and keep the score tight. Lindsay will likely have to do a lot of his damage in the receiving game in this spot.


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