Fantasy football: Joe Mixon among five running backs to avoid in Week 4

Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon (R) is in the fantasy football RB2 range this week. File Photo by John Sommers II/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/6ecb31840506b0c605912d1a314a438b/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon (R) is in the fantasy football RB2 range this week. File Photo by John Sommers II/UPI | License Photo

MIAMI, Sept. 28 (UPI) -- Joe Mixon is among my five running backs to avoid for Week 4 of the fantasy football season. Austin Ekeler leads my Top 30 weekly rankings for the position.

Josh Jacobs, Jeff Wilson Jr., Clyde Edwards-Helaire and J.K. Dobbins are among the other players I would try to keep out of my lineup.


Week 3 performance, opportunity, strength of Week 4 opponents and expected game script are among the factors I considered when determining the players to avoid. My full Top 30 rankings are below.

Mixon was likely a first- or second-round pick in your fantasy draft and can usually be counted on as an RB1. He should probably stay in your lineup this week, but temper your expectations for the Cincinnati Bengals running back.

Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon will get a tough matchup in Week 4 against the Miami Dolphins. File Photo by John Sommers II/UPI

Joe Mixon

Mixon is my No. 16 option this week and can be used as an RB2. I would only replace him in your starting lineup if you are very deep at the position. The Bengals will host the Miami Dolphins on Thursday in Cincinnati.

The allowed just 168 rushing yards to running backs through three weeks this season, the third-fewest in the league. They also allowed just one score to the position.

Mixon totaled just 23 yards on 12 carries in Week 3 and 57 yards on 19 carries in Week 2. I expect another subpar outing in Week 4, but a touchdown could salvage an otherwise pedestrian performance.

Las Vegas Raiders running back Josh Jacobs (28) is among my fantasy football players to avoid. File Photo by Mike Goulding/UPI

Josh Jacobs

Jacobs is the No. 26 option in my Week 4 running back rankings and can be plugged in as a low-end RB2 if you don't roster a better player at the position.

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The Las Vegas Raiders veteran has yet to score a touchdown this season. He also averaged just 64 rushing yards per game through his first three starts.


This week, the Raiders will host the Denver Broncos. The Broncos allowed the third-fewest fantasy points and have yet to allow a touchdown to a running back this season.

San Francisco 49ers running back Jeff Wilson Jr. (22) isn't a great fantasy football play in Week 4. File Photo by Terry Schmitt/UPI

Jeff Wilson Jr.

Wilson was a waiver-wire favorite over the past two weeks, but didn't reward his stock owners with overwhelmingly positive production. The San Francisco 49ers running back totaled 106 yards from scrimmage in Week 3, but will face a tough Los Angeles Rams front in Week 4.

The Rams allowed the second-fewest fantasy points to running backs through three weeks. They also just allowed 39 yards on 13 carries to James Conner and just 16 yards on five carriers to Eno Benjamin.

I expect the 49ers to split the backfield workload, and including wide receiver Deebo Samuel in that running attack. Wilson could still gain about 80 yards from scrimmage, but I don't expect a touchdown.

He is my No. 27 option and can be used as a low-end RB2 or flex play, but is more valuable in points-per-reception formats.

Kansas City Chiefs running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire is outside of my Top 30 fantasy football rankings for the position for Week 4. File Photo by Steve Nesius/UPI

Clyde Edwards-Helaire

Edwards-Helaire is outside the Top 30 of my weekly rankings. The Kansas City Chiefs running back failed to gain positive yards on seven carries, but did find the end zone for his third touchdown of the season in Week 3. Edwards-Helaire also totaled five catches for 39 yards.

Edwards-Helaire totaled 118 yards from scrimmage on 12 touches in Week 2. He logged 74 yards from scrimmage and two scores in Week 1.

I don't expect Edwards Helaire to score this week, which limits his upside. He also could struggle to find room on the ground as he faces a Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense that allowed the fewest fantasy points to running backs through the first three weeks.

Look to plug in a different starter, if you have a better option, for Week 4.

Running back J.K. Dobbins is slowly being worked back into the Baltimore Ravens' offensive game plan and can't be trusted yet as a fantasy football starter. File Photo by David Tulis/UPI

J.K. Dobbins

Dobbins totaled 40 yards from scrimmage on nine touches in his first start of the season in Week 3, a Baltimore Ravens win over the New England Patriots. This week he will battle the Buffalo Bills.


The Bills allowed just 173 yards from scrimmage, fewest in the NFL, to running backs through three weeks. The Ravens' dependence on Lamar Jackson as a runner and a potential split in backfield workload limit Dobbins' upside. Dobbins' lack of usage in Week 3 also is a single that the team plans to work him in slowly.

He can't be depended on as an RB2 until he gets at least 15 carries and is used more in the red zone.

Week 4 fantasy football running back rankings

1. Austin Ekeler, Los Angeles Chargers at HOU

2. Jonathan Taylor, Indianapolis Colts vs. TEN

3. Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans at IND

4. Saquon Barkley, New York Giants vs. CHI

5. Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings at NO

6. Christian McCaffrey, Carolina Panthers vs. ARI

7. Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints vs. MIN

8. Najee Harris, Pittsburgh Steelers vs. NYJ

9. Javonte Williams, Denver Broncos at LV

10. Leonard Fournette, Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. KC

11. James Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars at PHI

12. Khalil Herbert, Chicago Bears at NYG

13. James Conner, Arizona Cardinals at CAR

14. Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys vs. WAS

15. Nick Chubb, Cleveland Browns at ATL


16. Joe Mixon, Cincinnati Bengals vs. MIA

17. Jamaal Williams, Detroit Lions vs. SEA

18. Aaron Jones, Green Bay Packers vs. NE

19. A.J. Dillon, Green Bay Packers vs. NE

20. Antonio Gibson, Washington Commanders at DAL

21. Dameon Pierce, Houston Texans vs. LAC

22. Cordarrelle Patterson, Atlanta Falcons vs. CLE

23. Rashaad Penny, Seattle Seahawks at DET

24. Miles Sanders, Philadelphia Eagles vs. JAX

25. Kareem Hunt, Cleveland Browns at ATL

26. Josh Jacobs, Las Vegas Raiders vs. DEN

27. Jeff Wilson Jr., San Francisco 49ers vs. LAR

28. Cam Akers, Los Angeles Rams at SF

29. Raheem Mostert, Miami Dolphins at CIN

30. Craig Reynolds, Detroit Lions vs. SEA

This week in the National Football League

Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa throws before the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paycor Stadium in Cincinnati on September 29, 2022. Tagovailoa played four days after he suffered what the team initially said was a "head injury." Photo by John Sommers II/UPI | License Photo

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