Week 4 Rankings (2020): Top 40 Running Backs

11
1909

by Ray Kuhn

Here we go again… It never is easy in the land of running backs as we have to deal with timeshares, struggles and injuries. What else is new though?

All in all it was a relatively quiet week with injuries, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have more questions than answers. Let’s take a look at how our options rank as teams hit the 25% mark of their season:

  1. Alvin Kamara – New Orleans Saints – at Detroit
  2. Dalvin Cook – Minnesota Vikings – at Houston
  3. Aaron Jones – Green Bay Packers – vs. Atlanta
  4. Ezekiel Elliot – Dallas Cowboys – vs. Cleveland
  5. Nick Chubb – Cleveland Browns – at Dallas
  6. Derrick Henry – Tennessee Titans – vs. Pittsburgh
  7. Josh Jacobs – Las Vegas Raiders – vs. Buffalo
  8. Jonathan Taylor – Indianapolis Colts – at Chicago
  9. Clyde Edwards-Helaire – Kansas City Chiefs – vs. New England
  10. Miles Sanders – Philadelphia Eagles – at San Francisco
  11. James Conner – Pittsburgh Steelers – at Tennessee
  12. David Johnson – Houston Texans – vs. Minnesota
  13. Kenyan Drake – Arizona Cardinals – at Carolina
  14. Joe Mixon – Cincinnati Bengals – vs. Jacksonville
  15. David Montgomery – Chicago Bears – vs. Indianapolis
  16. Austin Ekeler – LA Chargers – at Tampa Bay
  17. Melvin Gordon – Denver Broncos – at NY Jets
  18. Mike Davis – Carolina Panthers – vs. Arizona
  19. Todd Gurley – Atlanta Falcons – at Green Bay
  20. Darrell Henderson – LA Rams – vs. NY Giants
  21. James Robinson – Jacksonville Jaguars – at Cincinnati
  22. Devin Singletary – Buffalo Bills – at Las Vegas
  23. Chris Carson – Seattle Seahawks – at Miami
  24. Jerrick McKinnon – San Francisco 49ers – vs. Philadelphia
  25. Kareem Hunt – Cleveland Browns – at Dallas
  26. Ronald Jones – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – at LA Chargers
  27. Antonio Gibson – Washington Football Team – vs. Baltimore
  28. Myles Gaskin – Miami Dolphins – vs. Seattle
  29. James White – New England Patriots – at Kansas City
  30. Mark Ingram – Baltimore Ravens – at Washington
  31. Leonard Fournette – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – at LA Chargers
  32. Nyheim Hines – Indianapolis Colts – at Chicago
  33. Sony Michel – New England Patriots – at Kansas City
  34. Adrian Peterson – Detroit Lions – vs. New Orleans
  35. Frank Gore – New York Jets – vs. Denver
  36. Devonta Freeman – New York Giants – at LA Rams
  37. Carlos Hyde – Seattle Seahawks – at Miami
  38. J.K Dobbins – Baltimore Ravens – at Washington
  39. Joshua Kelley – LA Chargers – at Tampa Bay
  40. D’Andre Swift – Detroit Lions – vs. New Orleans

Notes:

  • At this point we are going to operate under the assumption that Chris Carson will take the field in Week 4, but with a knee sprain that could sideline him for a week or two I have my doubts. So far this season Carson has yet to rush for a touchdown as the Seattle offense has been the Russell Wilson show, but he does have three receiving touchdowns. Last week Carson carried the ball 14 times for 64 yards as he has yet to really get going. Should he be sidelined, that brings us to Carlos Hyde, who has yet to make his presence felt gaining 57 yards on 16 carries in the first three weeks. Even if we simply give Hyde the same rushing production that Carson had, there isn’t much value as the veteran doesn’t do much in the passing game.
  • Does it really matter that Alvin Kamara wasn’t really used as a running back last week? When he did carry the ball the results was there (six carries for 58 yards) as they have been all season (31 carries for 153 yards and 3 TD) at 4.9 yards per carry. Entering last week he had 14 receptions for 146 yards and a TD in the first two weeks of the season, but with Michael Thomas sidelined he took things to the extreme. Kamara caught 13 passes for 139 yards and 2 TD, and while that is not going to be an every week occurrence we no longer have to worry about the New Orleans running back as he is a top option.
  • Aaron Jones followed up his 168 yard performance with just 69 yards on 16 carries but he did reach the end zone for the third straight week. Jones was the victim of Aaron Rodgers’ success last, but I wouldn’t hold that against him. After rushing for 16 TD last season, Jones has continued his knack for finding the end zone and the Green Bay offense is one of the league’s best. We know that facing Atlanta and their weak defense will only lead to more success.
  • Game flow didn’t work in David Montgomery’s favor last week as the Bears fell behind early before going into catchup mode. He is still looking for his first rushing touchdown of the season, and last week he managed just 45 yards on 14 carries. He did look better towards the end of the game, but he has yet to be much of a factor from a receiving perspective with just six receptions for 64 yards. With Tarik Cohen likely sidelined for the remainder of the season, I would imagine that Montgomery’s role in the passing game will increase and the Chicago offense with Nick Foles under center should do a better job at moving the ball.
  • Devin Singletary took advantage of Zack Moss’ absence last week but we still need to tread carefully with the Buffalo running back. He gained 71 yards on 13 carries, but Singletary is still waiting for his first rushing touchdown of the season (he only had two last season) as Buffalo still doesn’t look to him in the red zone. Singletary did get one chance at the goal line last week, but that was unsuccessful and having Josh Allen around doesn’t work in his favor with the quarterback’s proficiency near the end zone. He did show something in the receiving game with four receptions for 50 yards, and that gives him 11 catches on the year for 93 yards. Singletary is a reliable source of yardage, but his upside is limited.
  • With Saquon Barkley sidelined for the rest of the season someone needs to take his place. On first and second downs, that responsibility will likely fall to Devonta Freeman, but on Sunday we didn’t get a chance to see what he was capable of. Freeman only had a few days to get acclimated with the Giants and game flow didn’t work in his favor as he mustered 10 yards on five carries. Things should get better, but I’m not sure that will come this week against a tough Rams defense.

Make sure to check out all of our Week 4 rankings:

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Kickers
Defenses



11 COMMENTS

  1. Mr. professor, I got offered a trade

    I have CEL and dionte Johnson and he offered me aj brown and josh Jacobs.

    Should I pull the trigger?

  2. Hi Professor,

    I noticed you placed Mckinnon at 24 and Jeff Wilson did not make the list.
    What is your advice to a fantasy owner that now has both and with Jeff Wilson having a better week prior?

    Thanks.

  3. 14 Team, 1/2 PPR.

    RBs: Nick Chubb, Kareem Hunt, Leonard Fournette, Nyaim Heins, Latavius Murray and Tony Pollard
    WRs: DeAndre Hopkins, Stefon Diggs, Nkeal Harry and Preston Williams.

    1. Nervous about Kareem Hunt’s injury and whack-a-mole Leonard Fournette. Carlos Hyde available sat and Jeff Wilson now.. either worthy of a pick up or play what I have?

    2. Worried about DeAndre Hopkins as well as my flex options. Hunter Renfrow, Tee higgins Greg Ward or Moe Alie Cox worthy of a pick up?

    3. If you suggest to pick anyone up, drop ___ ? Pollard?

    • 1) Both are worth owning, but I wouldn’t use them this week

      2) I like Renfrow/Higgins as far as upside

      3) Pollard is my first drop

      • *Updated*
        RBs: Nick Chubb, Kareem Hunt, Nyaim Heins and Latavius Murray

        WRs: DeAndre Hopkins, Stefon Diggs, Nkeal Harry, Preston Williams and Hunter Renfrow

        1. Assuming RB1/2 would be Chubb and Hunt, back up plan for Huny?

        2. Assuming WR 1/2 would be Hopkins and Diggs, back up plan for Hopkins?

        3a. If Plan A (everyone healthy), flex?

        3b. If 3b flex playa as RB or WR, back up flex?

        UGH, WHAT.A.MESS 🙁

      • 1) I guess Hines, though ugh

        2) Renfrow

        3a) Williams
        3b) Ugh, Hines? It’s ugly, but with the risk of COVID cancellations and injuries, it’s hard to trust anyone

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