It has been a chaotic season for fantasy running backs, but it is time to relax and analyze the position and matchups to find must-starts and must-sits for Week 4. I’ve compiled a list, much like a start ’em sit ’em, that analyzes the NFL fantasy football rankings to give you some must start and must-sit running backs for Week 4 of the NFL season.
Week 4 Fantasy Football Start Sit: Running Backs
Must Start: James Robinson — Jacksonville Jaguars (at Cincinnati Bengals)
Robinson started slowly the first two games, but in Week 3 he finally got the necessary volume and played well, rushing 15 times for 88 yards and catching six passes for 46 more. Running backs have done well against the Bengals defense throughout the season, so as long as Robinson gets the touches, he should perform this week.
Must Start: Saquon Barkley — New York Giants (vs. New Orleans Saints)
Barkley has finally entered must-start territory. After a reduced workload for the first two weeks of the season, it was a safe bet to sit Barkley until things turned around. In Week 3 against the Falcons he had 51 yards and a touchdown on 16 rushes and six receptions for 43 yards. The Saints defense has been a rollercoaster ride all season. With that said, Barkley should have a top-10 fantasy performance this week.
Must Start: Jonathan Taylor — Indianapolis Colts (at Miami Dolphins)
Taylor has been off to a rough start this season. He is the RB29 in half-PPR, but this week the matchup is beautiful. The Dolphins run defense is atrocious, allowing 82 rushes for 362 yards and four touchdowns so far. If there was ever a time for a bounce-back game for Taylor, it would be this week.
Must Sit: Mike Davis — Atlanta Falcons (vs. Washington Football Team)
Davis has not necessarily been a bust this season, but his upside appears to be limited by Cordarrelle Patterson. Against the Giants last week Davis carried 12 times for 50 yards and caught four passes for 20 yards. The Washington defense has not lived up to the high expectations, but with Patterson’s usage for Atlanta, it is tough to envision much upside weekly with Davis.
Must Sit: Ty’Son Williams — Baltimore Ravens (at Denver Broncos)
The running back situation in Baltimore is as murky as it gets. Despite looking solid in the first two weeks of the season, Williams played second fiddle to Latavius Murray against the Lions last week, with five carries for 22 yards zero receptions. Those were his lowest carry and target totals on the season. While it is entirely possible that Williams will be back in the driver’s seat this week against the Broncos, it is best to let him sit on the bench.
Must Sit: Damien Harris — New England Patriots (vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
Even with James White going down with a hip subluxation, Harris is unplayable this week. The Buccaneers defense is amazing against the run, and it is entirely possible that Tom Brady and the Buccaneers will pour on the points in his homecoming to Foxborough. That will result in the Patriots having a pass-heavy game, which would hurt Harris’ value.
Must Sit: Tony Pollard — Dallas Cowboys (vs. Carolina Panthers)
Many were quick to dismiss Ezekiel Elliott with Pollard playing well this season, but Elliott is still the lead back in Dallas. Pollard will still see some usage, but unless it is the perfect matchup, he is not a reliable start. This week he gets the Panthers, who have an underrated defense, which is not the ideal scenario for Pollard.
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