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Fantasy Football Week 4 Start ‘Em Sit ‘Em: Running Backs

With three weeks now in the books, we are now getting a good feel for what running backs are for real this season. At the same time, we are also discovering what running backs are going to disappoint for the majority of the season, making some of the start ’em sit ’em decisions very interesting.

Among the running backs that have disappointed, is it time to give up on Todd Gurley? Most people used a first or second-round pick on him and he’s done nothing but bring tears to his fantasy owners.

The Los Angeles Rams have one of the most explosive offenses in the NFL but Gurley has yet to break out this season. Considering that, should you look to keep him or trade him for anything you can possibly get?

Gurley is still a talented running back in the NFL at 25-years-old. But it’s evident he won’t be the same fantasy superstar he once was. Even with him seeing a limited workload, I would advise being patient a little longer in case Sean McVay decides to unleash Gurley.

Currently, the trade value of Gurley is at an all-time low so why get rid of him for a pack of Skittles? Enough of Gurley, let’s dive into the running backs who should be in your starting lineup this week.

Before we do that, the picks in this article are based on PPR (points per reception) scoring and can be used in season-long or DFS (daily fantasy sports) leagues.

Finally, here are the running backs you should consider starting and sitting in Week 4 of the fantasy football season.

RBs to Start in Week 4

James Conner

Steelers’ James Conner (vs. Bengals)

James Conner has gotten off to a disappointing start in his second season as the starting running back for the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Pittsburgh product has just 97 yards on 34 carries and a touchdown this season.

If there is any week he is going to bounce back, it is going to come in Week 4 against the Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals defense has allowed 34.5 fantasy points per game to opposing RBs this season (second-most in the NFL).

Bengals’ Joe Mixon (vs. Steelers)

On the other side of the field of Conner, Joe Mixon will look to get back on track for the Bengals. Similarly to Conner, Mixon hasn’t been able to get much of anything going on the ground with just 32 carries for 88 yards this season.

Luckily for Mixon, the versatile running back will get a chance to provide his fantasy owners with joy against the Steelers on Monday night. The Steelers have been gashed by RBs this season, allowing 385 rushing yards (third-most in the NFL).

Jaguars’ Leonard Fournette (vs. Broncos)

The Jacksonville Jaguars may have lost Nick Foles for an extended period of time but Gardner Minshew has given them a spark on offense with his swagger on and off of the field. Among the beneficiaries of Minshew’s presence, Leonard Fournette has been fairly consistent in fantasy football this season.

Unlike previous seasons, Fournette is actually involved in the passing game with 14 receptions in three games (sixth among RBs in the NFL). On top of that, the Jaguars bruising rusher will face a Denver Broncos defense that has given up five rushing touchdowns to RBs this season (most in the NFL).

Other RBs to Start: Raiders’ Josh Jacobs (vs. Colts), Lions’ Kerryon Johnson (vs. Chiefs), Eagles’ Miles Sanders (vs. Packers)

RBs to Sit in Week 4

Frank Gore

Bills’ Frank Gore (vs. Patriots)

As impressive at it is that Tom Brady is lighting defenses up at 42-years-old, it is also impressive to see Frank Gore run through defenders at 36-years-old. Furthermore, the powerful veteran had a resurgence in Week 3 against the Cincinnati Bengals with 14 carries for 76 yards and a score.

Unfortunately for Gore, he won’t be facing the Bengals defense again in Week 4. Instead, he will square off against a New England Patriots defense that has allowed just 101 yards and zero touchdowns to RBs this year (both least in the NFL).

Dolphins’ Kenyan Drake (vs. Chargers)

If you haven’t already, it is time to avoid starting anyone on the Miami Dolphins. With Kenyan Drake sharing touches with Kalen Ballage, the versatile running back hasn’t been a viable option in fantasy football this season.

The Dolphins will likely be playing from behind again in Week 4 against the Los Angeles Chargers; which doesn’t bode well for Drake. In three weeks, the Chargers have given up just 79 receiving yards to RBs this season (fifth-least in the NFL).

More Week 4 Fantasy Advice