NFL 2014 Week 4 Fantasy Rankings: Running Backs

by Michael Drahota | Posted on Wednesday, September 24th, 2014 | 0


Fantasy football is a strange game. Through the first three games of the 2014 season, we’ve largely seen the top five picks of most fantasy drafts deliver horrific results for one reason or another.

The five players in question are of course at the volatile position of running back. Lesean McCoy has underwhelmed, Jamaal Charles has been injured, Adrian Peterson is suspended indefinitely, and both Matt Forte and Eddie Lacy simply haven’t lived up to their massive hype this year.

That’s lead several talented players (who weren’t quite as hyped preseason) to take over the top spots in the running backs rankings heading into Week 4. The position has produced the highest amount of high-priced busts for yet another year, but there may still be time to turn things around for a few of them.

With several top backs on a by this week, here are our Week 4 fantasy rankings for the top running backs:

1. DeMarco Murray:

Murray has stormed out to a big lead in the NFL rushing race thanks to the Cowboy’s insistence on pounding the run this year.

He has some durability concerns and has been given a huge workload, but Murray has another shot at huge numbers when the Cowboys travel to take on the Saints’ questionable defense in Week 4.

2. Le’Veon Bell:

Thought to be the victim of a running back committee in Pittsburgh, Bell has dispelled that notion by racking up a ton of yards both on the ground and through the air.

He decimated the Steelers in Week 3 and should do something similar to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 4.

3. Matt Forte:

Forte has been one of the biggest disappointments in 2014, but he’s faced some tough run defenses.

He has a great shot to bounce back when the Bears host Green Bay in Week 4.

4. Eddie Lacy:

Like Forte, Lacy has underwhelmed against an incredibly difficult slate of run defenses.

He finally has a good match-up against the Bears in Week 4, but it’s time for Lacy to put up or shut up.

5. Lesean McCoy:

McCoy has looked a bit lost so far this year, but he still rates as the NFL’s best running back.

He’ll have a hard time getting back on track against the touch 49ers run D in Week 2, but he has the skills to break out in any contest.

6. Lamar Miller:

Miller benefits from Knowshon Moreno’s injury and a good match-up against the Oakland Raiders.

The stage is set for him to shine, but he has to prove he can deliver on his considerable potential.

7. Alfred Morris:

Morris has looked solid in 2014, but Washington could transition to a pass-heavy offense with new quarterback Kirk Cousins at the helm.

He also has a short week in facing the New York giants on Thursday night Football, but Morris will have his chances to shine.

8. Donald Brown:

Brown is the beneficiary of his running mates Ryan Mathews and Danny Woodhead going down with injuries, and he’ll also face the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars this weekend.

Brown should see a ton of touches in a high scoring game for San Diego.

9. Frank Gore:

Gore was noticeably perturbed about the 49ers’ avoidance of the running game n their Week 3 loss to the Arizona Cardinals.

The team should get back to running the ball in Week 3, and Gore has the potential to run all over the weak Philadelphia defense.

10. Jamaal Charles:

Charles missed last week’s win over the Miami Dolphins with an ankle injury. If he returns, he’ll have a tough match-up against the Patriots’ defense on Monday night Football.

However, he’ll likely see a ton of work if he does, making him a candidate to possibly clock in higher on this list.

11. Arian Foster:

Foster would also be higher n this list if it were certain that he would play in Week 4. He missed Week 3 with a hamstring issue, the same injury that has plagued him for most of his career.

If Foster can handle the workload the Texans will likely heap on him, he’ll be a top play. If not, you may have to seek one of his backups on the waiver wire.

12. Stevan Ridley:

After a very up-and-down 2013, Ridley has looked to be the Patriots’ go-to back thus far this year, but he’s also been unreliable.

He should see several carries against the Chiefs’ decimated defensive unit, making him a strong bet to score.

13. Ahmad Bradshaw:

Bradshaw has looked solid after returning from a season-ending injury last year.

Playing with talented young quarterback Andrew Luck, Bradshaw should be in line for a big day against the Titans’ defense, which can be run on all day.

14. C.J. Spiller:

Spiller has shown some flashes of his game-changing playmaking ability in 2014. He needs to do it more often, but his skill can’t be denied.

He has a decent match-up at Houston in Week 4, and he’s one of few backs that can truly take any play to the end zone.

15. Rashad Jennings:

Jennings looked unstoppable in the Giants’ Week 3 win over Houston. It’s up in air as to whether or not the 29-year-old Jennings can handle the full rigors of a heavy workload, however.

He’ll face off with the Redskins’ underrated run D that held Lesean McCoy to only 22 yards in Week 3.

About the Author

Both an avid NFL fan and analyst, I’ve been following professional football since the late 1980s. I’m also an avid fantasy football player with several league victories under my belt. Check out my NFL articles on TSM for the latest NFL news, highlights, predictions, and more.

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