Should you trust Derrick Henry moving forward? What about Austin
Ekeler? Who are the best starts at running back going into week 4?
1. Jonathan Taylor, Colts vs. Titans
Taylor rushed for 71 yards on 21 attempts, which is not efficient at all, but he is still Jonathan Taylor, the reigning rushing yards champion.
2. Christian McCaffrey, Panthers vs. Cardinals
The Panthers still aren’t getting McCaffrey involved in the passing game, but he still ran for 105 yards against one of the best defenses in the league in the Saints. At some point, Mayfield will get McCaffrey involved in the passing game, and his fantasy production will increase dramatically.
3. Derrick Henry, Titans vs. Colts
The breakout of Derrick Henry finally arrived last weekend against the Raiders in the Titans’ 24-22 win. Henry not only rushed for 85 yards and a TD but also caught 5 passes for 55 yards, which is very promising for his continued fantasy football production.
4. Saquon Barkley, Giants vs. Bears
Barkley is still living off of his excellent week 1 fantasy performance where he put up 33.5 fantasy points and rushed for over 160 yards. The Bears have had trouble stopping the run (Aaron Jones had over 25 fantasy points two weeks ago and Dameon Pierce had 18 fantasy points last weekend) so Barkley is due for a monster game.
5. Nick Chubb, Browns vs. Falcons
Chubb has been the best running back in football in real life this year, but in fantasy football his production relies on touchdown production because of his limitations as a pass-catcher. Nonetheless, he continues to rack up touchdowns and gets to feast on an atrocious Falcons defensive line this weekend.
6. Najee Harris, Steelers vs. Jets
Harris didn’t live up to the 98- and 188-yard performances he had against the Browns last season but still put up 56 yards on 15 carries and ran for a touchdown. He has major upside as the volume back for Pittsburgh and must be started in every fantasy league because of that.
7. D’Andre Swift/Jamaal Williams, Lions vs. Seahawks
D’Andre Swift hurt his shoulder in the Lions’ 28-24 loss against the Vikings last weekend and Jamaal Williams filled in nicely, rushing for 87 yards and 2 touchdowns. Swift was already dealing with an ankle injury before the game, so he will doubtful next weekend against the Seahawks. Whichever RB plays, they will be in a great position to succeed against a suspect Seahawks defensive line and overall defense.
8. Alexander Mattinson/Dalvin Cook, Vikings vs. Saints
Similar to the Swift and Williams situation, Dalvin Cook left the Vikings’ 28-24 win over the Lions as well with an apparent shoulder injury as well. Mattinson came in and rushed for a touchdown, and just like the Lions, whichever RB plays will be in an excellent situation to succeed against the Saints.
9. Khalil Herbert, Bears vs. Giants
The Giants are coming off a game where they gave up over 170 rushing yards to the Cowboys and Khalil Herbert is coming off of a 157 rush-yard- 2 touchdown game that resulted in 30.9 fantasy points. In fact, he finished as the RB1 this past weekend, and with David Montgomery likely out, Herbert is a must-start and has the opportunity to flourish as the lead back in Chicago.
10. Austin Ekeler, Chargers vs. Texans
Ekeler has been awful at running the football this year, as he’s still yet to produce over 40 rushing yards in a game. Ekeler also hasn’t gotten a touchdown on the season, following a 20-touchdown campaign last year. However, he is the best pass-catching running back in football and will always produce because of that. He gets an easy matchup in the Texans this weekend.
11. Alvin Kamara, Saints vs. Vikings
Although Kamara fumbled last weekend, Kamara still ran for 65 yards and caught 2 passes for 12 yards. He has yet to get going fantasy-wise (7.3 fantasy points in week 3, 7.6 in week 1, out in week 2) but he should be able to produce against a Vikings defense that just gave up 2 touchdowns over 100 yards to Lions running backs.
12. Cordarelle Patterson, Falcons vs. Browns
Patterson exploded for 136 rush yards and a touchdown against the Seahawks last weekend, but the Browns have a good defense, so it’ll be harder for Patterson to get going. What remained clear in the Falcons’ 27-23 win over the Seahawks is that Patterson is the lead back and should continue to produce on a week-to-week basis.
13. Leonard Fournette, Buccaneers vs. Chiefs
The Buccaneers didn’t have many options against the Packers (with Julio Jones, Mike Evans, and Chris Godwin all out) and as a result, the Packers’ defense was locked in on Fournette not allowing him to do much. That’ll change against the Chiefs as I expect Fournette to go off for over 80 rush yards and a touchdown.
14. James Robinson, Jaguars vs. Eagles
Robinson has scored a touchdown in every single game he has played this season and has become one of the more consistent backs in fantasy football already. However, he has a tough matchup against arguably the best defense in football this weekend against the Eagles so there must be some caution in playing him.
15. Javonte Williams, Broncos vs Raiders
If there is going to be a breakout game for Javonte Williams this season, it has a good chance to be against the Raiders, who just gave up 25+ fantasy points to a struggling Derrick Henry. Williams is also a skilled pass-catcher and could have a big day with receptions as well.
16. Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Chiefs vs. Buccaneers
Edwards-Helaire has been so consistent this year (averaging 17 fantasy points per game) and its because of his involvement in the passing game as one of Patrick Mahomes’ top options. Even against a tough Bucs defense, Andy Reid will find a way to get CEH implemented into the offense.
17. Antonio Gibson, Commanders vs. Cowboys
Carson Wentz wasn’t doing Antonio Gibson any favors by failing to throw for over 210 yards and getting sacked 9 times. The Commanders couldn’t get anything going in the passing game and Gibson only carried the ball 12 times for 38 yards and a touchdown. He continues to find a way to get into the end zone each week making his fantasy floor very high, but unless Wentz turns things around, Gibson’s upside is limited.
18. Aaron Jones, Packers vs. Patriots
The only reason why Aaron Jones is so low on this list is that the Patriots’ defense is pretty good (I know they didn’t play well vs. the Ravens) and A.J. Dillon splits carries with Jones. I don’t expect Jones to flourish against New England this weekend despite his obvious huge upside as a good pass-catching back.
19. Joe Mixon, Bengals vs. Dolphins
Mixon didn’t look great against the Jets, running 12 times for 24 yards and pulling in 3 receptions for 14 yards. He totaled only 6.8 fantasy points and gets a tough matchup against the undefeated Dolphins on Thursday Night Football. He also may not even play, considering he is listed as questionable for Thursday’s game, but if he does, I don’t expect him to play that well.
20. James Conner, Cardinals vs. Panthers
The Panthers’ defense is really good as they shut down Alvin Kamara last weekend against the Saints. I expect Conner to perform better than Kamara did last weekend against the Panthers, but this will be a low-scoring game, making Conner’s upside very limited.