Week 4 Fantasy Football Running Back Report

Sep 29 4:05pm

This week is a tough one for value running backs, but there are some nice matchups for some good running backs.

Adrian Peterson: You don’t need to be told that All Day is the man, but  his matchup this week makes him the man, but more so. The Chiefs have little to no offense and the Vikings have little to no passing offense which means they won’t get behind and Peterson should get plenty of work against a team that ranks near the bottom in all rush defense rankings.

Matt Forte: The Panthers are giving up 112 yards per game and 5.1 yards per carry. They also give up 6 receptions a game to running backs and there’s no doubt Matt Forte will see plenty of receptions as usual, but this week he should have a little more room to actually rush for some yardage as well.

Rashard Mendenhall: The Texans rush defense is giving up 5 yards a carry and are ranked 31st overall in DVOA over at the stat geeked out Football Outsiders. Mendenhall hasn’t done much, but he will continue to get his work and he’s on a team that can move the ball.

Chris Johnson: The Browns run defense is their weakness. They are giving up 124 yards a game and 4.1 yards per carry and that is on a league high 30 attempts per game. They know the run is coming and still have trouble stopping it.  They’ve faced Andy Dalton/Cedric Benson, Kerry Collins/Joseph Addai/Delone Carter and Chad Henne/Daniel Thomas so far. They have yet to be really tested and supposedly Chris Johnson says he’s back in game shape. We’ll see of course, but he should get plenty of work with Kenny Britt gone.

Ray Rice: The Jets are possibly the best pass defense in the game so it makes sense that teams will test their run defense. So far they are giving up 117 yards rushing a game and 4.7 yards per carry. Yes, that was mostly due to Darren McFadden and their rush defense is not nearly that bad, but Ray Rice is another special talent they get to take on and they will see plenty of him this week.

James Starks: It looks like Ryan Grant most likely won’t play which gives Starks a chance to regain his lead in the running back competition. The Broncos run defense has been much better this season than the last few, but it is still early. The Raiders of course ran all over them and then the lackluster Cedric Benson was pretty much bottled up and then Chris Johnson was stuffed completely. The Packers offense should give Starks room to run and their defense should keep the Broncos from doing much so he’ll be in line for carries all game.

Ryan Mathews: Mathews just had a big game last week and Tolbert was relegated to back up duties. Miami is giving up 4.3 yards a carry and over 100 yards rushing a game and that was to Benjarvus Green-Ellis, Ben Tate and Montario Hardesty and two home games. This week they travel cross country and take on a red hot Mathews.

Tim Hightower: I like Roy Helu to continue taking away looks from Hightower, but his time doesn’t look like it is quite here yet and the Redskins have a great matchup against St. Louis. They rank 32nd in rushing yards per game, 29th in fantasy points to running backs, 31st in yards per carry and 32nd in DVOA.

Frank Gore: This one is a little risky with his ankle injury, but he practiced on Wednesday and unless there is a setback he should be fine. And his matchup is also good to go as the kids say. The Eagles defense is giving up 232 all purpose yards a game and 5.6 yards per carry to opposing running backs. And if he can’t go Kendall Hunter makes for a nice start here as well.

Besides, Chet has written for the N.Y. Times: Fifth Down Blog, Rotoworld and his own site Razzball. He is extremely/obsessively active on Twitter and will answer your questions as best he can if you throw them @ChetRazzball.


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