The 2021-22 NFL season has already been extremely entertaining. It has shown fantasy trends that have started to develop and show what could happen the rest of the season. Already some players have proven to be fantasy relevant while some fantasy stars have been alarmingly disappointing to this point. Injuries have started to mount up this season. It is always a great idea to evaluate backup options so that way fantasy managers are prepared if star players miss time. Here are the Week 4 fantasy football running back rankings.
*Ratings are subject to change due to injury reports or possible move to reserve/COVID-19 list*
(Check out the section below for details on players already rumored to possibly miss this week and how their replacement options rank for the week)
Must Start- a player who is in your lineup regardless of the matchup or most circumstances. They Will likely finish near the top of the league in points that week and in most weeks.
Starting RB1- a player who makes fantasy owners comfortable starting week after week. Regardless of the matchup, this player has a high floor.
High-End RB2- a player who may isn’t likely to carry a lineup that week, but has the ability to have a breakout game and is teetering between RB1 and RB2 category.
Starting RB2- a player who should be started in most lineups and should reach their point projection. This player is started is because of their consistency and moderately high floor
Low RB2- a player who may not be a lock to start for a team every week, but will start more times than not. Their production may not be pretty or win a person their lineup but the production is consistent enough to make a fantasy owner comfortable starting them.
Flex- a player who could float around the territory of being benched, but is started due to the potential to play better than their point projection. However, this player has the potential to flop and causes a fantasy team to lose if he has a bad game.
Deep League Flex- a player who is more of a Hail Mary throw at the position. There are enough reasons to leave this player on the bench, but their upside makes them an attractive option. Desperate times may call for a player like this to be inserted into starting lineups.
Leave on the Bench- a player who should be avoided in all lineups that week. Many times this player could even be left on waivers.
|Must Start||Derrick Henry||vs New York Jets||RB1|
|Must Start||Alvin Kamara||vs New York Giants||RB2|
|Must Start||Dalvin Cook*||vs Cleveland Browns||RB3|
|Starting RB1||Austin Ekeler||vs Las Vegas Raiders||RB4|
|Starting RB1||Najee Harris||vs Green Bay Packers||RB5|
|Starting RB1||Jonathan Taylor*||vs Miami Dolphins||RB6|
|Starting RB1||Nick Chubb||vs Minnesota Vikings||RB7|
|Starting RB1||Aaron Jones*||vs Pittsburgh Steelers||RB8|
|Starting RB1||Ezekiel Eliott||vs Carolina Panthers||RB9|
|Starting RB1||D’Andre Swift||vs Chicago Bears||RB10|
|High-End RB2||Antonio Gibson*||vs Atlanta Falcons||RB11|
|High-End RB2||Saquon Barkley||vs New Orleans Saints||RB12|
|Starting RB2||David Montgomery||vs Detriot Lions||RB13|
|Starting RB2||Elijah Mitchell*||vs Seattle Seahawks||RB14|
|Starting RB2||Darrell Henderson*||vs Arizona Cardinals||RB15|
|Starting RB2||Chris Carson||vs San Francisco 49ers||RB16|
|Low RB2||Joe Mixon||vs Jacksonville Jaguars||13.7 points|
|Low RB2||James Robinson||vs Cincinnati Bengals||20.6 points|
|Low RB2||Josh Jacobs*||vs Los Angeles Chargers||RB19|
|Low RB2||Zack Moss||vs Houston Texans||RB20|
|Low RB2||Kareem Hunt||vs Minnesota Vikings||RB21|
|Low RB2||Chuba Hubbard||vs Dallas Cowboys||RB22|
|Flex||Chase Edmonds||vs Los Angeles Rams||RB23|
|Flex||Myles Gaskin||vs Indianapolis Colts||RB24|
|Flex||Clyde Edwards-Helaire||vs Philadelphia Eagles||RB25|
|Flex||Mike Davis||vs Washington Football Team||RB26|
|Deep League Flex||Nyheim Hines||vs Miami Dolphins||RB27|
|Deep League Flex||Melvin Gordon*||vs Baltimore Ravens||RB28|
|Deep League Flex||Cordarrelle Patterson||vs Washington Football Team||RB29|
|Deep League Flex||Miles Sanders||vs Kansas City Chiefs||RB30|
|Deep League Flex||Kenyan Drake||vs Los Angeles Chargers||RB31|
|Deep League Flex||Devin Singletary||vs Houston Texans||RB32|
|Deep League Flex||Javonte Williams||vs Baltimore Ravens||RB33|
|Deep League Flex||Jamaal Williams||vs Chicago Bears||RB34|
|Deep League Flex||Leonard Fournette||vs New England Patriots||RB35|
|Deep League Flex||Damien Harris||vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers||RB36|
|Deep League Flex||Ty’Son Williams||vs Denver Broncos||RB37|
|Deep League Flex||J.D. McKissic||vs Atlanta Falcons||RB38|
|Deep League Flex||Tony Pollard||vs Carolina Panthers||RB39|
|Deep League Flex||Michael Carter||vs Tennesee Titans||RB40|
|Deep League Flex||Mark Ingram||vs Buffalo Bills||RB41|
|Deep League Flex||Kenneth Gainwell||vs Kansas City Chiefs||RB42|
|Leave on the Bench||Jeremy McNichols||vs New York Giants||RB43|
|Leave on the Bench||Trey Sermon||vs Seattle Seahawks||RB44|
|Leave on the Bench||Ty Johnson||vs Tennessee Titans||RB45|
|Leave on the Bench||Latavius Murray||vs Denver Broncos||RB46|
|Leave on the Bench||Carlos Hyde||vs Cincinnati Bengals||0 points|
|Leave on the Bench||Ronald Jones||vs New England Patriots||RB48|
|Leave on the Bench||Darrel Williams||vs Philadelphia Eagles||RB49|
|Leave on the Bench||Phillip Lindsay||vs Buffalo Bills||RB50|
|Leave on the Bench||Tony Jones Jr.||vs New York Giants||RB51|
|Leave on the Bench||Malcolm Brown||vs Indianapolis Colts||RB52|
|Leave on the Bench||Sony Michel||vs Arizona Cardinals||RB53|
|Leave on the Bench||Tevin Coleman||vs Tennessee Titans||RB54|
|Leave on the Bench||Travis Homer||vs San Francisco 49ers||RB55|
|Leave on the Bench||Samaje Perine||vs Jacksonville Jaguars||3.2 points|
|Leave on the Bench||David Johnson||vs Buffalo Bills||RB57|
|Leave on the Bench||Royce Freeman||vs Dallas Cowboys||RB58|
|Leave on the Bench||Giovanni Bernard*||vs New England Patriots||RB59|
|Leave on the Bench||James Conner||vs Los Angeles Rams||RB60|
|Leave on the Bench||Alexander Mattison||vs Cleveland Browns||RB61|
|Leave on the Bench||Brandon Bolden||vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers||RB62|
|Leave on the Bench||Peyton Barber||vs Los Angeles Chargers||RB63|
|Leave on the Bench||Alex Collins||vs San Francisco 49ers||RB64|
|Leave on the Bench||Damien Williams||vs Detriot Lions||RB65|
|Leave on the Bench||Kyle Juszczyk||vs Seattle Seahawks||RB66|
|Leave on the Bench||Demetric Felton||vs Minnesota Vikings||RB67|
|Leave on the Bench||A.J. Dillon||vs Pittsburgh Steelers||RB68|
|Leave on the Bench||J.J. Taylor||vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers||RB69|
|Leave on the Bench||Larry Rountree III||vs Las Vegas Raiders||RB70|
|Leave on the Bench||Salvon Ahmed||vs Indianapolis Colts||RB71|
|Leave on the Bench||Jake Funk||vs Arizona Cardinals||RB72|
|Leave on the Bench||Jarret Patterson||vs Atlanta Falcons||RB73|
|Leave on the Bench||Rhamondre Stevenson||vs New Orleans Saints||RB74|
Possible Changes that can occur before Sunday
RB3 Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings
Dalvin Cook’s ankle injury turned out to be severe enough to keep him out of Minnesota’s game against the Seattle Seahawks. Alexander Mattison did great last week and is extremely capable of filling in for Cook. Mattison would jump up to RB17 between Joe Mixon and James Robinson if Cook missed another week.
RB6 Jonathan Taylor, Indianapolis Colts
Jonathan Taylor was limited in practice Wednesday because of a knee injury. The Colts have a great matchup this week against the Dolphins who were decimated by Peyton Barber last week. If Taylor was to miss this week Nyheim Hines and Jordan Wilkins would fill his role because Marlon Mack will continue to be a healthy scratch due to trade rumors. Hines would bump up to RB22 between Chuba Hubbard and Chase Edmonds. Wilkins would join the list slotting in at RB31 between Miles Sanders and Kenyan Drake.
RB8 Aaron Jones, Green Bay Packers
Green Bay Packers running back Aaron Jones was limited in Wednesday’s practice because of an ankle injury. This would be a huge blow to Green Bay’s offense if he was to miss this week’s game against the Steelers. His backup A.J. Dillon would become RB31 between Kenyan Drake and Devin Singletary.
RB11 Antonio Gibson, Washington Football Team
News broke Thursday that Antonio Gibson did not participate in practice Thursday because of a shin injury. A late-week injury like this doesn’t bode well for his status for Sunday. If Gibson misses this week J.D. McKissic would shoot up to RB20 between Zack Moss and Kareem Hunt. Rookie Jarret Patterson would be an interesting play this week as well and would slot in at RB35 between Jamaal Williams and Leonard Fournette.
RB14 Elijah Mitchell, San Fransisco 49ers
Last week Elijah Mitchell was held out of the game against the Green Bay Packers due to a shoulder injury. If he comes back he will likely lead this backfield in snaps and carries. If Mitchell misses this week against the Seattle Seahawks there is no guaranteed replacement in Kyle Shanahan’s offense. Trey Sermon and Kyle Juszczyk would likely split carries for the 49ers again. Sermon would bump up to RB21 between Kareem Hunt and Chuba Hubbard. Fullback Kyle Juszczyk would become RB41 between Michael Carter and Mark Ingram.
RB15 Darrell Henderson, Los Angeles Rams
Darrell Henderson was ruled out last week because of a rib issue. He was limited in practice Wednesday because of the injury. Sony Michel took a majority of the snaps for the Rams last week and would likely do the same this coming week if Henderson sat out again. Michel would become RB19 between Josh Jacobs and Zack Moss. While Jake Funk would join the list at RB62 between Alexander Mattison and Brandon Bolden.
RB19 Josh Jacobs, Las Vegas Raiders
Raiders running back Josh Jacobs has been dealing with multiple injuries over the past two weeks. He was able to practice Thursday which is an encouraging sign for his status for Sunday. If Jacobs was to miss his third game in a row Peyton Barber would likely resume replacing Jacobs in this offense while Kenyan Drake could see an increase in snaps too. Barber would be the RB21 between Kareem Hunt and Chuba Hubbard. While Drake would take a slight boost to RB29 between Melvin Gordon and Cordarrelle Patterson. f
RB28 Melvin Gordon, Denver Broncos
Melvin Gordon has been dealing with a rib injury. It was the reason why he was a limited participant in practice in practice Wednesday. If was to miss this week’s game against the Baltimore Ravens rookie Javonte Williams would shoot up to RB20 between Josh Jacobs and Zack Moss.
RB59 Giovanni Bernard, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Buccaneers running back Giovanni Bernard had an outstanding game last week against the Los Angeles Rams. However, he missed practice Wednesday and Thursday with a knee injury. If he misses this week Ke’Shawn Vaughn will likely be active and Leonard Fournette would be the primary pass-catching back.