Week 4 of the NFL season is shaping up to be an interesting one. Added to the usual schedule and flow of the NFL slate will be the first international game of the season. The New Orleans Saints and Minnesota Vikings will kick off bright and early at 9:30 a.m. ET on Sunday, October 3 from London, England. Pair that with three starting running backs questionable for the week, and this is definitely a week to maximize flexibility. Here are three running backs to start and three to sit for your Week 4 fantasy football lineups.
Running Back Starts
Jamaal Williams, Detroit Lions vs. Seattle Seahawks
Lions starting running back D’Andre Swift has a shoulder injury and is considered week-to-week. He isn’t likely to suit up this week which gives a lot of upside to Williams. He went off last week and had 20 rushes for 87 yards and two touchdowns. Williams has finished as the overall RB13, RB37 and RB2 as the backup. Against the Seahawks giving up the eighth-most fantasy points to opposing running backs, he should have a great week.
Rashaad Penny, Seattle Seahawks vs. Detroit Lions
On the other side of the ball against Williams, Penny is also in line for a much-need good game. He is likely being considered for a flex play, and he should be inserted into your lineup against the Lions, who are giving up the most fantasy points to running backs. He has finished as the RB36, RB70 and RB34 but comes with upside this week.
Melvin Gordon, Denver Broncos vs. Las Vegas Raiders
I have been beating the Gordon drum for a few weeks because the Broncos refuse to rely on Javonte Williams in the redzone. While bad for Williams, this clearly benefits Gordon. Against a tough San Francisco run defense, Gordon was able to finish as the overall RB12 last week. He saw a huge uptick in targets last week, which should continue against the Raiders, giving up the third-most fantasy points to opposing runners.
Running Back Sits
Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Kansas City Chiefs vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
It may seem strange listing CEH as a sit due to his success this season. The problem is that he has to go against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and their tough run defense. They are giving up the fewest fantasy points per week. The Tampa Bay defense held Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon to a combined 68 rushing yards with no touchdowns.
Jeff Wilson Jr., San Francisco 49ers vs. Los Angeles Rams
Wilson was a popular waiver wire add after Elijah Mitchell went down with an injury. Wilson hasn't had the success that was hoped for as the 49ers' offense is stalling with Jimmy Garoppolo back under center. He did have 75 yards rushing in his last game but didn't find the endzone and had a costly fumble that solidified the L. The Rams' defense is giving up the second-fewest fantasy points per game to opposing running backs limiting Wilson’s upside.
Josh Jacobs, Las Vegas Raiders vs. Denver Broncos
The Raiders are arguably the biggest disappointment in the 2022 season so far. With the addition of wide receiver Davante Adams, the run game has been nearly eliminated. He has 42 attempts for 192 yards and hasn't scored a touchdown. With the lack of a solid performance, Jacobs already lacks upside. Combine that with the fact he will face the Broncos defense giving up the third-fewest fantasy points to running backs, and you can see why he should be a sit this week.