Fantasy Football Week 4: Top 5 running backs to start

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HOUSTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 23: Saquon Barkley #26 of the New York Giants runs for a touchdown in the first quarter against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium on September 23, 2018 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 23: Saquon Barkley #26 of the New York Giants runs for a touchdown in the first quarter against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium on September 23, 2018 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
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HOUSTON, TX – SEPTEMBER 23: Saquon Barkley #26 of the New York Giants runs for a touchdown in the first quarter against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium on September 23, 2018 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX – SEPTEMBER 23: Saquon Barkley #26 of the New York Giants runs for a touchdown in the first quarter against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium on September 23, 2018 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)

Some old faces found themselves as some of the top running backs in fantasy football during Week 3 action. Will any of them be on these week’s edition of top 5 running backs to start?

Cleveland Browns’ running back Carlos Hyde, and Washington Redskins’ lead back Adrian Peterson finished as top-five fantasy RBs this past week. Hyde had 24.3 points and Peterson had 24 in ESPN PPR Standard scoring leagues.

Due to technical difficulties, last week’s edition of top five running backs did not happen. However, some of the league’s top scorers were previously listed running backs.

Alvin Kamara led the position in scoring with 34 points and Todd Gurley finished second with 24.6. Saquon Barkley and Christian McCaffrey finished in the top 10. Barkley had 22.7 and McCaffrey accumulated 21.4 points.

So, let’s see who lands on this week’s list.

GLENDALE, AZ – SEPTEMBER 23: Running back David Johnson #31 of the Arizona Cardinals runs in a 21 yard touchdown in the first half of the NFL game against the Chicago Bears at State Farm Stadium on September 23, 2018 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)
GLENDALE, AZ – SEPTEMBER 23: Running back David Johnson #31 of the Arizona Cardinals runs in a 21 yard touchdown in the first half of the NFL game against the Chicago Bears at State Farm Stadium on September 23, 2018 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)

5. David Johnson, Arizona Cardinals

Chances are that if you’re a David Johnson fantasy owner, then you’re ready to kick it into panic mode. DJ hasn’t been awful, but he hasn’t been anywhere close to his usual self, post-injury.

This will put Johnson’s struggles into perspective; he is yet to run for more than 50-rushing yards in a single game. That’s incredible and means there is cause for concern.

However, the Arizona Cardinals made a huge decision this past week with the announcement that rookie signal caller Josh Rosen will be the team’s starting QB. Meaning, Rosen will lean on Johnson, at least more so than Sam Bradford.

Johnson has still been a very productive pass-catching back, but we are all waiting for him to have a big rushing game. This week may be the week, as it would seem unlikely that the Cards force Rosen to throw a lot.

Next: 4. Saquon Barkley

HOUSTON, TX – SEPTEMBER 23: Saquon Barkley #26 of the New York Giants rushes in the second quarter against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium on September 23, 2018 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX – SEPTEMBER 23: Saquon Barkley #26 of the New York Giants rushes in the second quarter against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium on September 23, 2018 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

4. Saquon Barkley, New York Giants

The New York Giants may have a big question mark at the quarterback position, but it seems as though they have found themselves a steady running back. Saquon Barkley has had a steady start to his NFL career.

Last week, Barkley ran for 82 yards on 17 attempts and one score, which resulted in 22.7 fantasy points. He has also been very active in catching passes out of the backfield.

This week Barkley will face a very iffy New Orleans Saints’ defense. However, he falls to four because of the Saints ability to stop the run.

This may turn into a shootout through the air, but this shouldn’t dissuade fantasy owners from starting Barkley. He will get his usual rushing yards, and he will also be a hand full catching passes.

Next: 3. Ezekiel Elliott

SEATTLE, WA – SEPTEMBER 23: Ezekiel Elliott #21 of the Dallas Cowboys reacts after fumbling the ball in the second half against the Seattle Seahawks during their game at CenturyLink Field on September 23, 2018 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WA – SEPTEMBER 23: Ezekiel Elliott #21 of the Dallas Cowboys reacts after fumbling the ball in the second half against the Seattle Seahawks during their game at CenturyLink Field on September 23, 2018 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

3. Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys

Ezekiel Elliott registered his first 100+ rushing yard performance during the Dallas Cowboys’ loss on the road against the Seattle Seahawks. Of course, the Seahawks’ defense is a shell of itself now.

But, Elliott’s breakout game cannot be overlooked. Why? Because he was extremely efficient last week. He ran for 127 yards on only 16 attempts, resulting in 14.8 fantasy points.

Elliott didn’t find the end zone, which is why his fantasy day was much less than it could be. However, he is the only consistent part of the Cowboys’ offense.

The Cowboys will lean on Elliott, per usual, when they face the Detroit Lions in Week 4. The Lions have been one of the worst defenses in regard to stopping the run.

Next: 2. Alvin Kamara

ATLANTA, GA – SEPTEMBER 23: Alvin Kamara #41 of the New Orleans Saints breaks a tackle by Duke Riley #42 of the Atlanta Falcons during the second half at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on September 23, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA – SEPTEMBER 23: Alvin Kamara #41 of the New Orleans Saints breaks a tackle by Duke Riley #42 of the Atlanta Falcons during the second half at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on September 23, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)

2. Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints

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Alvin Kamara went for his second 30+ fantasy point game in Week 3 against the Atlanta Falcons. He racked up 34 fantasy points, as he ran for 66 yards and compiled 124 receiving yards.

Yes, Kamara is a very interesting player due to his incredible pass-catching ability. He never really rushes for a lot of yards, but he scores and catches a lot of passes.

This week he will be up to his usual tricks when the Saints travel north to play the Giants. While the Giants may be able to contain him as a rusher, they don’t have any linebackers who can match up with the dynamic running back as a receiver out of the back field.

Kamara had a big fantasy day in Week 3 without scoring a touchdown, which is terrifying. Look for him to punch a couple scores into the end zone in Week 4.

Next: 1. Todd Gurley

LOS ANGELES, CA – SEPTEMBER 23: Todd Gurley #30 of the Los Angeles Rams celebrates his touchdown in the first quarter of the game against the Los Angeles Chargers at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on September 23, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA – SEPTEMBER 23: Todd Gurley #30 of the Los Angeles Rams celebrates his touchdown in the first quarter of the game against the Los Angeles Chargers at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on September 23, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

1. Todd Gurley, Los Angeles Rams

Per usual, Todd Gurley is a top choice for Week 4. He has proven to be one of, if not the best running back in the NFL.

Gurley racked up 24.6 points with his 105 rushing yards and a score. He also caught five passes for 51 yards during the most recent installment of the battle for Los Angeles.

This week, Gurley and the Rams host the Minnesota Vikings on Thursday Night Football. Yes, the Vikings have a great defensive unit, but they will be without one of their biggest defensive linemen.

Fantasy Football Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em Week 4: QB Sam Darnold. Must Read

Everson Griffin will not play as he undergoes mental health evaluations. The Vikes have also struggled mightily at stopping the run over the team’s first three games.

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