Buffalo Bills v New York Jets
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This has not been a great start for the running back position, at least not as we drafted it. Among the top 10 in Fantasy scoring at the position entering Monday night, only Christian McCaffrey, Kenneth Walker, Tony Pollard, Bijan Robinson, and Travis Etienne were definitely drafted as starters, and if you expand it to the top 15, guys like Miles Sanders and Alexander Mattison sneak in, even though they've been pretty disappointing in their own right. 

Injuries have slowed Saquon Barkley, Nick Chubb, Aaron Jones, and Austin Ekeler, while Derrick Henry, Josh Jacobs, and Joe Mixon (among others) just haven't produced like we thought they would. Before we get to the Week 4 rankings for running back, I've got some thoughts on the biggest questions facing the position, including for at least a few of those names: 

Is Devon Achane a sell-high candidate? 

Achane is going to be the biggest waiver-wire target for Week 4, and I truly believe there is top-15 upside for him in this offense. His big-play ability was evident from the college tape well before he ran a 4.32 40-yard dash, and it was on full display in his breakout game Sunday, as he had three runs of 25-plus yards and added two receiving touchdowns. Miami's offense is able to run big formations, with a fullback and a tight end while still forcing defenses to respect the big play in the passing game, which creates tons of opportunities for their speedy backs, and Achane is the speediest of the bunch.

But for those of you who already had Achane stashed, this is a potential opportunity to turn him into more of a sure thing. Because, while I love what Achane showed Sunday, this is a Dolphins offense that has preferred to use multiple backs under Mike McDaniel. Achane might be so dynamic that he changes that, but given that he already suffered a shoulder injury in the preseason, I'd bet this is going to remain a committee moving forward. As Sunday showed, Achane can still be a very useful Fantasy option even as part of a committee, and even if he doesn't score four touchdowns, which seems unlikely every week. 

Which is to say, there's certainly a sell-high window here, but I think the upside is considerable enough that you probably need to get a top-15 type of back in return. And there just aren't a ton of guys I feel confident fit that description right now and are readily available in trade. I think Joe Mixon and Josh Jacobs are probably two names that apply, given their struggles early on, and I think I would make that move for Achane – especially for Jacobs. That's the kind of upside I would be trying to shoot for if I move Achane; otherwise, I'm perfectly content to stick that found money in my wallet. 

Is Josh Jacobs going to break out?

Speak of the devil! Since I'm suggesting him as a buy-low candidate, I do think it kind of goes without saying that I think Jacobs is going to be fine, more or less. I was bracing myself for a somewhat slow start from Jacobs, given his late report to camp, so this isn't a huge surprise to me. But the workload here is still incredibly strong, as Jacobs is averaging 15.0 carries and nearly three targets per game. The rushing work isn't quite where it was a year ago, but I think that's more about the struggles Jacobs has had running the ball than anything else, and I do think there will be some regression moving forward in the positive direction. I don't think he's likely to average 4.8 yards per carry as he did a year ago, but he could still double this year's 2.4 YPC mark and end up south of there. Jacobs has the kind of workload we want from an elite RB, and the production is going to follow before long. Buy low if you get the opportunity. 

What should be my expectations for Alvin Kamara

The first three games could not have gone much better for Kamara, as Jamaal Williams suffered an injury that landed him on IR while rookie Kendre Miller failed to impress with his opportunity in Week 3. Kamara now returns to the team after his three-game suspension and looks primed to be the clear lead running back. He hasn't been a difference-making playmaker consistently enough over the past couple of seasons, and I think the days of Kamara being a truly elite Fantasy running back are probably in the past. That being said, I expect him to be the clear lead runner here, and while he probably won't be the 20%-plus target share guy he was at his best, his 14% target share from Week 9 on last season was still the fifth-highest among running backs from that point in the season on, so there will be plenty of opportunities. I'm ranking Kamara as a top-12 RB for his return against the Buccaneers, and I expect him to be one the rest of the way. 

Is there a light at the end of the tunnel for Breece Hall?

If you're looking for a specific stat I can point you to and say that's where the optimism will come from with Hall, I don't have one. This entire offense looks pretty hopeless right now, and Hall has just 27 yards on 16 carries over the past two games. Suppose you're looking for reasons to be optimistic about Hall. In that case, it's just a bet on him eventually rediscovering the talent that made him such a good Fantasy option last season in similar circumstances – remember, he averaged 19.7 PPR points from Weeks 3 through 7, with Zach Wilson playing three of those games. Hall isn't that guy yet, and there's no reason to think the Jets offense will elevate him until he is. But I think it's worth betting on him getting there, especially with how depressed his value might be right now. It might not happen in October; it might not happen at all. But Hall was a special player pre-injury, the kind of big-play machine in both the running and passing games that is typically worth betting on. He could still pay off at some point this season with an RB1 stretch. 

Here are my full rankings for Week 4 at running back for PPR leagues: 

  1. Christian McCaffrey vs. ARI
  2. Tony Pollard vs. NE
  3. Bijan Robinson @JAX
  4. Josh Jacobs @LAC
  5. Kenneth Walker @NYG
  6. Joe Mixon @TEN
  7. Travis Etienne vs. ATL
  8. Derrick Henry vs. CIN
  9. Alvin Kamara vs. TB
  10. Zack Moss vs. LAR
  11. Raheem Mostert @BUF
  12. Miles Sanders vs. MIN
  13. James Cook vs. MIA
  14. D'Andre Swift vs. WAS
  15. James Conner @SF
  16. Rachaad White @NO
  17. Kyren Williams @IND
  18. De'Von Achane @BUF
  19. Rhamondre Stevenson @DAL
  20. Dameon Pierce vs. PIT
  21. Jerome Ford vs. BAL
  22. Najee Harris @HOU
  23. Jaylen Warren @HOU
  24. Brian Robinson Jr. @PHI
  25. Joshua Kelley vs. LV
  26. Alexander Mattison @CAR
  27. Breece Hall vs. KC
  28. Javonte Williams @CHI
  29. Isiah Pacheco @NYJ
  30. Gus Edwards @CLE
  31. Khalil Herbert vs. DEN
  32. Matt Breida vs. SEA
  33. Kenneth Gainwell vs. WAS
  34. Chuba Hubbard vs. MIN
  35. Ezekiel Elliott @DAL
  36. Roschon Johnson vs. DEN
  37. Tyler Allgeier @JAX
  38. Gary Brightwell vs. SEA
  39. Melvin Gordon @CLE
  40. Dalvin Cook vs. KC
  41. Jerick McKinnon @NYJ
  42. Isaiah Spiller vs. LV
  43. Samaje Perine @CHI
  44. Clyde Edwards-Helaire @NYJ
  45. Tyjae Spears vs. CIN
  46. Elijah Mitchell vs. ARI
  47. Devin Singletary vs. PIT
  48. Zach Charbonnet @NYG
  49. Sean Tucker @NO
  50. Cam Akers @CAR
  51. Cam Akers @IND
  52. Tank Bigsby vs. ATL
  53. Antonio Gibson @PHI
  54. Ameer Abdullah @LAC
  55. Rico Dowdle vs. NE