Week 4 RB Fantasy Rankings PPR: Alvin Kamara’s Fantasy Dominance

Week 3 saw the return of some old faces to the top of the RB landscape from last year including Dalvin Cook, Derrick Henry, and Austin Ekeler. Alvin Kamara continued his dominance with Micahel Thomas out, bringing us the closest thing to CMC we have ever seen. There were also the surprise stories including Jeff Wilson Jr. with his two TDs, James Robinson destroying Miami with two TDs, and Rex Burkhead emerging out of nowhere also with two scores.

Today we break down the outlook for Week 4, where will all these talented RBs land? As the season goes on and injuries pile up, more and more RBs are forced into bellcow roles instead of committees, and those lead dogs in committees start to pull away from the pack. What rank will your running backs land on the list today?

RankRunning BacksTeamOppProj. Pts
1Alvin KamaraNOat DET22.5
2Aaron JonesGBvs. ATL18.8
3Dalvin CookMINat HOU17.9
4Ezekiel ElliottDALvs. CLE17.5
5Derrick HenryTENvs. PIT17.2
6Austin EkelerLACat TB16.8
7Miles SandersPHIat SF16.5
8Kenyan DrakeARIat CAR16.3
9James ConnerPITat TEN16.1
10Jonathan TaylorINDat CHI15.8
11Clyde Edwards-HelaireKCvs. NE15.4
12Josh JacobsLVvs. BUF15.4
13James RobinsonJACat CIN15.1
14Melvin Gordon IIIDENat NYJ15
15Nick ChubbCLEat DAL15
16Devin SingletaryBUFat LV14.9
17David MontgomeryCHIvs. IND14.8
18Jerick McKinnonSFvs. PHI14.7
19Chris CarsonSEAat MIA14.74
20Joe MixonCINvs. JAC14.4
21Todd Gurley IIATLat GB14.41
22Kareem HuntCLEat DAL14.3
23David JohnsonHOUvs. MIN13.86
24Darrell HendersonLARvs. NYG13.64
25Antonio GibsonWASvs. BAL13.53
26Myles GaskinMIAvs. SEA12.65
27Rex BurkheadNEat KC12.54
28Mark Ingram IIBALat WAS10.2
29Jeff Wilson Jr.SFvs. PHI9.9
30Joshua KelleyLACat TB9.8
31Mike DavisCARvs. ARI9.7
32Ronald Jones IITBvs. LAC9.5
33Leonard FournetteTBvs. LAC9.5
34Nyheim HinesINDat CHI9.1
35J.K. DobbinsBALat WAS9
36Latavius MurrayNOat DET8.8
37Dion LewisNYGat LAR8.5
38Chase EdmondsARIat CAR8.3
39Malcolm BrownLARvs. NYG8.3
40Adrian PetersonDETvs. NO8.19
41Frank GoreNYJvs. DEN7.98
42Sony MichelNEat KC7.77
43Chris ThompsonJACat CIN7.35
44Carlos HydeSEAat MIA7.35
45Giovani BernardCINvs. JAC7.14
46Jamaal WilliamsGBvs. ATL6.93
47Wayne GallmanNYGat LAR6.405
48Alexander MattisonMINat HOU6.09
49D'Andre SwiftDETvs. NO5.5
50Kerryon JohnsonDETvs. NO5.1

The Top 6

The top 6 RBs for Week 4 are all extremely solid plays; however, Alvin Kamara is so far and away the best option at the moment that it is scary. Alvin Kamara currently is the #1 WR and RB for this depleted Saints team. Now missing Jared Cook and Michael Thomas, he is the go-to playmaker and showed on Sunday Night Football that he can handle that role. He should be putting up better numbers than we saw CMC put up last year for this stretch in which Thomas is out. The Top 6 for this week is honestly a top 1, and then everyone else.

Looking at the rest of the top 6, the only player that might surprise you is Austin Ekeler. After seeing what Kamara did against the Bucs’ defense in Week 1, I am extremely excited in Ekeler this week. Last game against the Panthers proved why he is the superior back to Joshua Kelley, averaging almost 5 yards a carry and reeling in 11 catches for 84 yards. Meanwhile, Kelley fumbled and averaged a measly 4.5 yards per catch. Ekeler should once again dominate the workload in a game that projects a passing game script for the Chargers. Ekeler this week is Kamara light, the clear #2 target on the team, and an efficient runner on the ground. Have no worries about playing Ekeler as an RB1.

Back-end RB1s and High-end RB2s

Kenyan Drake failed to break out against the sad Detroit defense. It did not help that Kliff Kingsberry refused to draw up successful screens or run plays for him to take advantage of their atrocious LB core. It also did not help that they were put into a negative game script by Kyler Murray’s 3 INTs. The most worrying sign, however, is the lack of any kind of receiving production. When Drake came over to Arizona he averaged 4.8 targets a game over the course of his 8 games. In the entirety of the 2020 season, he barely has surpassed that with 5 total targets in three games. However, Drake now has the most favorable matchup for RBs with a game against the Panthers. If he does not have a huge game here it might be over for the possibility of Drake being a true RB1 on the year.

Melvin Gordon is a very juicy option this week. He gets to take on the New York Jets on Thursday Night Football. It is important to note that this is a Thursday game because that gives Phillip Lindsay very limited time to recover from his injury and make a return. Even if Lindsay does return he most likely will have a limited role which should allow Gordan to feast on a terrible Jets’ defense. Due to Denver’s struggles, this game should be close enough that Gordon should get a good amount of passing work to go along with his rushing production against the 8th worst rushing defense. There is definitely a world in which Melvin Gordon finishes as a solid RB1 this week.

I also need to shout out James Robinson who has simply been a beast through the first three weeks of the season. Currently the RB5 in PPR formats, James Robinson looks to be one of the few bellcow backs in a plus offense. His running game has been efficient and he has been cashing in on red zone and goalline opportunities. He also has been phenomenal through the air getting better and more opportunities each and every game with his receiving work. He gets to take on a mediocre Bengals’ defense this week and should once again be the top offensive weapon for this Jaguars team. I have confidence to start him as a high-end RB2, low-end RB1.

Lower Tier plays that I like

Myles Gaskin has been a surprise these first three weeks of the season. He has solidified himself as the lead back in Miami, ahead of Brieda and Howard. He led the team in snap percentage with 76% last Thursday against the Jags. While he did not run quite as efficiently as he had his first two weeks in 2020, Gaskin still passed the eye test often making defenders miss in the backfield and fighting hard to finish his runs. He also has gotten tons of receiving work with 16 targets already through three games. With this kind of usage Gaskin is easily a low-end RB2, and is currently the RB20 in PPR formats without a TD to his name. If the touchdowns start to flow in then Gaskin’s value could skyrocket.

Darrell Henderson against the Giants is another play that I love this week. Henderson has been trending up with his snap percentage, and for good reason. In the past two games, he has averaged 6.8 and 5.7 yards per carry. He dominated a tough Bills’ front 7 on the ground Sunday and did everything he could to help the Rams get to a win. Meanwhile, his main competition in Malcolm Brown did not do a great job producing. Regardless, in this matchup against the Giants even if the Rams stick with the 50/50 split Henderson should have insane value. The Giants got exposed against the 49ers RBs both on the ground and through the air. I think that after handling such a great front in Buffalo, Henderson should have an even better game against this Giants’ defense. A low-end RB2 with his current workload with High-RB2 upside.

Matthew has been playing fantasy football for over ten years now. He is experienced in playing and writing about both daily and season-long fantasy. He is both commissioner and former champion of several different types of high stakes money leagues.

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