In this post I will talk about my favorite Week 4 RBs.
Le’Veon Bell vs KC- The best RB in the NFL returns for the Steelers this week. He has now served a suspension in back to back seasons. As history shows us, we should expect a full workload for Lev Bell this week. In Bell’s return game last season, he totaled 132Yds and 2TDs on 26 touches, while playing on 95% of the Steelers offensive snaps. The matchup against KC seems tough, but running backs are averaging 144 total yards and 5 receptions against the Chiefs this season. Lev Bell should not miss a beat in his first game back.
Melvin Gordon vs NO- After being allergic to the end zone last season, Gordon have hit paydirt 4 times this season. Gordon has 100% of the Chargers goal line rushing attempts (Inside the 5), and 92.9% of the Chargers RedZone carries (Inside the 20). Not only is he getting all the red zone work, but since Woodhead got injured, Gordon has become a major receiving threat. This week the Chargers get to face the Saints, who just got gashed by Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman. New Orleans has already allowed 7 TDs to opposing RBs this season. Gordon is in line for a big time performance this week.
Honorable Mentions: David Johnson, Lamar Miller
Opportunity & Volume Plays
LeGarrette Blount vs BUF- The Patriots recipe for success without Brady has been a strong running game and defense. New England has played with a lead in each of its first 3 games, which is perfect for Blount. That trend should continue this week; New England is a -6.5 favorite at home against the Bills. Blount has scored a rushing touchdown in all 3 games so far, while averaging 25 carries/gm. Things line up nicely for Blount against the Bills this week, as they have allowed 5 rushing TDs in the last 2 games. With Tom Brady returning next week, look for Bill Belichick to ride Blount for one more game.
Jordan Howard vs DET- With Jeremy Langford out 4-6 weeks, and Ka’Deem Carey doubtful this week, 5th round rookie running back Jordan Howard will become a 3 down back for Bears on Sunday. In limited action so far this season, Howard is averaging 5.58 yds/carry and has caught 6 of his 8 targets. Howard draws a plus matchup in his first start against the Lions. Detroit will probably be without both Ziggy Ansah and Deandre Levy for the second straight week. The Lions defense has not performed well in the first 3 games; they are allowing an average of 5.4 yds/carry and 6 receptions to opposing running backs. Howard should have great production in his first NFL start.
Honorable Mentions: Mark Ingram, Carlos Hyde
Sleeper of the Week
Charles Sims vs DEN- Filling in for Doug Martin last week, Charles Sims played on 75.6% of the Bucs offensive snaps, and received 19 touches. While the matchup against the Broncos is not great, his workload is secure this week. With the daunting Broncos pass rush, Sims could see some extra dump off passes from Jameis Winston. I would not be shocked if Sims sees 7-10 targets this week, while also getting 15-18 carries. Sims seems like a safe play this week; with upside if he’s able to find the end zone.