Fantasy Football Week 4 Rankings: Running Backs
Well, this week McFadden has a good chance to regain some of my confidence. The Raiders are facing the Texans, who have a sieve of a run defense. They are allowing 6.2 yards per carry (last in the NFL), 205 yards per game (last) and more than two touchdowns per game (seven rushing touchdowns, again, last in the league). Expect the Raiders to pound the ball in an attempt to exploit this and to keep the high-octane Houston passing attack on the sidelines. If not, I'm done with Run DMC for '09.
1. Adrian Peterson, MIN at GB
2. Chris Johnson, TEN at JAX
3. Maurice Jones-Drew, JAX vs. TEN
4. Brandon Jacobs, NYG at KC
5. Cedric Benson, CIN at CLE
6. Matt Forte, CHI vs. DET
7. Steven Jackson, STL at SF
8. Glen Coffee, SF vs. STL
9. Steve Slaton, HOU vs. OAK
10. Ronnie Brown, MIA vs. BUF
11. Julius Jones, SEA at IND
12. Darren McFadden, OAK at HOU
13. Willie Parker, PIT vs. SD
14. Willis McGahee, BAL at NE
15. Pierre Thomas, NO vs. NYJ
16. Thomas Jones, NYJ at NO
17. Ray Rice, BAL at NE
18. Kevin Smith, DET at CHI*
19. Clinton Portis, WAS vs. TB**
20. Ryan Grant, GB vs. MIN
21. Tashard Choice, DAL at DEN
22. Fred Jackson, BUF at MIA
23. Marshawn Lynch, BUF at MIA
24. Joseph Addai, IND vs. SEA
25. Knowshon Moreno, DEN vs. DAL
26. Ahmad Bradshaw, NYG at KC
27. Reggie Bush, NO vs. NYJ
28. Donald Brown, IND vs. SEA
29. Derrick Ward, TB at WAS
30. Darren Sproles, SD at PIT
31. LaDainian Tomlinson, SD at PIT
32. Correll Buckhalter, DEN vs. DAL
33. Fred Taylor, NE vs. BAL
34. Leon Washington, NYJ at NO
35. Larry Johnson, KC vs. NYG
36. Jerome Harrison, CLE vs. CIN
37. Marion Barber, DAL at DEN
38. Michael Bush, OAK at HOU
39. Ricky Williams, MIA vs. BUF
40. Cadillac Williams, TB at WAS
* Kevin Smith is a game-time decision.
** Clinton Portis hasn't practiced this week. We expect him to play, but with the banged up offensive line and his injury woes, he's a low-end RB2.
• I'm really wary of the Chargers' backfield situation. Sproles can't run up the middle -- and most certainly not in Pittsburgh -- and I'm really not ready to count on LdT. Expect the Chargers to air it out. Your only chance to accrue running back points in the game is if Sproles shakes free for a long reception, which is totally hit-or-miss.
• Julius Jones looks strong. He ran well against a good Bears defense and now gets a questionable Colts run defense. Sure, the Colts shut down the Arizona running game, but that's not saying much. The Jags and Dolphins ran on the Colts with ease. Expect Jim Mora to try and keep Peyton and company on the sidelines, and that means a lot of Julius.
• Coffee didn't have much success in his first dose of full-time carries in a regular-season game last week. This week, he's gonna be like a kid in a candy store. The difference between the Vikings' run defense and the Rams' is like going from a varsity to JV.
• Benson has been really solid thus far, and now he's facing one of the league's worst run defenses. Enjoy the returns.