Week 4 Fantasy Football Rankings: Breaking Down the Running Backs

Donald Wood@@Donald_WoodFeatured ColumnistSeptember 26, 2013

Sep 19, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles (25) carries the ball during the fourth quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. The Chiefs defeated the Eagles 26-16. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports
Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Week 4 of the 2013 fantasy football season is already upon us. With owners already submitting starting lineups, the focus on which running backs deserve consideration for the top spot in the rankings has fans speculating.

This is how the running back position will shake out in Week 4.

All projected points based on standard scoring leagues.


KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 15: Jamaal Charles #25 of the Kansas City Chiefs celebrates with the Kansas City Chiefs fans after scoring the first touchdown against the / in the first quarter September 15, 2013 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.
Kyle Rivas/Getty Images

Biggest Stud: Jamaal Charles, Kansas City Chiefs

The biggest stud of Week 4 will be Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles. With a marquee matchup against the New York Giants, expect the dual-threat player to make a huge impact.

New York is ranked 27th against the rushing attack (129.3 yards allowed per game) and 17th against the pass (253 yards per game), and that lackluster performance thus far will result in a monster day for Charles on the ground and through the air.

The addition of Andy Reid as head coach has been the perfect fit for Charles. As a pure running back, he is one of the most elusive in the game, but Charles’ ability to catch the ball out of the backfield and pass protect makes him a three-down back.

Expect a monster statistical day Sunday and throughout the season as the Chiefs offense continues to run through Charles.


Sep 8, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin (22) runs against the New York Jets during the first quarter of a game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Biggest Dud: Doug Martin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Doug Martin has been a workhorse for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers so far this season, but with rookie Mike Glennon earning the start over Josh Freeman this week, according to Marc Sessler of NFL.com, the second-year running back’s numbers will suffer.

As if the turmoil under center wasn’t enough for Martin owners to fear Week 4, the meeting with the Arizona Cardinals will only make this matchup even rougher. Owners likely don’t have the option to bench a first-round pick, but it will be a tough week for the Muscle Hamster.

The Cardinals are ranked third in the NFL against the run (allowing only 73.3 yards per game), and with Arizona stacking the box to stop Martin as Glennon adjusts to the NFL, it will be a long day for the talented star.

Fantasy owners should be prepared for a rough statistical day for the stud.


September 22, 2013; San Francisco, CA, USA; Indianapolis Colts running back Trent Richardson (34) during warms up before the game against the San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick Park. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Surprise Stud: Trent Richardson, Indianapolis Colts

While Ahmad Bradshaw has proven he deserves to get a healthy share of the snaps this week, Trent Richardson’s touchdown in Week 3 for his new team was the start of big things for the talented running back.

Richardson may not have the playbook down completely, but he still has the strength and power to be an effective short-yardage and goal-line back. With the Jacksonville Jaguars up next on the schedule, Richardson is a must-start player in every format.

The Jaguars are ranked dead last against the rush (allowing 167.7 yards per game), and that will offer Richardson the chance to shine in open space that he needs. With a projected touchdown through the air and on the ground, T-Rich will be a fantasy star this week.