It's tough out there for fantasy owners that drafted a running back high in the first round. Several of those top picks have missed games or been game-time decisions with various injuries.
Even with those injuries, there are still a number of running backs that are putting up huge numbers week after week. The following are three running backs that are among the best fantasy options for week 4. They are certainly among those that are still putting up big stats.
Ray Rice - Baltimore Ravens
Rice is a good fantasy option every week regardless of who the Ravens are playing and who is on offense around Rice. He is just such a big part of what they do on offense.
On paper, the Week 4 matchup with the Jets seems like a bad one, but I don't think it is for Rice and his owners. The Jets play the pass so well that I think Flacco will be scared off of throwing deep. That will leave more catches for Rice just beyond the line of scrimmage.
Rice might struggle with the speed and physicality of the Jets' defense from a running standpoint, but he is such a big part of both the rushing and passing game that he will have yet another big game.
Adrian Peterson - Minnesota Vikings
Even with very little offense around him in Minnesota, Peterson continues to have success in the running game. He is very much the focal point of their offense and defenses know that everything the Vikings do will go through him. And yet, teams still can't stop him.
He has a great matchup in Week 4 against Kansas City. The Chiefs' defense has been atrocious so far this season. They are bad enough that they might make the Vikings look like a well-oiled machine on that side of the ball.
There might be more electric running backs or more multifaceted running backs in the league, but there are no running backs that run as hard as Adrian Peterson.
Maurice Jones-Drew - Jacksonville Jaguars
MJD is another running back that has huge games regardless of other variables. He runs well against good defenses, he runs well when he doesn't have any help on offense and based on what we saw this past week, he can run well in torrential downpours.
In Week 4, he has a good matchup, as his team takes on the New Orleans Saints. The Jaguars won't have near the firepower to beat the Saints, but that won't matter when it comes to Jones-Drew's fantasy impact.
Jones-Drew will be given a chance to set the tone early for the Jags and if they find themselves trailing early on, he is a big enough part of the passing game that he should still give you good production.
Joseph Healy's Week 4 Fantasy Running Back Rankings
1. Ray Rice
2. Adrian Peterson
3. Maurice Jones-Drew
4. Rashard Mendenhall
5. LeSean McCoy
7. Chris Johnson
8. Matt Forte
9. Michael Turner
10. Fred Jackson
11. Jahvid Best
12. Ben Tate
13. Peyton Hillis
14. LaGarrette Blount
15. Ryan Mathews
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