Fantasy football Week 4 presents plenty of sleeper options at the running back position. From Jerick McKinnon to Cam Akers, here are 10 guys to target.
Picking the right running backs week to week in fantasy football can make or break your lineup. It’s a hard position to get right, but it sets you up for big-time success if you hit on your running back plays. This week, there are plenty of sleeper options. Let’s take a look at 10 guys that can outperform their value in Week 4.
Fantasy football Week 4 running back sleepers: James Cook, Buffalo Bills
James Cook has slowly been implemented into the offense so far through his rookie year. After his carries decreased in Week 3, he did catch four balls for 37 yards, something he was lauded for coming into the draft. The unfortunate downside to Cook is that Buffalo essentially deploys a three-man committee at running back.
If Cook can see his receiving work increase, he could become a legitimate PPR play. This week against Baltimore is as good of a time as ever to see a lot of production out of the backfield. He’s an interesting sleeper in PPR leagues.
Fantasy football Week 4 running back sleepers: Rachaad White, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Rachaad White is another rookie runner who has had a tough time seeing the field. Leonard Fournette is third among running backs in snaps, leaving White with essentially nothing. However, this week’s comments by Bucs’ Coach Todd Bowels have my attention. If the Bucs truly want to get White more involved, this week against Kansas City is the week to do it.
Banking on White, who has been nothing but a backup through three weeks, seems like a reach. However, he’s arguably a little more talented overall than Fournette, and any opportunity he gets on the field will garner a lot of attention. Don’t start him in regular fantasy, take him as a DFS dart throw.
Fantasy football Week 4 running back sleepers: Mark Ingram, New Orleans Saints
Mark Ingram hasn’t been the same running complement to Alvin Kamara that he was a few years ago in New Orleans, however, he still sees the field for the Saints. He’s seen 68 snaps compared to Kamara’s 86. With Kamara banged up this week, Ingram could be in for even more work.
Jameis Winston is looking like he’ll miss the game in London this Sunday, meaning an Andy Dalton start in New Orleans. With Kamara less than a hundred percent, and Winston and Michael Thomas looking like they’ll miss the game, the Saints may lean on their run game to get it done. Ingram is an interesting RB3 this week.
Fantasy football Week 4 running back sleepers: Justice Hill, Baltimore Ravens
In J.K. Dobbins’ season debut, it was actually Justice Hill that stole the show for Baltimore, rushing six times for 60 yards in Week 3. More importantly, it got the attention of Head Coach John Harbaugh, who said “he was gonna break out and run like a star running back, and he did,” (RotoBaller).
Since Dobbins just doesn’t look fully healthy yet, it may be a week where Hill is the more successful rusher with potentially more volume. He’s an intriguing option this week across all formats.
Fantasy football Week 4 running back sleepers: Jerick McKinnon, Kansas City Chiefs
Though Clyde Edwards-Helaire is Kansas City’s starter, it’s Jerick McKinnon who leads the running backs in snaps, out-snapping CEH 87-77 through three games. It’s appearing as though McKinnon is the preferred passing down back on a team that passes a lot.
With ESPN’s Adam Teicher calling Kansas City’s backfield a ‘committee,’ McKinnon’s usage shouldn’t change, meaning he’s going to get plenty of playing time. He needs to do something with those snaps in order to have fantasy value, though.
Fantasy football Week 4 running back sleepers: Craig Reynolds, Detroit Lions
Many remember Craig Reynolds from last year’s dominant stretch while he was essentially the only healthy Detroit running back. With another D’Andre Swift injury, Reynolds may be in line to see increased opportunity yet again.
Jamaal Williams is obviously the preferred start, but the Lions have proven that they don’t just use one running back. Williams will be the starter, but Reynolds should see his fair share of carries. If he can replicate some of the success he had last year, he will be an intriguing fantasy option.
Fantasy football Week 4 running back sleepers: Cam Akers, Los Angeles Rams
After Cam Akers’ disastrous Week 1 where he ran three times for zero yards, he’s actually recovered fairly decent — going 15-44 and 12-61 in the last two weeks. He looks to have stabilized himself in a true 50/50 backfield committee.
The Rams have a brutal offensive matchup against the 49ers elite defense this week, but if you’re looking for running back volume on a good offense, you could do much worse than Akers this week.
Fantasy football Week 4 running back sleepers: J.D. McKissic, Washington Commanders
For the time being, J.D. McKissic has established himself as a legitimate option out of the backfield for Carson Wentz and the Commanders. Averaging 6.3 targets and 5.3 catches a game, he’s been productive yet again, though not quite a solidified PPR start.
The Commanders have another tough matchup this week against Dallas, which means McKissic should see plenty of work as Wentz may be throwing a lot this week. He should also be under quite a bit of pressure in this one, meaning plenty of check-downs to McKissic.
Fantasy football Week 4 running back sleepers: Rhamondre Stevenson, New England Patriots
Rhamondre Stevenson has established himself as a solid option in New England’s backfield, seeming to have turned it into a true 50/50 split with Damien Harris. They’ve even split the pass-catching work too, as Stevenson has out-caught Harris by only one catch.
The Patriots may have to rely on a one-dimensional offense this week if Mac Jones is out with an ankle injury. This should mean plenty of Stevenson against the Packers. If you’re looking for volume at the position, Stevenson is all but guaranteed 12-15 plus touches.
Fantasy football Week 4 running back sleepers: Khalil Herbert, Chicago Bears
Khalil Herbert is good. If you followed my advice last week and started him as a sleeper, you probably won your matchup. All it took was a David Montgomery injury for Herbert to erupt. In fact, through three weeks, he’s the RB9 on the season in total fantasy points.
Even if Montgomery plays this week, the Bears face another bad run defense in the New York Giants. Herbert should have standalone value after going 20-157-2 last week. Herbert is simply better than Montgomery and should be in your lineup this week.