Week 4 Running Back Matchups


TNF: New York Giants at Washington Redskins

Rashad Jennings has been a a gem so far and they’re feeding him, the Redskins have nice stats against the run but only played one good offensive team.

Andre Williams is the rookie backup that is expected to get more carries on a short week, after Jennings logged 34 carries in their first win of the year.

Alfred Morris is reliable but a knee scare and heading into a Thursday game against the rival Giants is enough caution.

Roy Helu should benefit from extra snaps to spell Morris and so far has made the most of limited opportunities, especially through the air.

Philadelphia Eagles at San Francisco 49ers

LeSean McCoy is the reigning rushing leader so of course he’s drawing all this defensive attention, good thing is he’s had more touches than this point last season.

Darren Sproles is an elite change-of-pace back that will have his days like we’ve seen so far, he will always be part of the game plan.

Frank Gore showed frustration about his role a week agoafter only getting one carry in the second half, the Eagles might be his remedy.

Carlos Hyde has been doubled in touches but he’s probably going to be more involved as the season unfolds, he leads SF backs with a pair of touchdowns.

Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears

Eddie Lacy could finally get on track against an underwhelming run defense, but his bad start and concussion woes may be too much to give him the benefit of the doubt.

James Starks should gets more snaps out of the backfield with the starter struggling, after all he did out-perform Lacy last week.

Matt Forte isn’t getting used as much under Marc Trestman and the O-line is just banged up, then again GB is the 3rd-worst run D.

Tennessee Titans at Indianapolis Colts

Shonn Greene is the plotting veteran that gets double-digit touches each week, but the offense hasn’t been pretty and Charlie Whitehurst is starting at QB.

Bishop Shankey is the rookie easing into a bigger role as he learns the game, he finally looked good in week 3 and logged one more touch than Greene.

Trent Richardson has been a disappointment, although he has run harder his setbacks have been fumbling or getting stuffed at the goal line.

Ahmad Bradshaw is 28 years old and healthy so if it were me I’d give him another crack at being a feature back, but the Colts won’t and they think using him in a timeshare is best and it is working.

Miami Dolphins at Oakland Raiders

Lamar Miller finally came through for Miami in the absence of Knowshon Moreno, there’s nobody else and the former first round pick eclipsed the century mark with a date against the second-to-last ranked run D.

Maurice Jones-Drew is expected to play after missing last week, he’s now a back that can only gain what’s blocked but Miami is beatable.

Darren McFadden is involved in this timeshare and didn’t really do much as the workhorse starter last week.

Detroit Lions at New York Jets

Reggie Bush got the ball just like OC Joe Lombardi said he needed to do, but the Jets defense is a different story.

Joique Bell will also face a stout Jets defense, but just might be the better play if you need him as the passing down back.

Chris Johnson is doing his job by picking up 3.5 yards per rush, because it helps milk clock and keeps Chris Ivory fresh for the chunk plays.

Chris Ivory is excelling and Coach Rex Ryan says he deserves more touches, picking up nearly six yards per carry.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Pittsburgh Steelers

Doug Martin keeps getting banged up nowadays and wasn’t running well, the line is far from respectable and Josh McCown is out but the Steelers have lost some starters on defense.

Bobby Rainey has run well despite the struggling offense and getting bench for fumbling, he should get touches even when Martin plays.

Le’Veon Bell is playing like the stud Pittsburgh drafted him to be, and Tampa Bay has looked bad in their winless start.

LeGarrette Blount has his moments but also doesn’t get in unless Bell needs a spell or until later in the game, Blount has another chance to contribute against a so-so defense.

Carolina Panthers at Baltimore Ravens

DeAngelo Williams is the last man standing int he backfield, whether he’s producing or not he’s the guy that’s going to get the bulk of the load.

Darrin Reaves signs from the practice squad and will get limited snaps with injuries to Jonathan Stewart, Fozzy Whitaker, and Mike Tolbert.

Bernard Pierce is the guy they want to be the starter, but he has yet to show an ability to stay on the field and I see that he’s been outplayed overall.

Lorenzo Taliaferro is the rookie that stepped into Pierce’s role and ran with it last week, there’s only enough room for either Pierce or him and that’s up to the coaches.

Justin Forsett is without question the change-of-pace back, even when he played well after Pierce got benched in week 1. He knows the scheme and this is his role, much like Danny Woodhead and Darren Sproles.

Buffalo Bills at Houston Texans

Arian Foster has shown that he is the team MVP, even more so when he doesn’t play and the Texans get toasted.

C.J. Spiller is getting early-down work but is also getting forced to run in between the tackles, the team may want to swap their running back usage.

Fred Jackson is the passing down and short-yardage back, the veteran is playing good in a timeshare and Houston’s D is very beatable on the ground.

Atlanta Falcons at Minnesota Vikings

Steven Jackson is the main back in a 4-man committee, he has the most touchdown appeal of the group that includes: Jacquizz Rodgers (passing downs), Antone Smith (change-of-pace back), and Devonta Freeman (4th-string rookie prospect).

Matt Asiata was the lead back with 15 touches last week but that could change if he doesn’t improve upon three yards per carry.

Jerick McKinnon is the rookie with long-term appeal is AP doesn’t return in 2014, he only got four touches last week but the movement could continue with Teddy Bridgewater under center.

Jacksonville Jaguars at San Diego Chargers

Toby Gerhart has had a slow start to say the least, things could only get better with Blake Bortles at the helm who really won the starting gig in the first place.

Denard Robinson is a guy they want to give more snaps and touches to, but the offense has been one-dimensional playing catch-up with the pass.

Donald Brown was brought in for this very reason, and boy did they feed him the rock with over 30 touches in relief work.

Branden Oliver is the next man up and will have a change-of-pace role so he will be involved, probably more as the season progresses.

SNF: New Orleans Saints at Dallas Cowboys

DeMarco Murray is the best back so far in 2014, and there’s nothing the Saints can do to stop this man on a mission.

Khiry Robinson will continue to get touches in the teens and has a chance to break big runs with LB Rolando McClain banged up.

Pierre Thomas is strictly a spell back and passing down back in 2014, this is as good a matchup he’s going to get this season.

MNF: New England Patriots at Kansas City Chiefs

Stevan Ridley is somehow that you never know what you’re going to get from week to week, at least he’s logging the carries right now.

Shane Vereen is currently a spell back and a receiver out of the backfield, one of many passing targets in Tom Brady’s arsenal.

Jamaal Charles is practicing and expects to be on the field, the workload (guessing 70-30) should favor him and the Chiefs play tough at home.

Knile Davis stepped up in Charles’ absence and ran for triple digits which will earn him a share of the load, but he did fumble twice.