Week 4 is in the books and a high number of teams continue to use running back by committees. While it is undoubtedly the right move from a real football perspective it grows very frustrating for fantasy owners. Today we take a look at three of the most critical fake football running back situations.
This continues to be the most unique RBBC situation in all of football because while Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman are splitting carries they both have some sort of stand-alone value, particularly with bye weeks coming up. Currently, Freeman looks like the 1A to Coleman’s 1B as he out snapped the latter 35 to 29 in Sunday’s win over Carolina. Freeman was the more effective runner this week, rushing 13 times for 57 yards and a touchdown while adding two catches for seven yards. Coleman, meanwhile, rushed eight times just for 19 yards while adding three catches for 14 yards. It was the first week he was held out of the end zone. Against Denver’s tough defense in Week 5 Freeman will be an RB2 while Coleman will be a low-end flex.
Baltimore really shook things up with their situation this week. Former committee leader Justin Forsett was inactive against the Raiders, leaving Terrance West to handle 39 snaps to Buck Allen’s 24. West was used as the feature back and turned 21 carries into 113 yards and a touchdown. Allen clearly played behind West and turned five total touches into 28 yards. He remains a deep league stash in PPR formats. The arrow on West would be aiming even higher if not for the pending return of Kenneth Dixon this week. Both West and Dixon need to be owned in all formats. Coach John Harbaugh wants to use the hot hand for the time being meaning West is the play in all fantasy formats until noted otherwise.
The most notable takeaway from this situation is that it is no longer a committee. Despite Derrick Henry’s monster preseason he has failed to surpass a red-hot Demarco Murray in the games that count. Murray, currently the No. 1 running back in fake football, out snapped the rookie 64 to nine Week 4. He had another monster game against the Texans, rushing 25 times for 95 yards and two touchdowns while adding two catches for 24 yards. Henry remained a non-factor and should be viewed as nothing more than a high-upside handcuff. It’s worth noting that should anything happen to Murray that Henry looks like a potential league winner. The downside is if Murray stays healthy Henry has little chance at stand-alone value.
Brendan Tuma is a correspondent at FantasyPros. To read more from Brendan, follow him @toomuchtuma.