Fantasy football week 4 impact report: Running backs

Scott Kane-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

Which running backs had the biggest impacts, whether good or bad, of week 4.

I don't know if week 4 will go down quite as memorably as week 3 did (and who remembers specific weeks of a season?) but we do know this: REAL REFS! And they made some mistakes, what a surprise. But the overall feeling was that this group was confident and knew the rules, even if they blew a few calls.

Let's all just be grateful that the Seahawks got that win and that will be the last memory of REPLACEMENTS 2012!

There were some big performances in week 4, some injuries, and just some really bad performances. They weren't even all done by the Raiders! Here is a break down of the biggest impacts, whether good or bad:

Michael Turner against the Panthers (TURNER 'EM AND BURNER 'EM)

Ahhh, the good old days. Turner has averaged 4.4 yards per carry and over 1,300 yards per season over the last four years but the change on offense has limited his effectiveness in fantasy this season. He made an impact in week 4 though with 103 yards on 13 carries, with 68 yards receiving and a touchdown. That's great if you own him and started him this week, but not that great if you are now planning on starting him every week. The 68 yards aren't just a career-high in a game, they're more than he's had total in all but two seasons. It was expected he'd be used more in the passing game, but to what extent? You can't expect a whole lot on 13 carries per game.

The other news though is that the Panthers run defense is terrible. Marshawn Lynch could be the top rated back of week 5.

Stevan Ridley and Brandon Bolden against the Bills (THE BOLDEN THE BEAUTIFUL)

I guess that make's Ridley "The Beautiful." Congrats, Stevan!

After grabbing a goal-line touchdown from Ridley in week 3, Bolden came in for 16 carries, 137 yards and another score in week 4. Did that hurt Ridley? Not really, since he had 22 carries, 106 yards and two of his own touchdowns. With news that Shane Vereen was healthy again, it was the undrafted free agent Bolden that stole the show. Going forward, what should you expect? You'll go crazy trying to find out Bill Belichick because that guy is nuttier than the nut parade in Nutsylvania. #ANALOGIES

I'd still rate Ridley as a low-end RB2, high-end flex play. Hard to know what to expect of Bolden quite yet.

C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson against the Patriots (BECAUSE THIS WAS THE DUO IN THE GAME THAT YOU EXPECTED TO SUCK)

There was a possibility that both would miss the game and then it was confirmed that Jackson would play, then Spiller was also active. Awesome show, great job? Nope. The Patriots shut them down with 33 yards for Spiller and 29 for Jackson, who did add 50 receiving yards.

Going forward, I might still have Jackson rated as the more valuable back but Spiller has proven more than enough to get close to an even 50/50 split. However, the Bills have a tough 49ers defense next week.

Adrian Peterson against the Lions (WELCOME BACK)

Peterson said early in the week that he really started to feel like his old self, and it showed in week 4. AD carried it 21 times for 102 yards as he tries to get well over 4 YPC on the season, which would be a career-low by a significant margin. With 79 carries in four games, the Vikings aren't holding back their franchise back and are now 3-1. They get the Titans in week 5.

Mikel Leshoure against the Vikings (DEBUT NUMBER TWO NOT COO)

A week after making his NFL debut, Leshoure had only 26 yards on 13 carries, a reminder of the dangers on relying on any unproven player. Vikings have run a pretty stout run defense this year, and they'll get Chris Johnson and the Titans next week. You'd know that if you read the last paragraph.

Jackie Battle and Ryan Mathews against the Chiefs (BATTLE PUN GOES HERE)

Is there a "fight" for carries in San Diego? Can we expect a "standoff" for touches? Who is going to throw the first "punch?" Oh, no worries I don't think. Mathews had 14 carries and 61 yards, while Battle got most of the touches to begin the game but finished with only 39 yards on 15 carries. He did score a touchdown, and that might be the biggest concern for Mathews owners going forward.

Now that's something worth "fighting" for oh crap I already did that one.

Jamaal Charles against the Chargers (JUST BECAUSE MY TEAM SUCKS...)

The Chiefs might not be very good, but Charles is going to put up a case as the top player in fantasy this season. He had 92 yards on the ground, 23 in the air, and two touchdowns against San Diego. I'll just keep stressing this: If you have Charles, find a bench spot for Shaun Draughn. They're going to keep feeding the ball to Charles and Draughn looks like his most solid backup, especially for as long as Peyton Hillis is out.

Charles is still not a bad play against the Ravens next week, either.

Marshawn Lynch against the Rams (JUST BECAUSE MY OFFENSE SUCKS...)

He continues to be the only good option for the Seattle offense, totaling 118 yards on 20 carries and his second touchdown of the year. Lynch is in the prime of his career, regularly turning a loss into a gain or three years into seven, but unfortunately nothing else is working on that side of the ball for the Hawks. As said earlier, week 5 could be a huge game for Beast Mode against the Cats.

Like, "Beast" versus "Kitten" or "Kitty" sounds like a demolition, right? (Paraphrasing "Panther" as "kitty")

Chris Johnson against the Texans (CHRIS JOHNSON ALERT! CHRIS JOHNSON ALERT!)

Johnson had his best game since week twelve of last year, rushing for 141 yards on 25 carries. He's proven over and over again that he's capable of this. He's proven over and over again that he's capable of being terrible. My advice to a Johnson owner would be: SELL LIKE IT'S IPO DAY AT FACEBOOK!

However, I'd also be convinced to trade for Johnson if I didn't have to give up a starter. Vikings are another tough test next week.

Darren McFadden against the Broncos (DARREN MCSADDEN)

I told a friend that I co-own a team with, and kept McFadden with as our only keeper, that I regretted it. Even after his 113-yard game in week 3, I regretted it. Over half of his yards came on a single run that day. He had 54 yards in the first two weeks. He had 34 yards on 13 carries in week 4.

McFadden is on maybe the worst team in the NFL, maybe. They get down early and abandon the run. Teams can focus on only stopping McFadden. It doesn't look very good right now. McSadden and the rest of the Raiders get a week 5 break, and I'll take a break from them.

Ryan Williams against the Dolphins (MAYBE BEANIE WELLS ON IR IS NOT SUCH A BIG DEAL)

Miami actually might have a pretty good run defense but Williams just doesn't look good right now. He had 26 yards on 13 carries. Williams is now averaging under 3 YPC on the year.

Maurice Jones-Drew against the Bengals (WHEN MATCHUPS GO WRONG)

I'm selling that show idea to FOX tomorrow, please don't steal it! MJD is one of the top running backs/players in the NFL. The Bengals were allowing an NFL-worst 5.8 yards per carry. Seems legit.

MJD had 38 yards on 13 carries and 42 yards receiving. That's a bit of a game-saving 42 yards receiving, but this was not even close to what you might have expected. Next week on: WHEN MATCHUPS GO WRONG. Marshawn Lynch, probably.

Alfred Morris against the Buccaneers (BATMAN JOKE)

I am still a lot shocked that there is an NFL player named Alfred. Shocked that a sixth round rookie beat out like sixteen other backs to win the job and has 376 yards through four games? Sure, but less shocked. ALFRED! Run with Morris until Mike Shanahan screws you.

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