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Fantasy Football Week 4 RB Preview: Projections, matchups that matter, DFS plays, and more

CBS Sports logo CBS Sports 9/28/2021 Heath Cummings
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There are few things more valuable to a Fantasy Football manager than a true workhorse running back. The problem is that there aren't very many left. In 2021 that shortage has been exacerbated by early-season injuries to Christian McCaffrey and Dalvin Cook. And it hasn't helped that Ezekiel Elliott and Jonathan Taylor are sharing more than we expected.

The disappearance of the bell cow back is not exactly a new phenomenon, but we're really feeling it in 2021. Which is why it's so valuable when you find it, even if there's not much efficiency that comes with it. Which is exactly what we should expect from Najee Harris and Saquon Barkley.

Harris is the only running back in football who has accounted for at least 60% of his team's rush attempts and 15% of their targets. In fact, Harris has smashed both numbers with at 80% rush share and a 20.8% target share. Much of the target share came from Week 3 with Diontae Johnson and JuJu Smith-Schuster both missing, but Harris has played nearly every offensive snap for the Steelers this season so there's little reason to question his bellcow bona fides.

The other back who may join Harris in short order is Saquon Barkley. The Giants let their star back loose in Week 3 to the tune of 16 carries and seven targets. And there's no reason for them to turn back now. 

Like Harris, Barkley's efficiency has left much to be desired. They're both on bad teams with mediocre pass games and porous offensive lines. And I don't want to act like none of that matters. But as rare as a true workhorse back is, you're going to have ignore the things you don't like about the few you find. Harris and Barkley both look like borderline top-12 backs rest of season and decent buy targets if someone is bothered by their inefficiency.

Now let's get to the rest of the Week 4 RB Preview:

Week 4 RB Preview
RB Preview
Who's Out

The following players are not being projected to play Week 4 at this time. Here's what it means:

RB Preview
Numbers to know
  • 19 -- Najee Harris saw 19 targets in Week 4. That's the most for any RB since Alvin Kamara saw 20 in 2018.
  • 12.9% -- Derrick Henry's target share has doubled this year and it may be sustainable with A.J. Brown on the shelf.
  • 16 -- Touches for Zack Moss on Sunday. It looks like we're back to a full blown committee in Buffalo.
  • 83.8% -- Joe Mixon still leads all running backs in rush share and he gets Jacksonville on Thursday night.
  • 19.2% -- D'Andre Swift leads the Lions in target share, which helps make him game script proof on a bad team.
  • 13 -- Jonathan Taylor is tied for the NFL lead with 13 red zone carries. He'll get in the end zone soon enough.
  • 14 -- Mike Davis has 14 catches in three games. That type of volume keeps him as a PPR start.
  • 5 -- Ty'Son Williams only had five carries in Week 3. I don't know why, but you can't start Williams until that changes.
RB Preview
Matchups that matter
RB Preview
Waiver Wire Targets
RB Preview
DFS Plays
RB Preview
Heath's Projections

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