Week 4 RB Sleepers and Landmines
Each week, as we prepare to make some difficult lineup decisions, our team, which includes Rob Willette, Ryan McDowell, and Sal Leto, will bring you a few sleepers and landmines for each position. Our sleeper picks could be on your waiver wire or a low-priced DFS target or could simply be going overlooked this week. On the other hand, our landmine players are getting attention, too much attention. These are players we feel are being overvalued and overpriced and would avoid for this week.
Kerryon Johnson $6,100
This is perhaps the final week Lions rookie Kerryon Johnson could fall into the “sleeper” category. A week after breaking the long streak of Lions backs failing to exceed 100 rushing yards, Johnson faces the weak Cowboys defense that has been hit hard by opposing backs already this season. Also encouraging is Johnson’s opportunity, which has increased each game. After playing just 23% of the snaps in the season opener, Johnson saw nearly 50% of the snaps the past two games. – Ryan McDowell
Chris Carson $6,800
Well ok then, after feeding us the line all through preseason and then for two weeks of real games Pete Carroll finally came through. To the tune of 32 carries in week three Chris Carson is the lead back in Seattle. The Cardinals are next up with their league worst five rushing touchdowns (6 overall) surrendered to running backs. Giving up nearly 37 points a game to running backs through three weeks lines this up as a juicy matchup for Carson while the Seahawks continue to look for a balance that will keep Russell Wilson upright for 16 games. – Sal Leto
Austin Ekeler $5,600
Perhaps best known for his receiving prowess, Austin Ekeler has also routinely impressed as a runner. It is important note when discussing a player attached to a heavy favorite at home. Even as the Chargers dismantled the Bills Week 2, Ekeler piled up 14 touches, including three receptions. He appears to be immune to game script-related ailments and has placed himself on the weekly FLEX map. San Francisco’s undrerrated front has done a good job stifling running games but has given up the eighth most yards through the air (183) to running backs. Ekeler has become an essential part of the offense, yet has not been given his due as a weekly option. – Rob Willette
Dalvin Cook $7,500
At this point, there is still uncertainty if the Vikings will even have starting RB Dalvin Cook active for their huge Thursday night showdown with the Rams. If he is, fantasy players should be avoiding Cook. Coming off a hamstring injury that cost him Week Three, Cook will face off against the Rams defense which is among the best in the league, limiting opposing backfields to under 100 yards per game. Conversely, the Vikings have struggled to get their running game going early, currently ranking next to last in the league. – Ryan McDowell
Isaiah Crowell $5,400
After three weeks Crowell is actually the RB 12 in full PPR scoring. That’s of course thanks to two 2 touchdown games. His yardage over the last two weeks is 90… total. Most think you can’t pass on the Jaguars so running on them is the way to attack. Wrong! In fact Saquon Barkley broke a 68 yard run in week one and with that only finished with 38 more on 17 carries. No other running back has gone over 57 yards and it took Derrick Henry 18 carries to do that a week ago. Remove that Barkley run and the Jags are giving up just 2.9 yards a carry. Oh and that was also the last time a running back found the end zone both rush and receiving. – Sal Leto
Jay Ajayi $6,700
Expected back this weekend, Ajayi is always a touchdown threat for an Eagles offense which figures to keep improving as it gets healthier. His floor ir he fails to reach paydirt, however, is bottomless. Wendell Smallwood was effective against the Colts, and even Josh Adams got in the mix with 30 yards rushing. Given Ajayi’s well-known knee condition along with his latest back ailment, we could see this Eagles’ backfield become a committee mess as they try to keep everyone healthy. The Titans are a middling rush defense thus far in 2018 but their one of four teams to not allow a rushing touchdown to a running back and figure to slow the game down given their offensive woes. Volume is a major concern for Ajayi in Week 4. – Rob Willette
Sal Leto (@LetoSal), Ryan McDowell (@RyanMc23), and Rob Willette (@RobWillette24) are freelance contributors for the SportsHub Games Network, Inc., Fanball’s parent company. Any advice or strategies provided by SportsHub contributors represent their personal opinions; they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of SportsHub Games Network and are not necessarily reflective of the strategies they may employ in their own lineups.