Per usual, the list of injured running backs is the longest out of all the positions that fantasy owners must deal with in Week 4. The big names in the early Sunday games are impressive enough, but that doesn’t mean those in the later games don’t matter.
In fact, sometimes those are the tougher calls, especially if said player is questionable and/or a game-time decision. The same can be said for the key WR and QB/TE injuries, so don’t forget to check those out too before setting your lineup.
Andre Ellington, RB, Arizona Cardinals vs. St. Louis Rams (Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET)
Questionable – Knee
Ellington has earned a questionable tag after sitting out the past two weeks. He will be a game-time decision, which makes it tough for fantasy owners that need to make a decision before the late games. To be safe, keep Ellington on your bench this week until you actually see him get back on the field and see what his role is. If Ellington is active, Chris Johnson drops to a low RB2; if he is inactive, Johnson is a high RB2. David Johnson is a RB3 if Ellington sits and a RB4 if he plays.
Marshawn Lynch, RB, Seattle Seahawks vs. Detroit Lions (Monday, 8:30 p.m. ET)
Questionable – Hamstring
Lynch is going to be a game-time decision for the Monday night game. After being active in Week 3, he couldn't get warmed up from a calf injury that had been plaguing him and then spent additional time on the sidelines with trainers working on his back. He's now questionable with a hamstring injury. While it does appear that he will try to play again, he is banged up and is hard to trust in fantasy. And to add fuel to the fire Pete Carroll said on Saturday that an MRI on Lynch's hamstring had "some findings," which means Lynch is far from a sure thing to play Monday night. The best option for Lynch owners that also don’t have Thomas Rawls or Fred Jackson on their roster to plug in is to sit Lynch this week. While it may hurt if he finds the end zone, it's better than having a zero because you hoped he'd play and then was inactive.
Joique Bell, RB, Detroit Lions at Seattle Seahawks (Monday, 8:30 p.m. ET)
Out – Ankle
At this point, it's hard to recommend starting Bell even if he does play (in future games). Bell has been dealing with injuries since the end of last year and hasn't been the back that he was in the past. While he did find the end zone in Week 3, he has 22 rushing and 41 receiving yards thus far. He hasn't practiced yet this week and has been ruled out. This does help Ameer Abdullah's value, but it's not like Bell was doing a lot anyway. Leave him on the waiver wire (or don't hesitate to drop him).
Reggie Bush, RB, San Francisco 49ers vs. Green Bay Packers (Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET)
Probable – Calf
After sitting out the past two weeks, Bush will likely be active for Week 4. While very few fantasy owners are starting Bush (or even own Bush), this is relevant for Carlos Hyde owners. With Bush able to come in for passing downs, Hyde's value takes a slight hit. Hyde is still a low-end RB1, but expect him to lose some touches to Bush.
— Written by Sarah Lewis, who is part of the Athlon Contributor network and lives, eats, and breathes fantasy football. She also writes for SoCalledFantasyExperts.com among other sites. Have a fantasy football question? Send it to her on Twitter @Sarah_Lewis32.