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Why You Must Start Karlos Williams and Other Start/Sit RB Fantasy Advice for Week 4


Let's take a quick recap of my start/sit running back fantasy advice from Week 3.

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Good Calls...

Start Latavius Murray (20.9 fantasy points) — Murray broke out for a huge game against the Browns rushing for 139 yards and a TD.

Start Joseph Randle (28.5 FP) — With Romo and Bryant out, he finally got his chance and scored 3 TDs.

Start Adrian Peterson (24.6 FP) — I know, I know – this one was too easy.

Sit Lamar Miller (6.5 FP) — The Dolphins can’t run the ball. Miller doesn’t look like he is going to break out this year.

Bad Calls...

Actually, it was a pretty good week last week. But I did tell you to consider sitting Jamal Charles against the Packers Monday night. Hopefully you didn’t listen and enjoyed his three touchdowns.

Teams on bye: Patriots, Titans


Karlos Williams, BUF (vs. NYG)

It seems that LeSean McCoy’s hamstring injury just won’t go away and actually might keep him out of action for a couple of games. This is great news for anyone smart enough to pick up Williams off the waiver wire. Last week he ran 12 times for 110 yards and one touchdown, that’s excellent production. Williams now has an excellent opportunity to play himself into a timeshare when McCoy does return to action. This week Williams goes up against a Giants run defense that has given up the eighth-most fantasy points to running backs this season and you know that Rex Ryan loves to pound the ball, so expect the rookie to have a big day.

Latavius Murray, OAK (at CHI)

If you are one of the lucky few who have Murray as your RB3, you’re awesome. Actually, just having Murray on your roster right now is awesome as he is one of the few starting running backs out there who isn’t in a timeshare of any shape. Murray showed what he can do last week in a win against the Cleveland Browns having his biggest day as a Raider (139 yards rushing, TD). This week he is an absolute must start simply because he is playing the Chicago Bears, who just let undrafted free agent Thomas Rawls of the Seattle Seahawks rumble for 104 yards on 16 carries. Just imagine what Murray can do. Look for another 100-yard day with at least one trip into the end zone.

Mark Ingram, NO (vs. DAL)

You would think that it might be best to sit Ingram this week since he is playing against a usually stout Cowboys defense. But that was the thought process last week against not starting Devonta Freeman and all Freeman did was run for 141 yards and three touchdowns. Even with C.J. Spiller destined for a larger role (believe it when you see it) and even if Drew Brees does play, the Saints are going to have to rely on their running game to keep the chains moving and put points on the board. A 100-yard rushing day and a touchdown should be in store for Ingram this week.


Lance Dunbar, DAL (at NO)

So Dunbar only ran the ball once for five yards last week against the Falcons. So what? He also was the most targeted player on the Cowboys and caught all 10 of them for 100 yards. That’s awesome if you have Dunbar in a PPR league, and still pretty good in standard leagues. This week against the Saints he’s an absolute must start in PPR leagues as Brandon Weeden just loves dumping the ball off to Dunbar instead of trying to force it downfield. Dunbar won’t get much of an opportunity to run the ball with Joseph Randle emerging as a decent RB1, but another 10 catches for 100 yards seems very likely against the Saints.


Alfred Morris, WAS (at PHI)

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There's a good chance that you may have drafted Morris as your RB1 and if so, you are probably wishing you hadn’t. Morris now finds himself in a full-blown running back-by-committee (RBBC) approach in Washington with him, Matt Jones and even Chris Thompson in the mix for touches. If you are going to gamble and start Morris, you better hope he makes the most out of his limited opportunities. Even if he manages to get 15-plus carries, Morris is playing against an Eagles defense that has allowed an average of fewer than 13 fantasy points per game to RBs.

Todd Gurley, STL (at ARI)

You’ve drafted Gurley in the middle rounds, hoping that he would return to action sooner rather than later and last week he finally got on the field and ran the ball six times for nine yards. So forget about that game, what about this week. Well, keep in mind that by no means is Gurley the Rams' featured back. He finds himself (at least for now) in a time share with Tre Mason, and throw in the odd touch here and there for Benny Cunningham. Of course Gurley has the potential to break one every time he touches the ball, it just won’t happen this week against the Arizona Cardinals.

Doug Martin, TB (vs. CAR)

Hopefully you don`t even need to start Martin, but just in case you should probably know that he is playing against a Panthers defense that has allowed just 195 rushing yards and an average of 16.43 fantasy points to running backs in their first three games. This isn’t good news for Martin, who was once again dynamic during the preseason, but average at best so far during the regular season.


Giovani Bernard, CIN (vs. KC)

Jeremy Hill started last week against the Ravens, carrying the ball seven times and then it was all Bernard after that. His stat line wasn’t amazing (13 carries for 49 yards and 3 catches for 34 yards), but the Bengals appear to be moving forward with Bernard as their feature back in both the run and the passing game. This week against a stout Chiefs rush defense you are going to need Bernard’s pass-catching abilities to help you win and he shouldn’t disappoint. Bernard should be able to get over 100 total yards and maybe throw in a bonus touchdown for good measure. But be wary of the potential for a one-dimensional stat line from this Bengal.

— Written by Michael Horvath, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Horvath is a Canadian who also happens to be a fantasy football (not to be confused with CFL) and fitness nut. Follow him on Twitter @realmikehorvath.

(Top photo courtesy of Getty Images)