Week 4 RB Touches Breakdown
Week 4 was a rough week for injuries, particularly at the running back position. Stud rookie Dalvin Cook went down, and the emerging Chris Carson ended up in an air cast. We also saw Derek Carr and Marcus Mariota go down, among other injuries. Despite these injuries, it wasn’t a particularly huge week on the waiver wire. So let’s take a look at some interesting backfields from Week 4. Please enjoy Week 4 RB Touches Breakdown!
New York Giants
Wayne Gallman (13 touches), Paul Perkins (10 touches), Shane Vereen (6 touches)
Paul Perkins is bad. Seriously, undeniably bad. Vereen caps out as a pass-catching specialist. Orleans Darkwa is hurt, and primarily a plodder. Gallman himself isn’t a particularly exciting prospect. But he looked easily like the best running back on the New York roster. He got work inside the red zone, and caught a touchdown from only a couple of yards out. He’s the best shot the Giants have at establishing a run game. The offensive line is terrible. If Gallman gets 15-20 touches, he still won’t be much more than a low-end RB2, or a nice flex. But any player who could be a starter and earn a majority of the touches is worth monitoring. Gallman gets a chance to show out against the Chargers this week. He could position himself for a larger role going forward and should be watched closely.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Jacquizz Rodgers (18 touches), Charles Sims (2 touches), Peyton Barber (2 touches)
None of these Bucs running backs are particularly interesting. This is more a preemptive look at what we can hope to see from Doug Martin. Clearly, the Bucs aren’t afraid of letting one running back dominate touches. Rodgers has functioned as a true lead back. Sims hasn’t even maintained his usual change-of-pace pass-catching role. Going forward, I’d expect this backfield to be all Martin and Rodgers. Now, that’s a pretty evident truth. The question is how much Martin will we see, particularly in his first week back. I’d lean against starting Martin this first week, given the Bucs are already on a short week. Going forward, I’d expect Martin to see 15-20 touches per game. But starting Martin in Week 5 is a risky proposition because we don’t know which Martin we’re getting, or how much he’ll get the ball.
Cleveland BrownsDuke Johnson (13 touches), Isaiah Crowell (8 touches)
The Browns wanted to commit to the run this season, according to coach Hue Jackson. However, you can’t commit to the run if you can’t keep the game close. Johnson has by far been the more valuable of the two Cleveland running backs, particularly in PPR settings. Crowell has no value right now. He’s not getting many carries, he’s not in a position to score, and his receiving role is obviously limited. You can’t start Crowell at this point, and it’s a good question if he’s even worth a roster spot. Either way, Johnson is a decent PPR flex, while Crowell is dead weight. Perhaps a game against the Jets helps Crowell get right, but I wouldn’t hold my breath.
That’s all from Week 4. It’s hard to believe that the season is already 1/4 complete in terms of games played (except the Bucs and Dolphins). Check back next week at The Fantasy Authority to continue looking at messy backfields across the league.