Top 4 RB Matchup Plays for Week 4:
1) Atlanta Falcons RBs at Carolina Panthers
Falcons RB Michael Turner gave his owners a nice performance in the face of a relatively tough matchup in the Chargers last week, as did Jacquizz Rodgers.
If you own Turner, you will likely be starting him as your flex, possibly (regrettably thus far), your RB2.
Turner has looked slow, and it is evident he is being phased out, but the matchup dictates not benching him for a scrub as you may have done last week.
Rodgers should serve as a very nice flex play with considerable upside against a Panthers defense that got burned on the edge by an athlete nowhere near as quick as he is in Giants backup RB Andre Brown last Thursday.
2) Green Bay Packers RBs vs. New Orleans Saints
There is one beneficiary of this matchup, and it is Cedric Benson. Those who drafted Benson have had a reasonably amicable relationship with their RB3, who has averaged just over nine fantasy points per game in standard leagues.
We know that Green Bay will come out angry in this game and will impose its will. Packers head coach Mike McCarthy seemed flustered at not being able to establish the run in the first half of Monday Night's debacle vs. the Seahawks, so he came out in the second half and gave Benson plenty of opportunities to do just that.
I like Benson this week for 65 yards and a touchdown. Get him in your lineups at the flex.
3) Cincinnati Bengals RBs at Jacksonville Jaguars
BenJarvus Green-Ellis looks like a new man in Cincinnati, and I don't know whether it is entirely due to exceptional run-blocking from the offensive line, but it certainly can't hurt.
A runner with forward lean through the line of scrimmage and a physical offensive line can scorch the Jags as we saw in Week 2 when Arian Foster and Ben Tate of the Houston Texans took turns shredding them. I love the Law Firm this week.
4) Jacksonville Jaguars RBs at Cincinnati Bengals
(Indianapolis is truly the No. 4 matchup, but the Colts are on bye this week.)
Maurice Jones-Drew faces the fifth best matchup in fantasy this weekend, and I expect monster numbers. In fact, I expect a top-three overall performance out of Jones-Drew in Week 4.
Rumors of MJD's demise were greatly exaggerated this preseason, and those who drafted him the late-second or early-third rounds of their drafts are smiling today like the cat that ate the canary.
Four Worst RB Matchups for Week 4:
1) New York Jets RBs vs. San Francisco 49ers
Adrian Peterson showed that the 49ers front seven was semi-mortal last week, but make no mistake: Shonn Greene is not Adrian Peterson. In fact, Greene is not even the "other" Adrian Peterson who used to play sparingly for the Bears.
The only worse "starting" RB in the league may be Isaac Redman. Bench Greene at all costs, and I'm very sorry about the slow start your fantasy team has undoubtedly had.
2) St. Louis Rams RBs. vs. Seattle Seahawks
Steven Jackson officially runs like an old man and owners should be worried. You'll likely have to start Jackson as he may be your RB1, and if so, I am sorry. It could be another 3.8 pointer for your friends to laugh at.
3) Miami Dolphins RBs at Arizona Cardinals
Whether Reggie Bush is available to play Sunday, I don't like any runner against the Arizona Cardinals currently. Especially with the Cardinals at home. It is their system and their intensity that are winning them games, and it is fun to watch. We'll wait to hear on Reggie Bush.
I hate a "game-time-decision" version of Reggie Bush in this game and would only start Daniel Thomas or Lamar Miller in Bush's possible absence under dire circumstances.
4) Oakland Raiders RBs at Denver Broncos
Darren McFadden is matchup-proof when healthy, and has had absolute monster games in Denver in the past. I worry about his long-term viability in the new zone-blocking scheme employed by offensive coordinator Greg Knapp, but not this week.
The Raiders are riding high on a big win for a Dennis Allen homecoming of sorts. I am treating McFadden as I always do: starting him. It could be a legendary four-touchdown day, or the Broncos fantasy dominance of RBs could prove to be for real.
McFadden's success against the Steelers shows it only takes one play for him to contribute mightily to your squad, regardless of matchup, however. He'll only be healthy for so long, most likely. Roll him out while you can.