Week 3 Fantasy Football Start/Sit Candidates: Running Backs

Sep 21, 2022
 Week 3 Fantasy Football Start/Sit Candidates: Running Backs

Wondering whom to start and sit at quarterback this week? Below are two top-notch start and two sit options at the quarterback position for Week 3 of the 2022 NFL season.

More Start/Sits: QB | WR | TE

Week 2 Review – half-PPR scoring



Running Back – Starts

Javonte Williams (Denver Broncos) vs. San Francisco 49ers

On paper, this is a tough matchup as San Francisco has limited opposing run games to 68.5 rushing yards per game, second best in the NFL, and kept explosive rushing plays to a rate of just 2.9%, tied for ninth. But that production has come against the Chicago Bears and the Seattle Seahawks, two largely dysfunctional offenses.

The play calling of Denver head coach Nathaniel Hackett has left a lot to be desired, but Williams’ usage has looked great.

Denver Backfield Ground
Javonte Williams Total Carries Red Zone Green Zone Inside Opp. 5-yard line
Week 1 7 1 1 1
Week 2 15 1 1 1
Melvin Gordon Total Carries Red Zone Green Zone Inside Opp. 5-yard line
Week 1 12 2 2 2
Week 2 10 0 0


Denver Backfield Air
Javonte Williams Routes Targets Target per Route Run %
Week 1 28 12 43.0%
Week 2 20 4 20.0%
Melvin Gordon Routes Targets Target per Route Run %
Week 1 13 2 15.0%
Week 2 9 1 11.0%

Williams has maintained an edge in passing game usage and recently wrested control of the run game away from veteran Melvin Gordon. Denver opened as the +1.5 underdog and the over/under was set at a healthy 45 points. Game script should facilitate pass-heavy operations which directly boosts Williams’ potential.

*4for4’s full RB rankings can be found here.

Josh Jacobs (Las Vegas Raiders) @ Tennessee Titans

Josh Jacobs handled 19-of-20 running back carries (and one target) for Las Vegas in Week 2, out last week due to a hamstring injury. Fantasy managers should expect a big-time showing for Jacobs against Tennessee’s 31st-ranked run defense as rotational running back Brandon Bolden, a favorite of head coach Josh McDaniels is expected to miss another game with a hamstring strain. Hamstring injuries typically cause a running back to miss 3.0 games, per Adam Hutchison’s positional Injury Index. Even if Bolden were to return, most running backs see a 22.7% dip in production after a one-week hamstring-induced absence so Jacobs’ Week 3 runway is clear. Tennessee is allowing 170.5 rushing yards per game, second most in the NFL, and their 7.9% explosive rush rate allowed, third most, offers Jacobs plenty of run-to-daylight potential.

Running Backs – Sits

Chase Edmonds (Miami Dolphins) vs. Buffalo Bills

Chase Edmonds is trending towards 2022-bust territory. The mid-round fantasy pick saw a precipitous drop in rushing work, going from 12 carries in Week 1 to just five in Week 2. Journeyman running back Raheem Mostert, in turn, shot up from five carries in Week 1 to 11 in Week 2 and even matched Edmonds’ passing game usage. Each back ran 24 routes and earned three targets apiece. Mostert secured all three for 28 yards. Edmonds recorded just one reception which he took for eight yards.

With Mostert sitting in the driver’s seat, Edmonds must be benched ahead of Miami’s game against the Buffalo Bills’ No. 1 ranked run defense. Buffalo’s 66.0 rushing yards per game is best in the league and their 0.8% explosive rush rate sits 0.1% behind the top-ranked Indianapolis Colts.

James Robinson (Jacksonville Jaguars) @ Los Angeles Chargers

James Robinson’s feel-good story, having returned from a 2021 Achilles rupture, has overshadowed his inefficient 2022 performance. The fantasy community likely would have hit the panic button this week, had he not produced a 37-yard touchdown run in Jacksonville’s 24-0 win over the Indianapolis Colts in Week 2. Sans the score, Robinson’s 22 carries for 27 yards would have resulted in a worrying 1.23 yards per carry. On the year, Robinson is averaging 3.8 yards per carry, 0.75 yards under expectation, per 4for4’s NFL Player Stats Explorer. Conversely, No. 2 running back Travis Etienne’s 5.2 yards per carry are 0.36 over expectation.

The Los Angeles Chargers made heavy investments in their front seven this offseason, in an effort to improve their run defense. The move paid off. Los Angeles’s 79.0 rushing yards allowed per game sit five places out of first and their 1.8% explosive rush rate allowed is just 1.1% behind the league-leading Indianapolis Colts.

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