Fine-tuning your fantasy roster is critical to having success on a weekly basis. You can draft a good team, but with injuries and bye weeks, there is always room for more depth. With that in mind, we have four running backs to suggest as free agent pickups for week four of fantasy.
Stevan Ridley is a rookie running back for the Patriots. The LSU product drew attention when he scored three touchdowns in the first preseason game. He followed that up by gaining 111 total yards in the second preseason game. Though he didn’t see action in week one, he had two carries in week two. Last week he saw significant action in the second half of the Pats game against the Bills. Ridley ran for 42 yards on six carries and added an 8-yard catch. The Pats still have BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Danny Woodhead in the running back rotation, but Ridley has earned his share of carries. If you have room for him, we suggest adding him. He could be the team’s primary back in a month or so — he’s just better than what New England has.
Montario Hardesty is a second-year running back for the Browns. He was taken in the second round by Cleveland last year but he tore his ACL in his first preseason game and missed the entire year. He’s back healthy and acted as Cleveland’s primary back week three with Peyton Hillis out sick, going for over 100 total yards. Hillis will be back, but Hardesty was so impressive in his first start that he almost assuredly has earned a timeshare with the Madden cover boy. We loved Hardesty’s physical running style in college and were impressed by his ability to break tackles. The talent is there, the Browns have a good enough line, and Hardesty will get enough carries to be a passable bye week fill-in on your fantasy team. Don’t expect the same production in week four as Hillis will likely be back, but 10 touches is possible.