Nov 17,2009

Banged up and laid out… Five RBs down for the count

Wow. What a bruising Week 10. So many injuries! Not even the cameramen were safe from stuffage. Even I felt the need to chase a few Vicodin with a glass (or three) of wine. You know, in the name of solidarity (and all around drunkenness).

All kidding aside, five of the league’s starting backs went out with injuries. We’ll have a better idea as to the degree of these injuries as the week continues, but for now keep an eye on the following players.

Brian Westbrook:
This vet RB took (another) bad blow to the head in the second half of Philly’s 23-31 loss in San Diego. Considering this is his second concussion in less than a month, I think he’s going to be out indefinitely.

Ronnie Brown:
Brown limped off the field in the third quarter of Miami’s two point win over Tampa Bay. After the game, he was spotted on crutches. Luckily, the injury was limited to the right ankle and didn’t aggravate his surgically repaired right knee. He is not expected to play on Thursday against Carolina.

Cedric Benson:
The surprise fantasy stud was pulled in the second quarter of Sunday’s game with a strained hip. He did not return after halftime and it’s still unclear if he’ll be good to go next Sunday against the Raiders.

Michael Turner:
He went out with a high ankle sprain in Sunday’s loss to Carolina. Numerous news sources are reporting that Turner’s sprain isn’t severe enough to end his season, but he’s not likely to start for Week 11.

Julius Jones:
Initial reports stated that Jones had bleeding in his lung due to a broken rib. However, we’ve now learned that a bruised chest is what caused the bleeding and his early departure from the University of Phoenix Stadium on Sunday. His return is currently uncertain, but I’ve got a feeling after the way Justin Forsett performed, Jones will be taking a seat regardless of his health.

Great, a bunch of top earners got hurt. Wonderful. What does that mean for your fantasy team, and what do you do now? Well, you take a look at each player’s back-up and then decide what it means for your fantasy team.

LeSean McCoy:
Chances are McCoy was picked up as a handcuff to the injury prone Westbrook in the majority of drafts. If, by chance, he’s available in your league then absolutely scoop him up. With the rest of Westbrook’s season uncertain, he’s a no brainer RB2.

Ricky Williams:
Williams is owned in roughly 90% of most leagues. Unless all of your leaguemates were smoking the ganj, he’s probably happily sitting on someone’s bench. If that person is you, it’s time to take note of his franchise-record 21 games of 100 yards, and start him in Week 11.

Bernard Scott:
Bernard who? Well, it may not matter anyway. Rumor has it that former Kansas City toddler holdout RB Larry Johnson is in negotiations with the Bengals. Given his history, these negotiations could last a while so you might want to consider tapping Scott just in case. While his stats aren’t mind blowing (3 yards on 13 carries, 1 reception for 21 yards, and 1 score on a 96-yard kickoff return), he’s well under 10% owned in most leagues, and has break-out potential. You definitely want to handcuff this rookie. Don’t worry, he and the rest of his team are used to it.

Jason Snelling:
Personally speaking, I love this player and might even have a teeny tiny crush on him. The fact that he openly speaks about his epilepsy, creating awareness about the disease totally warms my heart. The fact that he might have to share carries with Jerious Norwood, on the other hand, cools it right back down.

Simply put, Snelling is a gamble. He looked pretty good on Sunday, finishing with 61 yards on 18 carries and a TD, but certainly didn’t put up Burner style numbers. While Norwood is still out with a strained hip flexor, there’s chatter that he could return in Week 11. If that’s the case, Snelling’s touches would obviously decrease, but I still think he’ll get most of the goal line carries and should therefore remain a viable fantasy option. Regardless, I’d proceed with caution and either hoard or flex this butterfly-inducing back.

Justin Forsett:
I’ve saved the best for last. This fireplug of a back is fantastically quick and explosive. In Sunday’s 20-31 loss to the Cardinals, Forsett showed that he could run (racking up a career-high 123 yards and scoring a TD) and catch (five times for 26 yards). In fact, I was so impressed with his play that during the 2nd quarter of the game I made a move to pick him up… and to drop Mike Bell. Next week will be tough against the Vikings DEF, but I think he’ll be great in Week 12 against the Rams. I’m a believer… and you should be too.

There you have it. Now go out and destroy your waiver wire. Hurry, you only have a few more hours left!