Disappointment surrounding running back situations in the NFL ruled the day on the Friday before Week 10. Doug Martin (torn labrum) is officially out for the season after being placed on Injured Reserve. Both Darren McFadden (hamstring) and Arian Foster (back) were ruled out. Foster has been a big first-round bust this year and may be facing the possibility of season-ending surgery for a disc problem.
However you slice it, many of you may be running thin on RB options for your fantasy football squad. Hopefully you took my advice last week on a couple under-the-radar backs coming into more PT.
Mike James, Ben Tate and Rashad Jennings are probably already owned in your league. Digging deeper, I offer a couple options for the desperate managers:
Joique Bell, Detroit Lions: OK, so Bell is owned in the majority of leagues (64 percent in Yahoo! leagues), but I'm bringing him up mainly as a solid Week 10 play.
Ring the Bell this weekend
The Chicago Bears have been atrocious stopping the run since losing several key starters on the D-line, and now it's unlikely that Shea McClellin will play this weekend. Da Bears are allowing 111.4 rushing yards per game this year and 1.13 rushing touchdowns.
Reggie Bush gashed Chicago in their first matchup, and Detroit is already licking their chops for another chance to run them to death. If Bell is available and you're in need, don't hesitate.
Dennis Johnson, Houston Texans: With Foster out, Ben Tate is the guy. But he's playing through several cracked ribs and will need rest. Johnson, who was just signed last week off the Cleveland Browns practice squad, had eight carries for 36 yards against the Indianapolis Colts.
He's running on fresh legs and looks explosive enough to be considered for fantasy purposes, especially if Foster winds up missing the rest of the year. Johnson is owned in only five percent of Yahoo! leagues. Deji Karim may factor in, as well.
Andre Brown, New York Giants: This a friendly public service announcement reminding everyone to run a last minute sweep through their league's waiver wire for Brown, if you haven't done so already. He'll make his season debut in Week 11 after suffering a broken leg in preseason.
Peyton Hillis is expected to get the majority of work against the Oakland Raiders, but Brown will be mixed in and should become a force down the stretch and just in time for the fake football playoffs. He needs to be owned everywhere. David Wilson (neck) is done for the year, so he won't get in the way when Brown is ready for a full load.
Brian Leonard, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: James has looked good for the Bucs in Martin's absence, but PPR gamers should take notice of Leonard. He's had 10 receptions and 80 yards in the last two contests, including six rushes for 27 yards on the ground against stout defenses in the Carolina Panthers and Seattle Seahawks the past two weeks.
Leonard is widely available (owned in one percent of Yahoo! leagues). He's a desperation play, but what happens if James gets hurt? He should see more action in the Monday night tilt against the Miami Dolphins.
About Keith Hernandez
Keith, an editor with KFFL, joined the team as a Hot off the Wire analyst in 2008 and has been playing fantasy sports since 2005. He is involved in MLB, NFL and NASCAR content. He graduated from the University of California-San Diego in 2005 with a B.A. in Communications and was a four-year starter as a member of the baseball program.
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