Ahmad Bradshaw: How Giants RB's Injury Impacts His Fantasy Value

Mike ShiekmanFeatured ColumnistSeptember 29, 2012

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 05:  running back Ahmad Bradshaw #44 of the New York Giants scores a touchdown in the third quarter past free safety Gerald Sensabaugh #43 of the Dallas Cowboys during the 2012 NFL season opener at MetLife Stadium on September 5, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

Ahmad Bradshaw will likely play Sunday night against the Philadelphia Eagles with a bulging disk injury.

For Bradshaw fantasy owners, it's short term returns, mixed with long term uncertainty. Selling high on the New York Giants starting tailback is wise before he's splitting carries with his backups.

A spinal cord or neck injury is not what owners want in their fantasy running back. First off, the injury doesn't just go away; it stays inflamed for weeks, even months. Here's what Bradshaw had to say about his current condition (via ESPN New York):

They can't do anything, just let it heal, it is pretty much like an inflamed disk. And it is just sitting right on the spinal cord I guess, and the swelling went down and I feel fine now. There are no setbacks, no problems.

Scary though for fantasy owners. Giants Head Coach Tom Coughlin and the coaching staff would surely rather have a healthy Bradshaw down the stretch than in their early season matchup. That doesn't bode well for his fantasy prospects.

In addition, Bradshaw hasn't suffered any contact since the injury in Week 2, so he can't even tell if the bulging disk will be a bigger problem once he gets hit.

Running backs get hit on every play; the position may be the most contact-driven in the league.

Therefore, if my fantasy starter has a neck injury that may hinder him for the rest of the season, I'm getting off this horse and finding a younger one.

Wouldn't a back with more upside be a better fantasy player long term? Mikel Leshoure or Stevan Ridley come to mind.

Lastly, Bradshaw has more to worry about other than his injury. Backup RB Andre Brown came into the lineup against Carolina and filled in quite admirably, with over 100 yards and two touchdowns.

The Giants won't be afraid to give the ball to Brown for tough yards, as he provides a nice between-the-tackles option opposite Bradshaw. If he can continue his blistering pace, that also means less carries for Bradshaw going forward.

In a span of two weeks, Ahmad Bradshaw has become a problem fantasy RB. Time to get off the No. 44 train and cut costs while he still has value.

To read more about the potential of Bradshaw's injury, click here.


Mike Shiekman is a Breaking News Writer for Bleacher Report. He is also a fantasy football junkie who likes Mikel Leshoure as a fantasy starter. Follow him on Twitter @The RealShiek