Felix Jones and Phillip Tanner: Updated Fantasy Football Outlook, Analysis

John RozumCorrespondent IOctober 14, 2012

ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 23:   Felix Jones #28 of the Dallas Cowboys at Cowboys Stadium on September 23, 2012 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

It's time to make some fantasy football changes with the injury to DeMarco Murray of the Dallas Cowboys.

According to Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com:

Felix Jones and DeMarco Murray left the Dallas Cowboys' 31-29 loss against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday.

Murray, who did not return, suffered a sprained left foot, and Jones, who was suffering from cramps, later returned.

With that, let's break down the fantasy implications of Felix Jones and Phillip Tanner of Big D's offense.

Felix Jones

Jones is definitely the best ball-carrier for the Cowboys after Murray.

Against the Baltimore Ravens, Jones gained 92 yards on 18 attempts and scored on a 22-yard scamper.

Jones is certainly the most talented and well-established back after Murray as he accounted for almost 800 total yards in 2011. Not to mention the 1,250 total yards he racked up in 2010. Only 25 years old, Jones remains a great No. 2 back in the NFL and has proven to be consistently reliable when healthy.

We also have to think about Dallas' passing attack. For as inconsistent as Tony Romo and his receivers can be at times, the Cowboys present excellent talent to explode on any day. And because of that presence, the ground game has the potential to produce each week.

Jones is a dual-threat when given the opportunity to contribute and he's worthy of at least a flex spot with No. 2 back potential.

Phillip Tanner

Phillip Tanner is in his second season and it's not surprising that he hasn't made a significant impact entering Week 6.

That, however, came to a change when Tanner gained 31 yards on nine attempts against the Ravens. By no means was this indicative of fantasy dominance, but his potential impact does provide Dallas with more dependability in the backfield.

As for fantasy, Tanner is at best a backup flex option. The Cowboys are still a pass-oriented offense and Jones is the better every down option. Not to mention Tanner and Jones are roughly the same size, so there's no distinct advantage in feeding Tanner near the goal line.

Impact of Schedule

There aren't too many stellar rush defenses Dallas will face as the 2012 NFL season progresses.

Up next are the Carolina Panthers and outside of the NFC East, Big D faces the Atlanta Falcons, Cleveland Browns, Cincinnati Bengals, Pittsburgh Steelers and New Orleans Saints. Yes, the AFC North has lacked against the run and the Cowboys must use it more.

After all, Dallas did rack up 227 rushing yards against Baltimore and the Steelers haven't been much better at stopping the run in 2012. Regardless of whom lines up in the backfield Jason Garrett must slam more between the tackles.

It will help the Cowboys control the game tempo better and certainly take pressure off Romo in setting up the pass. Dallas simply wasn't balanced enough entering Week 6, but the running backs have proven to possess talented depth.

Jones is obviously the better option after Murray, so look for his snap count to increase if Murray remains out.

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