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If it’s not one thing, it’s likely another. That’s how the Cowboys’ season has gone in 2012, and the injury bug may be nipping at their heels again. DeMarco Murray left Sunday’s contest with a left foot sprain, and although X-rays were negative, he’ll likely be on the shelf this week.
With Murray sidelined, Jones carved up a good Baltimore defense to the tune of 92 yards on 18 carries. He found the end zone once, but also left the game for a short period with cramping. Still, Jones ran well, and if Murray’s injury is enough to hold him out of the team’s Week 7 game against the Panthers, Jones would be an excellent handcuff. Carolina is allowing 4.4 yards per carry to opposing backs.
Production prediction: 16 touches, 94 total yards, one touchdown
Trent Richardson exited the game Sunday against the Bengals with a rib injury, though Richardson failed to get much going before that. He had 14 carries for 37 yards, which may be why Pat Shurmur relied on Hardesty to shoulder the workload while Richardson stood on the sidelines with a “probable” return status.
Hardesty has been disappointing since being drafted in the second round of the 2010 draft. He ran well on Sunday, though, and could see the bulk of Cleveland’s carries in Week 7 against the Colts if Richardson can’t go. It’s still very early, so monitor Richardson’s “day-to-day” status as the week progresses. If T-Rich isn’t 100 percent, Hardesty could have a big day against a poor Indianapolis defense.
Production prediction: 17 touches, 74 total yards, one touchdown
Richardson seems to have worked his way into an even share of the workload in St. Louis. Steven Jackson has not been as productive as he once was, and Richardson’s fresh legs and 5.2 per-carry average is reason enough to pick him up.
Richardson was drafted in the seventh round by the Rams this year. He’s a much smaller back (5’10”, 196 lbs.) than Jackson, which works in his favor in the Rams’ backfield. His running style is a perfect complement to Jackson’s bruising rushing attack, and Richardson should continue to see plenty of work as the season continues. Stash him on your bench and hope he continues to impress, but don’t be afraid to play Richardson in deep leagues moving forward.
Production prediction: 14 touches, 87 total yards
Many of you asked last week whom to target on the waiver wire at the running back position, and Powell was my best answer. If he’s still available this week, don’t waste any time. Go get him.
Powell had 14 touches for 78 yards on Sunday against the Bills, and he should continue to see plenty of work this season with Ryan Williams on IR and Beanie Wells out for at least another month. LaRod Stephens-Howling was a popular add last week, but he’s averaging just one yard per carry this season. Powell is the much better option, and if you’re in need of a running back, pluck him off the waiver wire before someone else does.
Production prediction: 16 touches, 91 total yards, one touchdown
It’s been a long time since the Packers’ running game was anything with which to be impressed. Aaron Rodgers is slinging the ball around as well as anyone in the league, and Green Bay doesn’t really need much of a rushing attack to put up gobs of points.
Still, Green is getting his share of opportunities with Cedric Benson sidelined. He got 22 carries against the Texans on Sunday night, though many of them came in garbage time when the Packers were trying to run out the clock. If your running back situation is in dire straits, grab Green off waivers. Just don’t expect him to make or break your fantasy season.
Production prediction: 18 touches, 72 total yards