After sustaining a foot injury in the Jacksonville Jaguars' Week 7 loss to the Oakland Raiders, Maurice Jones-Drew is out for Week 8, and likely a lot longer, and he is taking a lot of fantasy points with him.
Jaguars.com's John Oehser tweeted out the following update.
MJD (foot) is probably going to be out an extended period. Mularkey says will be out Sunday. #kaguars— John Oehser (@JohnOehser) October 22, 2012
It shouldn't be too long before more is known about the injury, but it is already time to start planning for the worst. MJD's season could be over.
So here are some names, that are available on most waiver wires, to help ease the sting of MJD's injury.
Rashad Jennings, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars
Jennings is the logical place to start as he is going to fill the void left by MJD in real football. Jennings will not be an easy get. He will likely be the most added player this week.
This is an extremely competent backup. He can break off big runs, and he is a good receiver out of the backfield.
However, the Jaguars' offense is terrible. They have no passing game and defenses have, and will, stack the box to stop the run.
Still, Jennings should put up solid production. Going into Week 6, MJD was averaging 81.6 rushing yards per game. Jennings will be able to produce close to that, and he adds nice value with his receiving skills.
He should be considered a decent No. 2 fantasy back while MJD is unable to play.
LaRod Stephens-Howling, RB, Arizona Cardinals
I'm not sure how long the diminutive Stephens-Howling can handle getting 24 touches like he did last week against the Minnesota Vikings, but he is worth riding until we find out.
The fourth-year back went off against a solid Vikings' defense for 149 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown.
In that game, Stephens-Howling had 20 carries and he looked every bit the every-down back that few thought he could be. We all knew he was threat in the passing game, and he will continue to be going forward.
The Cardinals' backfield has been decimated by injuries, so Arizona should be more than happy to ride Stephens-Howling while he is hot and healthy.
Stephens-Howling is still a bit of a risk, as his role is not clearly defined, and he is going against the tough 49ers defense this week, but fantasy owners could do a lot worse with their flex option than him.
Jonathan Dwyer, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers
This one comes with a big caveat. Dwyer's value is next to nothing if Rashard Mendenhall is able to play.
Last week, the Steelers were without Mendenhall and Isaac Redman and Dwyer went off for 122 yards on 17 carries.
The health of Redman will also effect Dwyer's status, but with his strong rushing last game, I'd still expect Dwyer to get plenty of action if Redman is healthy.
The Steelers will be going against the Redskins this week, and Washington has actually been tough against opposing running backs as they are allowing just 85.3 rushing yards per game and an average of 14.1 standard-scoring fantasy points to running backs.
Again, the status of Mendenhall has to be monitored here, but if he is not able to go, Dwyer deserves consideration for a flex start.