Ahmad Bradshaw: Giants RB Is Risky Fantasy Play vs. Cowboys in Week 8

Ian Hanford@Ian_HanfordFeatured ColumnistOctober 24, 2012

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - OCTOBER 14:  Running back Ahmad Bradshaw #44 of the New York Giants carries the ball against the San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick Park on October 14, 2012 in San Francisco, California.  The Giants won 26-3.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

A healthy Ahmad Bradshaw creates a favorable fantasy matchup versus the Dallas Cowboys' 15th-ranked rushing defense, especially with Cowboys middle linebacker Sean Lee out for the season (per CBS Sports' Nick Eatman).

However, according to Star-Ledger reporter Jenny Vrentas, Bradshaw may not be 100 percent on Sunday:

Bradshaw will be held out again with a foot injury that flared up in the 49ers game when he said his foot was stepped on. Coughlin hopes Bradshaw will be able to practice Thursday, but this is the start of a once-a-week practice habit Coughlin said they did not want to restart with Bradshaw.

Bradshaw hasn't been ruled out of Sunday's game, but anything less than full strength will open the door for others. The Giants have a tough stretch of games coming up—with Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and Green Bay looming. Having Bradshaw healthy for the long-term could be a bigger priority than risking a minor injury on Sunday.

There's no doubt that the Giants want to beat their NFC East rivals, but Bradshaw has players behind him on the depth chart who can do some damage themselves. That doesn't bode well for fantasy owners who have Bradshaw on their roster.

Frustrating situations usually pop up in fantasy land this time of year. Day-to-day, nagging injuries become more frequent, and the word "questionable" starts to sound like fingernails on a chalkboard.

Bradshaw's status could drastically improve if he does manage to practice on Thursday. This does look like a game-time decision/questionable-type situation, but that's just speculation.

If Andre Brown or David Wilson are available on your waiver wire, you may want to consider adding them to your group. If you're a Bradshaw owner, the comfort of a handcuff could really do you some good right now.

Bradshaw has nearly 500 yards and four touchdowns this season, giving the Giants' run game the shot in the arm it needed after last season's pathetic production. But he's not going to help anyone if he's limping around the field.

Because the Giants have other options, expect Tom Coughlin to approach this with caution. Don't do anything crazy—like drop Bradshaw—but keep an eye on him throughout the next few days.

Playing him against Dallas isn't out of the question on Sunday, but you're going to have to sweat this one out.

The Cowboys' run defense could struggle in its first game without Lee commanding the middle. Hopefully, for Bradshaw owners, he's in there to exploit it.