With Week 8 of the 2012 NFL season already upon us, it’s time to decipher which injured stars will have their fantasy season derailed this week and must find their way to your bench.
Huge fantasy options like Trent Richardson and Felix Jones have been listed as questionable for this week, but will likely see some serious playing time.
The problem is that injuries could force these returning stars back to the bench before they can be effective.
If you are a fantasy owner of any of the following players, be sure to sit these players on the bench this week and until each star proves he is back to 100 percent.
Felix Jones, RB, Dallas Cowboys
With Felix Jones winning the starting job after DeMarco Murray (foot) was injured, the veteran back has been unable to stay healthy enough to capitalize on his opportunity.
Jones comes into Week 8 listed as questionable with nagging knee bruise (h/t Calvin Watkins of ESPN Dallas), but is expected to start for the Cowboys. If you own Jones in your fantasy league, do not start him.
With injuries hampering his play, Dallas will have Jones splitting the carries with Phillip Tanner against the New York Giants’ tough run defense. If Sunday’s game turns into a shootout like many are expecting, look for Jones to see around 14 carries for 44 yards and no touchdowns.
Donald Brown, RB, Indianapolis Colts
Even with the game-time decision tag on his head (h/t Phil Richards of the Indianapolis Star), Indianapolis Colts running back Donald Brown fully practiced Friday and should play.
Just because he is back on the field for the Colts, though, doesn’t mean Brown and his injured knee should be in your fantasy lineup.
Brown should be benched in Week 8.
When Brown was healthy, there was no question that he was the team’s primary back, but the young star hasn’t taken advantage of the situation. The Colts RB has not passed 100 yards rushing in any game this season and only has one touchdown.
Add in the fact that Brown is coming back after missing two weeks of action, and fantasy owners should avoid starting the Indianapolis runner unless absolutely necessary (i.e. bye weeks, other injuries).
Trent Richardson, RB, Cleveland Browns
As much as this one hurts to say—as I own T-Rich in several leagues—rookie sensation Trent Richardson has been seriously hampered by his rib injury, and the Cleveland Browns are foolish to let him play Sunday, per Adam Schefter.
Cleveland is obviously not going anywhere, so letting their future franchise star risk further injury in a meaningless game is silly.
As a fantasy owner, though, you don’t have to make the same mistake.
With only eight yards on eight rushing attempts, Richardson was the shell of himself in Week 7, and the same should be expected against San Diego’s hard-hitting run defense this week. Unless you have no other choice, sit the Browns rookie in your fantasy league.
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