What Should Fantasy Owners Expect from Donald Brown in Week 9?

Chris TrapassoAnalyst INovember 2, 2012

Sep 23, 2012; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts running back Donald Brown (32) runs down the sidelines against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Lucas Oil Stadium. Jacksonville defeats Indianapolis 22-17.  Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE
Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE

According to Indianapolis Colts beat writer George Bremer of The Herald Bulletin, Colts running back Donald Brown didn't practice on Thursday, but he was a full participant on Friday and is officially listed as probable for the team's Week 9 matchup with the Miami Dolphins. 

After returning from a knee scope last week against the Tennessee Titans, the former UConn standout carried the ball 14 times for 80 yards with a long of 19. 

Vick Ballard entered the game as the starter and scored a miraculous game-winning touchdown in overtime, but throughout the course of the game, Brown was the more effective runner (5.7 yards per carry compared to 4.6 yards per carry). 

It's worth noting that the Titans run defense is among the most porous in the league. But the efforts from Ballard and Brown are certainly encouraging for a Colts club that's steadily improving every week. 

Brown was likely given Thursday off for an extra day of rest for his knee, and now, many fantasy owners are wondering what type of day they can expect from him against the Dolphins. 

Miami's run defense is currently tied for the league lead, allowing a mere 3.5 yards per rush on the season. Their front seven isn't loaded with superstars or household names, but it's strong, ultra-physical and is anchored by penetrating defensive tackle Randy Starks and 345-pound space-eater Paul Soliai.

Long story short, Brown won't have nearly as easy of a time or find holes as gaping against the Dolphins as he did against the Titans.

Though a healthy Brown was the team's primary feature back to start the year, Ballard played admirably and has earned around 10-15 touches as the season progresses. 

A timeshare in Indianapolis? 

Looks to be that way. 

However, Brown is more experienced and is probably the more talented runner. Don't be surprised if he garners three to five more carries and close to seven more total touches on Sunday. 

As for Brown's viability as a starter, be careful. 

This intra-conference battle should be tightly contested, so in all likelihood, the Colts won't need to abandon the run. But the Dolphins run defense is a legitimately sound unit. 

Expect Brown to total around 75 total yards, and he could be a factor in the screen game as well. Not a huge statistical performance, but nothing that'll destroy your fantasy output in Week 9.