Darren Sproles: Replacement Options for the Saints' RB Moving Forward

Mike ShiekmanFeatured ColumnistNovember 4, 2012

METAIRIE, LA - MAY 24:  Darren Sproles #43 of the New Orleans Saints practices during OTA's with teammate Pierre Thomas #23 at the Saints Training Facility on May 24, 2012 in Metairie, Louisiana.  (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Sean Gardner/Getty Images

Fantasy owners who lost out on Darren Sproles have come to the right place.

The lightning-quick Saints back will miss four to six weeks with a broken hand, as Adam Schefter reported Saturday:

Darren Sproles' recovery from hand surgery expected to be 4 to 6 weeks, team sources say, though there is some optimism for earlier return.

— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 3, 2012

If Sproles stays on the sidelines for the normal recovery period, that’ll likely make him a non-factor until fantasy playoff time. There may be no point in stashing him on your fantasy bench either, seeing as his numbers this season have regressed.

Let’s take a look at some replacement options for Sproles for short- and long-term scenarios.


Immediate Replacement: Isaac Redman (Owned in 47 Percent of Yahoo! Leagues)

Redman runs the ball a lot like Jason Bourne: He's not a flashy rusher, but he’s a powerful load to handle. In a Steeler offense that can be pass happy, Redman can make plays catching passes; he’s the only Steelers running back to have a 100-yard receiving day this season.

While the Giants defense has their hands full with Ben Roethlisberger, Redman will be able to make an impact out of the backfield. Pittsburgh commits to the run even if there aren’t many holes. Furthermore, Redman will get close to 20 carries and several red zone opportunities to score.

Sounds good enough to warrant a fantasy play.


Pierre Thomas (Owned in 68 Percent of Yahoo! Leagues)

Rule of thumb if your fantasy player goes down: Always look for his backups first.

Even though Pierre Thomas may split carries, there’s a huge void in the passing game with Sproles out of the lineup. Thomas serves as the perfect fill-in as he has history making beautiful fantasy magic with Drew Brees before.

“The Frenchman” should be a low RB2 option this Monday against Philadelphia and beyond.


Donald Brown (Owned in 62 Percent of Yahoo! Leagues)

Brown will likely not play against Miami this week, leaving some fantasy owners scrambling for a last-minute pickup in Week 9.

As a result, Brown will be a likely casualty drop on the waiver wire, leaving Sproles’ owners a chance to pick him up. The Colts tailback hasn’t had the flashiest of seasons but gets the majority of the touches in his offense.

With potential goal-line carries for the taking as well, owners can sit comfortably with Brown knowing he’ll have chances every week to shine.


Mike Shiekman is a Breaking News Writer for Bleacher Report. He loves giving fantasy advice and the NFL RedZone. Follow him on Twitter @TheRealShiek