Donald Brown didn't practice on Tuesday, and he's listed as questionable on the Indianapolis Colts' injury report (h/t NFL.com)—not a good omen for fantasy football owners hoping to play him in Week 10.
No practice for Donald Brown today. Vick Ballard could be a nice sleeper vs. the Jags on Thursday night.— Michael Fabiano (@Michael_Fabiano) November 6, 2012
Brown came back to play in Week 8 against the Tennessee Titans after missing two weeks with minor knee surgery but missed the team's last game against the Miami Dolphins after team doctors discovered some "minor swelling" in his surgically-repaired knee (h/t AP).
Rookie Vick Ballard will take over if Brown isn't able to go on Thursday Night Football against the Jacksonville Jaguars. The way he's been coming on strong of late, coupled with Brown's nagging knee injury, could prove to be the undoing of Brown as a viable fantasy running back in 2012.
Ballard has proven to be an excellent, consistent player the past three weeks for the Colts with Brown ailing. He's a sure-handed receiver out of the backfield, and when he sees a hole develop in the running game, he bursts through with surprising quickness.
Even when Brown returns and is 100-percent healthy, Ballard will likely see plenty of snaps. This means that Brown is teetering on the edge of being expendable from a fantasy perspective.
At the least, you shouldn't even think about starting Brown in Week 10.
Beyond that, he's worth stashing on your bench if you have that luxury, but if you need his roster spot to be productive, it's time to look elsewhere for your points.