It was a rough week on the fantasy football injury front with a handful of quality running backs going down for an as yet unspecified amount of time, including Michael Turner, Cedric Benson, Ronnie Brown, and Brian Westbrook.
One man's downfall is another man's opportunity, though. That is football and that is fantasy football for you. Here is a sample of players moving up and down in value after Week 10.
Jason Snelling , Falcons: Meet fantasy football’s Pickup of the Week, provided of course that Michael Turner misses a few games with the dreaded high ankle sprain. Of course, he might just have a normal ankle sprain which is far less serious.
Cardinals receiver Anquan Boldin missed only one game with a high ankle sprain and wasn’t at full health a couple of other games but the injury is of more concern to running backs.
I expect Turner to miss at least a week and likely more and Snelling has looked very good with the limited opportunities he has received this season—4.9 yards per carry, 9.4 yards per reception, and two touchdowns on 51 touches. It also doesn’t hurt that the Falcons have found their running game over the last four weeks.
Chris Wells , Cardinals: Looks like Wells MAY finally have taken over the lead role in Arizona with his 85-yard, two touchdown performance this week against the Seahawks. The 32 receiving yards were just gravy.
Wells is a punishing runner and his presence may be what’s required to force opposing defenses out of the cover two look that the Cardinals have been facing all season and which has reduced their ability to make big plays in the passing game. Wells hasn’t been used much this season and his fresh legs might yield big time production over the balance of the regular season.
Kurt Warner , Larry Fitzgerald , Anquan Boldin , and Steve Breaston , Cardinals: I said two weeks ago that the Cards had a schedule that featured sad sack pass defenses the rest of the way. Since the Carolina debacle, they have scored eight touchdowns in two games. If Wells can jump start the running game, it will only add to the team’s production in the passing game.
Ricky Williams , Dolphins: Williams was already a low-end RB2 depending on the match-up as well as a solid flex play, but he moves into high-end RB2 status with Ronnie Brown expected to miss at least a week with an ankle injury. Opportune timing given that there are some struggling run defenses ahead on the schedule. Grab this guy if you can. You will be rewarded.
Larry Johnson , Bengals: As I said above, there were significant injuries this week at running back and L.J. was just picked up the Bengals. There are no guarantees that he will supplant Bernard Scott as Cedric Benson's backup and Brian Leonard is the team's 3rd down back. Nonetheless, it says here that if Benson were to be out for a significant period, L.J. would move into the starter's role due to his experience.
Bill Belichick, Patriots: Bill, was the hood pulled down too far over your head last night? Please tell me you really thought it was third down. Otherwise, you’re seriously losing it. Really. And just a quick reminder that a one yard pass when you need two yards—not exactly a good idea.
Michael Turner , Falcons: Potential high ankle sprain means big time worries for Turner owners. MRI results should be released today or Tuesday so act accordingly. It might be time to start working the phones for a replacement.
Ronnie Brown , Dolphins: He has an ankle injury, he was on crutches after the game, and the Dolphins play on Thursday in Carolina. He’s almost certainly out this week and potentially for several games if he has a high ankle sprain.
Brian Westbrook , Eagles: In his first game since suffering a concussion three weeks ago, Westbrook left this week’s game against the Chargers with another concussion. At this point, Westbrook’s season is in serious jeopardy with an outside chance that his career may be over.
Cedric Benson , Bengals: Benson has had a remarkable comeback season and has provided his fantasy owners with incredible value, until he went out this week against the Steelers with 22 yards rushing due to a hip injury. He’s expected to be fine for next week but this type of injury could reduce his effectiveness or knock him out again during a game.
Not Sold Yet
Reggie Bush , Saints: Nice stat line for Bush this week with a touchdown on the ground and in the air as well as 98 total yards. However, here is what is more relevant: He hasn’t topped 100 total yards yet this season, and this was only his second double digit fantasy points game of the season and it came against the lowly Rams.
His success is based solely on touchdowns (six in nine games) and guys who average 9.3 touches and 53 yards a game don’t generally get touchdowns in two out of every three games.
Dave Stringer is the head fantasy football contributor at MyOfficePool.ca . For a copy of the full article, click here. Check his weekly articles and player projections to help manage your team to the championship.