Fantasy Football Week 8: Michael Bush and 5 TD Targets You Must Play

Eric Ball@@BigLeagueEballFeatured ColumnistOctober 25, 2011

Fantasy Football Week 8: Michael Bush and 5 TD Targets You Must Play

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    Week 7 was brutal for running back injuries.

    Darren McFadden sprained his foot, Tim Hightower tore his ACL, Beanie Wells hurt his knee, Willis McGahee broke his hand, Earnest Graham tore his ACL, and Marshawn Lynch continues to deal with back issues.

    It’s hard to stay healthy in the NFL, and in the fantasy world that means one simple question…who's up next?

    Here are five backs to help ease the pain of all the injuries the NFL has thrown in our direction.

1. Ryan Torain, RB, Washington Redskins

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    Mike Shanahan must really hate fantasy football.

    He has tricked us three weeks in a row with who is the man in Washington…Hightower or Torain.

    Now that Hightower has been lost for the season, there is no more guessing games: Torain is the man.

    The only other time we could say that, he ran wild for 135 yards and a touchdown.

    Roy Helu will likely collect a handful of carries per game, but this is officially Torain’s spot for the remainder of the season, great news considering how run-orientated the ‘Skins will be now that they officially know their QBs stink. 

2. Delone Carter, RB, Indianapolis Colts

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    With 10 carries in Sunday night’s massacre against the Saints, Carter was able to put up an ultra-impressive 89 yards and a touchdown.

    At 5'9", 225 pounds, this speedy back is tough to tackle.

    With the health status of Joseph Addai constantly in flux and Donald Brown proven not to be nearly as effective, expect Carter to get the bulk of the carries for the foreseeable future.

    Anything to keep the ball out of Curtis Painter’s hand. 

3. Michael Bush, RB, Oakland Raiders

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    The Raiders' bye week couldn’t have come at a better time. Aside from giving Carson Palmer more time, it will allow McFadden more time to heel his sprained foot.

    Regardless, I think Bush is worth starting for the remainder of the season. With Palmer under center, the run-heavy Raiders are going to up the ante even more.

    Bush is the goal-line back already and was able to collect 99 yards on the ground in McFadden’s absence against the Chiefs.

    If Run-DMC misses a game, Bush is a top-five overall play. Yet even if McFadden returns in time for their next game, Bush is still worth a start because of his goal-line success (three TDs on the season). 

4. Jackie Battle, RB, Kansas City Chiefs

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    Battle put up over 100 yards and a touchdown in his first start, but I was still skeptical.

    Even with the ACL injury to Jamaal Charles, the Chiefs still had Thomas Jones and Dexter McCluster to make Battle irrelevant for fantasy owners.

    After rushing for 76 yards on 16 carries against the Raiders, this guy is drifting more towards must-start-every-week status.

    The two other backs didn’t have nearly the production, and it’s clear the Chiefs prefer to run the ball early and often. They currently average 30 attempts per game. 

5. Bernard Scott, RB, Cincinnati Bengals

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    He is a must-start in Week 8 against the highly touted Seahawks run defense because of the one-game suspension of Cedric Benson.

    Scott has plenty of talent, but doesn’t have the body type to endure the rigors of 20 to 25 carries per game over the course of 16 games.

    For one game, he’s a must-start. His agility and ability to spin out of tackles make him capable of busting off a huge run at any given time.

    He isn’t going to be putting up huge numbers once Benson comes back, but for one week he is a must-start. 

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