Week 10 Start 'Em, Sit 'Em: 8 Injury-Plagued Studs
How does the fantasy football injury list look for Week 10? Bad, but not as bad as it could have been.
Injuries have always been the bane of fantasy football, but a smart owner can work around even the toughest of injuries.
Still, 2011 has been pretty brutal to owners. First, it was Peyton Manning. Then it was Jamaal Charles. Now? It's a gathering of above-average running backs/wide receivers whose injuries are still lingering.
Considering their injuries, who is safe to start for Week 10 and who should you sit? Let's take a look.
Start 'Em: Frank Gore
Frank Gore suffered a sprained ankle midway through Sunday's win in Washington but continued to play. After the game Gore was obviously hurting, but luckily for him (and the 49ers' winning streak) X-rays came up negative.
Both Gore and head coach Jim Harbaugh said that Gore was fine, while Harbaugh told the Sacramento Bee that "He's feeling like Frank."
And that is excellent news for 49ers fans and Gore's fantasy owners. Gore has rushed for five straight games of over 100 yards, and the Giants, who play the 49ers in San Francisco on Sunday, give up the 24th-most rushing yards per game with 127.1 a contest on the ground.
Sit 'Em: Darren McFadden
Darren McFadden sat out Week 9 against the Broncos in hopes that he would be able to start Thursday against the Chargers.
But McFadden has already been ruled out of the contest against San Diego, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. His sprained foot was supposed to have healed enough over the Raiders' bye week, but it looks like it's more serious than Oakland expected.
If he's available, an excellent replacement for McFadden would be his own teammate, Michael Bush.
Start 'Em: Ryan Mathews
On the flip side from McFadden, San Diego's Ryan Mathews is very likely to play on Thursday. He practiced on Tuesday and it seems that his groin injury, which kept him out of Week 9, won't keep him down against Oakland.
It's good news for Chargers fans, especially considering the Broncos carved up the Raiders for 299 rushing yards on Sunday. If you have Mathews, definitely start him because even if he doesn't play every snap he will get his yards.
Sit 'Em: Peyton Hillis
Peyton Hillis has already been ruled out for Week 10, continuing one of the more disappointing runs of the 2011 fantasy season.
Hillis was expected back sooner than this, but re-injured his hamstring last week in practice. That ruled him out of the Browns' Week 9 loss to Houston and will definitely keep him out this week.
The Madden Curse has struck again and perhaps it's time for Hillis owners to start thinking about dumping him if possible.
Start 'Em: Hakeem Nicks
Hakeem Nicks wasn't able to practice Tuesday or Wednesday but the Giants are still more than hopeful that Nicks will be able to go against San Francisco on Sunday.
Even if he's not 100 percent sure to go, giving a slight gamble on Nicks is one that may defiantly pay off. The 49ers may give up the fewest amount of points in the NFL, but their pass protection is average at best.
Eli Manning will definitely need Nicks, and if he can get on the field he should see a lot of passes going his way.
Sit 'Em: Ahmad Bradshaw
Don't bench Ahmad Bradshaw simply because he missed the last two weeks due to his broken foot; bench him because of the broken foot and because he'd be facing the San Francisco run defense.
Where Nicks is a wise gamble thanks to the 49ers secondary, it would probably be wise to bench Bradshaw even if it wasn't for his foot.
The 49ers run defense is exceptionally powerful and would be hard for even a healthy Bradshaw to figure out. The 49ers have given up just 566 yards on the ground this season and have yet to give up a rushing touchdown, and it will certainly not come at the hands of a still-injured Bradshaw.
Start 'Em: Hines Ward
Hines Ward passed the concussion test this week according to ESPN and will be in the starting lineup. While his teammate Antonio Brown has been arguably better than Ward in his absence, Ward is a very safe start and should get some decent looks against the Bengals.
Cincinnati allows the ninth-fewest passing yards, but the dangerous combo of Mike Wallace/Ward could pose too big a threat for the Bengals.
Sit 'Em: Felix Jones
Felix Jones could return this week after missing three straight games with an ankle injury. The Cowboys are playing at home against Buffalo, who are ranked 19th in the league in rushing yards allowed so it could be a good chance for Jones to get back into form.
But Jones wouldn't start, and considering how great his replacement DeMarco Murray has been in his absence, it's unlikely that they would share the ball at 50/50. If you need a replacement for the oft-injured Jones, pick up Murray immediately if he's still available.