Malcolm Brown, Darrell Henderson Fantasy Outlook After Todd Gurley's Quad Injury

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistOctober 12, 2019

Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley looks on from the sideline during the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the Los Angeles Rams Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

The Los Angeles Rams' backfield could once again be in flux after running back Todd Gurley was ruled out of Sunday's contest against the San Francisco 49ers

Per ESPN's Lindsey Thiry, a Rams spokesperson said Gurley's thigh contusion will prevent him from playing in Week 6. 

As the team navigates things without its star running back, let's examine the potential fantasy football value of Malcolm Brown and Darrell Henderson as they could be thrust into the spotlight.

            

Malcolm Brown

Brown has been with the Rams since signing as an undrafted free agent in 2015. He was buried on the depth chart across his first four seasons with the organization, however, tallying just 128 carries for 514 yards and one touchdown across 40 appearances.

Any type of long-term absence for Gurley could present him with a breakout opportunity. Brown is averaging more yards per carry (4.4) than the three-time Pro Bowler (4.2) this season, and he's scored two touchdowns on 26 carries.

The 26-year-old University of Texas product figures to handle a majority of the early-down and short-yardage work at the outset. He's got a hard-nosed style that will work between the tackles, especially since the coaching staff probably won't want to overwork Henderson.

Brown doesn't have a ton of upside, but his usage combined with taking on a headline role in one of the league's most prolific offenses should make him a solid No. 2 fantasy rusher for the time being. He should be a starter except against the toughest rush defenses.

         

Darrell Henderson

Henderson, while his exact role is uncertain, figures to generate more buzz because his fantasy potential is higher than Brown's. He has experience as a three-down workhorse at the University of Memphis and may eventually fill the same void for the Rams.

The 2019 third-round pick may be eased into a larger role if Gurley is sidelined, though. He'll likely inherit third-down duties and other passing situations, but the rookie will receive a smaller chunk of the other snaps. So the downside of getting his touchdowns vultured is concerning.

Rams head coach Sean McVay has used Henderson sparingly through the first five games in 2019 with just one carry and zero yards from scrimmage. 

Ultimately, it's hard to argue in favor of using a high waiver claim on Henderson in leagues where he's on the free-agent market. He could become an asset by season's end, especially with Gurley's lingering injury issues. But he probably won't be an every-week fantasy starter right away.


Need more help with your fantasy football lineup? Matt Camp solves your fantasy problems live on B/R Gridiron's new show, Your Fantasy Fire Drill. Download the B/R app now to submit your questions and tune in every Sunday at 11:30 a.m. ET.

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