A few high profile RBs (AP and MJD) will be sipping Dom P on their recliners this week which means some of you might be forced to patrol the waiver wire in search of replacements.
WEEK 9 BYEs: Detroit, Carolina, Minnesota, Jacksonville.
Many bumps and bruises to monitor heading into week 9. Darren McFadden (foot), Ahmad Bradshaw (foot), Willis Mcgahee (hand), Peyton Hillis (hamstring) and Felix Jones (ankle) will also likely be listed as questionable heading into this Sunday. In Big D, head coach Jason Garrett has hinted at a RBBC once Felix returns so the clock is ticking for Demarco Murray owners to get value for him in a trade (sell high !!).
This week we profile a few RBs that could provide adequate numbers if you are in need of an injury replacement or BYE week fill in. Last week we recommended Bernard Scott for his one week start but he can now be safely cut as Cedric Benson returns to the lineup after his 1-game suspension.
The former 2000 yard rusher (2009) put up yet another clunker finishing with 14 carries for 34 yards and has been consistently bad for all but one week (101 yards in week 4 against Cleveland). Conversely, 3rd year back Javon Ringer (5th round pick in 2009 out of Michigan State) finished with 102 total yards as he took over the lead role in the 4th quarter with the Titans protecting a lead. Head coach Mike Munchak announced Chris Johnson will continue to start but he also stated that they’ll go with a hot hand approach giving Ringer solid value down the stretch. On the season, the 5’9-207 pound Ringer has 35 carries for 122 yards (mediocre 3.5 YPC) and has added 16 catches for 122 yards. Poor run blocking is part of the blame for CJ2K’s brutal start but Ringer could be primed to take over a starting job as the Titans look to jump start their 32nd ranked run game (averaging only 70 YPG).
Through seven games (in a limited role), Hunter has 40 carries for 192 yards (impressive 4.8 YPC). Frank Gore has missed 10 games over the last 4 seasons making Hunter a must own handcuff . He is a dual threat much like Gore and could be a solid start if and when Gore misses a game or two. We had Hunter ranked as the #10 rookie RB but he’s climbing the charts as one of the best RBs from the 2011 draft class.
Roy Helu - (SF, @MIA, DAL, @SEA) – Despite the presence of weekly Shanahanigans – we expected the the season ending injury to Tim Hightower to clear things up. As the week 8 shutout loss to Buffalo proved – this team will be playing from behind most weeks which should lead to increased snaps for rookie Roy Helu since the coaching staff favors him in passing situations. Helu didn’t see a carry in week 8 but was still on the field more than the less than effective Ryan Torain (averaging 1.6 YPC since his one productive performance week 4 in St Louis). Rookie Roy Helu (Nebraska)was selected in the 4th round (105 overall) and began to pay dividends in week 2 as he totaled 10 carries for 74 yards and added 3 catches for 38 yards. Helu has been an afterthought since the emergence of Ryan Torain but in week 7 we had another Helu sighting as he led the Redskins backfield with 33 snaps with the Redskins in catchup mode against the Panthers (Torain had 2 carries for -5 yards). There’s no telling what Mike Shanihan 8-ball will tell him to do this week but Helu seems to be more trusted in pass protection than Ryan Torain which could very well lead to the rookie leading the backfield in snaps most weeks. The addition of Tashard Choice this week has us taking a wait and see approach before recommending starting any member of the Washingon backfield.
Chris Ogbonnaya - (@HOU, STL, JAC, @CIN) – The 3rd down specialist from the University of Texas could be in line for a spot start this week with Montario Hardesty expected to miss multiple weeks (calf injury) and Peyton Hillis continuing to battle a hamstring injury that sidelined him for week 8.
Ogbonnaya is worth considering in PPR leagues as he’s amassed 10 catches for 67 yards over the past two weeks. In week 9, the Browns face Houston (a team that cut Ogbannya in training camp so his motivation should be high despite his limited overall skill set). Even if he gets a start, temper your expectations as the Texans run defense has been solid allowing the 6th lowest fantasy PPG to opposing RBs.