Most fantasy football experts advised drafting running backs with your early picks this year. Not only were the positions of quarterback and wide receiver both very deep, there are fewer stud running backs than at any point in the history of fantasy football right now. We have entered an era where the “bell cow” running back who carries the full load for his team is going extinct–more and more teams are turning to the running-back-by-committee approach.
Pre-season injuries have caused the list of viable starting running backs–guys who were all but certain to get a full workload–for Week 1 to dwindle even more than it had prior to fantasy draft. Take a look at this list of running backs who look unlikely to play or, if they play, unlikely to make much of an impact this Sunday:
- Ryan Mathews. Broken clavicle. Doubtful to play.
- Trent Richardson. Returning from knee surgery. Expected to play but will be limited.
- Marshawn Lynch. Back spasms. Will be a game-time decision.
- Adrian Peterson. Returning from knee surgery. Expected to play but will be limited.
- Jonathan Stewart. Sprained ankle. Doubtful to play.
- Maurice Jones-Drew. Returning from prolonged holdout. Expected to be limited.
- Rashard Mendenhall. Returning from knee surgery. Doubtful to play.
Now, you can add a new name to the above list–the biggest name of them all: Arian Foster. The No. 1 overall pick in many fantasy leagues has something wrong with his knee. He missed practice on Friday and he’s now considered to be a game-time decision for Sunday.
The Texans gave Foster’s knee an MRI and apparently they didn’t find anything seriously wrong. Foster says it’s not his knee, specifically, that’s the issue, but the area around his knee. There’s something fishy about this one. Are the Texans and Foster trying to hide a more serious injury?
If Foster can’t go on Sunday, Ben Tate is an excellent replacement. The Texans are playing the Dolphins and should control possession throughout the game. Tate would be a candidate to get 25 touches and go over 100 total yards with a touchdown or two.