Week 10: Injury Update
The number of fantasy relevant injuries was minimal in week 9 as the only significant casualty was Dallas WR Miles Austin (hamstring) who is expected to miss 2-4 weeks. His replacement -- Laurent Robinson -- will be a hot waiver wire commodity this week. Giants WR Hakeem Nicks' hamstring injury kept him out of the week 9 win in Foxboro and he missed Wednesday's practice, leaving his status in doubt for week 10 at San Francisco.
Thursday night games start this week and both starting RBs are battling injuries. Darren McFadden has already been ruled out, making Michael Bush a solid RB2. Meanwhile Ryan Mathews' groin injury has healed enough to allow him back to practice and all signs point to a return to the lineup this week (potential split workload with Mike Tolbert).
Rumors of RBBC in Dallas are not as likely following yet another monster performance by rookie Demarco Murray in week 9. Felix Jones' high ankle sprain could keep him out for week 10, but he might be hard pressed to return as a starter even when healthy. Detroit's Jahvid Best (concussion) has not improved much, which led Detroit to resign former Lion Kevin Smith -- not a good sign for Best's prospects for the remainder of the season.
Texans WR Andre Johnson has been sidelined after suffering a week 4 hamstring injury and signs are pointing toward the Texans sitting their starting WR out through the week 11 bye in hopes of having him back to 100% for a potential playoff push.
In this article we will profile some of the more fantasy relevant injuries that have cropped up and suggest which players are likely to benefit from increased playing time (some of the replacement players might be sitting on your waiver wire).
RB Ahmad Bradshaw suffered a broken bone in his troublesome foot in week 8 and missed the week 9 win in Foxboro. Bradshaw apparently had irritation around screws that were placed in his feet during offseason surgery. He has yet to practice this week and will be questionable at best to return to face San Fran's #1 ranked run defense in week 10. With Ahmad Bradshaw sidelined, Jacobs racked up 22 touches compared to seven for D.J. Ware. Jacobs produced solid RB2 numbers against the Patriots, rushing 18 times for 72 yards with a touchdown while adding four receptions for 28 yards. Bradshaw has missed six games over his previous 4 seasons and following the Eagles' Monday night loss to the Giants they hold a 3 game lead which should allow them to be cautious with Bradshaw in hopes of having him healthy for a playoff push.
Greene sat out the 4th quarter of the lopsided win in Buffalo after suffering a head injury. He passed all concussion tests and has returned to a full practice on Wednesday, all but ensuring that he'll get the start in a crucial Sunday night match-up with New England. The second year RB from Iowa is averaging 20 carries for 86 YPG over the past month, but has only reached the end zone twice thanks to the Jets' usage of LT in the red zone. In a week 5 match-up with New England, Greene finished with 21 carries for 83 yards and a touchdown.
Ingram has now missed two straight games with a bruised heel and he's yet to return to practice this week, leaving his status in doubt for the week 10 match-up against Atlanta. X-rays were negative on Ingram's heel, but the Saints have yet to update his status. In week 9, Chris Ivory and Pierre Thomas each played 21 snaps and the addition of Ivory to the backfield mix further clouds Ingram's fantasy value (even when he returns to the lineup). Last season's Heisman award winner has been mediocre at best through the first half of his rookie season. Ingram has been surpassed by Darren Sproles as far as fantasy value goes in the Saints backfield. Ingram is averaging only 47 YPG on the ground, with three TDs. Even if he returns to the lineup this week, Ingram is no more than a lower end Flex play in a very crowded Saints backfield.
Mathews went through a full practice on Tuesday and appears likely to return to the lineup on Thursday night against Oakland's 29th ranked run defense (140 YPG). After an injury riddled rookie season, the 2nd year RB from Fresno State has emerged as a high end RB2 this season, averaging 85 YPG with three TDs. The presence of goal-line vulture Mike Tolbert (six TDs) keeps Mathews out of the RB1 conversation, but he remains a solid fantasy RB and ideal dynasty league target.
Miles Austin was forced to miss the 2nd half of the week 9 win over Seattle after reinjuring his left hamstring. Austin missed weeks 3 and 4 with a prior hamstring problem and reports are surfacing that the recent injury will keep the Dallas WR out for another 2-4 weeks. Although he could potentially miss weeks 10-13, there is no indication that Sunday's injury will keep him out into the fantasy playoff weeks (14-16). Austin posted back to back 1,000+ yard seasons in 2009/2010 while reaching the end zone 19 times. Through six games in 2011, he's averaging 67 YPG with four TDs (most of his production was in weeks 1/2 (scored all 4 of his TDs). Laurent Robinson is expected to start opposite Bryant and is worth considering as a potential WR3 in a Cowboys offense that ranks 7th in passing yardage 280 YPG. The 26 year old WR from Illinois State is averaging 4 catches for 61 yards with two touchdowns in six games as a Cowboy.