Pushing out the Week Six Running Back Rankings, us owners are having a very hard time with running backs in general this year. It's bad enough that most teams are starting to turn to a "hot hand" approach, but recent injuries are turning our starting running backs into an even bigger crap-shoot going forward.
The biggest injury this week was to Packers RB Cedric Benson. Benson was off to a very hot start against the Colts, accounting for 41 total yards in the first quarter alone. But a Lisfranc foot injury will not only knock Benson out for Week Six, but he is out for a minimum of eight total. When you hear Lisfranc, it's not good. Eight weeks might be the best-case scenario, but I wouldn't be surprised if Benson was placed on injured reserve eventually and missed the rest of the season. That leaves the ever-popular (sarcasm) James Starks and Alex Green to pick up the slack. Can the Packers ever catch a break in their backfield? Starks went from an RB2 in the offseason to off the fantasy radar completely by Week One. Can he even be trusted as an RB4? I doubt it.
Many customers have already started asking me if Green is worth a plug-and-play. The answer is no. Not for me anyways. His Week Five numbers are deceiving. On paper, Green ran 9 times for 55 yards. But if you take out the one run he had of 41 yards, he limped his way to 8 carries for 14 yards. Not exactly someone who I can trust as a flex option unless I was in a 16 team league. Don't forget about the touchdown vulture John Kuhn as well.
One more big question that has been asked as it pertains to running backs is the situation in Arizona. Ryan Williams is out for the year with a shoulder injury. Beanie Wells is out for the time being with a turf toe injury. That leaves La'Rod Stephens-Howling next in line, but don't get excited. The Arizona Republic doesn't believe SLH is capable of holding up on 15 carries a game. He's small at 5'7' / 185, so he isn't a 20+ carry guy. And don't mention MJD. MJD is a freak of nature. There is the possibility the Cardinals could look at a free agent. So to sum it up; the chances of SLH being your savior are pretty slim.
Also, make sure to check the rankings again on Friday to see if anyone has been downgraded going into the weekend.
UPDATE 10/10: Donald Brown is expected to miss the next 2-3 weeks after tearing cartilage in his knee. The Colts are expected to go with Vick Ballard as the starter this weekend against the Jets.
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