Tuesday, September 16, 2014


It is Tuesday which means it is fantasy football Running Back Hot Zone day which is when he take a look at some volatile runners on certain teams every week.  This feature was made for weeks like we saw this past weekend as starting running backs went down all around, some seriously.  Let's get to all the latest.


Jamaal Charles-Knile Davis:  A high ankle sprain is always one of those dreaded injuries for any athlete in any sport and this is especially true for a running back who needs to cut and accelerate on a dime in today's NFL.  That is the exact injury suffered by 2014 top overall player Jamaal Charles last Sunday which is expected to sideline him between a month and six weeks.  Just a devastating blow for all Charles owners as we discussed in the Injury Fallout post Monday.  The job now falls to second-year man Knile Davis who was terrific in Charles' place Sunday when he rushed for 79 yards on 22 carries and two scores.  Appealing the PPR gang, Davis caught 6 balls for 26 more yards.  The former 2013 third-round pick has a very good combination of size and speed and he has the ability to contribute both in the running and receiving game.  He is the de factor number 1 waiver candidate this week and deservedly so as Davis will be featured in Andy Reid's ground-controlled offense. 

Mark Ingram-Khiry Robinson-Pierre Thomas:  It is always something with Mark Ingram who was in the midst of his best ever start the first game-plus as he scored three rushing touchdowns and averaged almost 6 yards per carry.  A broken hand brought back more memories of Ingram's penchant for injuries and he is now expected to sit out the next month with the break.  Khiry Robinson and his intriguing speed will now move to the head of the running back class, with Pierre Thomas playing a bit more in his pass catching role.  Robinson can be an immediate help given the opportunity in standard formats given his speed and the fact the Saints see light defensive attention in the box given the high-powered team's passing game.

Ryan Matthews-Donald Brown-Danny Woodhead:  Another year and another injury for Ryan Matthews who has made getting hurt an art form.  A strained MCL in his knee has put Matthews on the shelf for the next 4-5 weeks despite a nice start to his rushing season.  Free agent signee Donald Brown will get the majority of carries in Matthews' place, while Woodhead will continue to see almost all of the pass catching opportunities out of the backfield.  Brown never panned out during his tenure with the Indianapolis Colts but he did his best work at the end of 2013 in place of a struggling Trent Richardson.  A better bet in standard formats than in PPR, Brown has a decent run of starts ahead of him.

Knowshon Moreno-Lamar Miller-Daniel Thomas:  There is a clear theme among this group as almost all of the guys who got hurt in Week 2 have been among the most injury-prone runners in fantasy football.  Moreno is surely deserving of inclusion in this group as he had all of one carry for 4 yards Sunday before dislocating his elbow which will have him out the next 4-8 weeks.  Just a horrific blow for those who snagged Moreno at a cheap rate this summer as reports about him being out of shape and behind Lamar Miller were overblown.  The fallout here has the perennially ineffective Miller serving as the starter and the team also brought back goal-line runner Daniel Thomas early Monday.  Not a good situation to buy into.


Terrance West-Ben Tate:  The knee injury that Ben Tate suffered in Week 1 gave the rookie Terrance West out of Towson a prime chance to stick in the role and so far so good.  He rushed for over 100 yards in relief of Tate in Week 1 and than scored a touchdown while doing a little of everything in the team's upset win over the New Orleans Saints.  Tate is expected to sit again in Week 3 so West will get another chance to show he should be included in the starting discussion.  So far, so good.

Doug Martin-Bobby Rainey:  Rainey was magnificent Sunday in rushing for 144 yards while also catching 3 balls for 30 more yards.  Head coach Lovie Smith hinted that the veteran Martin will return from his knee injury Thursday against the Atlanta Falcons but that is not a given.  Rainey has played so well and Martin so poorly over the last season-plus that a change at the top is not just speculation.  Even if Martin does return, Rainey is playing so good that he will be involved.


Adrian Peterson-Matt Asiata:  The news of the day Monday was that Adrian Peterson was reinstated by the team and would start in Week 3.  Thus the short era of Matt Asiata as the team's starting running back is finished for the time being.  Things could change but Peterson is not likely to face any prison time based on the latest from his child endangerment charges and the Vikes seems committed now to having him back in the lineup.  Hold Asiata for another week but don't depend on him for anything more than bench duty this week.



  1. I'm in 10 team standard scoring league. I have #3 waiver priority this week. I am trying to decide between Knile Davis and Jeremy Hill. Possible drops include: Steven Jackson, Lamar Miller, Pierre Thomas, Jordan Cameron (I also have Ertz and it is a single TE league), Markus Wheaton

    Thanks for your help!!!