Here we are — the halfway point of the NFL season and six weeks away from the start of the fantasy postseason for many. Injuries are making lineup decisions harder — sometimes easier in the committee world of some positions — and bye weeks leave us scrambling for the best start at some positions. Here are a few updates to hopefully help you make that push toward the fantasy postseason.
Trent Richardson, Montario Hardesty, RBs, Cleveland Browns vs. San Diego Chargers
Eight carries against Indianapolis last week and the first thing we hear regarding Trent Richardson's ribs is "the injury is much bigger than what folks think it is." He will obviously have to play through the pain but as long as Cleveland keeps trotting him out there it seems unlikely he can be started with much confidence in fantasy until there is some marked improvement. He is listed as questionable for the Chargers game and will be a game-time decision. His backup, Montario Hardesty (knee) is listed as probable and is expected to play. San Diego has not allowed a running back to score since Jamaal Charles had two in Week 4 and they have only allowed four scores altogether to the position and four double-digit days in PPR to the position — none since Charles in Week 4.
Donald Brown, Vick Ballard, RBs, Indianapolis Colts vs. Tennessee Titans
Donald Brown looks to be back in the mix after being on the sidelines since knee surgery around Week 4. He is a game-time decision for today's early tilt at Tennessee. He practiced in full on Thursday and Friday and looks like he might get back on the field after missing two games. Vick Ballard bounced back from a poor outing at the Jets - as did the rest of the Colts — when he ran for 84 yards on 20 carries and caught a pass for 19 yards. Delone Carter had 11 carries for 41 yards. Will Brown be eased back into the 11-carry role or take on the 20-carry role? Brown had games of 16, 18 and 17 carries before the injury. Tennessee allowed Buffalo's Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller to account for 120 total yards and a touchdown and 102 total yards last week have been relatively atrocious against the run. Brown did have a breakout game the last time he faced the Titans (16-161-1) and scored in both meetings last season. Ballard could still have a role as either the lead back as Brown's worked in or as a goal line threat against a Tennessee defense that should allow the Colts plenty of opportunities.
DeMarco Murray, Felix Jones, Phillip Tanner, RBs, Dallas Cowboys vs. New York Giants
First it was DeMarco Murray going down, then Felix Jones was ineffective in returning to the starting role and could not stay healthy himself. Murray is out for today's late game against the Giants and Jones is questionable. Phillip Tanner is an option, but we are talking about the Cowboys' third back on a team that has been far from effective on the ground consistently this season. Starting center Phil Costa (ankle) being very doubtful is not a help to the run game, either. It is worth noting that Jones totaled 137 yards on 22 touches in the first meeting with the Giants last year and 77 yards on 18 touches in the Week 17 meeting.
— By Corby A. Yarbrough @Corby_Yarbrough on Twitter