With six teams on bye in Week 9, fantasy owners need all the healthy running backs they can find. Which injured ball carriers can you count on today?
Jamaal Charles, RB, Kansas City Chiefs vs. New York Jets
Probable – Back
Charles is on the injury report with a back injury, but he was a full go at practice every day this week and is listed as Probable. There has been nothing reported or mentioned to suggest Charles won’t play, which is why he’s a top-five RB this week in Athlon Sports’ rankings.
Arian Foster, RB, Houston Texans vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Probable – Knee
Foster missed practice on Wednesday and was limited on Thursday and Friday, but that was mainly a coaches’ decision to give their workhorse some rest. The key here is his Probable designation and the fact that he’s rushed for 100 yards in four straight games with eight total touchdowns and 20 carries per game. Foster is our No. 1 RB this week, so we’re pretty confident in saying he will play.
Lamar Miller, RB, Miami Dolphins vs. San Diego Chargers
Probable – Knee
Miller was limited all week in practice by a knee injury, but he’s still expected to play today. He’s listed as Probable and will take his shot against a San Diego defense that’s allowed a running back to score at least 14 fantasy points in each of its past three games. Miller is averaging nearly five yards per carry this week and checks in as a top-10 starting option.
Doug Martin, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Cleveland Browns
Doubtful – Ankle
Martin did not practice one bit this week, so his Doubtful tag seems a mere formality. Martin has been a major disappointment this season and the Buccaneers seem content to move on from him and let Bobby Rainey and Charles Sims handle the backfield duties. Rainey has not only been a starter before, but he’s also thrived in the role, so he’s certainly worthy of RB2/flex consideration this week. Sims is the Bucs’ third-round pick but he has been on injured reserve all season because of a preseason ankle injury that required surgery. The team is reportedly high on Sims, but chances are he will be brought along slowly since this would be his first NFL action. For now, Rainey is the Tampa Bay back to own, but Sims is certainly worth adding if you have the room or are looking to beef up your RB depth.
Darren Sproles, RB, Philadelphia Eagles at Houston Texans
Probable – Knee
Sproles was Questionable last week, but ended up not playing. That should change today, however, as he was a full participant in practice every day and is listed as Probable. While it’s unclear how many touches Sproles will see in his first game back, he should be safe to employ as a flex option with upside.
Donald Brown and Ryan Mathews, RBs, San Diego Chargers at Miami Dolphins
Probable – Concussion, Out – Knee
Brown finally got through the league-mandated concussion protocols and was a full participant in practice every day. He’s listed as Probable and should be back out there today. Mathews was able to get a limited session in on Friday, but the team has already ruled him out. Branden Oliver should continue to see the bulk of the work, although it will be interesting to see how may touches Brown gets in his first game back. Oliver should be a pretty safe RB2, but I wouldn’t mess with Brown this week.