The injuries are piling up, the bye weeks are in full effect and there are some names in the fantasy world you did not think you would have to rely on so early. Such is life as a fantasy owner as we reach Week 6 of the 2012 NFL season. Here’s a little info about those that are injured or those replacing the injured that can hopefully help lead you to a fantasy victory this week.
Cedric Benson, RB, Green Bay Packers vs. Houston Texans
Cedric Benson went on the designated to return IR with a Lisfranc injury and will miss the next eight weeks. The Packers' attempt to run the ball was no joke through five weeks. Benson had days of nine, 20, 17 and 18 carries and had seven when he went down in the first quarter last week. Green Bay rushed at least 17 times with one back just once last year (Ryan Grant, 17-92 in Week 3) and never eclipsed 13 afterwards. Alex Green is the "hot hand" for the Packers and should get first crack at keeping a running game alive for Green Bay. He stepped in for Benson last week and went 9-for-55 and one catch for six yards. There are two major downers for Green this week: James Starks is back and the Packers are facing a Texans team that is ranked seventh against fantasy RBs. This is a good week to monitor how the Packers use the two backs and then play the weekly matchups based on your deduction. Sit them this week, however.
Donald Brown, RB, Indianapolis Colts vs. New York Jets
Donald Brown had knee surgery on Tuesday and now Vick Ballard gets the start in his place. For fantasy, it is encouraging because the Colts' backfield becomes a little less crowded for a few weeks. Brown is ranked as fantasy's 29th-best RB. The Jets of just a few years ago are long gone. They are 29th against fantasy running backs, having allowed singular days of 169 and 152 yards and a touchdown each to C.J. Spiller and Arian Foster and double-dips from Daniel Thomas and Reggie Bush (130 yards and one TD), Frank Gore and Kendall Hunter (118 yards and two TDs). Ballard was averaging 4.2 carries while Brown was getting 15 carries per game. Now that it is Ballard's backfield, he should be able to have solid production against a team that cannot stop the run.
Andre Brown, RB, New York Giants vs. San Francisco 49ers
Andre Brown, the waiver wire darling from Weeks 2 and 3, suffered a concussion against Cleveland last week and has been ruled out for today's game at San Francisco. He had five carries the week before and was injured during a first-quarter kickoff. Rookie David Wilson re-entered the picture behind Ahmad Bradshaw and scored his first NFL TD (40 yards in the fourth quarter). He finished with just two carries for 44 yards and the score. Bradshaw was the hot hand with 30 carries for 200 yards and a score and four catches for 29 yards. It's hard to determine how this will work. Yes, Bradshaw was hot, but for Wilson to get just two carries is a little concerning. Also concerning is that the Giants are on the road at a 49ers team that is No. 1 against fantasy running backs with just 287 yards and no TDs allowed this season. Like Green vs. the Texans, you might want to use this one as strictly observation on Wilson. But Brown might be back next week and everything is in the air again.
— Corby A. Yarbrough @Corby_Yarbrough on Twitter