Even though today is Sunday, you can’t forget about the game that will happen on Monday night, especially if you are an Adrian Peterson owner or just recently added Brandon Jacobs. Here’s the latest information on their outlooks, along with some other key running backs entering Week 7 action.
DeMarco Murray and Lance Dunbar, RBs, Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles
Murray (right) left last week’s win over Washington with a sprained left knee. He was considered a longshot to face Philadelphia, which is why his Doubtful designation should come as no surprise. Rookie Joseph Randle is expected to get his first career NFL start and is an intriguing fantasy option against the Eagles defense. One person Randle doesn’t have to worry about in terms of stealing touches is Lance Dunbar. Dunbar will miss his second straight game because of hamstring injury. That leaves Phillip Tanner as the only other running back on Dallas’ roster. There’s no question Randle is the Cowboy back you want to own/use this week.
Bilal Powell, RB, New York Jets vs. New England Patriots
Powell left last week’s game against Pittsburgh with a shoulder injury, but insisted to reporters after the game that he was not hurt. Turns out he was telling the truth, sort of. Powell is listed on the injury report with a shoulder injury, but it must not be too serious as he is Probable to face New England. Powell hasn’t done a lot over his last three games, but he’s catching the Patriots at the best time possible. New England will be without four of its defensive starters (Vince Wilfork, Jerod Mayo, Aqib Talib and Tommy Kelly), so there’s a chance the Patriots’ run defense could be vulnerable. Powell also doesn’t have to worry about sharing touches with Mike Goodson, who tore his ACL last week and is done for the season. Powell busted out for 149 yards rushing in Week 3 against the Bills, so it’s possible he has another RB2/flex effort in him, especially against a depleted Patriots defense.
Steven Jackson and Jason Snelling, RBs, Atlanta Falcons vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Apparently three games and the bye week were not enough time for Jackson’s hamstring to heal, as the veteran has already been ruled Out and will miss his fourth straight game. Snelling, who has been sharing the backfield duties with Jacquizz Rodgers since Jackson’s injury, sustained a concussion in the Falcons’ last game, a Week 5 home to loss to the Jets. But the bye came at just the right time for him, as he returned to practice this week and is Probable for today’s game. Rodgers is probably the better fantasy option, but Snelling is capable of doing things as both a rusher and receiver. The caveat for both Atlanta backs, however, is that the Bucs are 29th in fantasy points allowed to RBs this season. If you are going to fly with either Rodgers or Snelling, it probably should only be as a flex in deeper leagues.
Looking Ahead to Monday Night:
Minnesota’s Adrian Peterson didn’t practice on Friday because of tightness in his hamstring, but he was back at it on Saturday. Peterson is Probable for the Monday night matchup with the Giants and there’s no reason to not expect him to play. The Giants are 26th in the league in rushing defense, but it’s not like you are ever sitting Peterson in the first place.
Meanwhile, the Giants will be without David Wilson, who has already been ruled Out because of a neck injury. Brandon Jacobs, who gashed the Bears last week for 106 yards and two touchdowns, is officially listed as Questionable because of a hamstring injury. The Vikings have allowed the third-most fantasy points to opposing running backs, but the Monday night time slot adds more risk when it comes to waiting on Jacobs. Unless something more definitive comes out before today’s 1 p.m. ET kickoffs, it may be best to avoid Jacobs altogether and put someone else in your lineup. After all, it’s not like you are going to wait on Jacobs and then turn to newest Giant Peyton Hillis instead, are you?