Cincinnati’s backfield is expected to be back at full strength for Week 12, but Houston’s situation is a little more uncertain. Detroit and Tampa Bay also are situations worth paying attention to before setting your lineup.
Giovani Bernard, RB, Cincinnati Bengals at Houston Texans
Probable – Hip/Clavicle
Bernard’s been nursing several injuries, which have caused him to miss the past three games, but after getting in full practices on Thursday and Friday it looks like the Bengals’ backfield will be back to full strength today. Bernard is Probable and expected to play, but don’t be surprised if Jeremy Hill winds up with more touches. The coaching staff may choose to ease Bernard back into action and Hill has rushed for more than 150 yards in two of the past three games. I would classify both as RB2 options this week with Hill higher up the ladder than Bernard.
Arian Foster, RB, Houston Texans vs. Cincinnati Bengals
Questionable – Groin
After being held out of last week’s game, Foster was able to practice some on Wednesday. But that was his only appearance, as he didn’t participate at all on Thursday or Friday. Foster is listed as Questionable and will be a game-time decision, according to head coach Bill O’Brien. It’s an early game, so that will help with timing, but I wouldn’t bank on Foster being available. That would mean another heavy dose of Alfred Blue, who rushed for 156 yards on 36 carries last week against Cleveland. If Foster misses a second straight game, Blue is most definitely in the RB2 conversation.
Joique Bell and Reggie Bush, RBs, Detroit Lions at New England Patriots
Probable – Ankle; Questionable – Ankle
Bell missed Wednesday’s practice because of an ankle injury, but ratcheted up his participation from there and was a full go on Friday. He’s listed as Probable and will try and take advantage of a New England run defense that’s struggled at times. Meanwhile, Bush was not activated for last week’s game because of his lingering ankle injury and it’s not looking that promising for today either. He was a limited practice participant this week and is considered Questionable. It’s entirely possible the coaching staff decides to sit him again and let Theo Riddick fill his role. Bell should be started if he’s on your roster, but I can’t say the same for Bush. Even if he plays, I wouldn’t count on much production from a guy who’s averaging 3.6 yards per carry and has scored double-digit fantasy points once all season.
Doug Martin and Charles Sims, RBs, Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Chicago Bears
Questionable – Ankle; Questionable – Ankle
Martin was able to practice some every day this week, earning him an upgrade to Questionable. Meanwhile Sims didn’t practice at all on Wednesday because of an ankle injury, but was back at it on a limited basis Thursday and Friday. He also is Questionable. Sims missed the first half of the season because of an ankle injury that required surgery. So while this may not seem like a good sign, Sims is still the Buccaneer back you want to own. I think the team has moved on from the ineffective and oft-injured Martin, who doesn’t have much fantasy relevance at this point, while Sims figures to get more touches than Bobby Rainey. The matchup with the Bears is certainly appealing, but Sims still needs to be viewed as a low-end RB2/flex, at least until he starts putting some decent numbers together.