No Adrian Peterson in Week 2 and he’s not the only popular fantasy running back option who may not play. Here are some other key ball-carriers to keep an eye on.
Doug Martin, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. St. Louis Rams
Questionable - Knee
A shoulder injury limited Martin to just six games last season. Unfortunately his 2014 season also got off to a disastrous start, as he picked up just nine yards rushing on nine carries and just one catch for seven yards in Week 1. Martin’s leg also got rolled up at one point and the injury has been bad enough that he’s only been able to practice on a limited basis. He’s officially Questionable, but the Bucs are optimistic he will be able to play. The bigger question, however, is what exactly is Martin’s role in coordinator Jeff Tedford’s offense? Ten total touches in Week 1 are not exactly a promising sign for a young player who was a workhorse just two seasons ago. It’s still early, but Martin owners probably need to be prepared to accept the fact Martin is not going to be a reliable RB1 this season.
Andre Ellington, RB, Arizona Cardinals at New York Giants
Questionable – Foot
Ellington was able to go on Monday night despite the foot injury, which was a good sign. He wasn’t all that productive, but indications are he can’t make the foot injury worse by playing on it. Ellington was in a walking boot earlier this week and has missed practice time, thus the Questionable label. However, there are positive vibes coming from Cardinals camp and the general expectation is that Ellington will be able to play. At least the early kickoff means his owners don’t have to sweat out the decision too long. If Ellington does play, it’s best to view him as a RB2/flex since there’s a chance his workload may be limited some by the injury.
Reggie Bush, RB, Detroit Lions at Carolina Panthers
Probable – Knee
Bush was limited in practice on Wednesday because of a knee injury, but it’s not believed to be anything serious. He is listed as Probable for today and should be out there splitting carries with Joique Bell. Bush and Bell are both somewhat risky options this week because of the matchup against a stingy Panthers defense. Temper your expectations if you plan to start either Lion back.
Toby Gerhart, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars at Washington Redskins
Probable – Ankle
Gerhart rolled his ankle last week against Philadelphia, but he was able to return and finish the game. That’s all you need to know regarding his status for this week. Gerhart is Probable and will get his shot against a Redskins defense that gave up 103 yards rushing to Arian Foster last week. Gerhart can safely be employed as a RB2/flex option.
Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, Oakland Raiders vs. Houston Texans
Questionable – Hand
Jones-Drew injured his hand in his Raiders debut last week and while he has downplayed the severity of the injury, he did undergo some sort of procedure on it earlier this week. As a result, he has practiced very little and despite his Questionable tag, the expectation is he will not play. Then again after rushing for just 11 yards on nine carries, it’s probably very questionable to have him in your lineup in the first place. Not sure I would take a chance on any Oakland back this week not with a matchup against J.J. Watt and a Texans defense that roughed up Robert Griffin III and the Redskins in Week 1.
Ben Tate, RB, Cleveland Browns vs. New Orleans Saints
Out – Knee sprain
Tate has already been ruled out for this week because of the sprained knee he sustained against Pittsburgh in the opener. He could miss up to a month because of the injury, but it’s best to consider him week-to-week for now. Rookies Terrance West and Isaiah Crowell will handle the load while Tate’s out. West will likely see the bulk of the carries, making him an intriguing RB2/flex option, but Crowell also showed last week (2 TDs) what he can do, so don’t count him out.