The Week 2 aftermath features a string of very notable injuries at running back. I blurb some news and add commentary on moves to make for the proactive dynasty owner.
The News: The most notable injury at running back this weekend was the knee injury to Adrian Peterson. The Vikings’ back had to be helped into the locker room as the early reports are that it is a meniscus tear, serious enough that he could miss 3-6 weeks. Possibly sooner. Arguably among the top tier of RB handcuff/stashes the last two seasons, Jerick McKinnon is going to be owned, but the real question as an owner is if – or when – to cash out. Even before the injury, it’s pretty clear recently that AP has lost a step and McKinnon, a more athletic RB than most, will be entering a contract year next season. He will be on top of all the redraft waiver wire articles this week, as well, which gives him a ton of immediate value. He will share the load with Matt Asiata, that much is certain, but obviously there is an opportunity for a break out. However, the next three weeks will be up against stout run defenses: at Carolina and then home to the Giants and Texans.
The Moves: McKinnon is one of those talents that the longer you’ve held on, the stronger the urge will be to hold. But if I could buy a 2017 first round rookie pick with McKinnon this week, I’m jumping on it. Use him to trade for a slow-starting young wide receiver (John Brown, Devante Parker)? Well, that’s why I stash RBs to begin with.
The News: The Panthers’ veteran back Jonathan Stewart left the game in Carolina with an injured hamstring. With Cameron Artis-Payne inactive, it was Fozzy Whittaker who took over the touches totaling 16 times for 100 yards and a fumble and 3 receptions for 31 yards, while big Mike Tolbert remained a change of pace back. Initial reports have JStew out for at least two weeks. CAP was a deep stash last year but there is a good chance he did not make many dynasty roster cuts at the end of the offseason. The fact that he has been a healthy scratch the first two weeks is disconcerting, however supposedly it is due to the fact that he does not play on special teams. Also, Fozzy Whittaker is seen primarily as a pass-catching back.
The Moves: When it’s all said and done, CAP could be worth an add for owners very thin at the position in deep leagues, but even if he goes off these next two weeks, it will certainly be, at best, a committee in the Panthers’ backfield. Don’t forget his [MVP] quarterback is a certified TD vulture who rushed for 10 TDs last year and on pace for a similar stat line in 2016. You may be better off picking up Fozzy Whittaker as a two-week bandaid if you are in need of an interim starter.
The News: The Chargers announced Monday afternoon that Danny Woodhead will miss the remainder of the 2016 season with an ACL injury he suffered on Sunday. Have to feel for that offense after losing Keenan Allen a week ago and Branden Oliver this offseason. Fortunately for San Diego, Melvin Gordon looks like he has taken a huge step forward, putting up 100+ yards and a TD against Jacksonville. With some really nice match-ups coming up the next three weeks (@IND, NO, @OAK), he is easily an RB1 moving forward. After Gordon, it is Kenneth Farrow on the depth chart, a 5’9″/218lbs undrafted free agent rookie out of Houston. His measurables don’t appear to be anything to write home about though and the next man up looks to be recent Giants’ cut Andre Williams. The Chargers signed WR Griff Whalen to replace Woodhead on the active roster.
The Moves: Farrow might be worth a roster spot in deeper leagues, if anything to replace a dropped lost cause like a CJ Spiller, etc. Fact is though, Farrow made the Chargers’ 53 this offseason and looks like he does check some college production boxes. As for Andre Williams, I’d monitor the status and any kind of beat writer buzz before even considering. He was a healthy scratch the first two weeks. Woodhead going to be tough to hold on to in any league that does not have an IR designation. Will be 32 years old free agent at the end of this season.
The News: Hold the injury jokes folks (and the Dolphins wisecracks for that matter), but Arian Foster is day to day after leaving the game in New England on Sunday with a groin injury. Going up against some formidable defenses so far this season, he hasn’t done much to excite aside from a big workload, but now will miss at least one week most likely. Jay Ajayi took over but failed to impress and it was Kenyan Drake who scored the sole rushing touchdown for Miami.
The Moves: The backfield situation in Miami just plain stinks. The run blocking isn’t great and the field could be muddled unless someone steps up. I was buying Jay Ajayi before week 1, since we all knew a Foster injury was inevitable, but right now I’d stay put to see who emerges in Week 3 against a better matchup against the Browns. If you’re an owner, hold. If not, I’d recommend going out and getting Damien Williams. He’s great at catching the ball out of the backfield and the Dolphins could be in a familiar, come-from-behind, high scoring game scripts like we saw against the Patriots. And it’s a possibility Jay Ajayi is in such bad favor with the coaching staff that he doesn’t even make it to the bye week before being dealt somewhere else.
The News: Foot injuries are not good news for running backs and Ameer Abdullah seems to have suffered a foot sprain against the Titans on Sunday. The Lions are optimistic but we won’t know if or how long they will be without him.
The Moves: If Dwayne Washington is not rostered in your league, he is a solid pickup this week. Theo Riddick will be the number one but his role should remain the same with or without Abdullah. Washington is the biggest back they have and already punched in a goal line touchdown in week one. He averaged 5.8 yards per carry in the preseason and I’d want him picked up now before he has a chance to capitalize on his opportunity in two promising match ups the next two weeks.