Michael Bush, Raiders
Last week, Bush was Moving Down when I reminded you of Darren McFadden’s history of injury—and Bush’s value in light of that history. Sure enough and right on cue, McFadden suffered a hamstring injury during the Raiders loss to the Texans. If he’s out, Bush will get an opportunity to reclaim his starting position this coming week against the Chargers. Unfortunately, five of the Raiders’ next six opponents have rushing defenses ranked in the top 10.
Maurice Jones-Drew, Jaguars
MJD owners can breathe a sigh of relief after his performance during this week’s win over the Colts. After putting up modest numbers during the first three games of the season, this week Jones-Drew gained 105 yards and a touchdown on the ground as well as 16 yards and a score through the air. The touchdowns were his first of the year, and his fantasy production this week matched his total entering the game. The concern that the knee injury he suffered in the preseason might be hampering him can now be put to rest.
Ryan Torain, Redskins
I know, he was here last week and isn’t it redundant to have a guy Moving Up two weeks in a row? Not when there’s more positive news to digest. For the second week in a row, Clinton Portis was sidelined during a game so just maybe injuries are beginning an issue. This week, he said he heard his groin pop. That doesn’t sound good and likely means he’s out at least a week. Last week, he suffered a wrist injury. I could be describing my grandfather, not a starting running back in the NFL. Next up for the Redskins are the Packers (22nd ranked run defense), Colts (27th), Bears (6th), Lions (23rd) and Eagles (25th). Anyway, that’s why Torain is here and I should mention he’s averaging 4.6 yards per carry. Opportunity plus ability plus motivation equals success. That equation applies to everything including fantasy football and I should mention that it works great in interviews. “Well, Mr. Givemeajob, I am motivated and I have the ability to be successful in this position. All I need is for you to provide me with an opportunity.”
Derrick Ward, Texans
Hey, it’s a slow week for developments at running back, plus four teams were on a bye. With Arian Foster benched for the first quarter of this week’s game against the Raiders, Ward filled in and finished with ten carries for 80 yards and a touchdown. Looks like Ward (and not Steve Slaton, who is apparently relegated to the pass-receiving role) is Foster’s new handcuff.
Steve Slaton, Texans
See Derrick Ward above and note that Slaton’s pass-catching role isn’t much of one, with only three receptions in 2010. Slaton is roster-worthy only in larger leagues.
Laurence Maroney and Correll Buckhalter, Broncos
It has been a nerve-wracking season for Knowshon Moreno owners so far. First, he suffers a hamstring that keeps him out of much of the preseason. Then he injures his other hamstring and the Broncos trade for former Patriots first-round pick Laurence Maroney. Well, after two games, it’s clear that Maroney is either injured or completely ineffective. He had 12 carries for 24 yards in Week 3 and followed that up with an 11-carry, five-yard performance this week. As for Buckhalter, he split the workload with Moreno for much of 2009 but looks washed up thus far in 2010, as he is averaging only 1.8 yards per carry.