Sprained ankles — in every which way, seemingly — were all the rage last weekend and now fantasy teams are dealing with the consequences in Week 10. This sort of thing calls for a roundup:
— In Oakland, there has been a high ankle sprain epidemic in the backfield. Both Darren McFadden and his backup Mike Goodson suffered the same injury and are unlikely to play at Baltimore on Sunday. McFadden, likely your first-round pick, is obviously the tougher blow while Goodson would have been a nice handcuff . That means Marcel Reece, a fullback by trade, should get most of the carries, but isn’t a smart start with burner Taiwan Jones also expected to be in the mix.
— In Minnesota, an already suffering passing game is about to get a lot worse if Percy Harvin’s “triple sprained ankle,” keeps him out. That’s right, you can actually sprain your ankle in three places. Vikes QB Christian Ponder has failed to throw for more than 63 yards in two of his past three games. Stud running back Adrian Peterson’s value also takes a dip with Harvin out, seeing as the Lions can stack the box against the run with no passing threats.
— Finally, in Pittsburgh, WR Antonio Brown suffered a high ankle sprain, but his is not of the “dreaded” variety, it’s merely “mild.” He isn’t expected to play this Monday though, and the MNF kickoff makes it a dicey proposition to wait on the potential of him playing. Emmanuel Sanders would step in as both a starting receiver and the starting punt returner. Mike Wallace and Jericho Cotchery would also figure to see their fantasy prospects rise.
— Getting away from sprained ankle, we would be remiss to not talk about the broken ankles Doug Martin left in his wake on the way to one of the biggest fantasy days in NFL history. His 272 total yards (251 of those rushing) and four TDs counted for a whopping 51.2 fantasy points. That’s the fourth-highest total by a running back in the past 15 years. It was better than even Michael Vick’s amazing 49-point MNF game in 2010. Needless to say, Sunday’s home til against San Diego is a tough act to follow, but Martin should be a mainstay in your lineup from here on out.
— Things are getting complicated in the Steelers backfield. Reports are that when Rashard Mendenhall comes back from his Achilles injury — which may or may not occur this Monday — he will be the starting RB. This comes after watching Jonathan Dwyer have consecutive 100-yard games and then Isaac Redman putt up 147 yards against the Giants. If you own any of these three guys, you have to be hoping that your’s is the one healthy one on any given week. And if all three are active, well there’s no telling who will lead the way.
— Jake Locker is on track to return from his separated shoulder and start Sunday in Miami. While he’s not a great play, this does impact the rest of the Titans offence — especially Chris Johnson. In the three complete games that Locker played this season, Johnson had a total of 45 rushing yards. That sign has to be discouraging for CJ owners who have seen him average 145 yards per game in his past three outings — including a whopping 141 against the stingy Bears.
— The Cowboys’ running game could receive a much needed boost this weekend as DeMarco Murray may be able to return. He has missed the past three weeks with a foot sprain, but has passed most of the tests needed to return. That’s bad news for Felix Jones owners. Even worse for Jones owners, he was losing his grip on the feature role. He split carries with Lance Dunbar last game and the majority of Jones’ points came on that botched Hail Mary run.
PICK UP OF THE WEEK
Darrius Heyward-Bay, WR, OAK
Assuming Denarius Moore is already gone, Heyward-Bay makes a logical target for both fantasy owners and QB Carson Palmer, who is expected to go pass-crazy now that his top two running backs are on the shelf. DHB caught five passes for 74 yards last Sunday against the Buccaneers.
DROP OF THE WEEK
Kyle Rudolph, TE, MIN
Well, this is what happens when, after scoring five TDs in your first six games, you have a total of two catches in the next three. Even worse, those two catches came in the same game, so Rudolph put up a couple of zeroes for you. He was always just a red-zone guy, so it’s become too much of a gamble to start him.
WAIVER ‘D’ OF THE WEEK
The Lions are starting to come around. Heading in the opposite direction are their opponents this week, the Vikings, who lost one of their two best playmakers — Percy Harvin — from an offence that already stinks at passing.
SIT OR START
Matt Schaub, QB, HOU at CHI
Having a sub-par year and Bears D tops against opposing QBs.
Ryan Tannehill, QB, MIA vs. TEN
Tennessee has given up the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing QBs.
Brian Hartline, WR, MIA vs. TEN
He’s on pace for more 1,300 receiving yards this season.
Matt Forte, RB, CHI vs. HOU
Entering Week 10, the Texans haven’t given up a rushing TD.
Philip Rivers, QB, SD at TB
Carson Palmer just tossed for 400 yards on the Bucs, maybe Rivers can break his slump.
Jared Cook, TE, TEN at MIA
Dolphins haven’t allowed a TD to a tight end all season.
Jamaal Charles, RB, KC at PIT
Hasn’t rushed for more than 40 yards or scored in any of his past three games.
Steven Jackson, RB, STL at SF
Is in a time-share with Daryl Richardson and the 49ers defence is the best against opposing RBs.
Emmanuel Sanders, WR, PIT vs. KC
If Antonio Brown is held out Monday, Sanders steps in as a starting WR and punt returner.
Danny Amendola, WR, STL at SF
Just because he’s returning, doesn’t mean you should start him against the Niners.