After a newsworthy Week 4, there was one thing that stood out to me — running backs aren’t built like they were in the past. There were four more running backs injured on Sunday to add to the already long list of injured players. Those players are Alfred Morris, C.J. Spiller, Fred Jackson and Darren McFadden, all fantasy starters.
The McFadden injury isn’t really a surprise that it happened, but how early in the season it happened. All of these injuries have fantasy owners up in arms. McFadden, Jackson and Morris are currently 10th, 11th and 12th in fantasy points among running backs respectively. Already on that list are Eddie Lacy and Steven Jackson.
Six injured running backs and three more are missing Week 5 due to the bye — Adrian Peterson, Doug Martin and Le’Veon Bell — and the list of starting backs for fantasy teams next week continues to dwindle. There will be a lot of owners rushing (no pun intended) to the waiver wire to grab a backup like Pierre Thomas or Danny Woodhead as a short-term bandage.
However, there is some good news heading into this week. Jackson was limited in Monday’s practice and could be ready to play on Thursday against the Cleveland Browns. Spiller, on the other hand, did not practice. If you have both players on your team, I would recommend starting Jackson.
McFadden hurt his hamstring on Sunday and is questionable for Week 5. Backup Marcel Reece could miss the game as well, leading to Rashad Jennings being the lone back. Luckily, Morris will be on a bye and have an extra week to recover.
The NFL is evolving into a passing league every week and running backs are becoming less valuable in fantasy football. There are only seven running backs with 40 or more fantasy points, while there are nine wide receivers and three tight ends in the same category.
If you are lucky enough to have healthy running backs, keep praying because it will only be a matter of time until LeSean McCoy or Reggie Bush goes down for multiple weeks.