As we enter the holiday season, it is quite clear The Grinch has seized control of our world. The list of “who’s” that keep being taken off fantasy wish lists keeps growing and changing.
Suddenly, the Who’s feast and pudding and roast beef don’t seem so important, when we have a who’s-who list of top running backs either out or in jeopardy of missing this week.
We’re already expecting Christian McCaffrey to miss yet another game, because of a shoulder injury suffered in Week 9 against the Chiefs, so queue up more Mike Davis.
Joe Mixon’s expected return has been teased more often than a healthcare plan. Now, he has been ruled out yet again, and will not play Sunday vs. Washington. So if you have Giovani Bernard, hang onto him.
There are ongoing injury problems in the backfields of the Seahawks, 49ers, Dolphins, Giants and Chargers. There are performance and/or timeshare issues in Indianapolis, Arizona, Baltimore, New England, Denver and Pittsburgh.
The pool of useable running backs is shallow, to say the least. And now, it possibly will be drained of others.
Alvin Kamara missed practice Thursday because of a foot issue. He has declared himself good-to-go for Sunday, but in his past two games he had just 14 carries for 49 yards against Tampa Bay and last week just 8-for-15. He has salvaged those poor performances with four combined touchdowns. But if you are lucky enough to find Latavius Murray on your waivers, he would be an easy plug-and-play.
More definitive is the status of Lions RB D’Andre Swift, who will sit out Sunday with a concussion. His likely sub is Adrian Peterson, who would be in line for a primo matchup against a soft Panthers run defense.
Rookie Chiefs RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire missed practice Thursday with an illness. Along with him, so did fellow RB Darrel Williams. If it lingers, or is found to be COVID-related, that would put Le’Veon Bell in position to assume the primary role, though we also would expect some additional work for Darwin Thompson.
If one or more of these problem backs are out of action, and you need to venture outside Whoville to find a replacement, try Damien Harris or Rex Burkhead. The Texans are quite generous to RBs. If you like to jump onto to streak, Burkhead has three TDs in the past two weeks. If you like to play the odds of probability (same players won’t continue to monopolize TDs), Damien Harris is getting plenty of touches.
There is Jordan Wilkins, who’s been cutting into the work of Colts rookie Jonathan Taylor.
If your available options are even more dire, you could throw a dart at Matt Breida or Salvon Ahmed. Ahmed got the touches last week, but Breida is expected back Sunday.
If you’re left to choose between La’Mical Perine and Gus Edwards types, or worse, well, like we said, The Grinch has stolen this fantasy season.
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