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Thursday, September 11, 2014

Fantasy Football Injury Update: Andre Ellington, Doug Martin, Ben Tate

By on 9/11/2014 04:00:00 PM

Injuries play a significant role in fantasy football. Here we take a look at several significant injuries around the NFL and the impacts they have on fantasy lineups.

Andre Ellington

Owners were sent scrambling to the waiver wire late in the week when it was announced that Ellington was dealing with a nagging foot injury—a three-word phrase you never want to hear in regards to running backs. Although early reports indicated otherwise, he was surprisingly still able to suit up for Monday’s home opener against the Chargers, where he had 80 total yards and one fumble on 18 touches. Despite those respectable numbers, Ellington seemed to lack the explosion he showcased last season, as he was unable to make the kinds of cuts that we’re used to seeing from him.

So here’s the good news: despite not being 100%, Ellington still helmed most of the snaps at running back, and as of right now his injury is mostly related to pain management and cannot be re-aggravated. Although he’ll likely spend most of this week in a walking boot and won’t be close to 100%, he should see a similar amount of action against a reeling Giants team.

I like him against a rush defense that gave up two touchdowns to the Lions in Week 1 and was also gashed by Chris Johnson and Chris Ivory for 92 yards on nine carries in week three of the pre-season.
If Ellington’s touches remain the same as they did in Week 1, there’s a good chance he flirts with RB2 numbers in a good matchup.

Doug Martin

The Sunday opener against the Panthers was not a shining moment for Martin, who was unable to get anything going against a defensive unit that seemed to stifle any hole the offense tried to give him, and was tackled in the backfield numerous times. Despite injuring his knee, he returned to the game after being x-rayed and finished with a putrid nine yards on nine attempts.

As of this writing, Martin has yet to practice this week, although the fact that he was able to return to the game and indications given from his head coach Lovie Smith suggest that Martin’s injury “isn’t serious” are both good signs that he should be able to play at home against the Rams in Week 2. On paper, this should be a more favorable matchup for Martin, as the Rams defense looked like a complete mess against a Minnesota Vikings team that annihilated them en route to 185 yards on almost 6 yards a carry.

If for some reason Martin is unable to suit up, Bobby Rainey would be a decent flex option.

Ben Tate

Early Wednesday morning it was announced that Ben Tate is expected to miss 2-4 weeks with a knee injury sustained early in Cleveland’s loss to the Steelers. In his absence both of Tate’s backups, Terrance West (100 yards on 16 rushes) and Isaiah Crowell (32 yards and two touchdowns on 5 rushes), were extremely productive. This was an especially huge outing for West after a fairly underwhelming pre-season that saw him average 2.68 yards per carry, as he’s now first in-line for lead-back status on a team that plans on rushing the ball a lot.

Despite being named the starter by head coach Mike Pettine on Wednesday, West will likely be in some sort of timeshare with Crowell in their Week 2 matchup against the New Orleans Saints. West has the prototypical workhorse build and will get the lion’s share of the carries, and should be considered an RB2 in a zone-blocking scheme that looked extremely effective against Pittsburgh. Crowell is a nice bench stash in case West can’t answer the bell a second time, or even a desperation play in deeper leagues in case he vultures a touchdown against a Saints defense that gave up 123 yards and a touchdown to the Falcons in Week 1. 

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