By Jim Rueda
Free Press Sports Editor
The top injury news this week comes out of Oakland where both starting running back Darren McFadden and his backup, Mike Goodson, had to leave Sunday’s game with high ankle sprains. At this point, both are considered doubtful for Week 10.
That makes Marcel Reece a decent pickup this week as he was a solid fill-in on against Tampa Bay. Taiwan Jones may also get increased carries but he has knee issues so Reece is the better of the two. They like to give Reece the ball in the red zone and he has 12 catches for 153 yards and a touchdown over the last three games.
If Pittsburgh’s Isaac Redman is available you should snatch him up. He amasses 150 totals yards with a touchdown on Sunday. The Steelers play the Chiefs this week so he should again post decent numbers.
Another running back to consider is Vick Ballard of Indianapolis. A lot of owners shied away from him because they thought Donald Browns’ return was imminent, but Brown has re-injured himself and is not likely to play on Thursday. Meanwhile, Ballard had 60 yards rushing and 38 yards receiving against Miami.
Green Bay’s James Starks is also worth a look as he started ahead of Alex Green Sunday. The Packers are not a rushing team but, if you’re desperate for a back, at least he’ll be getting some touches. Starks had 16 carries for 61 yards against the Cardinals.
If you have room to stash a back for a couple of weeks, Arizona’s Beanie Wells might be a guy to look at. He’s due back in Week 12 and should be well-rested.
The quarterback pickings are slim at this time of year but a guy to consider is Miami’s Ryan Tannehill. He started on Sunday despite a leg injury and went 22 for 38 for 290 yards and a touchdown. He loves to air it out and has a good matchup this week against Tennessee.
A sneaky pickup at receiver could be Donald Jones of Buffalo. He has 10 catches over the last two games and has games against New England, Miami and Indianapolis coming up. Throw in the fact that starter Steve Johnson suffered a thigh injury Sunday and Jones is starting to look viable.
Another guy in the Beanie-Wells mode is Chicago receiver Alshon Jeffery. He is expected to return from an injury as early as this week and, with teams scheming to stop Brandon Marshall, Jeffery might get a lot of red zone looks.
Miami’s Brian Hartline may be available in your league and is coming off an 8-catch, 107-yard performance. He has a nice schedule coming up (see Tannehill above).
If Donnie Avery from Indianapolis is out for any length of time, then Ty Hilton could be a decent short-term fix. Hilton played well in relief on Sunday and quarterback Andrew Luck seems to be getting better every week.
If you’re looking for tight end help then Oakland’s Brandon Myers might be the answer to your problems.
He’s been getting a decent amount of catches and yards the last few weeks and he finally went off on Sunday. He finished with eight catches for 59 yards and two TDs.