Could the start of the NFL’s RB injury plague for 2009 already be upon us? Although nothing of astronomical assortments has occurred, we do have a slight opening in the “door of opportunity” at the RB position. Injury, through various degrees of severity, has offered Justin Fargas, BenJarvus Green-Ellis, and Javon Ringer a bigger role since the start of their NFL teams’ Week 6 games.
With Darren McFadden listed as out and Michael Bush dinged, Oakland has found themselves going back to their own version of “old reliable”, Justin Fargas.
Justin Fargas is a borderline elitist when talking about sleeper. Just two years ago, this guy was a 1,000-yard rusher in the NFL for the lowly Raiders. But like a red-headed stepchild that continues to bring home B-plus grades when parents want all A’s, this guy is constantly belittled and ultimately forgotten about. So why the plug here as a sleeper?
The biggest reason is that when Fargas is given 20+ carries in a game, he responds with solid fantasy production. Since 2007 he has gained at least 87 yards in nine of his 12 games where he was given 20+ carries. While he is hampered with poor pass catching stats, lacks the home-run ability, and scores very few TDs, owners should not be too quick to look past him solely because he is a quality, decent NFL workhorse.
To start off the 2009 regular season, BGE was not cut but instead placed on New England’s inactive list each week — until the injury bug started to peek it’s ugly head when it took down then-starter Fred Taylor with a high ankle sprain that will reportedly keep him out until December. The following week, Sammy Morris suffered a knee injury, the extent which is still unknown other than he is having trouble practicing. Immediately the scurry begins for New England to start promoting RBs up their depth chart.
Fantasy owners are left with looking at Laurence Maroney and Kevin Faulk as the only competition remaining for BGE to overcome. Although in Week 6 Maroney finally looked like the RB that he was supposed to be when drafted, the decision remains regarding how much trust can be put in him as not being just a mirage. Garbage time of this same game provided BGE with lofty stats as well, a 9.8 average per carry on seven carries for a total of 67 yards rushing, that could be used as a sliver of insight on this guy. It should also be noted that BGE does have a game, from his rookie year in 2008, where he registered 100+ yards, so he must have some NFL ability.
The knock on Javon Ringer was that the extremely high value of Chris Johnson and the overloaded RB situation in Tennessee would prevent him from ever seeing any NFL action. But once LenDale White was carted off in Week 6 with a knee injury, Ringer was granted a limited green light. Granted that the game became a blowout and thus Ringer racked up garbage time stats, but he did show that he could potentially be effective on the NFL level. The final stats of seven carries for 47 yards total are deceiving, as 32 yards came on one carry. This one carry though is what should be the centerpiece of Ringer as a sleeper. It established him as having home-run ability.
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