Fantasy Football Quick-Hitters: Benson, Westy, Orton, DeAngelo, Ronnie and Norwood

Cedric Benson did not practice on Thursday. Rotoworld reports that Bengals players who don’t practice on Wednesday or Thursday usually do not play on Sunday, but that an exception might be made for Benson, who is the league’s 6th-leading rusher. Cincy’s game against Oakland is at 4:15 PM, so fantasy owners with Bernard Scott can simply wait it out and see if Benson is active on Sunday. Those without Scott have a tough decision to make.

Brian Westbrook should make a full recovery. This is great news for Westy, but his 2009 is still in doubt. The doctors are recommending he be re-evaluated in 2-3 weeks, which makes his return in Week 13 at the earliest. The Eagles were told to take a conservative approach, so even if he’s healthy enough to play, I’d expect the team to shut him down if they fall out of the playoff hunt. Fantasy owners should hold onto him in the event that he comes back for the fantasy playoffs, but if there is a good option on the waiver wire, it might be time to cut bait.

Jerious Norwood returns to limited practice. It looks like Michael Turner will be out this week, but he’s optimistic that he’ll be back soon. It’s not inconceivable that Norwood would get some work with Jason Snelling in a RBBC against the Giants, though he’s been out a while with a hip injury.

Kyle Orton has torn ligaments in his left ankle. Brandon Marshall owners should keep an eye on this. If Orton isn’t able to play through this injury, it’s a big blow to Marshall. Orton isn’t great, but he’s a lot better than Chris Simms right now.

Ronnie Brown reportedly has Lisfranc injury. This generally requires surgery and recovery takes a while. If this is indeed the type of injury he has, he will enter the 2010 season as a question mark.

DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart are both expected to play tonight. Williams sat out practice on Wednesday just to rest, nothing more. He’s a good RB1 play and Stewart is a solid RB2/flex play in most formats.


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The fantasy impact of Ronnie Brown’s season-ending injury

Rotoworld shares the bad news that the Dolphins placed Ronnie Brown on IR, ending his season…

The extent of Brown’s foot injury still hasn’t been revealed, but the Dolphins wouldn’t have ended his season so early if it wasn’t significant. A Lisfranc fracture requiring surgery could jeopardize his availability for 2010 training camp. In standard leagues, Brown has been the No. 8 overall fantasy RB with eight all-purpose touchdowns, 746 total yards, and a rock-solid 4.4 YPC in nine starts. With no CBA deal on the horizon, Brown’s 2010 option will likely kick in, keeping him in Miami. He’s due $5 million in salary next season.

Obviously, this is a big blow to the Dolphins who already have RB Patrick Cobbs on IR. However, they do have a good backup in Ricky Williams who is more than capable of taking over.

From a fantasy point of view, if Williams is somehow available on your waiver wire, pick him up NOW. His matchups in the fantasy playoffs are all decent and the Miami running game is one of the best in the league. There are a few things to keep in mind: 1) He’s 32 years-old and hasn’t had a 25+ carry game since 2005, 2) he was basically out of football for two years so he doesn’t have the normal mileage of a 32 year-old RB, and 3) he has looked damn good this year, averaging a career-high 5.3 ypc.

The Dolphins plan to use Williams as their workhorse back. Lex Hilliard is listed next on the Miami depth chart, so he might be a guy to stash if you have room on your roster. Hilliard is a power back that hasn’t yet carried the ball in his two year career. However, he amassed 3,428 yards and 45 TD in three seasons at Montana. He averaged 107 yards and 1.2 TD in 23 games over his last two years in college. Given his age, Williams is susceptible to injury, and if he were to go down, Hilliard would likely be the lead back in a potent rushing attack.


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Fantasy Football Quick-Hitters: Bowe, Julius, Hightower, Benson and Ronnie

Dwayne Bowe suspended for four games. Apparently, he violated the league’s substance abuse policy. Believe it or not, this makes Chris Chambers a viable fantasy option as the Chiefs don’t have much else going for them at WR. Lance Long may see more targets as well.

HC Mora admits that Julius Jones is “unlikely” to play in Week 11. This isn’t surprising considering that Jones was hospitalized on Sunday. Justin Forsett will get the start in a bad matchup with the Vikings. But from Week 12 on, Seattle’s schedule is pretty nice, so Forsett could potentially be a nice second-half pickup if Jones misses extended time. I wonder if the Seahawks are regretting letting Edgerrin James go.

Tim Hightower is still the Cardinals’ starter. This is going to be an interesting situation to watch down the stretch. The Cardinals have series of great rushing matchups, so will Hightower be as involved as Arizona tries to milk the clock? He seems to shine when Arizona is in catch up mode.

Cedric Benson may be a game-time decision against Oakland. The Raiders are terrible against the run, so whoever starts (Benson or Bernard Scott) should be a great start in Week 11. The team has already stated that the Larry Johnson signing has nothing to do with Benson’s injury, but the timing makes this hard to believe.

Ricky Williams will be the Dolphins’ every-down back with Ronnie Brown out. Brown apparently has two injuries — one to his ankle and one to his foot — and beat writer Omar Kelly says there’s a possibility that Brown will see a specialist. Williams’s value was already pretty high, but now it’s through the roof. Start him with confidence.


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Ronnie Brown leaves on crutches after Dolphins’ win

Ronnie Brown left Land Shark Stadium on Sunday on crutches after injuring his right ankle in the Dolphins’ 25-23 win over the Buccaneers. He was unable to re-enter the game after injuring the ankle and it’s unclear at this point whether or not he’ll miss any time.

The game itself was absolutely wild, or at least the finish was. Miami had a win all but locked up after they forced Josh Freeman to throw an incomplete pass on a 4th and 6 from the Dolphins’ 22-yard line with just over two minutes remaining. But Quincy Black intercepted Chad Henne on a 3rd and 7 (why the Dolphins were throwing in that spot I don’t know) and Tampa capitalized with a Cadillac Williams 1-yard touchdown run to give the Bucs a 23-22 lead. (And the only reason the game wasn’t tied at 23-23 is because Miami missed an extra point earlier in the game.)

But the Dolphins then marched up the field under a 1:15 to play and capped the drive off with a Dan Carpenter 25-yard field goal to win the game.

Not exactly how you want to finish a game, but a win is a win and Miami will certainly take it.

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