What do the names Marshawn Lynch, DeMarco Murray and LeSean McCoy all have in common? Besides being the top running backs for their teams, they are all in danger of missing week 4 of the NFL season. They are added to the list of injured NFL stars, which just keeps getting bigger. Their potential absences will hurt their teams, while fantasy football owners may be without three key players in this pivotal week.
Fantasy football players must do some considerable research when looking at possible replacements for three ball-carriers who were looking at possible bounce-back games.
What do you do when most of the best options are off the table?
If you are in a full season fantasy football league, grabbing the backup tailbacks from the Seattle Seahawks, Philadelphia Eagles, and Buffalo Bills respectively. If you need to field a team in a Fanduel or DraftKings game, you have some good options. One of those options is Buffalo running back Karlos Williams.
The rookie phenom is actually having a better season than starter LeSean McCoy. Karlos Williams has gained exactly 40 more yards (186 yards) than McCoy, on 24 carries. LeSean McCoy has run the football 43 times this year. A nagging hamstring has limited McCoy. Pro Football Talk reported earlier that the Bills were not very optimistic about his availability for Sunday's game against the New York Giants. The final decision on McCoy was announced on ESPN's NFL Insiders just recently.The news officially makes Karlos Williams the starter.
Things are looking a little brighter for Philadelphia as NFL.com is reporting that DeMarco Murray was in full participation during the Philadelphia Eagles' practice. After missing a must-win week 3 contest versus the New York Jets, Murray is a game-time decision.
Backup running back Ryan Matthews took the bulk of the carries in DeMarco Murray's absence. He might be a good play in a fantasy football league.
The biggest mystery from an injury standpoint is Seattle Seahawks thumper Marshawn Lynch. Lynch was already recovering from a hamstring injury going into the team's home opener last week. He was a late arrival to the Seattle Seahawks' sidelines. After having some treatment done on his back and hamstring, Lynch briefly entered the game. He then suffered another injury, or aggravated his current ailment and never came back into the game.It was not like the Seahawks needed a healthy Marshawn Lynch to defeat a woeful Chicago Bears. It is later on in the season in which they will need him. How his backup, Tony Rawls, played may suggest that Lynch can afford to sit out a couple of games in order to get well. For now, he is a game-time decision. That may very well change in a day or two.
It is time for his fantasy football owners to start to get nervous. Although the Seahawks do not play until Monday night, a decision has to be made by fantasy football players by Sunday. Determining if you should play him, or sit him will hinge upon whether or not anyone wants to have the boom or bust potential of Marshawn Lynch on their team.
According to the Seattle Times, Lynch wants to play, and will play if his body will allow him.
Seattle Seahawks' head coach Pete Carrol echoed that sentiment.
"It's going to take us all week to figure it out and see how he is. We'll just wait and see. We don't need to make any big declarations right now. Just waiting and gathering information and seeing how he does.Marshawn Lynch owners hope that he plays as well, though it may be better for everyone if he sits out this week.
"I know he wants to play and he is determined to try to do that, so we'll just see how it goes. It may go all the way to gametime.''
Overall health is the primary concern here. Again, the Seahawks are going to need him going forward. If you are stuck trying to make a choice between Marshawn Lynch and someone else, you will probably be better off going with someone else who will guarantee you some type of points.
[Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images Sports]