Bernard is dealing with several health issues and could be held out of Week 9


RB Fantasy News

Week 9 has some fantasy owners reeling as there are several big name running backs making our RB news with injuries. Doug Martin (ankle), Justin Forsett (leg), and Giovani Bernard (hip) all missed practice Wednesday due to nagging injuries. It looks like Forsett and Bernard will play this week, but Martin is still in a walking boot and shouldn't be trusted even if he does play.

It's time for fantasy owners to have a backup plan for these fantasy RBs that may not be available in Week 9.

Doug Martin - RB (TB) 

Given the fact that Martin is still in a walking boot and that running backs aren't very effective with bad ankles, Martin owners need to take a good look at Bobby Rainey. Rainey hasn't been tearing it up on the ground this year, but he is catching a lot of passes out of the backfield. Rainey caught six passes for 41 yards on six targets last week and has put up respectable numbers in PPR leagues in Martin's absence.

Rainey isn't an every-down back with his small frame, but he is in on most passing downs and gets a lot of garbage time receptions out of the backfield. Rainey has a good match-up against Cleveland this week and is a low-end Flex play for Week 9. 

Justin Forsett - RB (BAL) 

Justin Forsett has been one of the most pleasant surprises at the running back position this year for fantasy owners. Forsett is a top 10 running back in PPR leagues and is a must-start when healthy. Forsett believes he will be ready for Week 9 against the division rival Steelers, but even if he plays, it's hard to tell how effective he will be. 

The next man up in Baltimore is Lorenzo Taliaferro. Taliaferro is the the short-yardage back for Baltimore and gets a lot of goal-line carries. In Week 8 at Cincinnati, Taliaferro scored two touchdowns on 27 yards rushing and caught two passes for 42 yards. If Forsett can't play this week or is a game-time decision, it might be a good idea to plug in Taliaferro as a low-end RB2 or low-end Flex play.

Giovani Bernard - RB (CIN)

Giovani Bernard is dealing with multiple health issues including a sore collar bone and a hip pointer injury and did NOT practice on Thursday. Bernard missed most of the fourth quarter during Week 8 against the Ravens and hasn't practiced since. Luckily for Bernard owners, Cincinnati has a very viable back-up in Jeremy Hill. Hill is owned in roughly 50% fantasy leagues as Bernard is good enough to need a handcuff, and Hill is good enough to produce decent numbers in Bernard's absence.

Hill is only worth fantasy consideration if Bernard is inactive for Week 9. If Bernard can't play in Week 9, Hill has low-end RB2 and Flex consideration.

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