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Running backs galore stuffed into Week 9 Hurt Locker

I feel like I jinxed the potentially injured last week. I mentioned how The Hurt Locker wasn't very populated, then we had an explosion of injuries from Week 8 to Week 9. Below, we get into no fewer than ten running backs whose health is throwing a wrench into your fantasy plans. Can they dodge that wrench and play Sunday? Remember - if you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball. If that makes sense.

LeGarrette Blount - He's back and wants a bigger workload. I say yes and yes (I realize there was only one question in there but I really like Blount). He can have a pretty big day against the Saints, and I think he finds the end zone at least once and gets you 15 points.

Ahmad Bradshaw - He'll likely miss some time with a cracked bone in his foot, meaning Brandon Jacobs is elevated to being a No. 2 play because of his potential. But don't expect 25 carries since the Giants will probably throw the football a ton this week. Double digits in points would be impressive from a rusty Jacobs.

Fred Davis - The good news is his ankle sprain is mild, the bad news is that you may need a TE to plug in in his place. If you are in such a mode, try the waiver wire for Heath Miller, Jake Ballard or even Dallas Clark, who may be relevant again.

Peyton Hillis - He returned to practice this week, but a setback on Friday has him doubtful for Sunday. It was hard to imagine Hillis seeing 20-plus carries with huge production. He's just not the player he was last year. The Browns will have to turn to Chris Ogbonnaya this week, but you'll be lucky if he reaches five points. If you have a better option, go with it.

Mark Ingram - A DNP this week with his heel injury, it looks like another week of Pierre Thomas, Darren Sproles and Chris Ivory in the Saints backfield. Sproles isn't going to get an increased workload, so count on his normal production. Thomas will get more carries than the seven last week and he's worth a flex play.

Andre Johnson - His hamstring has him out one more week. Don't expect big days from Jacoby Jones, Kevin Walter or Owen Daniels, because the Browns have given more than one TD pass in a game just once in their last six. Sit them all if you can.

Julio Jones - He returned to practice this week and looks safe to get back in your lineup for Sunday. He's got a phenomenal matchup against the Colts and I expect a big day from Matt Ryan. I think Jones is a strong No. 2 play this week.

Ryan Mathews - As the days go on it looks like the Chargers will be without him for Sunday's tilt with Green Bay. Mike Tolbert is returning from his concussion and he could literally be the only guy who's going to carry the football this week since Curtis Brinkley (hey Syracuse!!!) also is suffering from concussion symptoms. Get Tolbert in your lineup as a strong No. 2 as well and expect double-digits in production.

Darren McFadden - He looks more in doubt with every passing moment. Michael Bush becomes a great No. 2 play if McFadden's out, because Bush averages 10 touches a game when D-Mac is in the lineup. That will double without McFadden.

Willis McGahee - He's practicing despite the broken hand, which RBs need to carry the football (so says my man Adam Rank, a football sage). All signs point to him playing Sunday, but I'd be leery of a 25-carry day from him. I think he splits the load with Knowshon Moreno, who has played better in recent weeks (69 yards rushing last Sunday). I'd say you can cross your fingers and play both of them in your flex if you must. The matchup against Oakland is a good one for them.

Hakeem Nicks - Day-to-day due to his hamstring, it's going to come down to the final minute Sunday if he plays or not, but it doesn't look good. Have a second option ready like a Greg Little, Demaryius Thomas or Jon Baldwin just in case.

Daniel Thomas - He returned to the practice field this week after missing Week 8. Here's how to break it down: if Thomas plays, you play him at your flex because he'll get the opportunities, and that means you sit Reggie Bush because he won't get them. If Thomas doesn't play, then you play Bush because he'll get all the non-red zone carries.

Beanie Wells - He's going to try to practice through his knee injury to get ready for Sunday against the Rams, and there's no better matchup than a RB against the Rams defense. I think Wells plays and he's a low-end No. 1, as he usually is.

Other hurts

>> Joseph Addai was an FPP this week, but it's hard to recommend any of the Colts RBs. If he starts, he's the only one you put in your lineup but how long can he play before he leaves with a hamstring injury? Leave all your Colts RBs on the bench…

Evan Pinkus/AP
Patriots-Giants has the potential to provide lots of fantasy points. NFL Fantasy LIVE breaks down the receivers, like Victor Cruz. (More...)

>> Sam Bradford is getting healthier but he's still not worth owning in most leagues. See if he can develop chemistry with Brandon Lloyd and then you might have something…

>> Sebastian Janikowski will likely not play again Sunday, so you'll need to wait probably one more week to have him back…

>> Kevin Kolb won't play Sunday for Arizona, but he's not starting for you anyway. What this means is Larry Fitzgerald's value has taken a huge dive because "Red" Skelton couldn't get him the football last season at all. I wouldn't expect double digits in points from him against St. Louis…

>> It would be too much of a surprise to see Felix Jones back on the field for Dallas. It's not like they need him with DeMarco Murray, so I think Jones sits again…

>> Wes Welker was back at practice after sitting out due to a neck injury, he's on track to play Sunday so there's no worries -- plan on playing him like normal.

See Jason Smith on NFL Fantasy Live, airing Sundays at 11:30 a.m. ET on the Red Zone Channel, and Tuesday-Friday on NFL Network at 2 p.m. ET and 12 a.m. ET/9 p.m. PT. He writes fantasy and other NFL pith on NFL.com daily. Talk to him on Twitter @howaboutafresca. He only asks you never bring up when the Jets play poorly.

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