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by Kelly Grogan (8/1/12)
Updated 8/31/12. All Updates are in BOLD type


RUNNING BACKS

***NEW INJURIES***

Kevin Smith/RB/DET (Ankle) - He did suffer an ankle injury in the third preseason game and is unlikely to play in the Lions final preseason game.  Rumor has it that the Lions maybe in the market to add another running back before Week 1.

Jahvid Best/RB/DET (Concussions) - He has not received medical clearance for contact drills.  He will be brought along slowly.  If healthy he is worthy of an RB3 pick.  He still has not received clearance to practice.  As this continues, he is moving down to a later round pick as a risky option. It's looking like RB Kevin Smith may start the season as the Lions No. 1 RB.

He has been placed on the in season PUP list, which will keep him on the sidelines at least the first six games of the season. RB Kevin Smith will handle the rushing opportunities for the first two games while RB Mikel Leshoure serves his two game suspension. After that we most likely will see a combination of Smith and Leshoure with RB Joique Bell getting a few reps here and there.

Ahmad Bradshaw/RB/NYG (Foot) - He had surgery on his foot and is ready for training camp.  He will be brought along slowly.  If he can stay 100% healthy and the fact the Brandon Jacobs has moved on to the 49ers, Bradshaw should be considered a late RB1 or a strong RB2 in most leagues.  He did suffer a minor hand injury, but he's back at practice and it's not an issue.

Delone Carter/RB/IND (Thumb) - He missed the Colt's OTA's after having thumb surgery.  He will compete with RB Donald Brown for carries, but Brown is expected to start.  Carter is worthy of a later pick as insurance for Brown or has a sleeper in larger leagues.  He played well in the first preseason game, but will be a back-up at best.
*** UPDATE***
Carter was held out of the third preseason game with a rib injury. He did not practice the first two days of this week.  He could be limited to start the season.  It's looking like RB Vick Ballard will back-up Donald Brown to start the season.

Jamaal Charles/RB/KC (Knee) - He is appears to be at full speed this training camp.  He will be losing some carries to free agent signee Peyton Hillis, but will be counted on and will see plenty of opportunities.  We like him as a nice RB2 option.

Jonathan Dwyer/RB/PIT (shoulder) - He suffered a shoulder injury in the first pre-season game.  With Mendenhall out recovering from his knee injury, Dwyer is the back-up to now starting RB Isaac Redman.  When healthy, Dwyer will be used in short yardage and goal line situations.

Alex Green/RB/GB (Knee) - He is practicing.  If he can stay healthy throughout training camp he will challenge RB James Starks for playing time.

BenJarvas Green-Ellis/RB/CIN (toe) - He suffered a foot injury and will not play in this week's preseason game.  It sounds like he will miss one week of practice.  He should be considered a lower end RB2 option.
*** UPDATE***
He has returned to practice, but most likely will be held out of the final preseason game this Thursday.  He looks like he will be ready for Week 1.

Roy Helu/RB/WSH (Achilles) - He is dealing with the same injury he dealt with in the past. He is a later round option when healthy, but now with this injury is a risky pick at any point.  Keep an eye on this situation.
*** UPDATE***
He has returned to practice on a limited basis.  It is still a question if he will see any playing time in the Redskins final preseason game.

Tim Hightower/RB/WAS (Knee) - Recovering from a torn ACL makes Hightower a risky pick.  We would not be surprised to see a RBBC situation here with Roy Helu and Evan Royster in the mix.  Hightower should be considered a late RB4/early RB5 option.
*** UPDATE***
Hightower has been released by the Redskins and appears to have lost fantasy value. He may match on somewhere, but recovering from a torn ACL could mean he doesn't provide much fantasy help.

Mark Ingram/RB/NO (Knee) - He opened up in training camp and appears to be healthy.  It's a crowded backfield in New Orleans, but Ingram will get his carries.  He should get a lot of work and handle the goal line situations.  He is a nice addition to any fantasy line-up as a RB3/RB4.
*** UPDATE***
The Saints are limiting his preseason carries so he will be healthy for the regular season.

Fred Jackson/RB/BUF (Fibula) - The injury should not be a concern.  We expect full participation in training camp and like him as a late RB1 option.  He appears to be 100% healthy.

Brandon Jacobs/RB/SF (Knee) - He suffered the injury in the second preseason game.  He was taken off the field on a cart. 
*** UPDATE***
There is no guarantee Jacobs will be on the 49ers final roster.  RB Kendall Hunter is now slated to back-up starting RB Frank Gore.

Rashad Jennings/RB/JAX (Knee) - He was IR the entire 2011 season with a knee sprain.  He is in camp and running well.  Jennings is an interesting option considering if Maurice Jones-Drew's holdout lasts throughout the pre-season.  If MJD does miss significant time, Jennings is worth taking as a later round pick.
*** UPDATE***
Coach Mike Mularkey said he expects Jennings to start the season as the No. 1 RB for Week 1.  He also left the door open for MJD to play Week 1, if he reports soon.  Time is running out on MJD.

Mikel Leshoure/RB/DET (Achilles) -He is not eligible to play until Week 3 having been suspended by the league for the first two games. Definitely in the mix here in Detroit and we like him as a RB3/RB4.
*** UPDATE***
He is dealing with a hamstring and has returned to practice.  He did have five carries in the third preseason game.

Ryan Mathews/RB/SD (Broken Right Clavicle) - Suffered the injury in the first preseason game, on his first carry.  He is expected to miss 4-6 weeks which means it's possible he could miss the first two games of the regular season. 
*** UPDATE***
He said that he will be back for Week 1 of the regular season, but that's being very hopeful.  He just received clearance to begin upper body exercises on his left side.  It's still a possibility the Chargers will take it slow with him and he could miss the first two or three games of the regular season.

Rashard Mendenhall/RB/PIT (Knee) - He had ACL surgery and is on the pre-season PUP list.  It is quite possible he will remain on the PUP list when the season starts which means he will miss at least the first six games of the season.  RB Isaac Redman is expected to start the season as the Steelers No. 1 RB.  Mendenhall should be considered a later pick with risk.  It is really looking like he will miss at least the first six games of the season. The Steelers removed Mendenhall from the preseason PUP list.  Because of the groin injury to RB Isaac Redman (groin), it appears the Steelers want Mendenhall available by Week 5 or 6 of the regular season.  His fantasy value has to move up, but it still depends on his overall health.

Adrian Peterson/RB/MIN (Knee) - At this point the jury is still out on his health after tearing his ACL and MCL near the end of the 2011 season. He will be brought along slowly in training camp.  The hope is that he will be available for week one at some level.  If healthy he has the potential to be an RB1, but his selection as an RB2 is a nice gamble.  Try to handcuff him with RB Toby Gerhart if possible.
*** UPDATE***
He has only seen limited contact in practice and the coaching staff will continue to take it slow with him while getting ready for Week 1.  He is not expected to play in the final preseason game.

Darren McFadden/RB/OAK (Foot) - He appears to be 100% to start training camp.  As long as he is healthy, he will be the workhorse he in Oakland.  He is a lower end RB1 option in most leagues.

Knowshon Moreno/RB/DEN (Knee) - He has been practicing.  He is fighting for the No. 3 RB spot behind Willis McGahee and Ronnie Hillman.  An off-season DUI arrest has not helped his cause, however.
*** UPDATE***
He has played in two preseason games.  He is battling RB Lance Ball for playing time and maybe even a roster spot.

DeMarco Murray/RB/DAL (Ankle) - He is expected to start training camp with no issues, but his injury history is still a concern here.  If he can stay healthy, he is a nice option as an RB2.  It's a good idea to handcuff him with Felix Jones as insurance.

Isaac Redman/RB/PIT (Hip) - It's a day by day injury.  He may try to practice on a limited basis.  If Mendenhall can make it back on the field (see Mendenhall below), Redman's fantasy stock will take a hit.
*** UPDATE***
He did return to practice last week, but was held out practice on Monday due to an ankle injury.

Trent Richardson/RB/CLV (Knee) - He had arthroscopic surgery to clean out his knee.  The Browns are "hopeful" he will be ready for week 1, but we don't expect that they will rush him back.  This is his second arthroscopic knee surgery since February.  With this injury, he falls out of the RB1 tier.
*** UPDATE***
He is rehabbing and is on schedule.  He should be returning to practice "soon" according to Head Coach Pat Shurmur and his is optimistic that Richardson will be ready to go Week 1.

Stevan Ridley/RB/NE (Knee) - He suffered a knee injury.  As usual, the Patriots did not release any details.  He did see playing time in the second half of preseason game no. 2, so it is not something to be concerned about.
*** UPDATE***
He did play in the third preseason game rushing for 87 yards on 16 carries.

Javon Ringer/RB/TEN (Hand) - He is fine for training camp.  He is definitely a later round selection as well as a handcuff option for starting RB Chris Johnson.

James Starks/RB/GB (Turf toe) - He is considered week to week.  He has not had a great camp and now with this injury, you can see why the Packers signed free agent Cedric Benson.  If he can bounce back quickly, he could remain the Packers starting RB, but that's not guaranteed.
*** UPDATE***
He has not made much progress and is in jeopardy of losing playing time to Cedric Benson.

Beanie Wells/RB/ARZ (Knee) - He was removed from the PUP list earlier this week and has been practicing.  Barring any setbacks, he should to be ready for week one and is a nice RB3 option.
*** UPDATE***
He is practicing and is did play in the third preseason game. 

Ryan Williams/RB/ARZ (Knee) - He should fine for training camp.  With RB Beanie Wells on the early PUP list, he will get those important additional reps. Wells is expected back for the first week of the season and Williams is a good insurance pick and handcuff for him.
*** UPDATE***
He is back playing, but the Cardinals offensive line is struggling which makes it difficult for any of the running backs.