MIAMI GARDENS, FL - SEPTEMBER 12: Defensive end Albert Haynesworth #92 of the New England Patriots tackles Running back Reggie Bush #22 of the Miami Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium on September 12, 2011 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)

Fantasy Football News: Dolphins RBs Reggie Bush, Daniel Thomas Splitting Carries 70-30

We break down the Dolphins running back situation, which could see Reggie Bush and Daniel Thomas splitting carries over the course of the season. For more on the Dolphins, check out The Phinsider. For more on fantasy football, check out Fake Teams.

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7 Total Updates since September 15, 2011
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Peyton Hillis Fantasy Update: Montario Hardesty Might Start Getting More Carries

Cleveland Browns coach Pat Shurmur indicated on Tuesday that he is hoping to get more carries to backup running back Montario Hardesty (h/t Rotoworld). Shurmur looks at Peyton Hillis' bruising style and recognizes the need to get him some relief on occasion. Hardesty received three carries on Sunday against the Colts and it sounds like Shurmur is hoping to get him some more:

"This is something I need to do a better job of," Shurmur said. "I wanted to get [Hardesty] in the game at some point, [but] I wish we could have got him in the game sooner because he needs to play. Peyton [Hillis] is a bruising-style runner that needs a little bit of relief at times, and I think that's what we'll try to do a better job of next time."

Hillis is currently on a four-game streak of fewer than four yards per carry and a five-game streak of fewer than 100 rushing yards. Of course, against the Colts he did manage to snap six-game scoreless streak. Part of Hillis' value early last season came in his ability to punch the ball in. If he's not getting touchdowns, his fantasy value takes a fairly sizable hit given his recent fairly low yardage total.

For now, Hillis remains a worthy start each week, but you definitely should pay close attention to his numbers these next couple weeks. His upcoming schedule is actually not too bad for fantasy matchups, although Oakland and San Francisco bring some stout rushing defenses. Keep him in your starting lineup for now.


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For more on the Browns, check out Dawgs By Nature. For more on fantasy football, check out Fake Teams.

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Arian Foster Injury News: Ben Tate Named Indefinite Starter

Monday afternoon, Texans coach Gary Kubiak announced to the media that Ben Tate is "probably going to carry most of the load right now." Arian Foster left Sunday's victory over the Texans and although Kubiak described it as a fatigue issue, Foster described it as a tightening up of balky hamstring. The decision to officially hand over much of the load to Tate would indicate Kubiak confirmation of Foster's issue.

The decision to hand over carries to Ben Tate for now is not surprising, primarily because Tate was already handling the load through the first two weeks. Tate is off to a fantastic start through two weeks and there's no need to rock the boat and aggravate Arian Foster's injury.

The decision might make Foster a little nervous given how quickly a great back can become yesterday's news (see Alexander, Shaun). For fantasy purposes, if you have Foster but not Tate, I wouldn't get too nervous yet. Once healthy, Foster will get back in the mix and would likely take over the load moving forward this season. If Tate stays hot, the Texans might have a decision to make in the offseason, but for 2011 fantasy football that is not your concern.


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For more on the Texans, check out Battle Red Blog. For more on fantasy football, check out Fake Teams.

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Packers' RB James Starks To Continue Getting More Snaps Than Ryan Grant

In an expected continuation from last week's season-opening victory against the New Orleans Saintsthe Green Bay Packers will look to utilize James Starks more regularly than Ryan Grant. Although Grant has been technically classified as the starting running back, Starks is considered the better pass protecting back, which means more opportunities on pass plays.

The Packers run a lot of spread formations, which requires a better blocking back. Starks appeared in 45 snaps, while Grant only appeared in 16 snaps. Starks carried the ball 12 times to Grant's 9. Both were effective running the ball, but if Starks can provide a more complete package, it can only help his cause.

The question then becomes who is the worthwhile fantasy start. This week against the Panthers you could actually argue both are worth starting as the Packers could run rough-shod over the Panthers defense. If you have Starks, he would appear to be an excellent flex option this week, and maybe a decent number two back. If you have Grant, he's no better than a flex option right now. One or the other could firmly grab hold of the starting job, but for now it appears that we'll see a bit of a platoon for the foreseeable future.

For more on the Packers, check out Acme Packing Company.

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Mike Tolbert Likely To Get More Carries Than Ryan Mathews For Now

San Diego Chargers beat-writer Kevin Acee pointed out on Friday that it is likely Mike Tolbert will receive more snaps than Ryan Mathews "for the foreseeable future." The reasoning behind this prediction is Tolbert's work in pass protection. Norv Turner has specifically pointed out the great work Tolbert did in pass protection, while describing Ryan Mathews as improving. It's a solid step forward for Mathews, but improving strikes me as, "still not where we want him."

Last week against the Vikings, Tolbert 48 snaps while Mathews had 36. They ended up with a similar number of carries, but further inclusion of Tolbert would seem to make him the 1A to Mathews 1B for fantasy purposes. Throw in the red zone work for Tolbert and at this point Ryan Mathews should probably be on your bench.

It's not a particularly good situation all around for fantasy purposes, but if you managed to grab both of them, Tolbert would seem to be the start. In reality, you're probably better off starting neither, particularly this week in a potential shootout with the New England Patriots. Tolbert may be on the field more, but the rushing numbers could be low for both backs.

For more on the Chargers, check out Bolts from the Blue.

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Arian Foster Likely To Lose 10+ Carries To Ben Tate

The Houston Texans appear intent on starting Arian Foster Sunday against the Miami Dolphins but easing off his normal 25+ carry workload. Houston Chronicle beat writer John McClain tweeted that he thinks the Texans want to get Foster the ball at least 20 times and get Ben Tate the ball at least ten times.

While the loss of 10+ carries is not ideal, if the Texans are able to get Arian Foster 20+ carries, there's no reason to not start Foster. He could potential aggravate his hamstring injury, but that could flair up anytime even if he was entering the game without the recent injury.

Arian Foster may not be a 100% stone cold lock play this week given the loss of carries, but he's about as sure as you're going to get at this point. We don't know what to expect from him after the relatively long lay-off, but I don't want to be the fool that benches him before he blows up against an incredibly questionable Dolphins defense.

For more on the Texans, check out Battle Red Blog.

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Jordy Nelson Emerging As Solid Fantasy Football Flex Option

The Green Bay Packers are loaded with offensive weapons, but under-the-radar Jordy Nelson may be emerging as one of the more consistent options week to week. Nelson has led the team in receptions since the beginning of last year's playoffs and opened the 2011 season with six receptions for 77 yards and a touchdown. Nelson is in his free agency year so a strong showing would put him in position for a nice little contract extension.

As it currently stands, if Nelson can build on his recent performances he would appear to settle in nicely as a flex receiver on your fantasy team. His ceiling right now would be as a number two guy, but at the very least he will be an excellent bye-week and matchup-based fill-in.

The Packers travel to face the Carolina Panthers this week and while the name in the news will be Cam Newton, the Panthers was sufficiently shredded by Kevin Kolb and the Arizona Cardinals that you should have no concerns about the Packers passing attack. Expect big numbers across the board.

For more on the Packers, check out Acme Packing Company.

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Dolphins RBs Reggie Bush, Daniel Thomas Looking At 70-30 Split In Carries Says Tony Sparano

We break down the Dolphins running back situation, which could see Reggie Bush and Daniel Thomas splitting carries over the course of the season. For more on the Dolphins, check out The Phinsider. For more on fantasy football, check out Fake Teams.

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