NFL Running Backs You Want to Avoid for Thursday Contests

It’s that time of year when injuries are plentiful around the NFL, and teams are often holding certain players out of practice to rest their bodies. This can be obnoxious for regular fantasy, but it can also be annoying for daily fantasy Thursday contests. There are a lot of running-back situations we must continue to monitor going into the weekend. Here’s who you should avoid putting in your lineups tonight.


Arian Foster – Bill O’Brien said today that Arian Foster is heading for a game-time decision. We’ve seen Foster play through injuries many times before, but groins and hamstrings with running backs are never good. Since Alfred Blue has been decent at times going against a weak Browns rushing defense, this one is pretty close to 50/50. No need to risk it.

Giovani Bernard – Bernard didn’t practice today and the vibe is that he won’t play this weekend against the Saints. Since Andy Dalton won’t be playing outdoors in the howling wind, he should have a better day, which should ultimately make it easier for whoever is at running back. Can you safely play Jeremy Hill? Ehhh. It’s definitely better than 50 percent. But in a very tight four-team race in the AFC North, seeing limited Bernard action wouldn’t shock me. I’d just wait for Sunday on this one.

Ronnie Hillman – Just from general buzz, it seems a lot of people are reading into this running back situation incorrectly. John Fox said Hillman is day-to-day. A couple other media reports suggested 1-to-2 or 2-to-3 weeks he will be out. But even if Hillman is out, there’s a big assumption C.J. Anderson will be the main back. I’m not so sure about that. Taking over against the Oakland Raiders doesn’t exactly qualify as winning the starting job when Montee Ball, who was banged up to start the year, was expected to be the main guy. Split time with these two running backs makes perfect sense if Hillman doesn’t play. If Hillman does play, it’s still a question mark on how it all plays out. Oh, and the Rams have a solid rush defense. Just don’t play at Broncos RBs on Thursday or Sunday unless some breaking news or concrete information comes into play.

Rashad Jennings – Tom Coughlin said earlier in the week that Jennings will likely get a limited workload. Jennings has been practicing on a limited basis and is questionable. Playing or not, he’s not worth putting in a lineup.

Pierre Thomas/Khiry Robinson – Neither back has practiced all week. With the emergence of Mark Ingram, there’s no rush to bring these guys back early. Even if they did, Robinson would get very little action, and Thomas would only exceed salary with a vulchered TD on a screen pass.

Reggie Bush – Bush hasn’t practiced this week and Jim Caldwell mentioned he might hold Bush out this weekend. It’s a brutal matchup for Bush if he does play, not to mention his snap count is significantly down, but you definitely can’t put him in your Thursday lineups.

View all posts by Nick Juskewycz
Nick Juskewycz

About the Author

Sked Nick is a Daily Fantasy Sports enthusiast and a former Bleacher Report Featured Columnist. Most of his time is dedicated to the sports world in front of several televisions, monitors and a projector. This involves researching, writing, watching games or simply keeping up to date on news.He graduated with honors from Bowling Green State University with a degree in sport management and journalism. Furthermore, Nick was a radio play-by-play and color commentator for Bowling Green football, men's basketball, women's basketball and baseball. He also has experience working with the BGSU athletic department.Follow @NickJuskewycz

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