Redskins' RB Clinton Portis is almost certain to miss Sunday's game against the Cowboys, a blow to a lot of fantasy teams. If you're smart though, you've handcuffed Portis with Ladell Betts. Wait, Betts is injured. Or maybe not. He's kind of injured. Well, in that case the backup will be Shaun Alexander. Oh hell, that can't be right. Can it? Here we go...
Shaun Alexander, Ladell Betts, Rock Cartwright and Mike Sellers all touted their credentials as quality fill-ins should Portis' sprained left knee keep the NFL's second-leading rusher out of a game that will be pivotal for Washington's playoff chances.
"At the end of the day, if Clinton can't go," Alexander said, "I'll be ready."
Trying to keep a gauge on it all was coach Jim Zorn, who is making contingencies based on balky knees. Portis sprained an MCL in the loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers before the bye, and Betts was limited in Wednesday's practice while attempting to return from a more severe left knee sprain that has caused him to miss three games.
"If Clinton can't go, it's going to be a community position," Zorn said. "If Ladell is near 100 percent, I would feature Ladell. If Ladell's not 100 percent, I think I would feature Shaun Alexander -- and then Rock Cartwright would be a bigger factor as well."
This is definitely a bad situation for fantasy players. You can't count on Portis, you can't count on Betts, and there's a decent chance that somebody like Sellers will blow up for 100 yards. Compounding the problem is that the Redskins play on Sunday Night, so if you're counting on Portis/Betts/Alexander and they're a last minute inactive you don't have any replacement options.
If you have Portis as the anchor of your fantasy team, it's time to make a hard call and bench him -- and his entourage -- this week. Starting a RB2 that you know is going to play, somebody like Fred Taylor, Jerrious Norwood, Jonathan Stewart, or Chester Taylor, is a safer option than risking a zero from an injured Redskin RB.