Cowboy down? DeMarco Murray uncertain for Week 16

BY John Halpin • December 16, 2014

(Note: Much of this post was written Tuesday morning. Sorry for the delay.)

Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray had surgery on his broken left hand on Monday. Murray has not been ruled out for the game, but team VP Stephen Jones said it's "probably a tough expectation" that Murray will play against the Colts.

However, on Tuesday morning, FOX Sports Southwest reported that the Cowboys are optimistic about Murray's chances to play, and the Cowboys' website quoted owner Jerry Jones as saying Murray would likely be a gametime decision. Also, I talked with Michael Salfino (Yahoo!, Wall Street Journal) about Murray's not-so-remote status.

Head coach Jason Garrett talked Monday about a "committee" to replace Murray, but noted the good things that Lance Dunbar has done on third down and as a receiver, while pointing out that Joseph Randle has been brought into games "just to give him the ball." These guys will share the workload if Murray is out, but Randle figures to be busier, and is therefore the better fantasy play against a mediocre Colts' run defense. Randle is owned in just 1.7 percent of leagues, while Dunbar is owned in 1.5.

In other news ...

The Falcons aren't yet sure if Julio Jones (hip) to play on Sunday.

The 49ers have some running back issues, as Frank Gore (concussion) and Carlos Hyde (ankle, back) were both injured on Sunday. Gore needs to clear league protocols before playing, while Hyde was scheduled for an MRI on Monday.  Alfonso Smith would fill in if both Gore and Hyde can't play against the Chargers in Week 16.

We've got an unusual schedule this week, with Titans-Jags on Thursday night, and a pair of Saturday games (Eagles-Redskins, Chargers-49ers).

Speaking of the Jags, have the RB-needy among you picked up Toby Gerhart (33.2 percent owned) for his matchup against the terrible Titans?

Giants RB Rashad Jennings returned to action on Sunday, re-injured his ankle on his first carry, and left the game. Don't expect to see Jennings in Week 16 against the Rams.

Colts WR T.Y. Hilton injured a hamstring on Sunday, and while it doesn't sound serious, his team has already clinched a division title. If you own Hilton, keep an eye on his status this week, because it's possible that he could get a rest.

Either Thad Lewis or Case Keenum will start at quarterback for the Texans this week. If you started the Ravens' DST in Week 15, roll with them again.

With Jake Locker (shoulder) probably done for the season, Charlie Whitehurst will start at quarterback for the Titans. If you're looking for a DST to stream this week, you could do a lot worse than the Jaguars, who are owned in just 1.6 percent of leagues.

Chargers WR Keenan Allen is probably done for the season due to a broken collarbone. RB Ryan Mathews (knee) didn't practice Tuesday.

The Redskins will start Robert Griffin III against the Eagles on Saturday. Did you know that RG3 ran for 46 yards against the Giants, and was fantasy's ninth-ranked QB in Week 15? He's owned in just 32.5 percent of leagues.

See you back here Friday morning.

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