Fantasy impact: Bell injures knee

BY foxsports • September 22, 2009

Pierre Thomas owners may have just caught one of the luckiest breaks they could have asked for.

Mike Bell had been tearing it up in the backfield for the Saints through the first two weeks of the season (229 yards rushing yards, one TD) which, when coupled with Drew Brees and the passing attack, made New Orleans' offense virtually impossible to stop. There was no reason for Sean Payton to change what has worked so well early on.

However, Bell sprained his right knee in the fourth quarter of the Week 2 romp over the Eagles. Ironically, it was the same kind of injury that has kept Thomas out of the Saints lineup since mid-preseason. The good news for Bell owners is the MRI on the injured knee showed no structural damage. Bell is optimistic about returning this week, but Sean Payton didn't put a timeframe on when we might see him again.

The problem for Thomas owners, though, is even if Bell can't go in Week 3, Thomas may not be healthy enough to handle a full workload just yet. He was used so sparingly against the Eagles even when the Saints wanted to run out the clock and maintain their comfortable lead. Chances are your best move will be to leave both Bell and Thomas on the bench in order to use your backups. Yeah, Reggie Bush carried the ball 10 times for 33 yards and a score in Philly, but I think Payton would prefer not to use him as a featured back in the offense, although he may have no choice this week.

Here's what's downright frightening — because of all these injuries to running backs, the Saints may even elect to throw the ball more than they normally would. I'm not talking about launching deep bombs on every single play, but instead of running the ball, Brees may just dump off short passes to his receivers and tight ends so they can amass all the yards they like after catching the ball.

As if you needed any more motivation to start Drew Brees in Week 3.

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