Watching the Washington Redskins backfield is kind of like watching the New York Yankees bullpen on Thursday night: You had no idea who is getting the ball next.
Once again Redskins coach Mike Shanahan is up to his old games: Ryan Torain was the team's leading rusher last week, getting 19 carries for 135 yards, more than Tim Hightower and Roy Helu combined. So for the next few weeks, Torain may be the hot hand, I wouldn't put all my eggs in the Torain basket.
Speaking of coaches who care tons about fantasy football, Bill Belichick has made the Patriots backfield a timeshare. While Tom Brady and Wes Walker have been getting all the notoriety, Stevan Ridley, who was one of three running backs the Patroits drafted this April despite the success of the Law Firm: BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Ridley has stepped up in the absence of Danny Woodhead, and will see time going forward. The Law Firm is still the guy you want in the New England running back stable, but if you have a spot to store Ridley on your bench, it's worth the spot.
Also in the category of guys you want on your bench, take a flyer on Isaac Redman, particularly in a keeper league. Redman will likely get the bulk of the carries today as Rashard Mendenhall is injured, but he did participate fully in practice on Friday. Mendenhall led the NFL in carries last year and that line, as we spoke a few weeks ago, is atrocious, as evidence by Ben Roethlisberger joining Mendenhall on the injured list. I like Redman as a potential keeper because of the mileage on Mendenhall already.
Also injured this weekend is Andre Johnson, who is likely out for at least two games. That gives Jacoby Jones an opportunity to pick up some extra catches as he elevates to the No. 1 spot .
Chad Henne's 2011 season came to an end this week as he was put on the injured reserve. I think this has a trickle down effect. One, I think Daniel Thomas' value at running back goes down, at least for this year. He's a nice back and has had some nice games, but with Matt Moore becoming the starting quarterback, I think defenses are going to concentrate on stopping Thomas and Reggie Bush and make Moore beat them. As he showed in Carolina, Moore is not a terribly good quarterback and that lessens the value of Brandon Marshall as well.
Remember that bye weeks start this weekend with Cleveland, Dallas, Miami, St. Louis, Baltimore and Washington all enjoying the week off.
Like the Yankees' postseason run, I'm keeping this column short. Join me again next week when the column moves to Thursdays going forward.