Montee Ball fantasy football We're down on Montee Ball. You should be, too. Credit: Getty Images

Sometimes, that sinking feeling in your stomach isn’t from bad deli meat. It’s from knowing that one of your key fantasy players is trending downward in a big way. Getting out in front of this decline and moving on is one antacid, a way to gain relief. These running backs are in trouble right now:

Deflated Ball
Through the first four games, Montee Ball was averaging 3.1 yards per carry and got chewed out at least once by Peyton Manning. Now he has a serious groin injury that will cost him at least 2-3 weeks. If anyone in your league is assuming Ball will be handed back the starting job upon his return and is willing to pay about 60 cents on the dollar, I would be selling. It’s more likely that Ball will return as a complementary piece, playing with Ronnie Hillman and C.J. Anderson instead of ahead of them.

Kno more Miller time
Lamar Miller has been nothing short of spectacular since Knowshon Moreno (elbow) went down, rushing 27 times for 172 yards with two touchdowns over his last two games. But that doesn’t mean he’ll keep getting volume with Moreno on the verge of a return. The Dolphins see Moreno as the superior inside runner and foundation back, with Miller more as the finesse/change-of-pace runner. We’re likely only looking at 9-12 carries per game for Miller, making him more of a flex play than every-week starter.

Buck up
The Bucs have shown plenty of support and patience with Doug Martin. I don’t know why. He’s been a liability in pass protection and is averaging just 2.5 yards per carry, one year after averaging 3.6 YPC. This lack of production has to show up in usage soon, especially if Bobby Rainey can string together some quality performances. Martin should have enough cache as a “starting running back” to fetch a decent wideout on the trade market.


Pickups of the Week
Branden Oliver, RB, Chargers – Oliver will be a feature back until Ryan Mathews returns and then will fill the Danny Woodhead role.
Andre Williams, RB, Giants – In terms of raw running, Williams is more talented than the injured Rashad Jennings. He’ll eat for two weeks.
Ronnie Hillman, RB, Broncos — Not a workhorse kind of back, but one that is now looking at 10-14 touches weekly.

NFL Matchups
Fire up these borderline players in Week 6
1. Jordan Reed at ARZ – If Reed is healthy, he’ll immediately take back his job from Niles Paul and feast on a Cardinals defense that’s inept at defending tight ends.
2. Justin Hunter vs. JAX – Finally playing ahead of Nate Washington, the supremely talented Hunter is on the verge of an eruption.
3. Jordan Cameron vs. PIT – With Brian Hoyer moving the ball well, the targets will begin to funnel toward the healthy and athletic Cameron.

NFL News
Over the last three weeks, Brandon Marshall has just six catches for 69 yards with one touchdown. Use that as a chance to buy low. This week, coach Marc Trestman came out and said Marshall needs to be move involved in the offense – a clear case of the squeaky wheel getting greased. Longtime Bromance partner Jay Cutler will be peppering Marshall with targets in a dream matchup against the Falcons in Week 6.