Commentary

Harris: Bracing for the worst in Henry saga

Updated: October 5, 2007, 3:35 PM ET
By Christopher Harris | ESPN.com

When you wake up to discover the star running back of your fantasy team is suing the NFL, you probably find yourself mumbling in the manner of Dwight Shrute at a gourmet cat-food sale. Which is to say:

Argh.

According to ESPN and multiple news outlets, Henry is facing a year's suspension for violating the NFL's drug-testing policy. He reportedly submitted a positive urine test sometime last month, but is suing the NFL for not allowing one of his representatives to be there at the time of testing. Unfortunately for Henry, the NFL has a "B" sample it could re-test at any time, but Henry is suing to restrain them from doing so.

In short, it doesn't sound good. Travis Henry owners (to say nothing of Denver Broncos fans) should prepare to be without the NFL's leading rusher; unfortunately, not too many other guys with Henry's resume are languishing on waiver wires around the world. The best you can do, alas, is go grab Henry's backup, undrafted rookie Selvin Young out of the University of Texas, who's looked pretty good in limited action so far this year (15 carries, 138 yards, five catches, 57 yards and a few near-misses on long pass plays). Young needs to be owned in all leagues, tout de suite.

In leagues where Young's already gone, if you've got a spare roster spot you can consider signing Andre Hall,

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who's officially the only other tailback on the Broncos roster just now. Hall is a second-year man out of the University of South Florida, and is a relatively little guy who's very fast. There may be some duplication of effort with Young, but Hall will at least probably find himself active on game days if/when Henry's suspension comes. The final option might be Mike Bell, who rushed for 677 yards and eight scores as a rookie last season. The Broncos converted Bell to fullback in training camp, and that's where he's been starting, but Denver does have fullback Paul Smith, whom they signed from the Rams this winter, so it's not inconceivable that Bell could be converted back to tailback. That seems like the third-most-likely option, but again, those in deeper leagues or Henry owners with bench space could take a flier.

The bottom line is: as of Friday morning, it sounds as though the legal wrangling in which Travis Henry and the NFL are currently engaged will prevent him from being suspended for this week's game against San Diego (although that doesn't mean he couldn't be), but it sure sounds like it's just a matter of time. Henry owners have to brace for the worst, and keep an eye on the news over the next couple days.

Christopher Harris is a fantasy baseball, football and racing analyst for ESPN.com. You can e-mail him here.