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Sunday afternoon, Ben Roethlisberger injured his foot during the Steelers 17-10 defeat in Houston and early reports were concerned about a possible break. The latest report however, indicates the injury is a sprained foot. Although it is not as severe as a break, the injury does leave Roethlisberger in question for Sunday's Steelers-Titans game.
At this point in the season, Roethlisberger has put up some solid enough fantasy numbers but something is just not clicking for the Steelers. They are 2-2 but they seem worse and in a similar sense, something seems worse about Roethlisberger than his numbers would indicate. As long as he's getting the stats it's not the end of the world, but it's worth noting if his numbers do eventually start to take a dip.
In the meantime, we'll keep an eye on the Steelers practice participation reports Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. I'd imagine Roethlisberger will be no better than limited in practice, and possibly sit out practice entirely.
San Diego Chargers wide receiver Vincent Jackson left Sunday's 26-16 victory over the Miami Dolphins with a leg injury. While he returned to the game he was limited in that time and is a bit of a question mark heading into week five against the San Diego Chargers.
The Chargers seem to suspect the injury was the result of compensating for an abdomen strain that sidelined him for three practices over the last two weeks. He has been able to play and excel with the abdomen strain, but as it causes additional injuries it is worth tracking. He'll likely miss some practice again this week and end up on the final injury report once more.
The Chargers-Broncos game will be a late one this week at 4:15pm ET, so you may find yourself waiting out the decision. If you have late game running back and receiving options other than Jackson, one of the best options is slotting him into your flex position. That gives you an opportunity to replace him if he's a late scratch. I suspect he'll be able to play next Sunday, but it is always best to be prepared for the worst.
The Pittsburgh Steelers have gotten off to a rough start in 2011, currently sitting at 2-2 after a tough loss to the Houston Texans. The Steelers woes may be growing as quarterback Ben Roethlisberger suffered a foot injury that knocked him out of the game briefly during the fourth quarter. He had x-rays on the foot but there is no word if it is broken. Roethlisberger dealt with a foot injury 2010, although that one was his right foot and this injury is his left foot.
Roethlisberger was in a walking boot following the game and I would suspect we'll get an update sometime on Monday following any further examination. The Steelers season as a whole has been fairly miserable and Roethlisberger has been very up and down. He put together huge passing numbers against the Indianapolis Colts but could not find the end zone. This followed an embarrassing three interception season opener and a solid, if unspectacular performance against the Seahawks in week two.
For now Big Ben is not a guy you really want to be relying on for your fantasy team. I'd suspect until he gets things figured out there are some decent options on your waiver wire if you don't already have a backup.
Pittsburgh Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall left Sunday's game after scoring a touchdown in the third quarter as he reportedly suffered a hamstring injury. Mendenhall scored the touchdown with 7:02 left in the third quarter and left from there. He had only nine rushes and one pass attempted in his direction at that point. Isaac Redman and Mewelde Moore split the work load the rest of the way in the Steelers 17-10 loss.
Mendenhall has been up and down this season and this injury does not help matters. He didn't return for a quarter and a half, so you'll want to pay close attention to the Steelers practice participation reports this week in advance of their game with the Tennessee Titans.
If Mendenhall is unavailable this coming Sunday, Redman and Moore would likely split up the workload. If you are have bye week issues either of them would be worth picking up in that instance. One problem with that is not knowing until after a normal Wednesday morning waiver period whether you need one of them. Someone may pounce to get ahead of you for Redman or Moore. Keep an eye out for news over the next 36 hours.
Houston Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson left Sunday's victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers with what is currently being described as a pulled hamstring. After the game, Texans owner Bob McNair confirmed the pull and said that Johnson would get an MRI on Monday to determine the severity of the injury.
The Texans have just been getting over Arian Foster's hamstring injury, and now they face another one. There is nothing to indicate it is as serious as Foster's was, but hamstrings are always so tricky and easy to aggravate. I would suspect that whatever the result of the MRI, Johnson will likely sit out much of practice this week to rest the hamstring. If he is anything more than limited this week I would be pretty surprised.
For now you'll need to wait and see what the MRI says, and then what Johnson and the team have to say over the next few days, before making any sort of lineup decision.
I like that it supposedly came straight from the source, so this seems like news you can run with. Obviously things can change before a 4:15 p.m. start, but for now, lock him in your lineup, owners.
For more on the Falcons and White, visit The Falcoholic.
The little wide receiver who somehow amassed 85 receptions in 2010 is inactive for the third straight game in Week 4 for the Rams' game against the Redskins. Amendola dislocated his elbow in his first game against the Eagles.
There was some speculation that Amendola might play to give a huge boost to QB Sam Bradford and the team, trying to turn around a 0-3 start. That was stoked when he was listed as questionable all week, but with a bye week forthcoming in Week 5, it made too much sense for the Rams to rest him another week and play him in Week 6 when he's fully recovered.
For fantasy owners, nothing has changed. If you insist on rolling with a Rams receiver, you should look at Brandon Gibson, but you should also enjoy the cellar, because why are you insisting on rolling with a Rams receiver?
Well, this is interesting. We’ve been saying all the morning that even if Frank Gore plays today against the Eagles, he might not be the best fantasy bet given that he’d likely be part of a committee also featuring Kendall Hunter and Anthony Dixon. Now, we have official confirmation. From the 49ers official Twitter account:
Gore is in fact active, but considering that he’s averaged just 2.5 yards per carry this year even when he’s been the lone featured back, the fact that he’s officially sharing time with Kendall Hunter for at least one week might convince fantasy owners to find a different option.
Hunter turned a lot of heads in the preseason, averaging 6.6 yards per carry. But standing just 5-foot-7, he may be more effective as a change of pace than a featured back. He’s certainly more likely than Gore to break off a long run, but he’s still a risky bet. Start either player at your own risk.
Colston, who broke his collarbone in the Saints' Week 1 loss to the Green Bay Packers and has not played since, was already expected to play, but it now looks to be official. Colston caught six passes for 81 yards in his only game of the season three weeks ago.
Colston's return will only help the NFC's highest-scoring offense; the Saints average 34.7 points per game. Drew Brees is 2-1 with eight touchdowns and no interceptions in his career against the Jaguars. Jacksonville will look to counteract New Orleans' offense with their stingy defense, ranked fourth in the NFL with 280 yards allowed per game. With the emergence of Saints tight end Jimmy Graham as well as wide receivers Lance Moore and Devery Henderson, Colston's return will only make things harder for the Jaguars.
Interesting decision to start Robinson in place of Ogletree, but the real news is Bryant. The dynamic sophomore receiver had a monster game in Week 1 against the Jets, but has been injured and out the past two weeks. This not only gives Bryant's fantasy owners a huge boost, but Tony Romo as well. With Miles Austin out again, Romo finally has a legitimate target on the outside.
First, the good news: it looks like Frank Gore will in fact start, despite missing practice this week with an ankle injury. ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio just confirmed as much on the air:
"I just talked to head coach Jim Harbaugh. Running back Frank Gore, who was limited in practice with an ankle injury all week long, will start in the game, according to Coach Harbaugh"
Now, the disclaimer: even if Gore plays, will he carry a full load? 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman already said that Kendall Hunter and Anthony Dixon are expected to get playing time, which means even if Gore is active his fantasy value will still take a hit by the committee approach.
Either way, we’ll continue to monitor Gore’s status as we approach game time. The following tweet from Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee is encouraging:
San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh "expects" running back Frank Gore to play through a right ankle injury Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles, but should not see a regular workload, reports CSN Bay Area's Matt Maiocco.
Gore is listed as questionable for Sunday's game but admitted he's uncertain if he'll play. Even if he does play, he may not see normal playing time. In that case, Kendell Hunter and Anthony Dixon should receive more playing time in a what can be considered a group effort among the three backs:
"I think it's somewhat probable you'll see all three," 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman said [about] Sunday's game.
Meanwhile, Fox Sports' John Czarnecki predicted in his preview of Sunday's game that Gore will be inactive:
It sounds like Gore will be inactive due to a bad ankle, meaning that rookie Kendall Hunter better step up.
Hunter has 11 carries for 30 yards and one touchdown for the 49ers so far this season.
Update: Beanie is active for the Chiefs.
Fantasy footballers counting on Arizona Cardinals RB Beanie Wells shouldn't count their chickens yet, but it appears he will play, according to head coach Ken Whisenhunt. The Whizzinator said just hours before game time that, "barring something unforeseen," Wells will play, but how much is still uncertain.
"Now, does that mean he's going to be able to have 30 carries? We'll see. That's what you don't know," Whisenhunt said.
Cardinals fans are probably more excited than Wells' fantasy owners because fantasy owners at least have someone to back up Wells. The Cardinals really don't have that luxury. Wells' primary backup is LaRod Stephens-Howling, but he's injured, as is rookie Ryan Williams, who's done for the year.
That leaves Chester Taylor — who has been playing since the name Chester was à la mode — as Wells' only legitimate backup. If "something unforeseen" happens, then the Cardinals will have a very difficult time beating the Giants.
Green Bay Packer's tight end Jermichael Finley was limited in practice on Friday with an ankle injury, though he is expected to play. The Packers would probably be just fine without Finley in the line up against the Denver Broncos, but having him likely will not hurt. Finley opens up a lot in the Packers offense and is a nightmare for teams to cover.
Don't be afraid to play Finley in your line up these week even with his injury. The Broncos defense struggles to cover the pass, especially tight ends. While he's unlikely to duplicate his three touchdown performance from last week, Finley is averaging nearly 70 receiving yards a game. Most fantasy experts have Finley as the No. 1 tight end play this week, so there's no reason not to play Finley if you have him on your roster.
Miami Dolphins running back Daniel Thomas will be a no-go for Sunday's game according to Jeff Darlington of NFL Network. Thomas looked like the real deal in his past two games, rushing for 202 yards combined. Thomas has been dealing with a hamstring injury since Week 1 that he re-aggrevated. Thomas ran between the tackles and with power, something the Dolphins have lacked in their offense early.
In Thomas' absence, Reggie Bush will get another shot to prove he can be a feature back in the NFL. Bush still struggles running the football between the tackles, but he should be an alright play in a PPR league since he catches a ton of passes out of the backfield. Another glaring proof that Thomas is out on Sunday is the fact that the Dolphins claimed running back Steve Slaton after he was released by the Houston Texans.
For more on Daniel Thomas and the Miami Dolphins check out The Phinsider, SB Nation's Dolphins blog.
Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Roddy White is expected to play against the Seattle Seahawks. White has been dealing with a quad injury all week and is listed as questionable on the injury report. Despite the questionable tag, there doesn't seem to be any concerns with White's availability. Last season White was listed as questionable for every single game, but played in all 16.
On the season White has 20 receptions for 224 yards and a touchdown, including 9 catches for 140 yards last week against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. White should fare well against a Seahawks defense that's struggled all around. The Falcons will also be looking to bounce back from a tough loss against the Buccaneers. If White for some reason cannot go, look for rookie Julio Jones to build on his break out game last week and Harry Douglas to get some increased targets.
For more on Roddy White and the Atlanta Falcons visit The Falcoholic, SB Nation's Falcons blog.
Denver Broncos running back Knowshon Moreno practiced all week and is expected to play, but not start today against the Green Bay Packers. Moreno has done virtually nothing so far in the 2011 NFL season. He's played in just one game and looked woefully ineffective, rushing for just 22 yards on 8 carries. Moreno doesn't seem to have the quickness and next gear to be a feature NFL back, so expect him to split carries all season.
Broncos running back Willis McGahee will get the start against the Packers, but he's been just as ineffective as Moreno. McGahee is averaging 2.9 yards per carry and just 52 yards per game. Unless you're desperate or in a really, really, really deep league neither of these running backs should be in your starting line up, even as a RB3. There are other back up running backs who will be more effective.
For more on the Denver Broncos check out Mile High Report, SB Nation's Broncos Blog.
Chicago Bears running back Marion Barber is expected to be active today against the Carolina Panthers. Barber has yet to be active for a game so far in the 2011 NFL season. He's expected to be the primary back up running back to Matt Forte and the short yardage back.
If you're looking to play Marion Barber this week in fantasy football you've either drafted a bunch of running backs who've gotten hurt or you're insanely desperate. Barber will be the primary back up to Forte, but it is unlikely Barber gets many touches for the Bears. Forte will get the lion's share of carries and also play on passing downs, as he's a receiving threat out of the backfield. Barber could steal some goal line carries and vulture a touchdown or so, but I wouldn't bank it on playing Barber over some other secondary running backs.
For more on the Chicago Bears visit Windy City Gridiron, SB Nation's Bears Blog.
The Pittsburgh Steelers are coming off a victory over the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday night that wasn't without it's losses. Steelers wide receiver Mike Wallace was limited in practice on Wednesday due to a rib injury he suffered in the game, but he is expected to play (exhale, fantasy owners) and will not wear a flak jacket. Wallace practiced in full on Friday and is expected to play against the Houston Texans.
The rib injury will mean Wallace likely plays in pain but his biggest asset, his speed, shouldn't be affected too much. The Texans still struggle covering speed receivers, so you shouldn't have any worries starting Wallace in your line up. In every game so far this season Wallace has at least 5 receptions and at least 100 yards receiving. Wallace should continue that trend today, despite the rib injury.
For more on the Pittsburgh Steelers visit Behind the Steel Curtain, SB Nation's Steelers blog.
Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson is dealing with an ankle injury, but he will start against the Dallas Cowboys. Johnson has practiced in all week for the Lions and there's no reason he will not go. He's listed as probable on the injury report. On the season, Johnson has 225 receiving yards and 6 touchdowns. He's caught at least two touchdowns per game so far. The ankle injury at this point is of no concern what so ever.
Against the Dallas Cowboys, Johnson is a prime play at the receiver position. The Cowboys secondary has given up massive passing yardage all season long and the way Matt Stafford is playing for the Lions shouldn't change that at all. Johnson is the primary receiving and primary redzone target for the Lions. He's a no-brainer fantasy play this week.
For more information on the Detroit Lions visit Pride of Detroit, SB Nation's Lions blog.
Cleveland Browns wide receiver Joshua Cribbs is expected to play on Sunday despite his groin injury. Cribbs returned to practice in a limited capacity on Thursday as expected and is listed as probable on the Browns injury report. Cribbs caught his first touchdown pass of the season last week against the Miami Dolphins. He's still a part time receiver for the browns, but he has at least 4 receptions and 40 yards the last two weeks.
The Titans have the leagues top rated defense, surprisingly, so if you absolutely need to start Cribbs in deeper leagues by all means do so. This week however is not a good match up for Cribbs. Cribbs is still the primary return man on both kick offs and punt returns for the Browns, so if you get individual player points for return yardage, he's a definite play.
For more on the Cleveland Browns visit Dawgs By Nature, SB Nation's Browns Blog
Buffalo Bills wide receiver Steve Johnson has been battling a groin injury but is expected to start against the Cincinnati Bengals today. Johnson was listed as probable on the injury report after practicing in full on Friday. Johnson has been a key factor in the Bills fast 3-0 start on the season, so having him in the line up will definitely help the Bills
On the season, Johnson has the 8th most targets among wide receivers in the NFL. Through three games, Johnson is averaging 85 receiving yards and a touchdown per game. Johnson is going up against the third ranked overall defense and the 3rd ranked pass defense in the NFL, however. If you have Stevie Johnson on your fantasy roster you should still start him, but the Bengals are giving up only 188 passing yards on the season.
For more on the Buffalo Bills visit Buffalo Rumblings, SB Nation's Bills blog.
St. Louis Rams running back Stephen Jackson is listed as probable on the injury report with a quad injury. It's the same injury that has hampered Jackson all season long, but as it stands he is expected to make the start against the Washington Redskins. Jackson has just six total carries on the season, but with Cadillac Williams also banged up and probable for the game, Jackson will likely bear the load.
When healthy, Jackson will carry the meat of the carries for the Rams and play on passing downs. As it stands though, Jackson hasn't been able to stay healthy. The Redskins defense gave up yards against the Dallas Cowboys last week, so if Jackson is good to go expect the Rams to feed him the football. They're offense as is has struggled, but getting Jackson going could help right that ship.
For more on the St. Louis Rams, visit Turf Show Times, SB Nation's Rams blog.
New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez suffered a broken nose in last weeks loss to the Oakland Raiders. While a broken nose is painful initially, it shouldn't have much of an effect on Sanchez's play. "It feels a lot better now, and we'll just worry about it after the season," Sanchez said Tuesday. "It's no big deal." Obviously, Sanchez is expected to start against the Baltimore Ravens.
If you're thinking about sitting Sanchez, his broken nose shouldn't have anything to do with the thought. His erratic play and the fact he's facing the Baltimore Ravens defense should play on you're decision, however. Sanchez has had his typical up and down play so far this season, throwing 6 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. He has thrown for over 300 yards in two of his three starts this season, though.
For more on the New York Jets, visit Gang Green Nation, SB Nation's New York Jets blog.
Oakland Raiders running back Darren McFadden has been dealing with a groin and shoulder issue all week, but is listed as probable and is expected to start against the New England Patriots today. The issue is probably because McFadden is rushing for so many yards on everyone. As it stands, McFadden has 393 rushing yards and a yards per carry average of 6.3. He's not expected to slow down this week, either.
McFadden is a great play this week going against a New England Patriots defense that has trouble stopping everyone. The Patriots defense is consistently bailed out by their offense and McFadden has gone for over 150 yards in two of three games this season. The Raiders will look to feed McFadden on the ground and in the air and the Patriots defense will have trouble stopping him.
For more on the Oakland Raiders check out Silver and Black Pride, SB Nation's Raiders Blog
Minnesota Vikings star running back Adrian Peterson is dealing with a calf injury, but is listed as probable on the injury report and is expected to start on Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs. Peterson didn't really seem to be hampered by his injury, but he did was limited to only 17 carries last week against the Detroit Lions.
Peterson has a great match up this week against a Chiefs team who is playing very poorly on both sides of the ball. As it stands on the season, Peterson is 6th in fantasy points and shouldn't be slowing down this week. His calf injury has been downplayed all week by the team, so only the real worry with Peterson is if he'll mysteriously disappear in the second half of the game again, like in past weeks. The Vikings for some reason have given up second half carries to Toby Gerhart, but head coach Leslie Frazier has said that's not the ideal plan. Look for Peterson to get a lot of good work against the Chiefs.
For more on the Minnesota Vikings, make sure to visit Daily Norseman, SBNation's Vikings Blog.
Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Lee Evans will not start on Sunday against the New York Jets. Evans missed last weeks game against the St. Louis Rams with his ankle injury and is not expected back in the line up until after the Ravens week 5 bye. Evans has played in just two games since being traded to the Ravens. He has just 2 receptions for 45 yards.
In place of Evans, rookie Torrey Smith looks to get the start once again. Smith exploded last week for 5 catches with 153 yards and 3 touchdowns. Smith caught three long touchdown passes from Joe Flacco and had another 10 yards rushing. It's unlikely Smith will give that kind of production against the New York Jets, but Smith does possess that big play potential at the receiver position, something the Ravens offense has lacked.
For more on the Baltimore Ravens visit Baltimore Beatdown, SB Nation's Ravens blog.
Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant has been working through a quad injury, but has been limited and held out of practices all week long. Bryant has been slapped with the worst thing for fantasy owners, the dreaded "game time decision". He missed Week 2, but played last week and caught 4 passes for 63 yards.
Even if Bryant plays against the Lions, his impact will likely be very minimal. The Lions are currently ranked in the Top 5 against the pass, mostly due to their pass rush from the defensive line. That pass rush looks to get bolstered this weekend too, with the addition of first round pick Nick Fairley. If you have another wide receiver option, you're best bet is to sit Bryant this week. Luckily, it's a 1:00 PM game, so we'll know if he's out or not before line ups need to be set.
For more on the Dallas Cowboys, make sure to visit Blogging the Boys, SBNation's Cowboys Blog.
New York Giants wide receiver Mario Manningham suffered a concussion against the Washington Redskins, but was cleared to practice on Friday. Manningham was cleared to practice on Wednesday. On Friday, Manningham practice in full and is listed as probable on the injury report. Manningham claims he's done everything necessary in practice and looks to play against the Arizona Cardinals.
If you have Manningham on your fantasy roster, this would be a good week to play him. His deep speed will challenge the Arizona Cardinals who have struggled mightily against the pass in 2011. The Giants offense has hit it's stride recently and Eli Manning is passing the ball well, so Manningham should get plenty of looks especially down the field. Given Manningham practiced all week and in full on Friday, there shouldnt be any concerns with his availability on Sunday.
For more on the New York Giants, make sure to visit Big Blue View, SBNation's Giants Blog.
Houston Texans running back Arian Foster is expected to start this week against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Fantasy football owners can now take a collective sigh of relief as their likely top 5 draft selection is finally ready to go. "He's fine," Texans head coach Gary Kubiak said about Foster. "He should be OK heading into the rest of the season now, hopefully. We'll keep our fingers crossed. He's chomping at the bit and ready to go, took his full load and we're okay."
Foster has only played in one game this season and he was ineffective, rushing for just 33 yards on 10 carries. In that single game, he re-aggravated his injury causing him to miss more time. As it stands however, Foster is a full go, expected to start, and get the lion share of carries. Even though Foster is going against the Steelers defense, they've been run on this season so don't be afraid to put him in your line up.
For more on the Houston Texans, make sure to visit Battle Red Blog, SBNation's Texans Blog.
Green Bay Packers running back Ryan Grant has been ruled out of today's game against the Denver Broncos. Grant sustained a bruised kidney in last weeks game against the Chicago Bears. (HOW DO YOU BRUISE A KIDNEY? OW!) Grant finished out the game last week, but was held back in practice all week.
With Grant ruled out, that means James Starks should get the majority of the carries at running back. This is good news for Starks owners, since there won't be really anyone to "split" carries. Alex Green will now be the primary back up running back with Grant out of the game. If you're desperate for a running back play, Green might net you some points, as the Broncos struggle to stop the run. Starks should have a nice day as the full time back.
For more on the Green Bay Packers, make sure to visit Acme Packing Company, SBNation's Packers Blog.
Dallas Cowboys running back Felix Jones suffered a shoulder injury last week against the Washington Redskins. Initially a concerning injury, Jones practiced all week for the Cowboys and is listed as probable for the game against the Detroit Lions. Against the Redskins, Felix finally looked like that explosive running back everyone thought he would be, rushing 15 times for 115 yards and also catching 3 passes for 40 yards.
Jones will be facing a Detroit Lions defense who've given up an average of over 100 rushing yards a game. Despite the talent on their defensive line and the potential debut of defensive tackle and first round pick Nick Fairley, Jones should be able to have a nice game. Despite giving up the yardage however, the Lions have given up only a single rushing touchdown on the season.
For more on the Dallas Cowboys, make sure to visit Blogging the Boys, SBNation's Cowboys Blog.
Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Jeremy Maclin suffered a hamstring injury last week in the Eagles loss to the New York Giants. Thankfully for Eagles fans and fantasy owners, Maclin is listed as probable on the injury report and is expected to play. Maclin has been limited all week in practice, but it sounds like that was by choice rather than necessity.
"I didn't see anything. We limited his work yesterday, so today he did all the stuff and he felt pretty good. He felt good coming out of yesterday which I thought was important," Eagles head coach Andy Reid said on Friday. As it stands Maclin looks like a start against the San Francisco 49ers. The 49ers secondary has been beat so far this season, so even though Maclin is playing with a hamstring injury, he should still be effective.
For more on the Philadelphia Eagles, make sure to visit Bleeding Green Nation, SBNation's Eagles Blog.
When the Arizona Cardinals take on the New York Giants, it looks like they will have their starting running back Beanie Wells available. Officially, Wells is listed as "questionable" on the injury report with a hand injury. "We'll still work him out before the game, but I still feel very optimistic he'll be able to play," Whisenhunt said after Friday's practice.
Getting back the leading rusher would help the Cardinals tremendously against the Giants. Wells has had over 90 yards rushing and at least one touchdown in both of his starts this season. Without Wells last week, the Cardinals struggled to rush the football and became one dimensional. Not only that, but the Cardinals struggled on third and short last week, which Wells should also improve. Wells talks as if he knows he's going to play, so starting him for fantasy shouldn't be an issue.
For more on the Arizona Cardinals, make sure to visit Revenge of the Birds, SBNation's Cardinals Blog.
New Orleans Saints wide receiver Marques Colston suffered a broken collarbone in the first week of the season, but seemingly will play on Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Colston began practice on Wednesday, just three weeks after breaking his collarbone. How effective Colston will be in the game is still a big question mark, but the fact that it's just a few weeks from breaking it, it's doubtful Colston will be a big time factor.
Saints coach Sean Payton seemed to indicate it's a forgone conclusion Colston will play as well, saying "He's clear. He'll be up (cleared) this week." That sounds pretty definitive. As far as what Colston will do defensively, he's facing a top 10 pass defense in the Jaguars, but they will also be without one of their starting cornerbacks in Derek Cox.
For more on the New Orleans Saints, make sure to visit Canal Street Chronicles, SBNation's Saints Blog.
Cleveland Browns running back Peyton Hillis missed last weeks game with strep throat, and he took a lot of heat for it from Browns fans. Hillis told reporters that during his illness, he lost 10 to 12 pounds, which is quite a bit for a big back like Hillis.
Hillis defended his position to sit himself saying, "The people that really care about me and want the best for me would understand," he said. "And the people that don't, then they don't. But I can't control that. And I'm going to do what's best for me at that point. If it's going to jeopardize my health in that situation, I'm going to take my own life in my own hands and do the best I can."
On the season, Hillis has 44 carries for 151 yards and 2 touchdowns. He looks good to go against the Tennessee Titans, so starting him on your fantasy team shouldn't be an issue.
For more on the Cleveland Browns, make sure to visit Dawgs by Nature, SBNation's Browns Blog.
San Diego Chargers wide receiver Vincent Jackson missed two days of practice with an abdominal injury. There is concern that Jackson won't be able to go against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday, which would hurt an already ailing Chargers passing attack. Not only would Jackson be out, but it looks like tight end Antonio Gates and potentially wide receiver Malcom Floyd could be out as well. Both, along with Jackson, have sat out practice this week.
If Jackson can't go, that means Patrick Crayton and rookie Vincent Brown will likely get more playing time, especially with the chance that Gates and Floyd could also be out. The Chargers have struggled passing the football to start the season and will look to right the ship against a Dolphins team that teams have been able to freely pass the ball on.
For more on the San Diego Chargers, make sure to visit Bolts From The Blue, SBNation's Chargers Blog.
San Francisco 49ers running back Frank Gore has been limited all week in practice. Gore was asked if he would be at full strength on Sunday against the Eagles. His response: "I don't know, man," Gore said. "I really don't know. If I can't go, I can't go." That doesn't sound very optimistic, especially if you're a Gore owner in Fantasy Football. Typically, Gore is the kind of player who does not want to come off the field and give up snaps, so the fact that he isn't sure if he's going to play against the Philadelphia Eagles is pretty telling.
If Gore can't go, the 49ers will likely turn to rookie Kendall Hunter. Hunter only has 11 carries for 30 yards and a touchdown on the season, but he's getting significantly more playing time than Anthony Dixon and Hunter showed out well during the preseason.
For more on the San Francisco 49ers, make sure to visit Niners Nation, SBNation's 49ers Blog.
San Diego Chargers tight end Antonio Gates has been dealing with a foot injury all season that has severely limited what he's been able to do on the football field. Just about the only thing Gates has yet to do is... not play. It's looking very likely that Gates will miss the Chargers match up Sunday with the Miami Dolphins. "This is the only solution I haven't tried yet," Gates said Wednesday. "I've done whatever it is you can imagine to help this problem. At this point, rest is the only thing that's left to try and get this thing healed."
In the two games Gates has played in this season, he has just 8 receptions for 74 yards, all in the first game. If Gates plays, which is unlikely, you shouldn't expect much if any production from him.
For more on the San Diego Chargers, make sure to visit Bolts From The Blue, SBNation's Chargers Blog.
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick played last week after suffering a concussion in against the Atlanta Falcons. While Vick's head is fine, his right hand isn't. Vick injured his hand in the Eagles loss to the New York Giants. Originally thought to be broken and even reported that Vick would be out for up to 4 weeks, turns out it's just a bruised hand.
Eagles coach Andy Reid reported the news earlier in the week and Vick intends to play through the pain. "I tested it in the walk-through and it's pretty painful, but I have to do what I have to do. I have to get out there and support my teammates, and try to get back into it," Vick told reporters.
The injury is on Vick's non-throwing hand, so as far as passing the football it shouldn't really change much. Taking snaps however, could potentially get tricky if Vick can't work through the pain. Vick may be reluctant to take off out of the pocket as well, to avoid some hits. The Eagles are playing the 49ers, who do have some defensive issues so Vick should still be an OK quarterback play in fantasy.
For more on the Philadelphia Eagles, make sure to visit Bleeding Green Nation, SBNation's Eagles Blog.
After missing out on practice Friday, Miami Dolphins running back Daniel Thomas would appear to be officially out for Sunday's game against the San Diego Chargers. Thomas was not on the team's charter flight west, which would seem to be every indication you need that he will not play Sunday.
This news means that Reggie Bush will likely get the bulk of the carries. What will be more interesting than Bush's performance is how the team works in newly acquired running back Steve Slaton. After a monster first season in which he ran for 1,282 yards, Slaton has rushed for 550 yards in the subsequent three seasons. He is getting a chance at a new life in Miami and even with limited time learning the playbook, I could see him becoming a factor in that backfield. Don't start grabbing Slaton yet, but monitor his work load on Sunday. Given Thomas' balky hamstring, keep Slaton on your radar.
Houston Texans head coach Gary Kubiak told the media Friday that running back Arian Foster "looks good...We're going to put him back to work full-time and see how he holds up." This comes two days after Kubiak had mentioned that the team would need to work Foster back to his full-time load. Gary Kubiak is most definitely following in the foot steps of his mentor Mike Shanahan when it comes to providing conflicting signals about his running backs.
As it currently stands, Ben Tate is likely going to be looking at a decent number of carries given his strong performances in place of Foster. The question is how much he takes away from Foster this week. At this point I think you have to stick with Arian Foster in spite of the conflicting signals. He faces a nice little matchup against a struggling Steelers squad and I've got to think he gets a vast majority of the touches. I find myself over-thinking the situation and that always leads to trouble.
Ben Tate on the other hand heads back to your bench as a simple hand-cuff to Foster. He retains season-long value given Foster's hamstring, but he is not a guy you are starting at this point.
The Green Bay Packers have officially ruled Ryan Grant out for Sunday's game against the Denver Broncos. He suffered a bruised kidney last week against the Bears, and while he finished the game, he has been held up in practice all week. James Starks will get the start in his place with Alex Green acting as his backup and John Kuhn getting a few more goal-line carries.
It's a tough loss for Grant owners, but Starks owners could be in for a big day as the Packers host the Denver Broncos. The Packers should have their way with the Broncos, which could mean a big day for the running game. I would argue this is one of the best matchups on the day.
I suppose the Broncos could pull an upset if the can contain the Packers offense, but the odds are not really in favor of that. If you have Starks on your roster, he is likely a must start. He struggled a bit this past week against Chicago, but the differences between the Bears defense and the Broncos defense are fairly significant. This is not a decision to over-think.
Miami Dolphins running back Daniel Thomas had his hamstring injury flare up during Thursday's practice and it has now cost him Friday practice. Thomas missed week one due to the hamstring injury and it appears the injury has not gone away. Hamstring injuries can kill fantasy seasons as players go from a day-to-day problem to a week-to-week problem and you're left with repeated game-time decisions.
The real problem here for fantasy owners is that Thomas is a late start at 4:15pm ET. If you have both Thomas and Reggie Bush it is not the end of the world per se, although Bush is not what I'd call a great fantasy option. Bush is an explosive back when complementing a work-horse back. He is not a work-horse back.
As it currently stands, I wouldn't be surprised if Thomas sits on Sunday. It's no guarantee that he won't conduct his pre-game workout on Sunday and realize he's fine. However, given the lack of practice today, I would not be surprised if the Dolphins decided to sit him to avoid season-long problem.
Following an explosive breakout performance against the St. Louis Rams, Baltimore Ravens rookie wide receiver Torrey Smith will get a second straight start against the New York Jets this Sunday. Wide receiver Lee Evans has been dealing with an ankle injury and coach John Harbaugh ruled him out for Sunday's game, which gets Smith into the lineup one more time.
Smith blew up in the first quarter of the Ravens win over the Rams, hauling in receiving 133 yards and three touchdowns. He was quiet much of remainder of the game, but the impact was felt. And naturally that made him a huge pickup on fantasy football waiver wires. Along with Nate Washington and Victor Cruz, Smith was the guy everybody wanted this week.
The Ravens have a bye after this Sunday's game, which should give Evans plenty of time to get healthy. If Smith comes back to earth with his performance on Sunday, it will be interesting to see whether he remains in the starting lineup, Lee Evans goes back in, or they move more towards some kind of rotation.
Rookie receiver Denarius Moore had a strong day against the Jets secondary last week so it might be worth a flex play if you picked up Torrey Smith this week.
Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant sat out Friday's practice to continue working on his balky quad. Bryant has been dealing with the quad injury through much of the season and it appears to be flaring up once again. Bryant was limited in practice on Wednesday but then sat out Thursday and Friday, which would seem to indicate the situation has gotten somewhat worse.
It is possible having to make the quick turnaround is having some effect on Bryant, but whatever the case he is questionable for Sunday and will be a game-time decision. The Cowboys have a 1:00pm ET game, which does make the process a bit easier for deciding whether to sit or start him.
While his absence would hurt Tony Romo, the Cowboys QB does still have his favorite target, tight end Jason Witten. Romo wasn't exactly spectacular fantasy-wise in the Monday Night victory and a game against the Lions is a tough one for him. It's not looking like a good matchup.
Denver Broncos running back Knowshon Moreno has returned to practice in full this week following a hamstring injury, but it has not been enough to get him back into the starting lineup. The Broncos are expected to start Willis McGahee on Sunday against the Packers, but Moreno will get a chance to split some of the carries if he shows he is ready.
The Packers have been very stout against the run, which makes this a fairly tough matchup. What makes all the more difficult is the fact that Denver is joining Seattle as the football teams where fantasy football goes to die. The season has not been pretty thus far for the Broncos on the fantasy front. McGahee and Moreno don't really qualify as particularly useful fantasy options at this point given the stagnant Broncos offense. For the most part I'd be sitting any Broncos until they prove they can actually move the ball with some consistency.
The Miami Dolphins wrapped up their Thursday practice but had some bad news to report as running back Daniel Thomas had a flare up of the hamstring injury that sidelined him week one. Thomas has played the last two weeks without any issues, but officially becomes a question mark this weekend.
We'll keep an eye out for a Friday update when the Dolphins release their final practice participation report. However, given that the Dolphins are part of the first cycle of byes next week, it would not be surprising to see them sit Thomas so he can get plenty of extra rest of rehabilitation for his balky hamstring.
If Thomas is unable to play on Sunday, the addition of Steve Slaton is a significant benefit for the Dolphins. Reggie Bush would likely carry the load against the Chargers, but Slaton could work his way into the mix. Bush can be an electrifying play-maker, but he is not a work-horse back. He might be worth a start if Thomas sits, but he is no more than a flex option this week while Slaton is probably not even worth a roster spot for now. Of course, when Slaton takes over and dominates you can complain about that last line.
The San Diego Chargers completed their Thursday practice session and both Vincent Jackson and Malcom Floyd have missed both Wednesday and Thursday practices. While there is still a good chance they play on Sunday, they will likely join the flotilla of game-time decisions around the league. Arguably the most significant news surrounding this was Norv Turner's statement that neither likely could have practiced on Thursday even if it was essential that they do practice.
Although Floyd is less of a fantasy option at this point, Jackson remains a guy fantasy owners would like to start on a regular basis. The Chargers play in a 4:15pm ET game, which means you might be left guessing what his status will be just prior to 1:00pm. If you're stuck in that situation, we'll have to see if he practices tomorrow. If he is limited I'd suspect he plays. One strategy I try and use is if I have a questionable wide receiver (or running back) playing in a late afternoon game, I'll try and move my weakest late player into my flex position so I at least have some measure of flexibility.
San Francisco 49ers running back Frank Gore spoke with the press Thursday and does not sound optimistic that he'll play on Sunday. When asked whether he'll be ready Sunday, Gore told the media, "I don't know, man. I really don't know. If I can't go, I can't go."
This is a particularly pertinent quotation because Gore is normally a guy who thinks he will be ready to take the bulk of the load on a given Sunday. To hear Gore sound less than optimistic means he is looking like a game-time decision for fantasy owners.
If Gore is unable to go, Kendall Hunter would likely get the start, with Anthony Dixon operating as his backup. The 49ers have former Boise State running back Ian Johnson on their practice squad and it is possible they would activate him to operate as an emergency third back and special teams contributor.
As the practice participation reports come in Thursday and Friday we'll have more information. For now though, assume that you'll need to check back again Sunday morning when the inactive lists come out.
The Dallas Cowboys could be without two of their star wide receivers as Dez Bryant could join Miles Austin on the shelf this week against the Detroit Lions. Austin is targeting a return in week six, but Bryant is currently dealing with a stiff thigh on a short week following Monday Night Football. The quad muscle has been troublesome for Bryant and it does not sound like it's getting any easier.
Friday's final injury report will likely list Bryant as questionable for Sunday, which means we could be looking at a game-time decision. The good news is that Dallas plays a 1:00pm ET game, which means you'll know early on whether to get Bryant in or out of your lineup.
If Bryant can't play, this injury could also hurt Romo a bit given the fact that he would be without two of his biggest receivers. Of course, he still has Jason Witten so he should be able to move the ball downfield. It would also mean more playing time for Jesse Holley who would become the team's number one wide receiver if Bryant is out.
For now though, we'll have a subsequent update tomorrow depending on how much Bryant is able to practice, if at all.
Arizona Cardinals running back Beanie Wells was limited in practice on Wednesday and it sounds like his status is somewhere between probable and questionable for Sunday's game against the New York Giants. Head coach Ken Whisenhunt said that barring any setbacks, Wells would be good to go for Sunday's game. Whisenhunt acknowledged that hamstring injuries can be tricky, but he felt Wells was in a good place at this point.
Wells was off to a very solid start to the 2011 season averaging 5.7 yards per carry before suffering the hamstring injury in practice prior to week three. He rushed for 90 yards in the Cardinals opener followed by 93 the next week against Washington before being deactivated against the Seattle Seahawks.
There were some question marks about whether Wells could carry the full rushing load for the Cardinals after they unloaded Tim Hightower. The hamstring brings up some of those issues, but given that it was a practice injury and not a game injury, it's not the end of the world. The Cardinals have a late game with the Giants this week, so if they go with a late deactivation again you might be in trouble. If he can get back to full speed at practice, the situation will look a bit brighter.
San Diego Chargers tight end Antonio Gates is not optimistic about his chances of playing Sunday versus the Miami Dolphins as he battles a foot injury that has lingered well past his expected timetable. Gates tore his planta Fascia last season and expected it to be healed over the summer, but now he finds himself still struggling with the issue. Gates visited a specialist on Tuesday but learned nothing new and found himself sitting out Wednesday's practice.
The issue for Gates will be how much pain he can tolerate in an injury that can be brutal for athletes where running is a key aspect of their performance. Gates faces a decision now of whether to play through the pain or sit three to five weeks to see if the pain goes away or at least becomes more manageable. The Chargers have a bye week six amidst a three-game road trip to Denver, New York and Kansas City.
At this point you're likely stuck with Antonio Gates on your bench. Odds seem fairly high that he won't play this Sunday and it is entirely possible he could be on the shelf for another month. Randy McMichael put together a solid performance on Sunday against the Chiefs, hauling in four receptions for 51 yards. McMichael will remain the tight end moving forward until Gates can get back on the field. While McMichael isn't optimal, he's been a solid receiving tight end in the past. If you are unsure of your TE situation behind Gates, he's not the worst option in the world.
San Francisco 49ers running back Frank Gore made an appearance at the team's practice on Wednesday but was limited due to his ankle injury. Gore injured the ankle in Sunday's 13-8 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals and reportedly was hobbled by it during the second half. Backup running back Kendall Hunter made an appearance in the second half and had a solid performance with his first career rushing touchdown.
Early in the week head coach Jim Harbaugh seemed confident that Gore would be ready to play Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles. He backed off that talk a bit on Tuesday and at this point is just waiting to see how Gore looks in practice. If he is limited Thursday and Friday, question marks will remain through the weekend.
The 49ers are an early game so if you have Kendall Hunter as a Gore handcuff, you'll be able to figure things out before any games get going. If Hunter makes the start, he could be a great sleeper option this week. The Eagles have one of the worst rush defenses in the league and struggle particularly when it comes to their secondary and linebackers making tackles at the second level. If the 49ers can mix in some sweeps on Sunday, they could find a decent amount of success on the ground.
We'll be back with more practice details about Frank Gore as the week progresses.
New Orleans Saints wide receiver Marques Colston appears to have made a quick return from his broken collarbone, participating in Wednesday practice only three weeks after the injury in the Saints season opener. Initial reports had Colston likely out until week six, but he was a limited participant in practice. While limited participation could mean he won't play on Sunday, head coach Sean Payton seemed confident Colston would play, going so far as to say "He's clear. He'll be up [active] this week."
If Colston does in fact play on Sunday, this would be a huge benefit to Drew Brees owners. Brees has been able to make the best of a Colston-less situation, but adding his best receiver back to the fold would be huge for him in an enticing matchup with the Jaguars.
For Colston owners, the situation is a little more murky. If he is active for Sunday, do you start him? Part of the decision rests on the depth you currently have at receiver. If you can last one more week, it might be wise to wait one more week to see how Colston performs in his first game back. He could blow up in his return, but he could just as easily grab a few catches and get sore a little too quickly. If I had him and he was active I'd likely sit him, but I'm a little more conservative in that regard.
Houston Texans running back Arian Foster was in fact a full participant in practice Wednesday and as previously referenced, is expected to start Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers. The one question mark that remains is exactly how many carries Foster will get on Sunday. Foster has been battling back from a hamstring injury and they can easily be aggravated. Thus it makes sense for Texans to take their time working him back into a full work load.
So should that impact your decision whether to start Foster this weekend? I'd say no because part of Gary Kubiak's comments could be to play some mind games with Mike Tomlin and the Steelers. As a Mike Shanahan disciple, it wouldn't be surprising for Kubiak to hold back complete information in regards to Foster.
I think if Foster gets off to a solid start he'll get the bulk of the load. At the same time, if Ben Tate is not slowed by his Sunday ankle injury, he's done enough to earn additional work even with Foster back. I could very well see a 2/3, 1/3 split of carries on Sunday.
As long as Johnson participates in Thursday and Friday practices, there is no real need to get concerned about this. Rather, this post is more just to make sure you've got this on your radar. For guys like Johnson, it's easy to stick them in your lineup and only make an adjustment when their bye week comes around. You'll want to keep an eye out for Thursday and Friday injury reports.
As long as Johnson practices before the end of the week, he's good to go for this Sunday, which means you'll keep him in your starting lineup. The Texans are facing a struggling Pittsburgh Steelers squad and Johnson could be in line for a particularly strong day. Not that you wouldn't start him if you were worried about a strong secondary.
Green Bay Packers running back took the lead rushing role in Sunday's victory over the Chicago Bears, but an injury may keep him on the sidelines for this Sunday's fantasy delight against the Denver Broncos. Grant suffered a bruised kidney last Sunday and now finds himself questionable at best. Kidney injuries apparently have certain required protocol, much like concussions, and Grant has to deal with that if he is going to play Sunday.
For now, Grant appears likely to sit out Wednesday and Thursday practices before giving it a go on Friday to see if he can play. Grant believes he can play, but the training staff is much less certain. We'll have updates throughout the week, but it seems likely that you'll have to sit Grant if you have him. If you have James Starks, he is looking like a pretty sweet start at home against a struggling Broncos team.
Houston Texans head coach Gary Kubiak informed the press that Arian Foster was fine following a full day's practice and should be OK heading into Sunday and beyond. Foster's hamstring has caused him problems through the first three weeks of the season and resulted in his deactivation prior to Sunday's game against the New Orleans Saints.
Ben Tate started Sunday's game against the Saints and rushed 19 times for 82 yards, but appeared to briefly injure his ankle in the third quarter. On Monday, Coach Kubiak stated that he was OK, but there hasn't been any additional update since then. If he is slowed a bit, it makes the decision to get Foster back into the lineup all the easier.
Foster would have a favorable matchup this Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers. While the Steelers are 2-1, their rush defense has struggled much of the season. The Colts and Ravens both ran wild on Pittsburgh, which bodes well for Foster's chances if he starts. We'll keep an eye on injury news the rest of the week, but Foster seems like a good bet to start on Sunday.
Cleveland Browns running back Peyton Hillis was back on the practice field Wednesday after missing this past Sunday's game with strep throat and a fever. Hillis arrived at the stadium Sunday with the intention of playing but was still sufficiently under the weather that he was deactivated a couple hours before the game.
This week it sounds like Hillis will be set to play against a Tennessee Titans squad that has been quite solid against both the run and the pass through three weeks. Football Outsiders ranks them second against the run and third against the pass, which could make for a tough day for Hillis.
As long as Hillis is active on Sunday, he'll be the start over Montario Hardesty, who filled in for Hillis against the Miami Dolphins. Hardesty rushed 14 times for 67 yards and that 4.8 ypc could be enough to get him a few more carries each week even with Hillis back. If you have Hardesty, he remains a decent handcuff option and a bench guy for if Hillis gets hurt. Otherwise his value is fairly limited.
Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid announced Wednesday morning that Michael Vick would participate in practice on Wednesday. Additionally, prior to practice, Vick spoke briefly with the media and indicated he would definitely be playing on Sunday. While Vick is not yet 100%, the odds seem pretty high at this point that he'll be playing on Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers.
You'll want to keep an eye out for further updates, but given the 49ers secondary issues in weeks one and two, Vick would likely be a solid option come Sunday. The 49ers contained Andy Dalton, but prior to that the corner opposite Carlos Rogers had consistent trouble against his man. Throw in struggles at the free safety position and Vick could have a strong performance.
The Eagles will release their practice participation report later this afternoon so we'll see if any changes pop up between now and then.
Two days after Frank Gore injured his ankle against the Cincinnati Bengals, the general expectation is that Gore will be able to play this Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles. John Clayton said as much on Sportscenter Tuesday morning and 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh seemed to say Gore was good to go during his Monday conference call.
Harbaugh was a little less confident on Tuesday in a radio interview when he said "we'll see." He indicated the team would start practicing on Wednesday and they would get a better idea then. Gore is likely going to end up on the practice participation injury report this week and be a probable or questionable on Friday's final injury report.
The injury is a concern, but the real concern with Gore for fantasy owners would be the struggles he has dealt with through the first three weeks. Even if the ankle was the cause of his second half struggles against the Bengals, that does not make up for the first two weeks in which he struggled to find much of anything. Some of that is due to the offensive line struggling, but it's possible he is starting to lose a step. We don't know for sure, but it is something to consider.
For now, wait and see whether Gore is a go for this weekend. If the struggles continue you'll eventually have to bench Gore. Kendall Hunter may start to see more carries in the coming weeks, but for this week, if Gore starts I'd suggest sticking with him one more week. In the meantime, if Hunter is available on your waiver wire, grab him as a handcuff ASAP.
Dallas Cowboys running back Felix Jones bounced back on Monday Night Football in a big way, finishing the game with 115 rushing yards and 40 receiving yards. Unfortunately, Jones also managed to aggravate his shoulder injury in the fourth quarter of the 18-16 Cowboys victory. Tashard Choice took some of the final snaps in place of Jones.
Following the game, Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett did not provide an update on Jones, but thankfully Jerry Jones knows not to keep his mouth shut. Jerry spoke about the injury and seemed to basically say Felix will hopefully be able to work through the injury and more or less gut it out before the Cowboys bye week. Maybe I could take a shovel to Jerry's shoulder and see if he can work through it.
As it stands Garrett will likely be asked about it during his Tuesday press conference. If not we'll know a bit more on Wednesday once the practice participation reports start coming out. Jones will likely be limited to some extent, but we'll know more later this week. Keep an eye out before making lineup decisions.
Oakland Raiders running back Darren McFadden injured his groin in the fourth quarter of Sunday's victory over the New York Jets, but the general belief is that McFadden will play this Sunday against the New England Patriots. Raiders head coach Hue Jackson spoke about the injury and did not appear all that concerned. McFadden also dismissed the injury following Sunday's game but was unavailable for comment on Monday.
McFadden is off to a monster start with 393 rushing yards and 84 passing yards. Add in six total touchdowns and a team-leading 11 receptions and McFadden is an all-around fantasy threat. The Raiders have several offensive weapons, but McFadden is the engine that makes the offense go.
There has never been a question about McFadden's fantasy potential, but his inability to stay healthy has infuriated owners season after season. He finally broke through last season with a big year but still missed three games. If he could stay healthy he could legitimately be in the MVP discussion.
We'll see how this injury develops over the week, but do not be surprised if he loses a few carries to Michael Bush next week, even if he is proclaimed to be 100%. The Raiders would be wise to lower his load a bit if it will keep him on the field longer through the season.
Although the Tennessee Titans have not made the news official, the latest word out of Tennessee is that Monday's MRI did in fact confirm that wide receiver Kenny Britt tore his ACL. Such an injury ends his season and will likely land him on injured reserve within the next day or two. This confirms the news that was coming out as early as Sunday afternoon.
Britt was on the verge of a monster breakout season before the injury and his loss hurts the Titans and fantasy football owners. The Titans will likely add a wide receiver in free agency and hope that Nate Washington can step up his play in the coming weeks. Beyond that, they'll be hoping Lavelle Hawkins, Damian Williams, Marc Mariani, and others can fill some of the void.
For fantasy football owners, the time has come to use Britt as waiver wire fodder if you're in a single season league. Depending on how you drafted, you might need to roll the dice on some of the young players that had big week threes. Victor Cruz and Torrey Smith both blew up after being quiet the first two weeks. Normally you might be inclined to look for a more steady veteran, but all things considered, why not see if Cruz or Smith will hook you up?
If you are in a keeper or dynasty league, you might have some other considerations before waiving Britt. Dynasty leagues where you keep your entire roster likely have an injured reserve spot you can use. In more modest keeper leagues you likely will have better use waiving him, but it depends on your league-specific rules.
A few days after Houston Texans running back Arian Foster was inactive against the New Orleans Saints, head coach Gary Kubiak expressed optimism that Foster would be good to go this Sunday versus the Pittsburgh Steelers. Kubiak said the coaching staff was "expecting Arian out there full-speed, ready to go."
The Texans could use a 100% Foster after Ben Tate tweaked his ankle in Sunday's loss to the Saints. Kubiak said the ankle was sore but Tate would be OK. For fantasy football owners waiting for the return of Foster, this all adds up to positive news if you've got Foster on your team. You'll need to wait for word from the practice participation reports, but I've got to think he gets in full workouts this week. The team might still want to take their time, but if he's ready, he's ready.
The Texans face a struggling Steelers team that could be primed for a solid rushing performance by whomever is in the Texans backfield. We'll provide injury reports on Foster and Tate as the week progresses.
Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy stated that running back Ryan Grant suffered a kidney bruise in the Packers 27-17 victory over the Chicago Bears. Grant reportedly suffered the injury approximately 11 minutes into the game but was able to continue through the end of the game. He left in an ambulance after the game to get x-rays, which came back negative.
Kidney injuries can be tough to figure out because of the importance of the organ to the body. We'll learn more over the course of the week depending on his practice participation. It's safe to say he'll be somewhat limited at least on Wednesday, and possibly the entire week. If Grant is unable to play on Sunday against the Denver Broncos, James Starks would get most of the carries with John Kuhn getting some backup carries.
For now we'll just wait to see how practice goes this week and if Mike McCarthy is able to provide any sort of update on the injury in the coming days.
Fantasy football owners might be breathing a bit of a sigh of relief on Monday as word out of Philadelphia indicates Eagles QB Michael Vick only has a contusion of the hand and not a fracture or break. After rumors floated around the Vick might miss up to three or four weeks with the injury, a hand contusion lowers that estimate to day-to-day. According to Eagles head coach Andy Reid, Vick's availability for Sunday against the 49ers depends on how much the swelling in his hand goes down during the week.
This leaves fantasy owners waiting again, much like last week. However, if the injury is just a contusion, odds are high that he'll be ready to go on Sunday. We'll be around to provide updates throughout the week as his participation in practice on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday will tell us plenty about his potential availability. I'd imagine official word out of Philly will be fairly limited to keep the 49ers guessing, but if Vick is practicing, he's likely playing.
Jeremy Maclin exited the Philadelphia Eagles loss to the New York Giants with a hamstring injury and initial reports suggested he could be in danger of missing the team's Week 4 game. There weren't many details available but it certainly didn't look good.
We're still not sure what his status will be but Eagles head coach Andy Reid said at his Monday press conference that Maclin is day-to-day after initially thinking the injury was more serious.
Maclin was leading the team at the receiver spot when he left with five receptions for 69 yards. This comes after he went for 171 yards and two touchdowns last week so he's obviously a key component of the Eagles passing attack.
The Eagles will begin practice for their Week 4 game on Wednesday and we'll learn more about Maclin's injury as the week goes on. By Friday, they'll need to list him as probable, questionable, doubtful or out. Without knowing many details, i would guess he's on his way to a questionable status.
Check out SB Nation's Bleeding Green Nation as they try to figure out what went wrong in the Eagles loss to the Giants.
A quarter after losing Michael Vick to a broken hand, the Philadelphia Eagles lost wide receiver Jeremy Maclin to a hamstring injury. Maclin was leading the Eagles with five receptions and 69 yards when his hamstring tightened up. The Eagles have not made an announcement on Maclin's availability for week four but Eagles beat writer Jeff McLane is already tweeting that Maclin is unlikely to play next week.
A hamstring injury is always tough for an athlete, but wide receivers in particular given how important their legs are. More importantly, a hamstring injury can linger if it is not allowed to completely heal. The Eagles will likely see what Maclin can do in practice this week before making a decision, but I would suspect he'll be no better than questionable when final injury reports are unveiled on Friday.
It's a shame for fantasy owners as Maclin had put together a monster effort in week two and looked solid in week three. He hauled in 13 receptions for 171 yards against Atlanta before his five catch day on Sunday. He was settling in as a solid WR2, but will now miss some time. More than likely you'll want to sit him this Sunday, but we'll wait and see how his hamstring responds to treatment and in practice. Check back for updates on Maclin throughout the week.
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