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Week 4 Watch List

September 29, 2009 Leave a comment

Here are some players to keep an eye on this week. If they continue to perform, add them to your roster.

QB Mark Sanchez (NYJ): His numbers are not jaw-dropping, but he is fairly consistent and plays on a team with a good defense and good running game. Which makes him a solid play if your starter is on bye or injured.

QB Chad Henne (MIA): Not sure how good he will be, but he is a starter now that QB Chad Pennington is done for the year, so give him some thought if you are desperate.

QB Josh Johnson (TB): It looks like QB Byron Leftwich has been benched. I doubt Johnson will do much, but you never know.

RB Jerome Harrison (CLE): I am a little disappointed that RB James Davis did not get more chances while RB Jamal Lewis was out with injury. Not sure if Harrison is the RB2 in CLE or if Davis is still dealing with injury issues of his own. Either way, as long as Lewis is slowed by injuries, keep an eye on both Harrison and Davis to see who gets the touches.

WR Keenan Burton (STL): I was big on WR Laurent Robinson, but now that he is on IR, someone else has to step up. And that guy could be Burton.

WR Mike Wallace (PIT): PIT cannot run the ball, so they will have to pass. And Wallace has looked pretty good as the third option. Keep an eye on him.

WR Andre Caldwell (CIN): I expected WR Chris Henry to be more productive, but he seems to be limited by injuries. Which has opened the door for Caldwell.

WR Chaz Schilens (OAK): He could play this week. Although with how poorly the fat caveman is throwing the ball, it might not matter. But keep an eye on him. He is tall and lanky, so maybe he can catch some of those errant passes.

TE Vernon Davis (SF): Davis had a big game against MIN and has done alright otherwise this year. Keep an eye on him and see if they continue to go to him in the red zone.

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Week 2 Injury Report

September 18, 2009 Leave a comment

Here are some notable players who are injured and what you should do about it:

QB Matt Cassel (KC): Cassel (knee) is expected to be a game-time decision (GTD). I would avoid him. OAK has a solid pass defense.

QB Donovan McNabb (PHI): McNabb (ribs) is out this week and could even miss a couple more.

QB Matt Schaub (HOU): Schaub (ankle) is reportedly feeling better and will be close to 100% this week against TEN.

Some possible fill-ins who might be available on waivers include:  QB Trent Edwards (BUF), QB Shaun Hill (SF), QB Mark Sanchez (NYJ), QB Byron Leftwich (TB), and QB Jason Campbell (WAS).

RB LaDainian Tomlinson (SD): Tomlinson (ankle) is out. RB Darren Sproles should get some extra touches. And RB Michael Bennett might even get some work.

RB Pierre Thomas (NO): Thomas (knee) was looking good-to-go earlier this week, but now is reportedly questionable (50-50). I would avoid him. But since he might play, it makes using RB Mike Bell somewhat risky.

Some possible fill-ins at RB who might be available on waivers include: RB Michael Bush (OAK), RB Ahmad Bradshaw (NYG), RB Leon Washington (NYJ), RB Kevin Faulk (NE), and RB Correll Buckhalter (DEN).

WR Anquan Boldin (AZ): Boldin (hamstring) is questionable (50-50) but I say he will probably play (which, of course, means he will not). I wish AZ would rest him. But he generally refuses to sit unless he absolutely has to (i.e. last year when he broke his jaw — and even then he only missed two games).

WR Anthony Gonzalez (IND): Gonzalez (knee) is expected to miss up to 8 weeks. WR Pierre Garcon should step into his spot and is worth a start if you are hurting for WRs.

WR Antonio Bryant (TB): Bryant (knee) suffered a set-back last week and is unlikely to play. Avoid him either way. WR Michael Clayton played well last week and makes a solid start with Bryant out.

WR Andrew Walter (HOU): WTF? Is every single WR who’s name starts with “A” injured this week?

WR Steve Breaston (AZ): Breaston (knee) is questionable (50-50). If he (and Boldin) are out, WR Jerheme Urban will get more looks and makes a soild start.

If you are desperate at WR this week, consider these guys (who are probably on waivers): WR Laurent Robinson, WR Pierre Garcon, WR Kenny Britt, WR Michael Clayton, WR Jerheme Urban, WR Robert Meachem, WR Davone Bess, and WR Chansi Stuckey.

Anyone I missed? Post a comment if you have a question about an injured player and I will get back to you…

Training Camp Position Battles

August 11, 2009 Leave a comment

All 32 NFL teams are now in training camp. Which means there are plenty of position battles that you should be aware of as your fantasy draft approaches. I wrote about some NFC and AFC position battles a couple weeks ago, but I thought it would be worthwhile to update them now that camps are in full-swing. I did not include much (read: any) discussion of the battles. I just listed them so you can be aware. I did, however, list them in the order I expect the final depth charts to reflect. Check back as training camps progress to get updates on the key camp battles that will affect your fantasy draft.

AFC North
BAL RB: Ray Rice v. Willis McGahee v. Le’Ron McClain
CIN QB: Carson Palmer v. His Elbow
CLE RB: Jamal Lewis v. James Davis v. Jerome Harrison
PIT RB: Willie Parker v. Rashard Mendenhall v. Mewelde Moore

AFC South
IND RB:
Joseph Addai v. Donald Brown
IND WR3: Pierre Garcon v. Austin Collie
JAX RB2: Chauncey Washington v. Rashad Jennings v. Greg Jones
TEN WR: Nate Washington v. Justin Gage

AFC East
MIA WR2: Greg Camarillo v. Devon Bess
NE RB: Fred Taylor v. Sammy Morris v. Kevin Faulk v. Laurence Maroney
NYJ RB: Thomas Jones v. Shonn Green v. Leon Washington
NYJ QB: Mark Sanchez v. Kellen Clemens

AFC West
DEN RB: Knowshon Moreno v. Correll Buckhalter v. Peyton Hillis v. Ryan Torain
KC RB: Larry Johnson v. Jamaal Charles v. Kolby Smith
SD WR2: Chris Chambers v. Malcolm Floyd v. Buster Davis
OAK RB: Darren McFadden v. Michael Bush v. Justin Fargas

NFC North
CHI WR1: Devin Hester v. Earl Bennet v. Rashied Davis
DET QB: Dante Culpeper v. Matthew Stafford
GB WR3: James Jones v. Jordy Nelson
GB TE: Jermichael Finley v. Donald Lee
MIN QB: Sage Rosenfels v. Tavaris Jackson
MIN WR2: Sidney Rice v. Percey Harvin

NFC South
NO WR2: Lance Moore v. Robert Meachem
NO WR3: Robert Meachem v. Devery Henderson
TB QB: Byron Leftwich v. Josh Freeman v. Luke McCown
TB RB: Earnest Graham v. Derrick Ward
TB WR2: Michael Clayton v. Maurice Stovall

NFC East
NYG RB2:
Ahmad Bradshaw v. Andre Brown v. Danny Ware
DAL WR2: Patrick Crayton v. Austin Miles v. Sam Hurd
NYG WR: Dominic Hixon v. Steve Smith v. Mario Manningham v. Hakeem Nicks v. Ramses Barden
NYG WR2: Steve Smith v. Mario Manningham v. Hakeem Nicks v. Ramses Barden
PHI WR2: Kevin Curtis v. Jeremy Maclin
WAS WR2: Devin Thomas v. Antwaan Randle-El v. Malcolm Kelley

NFC West
AR RB: Tim Hightower v. Beanie Wells
SF QB: Shaun Hill v. Alex Smith
STL WR2: Laurent Robinson v. Keenan Burton

Week 10: Friday Injury Report

November 7, 2008 Leave a comment

Some quick info on some key players who are injured as you look to set your lineups for Week 10.

QB Dan Orlovsky (DET): Orlovsky (thumb) is out this week. Advice: I am still not sure whether QB Daunte Culpepper or QB Drew Stanton will get the start, but neither is worth a start for your team. You cannot be that desperate, right?

QB Kyle Orton (CHI): Orton (ankle) continues to say that he wants to play, but I am almost positive that he will be out. Advice: Backup QB Rex Grossman will get the start, but plays against a very tough Tennessee defense, and is not worth a start on your team.

QB Ben Roethlisberger (PIT): Roethlisberger (shoulder) will likely be a game-time decision this week. Advice: If you have Big Ben and need to play him, check his status on Sunday morning. But even if he does play, he is not 100% and the Colts are not awful on defense. I would go in a different direction if you have another option. If he cannot play, backup QB Byron Leftwich will start. Leftwich looked pretty good last week against the Redskins, but due to the uncertainy surroudning Big Ben, I would stay away from Leftwich, as well.

QB Matt Schaub (HOU): Schaub (knee) is out for 2-4 weeks. Advice: Backup QB Sage Rosenfels will start while Schaub is out. He does not make a great play this week against Baltimore (although you could do worse — e.g. Culpepper or Stanton), but he does make a good pickup and play against good matchups (and he has some in the coming weeks).

RB Reggie Bush (NO): Bush (knee) has been ruled out for this week, but reports indicate that he could be back as soon as next week. Advice: Bench him this week, obviously, but keep an eye on his status for next week.

RB Steven Jackson (STL): Jackson (thigh) is out this week. Advice: Unfortunately, backup RB Antonio Pittman is also injured and his status is unclear, which means RB Kenneth Darby will likely get most or all of the carries. Darby is worth a start if you are desperately in need of RB depth.

RB Larry Johnson (KC): Johnson (suspension) is not injured but was suspended by the NFL and will miss week 10. Advice: Backup RB Jamaal Charles will start in place of Johnson and makes a pretty decent play against the Chargers, who have talent on defense but cannot seem to stop anyone.

RB Darren McFadden (OAK): McFadden (toe) is still limited in practice and his status for this week is in doubt. Advice: Bench him either way. Even when he is in the game, he is ineffective. And Carolina is tough against the run.

RB Willie Parker (PIT): Parker (knee) is likely out this week. Advice: With Parker out, RB Mewelde Moore will once again get most of the carries. He makes a good start against the Colts.

RB Jonathan Stewart (CAR): Stewart (heel) has been very limited in practice this week and is likely out. Advice: This is bad news for Stewart, but good news for RB DeAngelo Williams, who will get all the carries against a porous Raiders run defense.

RB Fred Taylor (JAX): Taylor (knee) missed practice Wednesday but was back on Thursday and should play this week. Advice: Taylor has done nothing recently, but if he is healthy, he could do well against Detroit. However, I expect him to be somewhat limited, which is bad for Taylor but good for his RBBC teammate RB Maurice Jones-Drew.

RB Ryan Torain (DEN): Torain (knee) played well in his first real action, gaining 68 yards and a TD on 12 carries. However, he also suffered a knee injury, which is believed to be a torn ACL. He is likely out for the year. Advice: Seriously? I have been waiting all year for this guy, and he looked like the real deal for the first half. And then he blew out his knee. Unreal. There are no healthy RBs left in Denver. If you need RB depth, consider adding RB Peyton Hillis, who got some carries last night after Torain went down.

WR Deion Branch (SEA): Branch (foot) was back at practice this week and could play against Miami. Advice: I would stay away from Branch until (1) he shows he is 100% healthy and/or (2) Hasselbeck is back at QB. But if he is available in your league, you might consider adding him.

WR Chris Chambers (SD): Chambers (ankle) was back at practice this week, but his status for this weekend remains unclear. Advice: Although I would love to tell you to start Chambers, since he is matched up against the awful Cheifs defense, I am not sure how healthy he will be. Unless you are desperate, i would leave him on the bench for one more week.

WR Brandon Lloyd (CHI): Lloyd (knee) was back as a full-participant in practice this week and should be ready to play against the Titans. Advice: I would not start him this week, but keep an eye on him. If he is available, I would consider adding him to your roster. He could be a good WR3 going forward.

WR Larry Fitzgerald (ARI): Fitzgerald (thumb) was limited in practice this week but is expected to play. Advice: Fitzgerald is a gamer, so expect him to play (and to play well) this weekend.

TE Jeremy Shockey (NO): Shockey (sports hernia) is supposedly healthy and ready to go. Advice: I am starting him in one of my leagues and I expect him to be productive. When healthy, he should be a top 10 TE. But we have yet to see him really get comfortable with Brees in the Saints offense.

TE LJ Smith (PHI): Smith (concussion) is healthy and ready to play this week. Advice: Smith has not done much this year and is probably not worth a start, especially against a tough Giants defense.

Week 10: Monday Injury Report

November 3, 2008 Leave a comment

Here are some updates on key injuries from Week 9:

QB Dan Orlovsky (DET): Orlovsky (thumb) is out indefinitely with a sprained thumb. Advice: The Lions just signed QB Daunte Culpepper, but as of now, it is unclear whether Culpepper or QB Drew Stanton will take over as the starter.

QB Kyle Orton (CHI): Orton (ankle) is expected to miss at least a couple games with a high ankle sprain, although the Bears are not being upfront about how serious the injury is yet. Advice: Former starter QB Rex Grossman will take Orton’s place if he misses any time, and could be serviceable against weaker matchups. However, he was benched for a reason, so do not expect him to put up the same type of numbers that Orton was putting up before he was injured.

QB Matt Schaub (HOU): Shcaub (knee) injured his MCL on Sunday and will be out for a month. Advice: Backup QB Sage Rosenfels will start in his place and should perform well. In fact, Rosenfels (92.8) actually has a higher rating than Schaub (91.0) on the year. And he played very well (21-29, 224 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT) against the Vikings on Sunday.  Rosenfels is worth a waiver claim and could be a good start, particularly against weaker matchups.

QB Ben Roethlisberger (PIT): Roethlisberger (shoulder) did not play in the second half of the MNF game against the Redskins. Advice: Roethlisberger is currently listed as “day-to-day” with what is being described as a “bruised AC joint”. This is the second time this season he has had this injury, but he has not missed a start yet, so I expect him to play next week. His backup, QB Byron Leftwich played surprisingly well last night, but unless the news changes, there is no reason to add him.

RB Willis McGahee (BAL): McGahee (ankle) did not play on Sunday. Advice: Rookie RB Ray Rice took advantage of the opportunity and had over 150 yards. McGahee has been beat up all year, so expect Rice to continue to see some action.

RB Edgerrin James (ARI): James was not injured, but he did not see any touches on Sunday. Advice: As I said in my previous post, RB Tim Hightower appears to have taken over for James. If Hightower is available in your league, grab him now.

RB Kolby Smith (KC): Smith (knee) was placed on IR and will not play again this year. Advice: Rookie RB Jamaal Charles played well once Smith went down, and will get another start next week. However, RB Larry Johnson should return to the lineup after his week 10 suspension, so it is unclear what role Charles will have after that.

RB Michael Pittman (DEN): Pittman (neck) was placed on IR. Advice: Backup RB Andre Hall was also placed on IR, which leaves RB Selvin Young and RB Ryan Torain as the only healthy RBs on Denver’s roster. I expect Torain to get most of the work, as Young is still recovering from a groin injury.

TE Jason Witten (DAL): Witten (rib) was active Sunday, but did not have a catch. Advice: Witten was targeted a few times, but was not able to make any catches. This is likely more a result of poor QB play than Witten. QB Tony Romo will return in week 11, and hopefully Witten will be healthier after the bye.