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Week 3 Injury Update

September 28, 2009 1 comment

Here are some key injury updates…

QB Chad Pennington (MIA): Pennington (shoulder) could be done for the year. QB Chad Henne will likely take over, and could be a decent QB2 against favorable matchups. But I would wait and see what he does.

QB Marc Bulger (STL): Bulger (shoulder) could miss some time. If he is out, QB Kyle Boller will start in his place. Boller actually looked alright against GB.

RB Frank Gore (SF): Gore (ankle) could miss a couple weeks. Go get RB Glenn Coffee now.

RB Kevin Smith (DET): It sounds like Smith (shoulder) should be okay, but if you own him, consider adding RB Maurice Morris.

RB Brian Westbrook (PHI): Westbrook (ankle) missed this week’s game with an ankle injury, and it is not clear when he will be back. Go get RB LeSean McCoy now.

RB Marion Barber (DAL): Barber (thigh) is inactive for the game tonight against CAR. Watch to see how DAL uses RB Felix Jones and RB Tashard Choice tonight, because Barber could miss another game or two.’

RB Jamal Lewis (CLE): Lewis was out this week. RB James Harrison got most of the carries in his absence, with RB James Davis getting some touches, as well. But neither really did much. And I would probably avoid any CLE players for the time being, given their woes on offense.

RB Willie Parker (PIT): Parker (toe) is dealing with a minor case of turf toe, which is a notoriously annoying injury. If Parker misses any time, RB Rashard Mendenhall would get the start. Although he has not looked good and the PIT OL is marginal.

WR Wes Welker (NE): Welker missed his second game in a row. WR Julian Edelman played in his place but did not have another Welker-esque outing. Edelman could be worth a roster spot, though, if Welker misses any more time.

WR Laurent Robinson (STL): Robinson (ankle) is likely done for the year after breaking his lower leg. Which is too bad. He was having a great start to the season. I expect WR Keenan Burton to get some extra looks with Robinson out.

WR Chris Henry (CIN): Henry (thigh) has been battling a leg injury all year, which could explain why he has yet to explode onto the scene like I expected/predicted. Or maybe he is just not going to explode. Either way, while he is slowed by injury, WR Andre Caldwell seems to be getting some extra looks.

I think…

September 21, 2009 Leave a comment

1. I think … I’m glad I had RB Chris Johnson on my team in one league. But I am not so glad I had to play against him in another.

2. I think … RB Cedric Benson is shaping up to be a very nice RB2. He is tied with RB Michael Turner for the most carries in the league through 2 weeks.

3. I think … the GB offense has disappointed thus far. The OL is the problem. And it could have a major affect on QB Aaron Rodgers, RB Ryan Grant, and WR Greg Jennings if it does not improve.

4. I think … NYJ CB Darrelle Revis is very good. He held WR Andre Johnson to 4 catches for 35 yards in week 1 and WR Randy Moss to 4 catches for 24 yards in week 2. I might consider benching your WRs against him.

5. I think … RB Darren Sproles is not a great RB. But, damn, he is great when he gets the ball in space. He is worth starting every week, especially while RB LaDainian Tomlinson is hurt.

6. I think … RB Felix Jones could benefit greatly if RB Marion Barber misses any time due to his quad injury. But watch for RB Tashard Choice to get some touches, too.

7. I think … As (I) expected, WR Devin Hester is not a real WR. However, its a little surprising to see rookie WR Jonny Knox has become the leading WR in Chicago.

8. I think … I love the NFL. QB Jay Cutler throws 4 INTs and CHI loses go GB in week 1. Then CHI beats PIT in week 2, and GB loses to CIN. So tough early on to tell who is for real.

9. I think … QB Matt Ryan is the real deal. And TE Tony Gonzalez is his new best friend.

10. I think … I was wrong about WR Dominic Hixon. It looks like WR Mario Manningham and WR Steve Smith are going to lead the way. One or both might even be available in your league.

I don’t wanna say “I told you so”, but…

September 2, 2009 Leave a comment

… I have 14 random predictions for the upcoming season, and when they come true, I will definitely say “I told you so” — even though I do not want to. I will request, however, that you kindly refrain from pointing out all of the times I am wrong. Because, well, that would just be rude.

Also, just in case you missed them, here are my previous 17 Crazy Predictions.

Onto the nonsense…

1. RB Steven Jackson will have the most yards from scrimmage in 2009.

2. WR Randy Moss will have at least 15 TDs.

3. QB Brent Farve will have at least 15 INTs.

4. WR Chaz Schilens will outscore WR Devin Hester.

5. WR Braylon Edwards will have at least 1,000 yards and 7 TDs.

6. WR Terrell Owens will wear out his welcome in BUF.

7. RB Leon Washington will score more fantasy points than RB Thomas Jones.

8. QB Mike Vick will have a better passer rating than the Mouthbreather (QB Eli Manning).

9. RB Felix Jones will average more than 5.0 YPC.

10. RB Ray Rice will score more fantasy points than

11. TE Jermichael Finley will score at least 6 TDs for GB.

12. TE Visanthe Shiacnoe will be a top-10 TE.

13. WR Larry Fitzgerald will not score more TDs than WR Anquan Boldin.

14. WR Chris Henry will score more fantasy points than WR Roy Williams.

Players to Watch Tonight

August 13, 2009 Leave a comment

Eight teams play their first preseason games tonight. Here is a list of some players to keep an eye on.

NE v. PHI

QB Tom Brady (NE): How comfortable does he look in the pocket?

RB Fred Taylor (NE): Does he have anything left?

WR Greg Lewis (NE): Can he beat out WR Joey Galloway for the number 3 WR spot?

RB LeSean McCoy (PHI): Can he live up to the hype?

WR DeSean Jackson (PHI): Is he ready to take the next step?

WR Jeremy Maclin (PHI): Will he have any impact as a rookie?

BAL v. WAS

QB Joe Flacco (BAL): Has he progressed at all?

RB Ray Rice (BAL): Is he ready to be the main ballcarrier?

WR Demetrius Williams (BAL): Can he stay healthy and make some plays?

QB Jason Campbell (WAS): Can he relax and take charge of the offense?

WR Devin Thomas (WAS): Is he ready to make an impact?

ARI v. PIT

RB Tim Hightower (ARI): Can he hold onto the number 1 spot

RB Rashard Mendenhall (PIT): Can he show us something other than his ability to get hurt?

WR Limas Sweed (PIT): Can he live up to the hype he had while at Texas?

DAL v. OAK

QB Jamarcus Russell (OAK): Does he still look like a bust?

RB Darren McFadden (OAK): How do the Raiders use him?

WR Chaz Shilens (OAK): Could he be a sleeper?

WR Johnnie Lee Higgins (OAK): He caught a TD pass in each of the last 3 games in 08. Fluke?

QB Tony Romo (DAL): Is he more relaxed without WR Terrell Owens around?

RB Marion Barber (DAL): Will he go back to his old role as TD-machine and game-closer?

RB Felix Jones (DAL): How do the Cowboys use him?

WR Miles Austin (DAL): Is the sleeper-hype justified?

RB Handcuffs

August 10, 2009 Leave a comment

You have all heard the term “handcuff” before when referring to fantasy football players and their backups. Generally, I am not a huge fan of automatically drafting a “handcuff” for your starter, but there are situations when it can be valuable.

I would only recommend drafting a handcuff if you are drafting a RB with a high (e.g. first 3 or 4 rounds) who is (1) injury-prone and (2) plays in a high-powered offense. For example, I would recommend grabbing Westbrook’s backup, because he is injury prone and the Eagles’ offense is very good. Conversely, I would not recommend grabbing RB Steven Jackson‘s handcuff, because he will not perform at anywhere near the same level. My point is this: Do not waste a pick by automatically selecting a handcuff for each of your RBs. There are more valuable players out there in many situations.

For your 2009 fantasy football draft, I would recommend the following handcuffs if you draft any of these players:

RB Adrian Peterson (MIN): Peterson accounts for a large percentage of the Viking offense. And it is reasonable to assume that if AP goes down, RB Chester Taylor will assume a similar role. Grabbing Taylor as a handcuff for AP can be tough, though, since Taylor gets enough touches on his own to make him worth drafting late. But it is always worthwhile to protect your investment in a guy like AP, who gets a lot of touches and thus is more exposed to potential injuries.

RB Brian Westbrook (PHI): Westbrook is old and about to breakdown. Or so everyone (including me) says. He could very well prove us all wrong this year, and avoid any injuries. But he is a risk. Handcuff = RB LeSean McCoy.

RB Maurice Jones-Drew (JAX): I do not consider MJD to be injury-prone, but any time a guy increases his workload in a significant way, you have to also consider him an increased risk to get injured. And the Jags like to make their RBs the focal point of their offense, so his backup should still do fairly well.  The only problem is, right now we are not entirely sure who that is going to be. Keep an eye on this situation throughout camp. Potential Handcuff(s) = FB Greg Jones, RB Chauncey Washington, and RB Rashad Jennings.

RB Brandon Jacobs (NYG): Jacobs is a bruiser. And although he usually doles out more punishment than he receives, you can almost guarantee he will miss time in 09 with a nagging injury. However, much like the Jags, it is not clear yet who would be the primary ball carrier if Jacobs goes down. Keep an eye on the battle for his backup during camp. Potential Handcuff(s) = RB Ahmad Bradshaw, RB Danny Ware, and RB Andre Brown.

RB Marion Barber (DAL): Although Barber did miss some time last year due to injury, I do not consider him injury prone. However, due to his running style, it is always a possibility. Handcuff = RB Tashard Choice (Note: I do not consider RB Felix Jones to be a handcuff for Barber, because I think Jones will be used differently in the offense.)

RB LaDainian Tomlinson (SD): As we all know, LT is getting older. And last year showed us that he is, in fact, human. Although I do expect him to have a better year in 09, there is no reason to be foolish. Handcuff = RB Darren Sproles (Note: Due to the touches he will get regardless, Sproles will likely go pretty early. If you do not want to waste an early pick on a handcuff, then consider grabbing RB Gartrell Johnson later.)

RB Clinton Portis (WAS): The Skins want to reduce his workload already, but despite how tough Portis is, he has missed some time due to injury. Handcuff = RB Ladell Betts.

RB Darren McFadden (OAK): The Raiders love to run the ball. And they want to make McFadden a focal point on offense. But McFadden has a slight build, is an upright runner, and missed quite a few games in 08 due to injuries. Handcuff = RB Michael Bush (Note: RB Justin Fargas is in the mix, too, so watch how the Raiders use these guys in camp.)

RB Thomas Jones (NYG): Jones had a surprisingly good year in 08. But he is past the 30-year old mark and he is unhappy with his contract. Plus he has a shaky QB situation. And he has a rookie RB breathing down his neck. Handcuff = RB Shonn Green. (Note: RB Leon Washington, much like Sproles and Felix Jones, already has a role in the offense, but I do not expect him to become the full-time RB if Jones goes down.)

RB Marshawn Lynch (BUF): Lynch is already scheduled to miss the first 3 games of the year due to an NFL-imposed suspension. Which makes drafting him fairly risky to begin with. But he should do well later in the year to make him attractive in the middle rounds of the draft. If nothing else, you will want a replacement for the first 3 games. Handcuff = RB Fred Jackson.

RB Larry Johnson (KC): No one really knows what to expect out of the Chiefs this year. New Coach. New GM. New QB. And a happy LJ? It’s hard to say how it will all work out, but we do know that LJ has had his fair share of injury issues in the past. Handcuff = RB Jamaal Charles.

RB Jamal Lewis (CLE): I am still surprised Lewis has an NFL career, at this point. It seems like he has been around forever, and I expected him to fade away awhile ago. And this may be the year it finally happens. Handcuff = RB James Davis.

RB Joseph Addai (IND): We all know about the struggles Addai had last year. And then the Colts went out and drafted a talented rookie RB. So if you roll the dice with Addai, you better be willing to spend a mid-round pick on insurance. Handcuff = RB Donald Brown.

RB Willie Parker (PIT): Parker has been slowly declining for the past couple of seasons, and missed significant time last year due to injuries. He is getting older and there is youth behind him. Handcuff = RB Rashard Mendenhall.


“I Love You, Man”

July 23, 2009 Leave a comment

Every year, there are guys who are not rated as highly as I think they should be. And then there are some guys who, for some reason or another, I simply fall in love with. You cannot really call most of these guys “sleepers”, since they are definitely on peoples’ radars. But they are guys who I think are underrated.

QB Aaron Rodgers (GB): Yes, he is consistently ranked as a top-10 QB, and even top-5 on a lot of lists. But he was second only to QB Drew Brees last year in total scoring. And I think he will only get better in 2009. The Favre-saga is [mostly] behind him and now he is the unquestioned leader of the team. I have him ranked 3rd, after Brees and QB Tom Brady.

RB Steven Jackson (STL): The more I think about Jackson, the more I like him. And its not just because of his sweet Nike commercials. Last year, Jackson held out thru training camp. And, in the history of the NFL, that basically guarantees that you will get injured. (RB Ryan Grant suffered the same fate.) However, this year, he comes into camp ready to play. And the Rams’ line is much-improved. I think Jackson will return to fantasy stardom. He is not without risk, however.

RB Steve Slaton (HOU): Slaton has everything you want in a top fantasy RB: (1) youth, (2) running ability, (3) receiving ability, (4) a high-powered offense, and (5) no potential threat as a backup. Last year, Slaton surprised many with his combo of running and receiving skills, and posted over 1600 yards and 10 total TDs. I think he will be even better this year. And I am not at all worried about RB Chris Brown or RB Ryan Moats taking carries away from him. Which is a huge plus these days.

RB Marion Barber (DAL): Barber was expected to blow up last year. But injuries limited him in the second-half of the season. Guys like Barber can be annoying in fantasy football: They are too tough to sit down when they are hurt, but they are less effective (for fantasy purposes). It was clear his toe injury was bothering him. But I think he will be back this year. He may never be a full-time RB, due to the flexibility and talent of RB Felix Jones and the emergence of backup RB Tashard Choice, but he is still the most complete RB on that team, and he has one of the best noses for the endzone in the NFL.

RB Ryan Grant (GB): He struggled last year because he tried to play through a hamstring injury after missing camp due to a holdout. But he should come in this year healthy and ready to pick up where he left off in 2008. For some reason, the Packers like to utilize one RB, which is good for Grant. Barring injury, I think he will end the year as a borderline RB1.

RB Kevin Smith (DET): Smith quietly put up a very solid rookie season in 2008. And keep in mind, he did that while sharing carries with RB Rudi Johson (seriously?) early in the year and while playing for the 0-16 Lions, who were constantly playing from behind. I do not expect the Lions to be much better than last year, but Smith should be the unquestionable starter and get quite a few carries. I think he is a solid RB2.

RB Ray Rice (BAL): I think the RB Willis McGahee experiment in Baltimore is about to end. Rice looked very good last year and McGahee has struggled mightily with injuries lately. Plus, he seems to have lost his explosion and desire. Rice, on the other hand, has both. Unfortunatley, as long as McGahee (and FB/RB Le’Ron McClain) is in the picture, Rice will not be the stud he could otherwise be. Watch the news from Ravens camp to see how the team decides to use these guys.

WR Terrell Owens (BUF): It hurts my [football] soul to even include him on this list, but I do think TO is underrated this year. QB Trent Edwards is a better than you think. And WR Lee Evans is better than anyone TO has had across from him in awhile. Plus, TO always has a one-year honeymoon period with his new team, before he starts tearing them apart from the inside. And he only has a one-year contract. Much like WR Randy Moss when he first showed up in New England, TO will have something to prove.

WR Dwayne Bowe (KC): He is ranked pretty high on most lists, but not high enough, if you ask me. This guy is a stud. And he put up very good numbers over the past couple years with very marginal QBs . In 2008, he was third to only WR Brandon Marshall and WR Andre Johnson in targets among WRs. And QB Matt Cassel is clearly better than the previous KC QBs. So Bowe should benefit. And without TE Tony Gonzalez, Bowe should become the primary redzone target.

Week 8: Friday Injury Update

October 24, 2008 Leave a comment

Here are some injury status updates for you as you set your rosters for Week 8:

QB Tony Romo (DAL): Romo (finger) is out this week. Advice: QB Brad Johnson will start again for Romo, but is not worth a spot on your roster. Although I do not expect him to repeat his abysmal performance from last week, it is clear that the Cowboys are not in a good place right now as a team.

QB Matt Hasselbeck (SEA): Hasselbeck (knee) will miss his third straight game. Advice: QB Seneca Wallace will get his second straight start, but he is not worth a spot on your roster.

QB Carson Palmer (CIN): Palmer (elbow) is out this week. Advice: QB Ryan Fitzpatrick will start in place of Palmer, and actually could be worth a start if you are having bye week or injury issues. The Texans do not have a great defense, and Fitzpatrick is throwing to WR Chad Johnson/Ochocinco and WR TJ Houshmandzadeh.

RB Steven Jackson (STL): Jackson (thigh) has been limited in practice this week and will likely be a game-time decision. Advice: I am sure many Jackson owners got excited after last week’s blow up performance, but you may end up without him this week. I think he will play, but if you have other reasonable options, you should probably look elsewhere.

RB Joseph Addai (IND): Addai (hamstring) is out this week. Advice: RB Dominic Rhodes will start in his place, but is not worth a start on your team, because he is up against a very tough Titans run defense.

RB Willis McGahee (BAL): McGahee (knee) was limited in practice this week, but is expected to play this weekend. Advice: McGahee had one of his best games of the year last week against a tough Miami run defense, so look for him to do well this weekend.

RB LaDainian Tomlinson (SD): Tomlinson (toe) is still battling with his turf toe injury, but should play. Advice: I cannot advise benching Tomlinson, but as with most previous weeks, you cannot expect too much from him.

RB Felix Jones (DAL): Jones (hamstring) is out this week, and may miss the next three weeks. Advice: Look for RB Marion Barber to continue to get the bulk of the carries while Jones is out.

RB Brian Westbrook (PHI): Westbrook (ribs, knee) claims he is ready to play, but his status for this week remains unclear. Advice: I think Westrbook will be back in the lineup this weekend, but he may not be 100% and may share time with RB Correll Buckhalter, to lessen the chances that he will reaggravate his injuries. If you have other (attractive) options, you might want to bench him this week, because even if he does play he will likely not receive a full load.

RB Sammy Morris (NE):Morris (knee) is expected to miss 2-3 weeks. Advice: If you need RB help, go pick up rookie RB Benjarvus Green-Ellis, who will likely start if Morris and RB LaMont Jordan are, in fact, out (you can never really trust the Patriots injury report). But also look for RB Kevin Faulk to get some touches (mostly in the passing game, though).

RB LaMont Jordan (NE): Jordan (calf) missed practice this week and is unlikely to play. Advice: See Morris, Sammy.

RB Willie Parker (PIT): Parker (knee) missed practice this week and is likely out this weekend. Advice: Once again, RB Mewelde Moore will take his place in the lineup. However, the Giants have a good defensive line, so do not expect Moore to put up numbers like he did last week. Only use him if you do not have any better options.

RB Larry Johnson (KC): Johnson is not injured, but will not play this week. Advice: RB Kolby Smith and RB Jamaal Charles will fill in for Johnson. Smith got more carries last week, but Charles was just as effective. However, neither are a very good option.

WR Plaxico Burress (NYG): Burress (neck) is back at practice, but his status for this week remains unclear. Advice: Burress has a history of playing through injuries, so I expect him to be in the lineup this weekend. However, neck injuries can be tricky, so check his status on Sunday afternoon before the game.

WR Chris Chambers (SD): Chambers (ankle) was back at practice this week, but was still somewhat limited. Advice: Chambers will likely be a game-time decision, and will not be 100% even if he does play. WR Malcom Floyd, who has 2 TD catches in his two starts in place of Chambers, will likely see some action either way, and makes a good start if Chambers is out.

WR Justin Gage (TEN): Gage (knee) was limited in practice this week but hopes to be ready for MNF. Advice: Since the Titans play on MNF, Gage will have an extra day to get ready. However, since the game is on Monday, you will be in a tough spot if you rely on him and he ends up not playing. Either way, I would not start Gage, since the Titans will likely rely heavily on the run, and he will not be 100% even if he does play.

WR Reggie Brown (PHI): Brown (groin) was limited in practice this week, but should be able to play this week. Advice: I would only start Brown if you really need him. WR Kevin Curtis (see below) will be back in the starting lineup this week, which means Brown will likely be used sparingly if his groin acts up.

WR Kevin Curtis (PHI): Curtis (sports hernia) was not on the injury report. Advice: Expect Curtis to be in the starting lineup for the Eagles this week, but do not expect too much from him, as he has been out since before the start of the season. He is definitely a sleeper, though.

WR Anquan Boldin (ARI): Boldin (head) is back to practice, but it is not certain that he will play this week. Advice: Unless you are desperate, I would leave Boldin on the bench. He does not have a good matchup, even if he does play.

WR Joey Galloway (TB): Galloway (foot) wants to play this weekend, but it is still not clear whether he is ready. Advice: Again, unless you are desperate, I would stay away. Galloway has a pretty good matchup against a weak Cowboys secondary, but he has been out for awhile.

WR Santonio Holmes (PIT): Holmes is not injured, but he has been suspended for one game by the Steelers a the result of an arrest related to marijuana possession on Thursday. Advice: It is not clear yet whetehr the NFL will get involved and suspend Holmes for any additional games, but he is out at least 1 game. And while he is out, WR Nate Washington will take his place in the starting lineup. Washington has 2 long TD catches in the last two games, and is a sneaky good play against a NYG’s defense that has been struggling against the pass recently (see the Browns game from two weeks ago).

TE Jeremy Shockey (NO): Shockey (sports hernia) was limited in practice this week but is expected to play. Advice: Shockey has a very good matchup against the Chargers, so he makes a good play, assuming he does not have any setbacks.

TE Kellen Winslow (CLE): Winslow is not injured, but he has been suspended for one game. Advice: Bench him and look for help elsewhere. If you are absolutely desperate, his backup (TE Steve Heiden) is a sleeper, although he has missed some practice time this week himself. Rooke TE Martin Rucker, who is ready to play after missing the early part of the season with a knee injury, is a super-sleeper.