News and Notes from Tuesday Night's Red Zone Radio Show
Fantasy News and Notes 9-10-13:
Tony Romo's rib injury isn't anything major and he will start week 2 without issue.
Blaine Gabbert suffered a hand laceration that required 15 stitches and he has been ruled OUT for week 2. Chad Henne will start in his place. This is good news for owners of Cecil Shorts as Shorts had much of his production in 2012 when Henne was at the helm as Henne, though inconsistent, will at least throw the deep ball a few times.
After better than expected showings this week by the Jets Geno Smith and the Raiders Terrelle Pryor, both appear to have a stranglehold on the starting QB jobs for their teams. Both are going to have their struggles some weeks, but I expect they'll be given long leashes to play their way through any issues they have going forward. There really isn't anyone behind either to challenge them.
Jamaal Charles appears to have avoided a major injury again. Charles suffered a quadriceps injury Sunday but it is not believed to be serious. While he only played one more snap after sustaining the injury the Chiefs were up 21-2 and there was no need to have Charles exposed to any further injury in a game that was well in hand. He may be limited some in practices this week but he is currently expected to be just fine for week 2.
Reggie Bush suffered a dislocated thumb injury in the first quarter of Sunday's game but he was able to play the entire game without issue and had great numbers. The thumb is not going to prevent Bush from playing week 2. However, if you have the ability to acquire Joique Bell from your free agent wire, you may want to do that. Bell has clearly established himself as the top backup to Reggie Bush and with Bush not considered to be a true full time RB, Bell should get playing time of his own each week and he definitely appears to be the goal line RB as witnessed by his 2 short yardage TD's week 1. His production will be sporadic on a week to week basis, but he's definitely deserving of a roster spot as either insurance for Bush owners or as a RB4/5 for others.
Shane Vereen was placed on the Patriots injured reserve/designated for return list today. Vereen required surgery for a wrist injury suffered week 1. A player on this list has to miss a minimum of 8 weeks before being able to return. The Patriots have the bye in week 10 so the earliest we'll see Vereen back on the field is week 11. Vereen is definitely worth keeping stashed on fantasy benches or on an injured reserve designation on your league management site. If you don't have these options, then you'll have no choice but to cut him loose and hope to pick him back up again later in the season. Leon Washington and LeGarrette Blount will likely get some playing time behind Stevan Ridley but it's very unlikely either will be anywhere near as fantasy relevant as Vereen has been.
The Vereen news is good for Stevan Ridley owners. Now, despite Ridley being benched in the second quarter Sunday for fumbling the ball, he is fully expected to return to the starting lineup Thursday night. Ridley needs to get this problem corrected as Bill Belichick hates guys who don't take care of the football. Ridley may even get a chance to catch some passes as I wonder how much game Leon Washington really has left and pass catching isn't one of LeGarrette Blount's strengths either.
Despite a brutal performance by David Wilson week 1, you should not give up on him. It's very likely that even though the Giants reunited with Brandon Jacobs today, Wilson will start week 2. Da'Rel Scott is not considered to be a legitimate threat for playing time unless Wilson turns the ball over again. However, Wilson can't be considered as anything more than a risky fantasy RB3 for week 2. I think Jacobs familiarity with the Giants offense makes him a better handcuff candidate than Scott. Jacobs may not have much left, but the Giants only need him until Andre Brown can return, which should be week 8 or 9.
Shonn Greene suffered a knee injury week 1 and was unable to finish the game. The injury is not believed to be serious and while he may be limited some in practices this week, he should be available to play as Chris Johnson's backup in week 2. Greene was running well before the injury and likely would have had the rushing TD Jackie Battle got if not for the injury.
La'Rod Stephens-Howling tore his ACL week 1 and he's done for the 2013 season. The Steelers have re-signed Jonathan Dwyer to replace Stephens-Howling. Considering that Isaac Redman was brutally bad week 1, it's a good bet Dwyer gets immediate playing time. Redman is supposed to still get the start week 2 but another ineffective outing will lead to him getting very little playing time. It's not a great matchup this week against Cincinnati so I'd just avoid this mess.
Those with Le'Veon Bell will need to be patient as it' now appears he isn't nearly as close to returning as was thought late last week. Bell could be out until after Pittsburgh bye in week 5.
Isaiah Pead returns from his one game suspension and will step right into the top backup spot to Daryl Richardson for St. Louis. Richardson did okay as the featured guy for the Rams week 1 but he wasn't anything special. Pead has disappointed in the past but he certainly is in a position to make a run for the top job in coming weeks. Those with deep benches and a penchant for player speculative moves could stash Pead.
It's being reported that Danny Amendola is going to miss Thursday night's game because of the groin injury he aggravated Sunday. Now he hasn't been officially ruled out yet but with it being a short week, I'm doubtful Amendola plays. One way or another we'll know for sure about an hour before kickoff Thursday night when the player's inactive list is announced. Smart owners will go out right now and acquire Julian Edelman if available on your free agent wire. Between Amendola's doubtful sounding status (and lengthy injury history) and Kenbrell Thompkins catching only 4 of 14 targets Sunday, Edelman stands an excellent chance of becoming very fantasy relevant this season. Edelman lacks specialness to his game but having the trust of Tom Brady is worth quite a bit.
The Jets Jeremy Kerley is expected to miss Thursday night's game because of a concussion suffered in week 1. This shouldn't affect many fantasy lineups this week.
The MRI on Dallas's Dez Bryant revealed just a minor foot sprain. He may practice very little this week but he should be fine to play week 2. However, keep an eye on reports as Bryant may end up being more decoy than stud in game action.
Speaking of studs being decoys, after a bunch of media posturing that Roddy White was fine and didn't suffer a high ankle sprain in the preseason, the Falcons and White have finally admitted he did. He was very limited week 1 and we appear to be going down the same path for week 2. High ankle sprains usually take 4-6 weeks to recover from and White suffered his about 3-4 weeks ago. Until the ankle heals, he goes from being a solid fantasy WR2 to being a high risk WR3.
Those who were disappointed by Eric Decker's week 1 performance shouldn't give up on him so quickly. With so many hands to feed in Denver it's going to be an issue where someone is going to get locked out. Decker would have done much better if not for a couple of brutal drops. He's still worth having as a WR2/3.
And we have a winner in 2013’s One Week Wonder Contest. There were a few candidates to consider but easily the best choice for the Official 2013 Fantasy Football One Week Wonder is Minnesota Vikings WR Jerome Simpson. With 7 catches for 140 yards, Simpson is the best bet to not repeat anywhere near those numbers again in 2013. Not with Christian Ponder throwing the football; and not with a superior talent in rookie Cordarrelle Patterson right on his heels for that starting job opposite Greg Jennings.
Thursday night was a coming out party for Denver's Julius Thomas. Even when Jacob Tamme and Joel Dreessen get healthy they will be afterthoughts to Thomas and his far superior athleticism and talent. Just don't expect Thomas to be huge every week. But he's certainly worth considering for fantasy starting lineups each week going forward.
Zach Sudfeld reportedly suffered a hamstring injury week 1. Sudfeld was targeted just once week 1. His status for Thursday night has to be considered very questionable. It's fair to wonder if Sudfeld is going to turn into a big dud after so much preseason hype. I wouldn't drop him yet as in a couple of weeks he could return and be part of the Patriots game plan as the second TE, a position that has proven to have fantasy value. As long as you can afford to hold onto him I recommend keeping him stashed for now until we get a better sampling than just one game.
Rob Gronkowski is considered very unlikely to play Thursday night, but he has yet to be declared out. He could come down to being a game time decision. But even if active, I'd be surprised if he played much in his first action back. If neither Gronkowski nor Sudfeld can play Michael Hoomanawanui and Matthew Mulligan would be the Patriots dismal TE options. I'm really kind of surprised they haven't reached out to Daniel Fells. Fells was a preseason cut.
Shaun Suisham suffered a hamstring injury week 1 it's likely he will miss a few weeks. Pittsburgh signed Shayne Graham to kick for them until Suisham can return.