Fantasy Football News and Notes 9-18-13

News and Notes from Wednesday Night's Red Zone Radio Show

Fantasy News and Notes 9-18-13:
 
Quarterbacks
 
Cleveland's Brandon Weeden has been ruled OUT for week 3 because of the thumb injury on his throwing hand. Brian Hoyer was announced as the starter in his place over Jason Campbell. It's a nice matchup against a Minnesota pass defense that has been lit up by Detroit and Chicago the first two games, but it's hard to put a lot of trust into the unproven, weak-armed Hoyer.
 
It's not official, but it's expected that Chad Henne will start for Jacksonville in place of Blaine Gabbert week 3. Depending on whether Henne does better this week against Seattle (I know stop laughing) than he did last week vs. Oakland, Henne could continue starting even when Gabbert's hand injury heals up enough for him to be able to play.
 
 
Running Backs
 
In what has to be the biggest trade in recent memory, the Cleveland Browns today traded Trent Richardson to the Indianapolis Colts in exchange for a 2014 1st round pick. Richardson will immediately step in as the Colts featured RB over Ahmad Bradshaw. He may be a little limited the first week, but make no doubt about it, Richardson will be the Colts starter over Ahmad Bradshaw going forward. I still consider Richardson a solid fantasy RB1 going forward and Bradshaw now becomes little more than Richardson's handcuff.   
 
With Cleveland having traded Trent Richardson to the Indianapolis Colts, there is a gaping hole in the Browns RB position as they only have Chris Ogbonnaya and Bobby Rainey currently on the roster. Word out of Cleveland is that RB Willis McGahee is in Cleveland taking a physical and if he passes (which he is expected to do) he will be signed to take over as the Browns new lead RB. If McGahee is available on your leagues waiver wires you will want to grab him as McGahee represents a potential fantasy RB2/3.
 
Baltimore's Ray Rice missed practice today with his hip flexor injury. It's expected that Rice is not going to practice at all this week and that he will be a game time decision. Even if active, I doubt he plays much and fully expect to see Bernard Pierce get the bulk of the RB load.
 
As expected, Reggie Bush didn't practice today because of the knee bruise he suffered week 2. Expect Bush to not practice at all this week and come down to being a game time decision. I expect he will play, but will be limited at best and that means we'll see a lot of backup Joique Bell. I hesitate to downgrade Bush too much given a matchup this week against a Washington defense that has allowed over 400 rushing yards and 3 rushing TD's in the first two weeks, but Bush is looking like a dicey fantasy bet. Bell is shaping up to be a great fantasy bet if Bush doesn't play.
 
Green Bay's Eddie Lacy was held out of practice today and he is not expected to play this week after suffering a concussion week 2. James Starks should start be the Packers clear featured RB again. Rookie Johnathan Franklin may get some time spelling Starks.
 
Maurice Jones-Drew was unable to practice today because of his ankle injury. The Jaguars say he is tentatively expected to be okay to play week 3. But even if he is given a full green light to play by Friday, with a road matchup against Seattle I strongly advise finding someone else to insert into starting lineups this week.
 
Rashard Mendenhall was held out of practice today with a listed toe injury. This is getting ridiculous. Before week 1 Mendenhall was listed with a knee injury. He played week 1 without issue and then he missed practice time last week with a listed hamstring injury. He played week 2 and looked fine and now we've got this toe issue. I'm not buying into it as being anything t be concerned with and think the Cardinals are just having some fun with their injury report. Mendenhall is fine to consider as a middling fantasy RB2.
 
Mark Ingram missed practice for New Orleans today because of a toe injury. This is just another reason to keep Ingram on fantasy benches, or possibly even on fantasy waiver wires. Ingram has been pretty bad through 2 games and appears to have been passed up by Pierre Thomas for fantasy relevance from the Saints backfield.
 
 
Wide Receivers
 
It appears the concussion suffered by Houston's Andre Johnson was mild as the Texans say they expect Johnson to be able to play this week despite his not practicing today. I'm always dubious trusting what coaches say, but the Houston media appears to be on board with this assessment. Barring any setbacks or surprises in his concussion tests, tentatively you should be able to count on Johnson for week 3.
 
Dez Bryant given today off in practice by the Cowboys. Reportedly it's a minor back issue, but nothing to worry about. Expect Bryant to return to practice or Friday and be fine for week 3.
 
No surprise that Larry Fitzgerald was held out of practice by the Cardinals today. Fitzgerald is nursing a sore hamstring that limited him in week 2 and it won't be a surprise if Fitz doesn't practice at all this week so he can get it rested up as best he can so he can play week 3. He's likely to be called Questionable and considered a game time decision this week but I get the feeling he will play. How effective he'll be though is very debatable.
 
Although reports say that New England's Danny Amendola won't play in weeks 3 and 4 because of his groin injury, he was able to put in a limited practice today. Reports say he wasn't looking good though and I seriously doubt he'll have a miraculous recovery in time to be able to play this week. But maybe he has a shot in week 4?
 
Tennessee's Kendall Wright missed practice today because of concussion like symptoms. Wright took a big hit week 2 and while he continued playing, his status for week 3 has to be deemed questionable.  
 
Roddy White continues to be limited in practices for the Falcons. White's been able to play through his preseason high ankle sprain the first two games and I'm confident he'll do so again this week. But his production has been way off and he is no more than a fantasy WR3 at best until he gets this injury behind him.
 
T.Y. Hilton was limited in practice today with a minor groin injury. He's fully expected to be fine to start this week though. Teammate Darrius Heyward-Bey was also limited with a shoulder injury and while he too is expected to be fine, it's pretty clear Hilton has passed him up in the Colts pass catching pecking order.
 
Those of you with Greg Little may want to consider dropping him. With Josh Gordon back from suspension it was thought Little would start opposite of Gordon, but his dropped filled first two games has made the Browns demote him and decide to keep more sure-handed Davone Bess in the starting lineup. Little has a significant talent edge on Bess but he has shown bad hands in his 3 NFL seasons and the Browns appear to finally be giving up on him. With mediocre WR's with high upsides plentiful on free agent wires, you shouldn't find it hard to replace Little.
 
 
Tight Ends
 
The hip injury suffered by Dwayne Allen of the Colts is going to require season ending surgery. Unless yours is a dynasty style league, you can drop Allen from your fantasy rosters. In dynasty, I recommend holding onto him as Allen has appeal in future seasons. Coby Fleener will assume full time TE duties and if available on your free agent wire is definitely a smart consideration for acquisition.
 
Pittsburgh's Heath Miller was actually able to practice in full today and word now is that he is on track to be able to play this week against Chicago. This would be Miller's first game action since tearing his ACL back in December of last year and I would expect that he isn't ready for a full complement of snaps. But Miller is someone you could think about grabbing now and stashing in case he gets back to the form he was showing last season before the injury.
 
Despite not practicing today because of a hamstring strain San Francisco's Vernon Davis has tweeted out that he is going to be fine for week 3. It's often a bad idea to take what a player says as being fact, but tentatively I am expecting Davis to try playing. San Francisco plays a late afternoon game on Sunday so even though it sounds like Davis will play, you may want to be ready to have a contingency plan ready to insert for him in your week 3 starting lineups.
 
New England's Rob Gronkowski says he's progressed a lot in the past week, but whether that means he's going to finally suit up for a game in week 3 is unknown. Simply put, Gronkowski is going to be listed as Questionable come Friday and be considered a game time decision. Luckily the Patriots play an early game Sunday so we'll know for sure whether he's playing or not about an hour before the game. If active, it's hard to keep Gronk out of a starting fantasy lineup, but if you have the luxury of a high quality other TE, you may want to play it safe and see how he does for a game before inserting him into the lineup. But that's only if you have a really high quality backup.
 
Gronk's teammate in New England, Zach Sudfeld, was able to practice today and appears on track to play this week after missing week 2 with a hamstring injury. You'd have to have a lot of faith though to consider Sudfeld after his week 1 doughnut in the boxscore.
 
Green Bay gave Jermichael Finley the day off in practice today to rest his minor toe injury. Finely played through it week 2 and I fully expect he'll do so again in week 3.
 
Even though it's early in the season, Washington's Fred Davis appears to have been dropped down in terms of importance in the Redskins passing game. Davis has only been targeted 6 times, catching 3 passes for 25 yards and no TD's. Meanwhile Redskins rookie Jordan Reed has been targeted 9 times, catching 8 passes for 56 yards and 1 TD. It's still early in the season, but I expect that the younger, physically more impressive Reed will continue to be more involved than an injury prone veteran like Davis. I'd rather have Reed's upside on my bench as opposed to Davis.  
 
Anthony Fasano is considered Doubtful for Thursday night's game. Fasano has been a mediocre fantasy TE2 throughout his career and I doubt that's going to change in Kansas City even when he gets totally healthy. If you have him, feel free to drop him for a higher upside replacement to stash on your fantasy benches.
 
Arizona's Rob Housler finally was able to get in some practice time today. His status isn't certain for week 3, but barring any setbacks, there's a chance he could be active for the first time this season. I'd hold off on buying into his hype though. That is unless you're carrying Fred Davis or Anthony Fasano.