News and Notes from Thursday Night's "Red Zone" Radio Program
Fantasy News and Notes 9-19-13:
Ryan Tannehill has been limited some in practices because of a minor injury to his throwing shoulder. Tannehill is fully expected to be fine to start week 3 for Miami.
Cleveland Head Coach Rob Chudzinski intimated today that Brandon Weeden may not get his starting job back even when his thumb injury is healed up. Weeden hasn't been sharp the first two games and if Brian Hoyer can effectively move the offense he could stick as the Browns starter. I think it's unlikely Hoyer can be an effective every week starting QB though so I expect we will see Weeden get the job back, but it may not be as soon as week 4.
I'm tired of talking about the irrelevant Jacksonville starting QB situation as there is no hope either of Blaine Gabbert or Chad Henne would make a good start this week in Seattle even in leagues that require 2 starting QB's. But for what it's worth, it's expected that Henne will start as Gabbert's hand injury hasn't healed up enough yet. God help you if you have to start a Jaguars QB this week.
In a surprise twist, Le'Veon Bell was listed as a full participant in practice today for the Steelers. While this is an unexpected good sign in his recovery from a bad mid-foot sprain, it's still considered doubtful that he will be able to play in week 3. I know the Steelers are desperate to get him back considering their woeful stable of backup RB's, but even week 4 seems optimistic to expect Bell to return. Be sure to check out my Saturday team by team news and notes for the latest on whether Bell actually does stand a chance of playing this week.
The Colts say that Trent Richardson is going to play week 3 and while he may not be able to handle a full featured RB workload, he will play plenty. Richardson is a weak fantasy RB2 play this week against the 49ers, but it's sounding like he will be the primary even with only 3 days to absorb the playbook.
As expected, Cleveland signed free agent Willis McGahee to replace Richardson. McGahee can't possibly be in true football shape though and it's not even a given he will be active this week. My guess is that he will be, but that we'll see a lot of Chris Ogbonnaya and also a good bit of Bobby Rainey. However I really can't say I'd trust any of them in fantasy starting lineups this week.
Ray Rice continues to miss practices because of his hip flexor injury. At best he's going to be a game time decision and I seriously doubt that even if active, he plays much at this week. Expect Baltimore to run a lot with Bernard Pierce and I expect Pierce will be a middling to low end fantasy RB2 this week
Reggie Bush was unable to practice today but is expected to try to practice tomorrow. Only because the matchup is juicy does Bush make a low end consideration as a fantasy RB2 this week if he plays. I think it's very likely Joique Bell is the better fantasy option even if Bush is active for this game.
Maurice Jones-Drew was unable to practice again today because of his ankle injury. His status for week 3 is looking questionable at best. I advise just keeping MJD on your benches this week as even if active, a hobbled MJD against the Seahawks defense is a bad fantasy matchup.
Rashard Mendenhall was held out of practice again today with his listed toe injury. This officially becomes a little bit of a concern as that's two straight missed practices but as long he practices tomorrow, I'll feel comfortable with Mendy being a low end fantasy RB2 this week.
Andre Johnson reportedly was able to practice in full today for the Texans. It looks like he'll be a full go this weekend barring any setbacks between now and Sunday.
Larry Fitzgerald was held out of practice again today for the Cardinals. It's said that Fitz wants to practice and Bruce Arians is wisely holding him back to rest his hamstring strain. I think Fitz will practice some tomorrow and although likely to be listed as Questionable come Friday on the injury report, I think he will play.
Danny Amendola was able to get in a second consecutive limited practice today. But he's still considered a long shot to play in week 3. But maybe he could be able to play in week 4?
Tennessee's Kendall Wright missed practice again today because of concussion symptoms. Wright is sounding very questionable to play week 3 and may come down to a game time decision. While Wright has enough game to be fantasy worthy when playing, I think it too risky to have him in any starting fantasy lineups this week.
Among WR's who were either limited in practice or held out, but are expected to be just fine for week 3, the list includes Dallas's Dez Bryant (back), Chicago's Brandon Marshall (back), Atlanta's duo of Julio Jones (knee) and Roddy White (ankle), Indianapolis's T.Y. Hilton (groin), and the Jets Santonio Holmes (foot)
Rob Gronkowski was limited in practice again today and (surprise) there's been no definitive word as to whether he'll be able to play week 3 or not. With an early game this week, we'll know whether Gronk is active or not about an hour before the first games kick off Sunday. Even if active, he's likely to be limited some and I would consider him to be a low end fantasy TE1.
The 49ers held Vernon Davis out of practice again today. Davis is nursing a strained hamstring. While he says he'll be good for week 3, I'll feel a whole lot better about his chances if he can get in at least a limited practice tomorrow. Right now consider Davis as questionable, likely to start, and possibly limited in week 3 game action. That would make him a risky starting fantasy TE.
Pittsburgh's Heath Miller practiced in full again today and he is expected to be active week 3. But I doubt he's ready for a full workload as this will be Miller's first game action since tearing his ACL back in December of last year. Keep him stashed on your benches for now and let's see how well he gets through a game first before considering him.
Washington's Kai Forbath was unable to practice again today. Forbath missed week 2 with a groin injury and it looks like he'll miss week 3, too. John Potter will kick for the Redskins this week.
Russ Bliss Predicts the Winners of each NFL Game this week
Well, 10-6 in week 2 wasn't bad, but also wasn't great. You can officially cross me off the Cleveland Browns sleeper contender bandwagon. Especially after they traded Trent Richardson yesterday to the Colts. They've cost me two wins this season and now I stand at a paltry 21-11 through the first two weeks of the 2013 season. It's hoped that in week 3 I will get this corrected, but there are a few tough games this week to predict. There are also some easy ones too. So let's get on with it: my Week 3 NFL Game Predictions:
Kansas City 30, Philadelphia 28
New Orleans 27, Arizona 20
Minnesota 24, Cleveland 14
Washington 27, Detroit 24
Green Bay 27, Cincinnati 21
Baltimore 20, Houston 17
NY Giants 23, Carolina 21
Tennessee 20, San Diego 17
St. Louis 26, Dallas 23
New England 24, Tampa Bay 20
Atlanta 23, Miami 22
Buffalo 19, NY Jets 16
San Francisco 34, Indianapolis 17
Seattle 42, Jacksonville 3
Chicago 24, Pittsburgh 10
Denver 38, Oakland 10
And there we go: my Week 2 NFL Game Predictions.
As for the Survivor Pool Lock, I'm still kicking myself for taking Philadelphia over San Diego in week 2. Not sure which I feel more: impressed with the Chargers offense through 2 games? Or frustrated with the Eagles defense. Doesn't matter, I blew the call and now am 1-1 in the Survivor Pool Locks for 2013. Here are the results to date:
Week 1 (W; 21-17) Indianapolis over Oakland
Week 2 (L; 30-33) Philadelphia over San Diego
Even though technical, in a real survivor pool I'd be out of it after just two weeks, I will continue to give a pick each week, and still staying true to survivor pool rules I will not pick the same team twice. I don't need to as I doubt I'll ever trust the Eagles again.
Week 3, as you can see from my predictions, has a few blowout games to choose from. But there is one game that just stands out like the biggest mismatch of the entire 2013 season. After dismantling a Super Bowl contender last week, Seattle gets the greatest gift the NFL can offer: Jacksonville. And not just that it's the Jacksonville Jaguars, but this game will be played in Seattle. Even if the Seahawks were in for the biggest letdown after such a convincing win last week over the 49ers, they should still beat the Jaguars by 2 touchdowns. I hear that the Vegas line is Seattle -19.5. I guess you would get a nickel for every dollar on the money line straight up taking Seattle. I like the Seahawks to cover. The only hope Jacksonville has in this game is an intervention from God.
My Survivor Pool Lock for week 3 is: the Seattle Seahawks over the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Once again, we'll see how it goes this week. Best of luck to all in your picks!