Fantasy Football News and Notes 9-26-13

News and Notes from Thursday Night's "Red Zone" Radio Show

Fantasy News and Notes 9-25-13:
 
BYE WEEKS: Carolina Panthers, Green Bay Packers
 
Quarterbacks
 
Oakland's Terrelle Pryor has passed another stage of his concussion protocols. He has been cleared to return to practice, albeit in a limited role off to the side. I question whether the Raiders are pushing Pryor too hard to return too quickly and only time will tell. Currently, at the rate he's going, he stands a 50/50 chance to start this week for Oakland
 
Minnesota plans to announce tomorrow whether it will be Christian Ponder or Matt Cassel starting at QB for the Vikings this week. Ponder was limited in practice today again because of his ribs injury.
 
 
Running Backs
 
Reggie Bush got in a second consecutive day with full participation in practice. He looks like he'll be a full go this weekend. But I still expect he'll have a larger than usual time share with Joique Bell.
 
C.J. Spiller also got in a second consecutive full practice today. He's also looking like a full go for week 4. But he too will still have a time share with Fred Jackson.
 
Ray Rice got in a second consecutive limited practice today. It's sounding likely he'll be good enough to play week 4 against woeful Buffalo's run defense, But I do expect there will be close to an even split between him and backup Bernard Pierce.
 
Pittsburgh's Le'Veon Bell practiced in full again today and word now is that he will start for the Steelers week 4. How close to a full workload he can handle I question, but given the Steelers lack of any other quality RB's, I expect Bell, as long as the foot is truly healed up, will get most of it in week 4.
 
Mark Ingram has yet to be able to practice this week because of the toe injury that caused him to miss week 3. I doubt if Ingram will play Monday night and I question whether he'll actually have any role with the offense once he is healthy enough to play. Ingram is just a poor fit for the Saints offense. Pierre Thomas is taking the top RB job away from him and if available on your free agent wires, Thomas is a smart acquisition for his dual threat capabilities as both a power runner, and an excellent pass catcher.
 
 
Wide Receivers
 
Houston's Andre Johnson was able to put in a limited practice today. However he is still considered very questionable for week 4 and still considered to come down to a game time decision.
 
New England's Danny Amendola was able to get in a limited practice today but he is considered unlikely to be able to play week 4 because of his groin injury. Expect it to be another week of Julian Edelman, Kenbrell Thompkins, and Aaron Dobson as the Patriots top 3 WR's.
 
Tampa Bay's duo of Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams both missed practice again today. Jackson has a rib injury and Williams a hamstring strain. While both players are tentatively expected to be able to play this week, it's possible that one or even both of them are going to come down being game time decisions. If they can practice tomorrow even in limited fashion, I'll feel a lot better about them playing this week.  
 
Miles Austin missed practice again today for the Cowboys because of his supposedly "minor" hamstring strain. Given his extensive history of missing games because of hamstring issues, I am not counting on Austin playing this week and even if he does, I would not recommend starting him. Rookie Terrence Williams very likely will start in his place.  
 
Lance Moore missed practice today with a hand injury. While I don't think this is going to prevent him from playing Monday night, I wouldn't be starting Moore this week anyway. He's been the forgotten man in the Saints WR corps and I see no reason to risk him at less than full health.
 
 
Tight Ends
 
After being limited in practice yet again today, New England's Rob Gronkowski is still unsure to return this weekend. This is going to come down to a game time decision Sunday night and those of you who have another quality TE option should definitely be ready to pull Gronk out of your starting lineups and get the quality backup in there.
 
Pittsburgh's Heath Miller was limited in practice today. It’s not believed to be a concern though and the Steelers are just wisely taking it easy on Miller after he played in his first game week 3 since tearing his ACL back in December last year.
 
Washington's Jordan Reed was held out again today from practice because of his quad injury. It's starting to look really iffy for Reed this week and I wouldn't be counting on him. Teammate Fred Davis was able to practice in limited fashion again today and is tentatively expected to play despite having an ankle injury. As I said last night, I doubt if Davis has a high ankle sprain as those typically require 4-6 weeks of rest to recover from.  
 
 
Kickers
 
Billy Cundiff missed practice again today with his quad injury. Cleveland still has yet to sign another kicker. Either Cundiff isn't that bad off, or the Browns really do intend to do what I joked about last night: have their punter kick field goals and extra points. Or maybe they're not even expecting to score any points?  
 

 

NFL Game Picks and Survivor Pool Lock: Week 4

Russ Bliss Predicts the Winners of each NFL Game this week

Well, I have to say I SUCKED last week. Going 8-8 in straight up picks is a downer for anyone who fancies himself knowledgeable at all in the NFL. That disappointing week brings me to an even more disappointing 29-19 record through 3 weeks of the season. I knew taking so many road teams last week was a bad idea, and you'd think I'd learn from it. But once again, in week 4, I find myself seeing a lot of road teams pulling out the wins. Tuesday morning we'll know if it's genius, or just stupid.
 
Here are my Week 4 NFL Game Predictions:
 
San Francisco 27, St. Louis 16
Arizona 24, Tampa Bay 14
Baltimore 31, Buffalo 20
Detroit 27, Chicago 23
Cincinnati 21, Cleveland 14
Indianapolis 27, Jacksonville 10
Kansas City 23, NY Giants 20
Pittsburgh 20, Minnesota 16
Seattle 20, Houston 17
Tennessee 19, NY Jets 16
Dallas 23, San Diego 20
Denver 38, Philadelphia 24
Washington 28, Oakland 26
New England 27, Atlanta 24
New Orleans 27, Miami 20
 
There you have them: my week 4 NFL Game Predictions
 
Week 3's Survivor Pool Lock couldn't have been any easier. Taking Seattle over Jacksonville was just too obvious. I'm now at 2-1 in the Locks and here are the results to date:
 
Week 1 (W; 21-17) Indianapolis over Oakland
Week 2 (L; 30-33) Philadelphia over San Diego
Week 3 (W; 45-17) Seattle over Jacksonville
 
Keeping in the tradition of a true Survivor Pool, I will not use a team more than once. As you can see from my predictions in the games this week, there are a couple of double digit winners I see this week. But only 1 of them is a home team. And I like home teams for locks more often than not. Good teams on the road can stumble. While I was really hoping to save this team for another week, I am taking as few chances as I can. The Broncos have been demolishing their opponents and with the Eagles defense incapable of stopping anyone, I really can't see how Peyton Manning doesn't continue to rack up stats and lead Denver to a victory. The Eagles can score points, as long as they don't turn the ball over, but not like the Broncos.
 
My Survivor Pool Lock for week 4 is: the Denver Broncos over the Philadelphia Eagles.
 
Hopefully, week 4 treats me a little better than week 3 did. We'll see next week. Best of luck to all in your picks this week!