Fantasy Football News and Notes 10-2-13

News and Notes from Wednesday Night's "Red Zone" Radio Program

Fantasy News and Notes 10-01-13:
BYE WEEKS: Minnesota, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, Washington
Latest word on Tennessee's Jake Locker is that he may only miss 4-6 weeks with his hip and knee injuries. That sounds a bit optimistic as he originally was believed to be a candidate for the injured reserve/designated for return list, but it may be that Locker is back sooner than the week 11 time frame I had him pegged for. Ryan Fitzpatrick will start for the Titans until Locker can return and instead of bringing in a retread veteran like David Carr, the Titans have activated Rusty Smith from their practice squad to be Fitzpatrick's backup.
Oakland's Terrelle Pryor will be able to start week 5. Pryor missed week 4 with a concussion but the team says he is symptom free and he will start this week. Backup Matt Flynn was so bad in week 4, the Raiders have apparently demoted him to 3rd string. Undrafted rookie Matt McGloin is expected to be Pryor's backup.  
Running Backs
Buffalo's C.J. Spiller is officially considered Questionable for Thursday night because of his ankle injury. He will be a game time decision. With Fred Jackson Probable but likely to be limited because a knee injury, Buffalo could be forced to go with Tashard Choice a lot more often than they'd like. Considering the Browns only allow an average of 79 rushing yards per game and a league fewest 2.9 yards per rush attempt, I would advise staying away from Buffalo RB's this week if you can.
No word from St. Louis about who they will be starting at RB in week 5 against Jacksonville and their 32nd ranked fantasy run defense. Daryl Richardson has been dreadful so far in 3 games and the Rams made his primary backup, Isaiah Pead, inactive last week without any good explanation. It could be Richardson; it could be Pead; or it could even be either of rookies Benny Cunningham or Zac Stacy who gets the start this week for the Rams. Whoever it is will be worth taking a chance on given the matchup. But it's a guessing game at the current time.
Green Bay's James Starks is expected to miss a few more weeks because of a knee injury he suffered back in week 3. With Eddie Lacy returning this week, Starks was just going to compete with Johnathan Franklin for backup and change of pace duties anyway.
Stevan Ridley was held out of practice today because of a thigh bruise. He's expected to be okay for week 5 but we are talking about the secretive Patriots here.
Chris Ivory was a surprise participant in Jets practice today. He was limited but this is a positive sign that he may not miss a few weeks because of his hamstring injury. I doubt he'll be able to play in week 5 though.
Ahmad Bradshaw missed practice today. Bradshaw missed week 4 because of a neck injury and it's looking like he won't play in week 5 either. Expect Trent Richardson to continue getting the bulk of the load for the Colts again this week as he learns the offense. It's a poor perceived matchup against Seattle, but the Seahawks actually rank 15th in rushing fantasy points allowed. With their pass defense being so strong, it probably will be another game with close to 20 rushing attempts for Richardson. He makes a solid RB2 this week.  
Kansas City's Jamaal Charles didn't practice today but it's just believed to be a day of rest for him and not because of any unreported injury. Charles is fully expected to be fine for week 5.
Wide Receivers
Miles Austin was held out of practice again today because of his hamstring injury. It's looking like Austin is likely to miss his second consecutive game. Terrence Williams and Dwayne Harris are likely to pick up the slack in his absence again this week.
Cecil Shorts left Jaguars practice today because of a groin injury. While it's believed to be minor, it's always concerning when a player has to leave practice with an injury. Hopefully we'll know more tomorrow.
Baltimore's Marlon Brown missed practice today because of his hamstring injury. If he doesn't practice tomorrow you should be ready to keep him on your fantasy bench. On the good news front for Baltimore though, Jacoby Jones was at practice today. No word on his level of participation but maybe he's getting close to returning from a knee sprain and a bottle upside the head.
Danny Amendola practiced in limited fashion today. This doesn't give us much to go on though as he practiced in limited fashion all last week and was inactive come game day. Teammate Aaron Dobson was also limited in practice. This is actually a good sign as Dobson suffered a neck injury week 4 and was unable to finish the game. It's very likely we won't know much for sure until after Friday's official injury report is released.
Among WR's who were either held out of practice today, or were limited, but are fully expected to be fine for week 5, that list includes: Chicago's Brandon Marshall (foot); Detroit's Calvin Johnson (not injury related); Denver's Eric Decker (ankle); and New England's Kenbrell Thompkins (shoulder)
Tight Ends
New England's Rob Gronkowski was limited in practice today. This is starting to not be news, but a daily chore to tell you about as it's still unknown if he's going to play this week or not.
Green Bay's Jermichael Finley was able to return to practice today and it appears he should be over his week 3 concussion. Barring any setbacks between now and Sunday, Finley should be fine to start.
Vernon Davis was limited in practice today because of the hamstring injury he played through in week 4. Davis should be a lot better now than he was a week ago and should be fine for week 5 barring any setbacks.
Buffalo's Dustin Hopkins still isn't able to return yet from a groin injury that has sidelined him for the regular season so far. Dan Carpenter will kick Thursday night for the Bills.