News and Notes from Thursday Night's "Red Zone" Radio Show
Fantasy News and Notes 10-17-13:
BYE WEEKS: New Orleans, Oakland
Houston named Case Keenum their starting QB week 7. Matt Schaub has been ruled OUT with his ankle injury. Keenum is a second year player who spent all of last season on the Texans practice squad. He's not big, nor does he have a big arm, but he was very prolific in college and the Texans are looking for a spark after usual backup T.J. Yates was awful replacing Schaub last week.
Thaddeus Lewis practiced in full again today and is fully expected to start this week despite having a sprained foot. One of the things that made Lewis look good last week was his mobility so a drop in that could mean for a much poorer performance this week. But apparently Buffalo believes a hobbled Lewis is a better option than Matt Flynn. E.J. Manuel is not expected back until week 11 or 13. The Bills have the bye in week 12.
Michael Vick declared himself out for week 7. Vick's hamstring supposedly isn't healing up as quick as hoped. But I think how bad the hamstring is probably is directly tied to how well Nick Foles performs. If Foles struggles week 7 I won't be at all surprised if it magically is a whole lot better next week. If Foles does great again, the hamstring probably will need at least another week before it's healed up.
Jake Locker has been cleared for contact in practices and took part in a limited practice again today for the Titans. While he hasn't been ruled out for week7, it's highly unlikely he'll be ready to play that soon. But it is starting to look like he will be back in week 9. Tennessee has the bye in week 8.
Adrian Peterson was limited in practice today because of a listed hamstring issue. It's believed that AP is fine and the Vikings are just being very careful with any type of discomfort their star RB may have. I fully expect AP will be fine for Monday night.
Arian Foster was held out of practice today. He's listed with thumb, chest, and hamstring injuries. The thumb and chest issues were listed yesterday when he practiced in full, but the hamstring is new. While it's not currently believed to be a serious concern, I'll feel a whole lot beter about Foster if he can at get in a limited practice tomorrow. We'll see how he's listed on tomorrow's injury report.
C.J. Spiller returned to a limited practice today and he is expected to be fine for his recent role as change of pace to Fred Jackson for Buffalo.
Steven Jackson missed practice again today for Atlanta and while not ruled out yet, he is not going to play this week.
Zac Stacy returned to a full practice today. Stacy will be just fine for the Rams matchup against Carolina this week.
Maurice Jones-Drew also returned to a full practice today. He'll be fine for week 7.
Cleveland's Willis McGahee was held out of practice today because of a listed knee injury. McGahee wasn't on the Wednesday injury list so it's not known if this is a new injury, or just a day of rest for a guy who 4 weeks ago was sitting at home. It's a poor matchup against a surprisingly strong Green Bay run defense, so I already have about 30 other RB's I'd rather have in a fantasy starting lineup.
As expected, Brandon Jacobs returned to a limited practice today after resting a sore hamstring yesterday. Jacobs will be fine for Monday night.
Tennessee is expected to have Shonn Greene back this week. Greene has missed the last few weeks recovering from a minor knee procedure. His expected return pushes Jackie Battle back to being 3rd on the Titans RB depth chart. Greene is likely to handle short yardage and goal line work.
Justin Blackmon returned to a limited practice today after sitting out yesterday with a minor hamstring issue. He's fully expected to be fine for this week. Cecil Shorts also got in a limited practice, but reports are that he is having a hard time raising his arms above his head and he is considered to be a game time decision. It sounds more likely that Shorts will miss week 7 than it does he will play.
Calvin Johnson got in a second consecutive limited practice today. Apparently he made it through yesterday's limited practice without any setbacks in his knee injury and it's expected that he will play a bigger role week 7 than he was able to in week 6.
No practice again today for Atlanta's Roddy White because of hamstring and ankle injuries. It's looking like even if he is active, he is going to be even more limited than he was the first 5 weeks of the season.
James Jones didn't practice again today and I think it's very likely he is either going to be ruled out or listed as Doubtful on Friday's injury report because of his knee injury. Jarrett Boykin is a guy to grab off waiver wires if you have a need at WR and he's available
New England's Danny Amendola missed practice today because of a concussion suffered week 6. I not only doubt he plays this week, but considering his inability to recover quickly from injuries, I'll be surprised if he plays week 8.
After getting in a limited practice yesterday, Steve Johnson put in a full practice today and is now fully expected to be fine for week 7 after missing last week with a back injury.
After practicing in full yesterday, Miles Austin was held out of today's practice for Dallas. It's believed to be just a day of rest for Austin as the Cowboys know only too well his lengthy hamstring injury history. As long as he practices tomorrow, he should be just fine for week 7. I'm still of the opinion that rookie Terrence Williams is a better fantasy bet and will eventually push Austin out of the starting lineup. It's not that Austin lacks talent; he lacks the ability to stay healthy.
Tampa Bay's Mike Williams got in a second consecutive limited practice today. While the hamstring injury isn't completely healed up, it's starting to look he will be okay to play week 7.
As expected, Chicago's Martellus Bennett returned to practice today after sitting out yesterday's with a minor knee injury. Bennett should be fine for week 7.
Greg Olsen also returned to practice today after sitting out yesterday with a foot injury. He's limited by it some, but he is expected to play week 7.
Marcedes Lewis practiced for a second consecutive day today. It looks like he will be able to play this week after missing most of the season with a calf injury.
Minnesota's Blair Walsh was held out of practice today because of a hamstring injury. Walsh played through the injury to his non-kicking leg week 6 and likely the Vikings are just resting him so as to not take chances on aggravating it. Right now, I'm not too concerned about him being in danger of not kicking Monday night.
Russ Bliss Predicts the Winners of each NFL Game this week
Week 6 wasn't as good as I had hoped. 10-5 is okay, but nothing that inspires a "whoo-hoo!" or anything like it. It puts me at an incredibly mediocre 58-34 for the season and I need to take it up a notch going forward. Unfortunately, I have a high amount of road teams winning this week, and that's usually not a good thing. But I call 'em the way I see 'em, even if I get it wrong.
Here are my Week 7 NFL Game Predictions:
Seattle 17, Arizona 16
Miami 23, Buffalo 16
Chicago 27, Washington 20
Detroit 20, Cincinnati 17
Dallas 31, Philadelphia 27
New England 23, NY Jets 13
San Diego 24, Jacksonville 17
St. Louis 24, Carolina 21
Atlanta 20, Tampa Bay 17
San Francisco 23, Tennessee 20
Pittsburgh 24, Baltimore 23
Green Bay 24, Cleveland 17
Kansas City 30, Houston 20
Denver 42, Indianapolis 28
NY Giants 27, Minnesota 24
There you have them: my week 7 NFL game picks.
In my Survivor Pool Locks, I improved to 5-1 as Kansas City came through and beat the Raiders in Arrowhead last week for the first time since 2006. I knew the Law of Averages was on my side there. Here are the weekly picks and 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
Week 4 (W; 52-20) Denver over Philadelphia
Week 5 (W; 34-20) St. Louis over Jacksonville
Week 6 (W; 24-7) Kansas City over Oakland
Week 7 poses a bit of a challenge since my two favorite teams this week aren't available for me to pick as I've already used them. And while I'm pretty confident in one of the road teams this week, I always have doubts when picking divisional rivals. But the simple fact is that the Patriots are the far superior team to the Jets and Geno Smith has been a roller coaster of ups and downs. Usually on the road, the Pats beat the Jets pretty convincingly. Doesn't always work that way, but it's typically been a good pick. If Smith plays well, this game will be close; if he plays poorly, I can the Patriots running away with it.
My Survivor Pool Lock for Week 7 is: the New England Patriots over the New York Jets
Best of luck to all in your own picks!