News and Notes from Tuesday Night's "Red Zone" Radio Program
Fantasy News and Notes 10-08-13:
BYE WEEKS: Atlanta, Miami
Michael Vick suffered a hamstring injury and he is going to miss at least 1 game and maybe 2 or 3. Nick Foles will start for the Eagles in his place. While there is a chance Foles keeps the job even when Vick gets healthy, he'd have to be playing light's out. Otherwise, expect Vick back in a couple of weeks.
Josh Freeman was signed by the Vikings Sunday. It's very likely Christian Ponder won't play another down for the Vikings and his time as the starter in Minnesota is over. Ponder is still recovering from a rib fracture and probably wouldn't be able to play this week. The move makes it pretty clear the Vikings aren't sold that Matt Cassel can continue to look great. Unless Cassel is playing out of mind, I give it about 3 weeks before Freeman is starting games for the Vikings. Cassel is tentatively expected to start week 6.
Matt Schaub is on thin ice in Houston after throwing a pick 6 for a record setting 4th consecutive game. Schaub has looked miserable the last two games and you have to wonder if his confidence is shaken. The Texans haven't said they are going to sit Schaub yet and start T.J. Yates over him. I think they'll give Schaub this week against St. Louis to get his issues corrected. But that's just a guess. And if he does start and looks awful again, I would expect to see Yates in week 7.
Brian Hoyer tore an ACL last Thursday night and his season is done. Brandon Weeden reclaims the Browns starting QB job by default. Hopefully he'll look a lot better know that he has Josh Gordon back to throw to. Gordon missed Weeden's two starts at the beginning of the season due to a suspension. It's not likely the Browns, who were quick to demote Weeden, will be that way knowing Jason Campbell is the only other option.
Buffalo is turning to Thaddeus Lewis as their starting QB until E.J. Manuel can return. Manuel suffered a sprained LCL last Thursday night and is expected to miss 6-8 weeks. Undrafted rookie Jeff Tuel took over when Manuel went down but he was pretty bad and the Bills went to the streets to find a new starter. Lewis has one start to his credit. He started for Cleveland back in week 17 last season and wasn't too bad. The Bills also signed Dennis Dixon to their practice squad and he could be called up quickly if Lewis struggles.
The weekly Blaine Gabbert report is again worth noting. Gabbert suffered a hamstring injury week 5 and has already been ruled out for week 6. Chad Henne will get the start. This is good news for those with WR's Justin Blackmon and Cecil Shorts as Henne got both WR's heavily involved last season.
Oakland released backup QB Matt Flynn. Even though they lost out on signing Josh Freeman, they decided they didn't want Flynn on their roster at all. Flynn may find a backup job somewhere (hey Jacksonville!) but isn't a fantasy option at all. Matt McGloin moves into the top backup spot to Terrelle Pryor.
David Wilson suffered a neck injury Sunday and he has been ruled OUT for the Giants Thursday night's game against the Bears. Brandon Jacobs and recently re-signed Da'Rel Scott are expected to split up the RB duties. Neither is an attractive fantasy option this week though.
San Diego may be without Ryan Mathews in week 6. Mathews suffered a concussion week 5 and his status for week 6 is uncertain at this time. If he can't play, Danny Woodhead would move into fantasy RB2 territory as the lead RB in a committee with Ronnie Brown.
Oakland will definitely be without Darren McFadden because of a hamstring injury, but they may also be without Rashad Jennings as well because of a hamstring injury he suffered in week 5. Jennings status for week 6 is uncertain and if he can't play, the Raiders will be down to using Marcel Reece and Jeremy Stewart as their top RB's. Reece at least got through week 5 without aggravating his knee injury and likely would be the lead RB if Jennings can't play.
Alfred Morris is tentatively expected to be fine to start week 6 for Washington. Morris was lucky to have the week 5 bye to get over a ribs injury. But we may see a little bit more of backup Roy Helu than we normally would.
There's been no update yet on Rams RB Zac Stacy and whether he suffered a rib injury or not in week 5. Originally it was reported he suffered a rib injury when he came out of the game, but later Stacy said he just got the wind knocked out of him. Jeff Fisher has said Stacy is his starting RB so I would guess Stacy is fine. He takes over as the top Rams RB and a fantasy RB3 going forward. Daryl Richardson likely will be his primary backup and change of pace. Richardson drops to RB4/5 territory. Isaiah Pead seems to have fallen completely out of favor with no explanation given as to why. There's something going on there we clearly aren't being told about.
Ahmad Bradshaw has decided to have surgery to repair the neck injury he sustained a couple of weeks ago. His season is over and the Colts will place him on injured reserve shortly. Donald Brown is locked in as the backup to Trent Richardson going forward.
Atlanta's in trouble. Reports are that Julio Jones has a serious foot injury rumored to be a fracture and he could miss the rest of the 2013 season. Jones is getting a second opinion, but this doesn't sound good. Harry Douglas would step into the starting lineup for the Falcons if Jones is out when they return from their bye this week. Roddy White suffered a hamstring injury last night and it's unknown if the bye will be enough time for him to get over both it, and the ankle injury he appeared to aggravate as well. It could very well be Douglas, Drew Davis, and Kevin Cone as the Falcons top 3 WR's when they return in week 7. Douglas is the smartest add of the group from waiver wires.
Calvin Johnson is tentatively expected to be okay to play week 6. Johnson was a surprise inactive week 5 after the Lions kept it quiet that his knee injury was a little more serious than had been let on. I'll be a whole lot more careful about trusting that despite sitting out practices, Megatron is expected to be fine from now on. I have him penciled into my starting lineups this week but am ready for a last hour switcharoo if necessary.
Buffalo isn't saying for sure that Steve Johnson will play week 6, but he is tentatively expected to. Johnson aggravated a back injury last Thursday night and couldn't finish the game. We'll see if he practices this week.
Baltimore is expected to have both Marlon Brown and Jacoby Jones back this week. Both players missed week 5 with injuries. It's likely Brown has done enough though to remain the starter over Jones. Jones is more a natural as a #3 WR than as a starter.
No word yet if Dallas will have Miles Austin back this week or not. Austin has missed two straight games with a hamstring injury. After watching rookie Terrence Williams have a great game week 5 I'd say let Austin's hamstring take as long as it needs to heal up. Williams may be a smart WR add for those who are needy.
Danny Amendola appears to have gotten through week 5 without any setbacks in his groin injury and he should be okay for an expanded role week 6. Amendola only played in 3 and 4 WR sets for the Patriots this past week.
This is supposed to be the week that Rob Gronkowski gets back on the field. All reports are positive that he will finally make his season debut this week. I'll let you know if that changes, but Gronk owners: it looks like the wait is finally over.
Martellus Bennett has a minor knee injury but he is currently expected to be fine for Chicago's Thursday night game against the Giants. As long as Bennett plays, he should be a solid fantasy option against his former team. The Giants are a BAD defense.
Houston's Owen Daniels has been diagnosed with a lower leg fracture and he is going to miss the next 4-6 weeks. Garrett Graham takes over as the Texans top pass catching TE now and makes a very good replacement if available on your free agent wires. Graham has been producing good stats despite playing second fiddle to Daniels so far in 2013. I'd recommend holding onto Daniels if your bench is big enough to allow it.
Brandon Myers suffered an ankle injury week 5 but he is expected to be okay for the Giants Thursday night game. But with it being a poor matchup, I might make alternate starting TE plans.
Greg Olsen suffered an undisclosed foot injury week 5. There's been no word out of Carolina about this and for now, consider Olsen tentatively expected to play week 6.
The bye week should have been enough time for Washington's rookie Jordan Reed to heal up a bruised quad injury. Reed is tentatively expected to start for the Redskins this week against Dallas barring any setbacks.
Jacksonville has lost another TE. Allen Reisner has gone on the injured reserve/designated for return list with a knee sprain. With Marcedes Lewis out indefinitely with a calf injury, Clay Harbor is the Jags starting TE for the foreseeable future. I only mention this for those who are truly desperate.
Buffalo placed rookie Dustin Hopkins on injured reserve because of the groin injury that he suffered the week before the regular season began. This solidifies Dan Carpenter as the kicker for Buffalo the rest of the season.