Fantasy Football News and Notes 11-21-13

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

Fantasy News and Notes 11-21-13:
BYE WEEKS: Buffalo, Cincinnati, Philadelphia, Seattle
As expected, Peyton Manning returned to practice today. Manning sat out yesterday to rest his ankle injury. He'll start Sunday night without issue.
Jay Cutler has shed the hard cast he was wearing on his injured ankle. This is a positive sign in his recovery from a high ankle sprain and while he won't be active week 12, and is doubtful for week 13, he may be back by week 14. With matchups against two of the bottom 5 fantasy pass defenses in Dallas and Philadelphia in weeks 14 and 16, Cutler is someone you don't want to drop if you can avoid it.
While Terrelle Pryor won't start this week for Oakland, it's sounding like he may be active as Matt McGloin's backup. A second consecutive great game by McGloin will likely mean he usurps Pryor as the Raiders starting QB going forward. But it's a tough matchup against Tennessee. The Titans have allowed the fewest passing TD's of all NFL teams with only 7 in 10 games played.  
Running Backs
Adrian Peterson sat out practice again today to rest his groin injury. Peterson has said he expects to be able to play Sunday. While I do expect he will play, I also expect he may be limited some. I still think Peterson owners should have Toby Gerhart on their rosters as insurance in case he aggravates the injury and ends up missing any game time.  
Darren McFadden missed practice again today because of his hamstring injury. I do not think he will play week 12 and I expect Rashad Jennings will again be the Raiders featured RB. As good as the Titans are against the pass, they have been woeful against the run ranking 31st in rushing fantasy points allowed per game. Jennings is a strong fantasy RB2 this week
Trent Richardson was limited today because of a calf injury. It's not believed to be serious though and Richardson is fully expected to be fine to go out and frustrate his fantasy owners again this week. Like I've been saying the last few weeks: Donald Brown is the better fantasy RB option on the Colts.
Joique Bell returned to practice today and he should be okay for his usual backup role to Reggie Bush this week despite having a minor foot injury. I'd feel a lot better though if the team would tell us exactly what the injury is.
Brandon Jacobs practiced today after sitting out yesterday to rest up his balky knee. He should be okay for his usual role as short yardage RB behind Andre Brown again this week. Last week, the Giants made Peyton Hillis inactive and it appears Hillis is the odd man out in the RB pecking order. Hillis can be dropped.
Wide Receivers
Wes Welker returned to a limited practice today. This is a positive sign that he is making progress as he goes through the league's concussion protocols. Barring the unexpected, I feel good about his chances of playing Sunday night against his former team, New England.
Calvin Johnson returned to practice today. Megatron sat out yesterday in what was his normal Wednesday off to rest his knee. He'll be fine for week 12.
Oakland's Denarius Moore has yet to practice this week because of a shoulder injury. Originally the injury was believed to be minor but missed practices aren't a good sign. If he doesn't practice at least in limited fashion tomorrow, I'd expect him to miss week 12. Brice Butler and Andre Holmes likely would split up duties in his place if Moore doesn't play. Neither would be an attractive desperation play against the Titans stingy fantasy pass defense though.
Santonio Holmes took part in a limited practice today after sitting out yesterday to rest his hamstring. Holmes will be fine for week 12.
Hakeem Nicks practiced today in limited fashion after sitting out yesterday to rest a listed groin injury. Nicks has been a huge disappointment this season but the desperate can at least consider him in a great matchup against the Cowboys last ranked fantasy defense.
Greg Jennings practiced today after sitting out yesterday with the Achilles injury that made him a surprise inactive last Sunday. While I'd like to be able to trust Jennings in a game against his former team, I really don't and find a lot more reasons to sit him instead of trying to find ways to get him in a starting lineup. I would keep Jennings benched this week.
Jacksonville's Cecil Shorts was limited again today as the team takes it easy on the minor groin injury he's been playing through the last few games. Shorts will be fine for this week and could be in line for a good game after criticizing his lack of targets in recent games. However, teammate Mike Brown has been unable to practice yet this week because of a shoulder injury and he appears very questionable to play this week. With Stephen Burton not likely to play because of a concussion and Stephen Williams not practicing because of an Achilles injury, the Jags may be down to either Ace Sanders or Kerry Taylor as a starting option opposite Cecil Shorts. Shorts is the only potential fantasy play from this group.
Washington placed Leonard Hankerson on injured reserve today. Hankerson not only needs surgery to repair a torn LCL, but also a torn ACL. His recovery could push into the early parts of the 2014 season. Even in dynasty leagues I'd have a hard time finding a reason to hold onto him.
Tight Ends
Julius Thomas returned to a limited practice today after sitting out yesterday with his knee injury. If he can practice again tomorrow I'll feel better about his chances of being able to play Sunday night. But be prepared for him to be called Questionable on tomorrow's injury report and considered a game time decision.
Jordan Reed missed practice again today because of the concussion he suffered week 11. While Reed doesn't play until Monday night, it's a bad sign he hasn't gained clearance to at least take any part in practice yet. Those of you with Reed need to have another option ready to go. Logan Paulsen and Fred Davis would likely split up receiving TE duties for Washington if Reed doesn't play. While Davis is the superior talent to Paulsen, Davis also comes with the higher risk factor of giving a goose egg as the coaches seem to have really soured on him, making him inactive the last several games.  


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