Fantasy Football News and Notes 12-18-13

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

Fantasy News and Notes 12-18-13:
Houston declared Case Keenum OUT for week 16 because of the sprained thumb on his throwing hand. It's very likely Keenum won't play week 17 either. Matt Schaub will start in his place.
Buffalo declared E.J. Manuel OUT for week 16 because of his sprained left knee. This is the 3rd time this season Manuel has had a knee injury and the team is just being smart with their QB of the future. While the team says they expect Manuel will return in week 17, I'm a bit skeptical. Thaddeus Lewis will start this week and possibly next week in his place.
Aaron Rodgers has not been cleared yet to play by the team doctors and the chances of him playing week 16 are looking slimmer. There won't be any definitive word on Rodgers until Friday, but I'm expecting he is going to miss week 16 and that Matt Flynn will get the start again in his place.
Carson Palmer practiced in limited fashion today and while he's battling an ankle sprain, he is fully expected to start week 16 for Arizona. However I hope you have a better fantasy QB option to start this week as he is on the road at Seattle this week.
As expected, Joe Flacco was able to practice today and he will be fine for week 16 despite having a knee injury.
Running Backs
Houston placed Ben Tate on injured reserve today because of the cracked ribs injury he aggravated week 15. Dennis Johnson will start in his place the next two games and the RB desperate can acquire him. Deji Karim, and Jonathan Grimes will battle it out to be the top backup.
Zac Stacy isn't listed on the Rams practice report injury list. He practiced in full today and his hip is a non-issue.
Donald Brown was able to practice today. This is a good sign that his stinger injury was minor and that he will be okay for week 16. Barring any setbacks he should be the lead RB in the committee with Trent Richardson.
Adrian Peterson took part in a limited practice today, putting him on track to play week 16 despite his mid-foot sprain. Toby Gerhart also practiced in limited fashion despite his hamstring injury. Barring any setbacks during the week, both players are tentatively expected to be active week 16. Matt Asiata most likely will go down as the biggest one week fantasy wonder for desperate fantasy owners of the 2013 season.
Maurice Jones-Drew was unable to practice today because of his hamstring injury and he is very questionable for week 16. He hasn't been ruled out yet though. If MJD can't play, Jordan Todman would start in his place again.
Amongst RB's who were either limited or held out of practice today but are fully expected to be okay for week 16, the list includes: Green Bay's Eddie Lacy (ankle); San Diego's Ryan Mathews (foot); Tennessee's Chris Johnson (knee); Buffalo's Fred Jackson (ribs);
Wide Receivers
Larry Fitzgerald was held out of practice today because of the concussion he suffered week 15. The Cardinals say they expect Fitzgerald to be able to play this weekend, but he needs to pass his concussion tests or that won't happen.
Wes Welker was also held out of practice again today because of his concussion. Welker missed week 15 because of it and it's looking like barring unexpected good news he'll miss week 16 too.
Buffalo's Steve Johnson is expected to miss week 16, but it's not because of injury. Johnson's mother passed away last Saturday night and he played Sunday but was likely distracted by it. The team has excused him for this week so he can be with his family in California and grieve. Marquise Goodwin and Robert Woods are expected to be the starting WR's for Buffalo this week.
Randall Cobb took part in some parts of team practices today. While this is a good sign he's getting close to returning from the IR/Designated for Return list, he's still considered a long shot to be activated by Sunday. Even if he is, it's very likely his offensive role would be limited.
As expected, Victor Cruz did not practice today because of knee and concussion injuries. I think the Giants will wisely place him on injured reserve soon and end his season. Reuben Randle likely will step in and start the last 2 games in his place.  
Aaron Dobson and Kenbrell Thompkins both took part in limited practices today. Both Patriots WR's have missed the last two games with injuries, but it appears both are likely to play this week. Dobson has the higher fantasy upside of the two but both are hard to trust as potential starters.
Tavon Austin missed practice today and his status is still very uncertain for week 16 because of his ankle injury.
Terrence Williams has a hamstring injury and did not practice today. His status for week 16 is very uncertain. If he can't play, Miles Austin could get back into a prominent offensive role and be worth a flier for the WR desperate because of the great matchup.
Among WR's who either were held out of practice today or were limited but are fully expected to be okay for week 16, the list includes: Detroit's Calvin Johnson (knee); Chicago's Brandon Marshall (quad); Tampa Bay's Vincent Jackson (hamstring); Houston's Andre Johnson (wrist); New England's Danny Amendola (groin); Carolina's Steve Smith (finger);
Tight Ends
Jordan Cameron of Cleveland has been diagnosed with a concussion and his status for week 16 is now in doubt. Cameron did not practice today.
Greg Olsen sat out practice today but he is expected to be fine for week 16. Olsen has a minor foot injury that he's been playing through the last several weeks.
Brandon Pettigrew missed practice with an ankle injury and he's uncertain for week 16.
Jermaine Gresham was a surprise full participant in practice today. What had been considered a hip injury suffered week 15 is now being termed an abdominal injury on the injury list. With Gresham looking likely to play this week, Tyler Eifert's fantasy value takes a hit.
John Carlson has been cleared of his concussion and he practiced in full today. Carlson is expected to play week 16 now barring any setbacks.
Garrett Graham was unable to practice for Houston and he appears doubtful to play this week because of a hamstring injury. With Owen Daniels not likely to return, it looks like Ryan Griffin will dominate TE snaps for the Texans this week. 


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