News and Notes from Tuesday Night's "Red Zone" Radio Program
Fantasy News and Notes 11-26-13:
Expect Matt Flynn to start for the Packers on Thanksgiving Day against Detroit. Aaron Rodgers was able to take a very limited part in practice today, but it sounds like he's aiming for a week 14 return. Flynn took over for ineffective Scott Tolzien this past Sunday and almost led the Packers to a come from behind victory. Flynn should never leave Green Bay again.
As expected, Nick Foles remains the Eagles starting QB even though Michael Vick is fully recovered from his hamstring injury. Vick moves forward as the backup to Foles.
Despite some weekend reports that said Jay Cutler is not going to play again in the regular season because of his ankle injury, Cutler himself has said he is aiming for a week 14 return. We'll see how it goes next week but for this week, it will be Josh McCown under center for Chicago again.
Jason Campbell suffered a concussion and he is considered doubtful for week 13. Tentatively expect Brandon Weeden to start for Cleveland this week.
Minnesota will stay with Christian Ponder as their starting QB week 13. I expect it will take a monumental collapse by Ponder for Josh Freeman to get another crack at starting before this season is out. That was $3 million well spent by the Vikings.
Oakland is sticking with Matt McGloin as their starting QB over Terrelle Pryor.
Houston is sticking with Case Keenum as their starting QB over Matt Schaub.
Zac Stacy suffered a concussion this past weekend or he would have run roughshod over the Bears as he had 87 yards and a TD before exiting at halftime. His status for week 13 is uncertain. If he can't play, Benny Cunningham would likely start in his place and is a must have handcuff for Stacy owners. Isaiah Pead and Daryl Richardson would battle it out to pick up scraps.
Knowshon Moreno suffered a foot injury Sunday night and his status for week 13 is uncertain. Moreno was able to finish out the game but was on crutches afterward. If he can't go, I'd expect Montee Ball to be forgiven for his fumble and be the primary RB with C.J. Anderson and Ronnie Hillman also getting playing time. Likely the Broncos would go with a hot hand approach if Moreno doesn't play.
Darren McFadden is expected to play Thanksgiving Day for the Raiders, but the current word is that he would be the change of pace RB to Rashad Jennings. Jennings still flirts with RB2 value while McFadden would be more like a RB3 for fantasy purposes.
Despite suffering a hyperextended knee injury Sunday, Matt Forte is expected to be okay for week 13. Barring any surprise bad news during the week, you should be able to count on Forte playing as he normally would this week. Those concerned should grab Michael Bush for the insurance.
Ryan Mathews aggravated a hamstring injury he suffered a few weeks back on Sunday. His status for week 13 is very uncertain. If he can't play, Danny Woodhead would likely be the primary RB with Ronnie Brown being worked in some on rushing downs. It's very doubtful that Woodhead is available on anyone's free agent wire but if he is he needs to be owned. Brown would possibly flirt with RB3/4 value, but I wouldn't expect much more from him.
Daniel Thomas suffered an ankle injury and reports are that it could be serious enough for him to miss the remainder of the regular season. Miami may hold off on putting him on injured reserve as they desperate cling to the illusion they have a chance at making the playoffs, but once that fantasy evaporates, you can expect them to shut down Thomas. Lamar Miller will likely get a chance to be a true featured RB, but if he continues to struggle, we'll likely see rookie Mike Gillislee grab some carries. Gillislee is an intriguing add for the RB desperate.
The Jets are likely to be without Chris Ivory for at least one game, and possibly more because of an ankle injury suffered week 12. Ivory was reportedly having an MRI done Monday, but no results have been announced yet and the exact nature of the injury is currently unknown. But I would plan on sitting Ivory this week and expect Bilal Powell to handle the majority of the RB duties for the Jets this week. Alex Green likely would be active as his backup, but Green holds little chance for value.
No telling who will be the Patriots primary rushing RB week 13. Stevan Ridley got in the doghouse for fumbling Sunday night. LeGarrette Blount joined him a few plays later. Brandon Bolden, who was inactive in week 11 but surprisingly active this past week, took over and performed pretty well. I would expect a slight uptick in carries for Shane Vereen, but I would expect him to top out around 15 at most leaving someone to pick up the slack. My guess is that it would be Bolden given first crack this week, but the Patriots may give Ridley another chance. It's a situation to avoid as it's impossible to say which of Bolden, Ridley, or Blount will be the best bet. Vereen is the only one who can be counted on as a reliable fantasy RB2.
Ben Tate is expected to remain the Texans starting RB despite sitting much of this past weekend. Backup Dennis Johnson performed well and probably has at least made this more of a timeshare though than it has been in recent weeks. Tate is still the preferred fantasy option. Johnson makes a nice handcuff though for Tate owners.
Eddie Lacy was seen on the sidelines after returning from the locker room during the overtime period in this past weekend's game for the Packers. But it wasn't injury related. Rather, Lacy is an asthmatic and apparently it flared up on him. Lacy will be fine for week 13. Fellow rookie Johnathan Franklin suffered a concussion and he is not expected to play.
Jacksonville backup Justin Forsett broke his foot week 12 and his season likely is over. Jordan Todman is the clear top backup to Maurice Jones-Drew going forward.
San Francisco activated Michael Crabtree off the PUP list earlier today. Crabtree is expected to play in week 13 but he'll be on a limited snap count in his first action since tearing an Achilles tendon back in May. I'd rather see him get through the game and see how he looks before trusting him in a fantasy starting lineup.
Oakland is expected to be without Denarius Moore again this week because of his shoulder injury. Teammate Rod Streater is expected to be fine despite having suffered a minor hip injury week 12. Andre Holmes will start again in place of Moore.
Buffalo expects to have both Steve Johnson and Robert Woods back for week 13. The bye week helped both players heal up their respective injuries. But I still expect that Marquise Goodwin is going to get worked in quite a bit at Woods expense this week. The speedy rookie has proven to be the playmaker neither Johnson nor Woods is.
After being a somewhat surprising inactive week 12, it's unknown if Hakeem Nicks will play week 13 or not. Nicks has an abdominal injury and the Giants haven't said whether they plan on having him play this week or not. Nicks missing game action just increases Reuben Randle's fantasy value.
San Diego's Eddie Royal suffered a chest injury this past weekend and was unable to finish the game. His status for week 13 is uncertain.
After missing Sunday night's game with a knee injury, Julius Thomas is tentatively expected to return ad play week 13 for Denver.
Oakland's Mychal Rivera suffered a concussion week 12 but he's reportedly already gone through all of the league's concussion protocols and is expected to play on Thanksgiving Day. I think that may be the fastest recovery from a concussion in the NFL ever.
Green Bay's Brandon Bostick isn't so luck though and he is expected to miss Thursday's game because of the concussion he suffered. Andrew Quarless will handle an increased work load and Ryan Taylor may get mixed in some as well.
Tampa Bay has lost Tom Crabtree for the season with a torn triceps. This shouldn't affect anyone's fantasy team though.
Baltimore is hopeful that Dennis Pitta will be able to return in week 14. Pitta's been out since fracturing his hip in preseason. Those who know they're making their playoffs and are desperate at TE could take a flier here as Pitta was expected to be a top 7 fantasy TE before the injury.