News and Notes 11-01-11


*-Arizona's Kevin Kolb sustained a turf toe injury week 8 and his status for week 9 is uncertain. Kolb will need to practice by Friday or there's a good chance we'll see John Skelton get the start for the Cardinals when they take on the Rams this week.

*-Speaking of the Rams, Sam Bradford has finally shed his walking boot, but it remains uncertain whether he's going to be able to practice and play this week against Arizona. Bradford has a high ankle sprain and that's an injury that usually causes a player to miss 3-6 weeks. This would be week 3. We won't know for sure until later in the week but tentatively, I'm expecting A.J. Feeley to get the start this week.

*-Charlie Whitehurst started last week for Seattle but he was yanked after two series and Tarvaris Jackson inserted. Jackson showed no signs of his pectoral injury bothering him and it's a safe bet that Jackson will start this week for Seattle against Dallas.

*-Tim Tebow's leash got a little shorter after a horrific performance against Detroit. He's still expected to start this week but another bad game will almost certainly mean we see the next QB up in the QB carousel in Denver. Too bad that QB is Brady Quinn. Maybe I'm selling Quinn short but he's shown nothing in prior opportunities to be a starting QB that makes me think he'd be an upgrade. I won't be shocked if we eventually see Kyle Orton get back in at some point in the next few games.

Running Backs

*-Ahmad Bradshaw aggravated a foot injury he's had for years now. Experienced fantasy players will remember the numerous times Bradshaw popped up on the Giants injury reports the last couple of seasons with various foot injuries. It's believed to be minor though and Bradshaw is currently expected to be okay for week 9.

*-Cleveland will be without Montario Hardesty for at least 2 games and probably longer. Hardesty tore a calf muscle. With Peyton Hillis's status unsure this week with the hamstring injury that prevented him from playing week 8, Chris Ogbonnaya could end up being the starting RB against Houston this week. We won't know about Hillis until we get thru practices this week, but the Browns signed free agent Thomas Clayton as insurance at the position. Ogbonnaya isn't a special talent but he's also not without value if thrust into a featured role. I'd consider him a smart add for Hillis owners or those who are desperate for RB's.

*-Chris Johnson had another stinker game and the excuses are running out. The Colts went into last week's game as the second worst fantasy run defense and Johnson not only was sluggish, he was clearly outplayed by his backup Javon Ringer. The Titans say Johnson remains their starting RB but it won't be a surprise at all if a true RBBC between Johnson and Ringer develops going forward. Ringer is a decent fantasy acquisition but I really think a benching would be the type of wakeup call Johnson needs to get himself back on track. For more on my thoughts on Johnson, check out my latest fantasy football blog entry about second half potential studs and duds.

*-Ryan Mathews suffered a groin injury in last night's game against the Chiefs. It's currently unknown how severe it is and whether it could hold him out of this week's matchup against Green Bay or not. Mike Tolbert's status is also unknown after he missed last night's game because of hand and hamstring injuries that were originally reported as minor. So you'd think that leaves Curtis Brinkley, right? After all, Brinkley came in last night when Mathews got injured and looked pretty good. But Brinkley reportedly suffered a concussion and it's not known how severe that is. It's going to be a couple of days before we know how the Chargers RB situation is going to look for week 9.

*-Joseph Addai was active, but never played a down for the Colts in week 8. He was only going to play in an emergency situation. The good news is that by being active it appears he stands a good chance of returning this week from his hamstring injury and making it onto the field. The bad news is that we have no idea if that would be as the lead RB, or for just a few plays. That makes it hard to trust him or Delone Carter this week against Atlanta.

*-It's too early in the week to know if Darren McFadden will be able to start this week or not. The Raiders return from their bye this week to take on Denver and McFadden will need to practice by the end of the week to prove he's over his foot injury and can play. If he can't play, Michael Bush would get the start in his place. If you didn't listen to me last week when I advised to grab Bush at that time, check to see if it's too late or not and if it isn't, grab Bush.

*-LeGarrette Blount is fully expected to return to practices this week and be ready to start this week against New Orleans. This pushes Kregg Lumpkin to just being his handcuff in fantasy leagues. Remember, Earnest Graham tore his Achilles tendon and is done for the year.

*-Willis McGahee is blustering that he thinks he'll be able to play this week. McGahee missed last week with a hand injury that required surgery. The initial timetable for his return was 2-4 weeks, so it seems unlikely McGahee will be back this fast. Unless he gets into practices later this week I expect Knowshon Moreno to be the primary RB again for Denver this week against Oakland.

*-Felix Jones is hoping to practice some later this week so he can get back on the field. Jones has missed the last 2 games for Dallas because of his ankle injury and in that time, DeMarco Murray has looked every bit the better RB. Even if Jones forces himself back this week I expect Murray will be the more primary RB as Jones is likely to be limited some.

*-New England has muddled up their RB situation even more with the return of Kevin Faulk. Faulk played the most snaps of any Patriots RB this past week and they say that Faulk is their primary passing down RB. So much for the upsides of Danny Woodhead and Shane Vereen. If the Patriots aren't playing with a lead, neither BenJarvus Green-Ellis nor Stevan Ridley will get much playing time.

*-Beanie Wells put in a surprising effort this past week against a tough Baltimore Ravens run defense despite his knee injury. Wells says he's going to have to play with it the rest of the season and while that may limit his explosiveness or power some, it needs to be noted he has looked really good this season. I don't know if I trust him to hold up, but for now, expect him to start against the Rams this week.

*-Washington claimed former Cowboys RB Tashard Choice off of waivers. Choice isn't expected to be able to play this week as he is still dealing with a hamstring injury but if Ryan Torain continues to struggle getting rushing yards, it might not be long before we see Choice get a shot. I'm not buying Choice right now, but he's a name for very deep leaguers to stash now to see if he pans out.

Wide Receivers

*-The weekly Andre Johnson watch begins again. He could play this week, he could play next week, or the Texans may choose to wait until they return from their week 11 bye. We just don't know. If I were a betting man, I'd say they'll wait until after the bye to give the hamstring plenty of time to get close to 100%. They need a healthy Johnson to be there for them in the NFL playoffs; not a gimpy Johnson to help them win games they should win without him against Cleveland and Tampa Bay the next 2 weeks.

*-Hakeem Nicks dodged a bullet when it was announced the hamstring injury he suffered week 8 was just a minor strain. Barring any setbacks this week in practice Nicks will be fine to start in this week's juicy matchup against the Patriots 32nd ranked fantasy pass defense.

*-Atlanta expects to have Julio Jones back this week. Jones has missed the last few games with a hamstring injury but the combination of missed games and the bye last week has allowed Jones to get it healed up.

*-Emmanuel Sanders reportedly suffered a knee injury week 8 and his status for week 9 against Baltimore is uncertain. With Hines Ward expected to be back after missing last week with an ankle injury, Sanders is a long shot for any fantasy value.  

*-Chicago expects to have Earl Bennett back for the Bears Monday night game against Philadelphia. His return would push Dane Sanzenbacher back to having no fantasy value.

*-Don't be surprised if start seeing more of Kansas City rookie Jonathan Baldwin after his big performance last night. Baldwin is finally healthy and if he can keep his attitude in check while continuing to produce like that, he'll push for playing time over Steve Breaston in 2 WR sets eventually. Currently Baldwin has solidified his spot as the Chiefs #3 WR.

*-Cleveland released Brian Robiskie today. Hopefully you never had him, but if you did, you should do the same.

*-Oakland signed T.J. Houshmandzadeh today. TJH has no fantasy value beyond being a guy Carson Palmer can talk to in the locker room.

*-New England is talking up Taylor Price again. Speculation earlier in the year was that is Chad Ochocinco turned out to be a bust that Price could start getting playing time in 3 WR sets over Ochocinco. Well, Chad's been a monumental bust and Price is a guy to consider grabbing and stashing in bigger leagues.

*-Seattle's Mike Williams is expected to be able to play week 9 after missing last week with a hamstring injury. He practiced all week and he wasn't on the injury report at all, so this is one crazy hamstring injury. Williams is easily the 4th or 5th best WR in Seattle and should have been dropped from fantasy rosters weeks ago.

Tight Ends

*-Washington's Fred Davis suffered an ankle sprain week 8, but it's believed to be minor and he is currently expected to be okay for week 9. We'll know for sure later in the week but for now I'd say consider Davis as you normally would.

*-Cincinnati's Jermaine Gresham's status for week 9 is currently uncertain. Gresham sustained a hamstring injury in practice last Friday and even though he was listed as Probable on the injury report, he was made a surprise inactive week 8.

*-Arizona hopes to have Todd Heap back this week. Heap has missed the last few games with a hamstring injury and they need him if Rob Housler is unable to play because of a groin injury Housler suffered this past weekend.