News and Notes 10-19-11


*-Speaking volumes about how badly the Raiders needed Carson Palmer and didn't want to go forward with Kyle Boller for any extended period of time, it's being reported that Palmer will now start this week against Kansas City over Boller. Palmer certainly can't be expected to have absorbed much of the offense in less than a week, but he certainly is a better QB and even a scaled back playbook for him could translate into better numbers from him than they would have gotten from Boller. While I would hesitate to start Palmer this quickly, it does need to be noted that in only 5 games, Kansas City has allowed 12 passing TD's, including 2 each to Donovan McNabb in Minnesota and Curtis Painter of Indianapolis in their last 2 games. It's not out of the realm of possibility that even throwing the ball only 24 times Palmer could find the end zone this week on a couple of tosses.

*-As expected, Washington has decided to bench Rex Grossman and start John Beck this week. I'm sure the switch is made under the impression that Beck will remain the starting QB the rest of the season, but if Beck has more bad games than good games on his resume and it will be interesting to see whether the Redskins stick with him after he has his first miserable outing. I think it's likely we'll see Grossman start games again this season for Washington and would recommend staying away from this situation unless you're desperate for injury or bye week replacements at the position.

*-Sam Bradford was held out of practice today with his ankle injury but it's expected that he will be okay to start this week.  

*-No change to the status of Seattle's Tarvaris Jackson. It sounds unlikely he'll be able to play this week. Expect Charlie Whitehurst to start.

*-As expected, Matt Schaub was limited in practice today with his myriad of minor injuries. But he'll start week 7 without worry.

*-Tony Romo practiced in full and it looks like he's finally getting over his ribs injury.

Running Backs

*-The trade that sent Ronnie Brown from Philadelphia to Detroit and Jerome Harrison from Detroit to Philadelphia has been voided. Apparently there's a reason why Harrison has been inactive for Detroit the last two weeks as the trade was voided  because of a health issue with Harrison. So much for that fantasy upside Brown was going to have and who knows whether Harrison has any value at all as we don't know what the health issue is.

*-Peyton Hillis missed practice today with his hamstring injury. Cleveland hasn't ruled him out for week 7 yet but I fully expect he will be and that Montario Hardesty will get the start this week against Seattle.

*-Joseph Addai also missed practice today with his hamstring injury. While the Colts say it's only a strain, he is sounding unlikely to play this week. Expect a two-headed RB combo of Donald Brown and Delone Carter again this week for Indianapolis as they take on New Orleans.

*-No practice for LeGarrette Blount either today because of his knee injury. With Tampa Bay having the bye in week 8, they are fully expected to sit Blount again week 7 and hope he can come back in week 9. Earnest Graham draws the start again for Tampa Bay as they face the Bears in London this weekend.

*-Same story different reason for Detroit's Jahvid Best. Best suffered a concussion week 6 and seems very unlikely to be play week 7 against Denver. Maurice Morris will likely start and be the primary RB this week but will split time with Keiland Williams. Morris is a nice filler play for now.

*-Reggie Bush was held out of team drills in practice today because of a groin injury and not because of a minor neck injury suffered Monday night. It's not believed that Bush is in any jeopardy of not being to play week 7 but his inconsistent role on a weekly basis makes him hard to trust even when healthy. We'll know for sure later in the week if Bush will be active and thusly taking away playing time from Daniel Thomas in this week's matchup against the Giants. Thomas was limited but is fully expected to be fine for this week's game against Denver.

*-Jackie Battle practiced in full today for Kansas City and is a go for this weekend. Battle is expected to be the primary RB over Thomas Jones and Dexter McCluster, but temper expectations. He had a great game week 5 before the Chiefs bye but one week does not a season or career make. Battle is still a speculative fantasy prospect and not a proven solid fantasy starter. The next few games will prove whether he is an every week consideration or just another in a long line of flash in the pan one week wonders.

*-As expected, Cedric Benson has accepted the one game suspension the NFL handed down to him for his off-field indiscretions during the lockout. Cincinnati is on bye this week so Benson will miss their week 8 contest and then return to his normal role in week 9. Bernard Scott will be the one week starter and those desperate for a bye week or injury filler for week 8 may want to see if Scott is available now rather than wait.

Wide Receivers

*-Mike Wallace missed practice today with a minor hamstring injury. It's believed that the Steelers are just taking it easy on their playmaking WR and that he should be fine for this week's juicy matchup against Arizona. But keep an eye on this and be sure to check out my fantasy football blog on Saturday afternoon for my AFC team by team news and notes for the absolute latest word on Wallace. Hines Ward also didn't practice today but it's not believed to be injury related, rather just a day off for an old vet.

*-Vincent Jackson was able to practice in limited fashion and that's a good sign he'll be okay for this week. If he can make it thru practice again tomorrow without any setbacks I'll feel confident in him playing this week against the Jets.

*-Julio Jones missed practice today with his hamstring injury and his status for week 7 is in question. Harry Douglas would get the start again if Jones can't play.

*-Brandon Marshall missed practice today with a minor quad injury. The Dolphins are on a short week and likely they're just resting him some. I fully expect he'll be fine for week 7 and his matchup against his former team, Denver. Marshall strikes me as a guy who would really relish playing against the organization that traded him away.

*-Percy Harvin missed practice today with his lingering ribs injury. Harvin has played thru it the last 2 games and seems likely to do so again this week.

*-Devin Hester sat out practice with a chest injury. It's not believed to be serious though and barring any unexpected news by Saturday, I expect he'll play his normal role this week. Just don't expect 2 TD's every week from Hester. Especially since it looks like Earl Bennett is practicing in full this week and could return to his normal role as the #3 WR. That would push Dane Sanzenbacher back to obscurity.

*-Lee Evans missed practice today and it's unlikely he'll play for Baltimore on Monday night against Jacksonville. I think there's something more wrong than just an ankle sprain for the amount of time Evans has missed because of it. Evans offers little fantasy upside and buried on fantasy benches likely as a WR 5, he can be dropped for someone with more upside and is playing. Torrey Smith is expected to start in his place.

*-Both Eddie Royal and DeMaryius Thomas practiced in full today for Denver. Royal looks to be over his groin injury while Thomas is practicing with a wrap on his injured hand. He's expected to start opposite Eric Decker this week against Miami. The matchup is juicy against a beatable Miami pass defense and the desperate can consider Royal if few other options are available on free agent wires.

*-Sammie Stroughter practiced for the first time in several weeks today. Stroughter was the Buccaneers #3 WR before suffering a foot injury back in week one. Since then Preston Parker has filled in for him and has been somewhat fantasy relevant. It's unknown if Stroughter will play this week or not but those who picked up Parker may want to be looking to replace him soon as he may lose the little amount of fantasy value he has had.

*-Terrell Owens has been medically cleared to return to football. But whether any team is willing to give a 37 year old WR with declining skills and now a major injury concern is highly doubtful. It was a nice career T.O., but I think it's likely over.

Tight Ends

*-Greg Olsen missed practice today because of a reported case of turf toe. Turf toe is not a minor injury and this report came out of nowhere as this is the first I've heard about Olsen having been injured this past week in any way. Olsen has been a good fantasy starting TE and this puts his status for this week in doubt. I'll track it the rest of this week and see if there is any real reason for concern and I encourage you to check my NFC team by team news and notes in my blog Saturday for the latest word about Olsen and whether you can safely start him.

*-Antonio Gates was limited in practice again today. No definitive word on whether he'll play this week or not, but it's a good sign that he's been able to practice. Now if he can put in a couple of practices in a row that would be an encouraging sign.

*-Seattle's Zach Miller is practicing and appears to be on track to play this week. He hasn't been any fantasy option and it's unknown if Charlie Whitehurst starting this week will change that or not. I'm not banking on it though.

*-Todd Heap didn't practice today because of his hamstring injury. It was hoped the bye would be enough time for him to get it healed up but we'll have to see if he can practice later in the week as to whether you can count on Heap playing this week against Pittsburgh.

*-Tony Scheffler is not practicing and is not expected to play this week because of a severe concussion he suffered back in week 5.

*-Chicago's Kellen Davis didn't practice because of an elbow injury. No word on whether he's in any real danger of not playing this week but I expect he'll be fine. It's just hard to rely on a TE in a Mike Martz offense.  

*-James Casey was unable to practice today with his pectoral muscle injury. Like I encouraged you last week, drop Casey; he doesn't hold much fantasy upside when healthy and none when injured.