Fantasy Football Player News and Injury Notes 11-14-12

Bye weeks: Minnesota, NY Giants, Seattle, Tennessee


*-Ben Roethlisberger has been ruled OUT for week 11 and his shoulder and rib injury is sounding like it could cost him more than just a couple of games. It's going to be at least 2 weeks before Ben can even be considered for returning and probably longer than that as a report came out today saying it could take up to six weeks for his injuries to heal up. Byron Leftwich will start in his place until he can return.

*-The Bears say Jay Cutler is making good progress in his recovery from a concussion but he still remains very uncertain to play Monday night. If he can't get medical clearance by Friday, expect Jason Campbell to start for Chicago.

*-While not officially ruled OUT for week 11 yet, nobody expects Michael Vick to be able to play after he suffered a concussion week 10. It's being called a "significant" concussion and is sounding like a 2 week minimum injury. Nick Foles will start for the Eagles and if performs well, there's a good chance we won't see Vick play again this season.

*-While reports out of San Francisco are sounding positive for Alex Smith to be able to start Monday night despite suffering a concussion. He's been cleared for non-contact drills but he still needs to gain medical clearance to play by Friday or Colin Kaepernick will start.

*-Not that it was ever really a concern coming out of their bye, but the ribs injury Robert Griffin III suffered back in week 9 aren't preventing him from practicing and he'll start week 11 for Washington.

*-The Chiefs have named Matt Cassel their week 11 starter. Romeo Crennel said today that Brady Quinn still has yet to be cleared, but Quinn yesterday declared himself ready to return and Quinn did practice in full today. I'm sure there's a truth somewhere in between here, but we're talking about the Chiefs QB position like it means something for fantasy owners. If you've been playing the Chiefs QB, no matter if Cassel or Quinn, your team is in trouble. Big trouble.

Running Backs

*-Latest word from Pittsburgh says that Rashard Mendenhall is tentatively expected to play in week 11 for the first time in 4 weeks. Mendenhall has been sidelined with an Achilles tendon strain. If he does indeed return this week, it completely muddies up the situation. But if it's anything like it was the last time Mendy returned and played, he will start and be the primary RB, Isaac Redman will be the backup and 3rd down RB, and Jonathan Dwyer will be inactive. But that's just how it went before and now that the coaches have a bit more trust in Dwyer, it could easily be the second most difficult fantasy backfield to predict in the league after the Saints.

*-Speaking of the Saints, in a bit of a surprise, Darren Sproles was able to practice some today and it's now believed he could be able to play this week after missing the last 2 games recovering from hand surgery. Of course, just as we were beginning to have an understanding of the backfield with Chris Ivory, Mark Ingram, and Pierre Thomas, Sproles is ready to return early from his hand injury. Can anyone say "best guess"?

*-Expect Marcel Reece to dominate the Raiders backfield again this week. As expected, neither Darren McFadden nor Mike Goodson was able to practice today and neither appears to be close to returning from their respective ankle injuries.

*-DeMarco Murray didn't practice today and while he hasn't been ruled out for week 11 yet, he seems a long shot to play. Expect Felix Jones to start again for Dallas and Jones could be a nice sleeper play this week given the matchup against a suspect Cleveland run defense.

*-Ryan Mathews missed practice today a neck injury. It's not believed to be serious, but given Mathews extensive injury history, any time he's listed with anything you have to take notice. It doesn't sound too serious though and tentatively I expect Mathews will be fine.

*-After getting thru last Thursday night's game without aggravating his knee injury, Donald Brown is practicing in full this week and appears to be ready to resume primary RB duties for the Colts. We'll still see Vick Ballard, but Brown is likely to lead the committee.

*-Michael Turner is listed on the Falcons injury lists with a groin issue. He isn't known to be injured so maybe it was just a day of rest. If Turner misses practice tomorrow I'll be concerned, but for now, I expect he'll be fine.

*-Ben Tate was able to practice some today and he now appears to be on track to return for the Texans and be Arian Foster's top backup after missing the last couple of games with a hamstring injury. His return makes Justin Forsett expendable again.

Wide Receivers

*-Pierre Garcon returned to a limited practice today. The Redskins have said that he either needs to practice or they'll place him on injured reserve. Garcon has been a slow healer from a torn tendon in his foot and there are some who think it's a pain tolerance issue. I don't know, but I am one week away from being ready to completely give up on him.

*-Jordy Nelson was able to practice in limited fashion today and he appears to be on track to start this week for the Packers despite not being fully recovered from his hamstring and ankle injuries. How this affects the rest of the Packers WR corps is uncertain and it's also uncertain if Nelson will be limited at all. At least we know Greg Jennings won't play as he's already been declared as OUT for week 11. Jennings is expected to possibly return in week 13 the earliest.

*-Julio Jones missed practice today with an ankle injury. Jones missed a large part of week 10's game with the injury but was able to return to the game and finish it. Likely he'll be fine for week 11 but be rested in tomorrow's practice as well. As long as he practices by Friday in limited fashion I won't be worried about Jones' availability this week.

*-Jeremy Maclin's back injury must be minor as he put in a full practice today and that's a good sign for his availability for week 11. Expect Maclin to be fine.

*-Jason Avant has been ruled OUT for week 11 because of his hamstring injury. As I speculated in yesterday's news and notes, Riley Cooper steps in as the #3 WR for the Eagles.

*-Antonio Brown was unable to practice and he appears doubtful to play Sunday for the Steelers. Probably week 12 is a more realistic expectation for him to return from his ankle injury. Emmanuel Sanders will start in his place again.

*-Kansas City's Jonathan Baldwin missed practice today because of what is listed as head and neck injuries. There's a chance he suffered a concussion week 10 and may not be able to play week 11. I hope this doesn't cripple your fantasy starting lineup plans.

*-Amongst WR's who were either rested and did not practice, or were limited, but are expected to be just fine for week 11, the list includes Detroit's Calvin Johnson and Titus Young, New England's Brandon Lloyd and Wes Welker, Baltimore's Torrey Smith, Kansas City's Dwayne Bowe, Carolina's Steve Smith, Oakland's Darrius Heyward-Bey, and the Jets Stephen Hill.

Tight Ends

*-Both Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez were limited in practice today. Gronkowski has been limited and listed as Questionable for over a month now with a phantom hip issue and he always plays on Sunday, so I'm not concerned about him. But Hernandez was held out of week 11 after practicing some last week and he needs to put together a string of practices for me to feel good about his chances of playing. Tentatively I do expect Hernandez to play this week, but I am not as sure as I would like to be.

*-Owen Daniels was limited in practice today. This is a good sign that he will be able to play week 11 after missing last week with a hip/back injury. As long as he suffers no setbacks by the weekend, you should be able to consider Daniels as you normally would.

*-Tony Gonzalez popped up as limited in practice today with a shoulder issue. Gonzalez played all of week 10 and this is probably just general soreness and nothing to be worried about. 

*-Despite having a reported concussion, Oakland's Brandon Myers was able to practice some today. It's not known if he was held out of contact drills or not, but there now appears to be a chance he may be able to play week 11. Check my Saturday team by team news and notes I post in my blog for a weekend update on Myers and whether you'll be able to consider him.

*-Coby Fleener has been declared OUT for week 11 with his shoulder injury. Dwayne Allen will continue to dominate TE snaps for the Colts in a potential aerial matchup against the Patriots.