Fantasy Football Injury News and Player Notes 11-27-12


*-Ben Roethlisberger is going to try to practice this week in hopes of being able to play week 13. Roethlisberger is considered a long shot to play through and a week 14 return is more likely. Expect Charlie Batch to start again for the Steelers this week.

*-While Michael Vick is close to gaining medical clearance to return from his concussion, there's a lot of speculation going around that even if Vick is cleared the Eagles would start Nick Foles again week 13 to further evaluate the rookie QB. If this is true, I disagree with it personally as I think we've seen beyond a shadow of a doubt that Vick wasn't the problem for the Eagles; he was about the only thing that has given them a fighting chance to win.

*-The 49ers are expected to announce Wednesday who their starting QB for week 13 will be. Colin Kaepernick wasn't nearly as awesome this past week as he was week 11 and Jim Harbaugh has stated he thinks he has 2 starting QB's. This is a coin flip as to whether it will be Kaepernick or Alex Smith.

*-The Cardinals are expected to start Ryan Lindley again week 13 as most reports say Kevin Kolb is still a week or two away from being able to return.

*-No word yet on whether Cleveland will have Brandon Weeden available week 13 or not. Weeden suffered a concussion week 12 and if he doesn't gain medical clearance the Browns will be forced to start Colt McCoy.

Running Backs

*-LeSean McCoy is sounding very unlikely to be able to return week 13 and don't be surprised if he is ruled out later this week. McCoy is still bothered by the concussion he suffered week 11 and it's expected Bryce Brown will start again for the Eagles this week. If Brown is still available in your leagues and you're RB needy, I recommend grabbing him.

*-Too early in the week to know whether Matt Forte's ankle injury is serious enough to make him miss week 13. Right now he's considered questionable and if he can't play Michael Bush would start in his place. Bush makes a smart handcuff for Forte owners if he's still available on free agent wires.

*-Jalen Parmele was placed on injured reserve today by Jacksonville because of a groin injury suffered week 12. With Maurice Jones-Drew still out another week or two because of his foot injury, Rashad Jennings is expected to reclaim the starting job week 13. But we could see some of Montell Owens too and the Jaguars signed Jordan Todman off the Vikings practice squad earlier today to provide depth.

*-The Giants lost Andre Brown for the rest of the season with a broken leg. David Wilson climbs up the depth chart to the top backup to Ahmad Bradshaw and those looking for Bradshaw's handcuff should see if Wilson is available on their free agent wire. The Giants signed 2 RB's today to provide depth. The first is Kregg Lumpkin and then they also signed Ryan Torain. Both are bigger RB's who could challenge for short yardage and goal line duties, but neither is a sure thing in that capacity.

*-Dallas hopes to have DeMarco Murray back this week. Murray is going to try to practice and depending on how the foot responds will dictate whether he is active this week or not. Expect Murray's status to be unknown until later this week.

*-Oakland hopes to have Darren McFadden back this week from his ankle injury but we'll have to wait and see whether he can practice at all.

*-It's unknown if the Steelers have clearly had a changing of the guard or are just trying to light a fire in their players. Rashard Mendenhall has been demoted to 3rd string behind new top dog Jonathan Dwyer and backup Isaac Redman. While it's really hard to trust this situation, the smart money is on Dwyer being the one with the most fantasy potential.

*-The 49ers lost Kendall Hunter for the rest of the season because of a torn Achilles injury. This late in the season Hunter may not even be ready for the start of the 2013 season and in all league formats can be dropped. Brandon Jacobs is expected to get first crack at being Frank Gore's top backup and with fresh legs he could surprise. Also in the mix for playing time will be rookie LaMichael James. James has been a healthy inactive every week of the season so far because his game was similar to Hunter's. James has explosive potential and could push Jacobs if Jacobs struggles at all.

*-Jonathan Stewart suffered an ankle injury last night and his status for week 13 is uncertain. The Panthers say it's a high ankle sprain but also left open the possibility that he could play this week. This could be another case of a "mild" high ankle sprain we've seen other players play thru, or it could be the type where he misses multiple weeks. Given that Stewart was barely worth a roster spot when healthy, I think a gimpy Stewart is worth dropping. DeAngelo Williams and Mike Tolbert will pick up extra playing time. DW is the best bet for an acquisition, but he's been wildly inconsistent when given chances this season.

*-It was a surprise to see the Broncos not just give Knowshon Moreno the start this past week, but give him a full featured RB's load of the work. That was not expected and while it may remain this way, it needs to be remembered that Moreno has blown every opportunity that he has been given either thru turnovers, or ineffective play. But for now, Moreno is worth acquiring as the Broncos do have that sweet fantasy playoffs schedule.

Wide Receivers

*-DeSean Jackson was placed on injured reserve today by the Eagles after it was revealed he fractured a couple of ribs in last night's game. If Jason Avant is over his hamstring injury, Avant likely will replace him in the starting lineup. If Avant isn't ready to return it will be Damaris Johnson.

*-Dallas expects Miles Austin to be okay for week 13 despite his having both hip and hamstring injuries. The hamstring has been an off and on problem all season while the hip happened Thanksgiving Day and knocked him out of the game. As long as he can practice this week Austin should be okay to consider for fantasy lineups in that sweet matchup against the woeful Eagles secondary.

*-Greg Jennings is expected to be active week 13 for the first time in a while. Likely he'll be limited some but his return could really put a hurt on James Jones' fantasy value.

*-Pierre Garcon got thru last Thursday's game without aggravating his foot injury and while he'll never be 100% the rest of this season, he should be able to play each week and be a fantasy consideration for owners.

*-Detroit could keep Titus Young away for a while. I don't know exactly how cancerous he was to the team, but the Lions say they may move forward without him not just in week 13, but possibly for longer. Young is not in the fantasy plans and Ryan Broyles has clearly passed him up as the starter opposite Calvin Johnson.

*-Pittsburgh is expected to have Antonio Brown back this week. Brown has been out the last few weeks with an ankle injury. Brown's return helps, but if Charlie Batch is the QB this week, I wouldn't be playing Brown in any lineups with confidence.

*-Danny Amendola was a surprise active for the Rams in week 12. He was Doubtful on the injury report and was expected to sit the game out. He played only a handful of offensive snaps but it bodes well for his chances of being able to start week 13. Barring any practice setbacks you should be able to consider Amendola for lineups this week.

*-Danario Alexander suffered a thigh injury week 12 but it's hoped to be minor and not something that will prevent him from practicing. Normally I wouldn't mention something like this, but given Alexander's extensive injury history, any bumps and bruises he has could be noteworthy.

*-Julio Jones came out of week 12 without aggravating his ankle injury and is not on the Falcons initial injury report listings for Thursday night's game against the Saints.

*-Meanwhile for the Saints, despite having been checked for a concussion week 12, Marques Colston isn't on the injury listings either and is fully expected to be fine. He passed his in-game concussion tests.

*-The 49ers lost Kyle Williams to a torn ACL and his season is done. This is only noteworthy for fantasy purposes because it means rookie A.J. Jenkins is finally expected to be active for games. Jenkins was the 49ers first round pick but has yet to see any action because he's been a supreme disappointment. He's not going to come into fantasy value despite being active on game days now.

Tight Ends

*-Kyle Rudolph will have to pass concussion tests this week to be able to play week 13. Rudolph suffered the concussion week 12 and was unable t finish the game. If he can't play John Carlson would start at TE for the Vikings.

*-The Colts expect to have Coby Fleener back this week. But Fleener was a fantasy disappointment earlier in the season and there's little reason to think his return does anything more than cripple the fantasy potential of Dwayne Allen.

*-Baltimore's Ed Dickson suffered a bruised knee but is expected to be fine for week 13. He isn't a fantasy option though.