News and Notes 10-09-12


Quarterbacks


*-Robert Griffin III suffered a concussion week 5. While he is expected to be okay in time to start week 6, it's not a given yet. It's also unknown if the Redskins would start rookie Kirk Cousins or veteran Rex Grossman if Griffin fails to pass all the concussion protocols by Sunday. Cousins is listed as the backup and probably would get the nod. We'll know more about Griffin as the week goes on.

*-Jake Locker has been ruled OUT for Thursday night's game. Matt Hasselbeck will start again in his place for Tennessee.

*-Alex Smith suffered a sprained finger on his throwing hand, but it's considered to be a very minor injury and not something that will hinder him at all.

*-Matt Cassel suffered a concussion yesterday and it's believed that the Chiefs will use that as an excuse to give Brady Quinn the start at QB week 6. Cassel has been awful so far this season, but a week or two of Quinn starting should make KC realize Cassel is the better QB of the two. Quinn could surprise, but he's never looked good when given chances in the past so we don't expect him to be much better now.

*-There's been no word about Arizona considering switching back to John Skelton after Kevin Kolb failed to lead the Cardinals to a single TD last Thursday night. I expect Kolb keeps the starting job for at least one more week.


Running Backs

*-Cedric Benson is expected to be out 2 months because of a Lisfranc foot injury. James Starks likely steps in as the primary rusher, with Alex Green the 3rd down RB and change of pace, and John Kuhn likely handling short yardage and goal line duties. Brandon Saine would be the next guy up as primary if Starks fails or aggravates his turf toe injury. My best guess on this situation is that with the Packers being such a pass heavy team, Green stands the best chance of being fantasy relevant, even if Starks likely gets more rushing attempts. Officially, the Packers list Green as their starting RB now.

*-Arizona lost Ryan Williams for the rest of the season with a shoulder injury. With Beanie Wells out until at least week 12, the Cardinals have a dilemma at RB. Preseason favorite William Powell is the likeliest of the group to handle the primary rushing duties, but we also expect to see a good bit of La'Rod Stephens-Howling. LS-H is a smaller RB who probably couldn't handle a big load for very long at all, and is himself still not fully recovered from a hip injury. Powell suffered a head injury week 5 but it's hoped that the extra time since last Thursday night will have given him plenty of time to clear up any cobwebs or heal up any neck issues. Simply put, Powell is most likely to have most carries, LS-H most likely to have boom or bust fantasy upside, and Alfonso Smith will be the top backup to both. Powell and LS-H are worth considering as deep roster stashes, but both are just as likely to be easily droppable in coming weeks.

*-Rashard Mendenhall came out of week 5 without any knee issues and should be good to go Thursday night for Pittsburgh. He's being held out some in practices though because of the short week but he's expected to be fine. His return made the Jonathan Dwyer inactive last week and that's probably the way it will go going forward. Dwyer is nothing more than a deep handcuff to Mendenhall now.

*-Giants backup RB Andre Brown suffered a concussion week 5 and his status for week 6 is in question. That opens the door for David Wilson to step back in as the top backup to Ahmad Bradshaw. Wilson ripped off a 40 yard TD run week 5 and showed some of that great talent he possesses that made many think he could be fantasy worthy. I'd rather have Wilson as the handcuff to Bradshaw going forward.

*-Cincinnati's Bernard Scott is done for the year with what is believed to be a torn ACL. This moves Brian Leonard and Cedric Peerman up the depth chart behind BenJarvus Green-Ellis. BGE has been struggling the last couple of games and while Leonard is the primary backup, he's a mediocre rusher. Leonard and Peerman could both be guys to consider stashing on deep benches by the RB desperate.

*-Javon Ringer suffered a knee injury for Tennessee in week 5 and he is expected to miss at least 4-6 weeks. Jamie Harper steps in as the top backup to Chris Johnson.

*-Miami's Daniel Thomas suffered an as of yet undisclosed head injury week 5. Thomas suffered a concussion back in week 1 and if this is a second concussion it's very unlikely he'll play week 6. In that case Lamar Miller would step up as the top backup to Reggie Bush against the Rams soft run defense this week.

*-Ben Tate was inactive last night because of a toe injury. The Texans aren't saying exactly what the injury is, but word today is that Tate wasn't even close to playing last night despite only being listed as Questionable. His status for week 6 is very much in question and Justin Forsett could be the top backup to Arian Foster again.

*-No word yet on whether Peyton Hillis will be able to return from an ankle injury that has caused him to miss the last couple of games. One report says it's a high ankle sprain and if that's the case, Hillis will miss the next couple of games still. Shaun Draughn stays as the top backup to Jamaal Charles.


Wide Receivers

*-Danny Amendola suffered a separated collarbone injury last Thursday night and estimations are that he will miss 6-8 weeks. Rookie Chris Givens likely steps into the starting lineup, but we could also see Steve Smith or Austin Pettis in that spot as Givens is believed to be a one speed deep threat. Rookie Brian Quick could also get a look, but he appears to be low man on the totem pole. Just avoid Rams WR's until the situation shakes itself out. None are worth more than being a 5th or 6th guy on the bench.

*-Minnesota's Jerome Simpson apparently aggravated a back injury in pre-game warm-ups before the game this past week and that's why he was a zilch in the box score. Simpson has talent but if he can't stay healthy he's useless. No word on how severe the injury is.

*-No word yet on whether Hakeem Nicks will be back in week 6 or not. Nicks apparently is almost fully recovered from his foot injury, but it's the knee that is the real issue. If he can't play, it will be Domenik Hixon again as the starter in his place. Ramses Barden supposedly has been cleared to resume practicing after missing week 5 with a concussion and should be able to resume his role as the #3 WR. That will likely push Reuben Randle back down to being the #4.

*-Tennessee expects to have Kenny Britt available Thursday night. Britt didn't practice at all last week but was active and played almost half the offensive snaps week 5. Brittle Britt makes a dicey fantasy option though until he shows he's healthy.

*-Darrius Heyward-Bey is expected back this week for the Raiders providing he has no setbacks in his neck injury during practices this week.

*-Chicago's Alshon Jeffery is expected to miss 4 weeks with a fracture in his hand. Chicago's on bye this week and the timetable means Jeffery will be out until week 10. Devin Hester and Earl Bennett are expected to step up and see more targets until Jeffery can return.


Tight Ends

*-Jimmy Graham suffered an ankle injury Sunday night and it's a good thing the Saints are on bye this week so he can rest it up and get it healed for week 7. We'll revisit Graham next week.

*-No word yet on whether the Patriots will have Aaron Hernandez back this week or not. Hernandez was able to practice some last week and even if he practices this week I'll be amazed if the Patriots don't list Hernandez as Questionable. They list practically everyone as Questionable each week.

*-Staying with Patriots TE's, Rob Gronkowski seems to have made it thru week 5 without aggravating his hip injury. Don't be surprised if Gronk is limited some in practices though this week and listed as Questionable come around Friday night on the injury report. Also don't be surprised if plays every offensive snap again week 6 like he did this past week.

*-Martellus Bennett suffered a hyper-extended knee injury week 5. His status for week 6 has to be considered questionable at best.

*-Jermichael Finley suffered a shoulder injury week 5 and his status for week 6 is unknown. It's very likely he'll be listed as Questionable and considered a game time decision. Those who count on the fantasy tease should acquire D.J. Williams as insurance for Finley as Williams is the top backup receiving TE for the Packers.

*-Detroit's Brandon Pettigrew didn't practice today. The Lions are coming off the bye and it's unknown if Pettigrew has an injury or not. We should know more in the next day or two.

*-Dustin Keller says he expects to play week 6. Keller has been MIA with a hamstring injury. His return would help the Jets, but whether it would mean any help for fantasy owners is quite unknown at this point.


Kickers

*-As expected, the Redskins cut Billy Cundiff today after he missed another FGA in week 5. Kai Forbath was signed to replace him. Forbath has never kicked in a regular season NFL game, but apparently was able to beat out veteran guys Josh Brown and Olindo Mare.