News and Notes 9-13-12


*-St. Louis signed Kellen Clemens to be Sam Bradford's backup. The Rams only carried 2 QB's in week 1, Bradford and undrafted rookie Austin Davis. Clemens played with the Rams last season and at least brings some veteran experience behind Bradford.

Running Backs

*-Arian Foster returned for a full practice today after missing the last portion yesterday with an illness. Foster is my top RB play this week and practically every week. While the Texans have said they want to make sure to spell him more often with Ben Tate, I'm not buying into that potentially reducing Foster's status as one of the elite RB's in the league.

*-Adrian Peterson is practicing in full this week and says his injured knee is about 95% recovered from his surgery. After watching him week 1, I believe it. AP is back to must start status and Toby Gerhart is merely the precautionary handcuff.

*-Jonathan Stewart is back in practices and looks on track to be able to play this week. The Saints got gashed both on the ground and thru the air by Washington week 1 but I'd still feel better about waiting until Stewart gets thru a game without aggravating his preseason ankle sprain before trusting him in a fantasy starting lineup.

*-Beanie Wells is back to practicing in full this week after suffering a minor hamstring strain last week in practice. Wells is likely to start for Arizona this week, but is still expected to split time with Ryan Williams.

*-Ryan Mathews is still very questionable for week 2 because of his collarbone injury. Although he has been cleared for contact practices he'll need to get thru both today and tomorrow without any issues before he'd even be a game time decision.

*-DeMarco Murray has a minor wrist injury but it won't prevent him from starting week 2. He practiced in full today and you can consider him as you normally would as a solid starting fantasy RB.

*-After missing practice yesterday with a minor foot injury, Jonathan Dwyer returned to a full practice today. After out-playing Isaac Redman all preseason and again in week 1, I expect Dwyer will be given the chance to start week 2 and show what he can do with a major offensive role. Now, Redman will play, and there's likely to be speculation about Rashard Mendenhall being able to be active this week, but I tell you now, Dwyer is the leading candidate to be Pittsburgh leading rusher in 2012. Really, until Mendenhall returns, Dwyer is going to get a shot to prove he should be the Steelers starting RB even when Mendenhall can get back into games. Dwyer has a golden opportunity to become the Steelers next 1,000+ yards, 10+ TD running back.  

*-LeGarrette Blount has returned to practice and should be okay for week 2. Blount suffered a neck stinger in week 1 and while there was some concern it could be more serious than that, but an MRI revealed no damage and he's been cleared to return to practices. However, after an impressive week 1 by rookie Doug Martin, Blount's role is clearly just as a backup.

*-Javon Ringer was released from the hospital after being briefly admitted because of an infection in his elbow. But he's unlikely to be available week 2 as the backup to Chris Johnson. However, if Johnson continues to struggle, it won't be surprising if the Titans start trying another RB on their roster and Ringer is the most likely to get first crack. But that's only if Johnson continues to flop.

*-For those affected by injuries, here's a guy you may want to stash now: Mikel LeShoure of the Detroit Lions. LeShoure will return week 3 from his 2 game suspension and even though Kevin Smith looked good week 1, Smith has never been able to stay healthy for very long in his career. LeShoure was my favorite RB coming out of college in last year's draft class and while his rookie season was derailed by a ruptured Achilles tendon, he was able to play some in preseason and came out of it without aggravating the injury. He is no sure thing, but every year we're always looking for a sneaky name to acquire at RB before everyone else is talking about him, and that could be LeShoure.

Wide Receivers

*-As expected, after being held out of Wednesday's practice, Calvin Johnson returned to a full practice today. Expect this to be the norm again this season. Megatron will likely not practice on Wednesday's, and sometimes not even on Thursday's, but barring a real injury, he'll practice on Friday's and be fine to start on game days.

*-Carolina's Steve Smith was limited in practice today because of a minor knee injury. I'm not too worried about Smith's availability to play this week, but you'll want to be checking out the Saturday team by team news and notes I post in my blog just to be sure.

*-Jeremy Maclin missed practice again today and his status for week 2 is very questionable. Expect Maclin to be called a game time decision. DeSean Jackson also sat out practice today because of a hamstring strain. Andy Reid has said he expects both WR's to play week 2, but I think it unlikely Maclin will go. Again, by looking for the Saturday news and notes in my blog for an update on both WR's. I have Maclin on one of my teams and currently have Darrius Heyward-Bey starting in his place.

*-Hakeem Nicks was limited in practice today with his foot injury. He's on track to start week 2 without issue though and can be considered as you normally would.

*-Pierre Garcon was able to practice some today, although it was in limited fashion. Garcon is tentatively expected to be able to play this week, but I'd start making plans to have a backup plan ready to go by Sunday as he's sounding like he'll be a game time decision. If Garcon doesn't play, Aldrick Robinson will likely start in his place. Robinson was actually the Redskins most targeted WR in week 1, although mostly because of Garcon going out of the game with the foot injury.

*-Seattle gets one WR back this week but another has turned up on the mid-week injury listings. Sidney Rice missed practice yesterday and today because of a knee soreness. While it's believed the Seahawks were just resting Rice, it's a reminder about how brittle Rice has been the last seasons. After a breakout 2009 season, Rice has missed 17 games the last 2 years combined. Teammate Golden Tate has returned to practice this week though and barring any setbacks in the knee injury that caused him to miss week 1, Tate should be fine for week 2. His return could push Braylon Edwards back into a reserve WR role.

*-After practicing in full yesterday, Austin Collie was held out of practice today. No word on whether this was a setback as he struggles to return from a preseason concussion, or if this was just a precautionary measure. Be sure to sit Collie until he makes it thru a complete game without any lingering concussion like symptoms.

*-Nate Washington didn't practice today or yesterday because of a leg bruise. He is expected to return to practice tomorrow and be fine to play week 2, but the return of Kenny Britt to playing time could bring Washington's targets down.

*-With Devery Henderson expected to miss week 2 with a concussion and Adrian Arrington having been placed on injured reserve with a knee injury, undrafted rookie Joseph Morgan will likely be the Saints #3 WR this week. The Saints signed Greg Camarillo earlier in the week, but he'll be no better than 4th on their depth chart. While I expect Morgan will do very little, it will be interesting to see what happens on next week's waiver wire if he puts up some good numbers.  

Tight Ends

*-Antonio Gates was held out of practice again today because of his ribs injury. While Gates is expected to practice tomorrow and be fine for week 2, you should consider him to be another player to be looking for in my Saturday team by team news and notes.

*-Dustin Keller was unable to practice today and his status for week 2 has to be considered questionable at best. Keller played thru a hamstring injury week 1 but was largely ineffective. He may have aggravated it in yesterday's practice. You may want to err on the side of caution and keep Keller benched this week.

*-Seattle's Zach Miller was unable to practice because of a foot injury, his status for this week is very uncertain and he should be kept on fantasy benches. You probably have far superior fantasy options to choose from anyway.