News and Notes 9-25-12


Quarterbacks

*-Matt Stafford suffered a leg injury, believed to be a hamstring strain, week 3 and was unable to finish the game. Stafford is considered day to day and is tentatively expected to be able to start week 4. But if he doesn't practice by Friday I'll be concerned. Shaun Hill is his backup in Detroit and would start if Stafford can't play. Hill has performed well in years past when called upon to start and is a highly recommended insurance handcuff for those who own Stafford.

*-Matt Schaub took a shot to the head week 3 and lost what looked like a piece of his ear, but he's expected to be fine and start week 4 without issue.

*-John Skelton has come out and said he's probably another two weeks away from being able to return from his ankle injury. Kevin Kolb looked pretty good week 3 and has led the Cardinals to a 3-0 record, so even when Skelton gets healthy, it's not a sure thing he gets his job back. Kolb still has a couple more games to play his way out of the job, but right now, I'd say Kolb is the Cardinals starting QB even when Skelton gets healthy.

*-There are rumors coming out of Philadelphia that Michael Vick's job security is starting to become tenuous. Andy Reid denies that, but if Vick doesn't bring his play up soon, or if he continues to take the beating he's getting week in and week out, we may actually see rookie preseason darling Nick Foles get a shot. It would likely take a Vick injury for that to happen, but it's something Vick owners should be keeping in the back of their minds.


Running Backs

*-Ahmad Bradshaw has guaranteed he's going to play week 4 after missing week 3 with his neck injury. But whether he returns to his usual full workload is unknown. Andre Brown has been outstanding in place of Bradshaw and I would be surprised if Brown didn't at least earn a role similar to what Brandon Jacobs used to have with Bradshaw when Jacobs was with the Giants. A 60/40 split, or even closer than that is a real possibility. Unfortunately, that would limit the fantasy upside of both.

*-Matt Forte has made noise about being able to return from his ankle injury sooner than expected, but I doubt he'll be ready for week 4. I fully expect Michael Bush to start again in his place.

*-The opposite appears true for Fred Jackson though. With C.J. Spiller expected to miss 1-2 games with a sprained AC joint in his shoulder, Jackson's return would be welcome for the Bills. I'm not sure Jackson is healed up enough from his knee sprain suffered week 1 for a full workload, but he probably will be the primary RB in a time share that will include Tashard Choice. If Jackson can get thru practices this week without any setbacks, he should start this week and be a RB2/3 for fantasy purposes.

*-Reggie Bush suffered a minor knee sprain week 3 and his status for week 4 is questionable. The injury looked a lot worse and Bush dodged a bullet here. Bush may be able to play week 4 but it's not a given and he could miss the game. We'll need to see how he does in practices by the end of the week to now for sure. Backups Daniel Thomas and Lamar Miller figure to split the load if Bush can't play.

*-Willis McGahee suffered a ribs injury week 3 and his status for this week is unknown. If McGahee can't play, it's likely the Broncos will use a platoon of Knowshon Moreno, Lance Ball, and rookie Ronnie Hillman. We know what to expect from Moreno and Ball as they have proven to be mediocre options in the past, but Hillman has real sleeper appeal. His biggest stumbling block is head coach John Fox's stubborn resistance to using rookies over veterans. Moreno was inactive week 3 because of poor performances week's 1 and 2. Hillman was finally active week 3 to provide more explosive presence as a 3rd down and change of pace style of RB. Hillman would be my choice for a grab and stash for future weeks over Moreno or Ball. 

*-Beanie Wells suffered a toe injury Sunday and was unable to finish the game. Speculation is that it could be a case of turf toe. If so, we'll need to find out the severity as some turf toe injuries are minor and can be played thru while others can cause a player to miss several weeks. Given the time share that already existed between Wells and Ryan Williams, and Williams strong finish to week 3's game, I'd expect Williams to be the primary RB with a strong chance for a full complement of carries this week.

*-Peyton Hillis suffered an ankle injury Sunday and his status for week 4 is unknown. Unless he makes a quick recovery, at best I'd expect him to be limited. Given the emergence of Shaun Draughn for the Chiefs, I wouldn't be surprised if the Chiefs kept Hillis out week 4 and used Draughn more often as the complementary RB to Jamaal Charles. Just something to consider for those who are RB desperate week 4. Draughn has already out-produced a healthy Hillis the first 3 weeks with 168 combined yards and a TD to Hillis's 126 yards and no TD's. Draughn continues to impress with a 5.9 yards per carry average and 10.2 receiving yards average. Although Jamaal Charles looked like his explosive old self week 3, remember week 2 when Charles was having issues with his knee. Draughn makes a smart handcuff for those who own Jamaal Charles, and a smart bench RB acquisition for those who don't. 

*-Speculation continues to grow that Shonn Greene would end up losing playing time going forward. Greene has been plodding along in mediocrity again since week 1 and it won't be a surprise f the Jets start to use Bilal Powell more often. Powell probably can handle an increased offensive role and perform well enough for fantasy starting consideration if given the opportunity. If available on your free agent wire I strongly encourage you to grab Powell now.

*-Mikel LeShoure certainly didn't appear to be limited at all in his first game action since rupturing his Achilles tendon last year in preseason. LeShoure was decisive and ran with authority this past Sunday. While this was only one game and I am loathe to anoint him a new solid every week fantasy starting RB, he certainly can do so with another good game or two. At least for now it looks like he has pushed Kevin Smith into a backup role.

*-Washington backup RB's Evan Royster and Roy Helu both have injuries. Royster went out of week 3's game with a strained knee tendon and is likely questionable for week 4. Helu has a minor case of turf toe and is also questionable to play week 4. To provide depth behind Alfred Morris and insurance in case neither can play this week, Washington signed Ryan Grant.


Wide Receivers

*-Colts WR Austin Collie is done for the year after rupturing the patellar tendon in his knee. Donnie Avery steps into the starting role permanently now opposite Reggie Wayne and after solid showings weeks 1 and 2 when Collie was out with his concussion, Avery is someone who needs to be owned in fantasy leagues. Rookie T.Y. Hilton steps in as the #3 WR for Indy, but likely will be inconsistent at best and can be left on most free agent wires.

*-Darrius Heyward-Bey suffered a concussion and neck strain injury Sunday and he is OUT for at least 1 game and probably 2-3 more. Rod Streator and Derek Hagan are likely to split time opposite Denarius Moore for Oakland until Heyward-Bey can return.

*-No word yet on whether Pierre Garcon is going to be able to play week 4 or not. Garcon has a foot injury and hasn't played since week 1. We'll see what happens during the week but for now it appears Leonard Hankerson has landed the starting job until Garcon can return.

*-Hakeem Nicks says he will play week 4 after missing last week with his foot injury. Also expected back is Domenik Hixon, who missed last week with a concussion. But after Ramses Barden looked great filling in, it's likely Barden is a serious threat to Hixon's role as the #3 WR. I'd rather have Barden than the oft-injured Hixon on my fantasy rosters.

*-Miles Austin suffered a ribs injury week 3 but he was able to finish the game and should be okay for week 4.

*-Jeremy Maclin is tentatively expected to be able to play week 4. Maclin missed week 3 with a hip injury and needs to practice later this week for me to feel good about recommending him as a starter.

*-Julian Edelman suffered a hand injury week 3 and his status for week 4 is unknown. This could finally be the opening Wes Welker needs to get back into the starting lineup like he deserves. The Patriots simply do better when Welker is part of their game plan.

*-Jets rookie Stephen Hill suffered a hamstring injury week 3 and his status is questionable for week 4. It isn't a good sign that the Jets re-signed WR Patrick Turner yesterday.

*-Mohamed Massaquoi is consider very questionable for Thursday night's game because of a hamstring injury. This could lead to more chances for rookie Josh Gordon this week but I wouldn't want any Browns WR's against Baltimore.

*-No word yet on whether Laurent Robinson will be able to play week 4 or not. Robinson suffered a concussion week 3. Cecil Shorts is a guy who is getting a lot of attention after another game with a long TD reception but he's normally the #3 WR and has drawn only 5 total targets the last 2 weeks combined. Undrafted rookie Kevin Elliott appears to have the inside track to start if Robinson can't play.

*-Dexter McCluster suffered a hyper-extended elbow injury and is expected to miss at least 2 games and possibly longer. This opens the door for Jonathan Baldwin to get more playing time. Baldwin is the better WR anyway, but will need to prove he gets consistent targets to become a fantasy consideration.

*-Seattle's Doug Baldwin was inactive last night because of a shoulder injury. Baldwin was Seattle's leading receiver last season but hasn't been able to stay healthy this year and doesn't project as more than their #3 WR. He can be dropped in any league where he is on a roster.

*-Tampa Bay released Jordan Shipley today and signed Roscoe Parrish. He's not likely to have any fantasy impact.

*-New Orleans released Greg Camarillo. The healthy return of Devery Henderson made Camarillo expendable.


Tight Ends

*-Jared Cook suffered a shoulder injury week 3 and his status is uncertain for week 4. Tentatively, he is expected to play.

*-Jacob Tamme suffered a groin injury week 3 but was able to finish the game. He is expected to be alright for week 4, but this brings his potential value down some.

*-Oakland's Brandon Myers suffered a concussion Sunday and he's uncertain to play week 4. Myers had been starting to show signs of being a capable fantasy TE2, but this injury could open the door for supremely talented backup TE David Ausberry to get more playing time.

*-Cleveland's Alex Smith is uncertain for Thursday night because of a concussion that caused him to miss week 3. That opened the door for one of my favorite preseason deep sleeper TE's, Jordan Cameron, to get playing time and Cameron did pretty well. If he can show well Thursday night he might finally push his way into meaningful week to week playing time. Keep an eye on him.


Kickers

*-Sebastian Janikowski made it thru week 3 without aggravating his groin injury. Janikowski was a surprise being listed as Questionable for week 3 with the injury after kicking thru it weeks 1 and 2, but it appears the Raiders are just playing games with their injury report.