News and Notes 9-27-12


*-Matt Stafford was able to practice some today and appears to be on track to start week 4 despite a hip injury. The Lions have the bye in week 5 and Stafford likely can use the time to get healed up. But I still recommend Stafford owners grab Shaun Hill and stash him on their rosters. We have to remember that 2011 was the only season he made it thru an entire 16 games without missing time because of injuries.

Running Backs

*-Buffalo's RB situation is becoming cloudier instead of clearer. C.J. Spiller was able to put in a little practice time today. Initial reports said he was going to miss 1-2 games with his sprained AC joint in his shoulder, but now it appears he stands a chance of playing. Fred Jackson is still having issues with swelling and soreness in his sprained knee but is taking part some in practices as well. Jackson says he wants to play but may be limited some if he does. It's likely both RB's will be listed as Questionable on the Friday night injury report and both come down to game time decisions. If neither can play Tashard Choice will start and be the Bills feature RB this week. Luckily, Buffalo plays an early game Sunday so we'll know for sure about an hour before kickoff who will be active and who isn't.

*-Steven Jackson was held out of practice again today as the team tries to rest his groin injury. Jackson played thru it week 4 and I expect he will do so again this week, but it's a poor matchup against a Seahawks run defense that has allowed only 58.7 rushing yards per game thru 3 weeks and only 2 rushing TD's total.

*-Willis McGahee was able to put in a limited practice again today and appears to be okay to play week 4 despite a ribs injury. He may be limited some though.

*-Ahmad Bradshaw is expected to play week 4 and probably will get the start. But the Giants have stated they will go with a hot hand approach, meaning that whichever RB between Bradshaw and Andre Brown is performing well during the game is the one who is going to get the carries. I still expect this to be close to a 50/50 split as Brown was simply too good while Bradshaw was out with his neck injury to be ignored and put into a complementary role. However, the split means neither RB can be counted on as a sure fantasy starter.

*-Mikel LeShoure was limited in today's practice again because of a groin injury. It's still believed to be minor and LeShoure is still expected to be fine for week 4.

*-While reports out of Chicago say Matt Forte is getting closer to return, it may not be until game time just before Monday night's matchup against Dallas that we know whether Forte will play. Forte was able to put in a limited practice today and while media speculation is that Forte should be able to play, I'd recommend just playing it safe and keeping Forte on the bench this week unless you have both Forte and Michael Bush and can make the late substitution Monday night when we know for sure what's going on. If Forte can't play, Michael Bush is expected to start despite suffering a minor shoulder injury week 3. Bush isn't on the mid-week practice report injury listings.  

*-Reggie Bush was able to practice in limited fashion today. Bush's injury is considered a knee bruise and not something more severe, but it's still not a sure thing he will play week 4. Tentatively, I do expect Bush to play against Arizona, but if he can't, it will be a platoon between Daniel Thomas and Lamar Miller. We could see a bit more of both even if Bush is active as he may not be able to handle a full workload.

*-Darren McFadden has been limited in practices because of a minor shoulder injury, but he's fully expected to be fine for week 4.

*-Jonathan Stewart was limited in practice again today because of his ankle and toe injuries. While he is expected to be able to resume his role in the Panthers backfield with DeAngelo Williams this week, he makes a weak play when not at full strength given the circumstances.

*-It's not looking good for Chiefs RB Peyton Hillis. Hillis was unable to practice again today and is still wearing a walking boot. It's very likely he'll miss week 4. Shaun Draughn will likely be the top backup to Jamaal Charles this week. Draughn is worth a look for the RB desperate.

*-Rashad Jennings was able to practice today and it appears he may finally be able to be active for a game this week since injuring his knee back in week one. But Jennings stands little chance of forcing a time share with Maurice Jones-Drew as MJD has looked like his old self despite holding out all of training camp. Jennings is only a handcuff to MJD at this point.

Wide Receivers

*-Just like I said yesterday that it's the last time I will mention Calvin Johnson as being held out or limited in a Wednesday practice because of a phantom foot or ankle injury; this will be the last time I tell you that Megatron returned to a full practice on a Thursday. Really, if there's any real concern about Johnson, I'll mention it. But this is the last time I'm going to waste my breath on what has been the routine of Johnson sitting out Wednesday's only to be fine the last 2 seasons.

*-I feel compelled to mention that Julio Jones was limited again today because a cut on his hand. He was able to finish week 3's game despite it and I fully expect him to be fine for week 4. He's a top 5 fantasy WR play almost every week.

*-The news isn't so promising for Kenny Britt though. Britt was held out of practice again today because of his ankle injury. If he doesn't practice again tomorrow, he's looking to be considered a game time decision. Have to remember you can't spell "Brittle" without "Britt" and this is just another reason why the dynamic receiver is more fantasy tease than fantasy production. He's great when healthy, but when he's not healthy, he's a headache. Combined with a matchup against a strong Texans pass defense this week and I recommend just keeping Brittle Britt on the bench this week even if active.

*-Jeremy Maclin's arrow is pointing up. He practiced in full today and is on track to start week 4 after missing last week with his hip injury. Maclin says he's close to 100% and with a good matchup against the Giants this week, you should be able to consider Maclin as you normally would from your WR options. Maclin has caught 8 passes for 119 yards and 2 TD's in approximately 1 1/2 games played so far.

*-Hakeem Nicks was able to practice today in limited fashion and is expected to start week 4 despite still being bothered some by his foot injury. I think you'll be able to consider Nicks as you normally would as well from your WR options. Nicks starting is welcome news to Victor Cruz owners as Cruz was a flop as the Giants #1 WR week 3 when Nicks missed the game. Cruz benefits greatly from Nicks' presence on the field.

*-Pierre Garcon was able to practice in limited fashion again today. Garcon has been out since week 1 with a foot injury and while back to back practices are a good sign that he's getting closer to returning, he's still considered very questionable to play week 4. Washington plays a late game Sunday so if your rosters lock at the start of the early games, you'll probably want to play it safe and keep Garcon benched unless he can practice again tomorrow.

*-Dwayne Bowe is expected to be fine for week 4 despite having what is considered a minor groin injury. Be sure to check out my Saturday team by team news and notes I post in my blog just to be sure though.

*-Greg Jennings was able to practice again today albeit in limited fashion. Jennings is struggling to get back to pre-injury form stemming from a groin injury. He did play week 3 and probably will be okay to play week 4.

*-While Seattle #3 WR Doug Baldwin is practicing this week and expected to play week 4, he needs to show something in game action before he's worth something before I'd recommend picking him back up.

*-Julian Edelman was unable to practice again today because of his hand injury. It's believed he may have some broken bones, but the Patriots aren't saying for sure. I'd be surprised if Edelman was active this week, and even if he is, I wouldn't expect much from him. Hopefully the Patriots are listening to the football ghods and will get Wes Welker back into a full time role now.

*-Titus Young returned to practice today after being held out yesterday to rest a sore knee. He's fully expected to be fine for week 4.

*-Laurent Robinson was unable to practice today and appears to be very questionable for week 4 because of a concussion suffered week 3.

*-Stephen Hill has been unable to practice this week because of a hamstring injury suffered last week and he is doubtful to play week 4.

Tight Ends

*-The Patriots released Kellen Winslow today. Winslow's knees apparently just can't hold up any more and even if he somehow latches on somewhere else, I just doubt he's got much left to offer for any NFL team, let alone a fantasy roster. If you acquired Winslow when the Patriots signed him, feel free to drop him.

*-Speaking of the Patriots, Aaron Hernandez is supposedly healing up from his ankle injury quicker than anticipated. But he's still not expected to be able to play for another week or 2.

*-Kyle Rudolph practiced today in limited fashion. He has a minor quad bruise and should be fine for week 4 despite it.

*-Jared Cook was able t practice some today despite having a shoulder injury. It's looking like he will be able to play week 4 although he could be limited because of the injury.

*-The Jets say they expect Dustin Keller to be able to play week 4 despite his not being fully recovered from his hamstring injury. Like I said yesterday, I want to see Keller get thru a game before I consider him for a starting fantasy lineup.

*-And in the "this should affect no one" category of fantasy news, the Bengals released backup TE Donald Lee today. Lee has been struggling to recover from a quad injury and the emergence of rookie Orson Charles as a capable backup to Jermaine Grehsam made him expendable.