News and Notes 9-04-12

Quarterbacks

*-Philadelphia's Michael Vick will be fine for week 1. Vick suffered both thumb and rib injuries in the preseason and was held out the last 2 games, but he will wear a special protective vest and will be fine to start week 1.

*-Miami released David Garrard today. Garrard is still recovering from preseason knee surgery and will need to prove he is, and can stay, healthy before a QB needy team considers signing him. This move solidifies Matt Moore's spot as Ryan Tannehill's backup for the Dolphins.


Running Backs

*-Ahmad Bradshaw is Probable for tomorrow night's NFL season opening game between the Giants and Cowboys. Bradshaw has been dealing with a minor hand injury but should be just fine.

*-Maurice Jones-Drew ended his holdout this past weekend and while he is expected to play week 1 for Jacksonville, it's expected that he will serve as the 3rd down RB and not start. Estimations have MJD getting 5-10 carries to help get him used to the tempo of the real game action while Rashad Jennings is expected to start and be the primary RB. Jennings makes a borderline RB2/3 or flex option this week while I would be wary of starting MJD this week until I see how much he is used, and how well he comes out of the game.

*-Minnesota seems to be non-committal about Adrian Peterson's status for week 1. Reports have varied from AP being ready for action to AP being considered a game time decision. Bottom line to me is that I want to see AP and his surgically repaired knee get thru a game first before I insert him into a starting fantasy lineup. This week he could end up being made inactive. He could be active, and not play at all. He could play this week but be very limited. Or he could play and be great, proving he's ready to resume his elite RB status. Of the 4 options, I think the last is the least likely. I expect Toby Gerhart to start and get the majority of the workload whether AP is active or not.

*-Carolina's Jonathan Stewart is shaping up to be listed as Questionable for week 1 because of an ankle injury suffered in preseason. Stewart's regularly appeared on injury reports throughout his career with one ailment or another, but he's only missed 2 games in a 4 year career. While I expect he will play, I see no reason to chance it week 1 as DeAngelo Williams is healthy, and Cam Newton looks ready to roll as the goal line threat he was in 2011.

*-There's concern that Seattle's Marshawn Lynch may not be able to play week 1 against Arizona. Lynch has been having an issue with back spasms the last couple of weeks and there are rumors he could miss this week if he isn't able to practice by Friday. Hopefully, those of you who drafted Lynch have been listening to me in saying that rookie Robert Turbin is a smart handcuff to Lynch in fantasy drafts. We'll know more for sure about Lynch later in the week.

*-Reports are the Cleveland's Trent Richardson should be able to play week one, but it's expected that he will be limited because of his preseason knee scope. There's a chance Richardson may not be able to play at all. It's too early in the week to tell, but this is shaping up to be at best a RBBC between Richardson, Brandon Jackson, and maybe Montario Hardesty. I'd just stay away from Cleveland RB's this week.

*-Pittsburgh Head Coach Mike Tomlin has come out and refused to rule out Rashard Mendenhall from week 1 action. Mendenhall was supposed to miss the first 4 weeks of the regular season as he recovers from his 2011 torn ACL, but this seems to contradict that. Reportedly, Mendenhall has been making strides in practices and could surprise everyone by returning sooner rather than later. For now though, color me doubtful about Mendenhall's chances of playing, or being fantasy worthy even if he does. The bigger concern here is that if Mendenhall is active, how do the carries get split up between him, Isaac Redman (who is dealing with his own ankle injury that has limited him the last two weeks), and fantasy sleeper Jonathan Dwyer. It's just another situation to stay away from.


Wide Receivers

*-Hakeem Nicks is listed as Questionable for tomorrow night's game vs. Dallas, but he is fully expected to start and be fine. Nicks played in the Giants preseason finale and should be good to go.

*-Dez Bryant and Miles Austin are both fully expected to start tomorrow night's game for Dallas. Both players have been treated with kids gloves this preseason because of a minor knee injury suffered by Bryant and a hamstring issue suffered by Austin. Both should be fine to start as you normally would.

*-Carolina's Steve Smith is over the foot infection that caused him to miss the last couple of weeks. He's fine to start week 1.

*-Oakland's Denarius Moore is still not able to practice because of a hamstring injury and he is very questionable for Monday night vs. San Diego. Also for Oakland, Jacoby Ford has a foot injury and is not expected to play. Stay away from both players.

*-Seattle's Golden Tate is reportedly likely to miss week 1 because of a knee injury suffered in the Seahawks last preseason game. Braylon Edwards should start in his place.

*-Remember, Tennessee's Kenny Britt is serving a one game league imposed suspension week 1. Barring any setbacks in his recovery from a 2011 knee injury, Britt should be back in week 2. Rookie Kendall Wright will start in his place.


Tight Ends

*-Jason Witten is Doubtful for tomorrow night's game vs. the Giants. Witten would have stood a better chance of playing this week if not for the game being on Wednesday night, but for now, just keep him benched and hope he returns from his spleen injury in week 2.

*-Dustin Keller is expected to be fine for week 1 despite having a minor hamstring issue. The bigger concern for Keller is the QB situation for the Jets.

*-Seattle cut veteran Kellen Winslow over the weekend. Zach Miller looks to step in as the Seahawks primary TE, with Anthony McCoy and former Cleveland Brown Evan Moore getting used to a new offense. Winslow reportedly will work out for the Patriots, but there's no chance he'd have value there behind Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez.

*-As I just implied, Evan Moore was released by the Cleveland Browns and signed by Seattle. Cleveland goes into the season with Ben Watson and Jordan Cameron as their top 2 TE's. Cameron has some real sleeper potential and is a name to keep in mind in coming weeks.


Kickers

*-Oakland's Sebastian Janikowski is fully expected to be okay for Monday night's game against San Diego. Janikowski suffered a minor groin injury in preseason but word is that he's fine to consider as you normally would.

*-The Saints released John Kasay last Friday. That leaves Garrett Hartley as the kicker for the Saints and their high powered offense.