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News and Notes: September 13, 2011
 
News and Notes 9-13-11


Quarterbacks:

Sam Bradford owners can heave a sigh of relief as the finger injury he suffered to his throwing hand is being called just a bruise. There was some speculation that there might have been some potential nerve damage, but that doesn't appear to be the case and he is expected to start next Monday night against the Giants with no issues.

Cincinnati's Andy Dalton is tentatively expected to be okay to start week 2 against Denver despite an arm injury. But we'll know that he's okay for sure if he practices this week. If he couldn't go, Bruce Gradkowski would start in his place. I hope you have better options though.

There are no planned quarterback changes in week 2 despite some poor performances.


Running Backs:

Steven Jackson has a pulled quadriceps injury and is expected to miss at least one game, and maybe more. Cadillac Williams will start Monday night in his place and makes a serviceable fill in for Jackson owners with weak other options. Jerious Norwood will be the backup to Caddy.

No word yet on whether Houston's Arian Foster will be able to play this week or not. I guess Foster will try to practice before the week is out and see how the hamstring injury responds. I wouldn't be surprised if he again comes down to a game time decision. Maybe I'm worng there though and maybe he practices, looks fine and goes out and dominates the carries. But I would figure the Texans would be smart to not push him too much after Ben Tate sliced and diced his way thru the Colts last week. I hope you took my preseason advice and handcuffed Tate to Foster.

Staying with the Texans, while Tate gets a lot of attention, it needs to be noted that he got his chance to dominate the Texans backfield only after Derrick Ward suffered an ankle injury. Ward sprained his ankle but it's not considered one of those dreaded high ankle sprains and he is listed as being day to day. But it probably means that if Foster can't play again, Tate would be the feature RB for Houston and an excellent fantasy play.

Miami's rookie RB Daniel Thomas didn't play last night because of a hamstring injury and his status for week 2 is also in doubt. Miami needs someone besides Reggie Bush in their backfield and I'm not sure that Lex Hilliard or Larry Johnson can contribute much. Their likely struggles could mean Thomas works his way back into the good graces of the coaching staff once he's healthy.

Mike Tolbert is expected to be fine despite a minor knee injury suffered week 1. Tolbert was a beast week 1 for San Diego and while 3 TD's can't be expected every week from him sharing all that time with Ryan Mathews (who also looked good) Tolbert can be relied on to be out there Sunday for those who lack better options.

Chicago expects to have Marion Barber back this week. Barber missed week 1 with a calf injury and is only pegged for short yardage and goal line duties behind Matt Forte.

Denver's Knowshon Moreno had an MRI today for an apparent hamstring injury suffered last night. Results haven't come in yet but Moreno has proven brittle in his short career and fantasy owners should make sure to grab Willis McGahee if available on your league's free agent wire.


Wide Receivers:

Marques Colston will miss the next 8-12 weeks with a broken collarbone injury suffered last Thursday night. This solidifies Robert Meachem as the likely top WR for the Saints going forward. Lance Moore's status for week 2 is uncertain. Moore missed week 1, and may well miss this week too because of a groin injury. That leaves Devery Henderson to start opposite Meachem, and we'll finally see rarely used special teams standouts Adrain Arrington at the 3rd WR spot and Courtney Roby as the number 4. Not sure if either of them has any fantasy value, but in the Saints offense, you just don't know. It's more likely that they go with more 2 TE sets and get David Thomas on the field with Jimmy Graham more often. It could also mean that sparkplug Darren Sproles lines up wide more, giving him increased value as a possible flex play.

Hakeem Nicks' status for Monday night's matchup against St. Louis is unknown. I'll feel better about him if he practices sometime this week. Nicks suffered a knee injury and while tests came back negative for any structural damage, reports are that he's dealing with swelling that hasn't come down. Cautiously pencil him into your lineups for now, but be ready to pull him out if we get bad news later in the week. Domenik Hixon would likely start if Nicks were to actually miss game action and Victor Cruz would slide into the 3rd WR role.

Danny Amendola dislocated an elbow and it's unclear how long he'll miss. Initial reports said he would miss 8-10 weeks, and possibly be headed for injured reserve, but more recent reports say that he could be back week 6 after the Rams have their bye. One thing is fairly certain: he's not playing until week 6 the earliest though and that makes the Rams WR rotation even more muddled, as Amendola was the one guy you could actually count on. Mike Sims Walker probably steps into his spot opposite Brandon Gibson, and it will be interesting to see if the Rams give rookie Greg Salas the 3rd WR role, or go with Danario Alexander. Alexander, along with rookie Austin Pettis were both inactive last week.

Brandon Lloyd suffered a apparent groin injury last night. No word on whether it's severe or not and we'll track this throughout the week to get an update.

Michael Crabtree aggravated his foot injury week 1 and while he is expected to play thru it, he shouldn't be a fantasy consideration. It's said that this is something he's going to have to deal with all season. Crabtree is a lot of hype with little production to back it up and there are certain to be other WR options for your fantasy team. Braylon Edwards and Josh Morgan are better options from the 49ers.

Houston's Kevin Walter has a shoulder injury. Original reports said he broke it, but the Texans have come out and said it's only a bruise. It's unknown how long he'll miss, but chances are it's at least 2 games, and probably more. Walter was nothing special for fantasy to begin with and his absence means Jacoby Jones should get more chances to prove that he is a far better talent and should be starting opposite Andre Johnson even when Walter gets healthy. Jones is worth the pickup for those who are looking for an available free agent WR.

Dez Bryant was diagnosed with leg cramping week 1 and he isn't expected to be in any danger of missing week 1.

Chicago's Roy Williams suffered a groin injury and it's unknown if it will prevent him from playing week 2 or not. Williams was an intriguing prospect due to his prior relationship with Mike Martz, but this should allow Johnny Knox to get back on the field more often and prove what we already know: Knox is the best playmaking WR on the Bears and the best fantasy option.

Buffalo placed Marcus Easley on injured reserve today, reportedly because of a heart ailment. Easley is an immensely talented WR who stood a chance of becoming noteworthy in Buffalo, but this ends his season.


Tight Ends:

Jacksonville's Marcedes Lewis suffered a calf muscle strain week 1 but he is expected to be okay for week 2. We'll see how he holds up on practices this week

Don't be surprised if Washington's Fred Davis passes Chris Cooley as the fantasy TE to own from the Redskins. Cooley insists his knee is fine, but Davis looked better in week 1 and I won't be surprised if Davis pushes Cooley out of the primary receiving TE spot before long, if he hasn't already.

No word yet on whether Giants TE Travis Beckum will be able to play week 2 or not. Beckum missed week 1 with a hamstring injury and is losing ground to backup Jake Ballard to hold on to the job once he does get healthy. Ballard isn't a great fantasy option though so don't be rushing out to grab him. Conversely, don't be wasting a roster spot on Beckum either if you need to replace an injured player on your fantasy team. Some in preseason thought Beckum to be a sleeper TE, but I wasn't one of them.


Kickers:

San Diego's Nate Kaeding tore an ACL on the opening kickoff week 1 and will miss the rest of the year. San Diego signed Nick Novak to replace him. Novak beat out Jeff Reed and Dave Rayner for the job. Novak will have opportunities for FG's in San Diego, but he's only made 19 of 30 career FG attempts, and if his accuracy doesn't show marked improvement he won't be there for long.

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