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News and Notes: September 20, 2011
 
News and Notes 9-20-11
 

Quarterbacks

*-Philadelphia's Michael Vick suffered a concussion week 2. It's believed to be mild though and if he passes concussion tests during the week he is expected to be okay for week 3. But we won't know for sure until later in the week. If he can't go, either Vince Young or Mike Kafka would start. Young has been recovering from a hamstring injury but is likely to be available this week. However, it wouldn't be a surprise if the Eagles went with Kafka after his solid relief performance Sunday night.

*-Dallas's Tony Romo played thru a cracked rib and punctured lung week 2. Currently, I expect the plan is for Romo to rest during the week, and then see how he's feeling Friday. His status for Monday night's matchup against Washington is uncertain. Jon Kitna would start if Romo can't go.

*-Ben Roethlisberger of Pittsburgh suffered a minor knee injury week 2 but he is believed to be fine.  

*-After a miserable outing by Jacksonville's Luke McCown, it's a real possibility that we see rookie Blaine Gabbert get the start week 3. There's been no official word from the Jaguars yet, but if it isn't this week, it will be soon.

*-Carolina's Cam Newton had another great game this past week. While two games do not a season make, I have to say that I am starting to think I was wrong about Newton's chances for becoming a great NFL quarterback. Newton has a minor ankle injury, but it's nothing to be concerned about and he will be fine for week 3.
 

Running Backs

*-Jamaal Charles tore an ACL and he is gone for the rest of the season. In re-draft leagues Charles can be dropped. Thomas Jones and Dexter McCluster will split up the carries and I'm still not convinced we won't see some of Le'Ron McClain too. Jones is likely to get more carries than McCluster, but McCluster has more explosive potential and makes for a nice fantasy football sleeper going forward as an acquisition, especially in ppr formats.

*-Arian Foster aggravated his hamstring injury week 2 and his status for week 3 is unknown. The Texans would be wise to just shut Foster down and let this injury heal up for a couple of weeks. Otherwise we are going to have this situation where he is likely to strain it further because he is rushing himself back. Ben Tate has proven to be everything the Texans thought he was when they selected him in the second round of the 2010 draft and can clearly carry the load for a couple of weeks so Foster can get the hammy healed. But that's just what I think and teams don't listen to me. Expect Foster to miss practices this week and be the dreaded game time decision week 3. For what it's worth, I'm planning to sit Foster even if he plays, and start Ben Tate.

*-Staying with the Texans, Derrick Ward is sounding unlikely to be able to play week 3 with his ankle injury.

*-Steven Jackson of the Rams is likely to return this week. He missed last night's game against the Giants with a groin injury, but the fact he was close to playing tells me he should be able to go week 3. We'll know for sure later in the week.

*-Too early in the week to know if Knowshon Moreno will be able to play week 3 or not. Moreno has a hamstring issue and wasn't close to playing week 2. If he can't go, expect Willis McGahee to be the Broncos featured RB. Even if Moreno does play, I expect after his performance this past week against Cincinnati, McGahee has turned Denver's backfield into a true RBBC.

*-Felix Jones suffered a separated shoulder injury week 2 but he put on a harness and gutted it out. While the injury is painful, Jones is expected to be able to start week 3. Don't be surprised though if we see more of both Tashard Choice and DeMarco Murray.

*-LeSean McCoy suffered a minor hand injury but it won't prevent him from starting week 3. Don't be concerned if he is limited some in practices this week.

*-Miami's Daniel Thomas had a great showing week 2 and don't be surprised if he takes over as the primary rushing down RB over Reggie Bush. Bush did nothing special in that role and Thomas showed a lot better in regular season action than he did in practices or preseason. I'm not quite ready to anoint Thomas fantasy starting consideration, but he could mix in as a flex option. His emergence allowed Miami to release Larry Johnson today and puts a real crimp on the fantasy potential of Bush.

*-Don't be surprised if we see more of rookie Roy Helu and a little less of Tim Hightower in coming weeks. Hightower hasn't been bad, but he hasn't been great either. Helu has looked more explosive and may start cutting into Hightower's time in the backfield in Washington.

*-James Starks continues to be used more often than Ryan Grant in Green Bay. Get used to it. Starks is the better fantasy option as he plays the majority of the passing downs.

*The Colts are working rookie Delone Carter more into the mix. Indy isn't going to be nearly as pass happy without Peyton Manning and Carter offers hope of sustaining a consistent rushing attack. Joseph Addai is still the RB to consider for fantasy purposes, but Carter is coming up quick.


Wide Receivers

*-Miles Austin is expected to miss the next 2 games after aggravating his hamstring injury. Austin had a career type game but now it looks like he'll be out until Dallas returns from their bye in week 6. Kevin Ogletree steps into his place as a starter opposite Dez Bryant, who is expected to be able to play this week after missing Sunday's game with a quad injury. Jesse Holley and Dwayne Harris will battle it out for the 3rd and 4th WR spots, and Dallas is expected to sign Laurent Robinson to give them some depth.

*-Hakeem Nicks made it thru last night's game without aggravating his knee injury. He should be good for week 3. However, teammate Mario Manningham suffered a concussion and he'll have to pass tests this week to be cleared to practice and play.  The Giants other WR, Domenik Hixon injured his knee last night and his status for week 3 is unknown.

*-Buffalo's Steve Johnson aggravated his groin injury week 2 and he's likely to miss practice time this week. He'll likely play week 3, but I'll be keeping track of his progress throughout the week to be sure. Another Bills WR, Roscoe Parrish, suffered an ankle injury and he is expected to miss several weeks. This opens the door for David Nelson to become more involved in the offense and after a solid showing week 2, Nelson is worth acquiring on fantasy rosters.

*-Philadelphia's DeSean Jackson suffered a wrist injury Sunday night but it's believed to be minor and not something for fantasy owners to be concerned about.

*-Denver's Eddie Royal suffered a groin injury and will miss 2-4 weeks. Eric Decker moves into the starting spot and is likely to remain there even when Royal returns. I told you about Decker last week and while you can't expect him to have great numbers every week, he's worth the add if he's still available on your free agent wire. Brandon Lloyd is expected back this week for Denver and barring any setbacks in practice will be okay to start week 3.

*-Cincinnati's Jordan Shipley tore an ACL and he is gone for the remainder of the season. Andre Caldwell steps into his role as the Bengals 3rd WR, but he's unlikely to have any fantasy relevance.

*-San Diego's Malcom Floyd suffered a groin injury week 2 and was unable to finish the game. There's been no word about how severe it is, so for right now his status for week 3 is unknown. If Floyd can't play, it's expected that Patrick Crayton is ready to return from his ankle injury and would start if necessary. If we knew for sure about Floyd's status, I'd be more sure about recommending Crayton as a potential add this week.

*-No word yet on whether Oakland will have its normal top 3 WR's back this week or not. Jacoby Ford has a hamstring injury, Louis Murphy a groin injury, and Darrius Heyward-Bey a knee injury. That opened the door for rookie Denarius Moore to get a start week 2 and he responded with a huge game. Even when these guys get healthy, expect Moore to still be prominently figured into the passing game. Moore is worth the pickup and stash for WR needy teams.

*-The 49ers expect to have Michael Crabtree back week 3. He missed week 2 with a foot injury. I can't say I recommend Crabtree for starting lineups, but at least you should be able to consider him if necessary. Braylon Edwards is day to day with a minor knee sprain and it's unknown if he'll be able to play thru it week 3 or not.
 

Tight Ends

*The Patriots will be without Aaron Hernandez for at least 2 weeks, and some reports say it could be as many as 6. Hernandez suffered a sprained MCL.

*Detroit's Brandon Pettigrew has a minor shoulder injury but he is expected to be okay for week 3.

*-Denver's Julius Thomas suffered a high ankle sprain and will miss the next 4-6 weeks. Thomas has sleeper potential in dynasty leagues but is worthless in re-draft leagues.

*-Oakland's Kevin Boss said he could have played week 2 despite not being fully recovered from his own knee sprain. That bodes well for his chances of making his season debut week 3.

*-Brent Celek of the Eagles suffered a lower back strain week 2 but he should be fine to ignore again in week 3.

*-Washington's Chris Cooley continues to disappoint while teammate Fred Davis continues to excel. Davis is the fantasy TE to own from the Redskins.

*-Those wondering what happened to San Diego's Antonio Gates can breathe easy. He wasn't injured week 2 despite being held without a catch. The Patriots just game planned to completely take him out of the game. Gates will bounce back strong.
 

Kickers

*-No word on whether the misdemeanor battery and false imprisonment charges leveled last week against Oakland's Sebastian Janikowski should have fantasy owners worried. Court proceedings usually get put off until after the season is over though so for now, Sea-bass owners should be okay. But be vigilant as you never know.

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