News and Notes 9-21-11


*-Jacksonville has announced that rookie Blaine Gabbert will start week 3 over unimpressive Luke McCown. This move was foreseen after McCown's horrible performance week 2 and barring a complete meltdown by Gabbert is likely to be permanent the rest of the season.

*-While reports are positive about Michael Vick's chances of playing week 3 after he passed his initial concussion tests, he has yet to be cleared to play. Hopefully that comes down tomorrow and we all can feel good about having him in starting lineups. Vick did some light work on the side today, but Mike Kafka took most of the first team reps. Vince Young apparently is ready to resume practicing in full, but speculation is that if Vick can't play, Kafka would get the start. Vick owners either need to feel good about their current backup fantasy quarterbacks, or go get Kafka.

*-Tony Romo is expected to wear a flak jacket to protect his cracked rib and punctured lung injury. While there's still a chance he doesn't play Monday night, I think he will. But Romo owners counting on starting him would be wise to acquire Jon Kitna as insurance.

*-A few QB's were limited in practice today. Amongst them were Atlanta's Matt Ryan, Indianapolis's Kerry Collins, and Oakland's Jason Campbell. However each is expected to be just fine for week 3.

Running Backs

*-While it's still early in the week, it appears that the Texans will go with Ben Tate as their starting RB this week. Arian Foster didn't practice today. Foster may be able to play, but there's speculation the Texans may decide to hold him out of the game in hopes of getting his hamstring healed up.

*-Steven Jackson may not be ready to return this week after all. It was thought with him being a game time decision Monday night that he was close to being active, but reports now say the Rams are unsure if his injured quad will be healed enough for this week's game against the Ravens. Cadillac Williams would start again if Jackson can't go. Considering the poor matchup, I think it best to just leave any Rams RB on the bench this week.

*-Chris Johnson didn't practice today because of a rib injury. It's not believed to be serious though and he is currently fully expected to be ready to start week 3. It's a good bet he gets on track this week against a suspect Broncos run defense.

*-San Diego's Mike Tolbert didn't practice today because of a calf injury. While Tolbert is expected to be okay to play this week against Kansas City, with him nursing various injuries, it's a good bet he plays sparingly if the Chargers get a comfortable lead. Ryan Mathews is the better fantasy play of the two this week.

*-Knowshon Moreno returned to practice today and barring any setbacks he should be okay to play week 3. But he's clearly not 100% and it's a good bet Willis McGahee gets more playing time and better production this week.

*-The Reggie Bush excuses have begun. Bush says he was bothered by a groin injury week 2. He is fully expected to be fine for week 3 but with Daniel Thomas offering better size to handle a bigger workload and emerging as a factor, Bush's fantasy value is sinking.

*-Darren McFadden was limited in practice today but he'll be just fine for this week. Start him as you normally would even with a poor matchup against the Jets.

Wide Receivers

*-Kenny Britt was limited in practice today because of some hamstring tightness. While this is a bit concerning, as long as he returns to practice by Friday I would say he's fine for week 3. I expect the Titans will rest him tomorrow.

*-As expected, Buffalo's Steve Johnson sat out practice today because of his groin injury. I'm not too worried yet, even if he misses practice again tomorrow. But if he misses practice on Friday, I'd be concerned and would be thinking about other options this week.

*-While the Cowboys are hoping to have Dez Bryant back in action Monday night, there's a chance he may not be ready because of his quad injury. With Miles Austin already expected to miss the game too, if Bryant doesn't play the Cowboys starting WR's would likely be Kevin Ogletree and Jesse Holley.

*-Malcom Floyd is sounding unlikely to play for San Diego because of the groin injury he suffered week 2. Patrick Crayton is ready to return after missing the first two games with an ankle injury and would start in his place.

*-Brandon Lloyd practiced some today and barring any setbacks between now and the weekend should be able to start week 3 for Denver.

*-Braylon Edwards had knee surgery to repair some meniscus damage and he will be out several weeks. I really don't think there's any real reason to hold onto him and I recommend finding a suitable replacement for him on your fantasy rosters. Michael Crabtree is expected to play this week for San Francisco and will likely jump back into the starting lineup despite having a foot injury.

*-Houston expects to get Kevin Walter back this week despite him still being hobbled with a shoulder injury. Walter's likely to be limited in game action though and I wouldn't go rushing to grab him, or drop Jacoby Jones. Speaking of Jones, he did miss practice today with a minor knee injury but he's expected to be fine for this week. Although the return of Walter really hurts his fantasy upside.

*-While Pete Carroll says Sidney Rice is on track to play this week, I'm not holding my breath. Until we actually see Rice in game action, he shouldn't be anywhere near a starting lineup.

*-Oakland is likely to be without Louis Murphy and Jacoby Ford again this week. Darrius Heyward-Bey was limited in practice today and may be able to play, but he isn't worth rostering.

*-Mario Manningham didn't practice today and his status for week 3 is very questionable because of his concussion. He hasn't been ruled out yet, but I'd make sure to sit him this week. Teammate Domenik Hixon's minor knee injury turned out to be a torn ACL. His season is over and Hixon can be dropped in all formats. Victor Cruz will be given a second chance to lock down the 3rd WR role.

*-Chicago's Roy Williams practiced some today but whether he'll be able to play week 3 is uncertain. Even if he does play, he's best left on fantasy benches. So is Bears teammate Earl Bennett. Bennett has a chest injury and is sounding very questionable for week 3. Expect the Bears to use a lot of Johnny Knox, Devin Hester, and Dane Sanzenbacher.

*-Baltimore's Lee Evans didn't practice because of his lingering ankle injury. There are some reports that the Ravens may be considering shutting Evans down for a few games to let the ankle heal up, but nothing official has been decided yet. But really, Evans shouldn't be in your starting lineup plans anyway.

*-Just need to mention Detroit's Calvin Johnson didn't practice today because of his ankle injury. But this has become status quo for Megatron on Wednesday's and he is fully expected to be fine for week 3.

*-There were a few WR's who were limited in practice today but are expected to be fine for week 3. They include Atlanta's Roddy White, the Jets Santonio Holmes, and Cleveland's Mohamed Massaquoi.

Tight Ends

*-New reports out of San Diego are now saying Antonio Gates is having some pain in the same foot that had the injury that ended his 2010 season. Gates didn't practice today but should be okay for week 3. However, I will be paying close attention to this as this could be the beginning signs of something more serious.

*-Dallas Clark missed practice with a foot injury, but there's been no word about it being anything serious. For now, I expect Clark will be okay for week 3.

*-Jacksonville's Marcedes Lewis practiced in limited fashion today but there's no guarantee he'll play this week thru the calf injury that caused him to miss last week. Be sure to keep Lewis on fantasy benches.