Fantasy league injuries w/Stephania Bell
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Stephania Bell (11:03 AM)
Good morning Sports Nation! It's championship week for many of you (I actually find myself in a championship game in my league - my opponent had MJD last night so I am already down 16 - Boo)...and some of you are playing in order to play next week. Either way - plenty of injuries - compounded by the fact that teams are trying to preserve their key guys for the playoffs...so let's get chatting...
Ron (Kalamazoo, MI)
Stephania my championship rides on Frank Gore's status this week. What do you know? I need to hit it big with D. Foster off the bench.
Stephania Bell (11:08 AM)
Ron - You, Andy in Phoenix and Mike in Southbury - to name a few - all interested in Gore's status. Guess what? It's the most dreaded 3 words in fantasy football - game time decision. Gore rates his own chances as 50-50, which doesn't help us predict anything. The fact that he hasn't practiced all week is a bit of a concern. Also - the turf in St. Louis adds to the challenges for the ankle. SO I think he could just as easily sit out, especially with Foster's performance last week, but let's see if he practices today - and unfortunately, you may not find out until Sunday.
I got walloped yesterday by Wayne and Manning, so I need to be perfect from here on out. How is Forte's toe? Is he expected to be 100%? I have to sit one RB from Forte, D williams, SJax, and Thomas and am wondering if the toe should make me bench him.
Stephania Bell (11:11 AM)
Mike: It's a good question. The Bears shrugged it off after it initially happened, saying it was no big thing, and the ten days in between games gave them all the confidence in the world. At the start of this week, same confidence. Well now it's Friday - and Forte hasn't practiced - and big toe injuries are notoriously problematic - so now I'm getting a little concerned. Look -they could have decided to rest him until the last possible minute, hoping to minimize any chance of a setback in practice, but if he doesn't go today, then he becomes a likely GTD also. My advice? Pick up Adrian Peterson (the Chicago one, available in most leagues), if you need to save a spot for Monday night - and then you'll have a decent backup plan if you decide to wait.
What's going on with Anquan Boldin? At this point it sounds to me like he's not going to play this week.
Stephania Bell (11:15 AM)
Franklin: I would agree with you as to how it sounds. Apparently he has a sore left shoulder and has some swelling in it - as a result he has not practiced this week. This may account for some of his struggles recently. Whisenhunt basically came out and said that he was contemplating resting Boldin (and Arrington) since they already have a playoff lock and want these guys down the stretch. We may not get the official word until gametime but I would say it's leaning towards Boldin being out, and Breaston getting the start.
Derek (Minneapolis, MN)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I saw that Lynch has a shoulder injury?My concern is that, plus playing Denver if he doesn?t have a solid offense around him or they get down. I could start Thomas Jones instead, however he travels across the country to SEA where it?s always tough for a team to play. Your thoughts on Lynch vs. and easy DEN defense or Jones who could run wild if the JETS get up? Thanks and happy holidays!
Stephania Bell (11:17 AM)
Derek: Not a bad choice to have. As far as Lynch goes, he apparently has a shoulder bruise only and Jauron says he's optimistic that Lynch plays. THat being said, I think the Jets will run the heck out of the ball against Seattle, and I like Jones. That would be my play - and happy holidays to you too.
What is the status for A.P.? Start him or look for another RB. Playing for the league super bowl this week.
Stephania Bell (11:19 AM)
James - Assuming you're talking about the All-Day AP. He says the ankle thing is just "wear and tear" , nothing serious - and he fully expects to play. Playoff implications, and he wants to get the rushing title. Now if they get up, Vikings may rotate him and Taylor, but you can't find another RB over Peterson this week.
Matt (Savannah, GA)
Happy Holidays Stephania. Any reason to be concerned about Kevin Smith being held out of practice?
Stephania Bell (11:20 AM)
Matt: No - I don't think so. This has been the m.o. in Detroit over the last few weeks since Smith has been repeatedly banged up. But he hasn't missed a game and continues to perform well, despite who he plays for.
Fernando (Madrid, Esp)
Hello Stephania, do you think it's a bad idea to start three saints against the Lions since Bush is out? I'm starting Brees, Moore, and Thomas. Also, what D do you like better Miami @ KC or Chicago at home against the Packers?
Stephania Bell (11:22 AM)
Fernando: Feliz Navidad - showing my international skills...I like Brees, I love Thomas this week, I'm so-so on Moore. And the Chicago D on Monday night at home.
Hey Stephania...I'm going to Denver for Sunday's game and am a sad sad Bills fan. Do I have to sit through JP Losman finding a way to lose it, or will Trent Edwards be back?
Stephania Bell (11:24 AM)
Brad: You must be sad. Wow - how far they have fallen. Edwards will be back this week, although he's not 100%, but that tells you how bad Losman is - in fact Losman is the #3 this week. So if Edwards doesn't have to run aorund a ton he should be OK, but I don't expect him to be particularly mobile and perhaps a little rusty.
Who is going to be at the helm this week. Daunte Culpepper or Dan Orlovsky?
Stephania Bell (11:25 AM)
Steiny: You have asked just about every question possible - impressive. And on the off chance that anyone had Culpepper on their fantasy team, they should not expect him to play. Looks like Orlovsky gets the start.
Mike (York, PA)
Stephania...your thoughts on the Barber situation? Faced with the difficult matchup, safer to start Choice? Or look at a Benson for my flex?
Stephania Bell (11:29 AM)
Mike: Tough call here. Barber did not practice Weds or THurs after supposedly aggravating his toe last week. A lot of times I say wait to see what the guy does on Friday, but they play Saturday night so Thursday was the last full workout and Friday becomes the walk through day. Meaning Barber will be called a GTD and will go in without practicing. I have to suspect that he sits. Choice has shown he can run against a tough D, which he certainly will face - but I think he's got a respectable chacne- and a chance to put up as many points as Benson, with more upside. Even if Barber starts, which I think is a mighty big if this week, I think Choice gets plenty of action.
Your friend from the U: Coral Gables, FL
Injuries are killing my fantasy championship! What's up wit Westbrook? My other choices at rb are grant, cj, dunn and desean foster Also with Boldin out, who do you like out of royal, evans, bowe and bess to replace him? Thanks!
Stephania Bell (11:31 AM)
Let's go Emerald-Bowl bound 'Canes... Westbrook is doing the usual: miss some practice, expect to play. Every game is critical for the Eagles so he will play and I think he comes up big. I like him better than all of your other choices. And I guess I like Bowe or Royal, with the edge maybe to Royal.
Derrick Mason safe to play this week? He's listed as Questionable (as always), but he also almost always plays. I need him with Boldin probably out.
Stephania Bell (11:33 AM)
Rob: I think it's another week of the same. They limit him in practice b/c of the shoulder so he has to be on the injury report, but he will play.
Stephania - Lovie says he just gave Forte and "extra day off" yesterday but is scheduled to practice today. Line-ups are due tomorrow, so start him and hope he goes, or plug in Chris Johnson who does not have that great of a match up? Thanks and Happy Holidays!!
Stephania Bell (11:37 AM)
Jimmy: Here's the thing. I would watch closely and see what he does today. I do think that he will be listed as questionable no matter what. THe big question is if he goes, how bad is the toe really? We saw that even though he came back into the game last week, he was not very effective. So - since we don't get the benefit of seeing him test it ahead of time, how do we know what to expect? It's a bit of a gamble. I agree that he probably goes - and I agree that I don't love Johnson's matchup - but if you have to set it tomorrow, you take a gamble on Forte.
Can you please explain teams injury reports work. How legit are they? I know they are forced to output one, but still I'm not convinced they're really accurate.
Stephania Bell (11:40 AM)
Nick: If a player takes limited reps in practice, then he has to be placed on the injury report. The designations represent the likelihood of him playing that week (Probable = virtually certain, Questionable = 50=50, Doubtful = unlikely to play). Teams only have to name a body part (i.e. leg) so they do not have to offer much detail. The reports are vague at best, but they offer some insight into what an athlete is able to do during the week. Also, by following trends of teams, we know that some teams really rarely play a guy who deosn't practice Friday for example. There's some level of interpretation required, but they're a start.
Big Jake (Baton Rouge)
Did Jacobs practice any on Thursday and is he suppose to practice Friday?
Stephania Bell (11:44 AM)
Jake: Jacobs did practice on a limited basis all week. He is expected to practice today and he has made it clear that he wants to be on the field. Unless someone official tells him he can't go, he says he'll play. He has issues with both knees, and he cannot be "100%" likely for the rest of the year, but that doesn't mean he can't perform. The big question is what happens in the course of a game. I expect he'll play (and probably start), but if he gets rolled up on from behind on that left knee, or if the field conditions are slippery, either could aggravate that left knee enough to sideline him early. It is anyone's guess as to how much time he'll actually see, and Ward is hampered a bit by his ankle himself.
Kevin (Houston, TX)
Stick with Bowe or go with Breaston if he starts????
Stephania Bell (11:45 AM)
Kevin: Breaston if he starts.
Happy Holidays Stephania!! How's Romo's back? I'm seriously considering starting Shaun Hill over him, I just hate sitting my studs in the playoffs! What say you?? Thanks!
Stephania Bell (11:47 AM)
CJ: Well, Romo says his back is feeling so much better. Of course he hasn't been abused for a few days so it has to be better by comparison. But he has to be just a wee bit scared about that Ravens D getting to him. With the amount he's been getting hit, I fear that he is one big hit from being removed from the game. I like Hill over Romo.
I got some good info from your replies so far for both my teams Stephania, but I still have 2 big defense questions with all the recent injuries: Tennessee or Tampa? & Pittsburgh or Baltimore?
Stephania Bell (11:51 AM)
Darren: Tennessee's defense took a huge hit with the loss of Haynesworth and Vanden Bosch this week. So I actually like Tampa over Tennessee this week. And Baltimore I think has more chances to score defensive points on sacks and turnovers. Their secondary has been getting somewhat healthier, my biggest concern on their side is the statis of safety Ed Reed who has been out of practice all week with a thigh injury.
Mornin' Stephania..is Housh's hand injury an issue i should worry about? It's between him and Evans for me in the super bowl, in this, my first FF season! Unreal.
Stephania Bell (11:53 AM)
Brad: Congrats on making it so far! Housh has been on the injury report with this hand before this week and it hasn't kept him from playing. It won't again this week - and I like Housh over Evans.
Happy Holidays Stephania!! Should I be trusting Brandon Jacobs' knee or should I go with Portis? Thank you!!!
Stephania Bell (11:55 AM)
Anthony: Tough call. The thing I don't like about Jacobs is all the uncertainty. Portis will play - and the Redskins (and Zorn) are looking for redemption. I don't think they find it but I think he uses Portis as much as possible to try to get there.
I've heard through somebody that Min. D-line is banged up. Is this true? How will that effect M. Turner's day?
Stephania Bell (11:59 AM)
Ken: Well, yes - Williams is out for a while with a fractured scapula (shoulder blade) and Jared Allen's knee has kept him out all week. I think Turner is a decent play, these deficiencies certainly don't hurt him.
I know you probably don't usually get O-line questions, but what's Jon Jansen's status looking like this weekend? I'd be a lot more likely to use Portis if his right tackle is healthy.
Stephania Bell (12:01 PM)
DGA: Not looking great. His knee has kept him out of practice all week and it's not looking great for him.
Stephania Bell (12:03 PM)
OK everyone - time for me to go. Thanks so much for coming to the chat. Great questions - as always. Unfortunately, fantasy playoffs and NFL playoffs interests are often at odds - so be sure to check the inactives before the game and make backup plans just in case. Don't forget the Cowboys and the Ravens are Saturday night - so be sure to set that lineup ahead of time. Good luck!!!!
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