Fantasy Injuries with Stephania Bell
Welcome to SportsNation! On Friday morning, fantasy injury expert Stephania Bell will stop by to discuss all things injury related. If you have a question on any athletes' sprains, breaks, tears, any injury related question, ask Stephania!
Send your questions now and join Bell Friday at 11 a.m. ET!
Need an in-depth answer to your question? Want your roster or trade offers reviewed? Get a personalized response from an ESPN expert with The Answer Guys. All questions answered within 24 hours, guaranteed. Ask your question .
More Fantasy: Fantasy Home Page
Stephania Bell (11:06 AM)
Hi gang: Happy Friday! Sorry for the delay. Was taping our new Fantasy Football Now Friday edition which will post later today. Hopefully you'll check it out. Now let's get to your questions!
Jack (the Beanstalk)
Love your articles. Do you like Antonio Brown or Mike Wallace better this week in a non ppr league. Thanks
Stephania Bell (11:07 AM)
Thanks Jack. Like Brown this week specifically. Has had the benefit of working the rapport with Ben while Wallace was out.
Chris Ellis (Los Angeles)
Any updates with Ryan Matthews? What are the chances you think he plays Monday? Thanks!
Stephania Bell (11:08 AM)
Chris: Still no contact in practice even though he's doing individual workouts. Norv Turner says he "loves the attitude" Mathews has had in his approach to the injury but he would need reps going into game. Do not expect him to play and with Monday night game, you're not waiting.
brandon (memphis, tn)
what's the news on foster's injury?
Stephania Bell (11:09 AM)
Brandon: Just some soreness in his knee which had the Texans limit him in practice. He went in to get some treatment but Kubial said he did not think it was serious and expected him to play. Does not sound like a big deal.
Bill (Athens, GA)
What's the word on the Steelers' backfield mess? If you're looking beyond week 1, who is your pick to get healthy and be effective?
Stephania Bell (11:12 AM)
Bill: It is a mess. This week looks like Jonathan Dwyer could be the surprise back. He is healthiest right now. Redman has hip and ankle issues which will likely limit him this week. Mendenhall back in practice but still limited and probably doesn't see the field. Going forward, the reports on Mendenhall have been so positive that I think he'll get his gig back but I wouldn't mind hanging on to Dwyer if I had him.
Regarding Ryan Mathews, is it definite that he will be back by week 2, or is there a chance that he is out longer than initially expected?
Stephania Bell (11:13 AM)
Dan: Not definite. He needs to be medically cleared for contact to even return to full practices so until that happens, no definitive return date.
Will the Foster injury limit his touches? I am starting B. Tate and would love to see a 50/50 split
Stephania Bell (11:14 AM)
Dave: No indication he'll play limited yet but I still expect Tate to get his fair share of work.
Best wishes to Brandon McCarthy. No one seems to want to say he's done for the season, but he's absolutely done for the season, right? Is brain surgery something you can completely recover from in a few weeks?
Stephania Bell (11:15 AM)
Jon: Yes, all thoughts are with him and his family. And yes, he's done for the season. He will need time for the brain to recover and for the skull fracture to heal but the good news is that since it was handled so well and so promptly, his outlook is excellent.
Stevie Johnson.... do you have the same faith in his groin as he seems to have?
Stephania Bell (11:17 AM)
James: Yes. Normal to have soreness as working through the recovery from this type of thing. Remember last year he played through the injury when he had the tear in the muscle, now it's repaired. Expect him to be fine.
Can a player be effective playing through back spasms? What's the limitation there? (Obviously have Lynch in mind here...)
Stephania Bell (11:18 AM)
Greg: No, not if they're happening while trying to play. That's why he hadn't practiced in over 2 weeks until he returned yesterday to limited work. Carroll has said likely gametime decision...and this is the kind of thing that could flare up right before the game. Then again, he could feel fine Sunday and perform as usual. Risky.
I saw news this morning that Jacquizz Rodgers will be splitting carries with Michael Turner. Taking Turner's age into consideration, is this probably going to be the situation all season?
Stephania Bell (11:20 AM)
Steve: Haven't seen that item yet but wouldn't surprise me. The hints throughout the preseason have been that a split workload would be in order - whether that was 50-50 or something else is unclear. But it will likely stay a split.
Alex (Palm Harbor)
It's gotta come up in this chat, above all other chats. What's your take on AP?
Stephania Bell (11:22 AM)
Alex: Clearly very close to ready but he will continue to be eased back in. Vikings expect to decide by tonight or tomorrow whether or not he'll play. I think he will suit up but that his touches will be limited (team has already said they have a set number of plays in mind). Gerhart gets more work this week.
Hi Stephania, Any idea why the Dodgers haven't put Kenley Jansen on the 15 day DL if they know he won't be back before the 18th?
Stephania Bell (11:23 AM)
Kevin: Now with expanded rosters in September they don't need to use DL.
Brittany W. (Westerville, Ohio)
Hi stephania!! 1st time chatter..... Is Kenny Britt 100% back?? and do you expect WR1 ,WR2,WR3 status from him this year?
Stephania Bell (11:26 AM)
Brittany: Welcome!! He's not 100% yet. Obviously out this week due to the suspension. Will be interesting to see what he rates on injury report next week. He had not yet resumed contact prior to this week. Makes me nervous, coming off 3 knee surgeries, history of hamstring injuries. He will need to prove to me he can stay healthy before I invest. I think he has WR1 talent but don't see him as more than WR2 and that's down the line, not out of the gate.
Stephania! you tweet my buddy @marknetti all the time and I'm jealous! Everything I've heard on Jamal Charles has been that's he's "back" - any reason to think otherwise?
Stephania Bell (11:28 AM)
Sean: And now I'm chatting with you...Yes, I expect Charles to be strong right away as he's had the benefit of regular camp and preseason action. Now I'm not sure he delivers the numbers he was expected to deliver last year as he's still progressing back from the ACL. But I think he should be solid.
Mike (Albany, NY)
An ankle injury for Justin Blackmon popped up on Wednesday. Anything to worry about?
Stephania Bell (11:29 AM)
Mike: Back in full practice Thursday so it would appear that there is no worry there.
Michael Sutanto (Kansas City)
Hi Stephania. I was wondering if there should be any concern with Darren Sproles' knee.
Stephania Bell (11:30 AM)
Hi Michael: It doesn't seem that way. The limited practices late in the year probably as much a precaution as anything else. He's not on the injury report now.
Hey Stephania, happy Friday! What are your thoughts on how much work we can expect Trent Richardson to receive Sunday? I stole him in a few leagues and am hoping that I can start reaping the rewards this week! As always, thanks for all of the fantastic advice!
Stephania Bell (11:32 AM)
Wes: Thank you! And I would be cautious about Richardson this week. I expect he plays (starts even) but he is still a rookie coming off of two knee surgeries with limited practices, facing the Eagles. I don't think they throw him to the wolves this week. They haven't indicated how much they will limit him but they have hinted at controlling his work so...have to temper your expectations early.
In regards to Peyton Manning....is he fragile or will he be able to take hits? I keep hearing one big hit and he's done. Obviously a neck injury is pretty serious but should i worry as much as i am right now?
Stephania Bell (11:34 AM)
Anthony: My thoughts on this are well established. If you go to the website you can see my longer explanation and rationale as to why I think this is not a valid argument. But clearly it still is an argument that is floating around. Don't be worried. He is only as at much risk as any other QB who steps on the field on Sundays.
Afternoon Stephania - Its kind of scary for me but im starting Kevin Smith in a few leagues and id like to hear that his ankle is ok and will make it through the WHOLE game in a nice matchup. Can you tell me this please?
Stephania Bell (11:37 AM)
Goshenjohn: If I could make predictions like that I would be in Vegas, not Bristol. No secret that the ankle has been an ongoing issue for Smith and that he has been challenged by injuries throughout his career.
You think Jonathan Stewart will suit up on Sunday? I'm debating whether to start DWill or Gerhart at the flex. Thanks!
Stephania Bell (11:38 AM)
Anthony: I think he will but it has not been officially determined yet. My reasoning? Rivera says he has made good progress, Carolina has done a great job at managing his practice vs playing time in the past and he has only missed two games in his career...
Please give me some good news pertaining to Steve Smith's foot..
Stephania Bell (11:39 AM)
Chris: Fully practicing. Infection no longer an issue.
Dustin Keller, any updates? I don't want to drop one of my bench players to pick-up another TE (we only have 6 bench spots in my league) and I am excited about Keller this year.
Stephania Bell (11:41 AM)
Hey Bears: They sure are making it sound like he'll play but there will be questions. The plan is for him to not test it at full speed until he has to, sometimes that's when things go south. We may not know how healthy he really is until we see what he can do in the game.
Regarding Payton Manning, I am going to disagree with you and say that he is at more risk than most of the qb's out there. Although he did look healthy and accurate in preseason, he does risk the chance of not being able to walk again. If he gets hit a certain way.
Stephania Bell (11:43 AM)
Craig: Anyone is at that risk if they get hit a certain way. The evidence just doesn't support the argument. We do know that after fusions, some folks will be more predisposed to having arthritic changes in their neck, but that would be the case with or without football. I understand why it makes people fearful but bone heals stronger than any other tissue in the body. His knee is at greater risk of serious injury than his neck at this point.
Jenny (The Block)
Do you think Denarious Moore plays? Wait it out or go with B Lafell?
Stephania Bell (11:45 AM)
Jenny: It's a gametime decision. Hate that on a Monday night. And he's said he doesn't want to play if he can't go all out. Hmmm. It's one of those where he could show up and have a great night - or he could be a scratch. I LOVE Rod Streater in Oakland (if he's available in your league), then you can wait and see about Moore. Or go with Lafell.
Ben (North Carolina)
Is Matt Schaub all the way back?
Stephania Bell (11:46 AM)
Ben: Yes. No issues with the foot at all in the preseason. He looks good.
How about some love for those of us in baseball playoffs? Can you explain more about the tendonitis in Jered Weaver's arm? Looks like he will miss his start this weekend. Haven't heard much more than that. Your thoughts on his injury/recovery?
Stephania Bell (11:49 AM)
Brad: Here you go. This is a bit unusual because it was not the typical result of overuse; this was brought on by being hit in the arm. So I suspect there is some inflammation near the rotator cuff attachment which needs to settle before they put him back out there. Don't think we see him until next week at the earliest.
dee (Virginia )
Any concerns with Andre Johnson?
Stephania Bell (11:50 AM)
Dee: General concerns, given the repetitive soft tissue injuries and his increasing age. But no immediate concerns for this week.
Why is everyone so low on Gore this year? Seems healthy and ready for 1 more big season. I like him over Turner.
Stephania Bell (11:52 AM)
Adam: I like him over Turner too. I think it's the fact he's getting older in RB years, has a lot of mileage on him and is low in the TD numbers. Still the leader of the Niners backfield and still the workhorse but probably not the guy at the goal line, at least not all the time.
Does Gates have any lingering effects on his foot or does he stay healthy?
Stephania Bell (11:54 AM)
Paul: Seems to be well past the pain of the plantar fascia tear. His history of foot/ankle/toe problems means he is not without risk but I think that risk is significantly less entering this year than in the past two years.
James (Campbell, CA)
Status/update of Sebastian Janikowski's injury. Thank you
Stephania Bell (11:54 AM)
James: Back in practice but on injury report (b/c of the groin). He fought through an injury last year. May not know how effective he is until we see him Monday night, but I expect he plays.
Ryan Williams health? Starter at some point this year?
Stephania Bell (11:56 AM)
Josh: Looked pretty good to me when I saw him this preseason. Showed the burst and quickness you're looking for following this type of injury. I think he will compete with Wells - and win - as the season goes along.
Do you think Jahvid Best will make a strong return by midway through the season?
Stephania Bell (11:57 AM)
Graham: No way to put a prediction on this one. the fact he was placed on PUP gives me great concern about his overall ability to return. Would not count on it. Not saying he won't be back but I am saying it's far from certain.
Should I be worried about Colston?
Stephania Bell (12:00 PM)
Jay: Don't think so. Didn't practice Weds but was back doing some work Thursday. Saints do not appear overly concerned. I expect a regular Colston performance unless there's some new late development today.
Stephania Bell (12:01 PM)
OK everyone - I have to leave the chat room. Thanks so much for joining. Remember Fantasy Football Now comes your way at 11 a.m. ET on Sunday for two full hours of getting you ready.I will start chatting Tuesday afternoons next week, usually after teams release any major injury news following the weekend (of course we hope everyone stays healthy). GOOD LUCK in WEEK 1!!!