Fantasy Injuries with Stephania Bell
Welcome to SportsNation! On Tuesday, fantasy injury expert Stephania Bell will stop by to chat all things injury related. If you have a question on any athletes' sprains, breaks, tears, any injury related question, ask Stephania!
Bell is a physical therapist who is a board-certified orthopedic clinical specialist as well as being a certified strength and conditioning specialist. She is a clinician, author and teacher with extensive experience in sports medicine. An avid fantasy player, Bell spent time at Rotowire.com and on XM Radio's fantasy sports show before joining ESPN.
Bell earned her undergraduate degree from Princeton and her Master's in physical therapy from the University of Miami. A native of San Francisco, Bell roots shamelessly for the 49ers and Giants.
Send your questions now and join Bell Tuesday at 3 p.m. ET!
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Stephania Bell (3:01 PM)
Greetings all: Welcome to the Tuesday chat. Thanks for coming!
David (San Antonio)
It looks like A. Peterson will play this week. I'm going against Charles and Bush for the championship, can I trust A. Peterson to get his normal reps? My other RB are Lacy and Stacy, so not sure if it's worth just assuming he won't.
Stephania Bell (3:03 PM)
David: I would say to plan on him getting his normal reps. Granted, there's always the unknown but judging from how well he was doing last week, after holding him out, I think they expect the normal AP.
Victor Cruz - drop him for rest of season? Hasn't done much anyhow
Stephania Bell (3:03 PM)
Bob: I would. Sounds like there's a chance he may not play again this season between the two injuries.
Kent (Little Rock, AR)
Welker, Ben Tate, or Vereen at Flex. Just tell me not to play Welker or Tate because of injury or whatever so I don't have to think any more this year.
Stephania Bell (3:06 PM)
Kent: OK. I can just tell you what you want to hear! I love the honesty. I am legitimately concerned about Tate. Ribs clearly worsened and he needed a follow up scan. Sounds like he might not play. Welker was not practicing Monday (not sure what status is today) but it's not a given that he plays. Only one we're sure about is Vereen.
Hi Stephania! Great advice all year! What are the chances Rodgers plays this week? If he is cleared to play would you start him?
Stephania Bell (3:07 PM)
Ken: Thank you! We'll know more after he sees the doc Weds. Clearly this is a medical decision. Now that he's got more practice under his belt, if they give him the medical green light, he goes. And yes, I'd probably start him.
I am a Jordy Nelson owner and this past week we finally had a good game out of him since Rodgers went down. With Green Bay still able to win the division do you believe or feel that he will be back this week and if so does that boost Nelson?
Stephania Bell (3:08 PM)
Yes, boosts Nelson if Rodgers back.
What do you make of Zac Stacy's soreness? Does a sore Stacy still start over Gore?
Stephania Bell (3:10 PM)
Nick: Think this sore hip is probably more sore initially (the after-the-game-ends pain that increases) but encouraged by his ability to play through it. Not sure about over Gore. I really like Gore this week. MNF, last game at Candlestick, vs Atlanta. Think it's a good night for him.
Steph - Have you heard anything about Cam Newton's toe recently? Any limitations this weekend?
Stephania Bell (3:11 PM)
Alex: Just what Ron Rivera shared. This is not a turf toe injury. In fact, they really didn't make much out of it. He played the entire second half. Don't expect any limitations.
Scott (Philpot, KY)
Stephania playing in my first fantasy superbowl in a tough match up so every point counts, is Pitta ok he didn't play much last night should I be worried and get D Walker? Also who do you trust more D Thomas who stunk last week or Edelman when you never know what the Patriots are going to do , see Shane Vereen? Happy Hoildays
Stephania Bell (3:13 PM)
Scott: First, big congratulations! I think Pitta is fine but you're going to see the ups and downs, especially with the inconsistency of the Ravens offense. I do like Walker and his matchup this week though, even with Jags offense performing pretty well of late. Definitely trust Edelman more. And happy holidays to you!
Martin (New York, NY)
It will be 7 weeks from the date of the injury for Rodgers. How much do you worry about him playing, assuming he's cleared?
Stephania Bell (3:14 PM)
Martin: Not much, given the conservative approach thus far. If they release him to play, they're pretty comfortable with him taking hits. So I would be too.
Matt (Los Angeles)
Hi Stephania! Fellow sports PT here. Do we have any more specific information on AP's foot injury? We heard he was close to going this week, but ended up sitting out (which is fine with me) but I have him and am in my championship game. Wondering if he's gonna be able to help me out. Thanks for your work. I'm envious!
Stephania Bell (3:16 PM)
Matt: Welcome, fellow PT! All we heard was midfoot sprain which, as you know, can be a huge spectrum. And then on top of it, he's AP. So I judge hium by his functionality. Since he was already running Friday, I'm feeling pretty good about what he can do Sunday. And, thanks!
What's the latest on Cobb? Any chance he plays this week?
Stephania Bell (3:17 PM)
Nate: Actually, yes! There appears to be a chance. Check out my colleague Rob Demovsky's post on the topic on the NFL Nation tab on ESPN.com. Cobb has had a couple good workouts and it appears he might be cleared to return this week.
Mike (Green Bay)
Ok Stephania, I really need MJD to be able to go in my flex this week or I have to grab Todman before my opponent (we only get 1 transaction a week so I don't want to use it on him if I don't have to), any update on his status?
Stephania Bell (3:18 PM)
Mike: Not sure when you need to pick him up but the soonest we'll hear anything on MJD is Weds when he's re-evaluated. Even then, I'm not thinking it will be definitive. Could end up being a split between the two this weekend which helps no one.
DS (Albany, NY)
Disappointed T Rich owner here that got lucky with him last week. Any chance D. Brown's injury will give Richardson back his starting role again this weekend?
Stephania Bell (3:19 PM)
DS: It's possible. He's dealing with a stinger and all they'll say so far is that he's day-to-day. Meaning we won't likely get a hint until later in the week...
Heather S. (Macon,Ga.)
Hey Stephania! Any negative reports after week 15 on Lacy or Bush? In a standard 10 which 2 would you use this week: Stacy,Lacy,Bush,Gore ?
Stephania Bell (3:22 PM)
Heather: Nothing negative to report on Lacy! He is fun to watch, clearly a very tough kid. Bush had a couple moments last night where he looked uncomfortable. Left the game briefly where they thought he had a setback with his calf but came back in and didn't seem especially limited. I love Stacy but he's definitely hurting a bit this week. After everything great I said about Gore a few minutes ago, I'm reminded that I saw him limping off the field Sunday after someone landed on his foot. I'm not making this call until later in the week but I'm probably going Gore. Lacy for sure. The other one I wait to see who looks the best late in the week.
Bob (Moraga, CA)
Is it safe to drop Cecil Shorts? I saw the note that they are putting him on IR, but didn't see a confirmation that it happened yet.
Stephania Bell (3:23 PM)
Bob: Yes. They placed him on IR today.
Ho, Ho, Ho I made it to the show, Happy Holidays Stephania, please help me choose the right flex this week, I need 2 out of Garcon, J. Thomas and Leveon Bell, please pick the winning two
Stephania Bell (3:24 PM)
Jason: The winning two, hmmm... J Thomas is one. After the egg Denver laid last week, that's not happening twice. Like his upside the most. Probably Bell. Better chance of getting in the end zone.
Earl (Charlotte, NC)
Hi Stephania. What exactly is a hip pointer? Have the Browns Def., but not sure I want to use them if Haden is out.
Stephania Bell (3:27 PM)
Earl: It's a bruise directly over the front of the hip. Sensitive area where some key muscles attach. If there's significant bruising and bleeding, not only is it painful, it makes it difficult to contract the muscles which attach there. Can range in severity but can be very, very limiting. The way Haden sounded intially, wasn't very encouraging. Literally could not say whether he thought he'd be able to play.
Vernon Davis (SF)
I really hit the wall hard. Am I feeling okay?
Stephania Bell (3:28 PM)
No kidding. Why did you do that?
Ryan (New York)
What do you think about picking up Kirk Cousins to play over Matt Ryan? Not sold on Cousins but come on.. its Dallas
Stephania Bell (3:29 PM)
Ryan: Not necessarily a bad idea. I had Matt Ryan in one league. He was not good quite often this year. And this week he travels to SF who needs to win.
Jared (Nort' Dakota)
You mention a likelihood for Cobb to return. Are you nervous about his usage? How do you compare him with Roddy White?
Stephania Bell (3:32 PM)
Jared: Especially given the long layoff, hard for me to value over a flex. Even then, I'd need to know what my choices were. Roddy White is in the system with Ryan and they come to SF. Not more than a WR3 for me.
DS (Albany, NY)
Is McGahee's concussion going to keep him out this week? Would that be enough to pick up Edwin Baker as a Flex option against NYJ?
Stephania Bell (3:33 PM)
DS: SOunds like he thinks he'll play. (McGahee)
Calvin (North Dakota)
D. Walker over Gates this week, correct?
Stephania Bell (3:34 PM)
Calvin: Calvin: Correct. I don't hate Gates at home vs Oakland but I like Walker better.
Bounced (out of the championship)
With no AP or Gronk, and with miserable production from Morris and Vareen, I'm bounced down to the consolation round (after an 11-2 regular season!). Planning to start Lacy, Stacy and L. Bell as RB, but who do I use for FLEX? AP (if he's healthy), Vereen (fool me once....) Edelman (don't want to chase points) or risk another Redskins/Morris debacle? Thanks for the insight this season: I would never have gotten to 11-2 without you and the other ESPN experts.
Stephania Bell (3:35 PM)
Bounced: AP. Not close. Loves to prove things. Like that he's healthy this week.
Jamal (Baton Rouge)
If cobb is active for this week would you play him or is he a wait and see canidate. I'm in the semis this week could use him in flex over lamar miller........btw wont hold you going to princeton against you :) Columbia Grad Roar Lion Roar
Stephania Bell (3:38 PM)
Jamal: I forgive you the Columbia association, just as I forgave my colleague Marcellus Wiley. If Cobb is active AND Rodgers plays, I'd choose him over Miller. Unless Thomas is out (and he hasn't practiced yet). Then with the matchup vs Buffalo, if it's just Miller I'd probably choose him.
DS (Albany, NY)
Not really an injury question per-se but do you get the sense Marrone is going to keep Stevie Johnson out this weekend based on his latest comments?
Stephania Bell (3:39 PM)
DS: Think he's keeping options open to take any pressure off Stevie. But if he wants to play and seems focused in, think he'll play.
I saw the stats and he helped me earn the win, but how is Crabtree looking to you? Thinking he might be able to put up a bigger game against Atlanta?
Stephania Bell (3:40 PM)
Chris: Better than I expected actually coming off the type of injury he is. Not sure I'd expect a huge bump in production but I think he's been pretty consistent in terms of how he's moving, which only gets better with reps.
Ah my finger! (06010)
Who has a better shot at starting week 16- Todman or Dennis Johnson ( MJD and Tate hurting,,,,)
Stephania Bell (3:42 PM)
hahaha...think it's about equal right now. Just too early in the week to tell.
Is Reuben Randle a decent flex with Cruz out? I got MJD and Anquan (also have Crabtree but starting him at WR3) I could throw in there as well.
Stephania Bell (3:43 PM)
Ric: Yes, think Randle steps up in value with no Cruz. Think he likely outproduces MJD, even if MJD is active.
PPR - Vereen vs Ravens or Gore vs Falcons?
Stephania Bell (3:44 PM)
JR: For ppr, Vereen.
Brian (Nash Vegas)
Our league plays through Week 17. Would you drop MJD and pick up Todman for the remainder of the year?
Stephania Bell (3:45 PM)
Brian: Not sure Todman is great value. If MJD plays both games, Todman may not get to do a ton. Really rolling the dice on how healthy MJD is or isn't. And he's going to try to play.
Stephania, I join in the chat every week and love your advice! No injury question this week, just wondering if I should go Rainey or V. Jax at my flex and A. Smith or A. Luck at QB. Your decision will dictate my championship game as I'm too lazy to make this decision alone!!!
Stephania Bell (3:47 PM)
Jeremiah: Thank you for being a regular attendee! I like Rainey and Smith. You should be the one deciding your lineup though, for the championship! Good luck!!
Have you heard anything more about Larry Fitzgerald's status? I'm disastrously thin at WR and would have to play Harry Douglas (who's been awful the last 4 weeks) if he sits. Should I look to the waiver wire for someone with more upside (Cordarrelle Paterson?) if Fitz can't go?
Stephania Bell (3:49 PM)
Matt: For sure go get Patterson if he's out there. Fitzgerald sounds very upbeat, indicated he's passed his ImPACT tests. Sounds like the exercise progression and clearance from the neurologist is next. Always comes down to last day but things appear positive.
Thanks for all the advice this year - it helps! If Cobb plays Sunday does that make you want to bench Boykin? It seems he would be the unlucky WR there.
Stephania Bell (3:49 PM)
Ed: You're welcome. And, I'd agree.
Welker's done some media, seems like that would bode well for a return. Thoughts?
Stephania Bell (3:50 PM)
Nick: My thoughts exactly. Doesn't eliminate the requirement to pass all the graded exercise tests but they wouldn't let him do interviews if he was still experiencing symptoms.
Earlier you said you might take the chance of Cousins over Ryan. With the playoffs on the line for the Cowboys, does Romo have a great game, or would you chance starting Cousins over Romo?
Stephania Bell (3:50 PM)
Jim: I'd still go Romo there. By and large, he's still been a consistently productive fantasy QB, even if the real games have been problematic.
With AP probably coming back against a tough CIN D, should I really consider giving him the start over LeVeon, Lacy and Mathews? All of them are hot right now and have decent matchups this week. Of course AP could go off, but isn't the possibility of him aggravating the injury or just being ineffective (13 yds on 7 carries last week) enough to give one of the other very capable RB on my roster the start? All of my other RB's teams are playing for playoff spots as well, and the possibility of being benched to avoid injury only exists with Peterson. Thanks!
Stephania Bell (3:55 PM)
Joe: It sounds like you are making your own case. It's hard to disagree with your logic. It's just that it's AP. Logic usually does not apply. Yes, injury risk but I think it's low given how well he was doing last Friday. For me, I just couldn't bench AP. But you have to be comfortable with the team you put out there and your rationale is legit. I do not think AP gets "benched" for injury. He either plays and is fine or, heaven forbid, something happens to set him back.
Help, the Lions broke my heart.
Stephania Bell (3:55 PM)
Doug: So sorry. There's really no good response.
Ryan (Tampa Bay)
Any update on Doug Martin's recovery?
Stephania Bell (3:56 PM)
Ryan: Nothing yet. It' so early in the process, I'm sure we won't hear much until closer to OTAs.
Stephania, will you be doing a chat next week for us 17 week fantasy leagues? And Vereen, Garcon or CJ2K flex??
Stephania Bell (3:57 PM)
William: I'm planning on it, barring a setback :)And I have to go Vereen.
Stephania Bell (3:59 PM)
OK everyone - I have to exit the room and head to my next obligation. GOOD LUCK in your fantasy playoffs/championships. It's a long season. Very impressed by all who are still in it.
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