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October 3, 7:13 AM ET
Fantasy league injuries w/Stephania Bell

Stephania Bell
  (11:02 AM)

Hi everyone and Happy Friday to you all: Who has an injured player on their fantasy roster? Just about everyone. So without further ado....

Ben (Los Angeles)

What do we think of Mcgahee for this weekend's game?

Stephania Bell
  (11:04 AM)

Well Ben: He calls himself day to day with the rib injury. He is dying to finish a game. He wants to play and pay the whole time but we won't knowe how that plays out eprhaps until gametime. He has practiced on a limited basis this week, but you know even if he does play they will continue the committee approach.

Anthony (Columbus, OH)

Starphania! Whats up with Big Ben this week? Jags are the 24th ranked pass d, do I start him?

Stephania Bell
  (11:07 AM)

Tough question ANthony: Look, the Steelers, I believe expect him to play. But I;m not sure they expect him to finish. He is still sore in the shoulder that was sprained at the beginning of the year. The hits he is taking are really adding to his problems. He practiced less this week than last, I think to allow him the opportunity to get ready for this week, but Tomlin has expressed lots of confidence in Leftwich, as in you might see him. I think Roethlisberger starts, but if he is harrassed significantly he may become ineffective and may not last.

Art (Orlando)

HEEEELP. I picked up Branch to replace the injured Boldin but i need to know what the chances of Boldin actually playing. Thanks

Stephania Bell
  (11:08 AM)

Art: How do you pronounce that version of "help"? Although the Cardinals have not ruled him out, make no mistake his injury is serious, despite the downplay. I mean he took a knock to the head and has a sinus fracture. I spoke with several orthopedic surgeons who deal with college and pro football players. They all said they fully expect him to sit out this week. So do I.

Brian (NC)

What's the deal with Bryant Johnson? He said he was OK last week, then puts up a bagel ... is he actually healthy this week?

Stephania Bell
  (11:09 AM)

Hi Brian: Right, didn't even catch a pass. But off the injury report this week. You have to think that the extra week helped him.

Tim (Towson)

Is Joey Galloway gonna play this week?

Stephania Bell
  (11:10 AM)

Tim: Really doubt it. Still not practicing.

Glenn (NJ)

Starphania, Just wondering if Tom Brady got his surgery done?

Stephania Bell
  (11:11 AM)

Glenn: I know he selected his surgeon. Have not heard whether he had the procedure yet.

Randy and Dwayne (Browns town)

Engram at 100% or wait to start him?

Stephania Bell
  (11:12 AM)

A twofer! OK Randy and Dwayne: Engram is likely 100% healed from the fracture based on the time frame alone. He feels like his conditioning was well maintained throughout. But the missed time always makes you a little rusty. It sounds as if he could play the whole game, although Holmgren was not totally optimistic about that early in the week. Friday practice reports should give a better clue, but I expect him to play and be in the majority of the game.

Boston, Ma.

How's Westbrook look? is he going to play or is his brother right?

Stephania Bell
  (11:14 AM)

Where's the name? Westbrook looks to me like a guy who is going to do everything he can to play. I, at this point, expect him to play. Friday always tells a lot. Everyone says he is moving better, the big issue for him is cutting. Would like to see some of that today. You have to wonder if his brother, who plays for the Redskins, is projecting wishful thinking.

Guy (Durham, NC)

I'm sure you'll get to him, but I'm sensing Aaron Rodgers will be a no go. While I'm here, anything on the "large" knee brace seen on Brandon Llyod earlier this week? Much appreciated!

Stephania Bell
  (11:15 AM)

Hi Guy: I will get to Rodgers - next. But Lloyd is wearing a big knee brace. We've heard just a "sprain" but sources of mine in Chicago say they're hearing he could miss 3-4 weeks, so plan accordingly.

Seth Dallas

How's Rodgers? and if he does not play what does that do to the value of Jennings and Driver?

Stephania Bell
  (11:18 AM)

Hi Seth: Rodgers is a big question mark. He is insisting he'll play but he hasn't done anything yet. McCarthy is big on Friday practice, so again, today tells a lot. His shoulder will still be sore, so I don't expect you see him at full strength anyway, but the Packers will want evidence that he can get the ball down the field before they decide to play him. RIght now there's no way of kowing since he literally has not thrown. I think the value of Jennings and Driver decreases somewhat, but Fitzpattrick has been taking snaps all week, and the matchup is favorable, so I don't think their value goes down the tubes. I still expect them to pass a lot, no matter who is under center.

Sean, Manchester, NH

Any estimate for how long Willie Parker will be out? I don't want to cut a good player to pick up Mewelde Moore if Parker is only going to miss this week.

Stephania Bell
  (11:21 AM)

Hi Sean: Lots of people asking about fast Willie, but it's really hard to make a reasonable projection when the team tells us nothing more than "knee sprain" ( we don't know which ligament, what grade - although we can assume not a complete tear since he's not done for the year) and they list him as week-to-week. THat being said, many sprains take at least 4 weeks. That would make the week after the bye a potential return date. But again, as he gets back to practice, if he's still feeling a lot of instability, you can tack on a few extra weeks (think Andre Johnson last year). So -you could be looking at another two to four.

Fernando (Pembroke Pines)

Any news on Kevin Curtis?

Stephania Bell
  (11:22 AM)

Fernando: Doing well in practice, but clearly not back to his original self - and he knows it. Not this week, maybe next week, but could even be after the bye.

JC, (Seattle, WA)

What's the word on Gage? He's listed as questionable with a knee injury. Will he play this week?

Stephania Bell
  (11:24 AM)

Hi JC: Conflicting reports. I'm hearing that some expect him to play,. but he's been in a brace and has not practiced. IfWatch reports today. If he does nothing, then assume out. If he's limited, they'll probably call him questionable and he'll be a gtd. Either way, not at full strength.

Josh, San Jose

Hi Stephania. Are there any lingering groin problems I should worry about for Steven Jackson? I just traded for him because I'm desperate at RB. Also, any news on Chris Perry's hamstring?

Stephania Bell
  (11:26 AM)

Hi Josh in the Bay Area (yay!): I think Jackson's performance last week answered my concerns - and now with a bye. I'm not worried now.

Matt (TX)

What do you think the chances are that Carson Palmer plays this week? And if he doesn't do you agree that the Dallas D has the potential for a big day?

Stephania Bell
  (11:30 AM)

Hi MAtt: I think in my haste I talked about Fitzpatrick when I was talking about ROdgers' questionable status in Green Bay. So in Green Bay, Matt Flynn would get the start. But my comment about Fitzpatrick taking all the first team snaps this week WAS TRUE in Cinci. Palmer has only thwon on the side and yesterday about 30 yards. He is going to try to increase his velocity today. He says he feels better and wants to play, but also is epxressing that there is concern about it becoming a bigger problem and that the medical staff will have a lot to say about his status. He's clearly not 100% even if he's better. At this point I think he might sit, but tough to make the call Friday before practice. And yes, Dallas D has potential for a big day, which I think they do anyway if Palmer plays and is not quite on his game.

Steven ( Akron)

Is D. Branch looking as good as Seattle reports? Will he play the full game?

Stephania Bell
  (11:32 AM)

Hi Steven: I think Seattle is very happy with how Branch looks, but it doesn't take away from the fact that he is still coming back from ACL reconstruction and needs to get that "game feel" back. I expect he'll get in the game, but not for a full game. His activity may be variable depending how he feels and how he looks when he's in.

wayne va bch

What's the latest on Dallas Clark? Is he healthy and will he become more of a target for Peyton? I need to drop one of my TEs and it's either Clark or Owen Daniels. Tks.

Stephania Bell
  (11:33 AM)

Wayne: Clark benefited from the bye week. He's been practicing and appears healthy. Yes, Manning wants to get him the ball more. WIth Saturday in and Ugoh likely to go, I think Clark could be in for a decent showing.

Jon (KC)

ROY WILLIAMS not practicing? With him coming off the BYE, I found that really odd. Can you comment on this, please? He's the last man standing for me at WR #2. Thank you!

Stephania Bell
  (11:36 AM)

HI Jon: Lots of Williams questions. He practiced Wednesday so this was a new thing. Haven't heard any specifics but he may have just tweaked it in practice the day before. He has been outspoken with his disappointment in the receiver sets, but I still think Johnson gets targeted more than him. THis latest thing just doesn't help him.

Mike (NJ)

Is this THE Starphania?? How's Ryan Grant's injury coming along? Should he finally be effective this week against a bad run D?

Stephania Bell
  (11:37 AM)

Hi Mike: Yes, the name has stuck... Grant should be healthy now, but he has not been able to get his running game going. Perhaps this is the week.

Chris (Texas)

Hi Stephania! Luv your chats! You mentioned earlier you expect Big Ben to start but possibly not finish. How will this affect Santonio? In your humble expert opinion, should I start Lance Moore instead? Thanks!

Stephania Bell
  (11:39 AM)

Chris: I like Lance Moore better here. Meachem still playing but Patten already out with a groin injury. And I think Holmes value is hurt a bit.

Kyle (Davie,FL)

How is Adrien Peterson's hamstring doing? will he be 100% against the Saints this Monday Night?

Stephania Bell
  (11:41 AM)

Kyle: AP is doing well - no longer on injury report and he gets an extra day with the Monday night game...

Jon (KC)

Follow-up question: What did Williams tweak? Thanks so much!

Stephania Bell
  (11:41 AM)

Sorry Jon - his knee - that's all we've got...

PICK ME PICK ME (BEANTOWN)

Hi Stephania, Great job as always, keep it up! Wes Welker was limited in practice Thursday with a groin injury and he's now on the injury report. Do you think he'll be good to go by this Sunday? Really need him against your 49ers...

Stephania Bell
  (11:43 AM)

OK - you're picked. Yes, you've got about as much as we do. It's the Patriots. You can often take a clue from Patriots Friday work though. Welker is tough and if this is minor (with him only being limited one day I'm assuming it is), I expect him to play. But my 49ers are pretty good against the pass....and it's not Brady throwing the ball.

Dave (Tampa)

Hi Stephania, Could you explain why Jason Taylor needed surgery on his calf? Thanks!

Stephania Bell
  (11:46 AM)

Hi Dave: Taylor reportedly was kicked in the calf which resulted in some bleeding. In the lower leg there is tissue, called fascia, surrounding various muscle groups. There's not much space. A collection of blood takes up space and starts putting pressure on the muscles, nerves and blood vessels within the fascia, just like a blood rpessure cuff. Taylor started feeling numbness in his foot, a sign that the compression was getting too severe. SO they cut the tissue to release the blood and take the rpessure off. Not pretty, but effective - and once the tissue heals, should be good as new.

Chris (TX)

Will Delhomme be affected by his injury this week? I'm seriously considering benching Big Ben for him. Also, do you see Maroney toting the rock more for NE this week, now that he appears to be healthy?

Stephania Bell
  (11:47 AM)

Hi CHris: I like the fact that Delhomme has been able to fully practice despite the thigh, so although he may not scramble at full speed, I think for his type of game he should be fine. Yes, I expect Maroney to get more carries, but I still like Sammy Morris.

Billy (NYC)

Any updates on when Shockey might return?

Stephania Bell
  (11:50 AM)

Hi Billy: They're awfully upbeat in New Orleans and seem to think it could be next week. This would surprise me - but it's not impossible. Unfortunately the true test comes as the activity intensity is increased. Remember with Kevin Curits there was lots of optimism in Philly that since he was ahead of schedule he'd return this week. And i was always skeptical. Well, as they increased his activity to return him to full practice he found out he wasn't quite able to do everything he needed to and is not expected to play this week. They're not necessarily identical situations, but again, I want to see what he does next week.

Tom (Chicago, IL)

Just FYI on your earlier comment about Rodgers backup -- isn't Flynn his backup? Fitzpatrick is Carson's back up. "but Fitzpattrick has been taking snaps all week, and the matchup is favorable, so I don't think their value goes down the tubes. I still expect them to pass a lot, no matter who is under center. "

Stephania Bell
  (11:51 AM)

Yes Tom, thanks - I fixed it in a later post about Palmer.

Adam (Naples,FL)

Good morning Stephania,big niners fan here, but i have a question about the the raiders. Do you see Run DMC being healthy after the bye week and still starting over Justin Fargas.

Stephania Bell
  (11:52 AM)

Hi Adam: Yay Niners - can you imagine if they win this weekend??? I think DMC will be better, but may not be perfect. The turf toe thing is nasty, also expect Fargas to potentially return meaning they can offload DMC. More of a time split there.

dave (fla)

Good morning, Steph! I read that Boldin was to get another test on thursday! Any news? Thanks!!

Stephania Bell
  (11:53 AM)

Dave: You are correct. They will do some neurological testing which is repeat testing of what they do before the season starts. They compare the results to see if there is any alteration in brain function. Obviously any difference would make him sit. Have not heard results yet.

Joe (San Antonio, Tx)

Demeco Ryans how is the ankle? Send him out like normal if he plays?

Stephania Bell
  (11:55 AM)

Joe: Word out of Houston at this point is that they expect him to play. I would plan start as normal.

Karrie (New Orleans)

Any thoughts on when Colston will be back?

Stephania Bell
  (11:57 AM)

Karrie: Lots of people asking about COlston, but it is really hard to make a projection until he starts working out of the cast. HAve to see how hard it is for him to get his range of motion and strength back, both of which will determine how effectively he can catch the ball. I promise, as we get updates, I will write about it in my blog.

Matt (OH)

Stephania, Great work every week. What's the latest on LT? Is he about as close to 100% as possible? And call me crazy, but is he still a better play over both Turner and Slaton?

Stephania Bell
  (12:00 PM)

Matt: As I'm sure you know there are thousands of questions. I liked this one - but it took a minute to get here. The not so nice posts will almost kick you out... but I appreciate that you're hanging in there until the end of the chat. LT says he is feeling better and better. I think his play shows exactly where he's at - better but not 100%. He's on the upswing though. They couldn't get their offense going last week for a while and he was ineffective, but he can explode at any time as we all know. And that's what makes him dangerous. A player like him, who is getting better weekly, to me is a must start.

Mike (New York, NY)

What's the deal with Marvin Harrison? Is this what we should expect from him from now on?

Stephania Bell
  (12:02 PM)

Mike: The colts' issues on their offensive line and Peyton taking a while to get in sync have affected what you've seen from Harrison I believe. I think his contribution improves from here on out, but his value comes primarily at flex until proven otherwise.

Treven (okc)

Ryan Torrain...any updates? When should I pick him up and stash him? Thanks SB!

Stephania Bell
  (12:03 PM)

Treven: Pick up TOrain now. He will sit for a few more weeks, but when everyone else figures out that it's time to go get him, you'll already have him.

Stephania Bell
  (12:05 PM)

OK everyone - Have to run. Thanks so much for coming. If you joined late, check out the chat wrap as there are a lot of your questions answered there. For more start/sit questions, come back at 3 to chat with Erik Kuselias. We'll see you here Sunday morning for our final pregame chat and check out Fantasy Football Now at noon to get the very latest updates and recommendations!! Good luck in Week 5 and may your team stay healthy.