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October 23, 11:00 AM ET
Fantasy Injuries w/Stephania Bell

Stephania Bell
  (11:02 AM)

Good Morning and Happy Friday Sports Nation! Six teams on bye this week so lots of folks looking for replacements. Who's healthy enough to play? We'll try to answer that right now...

Clint (NJ)

Is it a safe bet to assume Sammy Morris will not play this week? I have to ughhh, trust Maroney this weekend.

Joel (Houston)

Stephania, I've got a lot riding on your 49ers this week, thinking about startin Gore, Davis, Crabtree (because of byes), and the D/ST? Am I going to the well to much, and is Gore gonna be able to handle the full workload in his first week back?

Stephania Bell
  (11:03 AM)

Clint: Yes - it is. Sounds as if he did not make the trip across the pond, meaning Maroney will start.

Stephania Bell
  (11:05 AM)

Joel: Wow - a guy in Houston stacking the board with Niners! So far Gore looks good to go and Singletary has already indicated he'll start - so assuming nothing changes, I expect he will play and play well. I was concerned about the nature of his injury but it appears that the rest has really helped him.Crabtree is projected to take about half the snaps -if that holds true he could be a fantasy surprise. Always love the defense.

Eric (Athens, OH)

Hi, Stephania--what's going on w/ Anthony Gonzalez? Should I continue to hold on to him, or even if he comes back, has he been displaced by Collie and Garcon? thanks.

Stephania Bell
  (11:08 AM)

Eric: I think if you've held onto him this long then it's worth waiting at least another week. He was originally projected to come back this week, but PCL sprains are typically difficult for a receiver to come back from - we've seen that before. He was only recently cleared for light running and hasn't practiced this week. Colts shying away from any timetable now, and I would say the next week or so will give a lot of guidance as to how he's progressing towards playing.

Brandon (Ohio)

Morning Stephania. As a Steve Breaston owner, I'm eager to hear an update regarding Boldin. What's the latest?

Stephania Bell
  (11:09 AM)

Brandon: Well, Breaston owners should be happy b/c I think either way,he's setting up for a great game. Boldin called himself a gtd earlier in the week, and although he's done side work, he hasn't practiced. If he goes fully today, then I think there's increased chance he plays, but still could be gtd. With it being Sun night game, too risky for a lot of fantasy owners - and he rpobably isn't 100% anyway, making Breaston's role more attractive.

JT (Ohio)

Greg Jennings hip injury, any news?

Eric (Shakopee, MN)

Hey Stephania, With the news that Barber has a broken thumb, will he see less carries with Choice and Jones waiting for carries?

Stephania Bell
  (11:10 AM)

JT: According to Packers, just some tightness in the hip that came out of nowhere. They do not seem concerned, so I'm not either...yet.

Stephania Bell
  (11:11 AM)

Eric: Well the fracture is on his non-carry side, so they're hoping it doesn't limit him too much in the run game. But it could create a problem when trying to catch passes out of the backfield, giving Choice more opportunities there. While I like the fact that Jones is back in full practice, he's still recovering, will likely wear a brace Sunday and I can't imagine they work him to death. So I expect it to be primarily Barber and Choice, a little Jones.

Ben (Greensboro, NC)

Hey Stephania, will Troy Polamalu be playing this weekend or was the reaggravation of the injury going to keep him out?

Stephania Bell
  (11:12 AM)

Ben: He's expected to play - just a little during the week rest.

Randy (Maryland)

What is the latest regarding Michael Turner and his chest?

Stephania Bell
  (11:13 AM)

Randy: Sounds like Falcons aren't that worried - so far, expect him to play - but they will be without Norwood, so probably resting Turner to make sure that he's ready to go for the weekend.

Marc (Tucson)

Is Roy Williams going to play? You seem more concerned about the cartilage than others...If not, Malcolm Floyd and Sam Aiken are my only backups (it's a pretty deep league)

Stephania Bell
  (11:15 AM)

Marc: I am because I don't believe the tissue is fully healed. Cartilage in the rib area does not heal fast. So while it's encouraging that he's feeling better, remember he did basically nothing for two weeks - so low grade activities are a lot better. And he's practicing which is also good news. But it's when he takes another big hit, if it lands on the same area, and displaces still healing cartilage, it could then become a limiting factor - or even knock him out of the game. Obviously that's an unknown - but given his limited production so far anyway, I like Miles Austin.

Terry (Dallas, TX)

Stephania...What is the latest on Cliton Portis for the Monday night game?

Stephania Bell
  (11:16 AM)

Terry: Limited yet again during the week b/c of a lower extremity issue (calf), but as per usual, all expect him to play.

Bob (NY)

Last week you said you'd ask Roy Williams to twist and turn and raise his arms for you...any news on the results?

Stephania Bell
  (11:17 AM)

Bob: And I don't know that he's done these things just for me, but he's had to move a bit that way in practice. Again - I'm more worried about the contact.

Issac (Lodi Ca)

Good Morning Stephania. Any news on Jonathan Stewart being on the injury report this week?

Stephania Bell
  (11:18 AM)

Stewart is following the usual pattern that the Panthers have had him on. Rest Weds - to allow the Achilles some recovery, practice Thurs and (I assume) today, play Sunday.

mendel (fl)

Should i be worried about LDTs flu issue? Alls i got is pierre thomas left on my bench, and i dont want to start him against my Fantastic Fins!!?

Stephania Bell
  (11:21 AM)

Mendel: Lots of people asking LT questions. Unfortunately all we've heard is that it's the flu, not clear whether he's got serious symptoms. No one making any projections. If he's in practice today, not worried at all. If not, probably gtd - but still with a few days rest he should be able to go.

Travis (Columbus, OH)

Hi Stephania, what's the latest news on Jerricho Cotchery? Thanks.

Stephania Bell
  (11:23 AM)

Travis: Rex Ryan making it sound like he has a shot. But based on the fact that he's still not practicing with the team, I'd say it does not look encouraging. Put it this way, even if he plays, he clearly won't be at full speed and strength.

Stefan (Nicaragua)

Stephania, I asked about Ctchery and you handled that for someone else.I also asked about Edwards: Berry (I think) referred to Braylon Edwards as injured. Is that something to be concerned about?

Stephania Bell
  (11:24 AM)

Stefan: At least Edwards is doing limited work in practice with the quad strain. Sounds like the team does not think this is serious, but is probably limiting him to make sure he IS available. After all, Cotchery is shaky at best, as is Brad Smith, also not practicing with a quad injury.

Jim (Mobile, AL)

What's going on with FWP? He plays but says that he's still dealing with the toe? Mendenhall has a tough few matches, but is FWP a good stash for the end of the year (he was just dropped in my league)?

Stephania Bell
  (11:26 AM)

Jim: Fair question. Parker doing better from the turf toe, but still recovering - and Mendenhall passed him on the depth chart - so no matter how healthy he is, he's going to get less opportunities for now. But he could be a good stash incase Mendenhall gets hurt or takes a step back. And Tomlin appears as if he is willing to adjust based on recent performance.

Johnny (NYC)

Manningham good to go this weekend?

Stephania Bell
  (11:27 AM)

Johnny: Yes - practicing fine.

Alex (NYC)

Hi Stephania! Is Bradshaw completely healed since he practiced this week and lost the boot? I need to start two from Hightower, Bradshaw, and LJ. Is Bradshaw the odd man out?

Stephania Bell
  (11:30 AM)

Alex: He is going to be dealing with this issue throughout the season I suspect - since it's an old college injury. He did some light work Weds, which is an improvement over the last two weeks, but then did not practice Thurs, which has been the pattern. No word that he is worse, in fact I think he's feeling better - but they continue to take appropriate precautionary measures. I like Bradshaw the best of your 3.

Seth (Edmond, OK)

What's going on with Aaron Rodgers?

Stephania Bell
  (11:31 AM)

Seth: Apparently his foot is bothering him some - but it can't be too bad b/c he's going through full practices.

Alan (Snellville. GA)

AP has a tough match against Pitt, Will he be 100 %?

Stephania Bell
  (11:33 AM)

Alan: Cant' say that he will be "100" percent, but he sounded as if his ankle really wasn't too much of an issue after the game. I suspect the limited practice reps is to ensure that they don't create more of a problem. Vikings not seeming concerned at all with AP.

Dan (Ann Arbor)

Based on your expertise, would you feel safe starting Breaston over Leon Washington despite not knowing Boldin's status until the last minute? Or is that being too risky if Boldin does happen to play?

Stephania Bell
  (11:33 AM)

Dan: Don't be sad. Yes, I'd feel safe starting Breaston over Washington. Regardless of Boldin's status.

Kurt (Madison)

Any information on Megatron would be great! How's progress on his knee?

Stephania Bell
  (11:36 AM)

Kurt: I agree - information would be great - but the Lions aren't giving us much. Schwartz said that Johnson could play in Week 8 - but that also by definition means he could not. Apparently Johnson was wearing a brace in practice this week and all he did was some light jogging. Free Press reporting he was not moving well. Since they haven't outlined what the injury is, it's a little tough to assess other than looking at his activity - which so far isn't terribly encouraging but there's still a lot of time until the next game.

Scott (NYC)

I hate to be the guy that keeps submitting my question, but I NEVER get anything answered on ESPN chats (I know, WAH!)... Can you please share your thoughts on Darren McFadden's knee? I can't find updated info on him anywhere. I picked him up in 12-team PPR league to stash on my bench-- did I make the right call, or am I wasting a roster spot?

Stephania Bell
  (11:39 AM)

Scott: You are not alone. OK to keep submitting b/c sometimes that's the only way I see it with lots of posts coming in - as long as you're nice about it... :)OK - Can't help you too much on McFadden at this point b/c when a guy is not yet practicing with the team, the team doesn't have to tell us much. If you're OK with stashing him on your bench, I think that's reasonable. But you may have to wait another couple weeks.

Matt (VA)

How is Shockey doing? Hard to tell how bad his injury is from what I have read.

Stephania Bell
  (11:41 AM)

Matt (and Jose who has asked several Shockey questions): I don't get from the Saints that this is severe, but more like they are limiting him so as not to threaten his Sunday status. Payton has changed philosophy a bit this year, resting players who are banged up a little more - and it seems to be paying off in terms of production. So as of now, I'd expect him to play.

Mike (Bronx, NY)

Bye week issues! My 3rd WR right now is either Avery or Cotchery. With Jerricho being Q at best, should I consider finding a replacement for Avery, or will he play? Thanks!

Stephania Bell
  (11:43 AM)

Mike: Cotchery to me is very risky. Avery at least is on an upward trend as the week is going on. Today is an important day for Avery b/c if he's back in full practice, it tells us that doing more work yesterday did not aggravate the hip and gives increased confidence heading into the weekend. If for some reason he doesn't rpactice today, I would go get a replacement. And there are some under the radar guys out there - if desperate look for Schilens at the Raiders - I know their passing game not great, but he is finally back and is their No. One receiver.

Joe (Philly)

Hi Stephania, thx so much for the bi-weekly updates, they help a lot. A little concerned about E. Manning in NY this weekend. Will cold and damp conditions irritate his plantar fasciatis? Debating whether to start him or Warner. Thanks!

Stephania Bell
  (11:45 AM)

Joe: Thanks for coming. While I am not a fan of the cold, I don't think it will be much influence on his foot. As long as he warms up well before the game, and with all the support he gets from the taping, etc, he should be in good shape.

Dave (Montreal)

Hi Steph, how about an IDP question! Any news on whether Bob Sanders will play this week?

Stephania Bell
  (11:46 AM)

Dave: How about it? I am excited to see Sanders get back. I think he will play - although not official yet, he has been able to increase his work all week. Decision to be made Friday or Saturday so we should know in advance of Sunday's game.

Johnny (NYC)

Prediction on when Felix Jones will be standard fantasy league relevant again? PCLs can be naggy. Kind of like my mother in law.

Stephania Bell
  (11:48 AM)

Johnny: That's not so nice - funny, but not so nice. It's really hard to predict, b/c some guys don't ever finish the year the same - and a lot depends on what happens in the course of the game - contact, different field surfaces, etc. Call me skeptical - but I want to see him run like Felix Jones before I'm convinced - and don't forget, this is the leg that had the hamstring injury last year, followed by the toe injury/surgery, so I am a little concerned about how he protects that knee with muscle strength on that side.

Nate (NY)

Will Percy Harvin likely play this weekend?

Stephania Bell
  (11:52 AM)

Nate: Great question - very unclear. Remember last week he was limited - then played - then got re-injured and appeared to be in a lot more pain than with the original injury. Now limited and my guess is he will be questionable heading into Sunday. The fact that he was in a sling after last week's game suggests some instability at the shoulder - if indeed that's the case, it won't miraculously go away during the week, but will feel better as he avoids contact. But what happens when he lowers his shoulder in a game and takes a big hit? Hard to predict. Harvin so far has shown that he likes to show up on Sunday (this was a similar pattern in college) but may not last the whole game. Risky play this week.

Nerdling (MI)

Bye weeks are killing me! I currently have Boldin as my WR2. Should I pick up Garcon to replace him with Gonzo still out?

Stephania Bell
  (11:52 AM)

Yes! If Garcon is available, don't wait.

Ryan (New York)

I just read that Bob Sanders will be playing but will be on a snap count.

Stephania Bell
  (11:54 AM)

Ryan: Thanks - yes, I just got confirmation that Sanders will play -don't know that there will be an official count - but I'm sure they will control his workload to some degree to make sure he eases back into the game after being out so long.

Mike (IN)

I was just reading throught the questions and I saw Bob (NY) ask you about Roy Williams.....I actually asked him that is his chat last week and he said when he does that it feels like he has fractured cartilage.

Stephania Bell
  (11:55 AM)

Mike: Are you serious? Tell the truth for us fantasy owners...

Kathy (A Black Hole)

Hey my lady friend. Can you give us an outlook on Brady. Does he seem fully healed? Should Brady owners be worried at all from here on out? He looked good last weekend!

Stephania Bell
  (11:56 AM)

Kathy: Yes - he's fully recovered - and I think he's wanted to show everyone that for a while. Guess he finally did.

Mike (IN)

Yes, I'm serious. I asked what it feels like to raise his arms up and twist and he said it feels like he has fractured cartilage.

Stephania Bell
  (11:58 AM)

Mike: That is awesome - just confirms what we were saying. Based on all the athletes I've worked with after rib injuries, these are the types of moves that are challenging. Add contact into the mix and it creates more of a problem.Thanks for sharing...

Larry (GA)

Safe to drop Julian Edelman? I've kept him around as Welker insurance but he's got a broken arm. How long will he be out? I haven't read anywhere he's out for the yr, but how can he NOT be? It's a broken arm!!!

Stephania Bell
  (12:00 PM)

Larry: Well, they haven't moved to put him on IR so there's hope. It really depends on where -and whether it's a small crack as opposed to a complete break. Typically 6 weeks for bone to fully heal - but a smaller crack could take less time - and then it's just a matter of getting back into the game. Right now we don't have much info - and I think with Welker healthy, I would stash him for now. See if it looks like he's returning to practice in the next few weeks.

Eric (Shakopee, MN)

Are the Vikes gonna be without A. Winfield this week?

Stephania Bell
  (12:01 PM)

Eric: It looks that way. Sprained foot, no practice all week, earlier in the week was called a long shot to play. Not sounding good.

Stephania Bell
  (12:02 PM)

Thanks everyone for coming. Time for me to go. I will try to update all of these injuries in the Saturday blog - and we have a chat here Sunday morning to review all the latest injury updates. Thanks for coming - good luck in Week 7!!