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October 30, 11:00 AM ET
Fantasy Injuries w/Stephania Bell

Stephania Bell
  (11:02 AM)

Good morning Sports Nation... and Happy Pre-Halloween Friday. I'm still with only half a voice - but can still chat with all of you. Six more teams on bye this week -and still need injury replacements? Well, let's get you started...

KJ (St. Paul)

Any updates on Westbrook? I have McCoy and am considering starting him over DeAngelo Williams...

Stephania Bell
  (11:04 AM)

KJ: Congrats on being the first one to the party. Westbrook has not practiced. Reportedly was cleared to try aerobic activity but it's seeming very, very unlikely he'll play, despite the gtd tag. McCoy will be seeing a lot of action.

Russ (Atlanta)

Stephania what do you make of Bradshaw's cracked bone status? Looks like he'll play but would I be better to start S Greene or C Buckhalter in his place?

Stephania Bell
  (11:06 AM)

Russ: It turns out he's known about the crack for at least a month and actually thinks he injured it before then. So that means he's been playing on it - and playing well - with the injury. He's been cleared to keep doing what he's doing - and yes, there's always the chance that it breaks completely and he needs surgery - but that chance has been there all along and it hasn't happened. I'd keep playing him as long as he's out there.

Adam (Washington D.C.)

Any word on Jermichael Finley? Picking up backup tight ends isn't my favorite thing to do

Stephania Bell
  (11:08 AM)

Adam: Don't think you're alone. Finley hasn't practiced yet this week and he hasn't been ruled out but it could come down to gtd where he'll have to show he's well enough to run on it. Not a great outlook.

Mike T (New Jersey)

If Calvin Johnson has a sprained knee and is able to go, how limited will he be as a wide reciever? Other than perhaps losing some speed and ability to cut, any other things Johnson should be worried about?

Stephania Bell
  (11:12 AM)

Mike: This is the question everyone is asking. The fact that he was back in practice Thurs, even though limited is a good sign. But the Lions have given away nothing as to the specifics of the injury - making it almost impossible to tell how much he's likely to be limited. I take my cues from their level of performance. If he goes through full practice Friday and no setbacks, then I would say expect the usual from him. But the obvious things would be that he might be a step slow, have a harder time cutting, getting up in the air (which he normally does so well) and maybe a bit more tentative landing...

Ben (SC)

Is Donald Brown out? I'm in a bind and need a RB...is Mike Hart a good enough option as a deep sleeper?

Stephania Bell
  (11:13 AM)

Ben: All signs point to Brown being out with the shoulder injury. I think Hart is an interesting option in a deep league as a flex - but you just don't know what you're going to get so he wouldn't be worth more than that.

Jason (Ellicott City, MD)

You told me on Tuesday you were probable for today's chat. Good to see you were inserted in the chat lineup.

Stephania Bell
  (11:14 AM)

Yes Jason, I do show up to play on gameday...

Matt (Portland, ME)

Any word on Berrian?

Stephania Bell
  (11:16 AM)

Matt: Just that he's limited in practice. His status is very iffy - probably a gtd - and with Rice being much more favored as a target, I'd probably be looking elsewhere.

Norm (Boston)

Stephania, please help me understand Donnie Avery. He was banged up the past two games but was not on the injury report in any capacity this week. Is it safe to play him as a bye week replacement?

Stephania Bell
  (11:18 AM)

Norm: It's a great question. Yes, he's been banged up in a bunch of different ways since the preseason - and when he's had to miss practice or take less reps he's on the report. This week he's fully practicing - nothing limiting him - so while he may be sore all over - he's not "injured" - and expect him to play - good matchup for him.

Jason (FL)

Are we going to have to hide YOUR helmet to keep you off the field, too, Starphania? Speaking of that, what is your prognosis for Andre Johnson playing this week?

Stephania Bell
  (11:21 AM)

Jason - Funny. I expect Johnson will play. He's been able to do just about everything in practice without it impacting his breathing (which would be the most obvious limitation). He was expected to get some follow-up scans before they gave him the final OK but haven't heard about that yet. He was fitted with some extra padding but I don't see that affecting him much. So as of now, looks like a normal start for Johnson.

Johnny (NYC)

Reggie Wayne...100%?

Stephania Bell
  (11:23 AM)

Johnny: No. Definitely not 100%. Hasn't practiced yet this week. Now that doesn't mean he won't play. The team will give him until Saturday to show he's well enough to go - which means you may not know until Sunday morning. And you have to figure that even if he looks good to go, he very well could be less than full speed.

Dustin (Louisiana)

Anything on the situation in Arizona, as in Breaston and Boldin? Because of the Bye week for the Patriots I have to play either Breaston, Eddie Royal, or Pierre Garcon. I think Breaston is who I am going to go with if his injury isn't too bad or if Boldin's is worst than I think. Please Help!!!!

Stephania Bell
  (11:24 AM)

Dustin: I like Breaston b/c he has consistently produced in the passing game for AZ. Boldin is still limited with the ankle and probably will be for a while.

Tim (nj)

Do you think Cotchery will play? And if so is he worth a start?

Stephania Bell
  (11:26 AM)

Tim: I do think he plays - and judging from reports as to how he's been running in practice I think he sounds ready to go -I imagine it will be Cotchery and Edwards starting for the Jets. I think vs Dolphins pass D he's a good start.

Doug (Tampa)

Any setbacks with Frank Gore after finally playing last week? Or is he 100%?

Stephania Bell
  (11:29 AM)

Doug: No word of any type of setback. He wasn't especially effective and obviously they had to switch completely to pass late in the game - don't know if he's 100% - but he's certainly playing and he didn't go backwards.

JT (Ohio)

Mercy, Mercy - Percy Harvin missed practice on Thurs. Thoughts?

Stephania Bell
  (11:32 AM)

JT: There has been nothing official - but last time it was the migraines - so who knows? I've seen several comments on the fact that he doesn't practice much - but that was his story at Florida too. The Vikings obviously decided that they didn't care too much about that when they drafted him - and as long as he produces I guess they're OK with it. I expect he plays Sunday based on prior weeks...

Justin (Chicago, IL)

Not for fantasy but as a Lions fan: Please tell me Stafford is going to play. Also, what is your favorite Halloween candy?

Stephania Bell
  (11:34 AM)

Justin: I will tell you Stafford is going to play. There - I did it. But I'm not sure. Seriously though, everything is pointing in that direction. He's practiced several days in a row which is a good sign given that he couldn't do that a couple weeks ago b/c the knee continued to swell. I'd be skeptical that he's fully recovered -but I think if he's serviceable he'll go.And I like Reese's.

Suzy (AZ)

Hi Stephania, got a Niners question for ya! Will Alex Smith be the QB this week and if so does that make V Davis a good play, like 3 TDs again play?

Stephania Bell
  (11:36 AM)

Suzy: Love my Niners - but sadly, they face the COlts this week and I have no confidence. Smith will start. Not sure that Davis gets in the end zone. Maybe once. Not three times. I think the Colts have some crazy stat like no TDs given up to a tight end. So....I HOPE I'm wrong, but I don't think it will be the Niners best day.

Danny (New Orleans)

Is Anthony Gonnzales going to play this week?

Stephania Bell
  (11:37 AM)

Danny: Nope. They're hoping to work him back into practice in the not too distant future...but he's a ways from returning I'd say.

Bill (Gainesville)

At this point, is it just better to start Sims Walker over Reggie Wayne given the situation and MSW's match up?

Stephania Bell
  (11:38 AM)

Bill: I like Sims-Walker's matchup and I'd go with him if that's my choice.

Donald (Cleveland)

DeSean Jackson, is he a go on sunday???

Stephania Bell
  (11:40 AM)

Donald: plan on it - he was back in full practice yesterday with the foot and I don't see it limiting him

Dave (Miami)

How is Rodgers' ankle? Do you think he will be hampered by it?

Stephania Bell
  (11:42 AM)

Dave: I think ROdgers won't even be thinking about his foot come Sunday. Truthfully, they say it only bothers him with certain movements so they aren't too worried about it - and I don't think he is either.

Tom (New York)

IDP QUESTION!!! Stephania, what is the status of Antrel Rolle and will he be startable in an IDP league?

Stephania Bell
  (11:43 AM)

Tom: No practice with the bad foot so far this week. Has a ruptured ligament in the foot. Likely to test it on the field Sunday and be a GTD. Risky play.

Jason (Ellicott City, MD)

Do you answer basketball too? If so, when will Gasol return?

Stephania Bell
  (11:44 AM)

Jason - and other NBA fans out there -s tarting next week, promise...

todd (jersey shore)

How bad is heath evans injury ?

Stephania Bell
  (11:45 AM)

Todd: DOne for the year with a torn ACL -already had surgery.

Musty (Home with a sick kid)

What was your favorite thing to do when you were at home from school with a cold? Also, Jonathn Stewart always injured, what gives?

Stephania Bell
  (11:46 AM)

Musty: Watched cartoons - but that was the good old days with the Bugs Bunny and Yosemite Sam cartoons...As far as Stewart, nothing has changed - this was the game plan all along - to limit him early in the week and use him on Sunday. He's not likely to become 100% during the season simply b/c his type of injury requires extended rest. But he's still serviceable for them.

Dan (Toledo)

Do you think TJ H is a better option then Boldin the rest of the season?

Stephania Bell
  (11:47 AM)

Dan: DOnt' know about the rest of the season - but definitely this week. I guess if I had to decide, I would go with Housh for the rest of the year.

Rob (State College)

Hey Stephania! Way to be a gamer! So, given your responses to questions about Megatron and Reggie Wayne and Gonzalez, does it all add up to me starting Austin Collie over Megatron if he's at all limited in practice today? Thank you and be careful with your cold medicines - you don't want to test positive for something!!

Stephania Bell
  (11:51 AM)

Rob: I am just not comfortable with Johnson - probably will end up as GTD. If he plays, he is their only deep threat. I get that. But he hasn't gone through full practice, we don't truly know what's wrong with his knee (i.e. how easy to aggravate it) and we can be pretty darn sure he's not playing healthy (increased chance for a setback) -sure he could go out and score, but he could also be a late scratch, or worse yet, start and do very little and leave early. More upside than Collie but Collie safer.

Michael (Miami)

Stephania, i know L.T. has been playing the past couple weeks and hes looked better but is he 100%?? Im feeling like i should start him over DeAngelo but i want to feel confident that hes healthy.... THANKS!!

Stephania Bell
  (11:52 AM)

Michael: LT is healthy. Hasn't been the greatest fantasy success story, but he's healthy. And if there was ever a week for him to show up.....

Bob (Boston)

HEALTHY SIDNEY RICE or MEGATRON this week?

Stephania Bell
  (11:53 AM)

Bob: No yelling in the chat room. But it's not even close. I go with Rice.

Brian (PA)

How likely is it that Cooley comes back this season and can perform 100%?

Stephania Bell
  (11:55 AM)

Brian: I think it's too soon to say given the conflicting reports that we've heard. Originally done for year, then back in 4 weeks. At this point I would say that you can not count on him for fantasy, but if you've got room on your bench to spare, why not hang on to him just in case?

Merrill (ATL)

Farve's hip a problem or nothing to worry about?

Stephania Bell
  (11:56 AM)

Merrill: Favre hurts all over - and no one taking any chances with not reporting something on him these days. It will not be an issue for him come Sunday.

chris (pa)

is Ricky William's thumb going to affect him at all this week

Stephania Bell
  (11:57 AM)

CHris: Doubt it - he's fully practicing - does not appear limited.

Walt (Pittsburgh)

Shockey was on the injury report. Any word?

Stephania Bell
  (11:58 AM)

Walt: Same shoulder issue as last week which did not get in the way. So no issues this week.

Dave (Miami)

Is Tood Heap healthy? I just picked him up since Finley is GTD.

Stephania Bell
  (12:00 PM)

Dave: Relatively speaking...I suppose. He's got a bad back, but he's been playing right on through and he's not on the injury report.

Bruce (Rainy Chi-town)

Do you trust Marion Barber enough yet to start him? I need to play him this week but Im scared to because I dont trust the DAL RB committee. Or would you go with Hightower instead?

Stephania Bell
  (12:01 PM)

Bruce: Still like Barber over Hightower -even at less than 100% - and Barber is getting better each week.

Jason (Ellicott City, MD)

Will you be on the injury report come Tuesday?

Stephania Bell
  (12:02 PM)

Hopefully not!! And on that note, it's time to close out this chat. Thanks so much for coming. Have a safe and happy Halloween and good luck in Week 8!!!!