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November 13, 11:00 AM ET
Fantasy Injuries w/Stephania Bell

Stephania Bell
  (11:02 AM)

Good Morning Sports Nation and welcome to Friday the 13th!! Hope that doesn't spell doom and gloom for your fantasy team. Already with a long list of questions so here we go...

Roy (Philly)

Hi Stephania,I fell like a broken record but what is going on with Berrian this week? I know he wasn't mentioned in your injury update yesterday and I need to choose between him and Maclin this week. Thanks.

Stephania Bell
  (11:04 AM)

Roy: No worries - you are not a broken record. Sometimes there are guys omitted Thursday for various reasons - but just about everyone makes it in by Saturday... That said, yes Berrian's hamstring acting up again, enough to limit him in practice. Sounds like they might have him but could again be gtd and against Detroit they may hold him out. Maclin may be safer play.

Wayne (San Diego, CA)

Fine. I'll ask about the elephant in the room. Calvin Johnson?

Stephania Bell
  (11:07 AM)

Wayne: No elephant. Plenty of folks asking. He is expected to play after practicing this week fully - and playing last week. THat said, his appearance on the report tells you he's not 100% - and the guy throwing to him isn't fully healthy either. He's the target - but how well they play together is unknown.

Erich (Pfingsten)

I am asking this question during my conference period, so I won't be able to follow the chat. I will be offereing wisdom and direction to our youth that only I can give. I am in need of wisdom and direction that only you can give. Any word on MJD's injury? Also, will Roddy White be back to form this weekend? I owe you big time. Thank you.

Stephania Bell
  (11:09 AM)

Erich: Check back here when you're done offering wisdom to our youth. MJD will play - at least he's expected to - he's had soreness in the knee before and I imagine they're backing off his work a bit. But so far expected to play. White only dealing with soreness reportedly - but he is on the injury report as again, I think they're limiting his work to protect him - but he's expected to play as well. Atlanta hopes to fare better against Panthers but...

J.B. (Dunmore, PA)

Ms. Bell: I will submit only one post today and hope it gets an answer. If not, I'm sure you're chat will still provide me with some great injury information this week. I am wondering about the availability of Bernard Berrian and now Steve Breaston for Sunday. Anything you can provide on their health is greatly appreciated.

Stephania Bell
  (11:10 AM)

J.B. Polite chatters always welcome!! Already addressed Berrian. I expect Breaston to fulfill his usual role in the slot, but I expect Boldin to play this week, so Breaston remains at the #3.

Jeff (NYC)

Any update on the Jonathan Stewart / DeAngelo Williams Inuries?

Stephania Bell
  (11:12 AM)

Jeff: Stewart doing his usual thing - rest Weds, increase practice late in the week, then play. I think he has a good game this week. He may even get more opportunity b/c of DeAngelo. Williams reportedly "tweaked" his knee last week (no specific injury given) and he was out of practice Weds. limited Thurs. Sounds as if they expect to have him available, but it may affect his touches.

Mike (Cali)

Will Ladell Betts play this week?

Stephania Bell
  (11:13 AM)

Mike: He is expected to. Coming off a sprained ankle but the team has indicated that he is expected to start in place of Portis.

Will (NJ)

You can ring my bell-el-el ring my BELL!!! Wifes maiden name is bell also. Steph love your work. Read everything I could find on Megatron. I read where you said he may not be fully recovered. Will he get there this year with the type of injury he had/has? I traded C Benson for him and need a BIG 2nd half. My other RBs are Deangelo and C Johnson. Thnx...

Stephania Bell
  (11:15 AM)

Will: Love your wife. Right, as a follow-up, I don't think he's 100% yet -but each week that he doesn't suffer a setback is a week closer to getting healthy. Hard to timetable it since we don't know exactly what his injury is. But as I said, part of his performance depends on how Stafford is. I still don't think they're great -e specially this week, I mean after all, it's the Vikings - but in a couple weeks I think you start to see them improving. Luckily you have two other strong RBs.

Brian (Baltimore, MD)

I have McFadden, Fargas and Sammy Morris on my team. Any update on Sammy Morris? Will he be ready for Sunday night? Do you think running a backfield committee on my team with McFadden and Fargas would ever make sense? Thanks

Stephania Bell
  (11:17 AM)

Brian: Morris will not play this week - but it sounds like he could be back by late November. I would not play McFadden and Fargas together. I'd pick one (and it would still likely be Fargas this week) and play him in my flex spot (depending who else I have, but I'm thinking you've got some better options)

PAT (Columbus)

Is Donald Brown ready to go?

Stephania Bell
  (11:18 AM)

Hi Pat: Team will probably not confirm his availability until Saturday - but he's not been on the injury report this week. Now last week that was the case also, then he popped up Friday and was held out. Have to think the additional week helped him - and our own Bob Holtzman says the Colts expect to have him. So I'm leaning towards yes.

Mike (Tampa)

A Bryant is a disappointment so far. Is there a chance he is 100% soon and performing like he did last year or is time to dump him

Stephania Bell
  (11:19 AM)

Mike: He had a couple decent weeks and then a setback. Now with the swelling in his knee, I'm not sure he really gets to 100% this year. I'd look elsewhere.

john (Simsbury, CT)

Any Lance Moore news?

Stephania Bell
  (11:19 AM)

John: No practice yet. Not looking good.

Ryan (Denver)

How's Favre's groin looking? I got offered a deal where I can get him for Matt "disappointment" Ryan.

Stephania Bell
  (11:21 AM)

Ryan: Well, the team is limiting him as you would expect. But it sure does not sound like this is going to be the thing that breaks the consecutive start streak. It might however limit his overall playing time. That said, I still think he puts up fantasy points before they let him go to the bench. Favre actually has decent fantasy points. I'd keep him - fantasy surprise that he is.

Ed (Duluth)

What can you tell me about Hasselbecks injuries? I have to play him this week and I am hoping he doesn't turn in a horrible performance like the last matchup against Arizona. Hopefully they have made adjustments to protect him more this time around, but I am also concerned about his more recent shoulder injury. What do you think?

Stephania Bell
  (11:23 AM)

Ed: He says the shoulder was sore (probably from all the throwing he had to do). And with the rib injury where it was, it certainly involved muscles around the back side of his shoulder. So a little extra use has made him sore. THis week he started feeling better, in fact saying he felt the best he had. So I think there are no real worries about him playing - and I think he's more effective this week.

Rob (NJ)

Status of Westbrook's head...I mean ankle...I mean body. Have McCoy and Betts for my flex and with Portis already out Im wondering who to start. Love the matchup against San Diego for the Eagles RB tho. Thanks

Stephania Bell
  (11:26 AM)

Rob: Yes - which body part will it be - that is the question. So to be clear, sounds like the HA symptoms have resolved. The issue at this point was the ankle. Yesterday was the big test with an indoor practice. Now he made it through - and we haven't heard anything yet, but if he had more swelling and the ankle took a turn for the worse, then he might not practice today. Want to hear today's status to be sure - but at this point looks as if he will play. Will continue to be a split between him and McCoy.

Michael (MIAMI)

antonio gates? really hurt? or just resting early in week...

Stephania Bell
  (11:27 AM)

Michael: Sore, resting, expected to play.

Matt (Portland,ME)

Is Benson hurt??? Also would you start Mendenhall or Ronnie Brown over Cedric??

Stephania Bell
  (11:29 AM)

Matt: No...and no. Benson has been amazingly productive - and consistent - this year. He gets my start.

CJ (Michigan)

Happy football friday Stephania!! Andre Johnson on bye, and my only back up WR is T.O. -- Will he be good to go on Sunday?

Stephania Bell
  (11:30 AM)

CJ: The Bills don't exactly sound confident. Owens apparently very uncomfortable as far as the hip goes. No practice yet - may come down to a gtd. You've got to have better options out there. Drop him - he hasn't been productive even when he's been out there.

James (PA)

What did you think of your Niners last night?

Stephania Bell
  (11:31 AM)

James: Well I sure loved Gore's performance. And I sure loved that I started their defense in one of my fantasy leagues. In fact, my brother asked me who to start Niners D or Jets D -just had a good feeling about Niners and took them. He did not. We'll see how that works out.

Jim (Jersey)

Nothing about Schilens, will he make an impact?

Stephania Bell
  (11:33 AM)

Jim: Hard to know what the impact might be - but it does appear that he will make his season debut. He has finally been practicing and the Raiders sound as if they expect to have him. Cable said at one point that NOT having him was part of what was wrong with Russell. Personally the problems look bigger than that to me, but he as the #1 receiver at the end of camp -so maybe he provides a spark.

tony (detriot)

with austin collie banged up should i start reggie bush or peirre garcon?

Stephania Bell
  (11:35 AM)

Tony: Collie not limited at all this week. I'm not worried about his status. I like him over Garcon (he tends to get more targets) but Bush - although undependable from a consistency standpoint - does face the Rams. Might be good for a score. I think I still like Collie.

Joe (NYC)

Should I be concerned about B Marshall's balky back?

Stephania Bell
  (11:36 AM)

Joe: No. Probably sore from the big effort Monday night and they gave him a day off with a short week. Back in practice this week and expected to play.

Don Juan (Cancun)

I wanted to know if Cotchery will be 100%, do you think I should start him or Steve Smith (Car)?

Stephania Bell
  (11:38 AM)

Don Juan, really: Cotchery is certainly better - if not quite perfectly healthy. Hard to know until he tests it in the game. But I like Smith in this one.

Dustin (SLC)

Colston had the flu during the week. Is is going to play on sunday?

Stephania Bell
  (11:39 AM)

Dustin: Since he was able to do some work yesterday it's a good sign he was feeling better. Sounds as if the Saints expect he'll be over it completely by Sunday.

Riley (Denver)

Any thoughts on Boldin?

Stephania Bell
  (11:41 AM)

Riley: expect him to play, and probably better for the rest, but not necessarily all better. That said, they want to see him make it through a complete game without a setback. This will be the test. Good news is that he's been pushing it in full practice - think you need to start him if you've got him.

Chris (PA)

I havent seen Percy Harvin on any injury reports this week, which seems shocking. Is he back to full strength now?

Stephania Bell
  (11:43 AM)

Chris: it is shocking since he's been there most weeks. Sounds like Childress felt that in addition to getting physically banged up, they had thrown a lot at him in terms of his role - and that he was probably mentally exhausted as well. Sounds odd - but all of that could factor into feeling less than 100% as well. So a little extra rest recently could only help him.

Adam (NY)

Any word on Finley today? He says he is fine, but the medical staff in GB is seemingly being extra cautious...

Stephania Bell
  (11:44 AM)

Adam: They are being cautious - must be something there that concerns them and they are no doubt thinking long-term. It sounds as if they will put him through a workout today to see if they think he can participate -but no one is especially optimistic.

Jamie (Atlanta)

Justin Gage: how long do you think he'll be out with the broken bones in his back? That sounds painful. In your opinion, does this injury make Nate Washington a better play over Mike Sims-Walker this week, who faces the tough NYJ pass D? THANKS!!!

Stephania Bell
  (11:47 AM)

Jamie: I think it's safe to say that any broken bone is exceptionally painful. A few in the vertebrae are no better. The good news is that where he suffered the fractures (transverse processes) are bony projections off the side of the vertebrae and are not near the all-important spinal cord. No surgery necessary, but movement has to be limited (and contact) long enough to allow healing. Expect him out for a couple weeks at LEAST. Washington gets a bump perhaps, but I still like Sims-Walker better, even against the Jets.

Alan (Los Angeles)

Not a skill player but do you know anything around Center Nick Hardwick from the Chargers? I'm hoping his return will also bring back LT a little bit.

Stephania Bell
  (11:48 AM)

Sorry Alan, he is not expected to be back this week. I'm afraid that hopes (including mine) for LT to have some big games are fading...fast.

LT (Cincinnati)

Steph, I saw where MJD has a knee problem. Can you offer any details?

Stephania Bell
  (11:50 AM)

LT: Many follow-up questions to MJD. Again, I think he was rested as a precaution b/c of soreness, no major injury. He was reportedly seen in locker room walking normally, is expected to practice Friday and should play Sunday.

Bad news Bears fan (Chicago)

Would you start Marion Barber this week over T.Hightower in a 1 PPR league? How is his thigh BTW? Thanks.

Stephania Bell
  (11:52 AM)

Sorry Bad News for my Niners defeat of your team...I would start Barber for sure. Think he gets the touches. Thigh reportedly getting better and better. Not keeping him on injury report -so no real limitations.

Mike (Philly)

Does Kevin Smith look healthy to you when he runs? He seems to lack a burst, but I am not sure if that is due to a lingering shoulder issue, his general talent, or the semi-inept players around him. Thoughts?

Stephania Bell
  (11:53 AM)

Mike: I think you have hit on it - all of the above. Word is his shoulder, while not formally limiting him, is not 100% healthy - and, well, you've got the rest...

James (PA)

Is Timmons back for the Steelers this week?

Stephania Bell
  (11:53 AM)

James: He is expected to be back, yes...

andrew (milwaukee)

Will Deangelo's injury limit him enough to give me reason to start Pierre Thomas in his place?!?!

Stephania Bell
  (11:54 AM)

Andrew: I like THomas anyway - it's the Rams.

Mike (NYC)

Steph, non specific question. At this point in the season doesn't it make sense for top guys (MJD, AP, etc.) to take days off of practice? I can't imagine that practice will make them better at this point and would assume that more time studying the next opponent and getting some rest would be more valuable. Thoughts?

Stephania Bell
  (11:56 AM)

Mike: You make a good point -it comes back to the notion that no one is really "100 % healthy" at this point in the season. Minor injuries can turn into major ones when fatigue becomes an issue. So yes, I think you see teams who have learned that it is better to gove some guys a day off - or work them in a limited fashion - in an effort to have them around for the long haul.

Smitty (Grand Rapids)

Hey Stephania, I'm in a 12 team keeper league. If Bradshaw and Braylon are fixtures on my bench at this point, would it be wise to shoot an offer of them for Westbrook? Is he gonna get healthy and have a few good games the rest of the way? Wondering if that improves my bench/flex backup... Thanks!

Stephania Bell
  (11:59 AM)

Smitty: I'd have a hard time trading both for him. He's got some good production in him (Westbrook) - but SOOOOOO inconsistent and hard to plan for. And no, I don't think he's fully healthy the rest of the way - for the simple fact that the knee and ankle are chronic issues, meaning they can (and will) bother him again at some point.

Dave (Chicago)

Will Chillar be back in the packers D this week? He always adds something to that D

Stephania Bell
  (12:00 PM)

Dave: The broken hand will likely keep him out another week. They will miss him.

Stephania Bell
  (12:01 PM)

Update: T.O. reportedly seen in practice, at least doing drills but no word yet as to how MUCH he is doing in practice. I still think there are jillions of better options out there.

Chet (Michigan)

I hurt myself falling up the stairs again. what to do?

Stephania Bell
  (12:02 PM)

Chet: Watch where you're going my friend, watch where you're going.

Scott (Dallas)

Made a last minute roster change from Cutler to McNabb, so hopefully that worked out for me. Do I play Mike Wallace over Nate Burleson? Just a feeling that Wallace is going to come up big against the Bengals.

Stephania Bell
  (12:03 PM)

Scott: It's possible. Bengals will now be without LB Keith Rivers so impacts defense. But it's hard to make that call over Burleson. My colleague Jeremy Green thinks that Housh has the bigger game over Burleson, but I still like Burlseon over Wallace - just a little.

Stephania Bell
  (12:05 PM)

OK everyone - time for me to depart. Thanks as always for the great questions. I will try to have a Chris Cooley update next week for the Cooley owners out there (not much to report right now). Good luck in Week 10!