Good Morning Sports Nation! Happy Friday! Wow - what a Thurs night game. Any given Sunday I guess...or Thursday. What's on your mind?
Steph, are you confident D Jax will play/be productive? With it being a Sunday night game we have to risk putting him in the lineup early.
Joe: I'm as confident as you can be without being 100% certain. Hey -anything can happen to any of us at any time, but I expect him to play. Not only that, Maclin's foot has been bothering him a bit more so you may see more Jackson targets...
Stephania, Do you have an intel on Mike Bell? Sounds like he missed practice on Thursday, and I'm a Pierre Thomas owner who would be receiving an early Christmas gift if Bell is out! Playoff time!
Scott: Well, you know I don't like player downgrades during the week, rarely a good sign. Although we don't have much in the way of specifics, Bell's knee has been an issue for a couple of weeks. Enough so that he was out Thursday which does make Thomas - and maybe even Bush - look a little better.
Hey Stephania how bad is the new injury to Mike Sims-Walker? Play him over Donnie Avery?
Duffy: Another late in the week downgrade. While S-W has been dealing with a knee issue for a few weeks, this is a new calf injury. THese tend to be worse than projected, more debilitating than people think they're going to be. I don't like the sounds of it - need to see what he can do today but even if he plays, I imagine he cannot run fully effectively.
Hi Stephania, Pierre Thomas wasn't mentioned in your update yesterday, but he's been listed as limited in practice the past two days with a quad injury...is he a safe start Sunday? I'm currently starting him over Brandon Jacobs.
Frank: Just to follow up re: the Saints' situation, Thomas was back in limited work Thursday but it's unclear how serious this is. Sounds like they expect to ahve him and given Bell's situation, may be limiting his work so that he's in better shape for Sunday.
With Schaub's shoulder injury would it be wiser to start McNabb this week rather than risk Schaub having to leave the game if he gets hit?
Phil: I'm not that worried about Schaub. IT's his non-throwing shoulder, it will likely be in a harness and the fact that he came back in last week after it went out speaks volumes about his toughness. Don't see any reason to be especially worried.
Need 1st question this year answered in the worst way since its playoff time. Does S. Jax injured back limit him enough to make fred jackson a better play this week. Thanks
Brian: Welcome to getting your question answered and congrats about playoffs. SJax has been playing and playing pretty well despite the back injury. While Fred Jackson is the guy in Buffalo I can't see starting him over SJax.
Hi Stephania,Quick question....what's up with Brady? Should I be concerned about is extensive list of injuries? Thanks for your help!
Brian: Three injuries after Brady's name is certainly enough to raise eyebrows! Waiting to see if he practices today as he hasn't yet this week. I assume that they expect him in the game and are resting him for that reason, but today will be very interesting. The rib to me sounds like the worst of the three. The shoulder is chronic and he has played through it without incident. The finger is bruised but better.
What a package! A beautiful expert and a 49ers fan (wow!). Where have you been all my life? Turner, Turner, Turner. I mean really, if the falcons are to have Turner active on Sunday, how can I even consider starting him? You would think that he plays a limited game, no? How much value do you think he can actually have if active?
Frank: Your flattery is appreciated. Sure - I'll answer your question... A 49ers fan in Texas? We don't see that too often.I really don't see Turner being active this weekend - he is just not right and I can't see how risking him is a good thing at this point. If he's active, well, then I just don't trust him (which is what I said two weeks ago before he played then and got hurt).
What up Stephania,Can you please discuss Matt Ryan's status for this weekend and the rest of the year? And would you start Ryan, Redman, Campbell, or Gradkowski this week? Thank you and go Niners on Mon nite!!!Miki
Miki: I miss RWC. Ryan is not likely to play although the Falcons have not ruled him out. He has been doing some side work and if they think he can be functional they might put him out there, but he needs to not only be effective enough at QB, he needs to be able to move well enough to protect himself from further injury. Not sure that can happen by Sunday. I would probably look towards next week. I would say that it's doubtful that he's 100% this season. He'll be playing through a sore toe no matter what.
Hi Stephania,Love your insight .This is a 2 part question. Maybe you could help me. I have D. Williams on alot of teams.How effective will he be if he starts and I 've noticed alot of people dropping Tynes..is there something wrong with him. I haven't heard. You are the best. Thanks
Pat: Thanks for coming. D Williams' ankle seems to be much better. Expect him to start and play well. Tynes is fine. Giants have been looking for someone for kickoffs so maybe folks getting nervous, but for now nothing has changed as far as I know.
Trying to decide between Cotchery and Bennett for my WR3 this week, no PPR. Can you give us come insight into the Hester injury status, and how this might affect my decision? THANKS!!!
Jamie: Hester appears doubtful this week b/c of his calf injury. I'm not a Cotchery fan this week b/c the Jets are starting Clemens. Bad news. Think I'd go with Bennett.
Hey Stephania, look forward to your chats every week...what is the status of VY? If healthy, would you go with him or your boy Alex Smith?
Arty: I'd go with Smith and I'm not just being a homer. OK - maybe a little, but here's my reasoning. Young won't be fully healthy. Maybe he plays, but the knee just got worse yesterday, so he won't be 100%. Also, the Rams have had a decent pass defense if you look at the power offenses recently (Saints included) that haven't scored a ton on them. Smith playing Monday night with a lot of incentive against a division rival who might be just a little worn down from that performance against the Vikings last week.
Starphania! Finally added you in Twitter this week, too! Any chance the lingering ankle injury is causing the recent low yds/carry for ADP?
Jason - THanks! For those who may not know, I finally got brave enough to join Twitter and am discovering the amazing connectivity of this new technology. Stephania_ESPN is my Twitter ID.As far as AP, I don't think that's the case. Think they have just been more pass focused. He's had ball control issues too which the Vikings are no doubt concerned about. I do think they try to run more this week.
Stephania, PLEASE tell me Chris Johnson will play this weekend...and break all single game rushing records against that weak D of St. Louie!
Nathan: I do think Johnson will play - he says the ankle is no big deal and Jeff FIsher says he's a little sore but also dismisses it. I don't think the ankle will be a factor at gametime. And I don't know about records, but I think he'll have a great day.
With Stafford not playing ,do you think C. Johnson stock goes up or down with Culpepper? Thanks
Pat: I think it at least stays the same, maybe goes up, just b/c he's clearly the target but Stafford has been somewhat disabled for a while, so perhaps with a healthier QB throwing to him he'll have a better day. Yes - it's the Ravens but I think you pass against them better than run against them. Especially with their secondary injuries.
Reports say that I have a bruised knee from last week, and that I am resting it this week. Should my owners start me over Shockey? I have been targeted 24x over the past 3 weeks compared to Shockey's dismal 11 targets. Thanks!
Still like Finley's targets over Shockey's, even if not totally consistent. Think he's got more upside right now.
Hi Stephania. Is Justin Gage back this week for TENN, and if so, does it hurt Britt's fantasy output this week. Thanks.
Trevor: I do think Gage is back but I think he does not cut into Britt much. Still think they work him back in easy as he's coming off the spinal fractures.
quick eagles question...eventhough he caught a short td last week, should i be worried about brent celek going forward into the playoffs?
Thomas: Well, his thumb is not 100% but I don't think it's worse and I think he's learning to play with it -so unless he actually suffers a setback with the injury, I am not especially worried.
Are you saying that Maclin's foot has gotten worse this week? Hasn't he been playing through it for a while now? Would Celek be a better start from the Eagles?
Mack: Yes, he's been playing through it but it appears that it's bothering him more and I hear he's been in a boot when not practicing.
It looks like Antonio Bryant is finally fully healed and is looking good the past few games... can I trust him in weeks 16 & 17 as a WR2 against the Saints and Falcons?
Pauly: He's certainly making amazing plays and everyone in TB says he's feeling better than he has all season. If you saw a couple of his catches last week then you know what I mean. I don't favor him against the Jets this week, but I do like those two matchups.
Do you see Bradshaw's value improving during the fantasy playoffs? He's been injury-plagued all year.
Randy: Well the injuries aren't going away. But I would argue that he's been pretty productive, most weeks, despite the injuries that he has. So I expect his value to be about what it's been.
Hey Stephania - If MSW isn't able to go on Sunday, what do you think about Crabtree vs ARI instead?
Alex: If he doesn't duck when he's about to take a hit this week, then I like him.
Is Westbrook going to come back soon? Will there be a 3 headed monster in Philly? Last week to drop adds would you keep Gainther or McCoy for a backup?
Mike: Westbrook is an ongoing evaluation in progress - while things are encouraging, there are no guarantees. I would keep McCoy. I know Ganther is the new starter, but I like McCoy's scoring potential- and even if Westbrook returns, I still see McCoy getting the majority of the work.
Any reason to be concerned about Shiancoe?
Patrick: Shiancoe is sore in the ribs - and we saw that last week during the game when he came out looking pained a couple times. So I think they're limiting him this week with the goal of having him available in the game. Don't expect it to alter his value much.
Hey Steph, I didn't know about MSW and thought he was a ggod start. Should I bench him for Greg Jennings?
Gerald: Might want to see what - if anything - MSW does in practice today. But given how it sounded, I'm leaning towards Jennings.
Thoughts on Ed Reed playing this week? I would feel more comfortable starting Megatron if he was out.
Fellow 49er fan: It's not looking good. The groin injury has been an issue and has kept him out of practice so far this week. Sounds as if he's not expected to play. I'm sure Megatron would be happy about that.
Quite a few experts say start Favre over Shaub. Is this because of the risk of re-injury to Shaub's shoulder? He seems to have the better matchup against Seattle. Do you think I should start Favre over Shaub?
Jason: I don't know. Favre has been a great fantasy point producing QB but I think the Texans will throw and throw some more against Seattle whereas I think the Vikings will run the ball more than they did last week. I would probably go with Schaub, especially b/c Texans run game is a mess. But...
How is Tom Brady? and will affect Randy Moss this week?
Kami: That is the million dollar question. I just heard from Mike Reiss that Brady was present at the start of practice today - but only portion open to media is stretching so we don't know what he'll do - but I think it suggests he'll play. And I think he will tough through it and throw to Moss.
Ive been getting "stuffed" by all the other fantasy writers this week. Steph......Barber, Maroney, Benson...Pick 2 Thanks from Austria!
Billy: Love the international crowd... Benson without a doubt. I think Maroney takes a hit this week with a little action from Morris and I suspect a Taylor return as well. So I go with Barber - although Dallas running game has been anything but predictable - but they need this one and I think Barber shows up.
Hi Stephania. Any news on Roddy White? Assume he'll be limited and then play Sunday?
Mark: You assume correctly. He'll be the top receiver target.
Stephania - Forte or Moreno this week?
Matt: moreno has the better matchup.
OK everyone - time for me to go. Have to run to Fantasy Focus! Thanks for coming. Remember we chat before games on Sunday starting at 10 a.m. here and then update you throughout Fantasy Football Now on ESPN2. See you on Twitter @Stephania_ESPN!Good luck in the fantasy playoffs!!