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December 18, 11:00 AM ET
Fantasy Injuries w/Stephania Bell

Stephania Bell
  (11:07 AM)

Good Morning Sports Nation - I think my computer froze in the cold weather! It's very slow to warm up this morning -0 but now it seems to be under control...so here we go. Lots of injuries, as always...

Steve (Newark)

What's up with Pierre Thomas? Limited participant? and what's the status of Mike Bell?

Stephania Bell
  (11:09 AM)

Hi Steve in Newark: Thomas was limited reportedly with a "hip" injury - not clear yet if this is related to the quad strain that was affecting him last week. Meanwhile Mike Bell back to being a full participant in practice so maybe a week off helped. Hard for fantasy owners to know what to expect this week. Haven't gotten a vibe that Thomas won't play - but if he is hurting a bit it might shift some of his carries away. Hmmmm.

Mike (Boston)

Stephania: Is Fitz ready to roll?

Stephania Bell
  (11:11 AM)

Mike: Love how a guy in Boston refers to L Fitzgerald as Fitz - that's awesome. HE says he's ready to go. They've been having to protect him from himself in practice b/c he wants to do more. Acknowledges the knee is sore but says he expects to play. I think the Cardinals hope to have him as long as there's no setback before Sunday. Hence the limited practice. I expect him to play as of right now.

Dan (NYC)

Bowe or H. Nicks in a PPR league. Can Bowe be trusted coming off suspension?

Stephania Bell
  (11:12 AM)

Dan: Sounds like Bowe maintained his conditioning and they expect to plug him right back in. But Nicks also has been putting up great fantasy numbers lately. I'd probably go with the hot guy in Nicks. Need to see Bowe (and Cassel) ahve a good game before I believe.

Earl (KC)

S Rice missed practice yesterday with an illness. Any concern? Also, what' Buckhalter's status. Thanks.

Stephania Bell
  (11:14 AM)

Earl: No major concern with Rice...yet. If he's back in practice today then not worried at all. Buckhalter hasn't practiced and I don't expect him to play.

Nick (Milwaukee)

Stephania...need your help with a 49er decision. I have Tom Brady and Alex Smith. Would you bench Brady for Smith based on injury, recent play and/or the tough matchup? Playoffs!

Stephania Bell
  (11:15 AM)

Nick: I have Brady and Smith too. And as much of a homer as I am, I would not bench Brady, even with the injuries. If anything, he is going to play hard right now and I think will make every effort to get R Moss the ball. Plus Smith traveling east to face Eagles...makes me nervous.

Phil (Adelphia)

good morning Stephania! What's the latest on Calvin? Also, is Stafford definitely out? The guy I'm playing has Moss and Calvin so I'm hoping to ease my mind at least a little. Thanks!

Stephania Bell
  (11:17 AM)

Phil: Stafford not officially out - but as close to it as you can get. No one expects him to play and Lions have certainly strongly suggested he won't. Johnson DNP Thursday after a limtied day Weds - has me worried that the knee is bothering him more again. Compound that with this trade chatter and I don't think Calvin is quite himself. That said, if he's on your team, you have to play him - but if he's on your opponent's team, well, maybe you do breathe a little easier.

Jason (Northern MI)

Are there any lingering effects from Kurt Warner's concussion? He was lousy on MNF.

Stephania Bell
  (11:18 AM)

Jason: No - that was just him being confronted by an outstanding performance from the Niners D. I will say this. He appeared to hurt his groin or quad early on and was seen icing the area. He seemed to be limping intermittently after that. At one point I saw Leinart stretching as if he was going to come in but Warner toughed it out. I think he played that game mostly hurt - but he is a tough QB. I will certainly give him that.

J.B. (Dunmore, PA)

Ms. Bell: I'm guessing Michael Turner isn't worth starting even if he is activated for Sunday. Better for me to go with Ganther, LT, and Jennings (FLEX) than to risk putting Turner in my lineup? Thanks again for all the help.

Stephania Bell
  (11:21 AM)

J.B. THat would be my inclination as of this minute. But I really want to see what he does today. He only did very limited work yesterday. Now we're hearing that he has been doing running workouts on the side and has looked good - but that is not the same as running through traffic - or cutting side to side. But if he goes full out in practice, I'd at least be more encouraged - maybe with him as flex. But again...may be gtd as to whether he plays.

Big Mike (Denver)

Hi Stephania: Brent Celek. Is he going to be okay? My opponent has Dallas Clark (along with MJD), so I hope Celek will be able to help chip away at my deficit! Thank you kindly!

Stephania Bell
  (11:24 AM)

Big Mike: They certainly hope that he will be and they're talking as if he'll be OK. He had some back stiffness and soreness after the game and as a result didn't practice Weds. he was back doing some work Thurs though so it's a good sign. Expect him to play.

John (Work)

Any word on which Rams have the swine flu?

Garrett (Fargo)

decided to drop Kicker C. Mason for Garrett Hartley, now he is on the injury report. Is he going to play Sat. night? Thanks!

Stephania Bell
  (11:25 AM)

Not yet.

Stephania Bell
  (11:27 AM)

Garrett: Did you pick up your kicker b/c you share the same name? You are asking what LOTS of people are - in fact, don't remember ever seeing this many kicker questions. It sounds as if the Saints expect him to play Saturday but it may come down to a gtd. He's got a hip issue - no word on how serious. The good thing is it's a Saturday game - so you can check by gmaetime, and then pick up another kicker if necessary before Sunday's games.

Raymond (Tahoe)

WTH happened to The Waiter last night. Hard to get any sort of word on him. Thanks!

Stephania Bell
  (11:29 AM)

Raymond. Heard he bruised a hand. No word on how serious - initially it sounded as though it was no big deal, but it certainly looked as if something was up.. We won't likely hear anything more before early next week b/c they don't have to put out injury updates for a while.

James (CT)

Whats the status on Steven Jackson? Is his herniated disk going to affect his game alot this weekend?

Stephania Bell
  (11:30 AM)

James: I think he's status quo. He's been performing well despite the back issue and as long as his symptoms aren't worsening (and we're not hearing that they are), he will probably continue his pattern of not practicing during the week and playing on Sunday. The Texans could play him tough though - this is not his greatest matchup.

Patrick (Toronto)

Shiancoe? He goes Sunday night so I need to know if I can wait on him or not?

Stephania Bell
  (11:31 AM)

Patrick: Despite being nicked up, he's played so far and I expect him to continue to do so.

eric (toronto)

any news on the burleson injury? he is my backup and want to know if i should drop him and pick up another "incase"

Stephania Bell
  (11:32 AM)

Eric: Burleson won't play this week - he suggested he could miss the rest of the season but the team certainly isn't going that far. Nonetheless, it's a high ankle sprain. I'd be getting some insurance.

Dale (Palmdale)

What is the latest on Percy Harvin? And if he does play, who would you pair with Wes Welker and S.Smith (NY), Crabtree or Harvin?

Stephania Bell
  (11:34 AM)

Dale: Harvin not looking good. They are still very much trying to figure out his migraine situation and he has not been well this week (and not able to practice). If he does nothing again Friday then I would be skeptical about his ability to play. If he does practice Friday and seems to be past at least this migraine episode I'd play him. Otherwise I go with Crabtree.

Joe (MN)

Hey Stephania, fell behind pretty bg last night playing against Manning, Clark and MJD. Who has the better upside at QB? Campbell, Hasselbeck or A. Smith?

Stephania Bell
  (11:37 AM)

Joe: Ouch. I can't quite believe I'm saying this but I think Campbell may have the best upside -although you risk a couple picks. Smith will be challenged traveling to Philly, Hasselbeck does have Tampa Bay although I think they will run a ton because Forsett and Jones are healthy - and because they can against TB - and I think Campbell will be able to pass against the Giants.

john (canada)

Hi, have to decide to sit or start Steven Jackson. Worried about the back, the O line, the swine flu, and oh yeah, his whole team stinks. Should I avoid him if stronger matchup play is J Charles?

Stephania Bell
  (11:40 AM)

John: This is a really good question. It's hard to imagine sitting Jackson - ever - but I really want to find out who's been affected by the flu. If those guys impact him, then I'd be nervous. And Charles has been outstanding the last few weeks. Check Friday reports and we should learn more about all of the Rams. Not sure I could pull the trigger - but I'd think about it for sure.

MacKenna (VT)

Hi Stephania, is Forsett completely healed from his injury? He played last week after being questionable, and nothing yet this week.. thanks

Stephania Bell
  (11:41 AM)

MacKenna: Yes - he's healthy enough anyway to no longer appear on the injury report.

Joe (Princeton, NJ)

Go tiiiigers...hey steph kicker question... whats the latest on Hartley...do you think his hip issue could be a factor in some botched kicks? Should I go with Tynes instead??

Stephania Bell
  (11:43 AM)

Joe: Have to give some love to Princeton - and I know I already talked Hartley - but I just saw that the New Orleans Times-Picayune is reporting today that Hartley says he fully expects to kick Saturday and that he made all 5 field goal attempts in practice. So - sounds like thins are looking up.

Jason (Pittsburgh)

With TO's recent illness is Housh a better start this week? Thanks & Happy Holidays

Stephania Bell
  (11:45 AM)

Jason: Owens did not practice again Friday - but I'd still be surprised if he was held out Sunday. The Bills are expected to give player updates this afternoon so we should know more then, but I have to think he plays - you know he wants to come up big against the Patriots and Housh has just not been especially consistent in terms of fantasy points.

Greg (NC)

What was up about Ray Rice's "chest injury" last week? Never heard another word about it, and he wasn't on the injury report.

Stephania Bell
  (11:46 AM)

Greg: He didn't miss time so there was never any more to hear really. Guess it wasn't a significant issue.

drew (ny)

Whats the status of Vince Young? Should i play it safe and go with Campbell Instead? Cant Afford a half game. Thanks

Stephania Bell
  (11:48 AM)

Drew: He's splitting reps in practice with Collins although they expect he'll play. But I would guess his mobility will be limited - and there's always that risk of aggravating the injury (his hamstring and his knee). I actually like Campbell this week myself.

Rene (Mexico)

Hi Stephania, go with Branch or Bryant?

Stephania Bell
  (11:49 AM)

Rene: Branch may make an interesting flex for some without Burleson in the kix, but I like Bryant better, the lone receiving bright spot in TB.

CJ (Michigan)

Any word on J. Stewart?!

Stephania Bell
  (11:51 AM)

CJ; Back in full practice Thursday after taking his usual Weds off. I expect him to be the #2 RB to Stewart this week.

Jason (Philly)

Stephania, please you have to settle this bet between my roomie and me. Were you at Candlestick Monday night in a cute little stocking hat, shown briefly in a stand shot on ESPN in the 3rd quarter? I say it was you, he says no. Thx in advance, a pizza is riding on this :)

Stephania Bell
  (11:52 AM)

Jason: Sorry - you will have to pay up... I was in the Stadium Club in the 3rd and then was in our studio truck in the 4th. Only out in the field area in the pregame and part of first half.

Larry (VA)

I didn't play Mike Sims-Walker last night and now have to bank on Fitz and Derrick Mason playing on Sunday. Will Mason be okay to play?

Stephania Bell
  (11:54 AM)

Larry: Have to imagine Mason plays. He plays through all kinds of injuries and this is just another one to add to the list. Assume limiting him in practice so that he can go Sunday.

Rob (PA)

Will Matt Ryan play? Is the combination of Redman and Revis enough to sit Roddy White (who has been battling injuries himself)? Would be sitting him for Antonio Bryant.

Stephania Bell
  (11:56 AM)

Rob: Loaded question here. I don't expect Ryan plays but they will again take it to gametime. A lot depends on what we see from him today. I do worry about White's ability to be productive although I think Revis may be on Gonzalez. Hard to say. I like Bryant - don't know if I like him enough to get rid of White

Dave (Pitt)

What!!! 2 questions about the same kicker and nothing about Moreno?

Stephania Bell
  (11:58 AM)

Dave: Relax...here you go. Moreno is fine - and without Buckhalter he should have a great day.

Justin (Texas)

What are you hearing about D. Ware? That neck injury looked bad but it sounds like he might play. What are your thoughts?

Stephania Bell
  (11:59 AM)

Justin: It could have been terrible. Luckily it was a soft tissue injury with a lot of swelling, no broken bones. He was back in limited practice Thursday and wants to play but it will be a medical decision. May come down to gametime. If he has adequate strength and no pain, swelling, and he gets cleared, then there's no reason he shouldn't play. But he may not be quite ready.

Mark (NC)

DWill has a bad matchup. Another player dropped Wells and I have the waiver order to get him tomorrow. Would you start Wells over DWill?

Stephania Bell
  (12:01 PM)

Nope. Bad matchup and all I'd take Williams in a heartbeat.

john (canada)

Not another question. Just a thank you for all you do to help each week. And Merry Christmas.

Stephania Bell
  (12:02 PM)

And on that note John...thanks so much. And thanks to all of you for coming. We'll be here Sunday morning before the games...chatting again. Good luck in your playoffs!!