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December 22, 11:00 AM ET
Fantasy Injuries w/Stephania Bell

Stephania Bell
  (11:01 AM)

Mornin' Sports Nation and welcome to the Tuesday injury chat! Hope you fared well in your playoff week. Let's see who we should be worried about in Week 16!

Brandon (NYC)

Is Megatron hampered by his knee or are his low numbers due to the lack of QB? Can I trust him this week? Championship is on the line.Thanks

Stephania Bell
  (11:02 AM)

Brandon: I think it's a combination. He's definitely hurt by the folks around him. But I also watched some of that game and he looked uncomfortable at times. Also not getting up in the air like he can. I want to see what he does in practice all week. If he continues to be limited - and if there's confusion in Detroit about who's starting this week, then I'm not super confident.

Will The Thrill (Lakeside AZ)

Good morning Stephania! Could Someone please intervien with the ATL Falcons Training staff and stop them from running Michael Turner out on the field before he is fully healed? I think I could manage his injury better and I never went to medical school. My question is Could this injury have any effect on the rest of his career?

Stephania Bell
  (11:06 AM)

Will: I certainly can't second guess the medical staff who see Turner up close daily and can physically examine him in a way that we can't. Also, sometimes with injuries, a guy can look great and do everything in practice, and still go out and have a setback b/c of the hits that you take and the differences in a real game.That said, the reason I have lacked confidence in Turner the alst few weeks is b/c I just haven't seen him do enough to convince me from a distance that he's truly done enough to test the ankle to my satisfaction. It's tough since players are pushing to get back and show they're willing to play through injury. Problem for Turner is yes, a high ankle sprain that does not heal well can lead to arthritic changes in the ankle and become career threatening. Which all says to me that at this point, he really should heal up and look to next year. We'll see.

Matt (Buffalo)

Hey Stephania, I am in my league's championship this week and want to know if there is any early word on the statuses of DeAngelo Williams and Hakeem Nicks? Thank you!

Stephania Bell
  (11:08 AM)

Matt: Well congratulations! Williams they're not saying much about - we understand it's an ankle sprain (I believe the same ankle he injured a couple of weeks ago) - so we'll have to see in practice. Nicks says he had a tight hamstring, no major strain and far less serious than what he did during training camp. They were clearly dominating so sounds like they took him out for precautionary reasons. I expect him to play...but these hamstring things can simmer below the surface.

Andrew (WI)

Alright, Westbrook. How much work do you expect him to get? Is the Philly backfield something to just stay away from (and I suppose I should ask if Vick will play, further mudding the situation)?

Stephania Bell
  (11:10 AM)

Andrew: I don't expect Westbrook to play much. Andy Reid has already said it will only be for a few series. They want to ease him back and really get him comfortable being on the field again. Probably just enough to create a dip for McCoy and Weaver. Vick left with a thigh injury - no word on how serious, but assuming it's not, expect him to see the same amount of work.

Tom (San Diego)

Two questions: picked up Brian Westbrook a couple of weeks ago just in case he could be ready to go for fantasy playoffs and have made it to the finals with him waiting. What are the chances he gets decent playing time in the next two weeks (am hoping more for next week than this week)? 2) We have Calvin Johnson and seem to need Matthew Stafford out there as QB to get value from Johnson. What Stafford's status? Thanks.

Stephania Bell
  (11:11 AM)

Tom: TO follow up on some earlier posts, I think if Westbrook handles it well this week, he could get a little more action the week after. If you have room on your bench, might be worth it. And Stafford does not sound like he'll be ready to go this week. Not definite. But not encouraging.

Diego (City of Interceptions)

Merry Xmas Stephania - The SAINTS backfield has taken turns on the injury list, what are your opinions on who is healthiest and likely to get the most touches? I come off my bye with DeAngelo Williams hurting and Pierre Thomas or Jamaal Charles waiting to take his spot.

Stephania Bell
  (11:13 AM)

Diego: They're all banged up but Charles is playing brilliantly right now and getting tons of fantasy points. Williams we already talked about and Thomas I think is sore, but not major injured, and has a good matchup vs Tampa Bay. I might like Charles the best b/c he has no competition.

tom (mn)

Hey Stephania Happy Holidays. So i know you are going to get a lot of Colts questions this week but let me ask you this. The Colts are saying that they are going to rest their playings if it is a possible health risk. So are there any health issues that might limit or cause Peyton Manning or Dallas Clark to sit this week?

Stephania Bell
  (11:15 AM)

Tom: I don't think they sit. Unless they're really hurt I think the Colts key players all see action. But...Caldwell went on to say that he's not sure how long they play. As in key guys could play just a few series. I'd bet that Manning/Clark get a half in. I expect Reggie Wayne might only last for a quarter or so.

Justin (St Paul)

I know Sjax has been playing through his bad back, but are you worried of the Rams shutting him down and if not is he a better play than Rice who has a TOUGH game vs PITT?

Stephania Bell
  (11:17 AM)

Justin: I think he'll continue to play, He has said he wants to "gut it out" and unless he really takes a turn for the worse, I think he will. I would probably go with Jackson, all things staying the same, voer Rice.

Roger Pidacter (Miami)

Bush and Shockey going to be good to go against the dangerous TB Defense on Sunday?

Stephania Bell
  (11:19 AM)

Roger: I detect some sarcasm. Bush has a hamstring issue but Payton insists it is very mild. although he made it sound like no big deal, we get a lot of clues with the Saints based on weekly practices. If Bush does not practice Th/Fri, then I'd be concerned. Shockey has turf toe and it will also be a day-to-day with him but I think they'd like to have him back. My guess is he goes if he can move around OK as the week progresses.

John (At work)

Ok Stephania, maybe I'm overthinking this one...Is Fitz back at 100%? And also is Warner fully healthy too? I'm having a tought time choosing between Warner and Alex Smith because of their juicy mathcups. Any thoughts?

Stephania Bell
  (11:20 AM)

John: You are. FItzgerald is probably not 100% but him at 75% is still better than most. Warner has a great matchup against the Rams. Like him.

Jason (FL)

Starphania! Any word on Celek's various injuries going into this week? He was very involved last week, so I'm hopeful.

Stephania Bell
  (11:21 AM)

Jason: It sounds like he did not come out any worse and he had a solid game. Expect more this week.

Dave (Cleveland)

Brady Quinn on the IR and out for the season? Not really fantasy relevant, but what have you heard about this?

Stephania Bell
  (11:23 AM)

Dave: All I know is that it's his foot - no specifics. But yes, on IR.

Bill (Cleveland)

They're dropping like flies in Buffalo! What is the status of the Bills' Qb's, and if one of the injured QB's or newbie Brohm play do you see Atlanta D/ST as a good play this week?

Stephania Bell
  (11:24 AM)

Bill: Weak ankles all around. Edwards has a high ankle sprain apparently and Fitzpatrick also has an ankle injury. Brohm is expected to start and I would stay so far away from this...I mean he just came to Buffalo and he's totally untested.

Ronan (Ireland)

Hi Stephania, your eponymous bell may end up on the injury report soon if all the podcasters keep using it !! Sportsnation's Kevin Wildes kept using "The Stephania Bell" on the recent BS Report. You have to keep "The Bell" off the IR

Stephania Bell
  (11:25 AM)

Ronan: Thanks for coming to the chat! And yes, THE Stephania Bell is getting abused on a regular basis. I think that is why the injury curse has been resurrected...

John (Ontario)

Hey Steph. How is Jennings looking after that (minor?) injury? I need to decide between him and Sims-Walker, do you foresee one being more hampered by injury than the other?

Stephania Bell
  (11:26 AM)

John: I think for Jennings this is just another minor nick in a long season, at least that's how they're playing it in GB right now. Sims-Walker showed me that he seemed to be doing well despite the recent calf/knee. But I like Jennings vs Seattle better.

Philip (Dallas)

What's your view on how Ware looked this weekend? Obviously he was productive, but are you seeing anything to cause concern going further?

Stephania Bell
  (11:29 AM)

Philip: No. I think that one of the biggest challenges was for him to get back out there and have confidence - not be fearful that his neck would be weak, painful, etc. I don't think there's any particular reason to be concerned going forward.

Travis (Iowa)

Is Maclin looking for a comeback this week?

Stephania Bell
  (11:30 AM)

Travis: The Eagles hinted at that possibility last week but we won't know until Weds practice whether he can do anything or not. I'd still say very iffy.

Joe (Alexandria, VA)

Merry Cristmas! Do you think Charles is a better play than Harrison this week?

Stephania Bell
  (11:32 AM)

Joe: Merry Christmas back to you. Yes, I think so - simply b/c Charles has been consistent for several weeks. Harrison came out of nowhere - and while I think he's going to see some more action as a result, I doubt he has another gazillion yard day.

willie (rip city)

Hey Stephania, thanks for all the hard work. Following up on the Colts situation, Joe Addai has pretty much been on the injury report all season. Does he even see a half this week?

Stephania Bell
  (11:33 AM)

Willie: I think he sees about a half. He has been banged up but so far nothing serious. And Donald Brown really has been hurt. Wouldn't be surprised if he's out again. So I see Addai getting a half.

Kirk (Chicago)

STARPHANIA!!! I'm worried Favre is breaking down and Brady's still ailing. Who should i start this week in the championship? Also Jennings or Megatron? Thanks.

Stephania Bell
  (11:35 AM)

Kirk: I don't think he's breaking down, but in a bit of a rut, I agree. THat said, he's coming out on Monday night football with a bit of a chip on his shoulder against a struggling Chicago defense. I like Favre.

devin (cape canaveral)

Happy holiday, first year in fantasy and have enjoyed your input. In championship game, this is not an injury question but a starter. Eli or Romo, Dallas Clark or Fred Davis

Stephania Bell
  (11:37 AM)

Devin: Wow - first year and in championship? Congratulations! I like Eli - and as much as I like Davis and know Clark could be limited in terms of playing time, I still expect Clark to be a lock for a score. I play Clark.

Mark (KC)

Julius Jones had a rib injury again this weekend, or maybe the same one. Any update on him. I have Forsett sitting on my bench, but hate to gamble in the championship game

Stephania Bell
  (11:38 AM)

Mark: I think the Jones injury creates more opportunity for Forsett and I would expect him to get the bulk of the work this week.

Tree Shaker (Pecan Grove)

Ah, Stephania! I just read this - "(Beanie) Wells suffered a minor injury on his final Week 15 carry when a hit caused his helmet to pinch a nerve and briefly blur his vision." Any word on this injury and how it may affect his playing time in a juicy matchup?

Stephania Bell
  (11:41 AM)

Tree Shaker; Sounds awful - but my understanding is that it's not so bad. He took a hit to the helmet and apparently it forced the helmet to bang against the bony prominence around the eyebrow. It made him a little woozy but cleared rapidly. Sounds like they're not calling it a concussion and not expecting it to limit him.

Eric (Indy)

Any word on Harvin's Migraine issues? He wasn't productive at all last week!

Stephania Bell
  (11:43 AM)

Eric: Harvin was expected to visit the Mayo Clinic today but that had more to do with his bulging discs in his neck. I think the evaluation of his migraine situation is a work in progress. They are trying to help identify the triggers to better help him avoid them in the first place. There's no predicting when they will come - but as long as he stays clear of them this week, he will play.

Eric (Indy)

Not really injury related, but do you possibly see Jacobs being suspended for throwing a punch or 2 last night?

Stephania Bell
  (11:43 AM)

Eric: Probably fined over suspended.

Chris (Iowa)

Need help!! Do I start VY on Friday night? I have Peyton, and I am very worried he will not play a lot on Sunday. What are your thoughts?

Stephania Bell
  (11:47 AM)

Chris: It's a legit question - but here's my thought. Young has put up some decent numbers lately and Manning will be facing the Jets. I think the Colts will run some more, maybe play the underneath routes more. And then if they're up, Manning will exit early - if the game is close, maybe not but then it's likely low-scoring. You can score on San Diego, so I could see Young putting up good points again. Can't believe my argument leads me to say I might start Young...but I might.

Alex (NYC)

Follow up on Harvin, couldn't Harvin's bulging disks be pressing on a nerve causing the migraines? Or do you agree with the analysis that the migraines are hereditary and the two unrelated. Thinking of keeping him in a keeper league is why I ask, because one can be treated, while heredity can not.

Stephania Bell
  (11:49 AM)

Alex: Very good question with a long answer that would be too long for here. I will sum it up by saying that while I don't think the disc issue is necessarily CAUSING migraines, I think it complicates his overall picture. The biggest issue with Harvin here is that nothing is a quick fix and this will be ongoing. I suspect that he may be the kind of player who is magical when he plays, but could be limited intermittently and unexpectedly by some of these health concerns. Keeper league upside that comes with some risk.

Gary (Boston)

Do you see Turner playing this week and if not, who do you expect to carry the load? Snelling or Norwood?

Stephania Bell
  (11:50 AM)

Gary: I do not see Turner playing this week. I expect Snelling to get the most work, even if Norwood starts.

Leo (Chicago)

Any injuries on the saints that could cause Brees, Colston, etc to sit early?

Stephania Bell
  (11:51 AM)

Leo: Don't expect it and every game is important for them so I think they all play.

Olivia (Chicago)

Hi, Out of these 3 RBs which 2 out of 3 should i start - Fred Jackson, Ahmand Bradshaw or Jerome Harrison?

Stephania Bell
  (11:52 AM)

Olivia: Nice choices -but I go with Jackson and Bradshaw. Harrison had a major week - but given everyone's play and their matchups this week, I like the two guys I mentioned.

Jason (St. Louis)

Antoine Winfield did not look right on Sunday night. With EJ Henderson out and Winfield banged up, is it time to give up on the Vikings D? The matchup against Chicago looks good, but so did the Panthers matchup. Should I look to a plug 'n' play like the Atlanta D this week?

Stephania Bell
  (11:54 AM)

Jason: Winfield has acknowledged that his foot is not yet right and that he can't run the way he usually does. Nonetheless, this is Chicago and the opportunities for turnovers are high. I still like GB better than Atlanta.

Justin (The Beach)

Stephania, I tend to agree with your Colt v Jets guesswork, specifically regarding the Colts' side. I'm in my league's championship game and am contemplating starting Ahmad Bradshaw in place of Addai. Is the fact that Ahmad currently uses two prosthetic ankles enough to sway me back toward starting Joseph? Thank you!

Stephania Bell
  (11:56 AM)

Justin: Bradshaw just does not run like a guy with two bad ankles. The management of him physically seems to be working. I watched him run last night and he is running strong, cutting well and looking quick. I like him again this week.

Skunky D (Harrisburg, PA)

Hi Stephania, love your work. Big question(s) - I have Hines Ward and Mike Sims Walker - how comfortable do you feel starting them in the championship game?

Stephania Bell
  (11:57 AM)

From an injury standpoint I'm comfortable with both of them. Ward seemed to be moving a lot better this week and Sims-Walker showed he could run around after a bad outing the week prior.

Brett (Mechanicsburg PA)

Please, please, please answer this one!!! Who would you start at flex Beanie, Ganther, Harrison or Megatron??

Stephania Bell
  (11:59 AM)

Brett: If Johnson shows in practice that he's significantly better I go with him. If not, then Beanie.

Mike (TX)

You believe Wayne plays on a short time. What about Garcon?

Stephania Bell
  (12:00 PM)

Mike: Similar. He's also a bit banged up (left last game with a hand bruise and hurt us all...) so I expect him to get some work, but be rotated a lot.

Joe (LA)

I know you're the injury gal, but I have a commish question for you. How would you go about telling someone you don't want them in the league next year? They are a friend but not active in the league and everyone else wants to find someone new.

Stephania Bell
  (12:02 PM)

Joe: Honesty is the best policy. I would just point out that he hasn't been active in the league and people want to play in a competitive league where everyone is equally invested. If he wants to play again, I'd probably give him another shot, but not until I had that conversation. Everyone wants to be in a league where all the participants are into it..otherwise it skews the whole league. Send him to me, I'll tell him...

Stephania Bell
  (12:03 PM)

Time for me to run...No Friday chat this week because of the holiday so I will be back on Sunday morning before kickoff to chat again. Merry Christmas and happy holidays to all. Good luck in your championship week!