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December 31, 3:00 PM ET
Fantasy Injuries w/Stephania Bell

Stephania Bell
  (3:04 PM)

Happy Friday everyone and Happy New Year! What would be better than a fantasy championship to kick off the New Year??? Now the question is how to do it with a totally different roster than the one you started the season with...

Brenda (Hermiston Oregon)

I hear Moreno is doing better and will probably play. I picked up Tolbert, Torain, Felix Jones and Hightower in case Moreno doesn't play. Do you think Moreno is a better non PPR choice than any of my bench if he's able to play?

Stephania Bell
  (3:08 PM)

Brenda: Welcome and congrats on being the first post...I like your Torain pickup much better. Tolbert is done for the year so scratch him off your list. Moreno does look as if he'll play - we just don't know how much...

Stephania Bell
  (3:09 PM)

Can I just tell my friends here in the chat room that I am suffering through the Canes Sun Bowl appearance??? Wow - talk about moving on to next year...let's go.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

Happy New Year!!! What are the Chances that Hakeem Nicks will play on Sunday?

Stephania Bell
  (3:10 PM)

Chris: Happy New Year to you also - and thanks for being a regular here in the chat room. Nicks has been ruled OUT as of this afternoon - so fantasy owners (including me) will need to make alternate plans...

victor (monroe)

what do you think new orleans has to do to win the south?and is pierre thomas playing this sunday against tampa bay?

Stephania Bell
  (3:12 PM)

Victor: Drew Brees has to have a solid performance - and not just in the 4th quarter. And probably will have to do it without Colston - hard to imagine him back 5 days post-op. Defense needs to rise to the occasion. And as far as PT, this just in...Mike Triplett of the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports he is being listed as questionable after tweaking his ankle. Bummer - b/c he looked so good Monday night. But it also looks like Ivory will be back.

Jay (Los Angeles)

Hey Starphania, thanks for all your help this year. For 2011, do you think MJD and Hillis continue to break down at the end of year?

Stephania Bell
  (3:14 PM)

Jay: Thanks for reading/listening/watching...MJD has already broken down I think. He's OUT for this weekend - and if the Jags are lucky enough to move to playoffs, it's unclear what he'll be able to do. Hillis I think is worn down from the season and being the physical type of back that he is. Sounds like Cleveland hopes to have him Sunday but they're also giving mad props to Mike Bell as if he'll be doing a fair amount of work.

Sean (SF)

Hoping to be your first post 2 weeks in row! Any word on Owen Daniels and do you think he gives 100% the entire game?

Stephania Bell
  (3:16 PM)

Sean: Well, not the first post - but you're still on the board! No inclination that Daniels is going to sit out, but the fact he's back on the report suggests to me that he might not see a full game.

Rex (not Sexy) (Chicago)

Even if A. Johnson, Moreno and/or Maclin are active, Igiven the risk 'm leaning toward keeping them all on the bench -- replaced by S. Greene, R. Jennings and Jacoby Jones. Agree?

Stephania Bell
  (3:18 PM)

Rex: Now that we know Johnson's out, Jones is an easy sub. Greene is perhaps a decent start since LT won't play. And Jennings you know gets the start with MJD out. So I think I agree with you on all counts. My only question would be Moreno vs Greene. Greene just has not done it for me this year - but with no LT, I have to believe his chances are better - and if Sanchez plays only a limited time, they may go heavier to the run.

Dave (New Hampshire)

Ben Roethlisberger or Matt Schaub for my Fantasy Championship on Sunday?

Stephania Bell
  (3:18 PM)

Dave: I like Schaub. Fantasy productivity and wants to end strong.

sheila (houston)

Hey Stephania. Bradshaw is reported good to go Sunday. With that ankle and fumbles would you play Jacobs instead?

Stephania Bell
  (3:20 PM)

Hi Sheila: I think both are good options this week. I don't really shy away from Bradshaw despite the occasional fumble. His ankle is not a big deal to me as he has dealt with foot and ankle issues intermittently and it hasn't really slowed him. But I also think this is a good day for Jacobs. Take your pick. (If you made me pick, I'd still lean towards Bradshaw though.)

Sal (Mesa, AZ)

Sorry about the Canes. Ouch! Any injury issues for Rothlisberger or Ryan? Looking for anything to tip the balance between the two.

Stephania Bell
  (3:22 PM)

Sal: Sigh...sorry doesn't even begin to describe it...No issues for Ryan. we know Roethlisberger has dealt with the foot issue along with a broken nose - but he's played through his injuries pretty well. Wouldn't say that's a factor for him this week. I like Ryan this week though.

Kevin (Dallas)

With the news on Pierre Thomas' ankle, should I just go with Ryan Torain and not even give PT a chance?

Stephania Bell
  (3:23 PM)

Kevin: If you have to make a choice, I'd probably go with Torain given the news. He will (we expect) be the primary guy. In New Orleans, we now won't know until Sunday whether Thomas will go and then we won't know how much.

Riaz (OH)

Is Malcom Floyd going to play Sunday Stephania? Happy New Year to you and your family!

Stephania Bell
  (3:25 PM)

Riaz: Why thank you! And a Happy New Year to you as well! Floyd has certainly made it look as if he'll play. Still early Friday in CA so final reports not yet in, but after not thinking he'd play, it now looks as if he will. We'll have a better idea when the status tags come out this evening.

Kevin (Dallas)

Hey Stephania, who would you play this weekend.....Shaun Hill for a full game or Tom Brady for who knows how long.

Stephania Bell
  (3:28 PM)

Kevin: Sooo hard to believe - but I think I go with Hill. Only because I think this will be the first year we see Belichick go conservative with his players. I expect Brady plays the first half - and he could do some major damage (as in, earn a bunch of fantasy points) in a short outing...but I'm still too concerned to have him locked in. Hill on the other hand I expect to be in it to win it.

A. Golden (Miami)

Jacory Harris or Stephen Morris as my keeper for 2011? (sorry)

Stephania Bell
  (3:29 PM)

Now that's just the way, do you think they know the receivers are wearing orange? Cuz it sure doesn't look that way...

Lou (Ny)

Stephania - Happy New Year, what is status on Stewart? or should i play Bush (Oakland) at flex or Avant or Moore. thanks

Stephania Bell
  (3:31 PM)

Lou: Just saw that Stewart was upgraded to full practice Friday and he's listed as probable. I go with him.

Issac (San Leandro CA)

What's your feeling on Hasselbeck? Trying to decide between Boldin, M Floyd and Mike Williams. Thanks. Happy New Year.

Stephania Bell
  (3:33 PM)

Nothing to suggest that Hasselbeck is making progress towards playing, only that he really wants to. His hip is problematic and I don't think he's going to be able to go. And yes, that kills the M Williams value if he sits. Let's see what the word is out of Seattle late today but if Hasselbeck still can't do anything, have to expect he's out.

Nate (Canton)

I am thinking of sitting Steve Johnson for Derrick Mason since Fitzpatrick is unlikely to play. Your thoughts?

Stephania Bell
  (3:34 PM)

Nate: Have to agree - if Fitzpatrick's out, I like S Johnson a lot less (would be Brian Brohm getting the start).

Fellow sad Canes fan (Miami, FL)

Stephania, I've been fortunate to have both Brady and Vick this season. But, now need to decide on playing Brady or Tebow or Hill this week. What do you think? Hopefully Al will turn this thing around next year.

Stephania Bell
  (3:35 PM)

Thanks fellow sympathizer...I think Tebow or Hill - for reasons I outlined earlier, and of the two I like Hill better.

sheila (Houston)

ok 1 final question..none of that ppr sissy ball, need real performers for pts...all healthy pick 1---blount/torain/jennings/greene...playing turner and bradshaw

Stephania Bell
  (3:38 PM)

Sheila: I like it...getting serious...Tough call for me between Blount and Torain, but as someone who's gone with Torain all year when healthy, that's who I default to. I kknow the Giants are supposed to have this great run defense, but the last couple weeks have been perplexing. And the Saints at home playing hard is a tough opponent. Torain - final answer.

Justin (Nashville)

How much of a workload do you think Moreno will be able to handle? Would you guess he's not in much better shape than he was in last week? I have no option but to start him in my title game, so I'm crossing my fingers and hoping for the best!

Stephania Bell
  (3:39 PM)

Justin: It's hard to know from a distance and we can only go by what he's done in practice - which isn't a ton. I'm guessing he's probably the same, maybe some improved from last week - but after Buckhalter's showing last week, he could get plenty of work too. I will cross my fingers for you, but it's a bit of a tough call.

Tom (Kansas)

Hey Stephania, I have foster, and CJK for my top running backs and am trying to decide between charles or jennings since MJD has been ruled out. Do you think Charles gets enough carries to be a good start or should I go with Jennings who I know will get touches. Thanks and HAPPY NEW YEARS

Stephania Bell
  (3:40 PM)

Tom: Charles says he wants to play for the rushing title and more importantly, Haley says they plan to play to win. I expect Charles will get plenty of work and we know what he can do. I'd start Charles if it were me.

dave (home)

why did it take so long for the chargers to put gates on IR?

Stephania Bell
  (3:42 PM)

Dave: I think they really wanted to give him the opportunity to play if he felt he could. And he tried. Managed to get out there for a couple games but clearly couldn't play like himself and then things got worse. Plus - until just recently they had an eye on a possible playoff spot. Now that everything is over and done, they can use a spot for someone else this week if they want to.

Steve (SF)

We always here about players having to pass a concussion test. What exactly is a concussion test? Thanks!

Stephania Bell
  (3:46 PM)

Steve: Several things have to happen. Players have to be completely free of symptoms at rest(and later, with exertion). They have to have a normal neurological examination (clinical tests which look at the function of the cranial nerves - affecting things like vision for instance - as well as some recall type tests). They also have to pass their ImPACT test at a level that shows they have returned to baseline. ImPACT is a neruocognitive test program - meaning it measures how the brain processes information and it's a computer based test that examines recall, reaction time, etc). All NFL players must test before the season starts. After concussions the tests are repeated. If players now have lower scores, they essentially "fail" the test. The test is repeated, usually at two-day intervals until the scores return to normal for that individual. That has to happen before they can be cleared.

john (philly)

do you see megatron playing? thanks for you insight all year.

Stephania Bell
  (3:50 PM)

John: Hmmm. He hasn't practiced all week and is officially a gametime decision. The consensus of local writers is that he'll try to go - but then we have to wonder whether he holds up. He's usually pretty tough - but even if he goes, if the ankle acts up they won't keep him on the field. Makes me a little nervous - but depends on your options really.

Chris (FL)

If Megatron is a no go, would you rather start A. Dixon or D. Alexander, 16 team league this are my "best" options without Mega...

Stephania Bell
  (3:53 PM)

Chris: I guess Alexander would be my preference, esp after the week he just had. Strong hints that they'll be looking for him again. Just don't know that Snelling is guaranteed enough touches...

Carl Porter (Ohio)

Latest on Favre please - my wife wants to start him on her team this week as "homage" to him... also for my team, latest on Peterson (we are playing each other this week to finish out) - thanks

Stephania Bell
  (3:55 PM)

Carl: Well, I think your chances are a lot better than hers. AP is listed as probable and seems to be doing quite well, even on a short week. And the rest he got before Tuesday's game clearly benefited him. Favre is listed as doubtful and it really appears he will not take the field.

Anastasia (Colorado Springs)

Do I believe Rex when he says Joe McKnight will get a chance to run the ball Sunday? Shonne Greene is ranked a lot higher but won't he sit when Sanchez is pulled?

Stephania Bell
  (3:57 PM)

Anastasia: you know what's funny? Every time I hear Joe McKnight's name I think of the singer Brian McKnight - just can't get it into my head that he's a RB...and yes, I believe Rex that he'll play but I don't know about a "ton" of time like Rex says. Here's the problem. We have no idea what to expect from the Jets. I think Greene gets heavy action in the first half and then may get pulled. I think Sanchez has potentially less time than Greene though.

Eric (Indy)

So should I start Lance moore over Stevie Johnson?

Stephania Bell
  (3:58 PM)

Eric: I go Lance IF no Fitzpatrick.

dave (home)

do you see ryan playing the whole game seeing how they might pull him if they get a big lead on carolina? i am leaning toward playing bradford instead of ryan this week

Stephania Bell
  (4:00 PM)

Dave: Ryan better play the whole game since he's my QB...actually I don't see him getting pulled until and unless it's late and they have a ginormous lead. I do think Bradford is a good play though and if I had those two I would seriously consider going with Bradford too.

Chris (FL)

Thanks Stephania, I think I've had two questions answered all year and both were by you! Really appreciate all the work you do and time and energy you dedicate to making ESPN Fantasy Football so great! Have a Happy New Year!

Stephania Bell
  (4:01 PM)

Chris: Thank YOU and thanks to everyone who has been coming to the injury chats. Great way to wrap up this session. I appreciate all of you coming with great questions and comments, making it so much fun to do my job. I wish everyone a big WIN in their fantasy matchups this weekend. And most importantly a safe, happy and healthy new year!! All the best in 2011 - and I'll be chatting with you again when baseball season rolls around.