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September 30, 11:00 AM ET
Chat with Stephania Bell

Stephania Bell
  (11:06 AM)

Good morning and Happy Friday! Sorry - just jumped off the set of Fantasy Focus...ran on over to get chatting with my friends here. See many of your questions in the queue. Here we go!

Brad (Philadelphia, Pa)

1ST TIME in your chat. Facing big time I keep Beanie wells ( have CJ2K,Blount,mathews) to protect against injury or trade him to get DEZ Bryant ( have S.johnson,manningham, floyd)?

Stephania Bell
  (11:09 AM)

Brad: Welcome! I'm not convinced Beanie is any great insurance for injury. Bryant is injury challenged himself but has more upside as a big playmaker. So I trade him.

Turbo17 (San Diego)

Is Frank Gore's ankle going to limit his carries come Sunday? If so, would you recommend starting Kendall Hunter over Frank Gore?

Stephania Bell
  (11:10 AM)

Turbo: This is going to be a tough call unless Gore sits out, which he might. But if he plays, there will be a split, likely between all running backs, making i difficult to know who's going to get the ball at critical times. Gore is still their primary guy...but I have to admit that if I'm making a choice for this week, I'm (as of this moment) leaning towards Hunter. But not expecting more than flex value.

Jk Ohio [via mobile]

Do you think Gates will ever overcome his foot issue this season?

Stephania Bell
  (11:12 AM)

Jk: We really have no way of knowing - but at the end of the day, it's not so much does he fully recover during the season (don't believe he does) but can he function despite the issue...and that's a big unknown. In preseason I warned of uncertainty around Gates - high upside but we knew he wasn't fully recovered going into the season. These devlopments are disappointing, but notshocking.

RaY Thompson (San Diego, Ca.)

Do you think I should start Reggie Bush over Peyton Hillis week 4. Word is! Hillis is not at his playing weight since returning back from being ill. He's lost aprox 10 pounds. Which player would should I start? I'm single LoL

Stephania Bell
  (11:14 AM)

Ray: I'm starting Hillis. He will still dominate over Hardesty. Now there is some word that Thomas had a setback with his hamstring meaning Bush could get some extra work (and then they just signed Slaton) but I still like Hillis for consistency. Not sure if Hillis or Bush can help your single status...

Rick (City by the Bay)

Stephania, you should be on the fantasy focus podcast more often. Your information and input is vital. I saw that nicks on the giants injury report, do you think he will be fine for this week?

Stephania Bell
  (11:15 AM)

Rick: Flattery AND living by the bay, both worked in your favor here...Nicks swears he will play. Apaprently the knee was acting up a bit (the one he bruised in Week 1) = we'd like to see him practice Friday but assuming he does something, I'd feel pretty confident.

thomas, the roc [via mobile]

Hellllllooooook! Any word on whats going on with vjax? I know he was held out with an abdomen problem but they said it was a precaution. Now he missed two straight it worse than originally thought? Thanks.

Stephania Bell
  (11:18 AM)

Thomas: I think there's real concern about Jackson's abdominal injury. He says he will play but know this is a tough injury for a receiver. Affects speed and power, also affects ability to get up in the air, reach, you name it. Jackson still expected to play - would say if he's back doing something Friday in practice, that's a good sign.

mike (portland, OR)

morning, what are your thoughts on Ryan Matthews, do you think he plays with the foot?

Stephania Bell
  (11:20 AM)

mike: He too insists he'll play, but definitely the lack of practice not encouraging. Not necessarily b/c he won't play, but could affect shift of work between him and Tolbert. Mathews said he planned a full practice Friday but foot was sore Thursday. If he's still limited, makes you think Tolbert could be in line for a bigger week.

Ryan (Jacksonville,Florida)

Do you think Willis McGahee still sees the majority of the carries over Moreno this week? Thanks

Stephania Bell
  (11:21 AM)

Ryan: Yes. Moreno expected to be active and, unlike last week, think he actually gets on the field. But I also think McGahee does more.

Lucas (Chicago)

What are your thoughts on Jeremy Maclin this week?

Stephania Bell
  (11:24 AM)

Lucas: Like all of the other hamstring injury concerns out there, there's a whole lot of unknown. We went from hearing Maclin's injury was serious to hearing it wasn't to him not practicing Weds (uh-oh) to him practicing on a limited basis Thurs. He said it felt good and expected to go but ALSO said he wouldn't jeopardize his team. Two thoughts: Can he practice back-to-back, even do a little more Friday? and will he be a gtd? I suspect it comes down to gametime and then you just cross fingers that it doesn't act up. Personally not convinced it's fully better in 1 week.

Sean (La crosse, WI)

What type of workload would you expect from Steven Jackson this week? I'm hoping for more than the 4 carries he had last week...

Stephania Bell
  (11:25 AM)

Sean: Expect quite a bit more work this week. They were deliberately limiting him last week in an effor to protect his quad but he was running well in practice this week - and the team plans to lean on him more.

Willy (Montreal)

Roddy White, any concern about his thigh injury?

Stephania Bell
  (11:27 AM)

Willy: No, he's been playing with this since the preseason - and had a big final preseason game post-injury. It more signals that he gets a lighter practice week as a result. He needs a big game and I think it comes this week.

Nick (MPLS)

Hi Stephania! How does ESPN make the decision to classify players? I've got Miles Austin listed as Doubtful, but every source I read online says he is out. Are they wrong, or does ESPN still have to update?

Stephania Bell
  (11:30 AM)

Nick: Good question. The only designations that are official are the ones posted via the official NFL league (official injury reports). If a player is listed as "Did not particiapte in practice" but not listed as OUT, then we don't list him as OUT. That is the case with Austin, even though the team has indicated in general that they don't expect him back until after the bye.

Stephen (Atlanta)

How do you think Colston plays this week? Sees enough snaps/targets to be relevant or are you benching him until he proves it?

Stephania Bell
  (11:32 AM)

Stephen: I think I would reserve him for a flex play. I expect given how confidently the Saints have labeled his "readiness" that he will play, but how much is the great unknown. Remember when Lance Moore came back he only had four catches I think. Colston could have one big one with a TD, but he could also be used situationally and they can adjust based on how the game is evolving. Definitely risky -

Bill (Athens, GA)

Hey Stephy Bad News,Help a former Bay Area resident out! Got any news (good or bad) about Ryan Grant? A kidney bruise sounds awfully serious and he hasn't practiced at all this week, right?

Stephania Bell
  (11:35 AM)

Bill: It is serious. They have to make sure the kidney fully heals so that additional contact doesn't threaten major internal bleeding. All signs pointing to him sitting.

Jason (PHX) [via mobile]

Hi Stephania! APs calf shouldn't affect his explosiveness against a poor run D, correct?

Stephania Bell
  (11:37 AM)

Jason: Well, that's the hope. Always the risk of it acting up in game, especially if he ahs to drive hard against a line. But given the opponent, think there will be ample opportunity for him. Expect he plays.

Jimmy Crack Corn (DC)

Is Arian Foster good to go this week? He would be replacing S Greene in my lineup. Thoughts? (I know Greene hasn't been the greatest) Many thanks!

Stephania Bell
  (11:39 AM)

Jimmy: That is a no-brainer for me. I love FOster this week, eager to get back, not a huge Greene fan in terms of productivity anyway. Yes, always the chance FOster does something and has a setback. Really no way to know in advance. But as you look at his progress over the last two weeks, it suggests he's as ready as he can be before taking the field. And as I always remind people, Jamaal Charles was fine a couple weeks ago, everyone started him and who knew...

Missy (Fort Worth)

Hi Stephania, will Stevie J be effective this week with that nagging inury? Thank you

Stephania Bell
  (11:40 AM)

Missy: SO far, he's proven to be effective in the presence of that injury and he seemed to come out of last week's game better than the week before. So until I see something different, I'd go forward feeling pretty confident about him.

JP (SW Florida)

Any word on Dallas Clark's foot?

Stephania Bell
  (11:41 AM)

JP: No specific word - but he did not appear on the team's injury report Thursday so I take that as a good sign. Of course it looks like it will be Curtis Painter throwing to him.

Boomer (Syracuse)

You just jumped off the set of fantasy focus? I thought there was no podcast today? On a football related question: How's the swelling in Vick's hand? I know he's 100% playing; I just want to know if he's 100% healthy.

Stephania Bell
  (11:44 AM)

Boomer: Fantasy Focus video today (check it out later!) The swelling ahs subsided enough for him to be functional, full practice and showing coaches basically that he can do what's necessary to hand off, take snaps, etc without being at high risk for losing the ball. Now if he takes a bunch of hits to the hand or falls on it a lot (and I'm guessing guys like Willis will be coming at him hard), it could become a problem in the game, but he swears he's not coming out of the game unless it's on a cart.

Tim (Cincinnati)

How do you feel about Dez Bryant this week? Would you trust him, (if he plays), to put up #2 WR or FLEX worthy numbers?

Stephania Bell
  (11:46 AM)

Tim: I rarely use the words Dez Bryant and trust in the same sentence. Despite all the high praise for his upside I have been wary of him since he came into the league b/c of his extensive injury history. And this quad thing is not behind him which is part of the explanation for Monday night. He clearly needs practice too so if the injury keeps him out of practice then there's less confidence. I think he plays, always a threat to put up the big numbers, but I'd only slot him at flex.

Jeff (Phoenix)

How's Hernandez doing? Any chance he starts this week?

Stephania Bell
  (11:48 AM)

Jeff: I really don't expect him to play this week.Still no practice and in New England that typically means you don't play. Still recovering.


Can I trust J. Ford?

Stephania Bell
  (11:49 AM)

RC: Very similar answer to all the other hamstring issues out there - you really don't know. But...Ford says he feels much better this week and is back in practice, even though limited, saying this was the week targetd all along. So better chance of seeing him, but maybe not a lot of him.

Sam (Washington, D.C.)

How do Mike Wallace's ribs look? Do you think he's hampered this week vs. Houston?

Stephania Bell
  (11:50 AM)

Sam: Well, I haven't actually seen them...but since he upgraded to full practice yesterday I don't think there's any reason to be concerned.

Stephania Bell
  (11:51 AM)

Note: For those sending the not nice messages, here's a tip...probably not getting an answer. Thanks to the MAJORITY who are polite. Getting to as many as I can.

Lou (LBC)

Likelihood Malcolm Floyd plays this week? He was doubtful last week but still started.

Stephania Bell
  (11:52 AM)

Lou: Exactly - and he hasn't practiced yet this week. Certainly not a good sign. At this point I'm not feeling encouraged that he'll start.

Andrew (New York)

Hi Stephania. I'm an unfortunate Gates owner. Picked up Pettigrew for this week. How's that shoulder looking?

Stephania Bell
  (11:53 AM)

Andrew: Well that was a good pickup though! And he played through it pretty darn well last week. They're limiting him in practice probably so as not to overdo before the weekend. Expect he plays.

Hank (Columbia, SC)

Should I be worry about J. Best injury? Thanks for your help!!

Stephania Bell
  (11:55 AM)

Hank: It was worrisome that it appeared to affect him last week. He's another guy (a la Dez Bryant) whose injury history out of college made me nervous and that hasn't improved. Not on the injury report but he's one of those who needs to prove it to me before I buy in.


Super Mario good to go? What can we expect?

Stephania Bell
  (11:57 AM)

Troy: Limited practice both days is a good sign. They have to gradually increase activity after missed time with a concussion. The fact he put in two consecutive days is a great sign...but it goes right up until gametime. There have to be no setbacks all the way along. If that remains the same, he will play.

Leland (Hyrum, UT)

Will Marcedes Lewis become a reliable fantasy TE at some point this season?

Stephania Bell
  (11:58 AM)

Leland: To be fair, he had the calf injury and they have essentially started the season with a new quarterback. Clearly they're not firing on all cylinders. But he's got talent- think it emerges in second half.

John (NE)

I drafted Manning in the first round (2QBs, 12 teams). I was about to drop him when I read that Indy coach expects him back. Thoughts?

Stephania Bell
  (12:00 PM)

John: Do not count on that. They are leaving the door open but it's hard to see the scenario where he comes back this year. Not 100% ruled out, but probably a 90% chance we don't see him. Probably better to help your team in other ways.

Nate (The Burgh)

Stephania, any word on Ammendola making a return in the next few weeks? He's on my waiver wire and I'm thinking of picking him up soon if he's potentially going to play

Stephania Bell
  (12:01 PM)

Nate: He keeps making strides. Outfitted with a new brace, he has begun to appear in practice. Won't be this week but I think we'll see him soon.

Robert (Virginia Beach)

Thank you for your time. Believe it or not this is very helpful! With that being said how is Brandon Lloyd doing? Can i expect a bounce back week against Green Bay this week?

Stephania Bell
  (12:02 PM)

Robert: Why thank you. The good news is Lloyd is off the injury report. The bad news is, of course, that they face the Packers. Not sure this is the bouncce back week but he's probably the best receiving target for Orton.

Stephania Bell
  (12:04 PM)

OK - time for me to leave. Thanks so much for all who came to the chat today. Especially the nice, respectful posts. If you want more strategy questions answered, chat with Melissa Jacobs, the Football Girl, at 3p.m. She's awesome - knows her stuff. Check it out. And check out my Saturday blog for latest injury updates. Have a great weekend - Good Luck in Week 4!!