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October 7, 11:00 AM ET
Chat with Stephania Bell

  (11:02 AM)

Good morning and Happy Friday! Hoping for a kinder, gentler chat room this week. We're all in a good's Friday...but what are we going to do about those bye weeks???

Bill (Banks County)

Good Morning!!! First question??? Whats the word on Crabtree? He is listed as Questionable. I have 6 Redskins/Cowbys/Dolphins on byes and probably gonna have to start him as my WR3.

  (11:04 AM)

Bill: You ARE the first question. Yes, he continues to be limited at practice and will likely be listed as Q. But he's going to play. At least he's doing some work which will help him get in sync with the offense. Not necessarily a bad option at WR3.

Ethan Stillman (chicago)

Is beanie wells expected to play or miss week 5?

  (11:04 AM)

Ethan: Expected to play. But not expected to get 3 TDs again.

Ryan (H)

Hows mendenhall looking for this week?

  (11:05 AM)

RYan: Not great. Hasn't been able to practice yet this week - and even if he does some today, it's hard to feel confident that he's 100%. Looking more and more like Redman would get the start either way (and M Moore is likely out).

Steve (Philly)

Good morning, Stephania! Posting super early today (About to hit the road for visit Pennstate for tomorrow's game). Just saw that Hernandez is practicing again. Start him or play it safe with Gresham? I'll check back this afternoon to see you're response. Thanks!

  (11:07 AM)

Steve: Love that you're working in the chat around busy schedule. It's too early to say whether the Pats will play him. The big thing is whether we see him back in Friday practice - yesterday was full pads, a good sign, but he was still limited. Two in a row would be encouraging but they may still make him a GTD. It's risky - and if you need to make a decision early prob better to go with Gresham.

Mark (San Jose)

Steph, on the defensive side, what's the latest on J Harrisons injury and how much time to do believe he'll miss?

  (11:10 AM)

Mark: I would expect it's around a month. The average return for these injuries ranges from a week to five weeks but return depends not only on surgical healing but how the athlete's vision is. Will likely have to have a face shield. The risk of collision is obviously high with his position (and let's face it, his style) so they will err on the side of caution.

Eric (Chicago)

Brandon Jacobs sprained MCL. Doesn't sound too good. What's his prognosis and do you think he sits at all? Thanks Stephania!

  (11:12 AM)

Eric: Apparently that's what Adam Schefter is reporting. Had only heard about knee swelling before that. I'm not overly concerned long-term. He's had MCL issues in the past and played through. The bottom line is whether he'll be ready to run this week. Still waiting to hear if he is practicing today - if we find out during chat I will let you know. If he does some work today, I'd feel better.

pat (bangkok)

any hold backs for colston this week? and is grant 100%?

  (11:13 AM)

Pat: Colston expected to get much more involved on offense this week so look for his numbers to go up. Grant should be fully recovered. He actually felt better last week but did not have the medical clearance to return so I consider him fresh coming off the bruised kidney. Legs got some extra rest.

Jennifer (Tampa)

Stephania, whats up with VJ? Do to bye week issues I picked up Malcolm Floyd, thinking he would be better if VJ is very limited. Thanks and have an awesome weekend!!

  (11:16 AM)

Jennifer: Thanks - Good idea to pick up Floyd b/c if it comes down to looking like V-Jax won't go, Floyd's targets will likely go up. The team expects V-Jax to try to play again Sunday but we'd all feel better if he could actually get out and practice today. Still, he now has apparently two issues to contend with making it less likely he can be as physical as usual.

Mike (Yonkers)

What's up with Mike Williams (Sea)? Thinking of picking up Doug Baldwin as a sneaky fill in for the Bye-Week.

  (11:17 AM)

Mike: He has a concussion and hasn't practiced. Wouldn't surprise if he sits out. Go with Baldwin.

Adam (Toronto)

Dez his thigh going to be a nagging injury or will he be healed up coming off the bye?

  (11:18 AM)

Adam: They are really hoping the bye does the trick. The thigh has been gradually improving but all his missed time from practice has affected his performance, compounded by him being less than fully healthy. He recentlyr ated himself at 80-85% so it sounds like he's definitely made big improvements and should be in much better shape by next week.

Ethan (Oklahoma)

Whats the status on Roddy White?

  (11:19 AM)

Ethan: Encouraging, he made it back to practice yesterday, so we're ahead of where we were this time last week. I fully expect him to play in this big game at home. And hopefully catch better than he has been.

J.B. (PA)

Good morning, Ms. B. I will be as polite as I can. With Andre Johnson out, Jacoby Jones is in line to pick up the slack but he's nursing a knee. Any worries about starting him on Sunday? Thanks.

  (11:21 AM)

J.B. You are always polite - and it is noted...As far as Jones, they still expect him to start. Obviously there's some worry about whether he will be at his best, but I also think there's a general receiver worry in that they likely will run the heck out of the ball. Owen Daniels remains a strong receiving target and they have Walter. SO I think Jones is good for a handful of points perhaps, but not AJ points. I'll be surprised if he doesn't go.

John (Syracuse)

Whats going on with cedric benson and his looming suspension?

  (11:22 AM)

John: Still no official word. Have to take it one week at a time and this week he plays.

Marshall (Houston)

What's with Hightower's sholder? Drop him for Helu? And will Tate get back to work soon? if so, what's the split?

  (11:24 AM)

Marshall: No real clue as to anything specific with Hightower's shoulder. But he did acknowledge that he was less than 100% and it probably affected his performance. Have to hope in another week he's more healthy. I like Helu for upside. As for Tate, we'll see if he can practice today (with the groin injury). RIght now not clear whether Ward or Tate is No. 2 this week.

BJ (Indiana)

At this point, we're assuming Roethlisberger plays right? Who's the better start this week, him or his opponent, Hasselbeck?

  (11:26 AM)

B.J. Yes, he will play. Maybe moving a little slow(er) but he'll play. I like Hasselbeck. Has been putting lots of points on my fantasy bench lately. Do think both teams end up running the ball quite a bit though...

Sarah (Sarasota)

How is Felix Jones shoulder?I have Stafford and am thinking of trading Romo for Felix since my RBs stink- Mendy,Ingram,Greene.

  (11:27 AM)

Sarah: Well, still sore I'm sure. But bottom line he's playing through it - and a week off can only help. I've never been a Greene fan. I'd be willing to trade to get Felix - inconsistent but more upside than some of what you've got.

Steve (Phoenix)

Is it safe to assume Miles will be 100% after the Boys bye?

  (11:28 AM)

Steve: Well, we can never assume...but the time has to help. Certainly Dallas has suggested that they hope to have him back after the bye week but until we get practice reports next week, we won't really know how much he's able to do.

Greg (Milan, Italy)

Any word on Payton Manning? Would you hold or cut him?

  (11:29 AM)

Greg: Wow - all the way from is turning into an international chat! I would probably cut him and get the help where I needed it. If he looks like he's on the road back, we'll have plenty of advance warning.

Steve (Ohio)

How long is Andre johnson expected to be out?

  (11:30 AM)

Steve: Some reports saying 3 weeks, team saying no timetable. I would plan on a few weeks absence. For me (and I have him in 2 leagues), I'm hanging on for now and hoping it's a speedy recovery.

Doug (Tampa)

Does Beanie have any ANTI AWESOMENESS in his hammy?

  (11:30 AM)

Doug: I'm sure he has some somewhere...

Roger (SD)

McCoy vs. Welker, PPR league. Please discuss.

  (11:32 AM)

Roger: As someone who owns Welker in a PPR league, I think there's not much to discuss. Single-handedly he's been responsible for 2 wins. Granted, the 99-yd TD isn't going to happen every week, but of all the weapons he has, Brady consistently looks to Welker and trusts him. Solid, kind of player.

Jesse (New York)

I like MJD, do you think he can stay healthy at least until his bye week, when i hope to trade him

  (11:33 AM)

Jesse: I've been high on MJD all season...and long before the season starts. Never a guarantee with any player, but he looks solid to me and despite the offense he's playing on, and yes, lack of TDs, he is certainly touching the ball regularly. I think the TDs start to come this week.

Keith (Chicago)

Does CJ2K run wild this weekend on a hurting Steelers D?

Stephania Bell
  (11:34 AM)

Keith: You'd have to think there's no time like the present, right???


Are we the real deal? Playoff bound and possible SB?

Stephania Bell
  (11:36 AM)

Love the enthusiasm...but let's not get ahead of ourselves. Stafford has been awesome (esp for fantasy), Johnson has always been a talented receiver and now the combo is playing out as it should have, but I still don't trust Best. Lots of injuries and inconsistent play...need more proof before I buy in. And like I say with my Niners, keep it one game at a time

bill (madison wi)

have you heard anything on delmon young's oblique injury? if it is minor, will it still affect his swing?

Stephania Bell
  (11:38 AM)

Bill: And why not entertain a baseball question...congrats to Detroit, seems to be THE sports city this week. We heard mild last night but remember he had an oblique injury during the regular season too. It's a very short timetable so can't really rest it. We'll see soon enough if it impacts his power, assuming he can be in the lineup when the ALCS starts.

Nancy (Oakland) [via mobile]

I can't begin to express how silly and a waste of time this chat is. Can we get a real fantasy analyst in this spot?

Stephania Bell
  (11:39 AM)

Guess the haters have returned. Come back later and join another chat

Craig (NY)

Why dont you answer any of my questions. curious how many questions there are? Turner or Gore ROS. Thanks

Stephania Bell
  (11:41 AM)

Craig: Patience. There are sometimes a thousand - and no, can't see every one since the page keeps scrolling. And I would take Gore ROS but you would probably accuse me of bias. Sure, I cop to some there...but the bottom line is that Atlanta is not running the ball as they have in the past, going far more to the air than the ground and Turner is just not the fantasy value he was. Gore has struggled but this week opened it up and they will continue to give him the ball and try to get him in the end zone.

Tim (ATL)

you have AJ in a few leagues, you said - if you could trade him (right now) for miles austin, who would likely be back sooner, would you do it? what if it was a keeper league and austin only cost a mid-round pick, vs. a 1st for AJ?

Stephania Bell
  (11:43 AM)

Tim: I do have him in two leagues, but wouldn't make the trade. I think Austin comes back first...but given that both have hamstring issues, neither is a "lock" to go forward without any risk of recurrence (and Austin has actually had a setback already, which is how he got here). AJ over the years has proven to be mostly durable and consistently productive, so I keep him, even in a keeper league.

Kevin (DC)

A lot of love for VJax, for obvious reasons, but I feel like Floyd deserves some more respect. Looking at the targets between the two: not far off. Floyd was on pace for a fantastic game against OAK few weeks back, but got injured. Now that he seems like the only "healthy" one, and even if VJax was healthy, I'd expect Floyd to put up fantastic numbers this week. Put it on the board, Floyd scores more than Megatron this week.

Stephania Bell
  (11:45 AM)

Kevin: You may have a point about targets for Floyd. And I do feel his targets go up this week given that VJax is hurting, Gates will be out, etc. But more points than Megatron?? Have to disagree with you there...

Nick (Chicago)

In a keeper league, does Jamaal Charles have value going into next year?

Stephania Bell
  (11:48 AM)

Nick: Modest value. There was a performance based study done a while back on receivers and running backs coming off ACL surgery and the first year back, their numbers were definitely down. On average it took a full year back at the pro level before their YPC, TD were back up to pre-injury levels. Obviously there are outliers. But it's a pretty dominant trend and goes along with what players will tell you about how they "feel." Rarely do they say it at the time, but to a guy, when they look back they say the second year is when they really started to feel like themselves again.

Mike (ATL)

Hi Stephania: If Redman plays who do I go with....Redman or BJGE?

Stephania Bell
  (11:49 AM)

Mike: Redman. I think he will be the primary carrier and BJGE has been up and down.

Eric (Chicago)

AJ durable? He has been hurt in 3 of the last 5 seasons. I see that as problematic, not durable.

Stephania Bell
  (11:52 AM)

Eric: last year he had an ankle injury that most would have missed multiple weeks with. Not only did he miss very little time, he was exceptionally productive - for the most part -while hurt. Find another 3 receivers that targeted (and that recognized as a primary target in the offense, meaning that well covered by defenses) who has been similarly productive and minimally hurt. There's a reason he went in the first round of many drafts this year.

Suzi (AZ)

Love your work! Woodhead or Ridley ROS?

Stephania Bell
  (11:54 AM)

Thanks SUzi: I like Ridley for the upside...hard to say it out loud b/c we've seen what Woodhead can do. But for purely RB going forward (which is not how I really view Woodhead), I like Ridley. Now if Welker were to get hurt (dare I say that), then Woodhead becomes immensely valuable.

jaime (tampa)

is jacoby ford gonna get back in to the lineup or should i drop him for michael crabtree thanks for the advice

Stephania Bell
  (11:57 AM)

jaime: Ford is back. Not quite 100% but as he gets stronger, they'll integrate him more. Just a matter of them working out their options. Murphy now back in practice. Moore has proven that he's worth paying attention to. There's always Hayward-Bey. They have a lot of options which could end up being a challenge. But Ford will be a primary one as he gets healthier in the next week or two.

Greg (Cambridge, Ma)

If Welker got hurt, Edelman would be the guy to grab.

Stephania Bell
  (11:58 AM)

Yes. He already showed that once- but believe Woodhead's options go up as well.

Joe (KS)

I have brandon marshall on my fantasy team....he has yet to put up more than 3 points i think...what going on??

Stephania Bell
  (11:59 AM)

Joe: Bad offense. Not much more reassuring now with Henne done. Have to see what Matt Moore brings but honestly, it's hard to see much hope right now.

Tom (VIrginia)

Grent or Starks.??? Week 5

Stephania Bell
  (12:01 PM)

Tom: Unclear how split works out. Keep this in mind. Before Grant went out with a bruised kidney, the team was singing his praises, saying he was finally back, running the way they knew he could, etc, etc. Clearly was the favored RB at that moment. Then Starks steps in while he's hurt. They may turn to who's running best this week, but my inclination is Grant will be given first opportunity. If not producing, then Starks gets his turn. I'm starting Grant in my league.

Stephania Bell
  (12:04 PM)

Thanks for coming - all of the nice folks -of which there are FAR more of you by the way. Special thanks to Brian (TX), Kion (DC), Simon (AK), BRandon (MN), J.B. (PA) and many, many others. I hope you have big WINS in your fantasy leagues this weekend...and stay healthy. If you're feeling up for chatting later and want great lineup advice, check out TheFootballGirl's Melissa Jacobs, chatting for ESPNW at 3 p.m. ET this afternoon