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December 23, 11:00 AM ET
Fantasy Injuries with Stephania Bell

Stephania Bell
  (11:03 AM)

Happy Friday peeps! Merry eve of Christmas eve, Happy Hanukkah and on and on and on...most of you are in your fantasy championships (congratulations) so hopefully no big injuries come between you and victory!

Johnny (San Diego, CA)

Ben Roethlisberger - is he going to play? Or would I be better off starting Palmer or Flacco?

Stephania Bell
  (11:06 AM)

Johnny: Very questionable as to whether he plays and I think it's looking less and less likely as we approach Saturday. No practice yet and while he says he wants to go, I have to believe the team will rest him against the Rams and hope it helps improve his status going forward.

greg (durham)

I can play Bradshaw or Felix Jones. I Felix's hamstring too risky?

Stephania Bell
  (11:08 AM)

Greg: I think Jones is risky even though it looks (emphasize "looks") like he'll play. No formal practice yet. Won't really test the hamstring to the max until he's in the game situation. And looks like they're taking steps for insurance. Morris all the first team reps. Appears they will sign Washington from the practice squad (something to keep an eye on). THen if Giants lose in early game, Cowboys game takes different tone. I think they limit his use.

Mike [via mobile]

How limited will AJ Green be with his shoulder injury? Is there a chance he doesn't play the whole game? Thx!

Stephania Bell
  (11:10 AM)

Mike: Always a chance, but what he's shown so far this week is encouraging. He's been at practice on a limited basis. And he showed early in the week he could catch passes. Now if he lands on that shoulder hard and it begins to bother him during the game, could see effects late. I think he can play and play well but as the game evolves that could change. Flex worthy for sure, maybe number two.

Heather S. (Georgia)

Status of v.Jackson for week 16! Good matchup for him but should I use Dez instead?

Stephania Bell
  (11:13 AM)

Heather: I expect him to play b/c that seems to be the hint we're getting from San Diego. He's had injuries this year that have caused him to miss a lot of practice, but when he's played, for the most part he's played well, even when not at full strength. I like him over Dez, esp if non-PPR. Think with Robinson and Austin both in the mix, Bryant does less.

John Smialowski (Connecticut)

I have Roy Helu and Felix Jones. I am going to start one of them but both of their statuses are questionable. It looks like Helu is moving in the positive direction for Saturday, while Jones seems like a coin flip. I was wondering if you have any more information about their injuries?

Stephania Bell
  (11:15 AM)

John: So to follow the Jones comment. Helu says he's just banged up from the season, not really expressing serious concern over the knee and toe that have him on the injury report. With limited practices both Thursday and Friday, it appears he's on track to play. His health status is less worrisome to me than that of Jones.

dave (home)

whats the deal with manningham's knee,is it acting up again? would u sit him for dhb,jacobs,or gresham at flex?

Stephania Bell
  (11:18 AM)

dave: Apparently it is. He has been having intermittent swelling in the knee. For him to miss both Weds and Thurs practice is not a good sign. He is bound to be behind Nicks and Cruz now and they play the Jets so I would be fine with benching him for one of your other options, prob DHB.

john (new jersey)

Happy Holidays Stephania...first time on here but have been reading your writings for some time. I made my league title game for the first time and need help. Who is the better play, Tebow or Rivers? Thank you and god bless.

Stephania Bell
  (11:20 AM)

john: Thanks for joining! This is a bit of a tough call for me. Hard to argue with what Tebow has done in terms of fantasy numbers so far but then again Rivers always great in December. Tebow will get you the running plays though, maybe even scoring himself that way, so I'd probably lean that direction.

Bob (DC)

What is going on with Brandon Marshall?... do you think he plays tomorrow?

Stephania Bell
  (11:22 AM)

Bob: Reportedly just soreness in his knee. The fact he was back in practice even on just a limited basis is a good sign. I expect he plays.

Dan (The Columbia River Gorge)

Stephania does Felix Jones injury make him so risky that you would start Kahlil Bell instead?

Stephania Bell
  (11:23 AM)

Dan: Yes. And I like Bell even more now that we know Barber is going to sit this one out.

Dace (new orleans) [via mobile]

Is Kevin Smith finally healthy enough to trust to produce or is someone like Steven Jackson a safer bet?

Stephania Bell
  (11:25 AM)

Dace: Trust is such a strong word. Let's put it this way. He's having a better week heading into this slate of games than he's had in a while. Back to back full practices Weds and Thurs so everything signals he's on track to start. As long as there aren't any setbacks Friday, expect he starts and gets more work.

Mark (NYC)

What is the latest status on Fasano's injury is he gonna play on Saturday?

Stephania Bell
  (11:26 AM)

Mark: Can't imagine he will. Just diagnosed with a concussion yesterday and while they're calling it low-grade, the diagnosis coming yesterday means symptoms appeared that hadn't been there. So it's hard to see that all being reversed by tomorrow.

Tore (Denmark, Scandinavia)

Hi Stephania. Where did the Barber-injury come from? I picked up Lance Ball in case McGahee sits out. Obviously the wrong guy now that it's Barber who might miss the game. Any chance McGahee also sits out or will I have to rely on Bradshaw? Love your work. Thanks!

Stephania Bell
  (11:30 AM)

Tore: Welcome international guest! He's had a calf injury that appears to have flared up. And yes, Chicago Tribune citing a source saying he (Barber) will sit this one out.I think McGahee plays. He's been listed with the hamstring basically since he hyperextended his knee a few weeks ago. He practiced fully both Weds and Thurs so no reason to think he'll be limited.

E (NJ)

You've been nice all year Stephania! I'm seeing Barber may be out tomorrow... Who is a good late pick up, Harper, Bell or Morris? Thanks!

Stephania Bell
  (11:30 AM)

E: Thank you - so just to make the point. I like Bell as the pickup b/c he will be all they've got in the running game.

Jamie (Jackson, MS)

Hi Stephania! Merry Christmas! What have you heard about Chris Johnson's ankle? Will he play, and if so, will he be effective? My opponent had Arian Foster last night, so I need every point I can get!!!

Stephania Bell
  (11:34 AM)

Jamie: Ouch. Arian Foster did some damage last night. Not confident Johnson will match that. I do think it looks like he will play. He's been doing some running and Tennessee feeling more confident about his status. But they also say that he may not be quite himself and they may give Jamie Harper some more work. Lateral quickness is one of his signature traits. That skill probably drops a notch with the ankle.

I Defeat (Real Champion)

They'll just tape up Shonn Greene's pinky, right? Any concerns that he injures it further during the game and has to come out?

Stephania Bell
  (11:36 AM)

Yep. He will play. Played through it before. He's listed on the injury report but it's not even for the finger. It's for the rib and shoulder. And he'll play in this big game with all of it.

CMatthew (NYC)

Santonio Holmes popped up on the injury report with a hip. Anything to be concerned about? Or is he still good for 35 yeards, a touchdown and a taunting penalty?

Stephania Bell
  (11:38 AM)

CMatthew: Normally I'm more concerned about the Thursday additions. But Rex Ryan already indicated he expects Holmes will play and be fine, so it may have been a minor issue which warranted a few less reps in practice. Naturally I'd like to see what he does today, although Friday practices will undoubtedly be lighter everywhere given the short week and games tomorrow.

Chris (NY)

News of AJ retuning next week?

Stephania Bell
  (11:39 AM)

Chris: Expect he will. He said he could have played this week but the team wanted him to rest given the short week (and they want him for the playoffs). He wanted regular game action before heading into postseason. I could see a scenario where they decide to remove him from the game early but it's too early to make that call.

Austin (PA)

MJD going to be good to go?

Stephania Bell
  (11:41 AM)

Austin: That's the plan. He tweaked his ankle last week and it's no surprise that they held him to limited practice this week. He's all they've got so they need him fresh on Saturday.

Chris (Phoenix)

What is Cundiff's status for tomorrow? I have Kasay Monday night JIC? Thanks and have a great holiday!

Stephania Bell
  (11:45 AM)

Chris: Harbaugh has already indicated that Cundiff will not play because he's not 100% (and I think we saw that in his last effort). So they'll give him a week to rest his calf and Shayne Graham will kick for the Ravens this week.

Rob (Hawaii) [via mobile]

Aloha stephania! Just wanted to say thank you for all your help and hard work this season. Mele kalikimaka and GO NINERS!

Stephania Bell
  (11:46 AM)

Rob: Just loved the tahnk you, the Niners and the Aloha (and that's one of my favorite Christmas tunes) deserved a post.

Ross (St. Louis)

Who is going to carry the load in GB this week? Starks or Grant?

Stephania Bell
  (11:48 AM)

Ross: Probably the least favorite scenario - a committee. I imagine they will share the load b/c it looks like Starks will be able to go after practicing this week. And Brandon Saine looks like he'll be available as well.

Brandon (Minnesota)

Morning Stephy bad news. Bush was listed as questionable yesterday. Do you see him being effective tomorrow?

Stephania Bell
  (11:49 AM)

Brandon: Yes. He's another guy who's getting some rest after being the primary workhorse for several weeks. But he will play and be the lead back. I think he should have a decent game but the Chiefs are playing inspired football right now after their big upset.

Matt Forte (Chicago)

Would you drop me?

Stephania Bell
  (11:50 AM)

Yes. Especially since you said the thing you'd have your eye on would be coming back for the playoffs, probably not any sooner.

Stan (Tampa)

Whats the word on L. Robinson listed as LP

Stephania Bell
  (11:53 AM)

Stan: Just giving his shoulder some limited work. No fear of him not playing.

Don (Manhattan Beach, Ca)

Michael Turner has not looked good the past 2 games with his groin injury and he missed practice yesterday, do you start him on Monday or should I go with Stephen Jackson v.s. a tough Steeler D?

Stephania Bell
  (11:55 AM)

Don: This is a very good question. Turner, I believe, is being impacted by that groin injury and really has not looked like himself. The missed practice yesterday doesn't alarm me too much b/c with a Monday night game, they can afford to give him an extra day. I think he plays. But what can you expect from that? Against Saints I'm guessing it's a shootout as they will try to score a zillion points. And the Niners did OK running against Pitt. And Pitt has a short week. SJax is the best they've got in St. Louis right now. I'd probably go with him.

Nick (New Jersey)

Do I bench Marshawn Lynch vs the 49ers in favor of Cedric Benson vs the Cardinals or do I leave Lynch in? Thanks and Happy Holidays!

Stephania Bell
  (11:58 AM)

Nick: THis kills me to say...but I can't imagine benching Lynch. He's been incredible and I'm worried about him being the one to get that first rushing TD vs the Niners. Hoping the return of Patrick Willis foils that but I have to say, even though I hope I'm wrong, with them playing in Seattle, Lynch is the one player on that team I think has the chance to be productive.

Sean (Denver)

Thank you for all your help this year Stephania, any word on Maclin? Is he a full go for this weekend? With Big Ben out thinking about taking him over Wallace.

Stephania Bell
  (11:59 AM)

Sean: NOt official but have to believe he plays. Full week of practice so far (which is the most he's done to date) and probably has best chance he's had in a while to be productive.

Tom (Wisconsin)

Hi Steph. Do you think AP will be effective this week with the injury and nothing to play for or do I start Ryan Mathews and Reggie.Bush? Playing for the Championship. Thanks

Stephania Bell
  (12:00 PM)

Tom: AP always plays hard and I think he will again. He's not on the injury report and while I don't buy that he's fully healed, at least we know he's not limited. IHe's another guy I just can't imagine benching. Period.

Stephania Bell
  (12:02 PM)

Happy Birthday Brad! And thanks everyone who took time out of their workday, holiday shopping or whatever else you may have been doing, to come spend some time in the chat. Have to go now but we will be updating all of the news tomorrow before the games kick off! Don't forget to set lineups early!! Good luck and happy holidays!