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December 30, 11:00 AM ET
Fantasy Injuries with Stephania Bell

Stephania Bell
  (11:03 AM)

Happy last Friday of the fantasy football season!! I am hoping you all get to ring in the New Year with a championship trophy, belt, jellybeans, etc... Tough week to decide who to start and sit when there are more than injuries that will determine who plays...but we'll do our best to sort it out.

John (Syracuse)

Ryan Mathews is good to go right? I saw he practiced and tolbert didnt so i should start mathews over kahlil bell right?

Stephania Bell
  (11:06 AM)

John: Yes, it appears Mathews is on track to play after practicing yesterday. Don't know for sure Tolbert is out but Mathews appears to be out front. And yes, I'd play Mathews over Bell. If it were me.

Sheila (Houston)

Hola Ms. Bell. How is Romo coming along and are they downplaying a serious injury as to not give Gmen a mental edge. ALso if I may get a 2for1--Reggie Bush status?

Stephania Bell
  (11:09 AM)

Sheila: Sure, you can have two for one on eve of New Year's eve. Romo is coming along fine and I think they're being pretty forthright about his injury. Really comes down to how he can function and getting the swelling down (which is happening) is key. So the hope is by Sunday it's almost a non-issue. Bush not practicing for 2 days does cause concern. Won't know until we see if he does anything today what his status will be.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

Do you think that Vikings RB Adrian Peterson will play at the Start of the 2012 Regular Season?

Stephania Bell
  (11:11 AM)

Chris: Honestly, I don't see him being a lock for Week One. This is a really tough injury, made tougher by the fact he is a running back. But I've learned to never say never. We should get some more information within the first few weeks following surgery (which is today).

Dan (LA)

Hey Stephy bad news, injury related keeper question for you. In a PPR league where you have the option to keep only 1 player (costs you your 1st round pick). Since I lost the championship I pick 11th of 12 next year so would you keep any of Jamaal Charles, your boy Gore, Vick, F-Jax, or take your chances on something better being available at 11? Thank you!

Stephania Bell
  (11:14 AM)

Dan: So you lose the 11th pick but pick three picks later? (assuming snake draft). My personal choice would be to take Charles or F-Jax but know I'm taking them a little high. Reason being, you get another RB right behind them and they would be (to me, coming off their injuries) second tier backs. So you're flipping them, not by much - and you still can get a comparable second back. I'm not a huge Vick fan (too risky, roller coaster) and Gore, I think, starts to yield more time to Hunter.

Chris (NY)

Hello Stephania...could please bring some clarity to this Brady mess. I keep hearing he is not practicing, then he is, then is questionable and then he is likely to start on Sunday. What is going on and is his status in jeopardy for the season finale?

Stephania Bell
  (11:16 AM)

Chris: I think he plays Sunday but some think this is a setup for him to sit. Why would he? The Patriots have never followed that pattern in the past. THe shoulder for a guy like Brady is a non-issue. I'm sure it's bruised and it hurts - but it's his non-throwing arm and I can't see it impacting his ability to play. And as far as yesterday, he was at practice stretching and reportedly threw some passes on the side but didn't go through formal practice.

Michael (Louisiana)

Do you think Chris Wells will play this weekend? How is he doing as far as his numerous injuries and questionable status?

Stephania Bell
  (11:19 AM)

Michael: I do think he plays - don't really know what to expect. THe knee has clearly been an issue and now rumbles in AZ about him getting offseason surgery (no surprise, we predicted that a while back) to "clean up" the knee. Not the same explosiveness but imagine they want to try to finish strong. Don't see him as more than a flex though.

John (Phoenix)

Status of MJD for Sunday?

Stephania Bell
  (11:19 AM)

John: Expect he plays. They've given him some rest this week but no one talking as if he misses the game.

Scott (NY)

Will Brandon Marshall be ready to go against the Jets? Any word on his progress?

Stephania Bell
  (11:20 AM)

Scott: I think his performance last week showed he is fine to play with this knee soreness that he has and should be able to go without limits.

Nate (NJ)

Will the Lions play it safe with Megatron? How badly due they want that fifth spot?

Stephania Bell
  (11:22 AM)

Nate: Reasonable question. Lions not helping us out at all. Schwartz saying they want to win, playing the game to win, etc, etc. But realistically, they have to want to protect their best guys. So I imagine it plays out like this: Stafford, Johnson, K Smith all active and come out swinging..but then get removed at some point well before game ends. Maybe 3rd Q? Maybe sooner? Just a hunch - no hard evidence to go on here at the moment. I am not under the impression that anyone's injuries alone would keep them out if this weren't Week 17.

mike (san diego)

best PPR back-up please -Saine,Tate, Thoms(if Bush doesn't play)

Stephania Bell
  (11:25 AM)

Mike: Gotta believe it's Tate. I don't see Foster playing much. Texans have been so decimated by injuries that I think Foster will play some, but not for long. And that gives Tate a nice opportunity.

Mike (Buffalo)

What do you think about Peyton Hillis--will he carry the workload or will others be auditioning?

Stephania Bell
  (11:25 AM)

Mike: I think they lean primarily on him. With some sharing by Ogbonnaya. And Hillis needs to have a good game as he enters the offseason so imagine he plays hard.

John (Phoenix)

Saw M. Wallace was on injury report Wednesday, now listed as proable. With reports saying Roethlisberger only plays one half and tough matchup with Browns Def, consider other alternatives Harvin & Cruz?

Stephania Bell
  (11:29 AM)

John: There are so many guys on the injury report who are just a little banged up, like Wallace. But given your other points, I actually like Cruz. Been a big play target for Manning and even though Manningham is still possibly playing, I like Cruz.

Stephania Bell
  (11:29 AM)

Update: Calvin Johnson back in practice today. Good sign for him playing Sunday.

Nate (NJ)

Any chance DMC plays?

Stephania Bell
  (11:30 AM)

Nate: No, based on all the signs so far.

Nick (Cali)

Re mental health-does DJax have a strong finish or is LoRo better as a 3rd receiver? Thank you

Stephania Bell
  (11:33 AM)

Nick: THis is tough to predict. With D-Jax never know who you're getting to show up Sunday. But in this big game for the Cowboys and with his performance so far, I like Laurent Robinson.

John (Syracuse)

should i be worried about the texans D this week? heard they might play a B squad Defense thinking about picking up the jags D vs INDY

Stephania Bell
  (11:34 AM)

John: Not sure who the Texans will field this week but it's all very iffy. I like the Jags D play this week myself.

Matt (Knoxville, TN)

Does Helu play this weekend?? How productive will he be?? Would you start Helu or Royster??

Stephania Bell
  (11:36 AM)

Matt: He says he will. Of course last week he said he felt much better then had pain Sunday morning and was deactivated. I think he plays based on the fact he's been back in practice. But it will likely be a mix of ROyster and Helu. Good luck trying to guess who does what. I would try to avoid them both. If no choice, I'd wait to see how things shake out after today's practice.

greg (nyc)

What are the chances Kenny Britt comes back next year as a top 5 WR? He was lights out until he got hurt.

Stephania Bell
  (11:38 AM)

Greg: Hard to predict top 5 performance after coming off reconstructive knee surgery. I wouldn't want to project that high, especially with this much time to go.

Ashley (Washington)

Just a defensive question, who would you go with? Jacksonville (v. Colts), Buffalo (v. NE), Atlanta (v. TB)?

Stephania Bell
  (11:38 AM)

Ashley: Jags vs Colts

Aaron (CT)

Given all the uncertainty of playing time this week, combined with some nagging injuries, pick 3 in PPR: Larry Fitz, AJ Green, Laurent, Nate Washington, Cobb, Lance Moore, Pierre Thomas? Thanks for all your help this year Ms. Bell!

Stephania Bell
  (11:40 AM)

Aaron: I like Fitz, RObinson and Thomas. Green would be my next.

Jon (Chicago)

What about Jags D or Seahawks D?

Stephania Bell
  (11:41 AM)

Jon: Interesting - we were discussing on podcast this morning how well Seahawks D has performed on the road. Make no mistake - they want/intend to win. Like them maybe even a bit more than Jags.

Nate (NJ)

Can you give a Tuck/ Osi update?

Stephania Bell
  (11:44 AM)

Nate: Tuck should be good to go after strong week last week. Osi has been practicing this week and is still limited by the ankle but trying to prove to Coughlin he can be effective enough to play. Not sure we hear about Osi before the game but what he's done so far this week at least has is teammates convinced he will play.

Cutter (Silver Spring)

Battle in a walking boot does not suggest a productive afternoon. Will he see the field or will it be Jones 1st and 2nd down and McCluster on most 3rd downs?

Stephania Bell
  (11:45 AM)

Cutter: At this point I think it's doubtful that Battle plays. I think your latter scenario is accurate.

adam (houston)

lesean mccoy: will he go after the rushing title in a meaningless game? Or would you sit him for K. Bell or T. Gerhart?

Stephania Bell
  (11:45 AM)

Adam: I'd play him. Looks like they really are providing incentive for him to go for it (he's way off MJD, won't get it but...), yes he plays.

FINALS VIRGIN (MEMPHIS)

Hi Stephania...Happy New Year! After 3 years of semifinals disappointments, I finally made it to the finals. With your help, I'll win the $$$, I mean the trophy lol! Shady looks kinda "shady" this week...if he's out, do I roll with R. Brown, Saine, Ridley, or Ivory? Also, do you prefer Wallace, Crabtree, D. Thomas, or D. Moore this week...PPR league by the way. Thanks again!!

Stephania Bell
  (11:48 AM)

Congratulations to you! And as you saw from last post, I expect McCoy to play and would roll wiht him. Receivers, I like Crabtree best (not 49er bias, that's legit), then Moore...

Brian (MN)

Mikel Leshoure: Stephania, what are his prospects for next year? Do Running Backs have a hard time recovering from Achille's injuries?

Stephania Bell
  (11:49 AM)

Brian: Typically this is a tough injury for running backs and receivers because of the explosiveness demands of their position. But DeMaryius Thomas gives guys a lot of hope. look at what he's done this year after tearing his in the winter. So...nowadays, more encouraging, although there aren't a lot of guys to look at for comparables.

Stephania Bell
  (11:51 AM)

OK gang - checking out now. Appreciate all the great questions, all the great interaction in the chats - and wish you all GOOD LUCK in your playoffs!!! Happy New Year!