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August 31, 11:00 AM ET
Fantasy Injuries with Stephania Bell

Stephania Bell
  (11:06 AM)

Happy Friday everyone! And a holiday weekend coming up at that! Many, many fantasy football drafts this weekend...are you ready?

Ryan (CT)

Hi Stephania! What are your thoughts about using Toby Gerhart over AP the first week?? thanks!

Stephania Bell
  (11:09 AM)

Hi Ryan: I think that's the best move. We won't know - until maybe gametime - whether AP plays. If he does, it won't be a full load. So I expect Gerhart gets much more work.


Hey Stephania. My question is about Ryan Mathews. I've got him because he slipped to me late and I figured it would be a value pick. Have you heard anything new about his prognosis. Why does he keep telling the media he's going to play week 1, and that he's always been a "fast healer." Hasn't someone told him his bone would look like tiramisu and not be fully ossified by then? Do you suspect he'll be 100%? Do you think he'll get injured again by pushing himself too hard too soon?

Stephania Bell
  (11:11 AM)

Hey SPT: I don't have a problem with the player talking as if they expect to be ready. Promotes positive thinking, it's the way you want a competitive athlete to think. That said, the key is NOT coming back too soon. And I think he understands that the call will be made by the docs based on the bone healing. Most do not expect him Week 1.

Dan (Dubai)

Hi Stephania, thank you for doing the chat. Appreciate your columns and 06010 appearances. How worried would you be about Trent Richardson this season? Would you spend a 4th rounder in a 12-team .5 PPR year league on him?

Stephania Bell
  (11:12 AM)

Dan: Welcome - thanks for traveling - and for the nice words. I'm not overly concerned about him this year (maybe over time), although the caution flag is raised b/c of this knee. Still, I'm comfortable with the 4th round. But know this, he may be used more sparingly in early weeks as they may ease him into play.

Brian (Philadelphia)

Hi Stephanie. My friend drafted Kenny Britt and was happy that he only got suspended for 1 game and I told him he has to worry about injuries and he said he will likely not get injured again because of the law of averages. Is this true or are you more likely to get hurt again coming back from a mjaor injury?

Stephania Bell
  (11:15 AM)

Brian: I am in agreement with you. Britt's ACL has been successfully repaired. Low re-tear rate. But he had major hamstring injuries before the ACL and has had two scopes since then. We often see guys post-ACL who get hamstring or quad strains as they up their activity. His history makes him more of a risk. And remember, he's just off the PUP. Really hasn't done much yet. The idea that he'll be FULL recovery by Week 2 is, I think, unrealistic.

John (Syracuse,NY)

Hi stephania. Should i be worried about sproles knee week 1? I have him in a lot of the leagues i did and he is either a rb2 or flex for me.

Stephania Bell
  (11:17 AM)

John: We keep hearing that we should not be worried. My expectation is that he's ready for Week 1, think they've been holding him back to ensure that he is.

Jim (Ny)

Hi! Which Pitt running back would you expect gets most work?

Stephania Bell
  (11:18 AM)

Jim: Sounds like Dwyer is making a surge. Situation is unclear. Redman feeling better (hip) but also said he expects it to be something he could deal with all season (makes you nervous). Not clear yet who gets the start Week 1.

Randy (Tha Dimas)

I took Ryan Williams as my RB4 in my 12 teamer, Do u think he can put RB2 numbers eventually or is this injury just too much to completely recover from?

Stephania Bell
  (11:20 AM)

Randy: I think what we're seeing in the preseason gives a lot of hope that he can still be amazing, despite the terrible injury (ruptured patellar tendon). He's shown some burst, quickness, those are the things you worry about. I like him a lot.

Drew ((NY))

I took Witten late but also took Tamme in case he does'nt start the season. So when do u c Witten coming back, IYO?

Stephania Bell
  (11:21 AM)

Drew: Sounds like he's recovering nicely. I still think Week 1 is a big question (although not ruled out yet) but with the gap in time before Week 2, maybe ready by then. No real way to predict b/c all depends what they see on CT scan.

Keith (Chicago)

Should I be worried about Marshawn Lynch? I picked up robert turbin just in case.

Stephania Bell
  (11:22 AM)

Keith: The fact that he's having back spasms again (remember last year when he was active for a game then didn't play? back spasms) is of concern. I think he'll be fine for Week 1 based on what we're hearing about his improvement but this could certainly be a recurring theme. Picking up Turbin is a good move as insurance.

jblackburner (ATL)

Looking forward to another season with your great advice again, Star. Sounds to me like Jamaal Charles is good to go. You concur?

Stephania Bell
  (11:24 AM)

jblackburner: thanks! And yes, he's definitely tested the knee and it's responded well. We don't know what the numbers will be like, but he's in very good shape to start the season.

Jimmy (Pittsburgh)

First time actually trying to chat but I read everyone and find yours extremely insightful. What do you think of Ahmad Bradshaw this year after his new treatment on his feet. He claims to feel the best since early college but is this just more positive athlete thinking?

Stephania Bell
  (11:25 AM)

Jimmy: Thanks to you too! This is not just positive thinking. He actually underwent a treatment which involves a stem cell paste being injected in the problem area of his foot. The healing has been very good and he was able to practice daily during camp, first time in years. He's not removed from ALL risk of other foot injuries but I think this one is behind him.

Tom (Bath)

My daughter is a DPT...and I enjoy listening to your terminologies. However, she is not a fantasy expert, and as such, I can't ask her what she thinks about the prognosis of Pat Angerer (IDP). Can you help? Thanks

Stephania Bell
  (11:28 AM)

Tom: Tell your daughter good luck from me! Angerer's prognosis should be good assuming the fracture heals well. It takes about 6 weeks, although could take a bit longer to return to competitive play. Better idea of how he's doing when it gets past 4 weeks.

Paul (Denver)

Do you believe in the curse for holdouts? MJD is known to be a workout warrior, but wil he hold up when he reports and starts to play?

Stephania Bell
  (11:30 AM)

Paul: Don't know about a curse. But the fact is, it's hard to train for football without football. Some guys reproduce the intensity of their workouts away from the field. Don't know about MJD's workouts, last year we could follow him much more closely as he did his rehab. He knows what to do and as a vet, could be in fine shape, but admittedly it does make me a bit nervous. Just a bit. The flip side is that his knees have had a break from any preseason pounding.

Jim V (Milwaukee)

Good morning Stephania, always appreciate your thoughts..Andre Johnson (shocker?) is nursing his rib injury. Do you feel like he will be 100% come week 1?

Stephania Bell
  (11:32 AM)

Jim V: I think he'll be just fine to play. Not sure if he'll feel 100% but that's the reason for resting him so much this week. I think he'll be fine.

Jacob (Lancaster)

Baseball! How has Votto's rehab games gone? Is he coming back this weekend as tentatively slated?

Stephania Bell
  (11:33 AM)

Jacob: OK! I don't know if he'll be back this weekend. He's having enough discomfort still that I'm thinking they might wait. Hasn't tried sliding yet. Why not give him another week before bringing him back? Not really sure what happens but he's not 100% yet.

Karyn (NJ)

Is Hakeem Nicks fully recovered? Are there any potential set backs that could still occur?

Stephania Bell
  (11:35 AM)

Karyn: Fully recovered. Just building up his "football" shape status. I think a setback is unlikely at this point. He'll play Week 1. I've been drafting him, feel good about his status.

Bucky (Texas)

Morning from Texas Stephania. Been reading up on this flak jacket Vick will be wearing. What are your opinions on it and do you buy into the "guarantee"? Any protection for Vick is a plus, but how much can I trust this new technology?

Stephania Bell
  (11:37 AM)

Bucky: Well, it's not totally new. In fact, Vick's been repping the company for a few years and has had the same material placed inside his helmet. They made the protective jacket for Romo after his rib/lung injury last year. Personally? I get very nervous about any "guarantee." Way too many variables in play. But that's their choice. I can't remember if he wore something like this after the rib cartilage injury a couple years ago but...

Eric (MA)

What do you think will happen with Kenley Jansen? Do you think his season is over?

Stephania Bell
  (11:39 AM)

Eric: Hard to say since all we hear is that he's out indefinitely with the heart condition. Last year he had an episode that required blood thinners. If that's the case again, then I would say he's done. But we don't know that so we are just waiting to hear an update. The club has not discussed anything about his condition.

Jim (Maryland)

Hello Stephania,Any word on Kevin Smith for week 1? Do you think he could be a safer flex over A.P.?

Stephania Bell
  (11:42 AM)

Jim: Haven't heard definitively one way or another but it sounds as if the sprain was relatively minor and they're planning on having him. He would be the expected starter so yes, better flex over A.P. (crazy as it sounds) in Week 1, simply b/c he'll get more work.

Evan (San Francisco)

Follow up question to K. this a longterm concern? I can keep him cheap next I'm not so sure?

Stephania Bell
  (11:43 AM)

Evan: Well, it's not going permanently away. Really a question as to how well it's managed. He had an episode this spring, now this but had a good stretch in between. Don't know enough yet to know if this is expected to increase in frequency, just a big unknown right now.

Mick (Missouri)

If you had Turner. Is Snelling (lower leg) or Rodgers the running back to own in Atlanta?

Stephania Bell
  (11:44 AM)

Mick: Rodgers.

dan (nj)

What's up with Steve Smith (CAR)? Is he hiding an undisclosed injury? The circumstances around how he's been handled and reported seem sketchy.

Stephania Bell
  (11:45 AM)

Dan: Not at all. Had an infection in his foot. Had to be on crutches for a bit. Doing much better reportedly but we need to see when he gets back to practice. If it's this weekend, then he's in good shape.

Ben (Charlotte)

do you think LeShoure is ready to carry the load in Week 3?

Stephania Bell
  (11:47 AM)

Ben: Haven't seen enough to think that. He's just getting going coming off the Achilles and I'm not convinced that he's ready to be the feature back just yet. Maybe he gets there but that will evolve over time.

Max (Oakland)

any updates on jonathan stewart? how far do we move deangelo up, if at all? thx!

Stephania Bell
  (11:49 AM)

Max: Not sure it changes much. We haven't heard a ton but he has been called day-to-day and it looks as if he'll be ready to go Week 1.

CAM (Chicago)

Knowing that you are a 49ers fan, are you as down on Gore as the majority of analysts seem to be? I drafted him and have Hunter as a handcuff. Quite comfortable with this. Should I be?

Stephania Bell
  (11:50 AM)

CAM: I am comfortable with it. Yes, Niners have many RBs but no one threatening Gore's status as primary back right now. I think Hunter is a talent and will get some work, which would increase if Gore were to get hurt, so definitely good to have him. But the Niners will continue to run the ball so I like Gore for where he's being drafted.

Cody (Pa)

What you think about Jahvid Best this season?

Stephania Bell
  (11:51 AM)

Cody: Would not be surprised if he does not play.

Elliott (Albany)

Followup on AP as I haven't many opinions that go beyond his wk 1 status. So when do you think AP will be taking on a full load? Wk 4? Earlier? Later? And when do you think can be the AP of old? Thanks!

Stephania Bell
  (11:53 AM)

Elliott: It's so dependent on how he does week to week that any prediction now is artificial. That said, I would think it will take multiple weeks to get to full load (somewhere bet 4-6). And as far as a repeat of old, think he'll start to look like himself as he gets comfortable so perhaps into the second half. Again, guessing.

Tom (San Francisco)

Go Niners! Miles Austin good for wk 1? What about Austin Collie?

Stephania Bell
  (11:55 AM)

Tom: Indeed! Austin should be ready for Week 1. They have been holding him out so as not to take any more risk. Collie has already indicated he plans to play once cleared and he's been out at least catching passes from the QBs. Suggests he's making progress. Until he's cleared for practice, hard to project Week 1.

Rob (Frankfort, IL)

Will Joey Bats have power issues next year due to his wrist injury?

Stephania Bell
  (11:56 AM)

Rob: Shouldn't if the stabilization procedure is all that is needed. Just a matter of letting it heal and working back into hitting. Could be playing games by spring training.

Jay Childs (Atlanta)

Do you think Peyton Manning will play all 16 games this year? I got him in the 6th rd and I am only backing him up with Carson Palmer so I'm kind of nervous.

Stephania Bell
  (11:57 AM)

Jay: I've said this many times. I don't think he's any more at risk for missing time than any other QB stepping on the field on Sunday. So no extra reason to be nervous.

Chris (Texas)

Any word on a possible Derrick Johnson injury in Kansas City?

Stephania Bell
  (11:59 AM)

Chris: All I've heard so far is that it was an ankle injury which could be significant, season opener in doubt.

John (Ottawa)

Love the great insight, what are your thoughts on Malcolm Floyd staying healthy and getting the work

Stephania Bell
  (12:01 PM)

John: Thanks! Floyd certainly had a tough time staying healthy last year. You have to hope this year is better but a guy can't escape his history. Only one complete season played in the last 6 years. Makes him risky.

Stephania Bell
  (12:02 PM)

OK friends: Time for me to go. Have a great weekend! Good luck if you are drafting this weekend and get ready for it...the season starts next Weds night!!! For thsoe of you still in the hunt for baseball, good luck! Big series coming with you next week, same time, same spot!