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December 28, 11:15 AM ET
Fantasy Injuries with Stephania Bell

Stephania Bell
  (11:16 AM)

Happy Friday to all...and if you're still here, it means Championship weekend.

Jake (Syracuse NY)

So is Cobb going to start this week or should i find another option like kendricks, scheffler, or d.hixon

Stephania Bell
  (11:18 AM)

Jake: The plan is for Cobb to test the ankle for the medical staff today to determine whether or not he can practice. If he does practice some today, it's certainly a good sign but they could make him a gametime decision. So make sure to have that backup plan.

Levi (Rochester, NY)

Chris Johnson announced he will play. What can I expect from him this week?

Stephania Bell
  (11:21 AM)

Levi: It's tough to know what to expect since we haven't seen him in practice this week. Clearly his ankle is not 100% but he said he wants to go out there and fight with his teammates. I imagine he wants to try to end the season on a high note now. I wouldn't hold my breath for performance of the season but in their final game, at home against the Jags, I wouldn't bench him if he plays.

Alex (DC)

Any word on Maclin? Seems more and more iffy every day...

Stephania Bell
  (11:21 AM)

Alex: He is iffy but he said he'd be back in practice today. If he is, then I assume he'll play as he's been playing through similar ailments (mostly) this year.

Stephania Bell
  (11:22 AM)

And Drew: Check the schedule. We start at 11:15 Fridays.

melanie (stockton)

good morning stephania, i'm playing for 1st place = $900 woohoo! so my question is is Gronk playing and if he does or doesnt should that affect my playing Lloyd? and/or should I start Pitta over Lloyd? thanks

Stephania Bell
  (11:25 AM)

Melanie: Congratulations!! Gronk's status may not be revealed until gametime. I am leaning towards thinking that he will get final medical clearance today (assuming all looks good as far as the fracture healing) and that he will be active. Way too hard to bench him if he does play and he's been appearing in practice for the last two weeks. Don't think it would affect my use of Lloyd and I would still take Lloyd over Pitta.

David (Pittsburgh)

Hi Stephania -Any chance Julio Jones will be rested on Sunday because of his recent injury? Is Michael Crabtree a better option in my championship game?

Stephania Bell
  (11:26 AM)

David: I'd be more concerned about White being rested than Jones. And I think White is going to play, although they might sit their starters early. Although I like Crabtree this weekend, I wouldn't start him over Jones.

John (LA)

Goodmorning Stephania! Championship Game down by 13. I have to decide between Romo and RGIII. Do you think the RGIII and the Redskins play it safe again with his knee - limiting his rushing oppurtunities? Or does he go all out since it is basically a playoff game for them. Who would you start?

Stephania Bell
  (11:29 AM)

Good morning John: The Redskins say they're not limiting RGIII but I still think his rushing plays will be down compared to the start of the season. Romo has been on a hot streak which they need to continue in a must-win game. And he is throwing the ball a ton. They are both great options but I am leaning towards Romo.

Steve Smith (Virginia)

Impact of Jimmy Graham wrist injuryGo with him or Owen Daniel, the former prob, the latter quest

Stephania Bell
  (11:31 AM)

Steve: Graham is clearly still struggling at times with drops. But we do know he'll play. Daniels is questionable to play because of tightness in his hamstring although Coach Kubiak says he expects him to be out there Sunday. Problem is if Daniels struggles with the hamstring at all, they will not let him continue to play as they will want him as healthy as possible heading into playoffs. I'm not sure their starters go past the first half anyway. So Graham it is.

Flip (Sunny Florida)

Any concerns with Nicks who is again questionable, I could strat Fitzgerald instead

Stephania Bell
  (11:33 AM)

Flip: Weekly concern with Nicks because of the knee. It's just not allowing him to progress past a certain point. That said, despite the ridiculous talent of Fitzgerald, it's the Cardinals (facing an angry 49ers team) so I would go with Nicks (as long as he plays).

Devin (Fl)

Hi Stephania, Like everyone else on her I am in the championship, a lot due to your advice here and the podcast. If Gronk plays how will it affect Hernandez? I could start Rudolph.

Stephania Bell
  (11:35 AM)

Devin: Thank you - but ultimately you are making those lineup decisions. I don't think it's terrible for Hernandez if Gronk plays. We've seen them be productive together before. Hernandez has been up and down this year, largely as a result of his ankle, but I would not be benching him for Rudolph, no matter what Gronk's status is.

Scott (Lakewood, CO)

Stephania! How big is your lead in the Fantasy Focus pick 'em?

Stephania Bell
  (11:36 AM)

Scott: Right now, it stands at 3. This morning Nate and I made 4 different picks. If he goes 4 for 4 on those, he wins. Let's hope that doesn't happen...

Jesus [via mobile]

Will jordey Nelson play on sunday

Stephania Bell
  (11:37 AM)

Jesus: Nelson has been a full participant in practice every day so far this week (no word yet on today) and that's the most he's done since re-injuring his hamstring. It seems he's on track to play Sunday and as long as there's no setback today, I expect he will.

Bryan (Snow Pile (Wisconsin))

Good Morning Stephania, what is the status of Charles Woodson going into Sunday? Thank you for your help! *ding*

Stephania Bell
  (11:39 AM)

Bryan: He will not play this weekend. The hope for the Packers is that they will get him back for the playoffs and right now they're giving that collarbone extra time to heal. And thank you for listening to the podcast!

Josh (San Diego)

Hi Stephania,Do you find it easier to answer questions when you have THE Stephania Bell nearby?TE question. Do you think Tony Gonzalez will be rested enough to justify starting Scheffler or Dallas Clark?

Stephania Bell
  (11:40 AM)

Josh: Hahaha...I've ceded control of the bell in recent years And I would play Gonzalez. Even if he doesn't play the whole game I like his chances of points (a score even) the best of the three you listed.

Fantasy Dilemma (Milwaukee, WI)

Really torn this week. Need to start 2 between Ingram, Sproles, DeAngelo, LeShoure. Also, Gonzales or Bennett @ TE??

Stephania Bell
  (11:44 AM)

Understandably tough choices. I like Sproles and Ingram, crazy as that sounds. Think SProles will get receiving yards (had over 100 last time these 2 teams played) and the next likeliest to get in the end zone, I believe, is Ingram. LeShoure and Ingram a close choice for me though, just think Chicago steps up the run D for this game.

Matt (Madison, WI)

I am worried about Cecil Shorts as a keeper for next year. Is he worth the risk? Or are the re-occuring concussions make him too much of a risk over someone like Mikel Leshoure in a PPR league?

Stephania Bell
  (11:47 AM)

Matt: The key is for him to get back to baseline and fully recover in the offseason. We assume he will but there is no way to really know. I think LeShoure has more risk igven the history of his Achilles injury and subsequent ankle/calf issues this year. He has actually held up well coming off major surgery but it is now part of his history and makes him a bigger risk going forward. I would put Shorts in a lower risk category than LeShoure.

Jacob (Ohio )

I love the work Stephania. Any update on BJGE illness from yesterday? Will it limit his workload Sunday?

Stephania Bell
  (11:48 AM)

Jacob: no update yet. If he is still sick today, makes you wonder if he'll play Sunday. But if he returns to practice then I don't see it being a big factor in what happens Sunday.

Airborne Rigger (Fob Shank Afghanistan)

Hi Stephania , In a PPR league with bonuses who would you start as a flex , Deangelo Williams , Mikel Leshore , or Domenik Hickson , keep in mind i am starting Bears defense

Stephania Bell
  (11:52 AM)

Welcome! In an earlier post I said I thought the Bears run D would step it up (so hopefully that's the case for you) and with that in mind, I think LeShoure and Williams are pretty close in terms of rating. If you don't want to root against your own D, I'd start DeAngelo. Hixon only interesting if Nicks definitely out and even then, I'd be nervous about him over one of the two backs.

Ryan (Montana)

It seems like everyone has just forgot Foster and his heart issue. How do you think this will affect his playtime?

Stephania Bell
  (11:55 AM)

Ryan: Don't think it's that folks forgot. It's just that it was qualified as a singular episode, he's been cleared by cardiologists and the team has reiterated several times that he's 100%. It won't affect his playing time. Now, they may opt to not use him as much Sunday but that may be the case with multiple starters.

Alex (Philly)

Hello Mrs. Stephania Bell, Should replace Nicks with Llyod? Is MJD going to play this week? If not, u could of said he was out for the season 9 weeks ago.

Stephania Bell
  (11:57 AM)

Alex: I would start Lloyd over Nicks. And no, MJD has finally been placed on IR so he won't be playing this weekend. And sure, if I had the ability to definitively forecast the future, I would have said he was done for the season a couple months ago. But seeing as the Jaguars left the door open until today, it remained a possibility that he would return. There is no doubt in my mind that they expected him to return back then and that they held out hope he would do so until very recently. Unfortunately, injuries and recovery are not failsafe when it comes to predicting timetables and outcome.

Stephania Bell
  (11:59 AM)

TIme for me to exit the chat room. Appreciate all of your kind words and thanks for coming to the chats each week and offering up your questions. I will be on hiatus for a bit now but plan to see you in the new year to talk baseball, NFL draft and, of course, looking ahead to next year's football!!!