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October 25, 11:45 AM ET
Fantasy Injuries with Stephania Bell

Stephania Bell
  (11:46 AM)

Happy Friday everyone! Lots of teams on bye to go with a number of injuries. Tough time to find fill-ins...

Murphy (Work:()

What's the update on Jimmy Graham? Odds he plays?

Stephania Bell
  (11:47 AM)

Murphy: Certainly doesn't look great with him not practicing W, Th. Payton said Friday would be a "big day" so the door still open.

Josh (MN)

Hi Stephania, big fan, love your updates on the podcast. Should Ben Tate be dropped given the news on his ribs. I was stashing him thinking fosters hamstring may continue to give him problems. Thanks!

Stephania Bell
  (11:49 AM)

Josh: Why, thank you. I think 4 broken ribs a lot harder to play through than Tate expected. Would not be surprised if he misses multiple weeks but we won't likely get any formal updates until post-bye. I'd be making other plans.

Peter (Lincoln)

Hi Stephania! I know you've already given an opinion of a couple of weeks on Percy Harvin's return, but is there anything in his return to practice that indicates a shorter timetable? Thanks!

Stephania Bell
  (11:52 AM)

Peter: The main thing is that he's returning to practice and doing work on consecutive days. It means his first exposures to practice work were not a problem. And while it typically takes multiple weeks to ramp up from running to the things necessary to play in games, sometimes there are outliers. He appears to be one of them. Seahawks are watching closely, have to be careful not to get overenthusiastic. Temptation is to return asap; I think they'll be wise so it wouldn't surprise me if they use a couple weeks.

Joe (Work)

Thoughts on Amendola? I just picked him up after a frustrated owner dropped him. Think he plays this week? Also with him not playing last week, do you think that helped his groin get back to 100%?

Stephania Bell
  (11:54 AM)

Joe: The time off for the concussion could only have helped the groin issue and he was already making progress there. Not convinced he's 100%; think we need to see how he fares over a few games actually to see how the groin holds up, but I like where he's sitting now as an improvement over a couple weeks ago.

Steven (AK)

R. Mendy good to go? SHould I play Ellington instead?

Stephania Bell
  (11:55 AM)

Steven: Mendy not good to go as far as I can tell. Hasn't practiced yet. We'll see what he does Friday but it's looking like he could sit. Ellington would start but the team has come out and said he's not an every down back and they would have to be smart about how he's used.

Jeff (Portland, ME)

Good morning Stephania, been waiting for this chat. Really value your injury insight. Steven Jackson and Percy Harvin are set to return soon. Would you try to deal these players now in hopes of getting a player like Forte or A.Foster? Or would you hold on and see if they remain healthy and reach their upside this season? Thanks!

Stephania Bell
  (11:56 AM)

Jeff: Thank you! I would try to deal Steven Jackson but I doubt you could get Forte for him (without another player in the mix). Someone might go for a Foster trade, especially with his own recent hamstring issue but his is minor, expect him back post-bye. Jackson could surprise and be healthy the remainder of the season but his risk is high.

Elvis (Tupelo, MS)

Why is there such a broad range of projections on Percy Harvin's return? You seem much more cautious about him than other analysts. I just got him this week hoping for him being useful maybe week 10. What are chances he could be productive by then?

Stephania Bell
  (12:01 PM)

Elvis: The truth is that unless you're standing in the training room, on the field during practice or talking with coaches, there is no way to know the nuances of the conversations that are happening. And I can only speak for myself but my projection comes from the medical side, having watched this surgery before, knowing the rehab and the risks of returning too soon.From a biological standpoint I can tell you the "healing" within the joint is allotted approximately 12 weeks post-surgery. That mark was just crossed on Thursday. Add in the necessary training of all the hip and core muscles, the retraining of all the football-specific drills, the advanced running programs (cuts and breaks, not just sprints) and that means extra time. plus, every time you add things you need to see how his hip responds. To me, this week doesn't make sense.BUT, whereas 4 months seemed like the soonest return date even a few weeks ago, his activity and progress now suggest it could be sooner. Week 10 not out of the question but I also expect him to be re-introduced gradually to playing time.

Frank Gore Owner (Fla.)

Gore's ankle good to go for London?

Stephania Bell
  (12:01 PM)

Yes.

Joe (San Francisco)

Is David Wilson droppable in a 12 team standard league?

Jeremy (OH)

Thoughts on Ray Rice? Was he still not at 100% or is it just his O-Line is so bad? Better days ahead?

Stephania Bell
  (12:04 PM)

Jeremy: THis is tough. I think it's probably a combination but we don't know how much weight to give each. Rice says his hip feels better and he's more explosive (but we don't see it). It's certainly possible he's still lacking some power there even if it's not actually painful. But mix in the other elements of the o-line and even the lack of the running game overall and it is a bad mix. Hard to project an outlook. I have him on my bench in one league and am just hoping it starts to change.

Matt (Mountain View, CA)

The response to Joe from SF did not show up.

Stephania Bell
  (12:04 PM)

It was a YES.

bill (nye)

What is going on with James Jones?

Stephania Bell
  (12:06 PM)

Bill: PCL sprain. Still not practicing, not a huge surprise. This injury can be tough to come back from even if not especially severe. Expect he misses another week.

Scott (TX)

I'm sure you're tired of speculating on Doug Martin but please offer us some direction. Thank you and have a good weekend!

Stephania Bell
  (12:09 PM)

Scott: Not tired of it. Just not sure it's useful. He and the team are both saying they do not believe the injury is season-ending. Once that's established they essentially proceed with rehab and see how he responds. There's no drop dead date. As long as he's making progress, I imagine they continue to wait and see. Labral tears come in many shapes and sizes. Some can be played with, others cannot. Obviously he missed one game so the best case scenario would be 2 weeks. Seems a bit quick to me but the team would allow him a few weeks to try to get back before pushing him to IR (unless it suddenly becomes obvious he's hit a plateau and can't return). So...it's tough to gauge.

Joel (New York)

I know I probably should have dropped him by now, but any concern over Dwayne Bowe playing this Sunday? He popped on the injury report yesterday. Love your work. Keep it up

Stephania Bell
  (12:13 PM)

Thanks Joel. You probably should have. But since you didn't :)...yes, always a concern when there's a Thursday addition. We need the Friday report to determine just how worried we should be. Haven't seen that yet. He was listed with a groin issue.

Stephania Bell
  (12:14 PM)

And some of you have seen the news that Reggie Bush sat out practice today. Was apparently spotted with ice on his right leg (although don't know exactly where). Earlier this season the issue was with his left knee. Worth ensuring you have a backup plan, just in case. Hopefully we'll know more later today.

B Mand (Sarasota, FL)

Is Miles Austin worth picking up in a 14 or 16 team league or will his hamstring be an issue all season? Thanks.

Stephania Bell
  (12:17 PM)

B: If you have lots of extra space, maybe? But he's still being held to limited practices as a precaution. There's some chatter about whether he'll be active this weekend. Right now, hard to trust. Would only be potentially a reserve for emergency right now and I'm not sure you couldn't find better.

Steve (Santa Barbara, CA)

If CJ Spiller sits this week will he be a full-go next week? Or is this ankle injury going to linger even after a week's rest?

Stephania Bell
  (12:23 PM)

Steve: No. This is more than a one week issue. But it might help him function better than where he's been, on many levels. The mental break might help as well.

Mike (NJ)

How much of a concern is Shorts' shoulder injury ROS? Him or Edelman in a PPR league ROS? Thanks!!

Stephania Bell
  (12:25 PM)

Mike: Think it's a risk for aggravation for the next few weeks. But every week he gets through and does OK, the better his chances of uneventfully going forward. I like him over Edelman b/c I think he is a more clear cut choice to catch passes (with Amendola, Gronk cutting into Edelman opportunities).

Chris (DC)

Hi Stephania, when will Vereen return and how valuable do you think he'll be when he does?

Stephania Bell
  (12:26 PM)

Chris: I think Week 10 is his first eligible week. The good thing is that since his injury was to his wrist he has been able to keep his legs in great conditioning shape. Think he'll pick right up where he left off.

Yosemite Samwich (Philly)

I was offered Ryan Matthews for Djax and Sproles. I'm weak at RB with Forte my only consistant performer since Spiller has been a no show, and I am pretty loaded at WR with Vjax, Welker, Blackmon, and James Jones. Should I pull the trigger?

Stephania Bell
  (12:28 PM)

I would do the deal. Mathews has been solid. Obviously you're just hoping he stays healthy but if I could get him for help at RB on that trade, I would.

Trevor (Los Santos)

Calvin good to go this week?

Stephania Bell
  (12:28 PM)

Trevor. I expect so, yes.

Rob (CA)

Is Demarco Murray a real threat to play Sunday? He was limited in practice, Sprained MCLs have a multi week return attached to them (typically), he has a history of injuries... I'm crippled by byes and injuries in a 14-teamer and am banking on Randle playing and getting the lion's share of work

Stephania Bell
  (12:31 PM)

Rob: A threat? Maybe not. But he is expected to play after practicing on a limited basis all week. It will have been two weeks since the injury and depending on the severity and the athlete, that's not an unreasonable return time frame. He is at risk for aggravating it if he takes a blow to his lateral knee. But I think he wants to prove he can be out there contributing and his ability to run and do some work suggests the team believes he's able to play. It's not a lock and he's not expected to be at 100% but I do think he plays.

Daniel (Dallas)

Did you really just tell someone to trade Desean Jackson (Has been a top 10 WR) and Darren Sproles for Ryan Matthews? Are you serious? Ryan Matthews is injury prone and still conceding most red zone carries/passing downs with Woodhead...he had one good game against Jacksonville. Come on.

Stephania Bell
  (12:35 PM)

Daniel. Yes, I did. Double digit fantasy points 3 of the last 4 games and if you need running back help, you make a deal. Clearly you disagree, your choice. The beauty of it is he gets to decide whether he wants to or not!

Jake (Montana)

With current trends L Fitz should have a big game this week, any news on the Cardinal WR?

Stephania Bell
  (12:36 PM)

Jake: He says he's not 100% but also says he's doing much better than he was a couple of weeks ago. You certainly won't hear much complaining out of Fitz, ever the hard worker. But it looks like he's getting to a point where the hamstring is not limiting him as it was a few weeks ago.

Sean (Wyo)

What's your take on the value of Andre Brown when he returns? Is he on pace for a return after their bye? And does he have more value than David Wilson ROS? Thanks in advance!

Stephania Bell
  (12:38 PM)

Sean: Love, love, love Andre Brown. Loved him when the season started. If only it hadn't been for the injury. He is expected back after their bye. I think he definitely has more value than Wilson who is questionable as far as his return date, not to mention not knowing how he'll respond (physically) when he does return.

Joe (Montana)

I'm hearing a lot of things for Cutler. 6-8 from the team, 4 weeks minimum, 2 weeks if anyone trusts Brandon Marshall. What do you think?

Stephania Bell
  (12:41 PM)

Joe: Teams tend to overproject so they don't look bad later if a player is not ready to return. Also helps them avoid questions like "Why isn't he back yet? What's wrong?" If he beats the projection, everyone looks great. And, it takes some pressure off the player with a cushion built into the timeline. That said, these groin tears are nothing to sneeze at. Can be slow to heal, very painful initially and all depends on how much bleeding there is in the area. I would say plan on the 4 weeks to start, knowing it can be fluid.

Jerry (NY)

I was one of those who was like "a woman, hmmm, i dont know"... thank you for making me a believer and being such an inspiration to young girls around the world...Would you trade Dez Bryant for Marshawn Lynch? My other WR

Stephania Bell
  (12:45 PM)

Jerry: Thanks for your honesty. Looks like your post got cut off so don't know who other WR is but assuming you have talent. I would do the trade if I needed a RB1. Bryant is a huge talent but there's more scarcity at RB with all of them dropping due to injury.

Stephania Bell
  (12:45 PM)

Have to run to do a radio spot! Good luck in Week 8!