Around the NFL
Notes from around the league
Posted Dec. 26 at 02:50 AM
It looks like Jonathan Stewart will be a full-time tailback for Carolina. DeAngelo Williams (ankle) didn’t practice all week and is doubtful on the injury report. Stewart is listed as questionable, but that’s been his deal all year – he practiced fully on Thursday and Friday. The Panthers also are listing Matt Moore (shoulder) as questionable, but he also practiced fully on Thursday and Friday – he’s fine.
San Francisco is definitely going without Joe Nedney. That makes Ricky Schmitt (who?) are viable fantasy player. At this time last week, most people had never heard of Schmitt. But he’ll be the 49ers’ kicker, and they should be all over the Lions on Sunday. Do not hesitate to make a waiver claim for Schmitt and use him in your lineup.
We are moving ahead under the assumption that Fred Taylor (ankle) will play on Sunday. He’s questionable on the injury report, but he practiced fully on Wednesday and Thursday. The Patriots are playing against Taylor’s old team, Jacksonville, so we believe they’ll give Taylor more than just a few carries. In our eyes, this reduces the value of Laurence Maroney. With Jacksonville being a lot better against the run than the pass, we’re not comfortable recommending any of those running backs.
Our leaning is that Colts will start dialing their game back this week. Pierre Garcon (hand) definitely won’t play. They’ll likely put Hank Baskett in that spot. They held running back Joseph Addai out of practice on Thursday and Friday; they may be looking to keep him out of harm’s way. For fantasy leaguer, our recommendation is to try to field lineups without any Indianapolis players. Better, we think, to settle for a lesser player who’s at least going to play full time (and is playing on a team that you know is trying to win).
For the Baltimore-Pittsburgh game, neither of those All-Pro safeties are going to play – Ed Reed and Troy Polamalu are both out. Those secondaries get a lot softer without those guys. The Steelers might also be without their second-best defender, James Harrison, who’s questionable with a biceps injury. I think both quarterbacks will have above-average days (maybe every touchdown in that game will come on a pass). Also for that game, Mark Clayton (knee) is questionable; he practiced on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Clayton probably will play, but we can’t guarantee it – those wanting to use Clayton will have to double-check that he’s active tomorrow.
Earlier in the week, there were some doubts about Hines Ward (hamstring), but he’s fine. He’s been practicing fully and is probable on the injury report.
The Falcons are listing Michael Turner (ankle) as questionable, but it would be a near-miracle if he plays. He didn’t practice all week. They’ve also listed Matt Ryan (toe) as questionable, but he should be fine – he’s been practicing.
Neil Rackers definitely won’t play for Arizona. Mike Nugent should be a very good fill-in against St. Louis. The Cardinals probably also will be without tight end Ben Patrick (head); Patrick is questionable and didn’t practice all week.
The Giants have a few nicked up players – Ahmad Bradshaw (ankle, foot), Lawrence Tynes (hamstring) and Hakeem Nicks (hamstring) – but all are expected to play. All are listed as probable on the injury report.
Justin Fargas (knee, doubtful) isn’t going to play. The Raiders, therefore, will go with Michael Bush and Darren McFadden as a one-two punch against Cleveland. The Browns have a weak run defense, so one of these backs (most likely Bush) could be pretty good. Also for the Raiders, both Charlie Frye and Zach Miller are expected to start (but we don’t see either as having much fantasy value).
Devin Thomas (ankle) isn’t going to play. He didn’t practice all week and is doubtful on the injury report. This slightly increases the value of Santana Moss. Malcolm Kelly should take Thomas’ starting spot but doesn’t have any fantasy value.
Eddie Royal (head, neck) won’t play. The Broncos will put Jabar Gaffney in the starting lineup, with Brandon Stokley elevated up into the No. 3 role.
Eagles offensive coordinator Marty Morningweg says Jeremy Maclin (foot) will play, and that’s how it should play out. Maclin is probable on the injury report and practiced fully all week. The Eagles also will have Brian Westbrook, but they’ll probably go for a game without Michael Vick (quad).
The Lions placed Matthew Stafford (shoulder) on injured reserve – he’s out for the year. Their No. 3 receiver, Dennis Northcutt, is listed as questionable with a groin injury. Calvin Johnson (knee) looks fine; he’s probable and practiced fully all week. The Lions are starting Drew Stanton at quarterback this week.
The Seahawks won’t have Nate Burleson (ankle, doubtful), but they will have Julius Jones (rib, questionable). Jones practiced fully on Thursday and Friday. We do not, however, see Jones having much fantasy value. Green Bay ranks 2nd in run defense, and Jones will share time with Justin Forsett.
The Rams are listing Steven Jackson (back) as questionable, and he didn’t practice all week, but Jackson should play. That’s been his deal in recent weeks – not practicing at all but playing on Sundays.
It looks like Reggie Bush (hamstring) will play. He’s probable on the injury report, and he practiced Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Those considering using Bush (or the team’s other running backs) are advised to consult the inactive list on Sunday. On the off chance Bush is inactive (which we consider less likely), we’ve listed how we Pierre Thomas and Mike Bell if it goes down that way. Jeremy Shockey is in the same boat as Bush; most likely, he’ll play. The Saints will be without Lance Moore.
The Bucs are listing their starting wide receivers, Antonio Bryant (groin) and Michael Clayton (knee) as questionable, but both should play. Both practiced fully on Friday.
For the Bears, Devin Hester (calf) was limited in practice on Thursday and Friday. But they play on Monday night, so they’ll also practice today – I’ll update his status after they make their injury report later today.
It’s not official, but it looks virtually certain that Buffalo will go with Brian Brohm as its starting quarterback tomorrow.
The Rams haven’t named a starting quarterback. Kyle Boller is healthy, but offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur suggest that they’ll probably go with rookie Keith Null.
(It will be another hour or so before the rankings also are updated).
Posted by David Barenborg | Dec. 26 at 03:44 AM
Ian- Question pertaining to your recommendation on not starting Reggie Wayne. Without him I'm left in the lurch (non-PPR league)with a choice of Antonio Bryant, Barylon Edwards, Josh Morgan, Josh Cribbs, or Chris Chambers. Uncertain as to whether to go directly with your rankings- you you stated in your last update that you have little use for Antonio Bryant this week even though he ranks on ur board above any of the forementioned receivers. Which one of the two above would you use in a fantasy championship tomorrow??
Posted by IAN ALLAN | Dec. 26 at 04:30 AM
If I needed to submit my lineup right now, I would go with Antonio Bryant. I would keep my ears open; if something happened to change my mind on the Colts, I might try Wayne. Morgan has an awfully good matchup. If the Colts are tanking, that will work in Brayon Edwards' favor. And the Raiders say they'll kick to Josh Cribbs. You'll just have to pick one and hope it turns out.
Posted by BILL REHOR | Dec. 26 at 07:27 AM
Thanks for working the holiday, Ian. Why aren't you buying on Maclin and Collie? We all know what Revis does to #1 WRs, but does anyone know how #2/#3 WRs have been faring against the Jets? And what about #2/#3 WRs against the Broncos, with Bailey following Jackson all game? I have both these guys and thought one would be a nice play, but you obviously think I should leave them on the bench and start boring ol' Heath Miller. Thanks for any additional insight you can share.
Posted by IAN ALLAN | Dec. 26 at 07:53 AM
Are the Colts even going to try in this game? Or are they just going to roll over (as they did a few years back, when the Browns needed them to beat Tennessee to make the playoffs). The Jets have allowed a league-low 8 TD passes. Three to tight ends (Tony Gonzalez, Anthony Fasano, Joey Haynos), two to No. 1 receivers (Randy Moss, Mike Sims-Walker), three to what I would call No. 2 receivers (Lee Evans, Nate Washington, Ted Ginn). I would go with Heath Miller.
Posted by KEVIN LAVIANO | Dec. 27 at 12:46 AM
Championship game questions: In a PPR league I need to start 2 RBs between Rice, Benson, Harrison and Wells. Also, would you start Finley over Dallas Clark? Thanks again for a gret year. I am in 3 finals this week!
Add a Comment
Already a registered user? Please sign in to add comments.
To add comments, you must become a registered user of our site. To register, please click here.