One of the most challenging tasks that any owner faces during the course of the fake football season is managing those injuries that crop up along the way. Often we’re kept down to the wire wondering if players will play, limited in practice and listed on the injury report, and sometimes if they do there’s very little in the way of assurances that they’re going to play 100% of their normal snaps, or ability.
On Saturdays we’re going to take a look every week at the players are fit that very description, and how their situations may impact your fantasy squad for the upcoming weekend.
Week 2 Injury Report
Arian Foster and Ben Tate – Probable: The Texans’ RB committee found it’s what to the injury report this week, but the concern here for owners doesn’t have anything to do with their availability to play per se. Both these guys will be in the lineup, and despite a strong Titans performance versus the Steelers in week one, they’ve got a weak matchup, so no worries there. The concern here is that the coaching staff planned to ease Foster in a bit this year… then they didn’t do that at all really in week one… and now they’re claiming they want to even out the touches again now in week 2. If you’re a Foster owner you’re almost certainly not benching him, despite Kubiak’s comments, but if you’re a Tate owner? Well, maybe you want to give plugging him in some though and hoping that the coach sticks to his comments.
Jamaal Charles – Probable: Jamaal is going to play, and practiced fully at the end of the week. You spent the pick on him, you’re not sitting him despite that he may not be at 100%.
Reggie Bush – Probable: If you haven’t, now is probably a good time to stop what you’re doing and looking into Joique Bell‘s availability in your league. Yes, Reggie is going to play almost for sure on Sunday and after last week, yes, you absolutely start him going forward. However, Reggie already has multiple body parts showing up on the injury list and you’ve got to wonder how long it is before he starts missing time.
Daryl Richardson – Probable: Richardson put up pretty sub-par numbers with 3.2ypc in week one, but managed to reach nearly 10 fake points based off nearly 30 yards through the air. He’ll want to make the most of whatever opportunity this week affords him as Pead has returned from suspension and shortened the leash. Richardson is a guy that I’d consider benching if you’ve got a more attractive option, even if it’s just to see how the dust settles for the week.
Vick Ballard – Out: Following sustaining a major knee injury during Thursday’s practice, Vick Ballard has been marked down and out for the year. Ahmad Bradshaw has virtually no serious competition for carries in Indianapolis now, and provided he can stay healthy himself then Ballard’s knee must have his owners quite pleased.
Rashard Mendenhall – Probable: Limited in practice throughout the week, and listed as probable, Mendenhall is fully expected to suit up on Sunday. Mendenhall was pretty underwhelming last week against the Rams, and although Detroit gave up one big run to All-Day, they played pretty admirably against him every touch thereafter. There are better options out there all over.
Le’Veon Bell – Out: High hopes that Bell would return to the lineup as early as week 2 or 3 are being dashed by the day. Behind this offensive line he’s going to have to be a stud anyway as a rookie to make a real impact. Things are in shambles in Pittsburgh and until (if) they show they can turn it around, Bell’s value is quite limited.
Roddy White and Julio Jones – Questionable: Arguably the leagues best receiver tandem are both officially questionable, and both expected to play. With options like Harry Douglas and Tony Gonzalez (and even SJax out of the backfield) available to Matt Ryan, both may be risky fantasy plays. They’re unfortunately low-end options going forward until we see how they hold up in game action and what their use will be, deploy at your own risk.
Eric Decker and Wes Welker – Probable: Another paid of stud receivers whose names cropped up throughout the week, Decker and Welker are expected to suit up, and until I have definitive to suggest otherwise I’m firing on all Denver receivers. Yes, Decker had a slower week than expected in Week One and Wes snagged a couple TDs to pad his stats… but there might be a role reversal in week 2. Hard to turn on this offense.
Dez Bryant – Probable: Bryant owners who paid big for him during the draft were left in shambles after their week one match where he only mustered 22 yards on 4 catches and then saw him diagnosed with a mid-foot sprain. Then Bryant spent the whole week practicing and is fully expected to be lined up in his normal position on Sunday against the Chiefs…he’ll get it on track eventually and it’s hard to see any reason not to fire him as usual.
Larry Fitzgerald – Questionable: Uncertainty and mixed messages are the worst thing we can hope for here, but it’s a very difficult situation with Fitz. He hurt his hamstring during the week and his been limited since, and although it was originally suggested he would play he’s officially listed as questionable. His absence perhaps increases the value of Andre Roberts and Michael Floyd who are likely to see more targets, however may slightly decrease the value of Carson Palmer who may find himself down this elite WR1.
Andre Roberts – Probable: Roberts practiced in full towards the end of the week, so his presence on the injury report is primarily a formality one would assume. He was a nice selection last week and may see an increase in looks if Larry Fitzgerald isn’t ready to go on gameday. Check back and employ accordingly, but if you were planning to use Roberts as a WR3 or Flex play that option is still a decent one.
Jacoby Jones – Out: Jones remains sidelined with sprained knee ligaments and will provide an open door for Marlon Brown. Brown grabbed 4 balls for 65 yards last week after taking over the Ravens WR2 spot after Jones went down. Provided that the Browns stick Haden on Torrey Smith, Brown may find himself seeing plenty of opportunities.
Marques Colston – Probable: Although he’s shown up on the injury report for his foot, Colston is going to go on Sunday. You don’t sit Drew Bree’s favourite target, and he’s a threat to find the endzone every single week despite the nagging foot issues.
Cecil Shorts – Probable: Shorts owners can breathe a sigh of relief this week – or at least hang onto a glimmer of hope. I didn’t include on the list Blaine Gabbart because god help you if you’re planning to deploy a Jags QB anyway, but at least his trip to the sidelines will allow Chad Henne into the game. With Henne on the field last week for just a few minutes near the end of the game, Shorts more than doubled his production. Until Blackmon returns the only “real” (and I use that loosely) threat to steal important looks from Shorts is Ace Saunders. Shorts owners should be willing to give him one more week to see if he can turn in a better one.
Jermichael Finley – Probable: Finley was his usual self last week, showing flashes of what he could do in both the positive and negative lights. He’s going to play this week despite his designation, and got targeted for a score last week… fire away with this guy unless you’ve got an option you’re somehow sure is going to do better.
Owen Daniels – Probable: Like Finley, Owen Daniels is going to play and showed us some serious fantasy promise in week one. Perhaps it’s the case of finally having a true WR2 on the team in DeAndre Hopkins that is going to allow Daniels to shine weekly, or perhaps last week will be the beginning of a frustrating inconsistent season for his fake managers… regardless, you run the risk against the Titans this week, ’cause that’s an awesome match-up to test that theory.
Rob Housler – Out: High-ankle sprain claims another. Housler hasn’t even returned to the practice field, and one of the people’s favorite sleeper break-out TE picks remains on the sideline while it seems like every single other TE in the league pads their stats.
Heath Miller – Out: Despite that he’s returned to the practice field, there’s no chance Miller plays on Monday. The way TEs looked in Week One – compounded with the way the Steeler offense looked – there’s likely better options to be considering even when he does return in a few weeks time.
Dwayne Allen – Questionable: Allen hasn’t practiced in days and that’s almost certainly a sign that if he plays he’ll be nothing more than a diversion on the field. His presumed absence however likely means very little for anyone in Indy: he only received two targets in week 1, and despite one being a score, it’s hard to see that translating necessarily into extra fantasy points of any relevance for the others in town.