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.
On Sundays, if you still have concerns or questions, be sure to check out our live fantasy advice page!
Week 9 Injury Report
Arian Foster and Ben Tate – Questionable: This one causes quite the problem for owners of Foster – and for that matter, his handcuff Tate. Arian is going to be a game time decision…on Sunday night…which means if you don’t have Tate (or another option) in the event he doesn’t play you’ve limited your options pretty severely at the RB spot. Tate is questionable too, but is expected to play. Given he’s also dealing with injury there’s no way to know how much of the load he’ll be able to shoulder himself.
C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson – Probable: Looks like things are going back to full time-share mode in Buffalo with Spiller and Jackson both expected to handle their normal workloads and roles. Jackson is going to remain the primarily source of rushing scores for the Bills one would assume, and Spiller will remain a risky play on the hopes that he breaks a big one. Against a relatively stout Chiefs defense, it might be worth looking for other options if you’ve got them available.
DeMarco Murray – Probable: There’s never a guarantee DeMarco can get through any given game without getting hurt, but he’s got a terrific matchup this week against the awful Vikings. DeMarco should get the rock lots, and given how poor the running has been in his absence I think the Cowboys will be happy to see him produce again.
Daryl Richardson and Zac Stacy – Questionable: A tale of two different questionable tags. Stacy practiced fully on Thursday, limited Friday, is expected to play and has worked through the same tag numerous times in his short stint as the man in St. Louis. Richardson practiced on Thursday and wasn’t able to go on Friday, which is anything but a positive sign (except for Stacy owners, which should be the only people who care about Richardson’s availability anyway…)
DeAngelo Wiliams – Probable and Jon Stewart – Out: Stewart only remains officially “out” because he’s not actually activated from the PUP list, but that’s fully expected to happen later today and he’s fully expected to be out there on Sunday against the Falcons. Williams is also expected to play this Sunday. So is Cam Newton. And Mike Tolbert. Guess who it’s starting to get very difficult to trust to produce relevant points in Carolina from a RB perspective? Anyone.
Roddy White – Questionable: It would seem Roddy is destined to return to the field again this week against the Panthers. He’s got to be considered risky, as he wasn’t particularly effective even when he had Julio Jones attracting the attention, and the Panthers are decent against the pass.
Miles Austin – Doubtful: This years Wally Pipp, Austin’s job is seemingly gone to rookie Terrance Williams. Despite the tag which indicates for some reason that Austin -may- play, word has emerged from Dallas that he’s shut down until he’s recovered from the hamstring problems that have been plaguing him (again) this year. Terrance Williams owners will certainly be hoping he can post better numbers than he did last week when he struggled to be reliable.
James Jones – Questionable: This is a rough one, like Arian Foster, as he’s likely not going to be decided upon until game time and game time isn’t going to give his owners much of a shot to recover if he doesn’t play. His availability also puts the Jarrett Boykins targets in minor jeopardy as well. Regardless of his availability this week it would certainly seem that he’s headed in the right direction and should be back by next Sunday at the latest.
Darrius Heyward-Bey – Questionable: Frustrating for the Colts, their fans, and owners of their wideouts. Two weeks removed from losing Reggie Wayne for the season, DHB went and got himself dinged up in practice. Pagano said he anticipates he’ll be out there Sunday, and if he is he should be in store for quite a few targets now that Wayne has been sidelined. More Sunday Night Football concerns though – have someone else lined up, just in case.
Marques Colston – Questionable: The ball is spread around in New Orleans so much that it’s a touchdown game usually anyway, but Colston was as close to “proof” that it gets. His knees are bothering him, which should come as no surprise to anyone who has been watching football over the past few years. Look for Jimmy Graham, Kenny Stills, Lance Moore and maybe (maybe) even Darren Sproles to be the beneficiaries should Colston not be able to go.
Steve Johnson – Probable: Stevie was finally building some rapport with Thad Lewis as the QB in Buffalo, only for Lewis to be Doubtful with sore ribs to face the Chiefs on Sunday. Johnson, limping around a bit himself, now has to try to connect with Jeff Tuel. It’s Tuel time, it seems, and when it comes to Johnson I think the situation warrants a resounding “I don’t think so, Tim.”
Eddie Royal – Questionable: Two weeks ago I went ahead and ripped up Eddie Royal, stating that you had bigger problems than his availability if you were actually going to consider starting him. He proceeded to find the endzone for the first time since the second week of the season. I’m going there again: play or not, you’ve got bigger issues than Eddie Royal availability if you’re actually going to rely on Eddie Royal.
Jimmy Graham – Questionable: Graham played only 18 snaps last week, and snagged only three balls, but two of them were for scores. Graham is expecting to be more active this week, so you gotta have him in your line-up if you own him.
Jeff Cumberland – Questionable: Cumberland had become a favorite target of Smith over the past number of weeks, good for 50 yards-ish and maybe a score. Now he’s concussed and hasn’t been cleared, it’s very unlikely we’re going to see him out there on Sunday. More likely is that Zach Sudfeld gets another shot to prove the pre-season with the Patriots wasn’t simply an anomaly.