Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Mid-week news from around the NFL

Injuries dominate the news in Fantasyland this week, and most of the current reports aren't good.

Brian Westbrook (concussion) could be down for the count, after sustaining his second concussion of the season. LeSean McCoy is likely to carry the load for the Eagles the remainder of the fantasy season.

Looks like at least another week of Ladell Betts too, as Clinton Portis (concussion) does not appear to be in any hurry to return. That's probably due as much to his health concerns as to his team's sorry state of affairs.

Ronnie Brown's ankle injury will definitely keep him out of Thursday night's game, and probably longer. The team is reportedly worried that he may be out for the remainder of the season, due to the severity of the injury. Ricky Williams' already-inflated stock spikes significantly with this news. LATE UPDATE WED. PM: BROWN JUST PLACED ON I.R., ENDING HIS SEASON. This is terrible news for the Dolphins, and equally tragic for Ronnie's owners. Williams hasn't been this high in years, pardon the pun.

Michael Turner's injury was unofficially announced as a high ankle sprain, which is not what his owners wanted to hear. If you haven't already scooped up Jason Snelling, he's probably already gone. If he isn't, what are you waiting for? Though Jerious Norwood (hip) has started running, it's hard to imagine him being ready to play this week. And if he does, Snelling is still the better choice.

Julius Jones didn't just break a rib on Sunday, but also experienced bleeding in his lung. He's out for at least a couple games, making Justin Forsett the Seahawk RB to own for the foreseeable future.

On a more positive note, Cedric Benson may not miss much time, if any, due to his hip flexor. I've seen conflicting reports about his availability for this weekend, which probably means he'll be a game-time call. Rookie Bernard Scott is the handcuff you want going into Week 11. Not Larry Johnson, who was signed merely as insurance and will be the Bengals' fourth-string back. I mentioned last week that LJ owners may want to hold onto him to see if he lands in a favorable situation. He didn't. Push eject.

Joseph Addai injured a finger Sunday night, while third-string RB Chad Simpson incurred a head injury. Though Addai's injury is unlikely to keep him out of action, Donald Brown could see more carries as a result.

Both DeAngelo Williams (knee) and Jonathan Stewart (Achilles) are listed as questionable for Thursday's game against Miami. Given the short week, don't be surprised if one of them isn't ready in time.

Kyle Orton (ankle) apparently will be ready to play this weekend. That doesn't mean he should be in your starting lineup, but it's even more reason to stay away from Chris Simms on the waiver wire.

On the non-injury front, more big news: Dwayne Bowe has been suspended for 4 games due to a violation of the league's substance abuse program. Though I don't have high hopes for the Matt Cassel/Chris Chambers connection against the Steelers this week, I like Chambers' chances to take advantage of his steadily improving situation thereafter.

Just in time for the stretch run -- as promised, though it took a couple weeks longer than I predicted in the preseason -- Beanie Wells has emerged as the Cardinals' most dangerous tailback. Though Tim Hightower will remain the official starter for now, we all know who the real threat is now. Beanie should remain a valuable starter or flex option as the fantasy postseason approaches. Arizona's schedule is very favorable down the stretch.

Trent Edwards lost his job (again) to Ryan Fitzpatrick. And Dick Jauron was fired as the Bills' head coach. None of which raises the value of the struggling Marshawn Lynch or fading T.O. Though rumors are swirling that Mike Shanahan is interviewing for the job. That could raise everyone's value in the long term. Not this year.

The Ravens dumped K Steve Hauschka after another FG miss and XP block this weekend. Mike Nugent and Billy Cundiff have been auditioning for the job.


  1. Ladd, thanks for all the timely and valuable advice. Based on your Monday article, I claimed Jason Snelling off of waivers first thing this morning when the claims were executed. Additionally, based your previous recommendation, I had been carrying Beanie Wells on my bench. So, in pretty short-order, I went from having a pretty weak RB corps to a solid one! Thanks!
    PS. Thanks for responding to my personnel choice questions this past weekend via e-mail, while I was having issues posting them to your board!

  2. Ladd,
    My WR lineup is Jennings, Housh,Calvin Johnson, and Devery H. Would I be better off with Donnie Avery than Devery H?

  3. Sims-Walker or Steve smith (Car)? thanks!

  4. Snelling or Ryan Grant this week?

  5. McNabb or Cutler? I also have a flex position on my roster that I can play a RB or WR, which 4 players would you play in addition to Chris Johnson? Ryan Grant, Beanie Wells, Forsett, Betts, Jennings, Housh, Calvin Johnson, and Donnie Avery? I am in a PPR league too.

  6. sr_kreipe,

    You're welcome. Glad it helped. I've been getting impatient with Beanie (drafted him in all 3 of my leagues and have been waiting...), but it appears our patience is finally paying off (though I only had him starting in 1 league last week). Just in time for the stretch run!

  7. craig,

    Tough call. As you'll see in a few minutes, I've got both Avery and Devery in my recommended starters. I'd probably lean toward Avery.

  8. Snapper,

    I'd have to go with Grant.

  9. craig,

    Gotta roll with McNabb.

    Also, Grant, Beanie, Betts and Jennings.