Friday, December 11, 2009

Bits and pieces from today's Sporting News column

Here are a few items pulled from my 4th and Long column on

Truth be told, Tom Brady’s owners are likely to start him against the Panthers even if he’s wearing a full body cast. Now that he’s added a rib injury to his bum finger and shoulder, they may have to. None of the maladies is likely to ground him Sunday, but don’t be surprised if you see him yawning on the sidelines. He’s got a new baby at home, and I’m guessing his supermodel wife expects him to pitch in at night. Lord knows I’d do whatever she asked.

Kellen Clemens will start for the Jets over the injured Mark Sanchez in a very favorable matchup with the Bucs. Clemens shouldn’t be on your radar, but it doesn’t get much easier for Braylon Edwards and Jerricho Cotchery. Either is a solid WR3 this week.

Atlanta is desperate for a win, so they’re doing everything possible to get Matt Ryan (turf toe) back under center. Regardless of his status, you should consider other options. Ryan was picked off three times in his earlier meeting with the Saints (offset by 289 yards and 1 TD), and New Orleans’ secondary has been living off turnovers all season.

Michael Turner (ankle) will likely be a game-time decision as well, but haven’t we seen this movie before? And didn’t his owners hate the ending?

Chris Johnson wants you to know that “my ankle is fine; I’m good.” So relax, would ya? That said, most of his owners I know (including yours truly) are enjoying a bye this weekend. Hey Chris, be careful out there.

DeSean Jackson is expected to return after sitting out one game due to his concussion. He belongs in your starting lineup against a Giants secondary that has surrendered 21 passing scores to date. They’re susceptible to the big play which, as you know, is how D-Jax makes his living.

Devin Hester’s status may not be known until game-time due to a calf injury. That said, he (and his struggling quarterback) haven’t produced in four consecutive games, so the chances of either prospering against Green Bay’s stingy secondary are slim.

Justin Gage is expected to return from his back injury this week, though Kenny Britt’s performance in his absence will likely limit Gage’s snaps. I’m still not a fan of Vince Young as a fantasy QB – and the fact that he aggravated his knee in Thursday’s practice doesn’t help – but even I have to admit Britt’s and his matchup with the Rams is tempting.

LATE UPDATE: Mike Sims-Walker (knee) has been downgraded to doubtful for Sunday's game against Miami. Bad news for his owners. This is a bump up for Torry Holt, but not necessarily enough to make him a good start, even against Miami's secondary.

Sore ribs have kept Visanthe Shiancoe limited in practice this week, but he doesn’t appear in jeopardy of missing Sunday’s game. He’s a safe start against the Bengals, who rank roughly in the middle of the pack against opposing tight ends.


  1. Ladd,

    Since I already have the playoffs locked up which defense would you run with. Pitt or Ari?

  2. Joe,

    Neither, sorry. Hopefully you can find someone better on the waiver wire.

  3. Sims Walker is doubtful, so S.Smith(Carolina) or Crabtree?

  4. Ladd:

    Do or die!!

    QB-- Garrard, Palmer or Cassel?

    RB-- Forte or Felix?

    WR-- Which one do I sit?-- Calvin, Marshall, Driver, TO, Maclin

    As always, thanks


  5. Seth,

    Looks like Sims-Walker is starting, so stick with him.

  6. pazhorn,

    Garrard, Felix (yuck) and sit Maclin