Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Midweek updates from around the NFL

I've been in a crappy mood since Monday night, and I suspect I'm not the only one. All I needed was a decent outing from Kurt Warner to move on in my big-money league. Instead, he gave me one stinking point. One point! It's a miracle I didn't break every screen in my house that night.

It's also pretty remarkable I was in contention in the first place, as I was facing off against a guy featuring Peyton, Ray Rice, AP, and DeSean Jackson. Who'dda thunk guys like Jamaal Charles, Quinton Ganther, Miles Austin and the Eagles DST would help me keep pace with that lineup? It would have been a sweet victory.

Alas, I'm down to one remaining league, where I'm 11-2 (after a first-round bye) and season-high points leader. This week I'll be rolling with Schaub over Peyton (worried he'll hit the showers early), the incomparable Chris Johnson, Cedric (though I'm tempted to play Beanie vs. Rams), Randy Moss (I'm lucky I had a bye last week, but he'd better show up Sunday), Roddy, Garcon (probably), Gates, Eagles DST and Hartley. That lineup has been rock solid all year, so I'm confident. Just like I was heading into Monday night...

OK, enough about me. On to the updates:

Just as we were starting to warm up to Bruce Gradkowski, he's been lost for the season with injuries to both knees. Charlie Frye -- not JaMarcus Russell -- will start this weekend for Oakland. I can't imagine any Raider starting for a fantasy playoff team.

Mark Sanchez will likely get the start for the Jets-Falcons tilt, but he's a risky play -- despite the favorable matchup -- given his time away and his limited effectiveness prior to his knee injury.

Looks like both Matt Ryan and Michael Turner will again be game-time decisions this week.

Matt Stafford will most likely sit out another week.

Correll Buckhalter will probably miss the Raiders game with his bum ankle. Take note, Knowshon Moreno owners. He'll be facing the same defense that just made a fantasy star out of Ganther on Sunday, and Moreno should get the lion's share of the carries.

This week's Quinton Ganther looks to be Arian Foster. Facing the Rams' sorry defense, he should be a decent flex play, even though Chris Brown and/or Ryan Moats will take some carries.

Mike Bell is on track to return to action on Saturday night. That's bad news for both Reggie Bush and Pierre Thomas owners. I must admit, I have a pretty lousy track record projecting which Saints RB will do best in any given game, and when all three are healthy, it's an even tougher call. Suffice it to say I'm high on one of them; I just don't know which one.

Larry Fitzgerald sprained his right knee and suffered a bone contusion Monday night. The team is optimistic that he'll play this weekend, but be warned: He won't be 100%. Then again, 80% of Fitz is better than 100% of most of your other options.

Nate Burleson will not play in Week 15 due to a high ankle sprain.

Despite earlier reports that Kevin Curtis could finally return to Philly's starting lineup this week due to Jeremy Maclin's injury, the call goes to Jason Avant. He's a marginal play against a vulnerable 49ers secondary that played way over their heads Monday night.

Neil Rackers will be sidelined for at least a week or two due to the groin injury he suffered Monday night. Mike Nugent, cut by the Bucs after going 2-of-6 on FG attempts, will cover for him. If you were counting on Rackers, you'd be well-advised to look outside Arizona for a sub.

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