Friday, December 9, 2011

Friday updates and injury news

Here are a few updates from my Sporting News Fantasy Source column today:

Michael Vick will suit up in Miami on Sunday, wearing a vest to protect his ribs. There is obviously some risk of re-injury, and the Dolphins are playing good pass defense lately. But Vick remains a more viable starting option than all but a handful of elite passers. Especially since Jeremy Maclin (shoulder, hamstring) is also expected back on the field.

I hope you aren’t counting on Christian Ponder as your fantasy QB. But those banking on Percy Harvin should know that a hip injury could keep the rookie out of the lineup this weekend. Joe Webb is his backup, and we saw last year how that played out. (Two rushing TDs for Webb; no passing scores.) Harvin owners should root for Ponder’s speedy recovery.

The Rams will likely be piloted by Tom Brandstater on Monday night, while Sam Bradford (ankle) and A.J. Feeley (thumb) are sidelined. Say a prayer for the good people of St. Louis. It’s been a rough sports week for them, and it won’t get any better soon.

Adrian Peterson (ankle) is back at practice, but his playing status will likely go down to the wire on Sunday. Fortunately, Toby Gerhart is providing decent production in his stead, for those who secured his handcuff.

Mark Ingram could sit out this week with a turf toe injury. If he does, Pierre Thomas will vault back up the rankings and Chris Ivory will likely be active (but not startable for fantasy purposes).

Michael Bush was a dud last weekend in Miami, but don’t let that scare you off from starting him against the Packers. Darren McFadden is almost certainly out again, and Bush has proven that he is a very capable fantasy producer. One false start doesn’t change that.

Don’t expect much out of Kevin Smith (ankle) against the Vikings, if he plays. He would probably be used sparingly, with Maurice Morris getting the bulk of the carries.

Cedric Benson is taking it easy on his injured foot this week, but he should play Sunday. He has a rough matchup against the Texans, however. Benson is a low-level RB2 or flex play at best this week.

Andre Johnson (hamstring) is expected to be a game-time call, but it’s probably wisest to make other plans regardless of his status. With T.J. Yates at the helm, the Texans are an even more run-dominant team, and Johnson’s snaps could be limited.

Look for Miles Austin (hamstring) finally back in action on Sunday night. He comes with some risk of limited reps, but the tantalizing matchup with the Giants should outweigh those concerns. Though there will be fewer balls for both Dez Bryant and Laurent Robinson, I wouldn’t sit any Dallas wideout in this matchup.

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