Saturday, November 2, 2013

Excerpts from 4th & Long, plus injury updates

Here are a few excerpts from yesterday's 4th & Long column for Sporting News' Fantasy Source, along with some injury updates from around the league.

Those of us with key stakes in Eagles playmakers are cautiously optimistic that a healthy Nick Foles (concussion) will bring some stability back to the offense. Though his last start was a disaster, Foles has generally been solid when given the opportunity. I'm not recommending you start him, but I feel better aboutLeSean McCoy and DeSean Jackson this week than I have in some time.
Signs point to Arian Foster (hamstring) starting as usual on Sunday. Ben Tate (cracked ribs) is less certain, but he's also expected to get his minority share of the workload. Indy's run defense is nothing special, so you have to start Foster. Just don't expect greatness. [Update: Despite practicing in full on Friday, Foster is being labeled a game-time decision, while Tate is probable.  Complicating matters is their Sunday night time slot.  Prepare accordingly.]
C.J. Spiller (ankle) is on track to play Sunday, though it will be hard to trust him in this matchup. His return will eat somewhat into Fred Jackson's production -- just as Tashard Choice does -- but Jackson (knee) has quietly worked his way into every-week-starter status. That won't change this week, even against the mighty Chiefs.
Assuming DeMarco Murray (knee) returns, he will be a solid starting option against the weak Vikings run defense. If he's inactive again, it's hard to trust any of his backups, in spite of the favorable matchup. [Update: Murray is listed as probable.]
I recommended a week ago that DeAngelo Williams' owners try to trade him before Jonathan Stewartreturned to further sap the starter's value. If you held onto him -- or made the mistake of trading for him -- you now have the added concern of a quadriceps injury that could potentially sideline Williams entirely this weekend. This development could force the Panthers to activate Stewart earlier than planned. Meanwhile,Mike Tolbert could be a sneaky start against the Falcons.
Don't count on Roddy White this weekend, whether he's active or not. He will be no better than a desperation play until he is fully recovered from his ankle and hamstring injuries. That may not be until 2014 the way his season is going. [Update: Roddy will be a game-time decision.]
James Jones (knee) is getting in limited practice reps, but his outlook is negative for Week 9. It helps that Jarrett Boykin is filling in nicely in his stead.
The creeping delays continue with Percy Harvin, who we were previously told was most likely to suit up this weekend. Now that timetable has been pushed back another week. Stay tuned for further updates from your captain.
Justin Blackmon failed yet another drug test and has been suspended indefinitely.  Apparently a four-game suspension to begin the season didn't send enough of a message to the talented, but incredibly immature, wideout.  Non-keeper leaguers should dump him now and pick over the free agency pool for someone that can help you.
If you're still holding onto Sidney Rice, it's time to push eject. A torn ACL has landed him on injured reserve. Keeper leaguers need not hold onto the barely relevant wideout, either.
Add a hamstring to the list of ailments that Rob Gronkowski is tending to. He is being limited in practice, but he does not currently appear to be at risk of missing the tilt with the Steelers. That said, the Patriots have a late-afternoon start, which could mean you have to make an early call on Gronk, who is shaping up as a game-time decision. [Update: Grok is listed as probable.  He should be a safe start.]
TO ANDY DALTON: Nothing like sticking a fork in the eye of every fantasy "guru" that predicted continued greatness for you this week.
TO GIOVANI BERNARD: Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue. And to play against you. Glad to know your rib injury doesn't appear to be serious.
TO JIMMY GRAHAM: What exactly does "limited" mean to you? I don't think we share the same definition.


  1. Got a couple of questions for you this week...should I start alshon Jeffrey or Jarret boykin... next question Greg Jennings or Brazil from indy...and then would u start Pryor or rivers over Aaron Rodgers... last but not least romo is the better choice over luck this week right...thanks....hope ur leagues are going good...started out kinda poor in most but gave started to pull back into contention...gotta love fantasy football...

  2. I prefer Boykin, assuming Jones is out. Jennings. Stick with Rodgers. Romo