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Saturday, December 14, 2013
Excerpts from 4th & Long and other injury updates
Greetings, Fools. Here are a few excerpts from yesterday's 4th & Long column for Sporting News' Fantasy Source, along with updated injury reports from around the NFL.
Though Aaron Rodgers (collarbone) took some first-team reps in practice this week, he's now been ruled out for Sunday's game. I'm starting Jordy Nelson against the horrid Cowboys secondary anyway. Just too much upside to leave on my bench.
Is it a little strange that I'm glad one of my playoff opponents had to bench Josh McCown in favor of returning starter Jay Cutler? Indeed, we don't know whether "Good Jay" or "Bad Jay" will show up. But Alshon Jeffery's owners know which quarterback made their young wideout a star. They can't be happy with Cutler's return.
You know Robert Griffin III is out and Kirk Cousins is in. Though Cousins clearly has talent, you can't trust him against an above-average Falcons secondary -- not in the fantasy postseason. Meanwhile, RG3 can be safely dropped in redraft leagues. The team has said he won't play again this year even if Cousins gets hurt.
Those paying attention in the minutes before last Sunday's Lions-Eagles kickoff heard that Reggie Bushhad tweaked his injured calf during warm-ups and might not be able to play. Joique Bell got the starting nod and proceeded to amass 127 rushing yards and a TD in the blizzard-like conditions. Though Bush is expected to be ready to roll on Monday night, you're playing with fire again if you don't have his talented backup waiting in the wings.
So, what happens when your top pick's handcuff joins the starter in the game-time-decision category? That appears to be the fate of those banking on Toby Gerhart to cover for Adrian Peterson. But a hamstring injury could keep Gerhart out this weekend, as well. For that matter, AP hasn't given up hope of playing with his bum ankle. One thing I know: I won't be inviting third-stringer Matt Asiata onto my squad. [Update: AP is now questionable and actually sounds like he might give it a go. And I certainly wouldn't bet against him. Gerhart is also questionable. Given their relative statuses (stati?), only an active AP seems like a viable starting option against the Eagles.]
It's never a good thing when an RB is in a walking boot a few days before his next game. Meet Eddie Lacy. Though the team is sending signals that Lacy is expected to play, this one could go down to the wire. You have to love his chances against Dallas if he suits up. [Update: Lacy is probable for tomorrow. Get him in your lineup.]
Both Maurice Jones-Drew (hamstring) and Cecil Shorts III (groin) are iffy for the favorable matchup against the Bills. Jordan Todman and Ace Sanders would be "next up," respectively. Thanks, but I'll pass. [Update: MJD is now doubtful.]
Darren McFadden has been ruled out for Week 15. Next step: IR, probably.
Jonathan Stewart (knee) is out, too.
Not that you were counting on him anyway, but Willis McGahee (concussion) is also out this week.
Dexter McCluster has been ruled out. You wouldn't start him, but his absence is a downgrade for the Chiefs' special teams.
Percy Harvin won't suit up in Week 15, and probably not till the Seahawks' first postseason game.
Jordan Reed (concussion) is joining RG3 on the shelf for the rest of the season. With the Redskins' season over, there's no point in risking further injury to their tight end of the future. [Update: Though Reed has been ruled out for Sunday, the team is backtracking on their 'shut down for the season' comment.]
Ladd Biro was named 2010 "Football Writer of the Year" by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association -- the most prestigious recognition in the biz. In 2011, he won again -- the only two-time winner in the FSWA's history. He also won for "Best Humor Column of 2011," across all sports. He was a finalist for the FFWOY Award again in 2013 and 2014, but was denied the threepeat in the kind of bribery/shakedown/ payola scandal more commonly associated with FIFA. Ladd's nationally syndicated columns have appeared in more than 20 publications -- including the Dallas Morning News, San Francisco Chronicle, Philadelphia Inquirer, Chicago Sun-Times and Sporting News magazine -- since 2003. Since 2009, all his written fantasy content can be found on the Fantasy Fools blog.