Well, the Philadelphia Eagles have put themselves in quite a predicament. They basically need to win out, sweeping a difficult stretch of seven games — including match-ups with the Giants, Patriots, Jets and Cowboys — and, realistically, they'll need a few other teams to collapse. Philly is now 3-6, and the friendliest portion of their schedule (or so we thought) is now behind them. So things aren't looking good.
And then there's the injury report: Michael Vick is dealing with broken ribs, Jeremy Maclin has shoulder and hamstring injuries, and DeSean Jackson is battling ... um ... malaise? Narcolepsy? Dunno, but he should maybe just take a break from talking.
The Philadelphia Inquirer's Jeff McLane doesn't expect Vick to play against New York this week. If Vick can't go, that would almost certainly close the book on the 2011 Eagles. No one should be too eager to get a look at Vince Young or Mike Kafka, not while the team still has any hope at all. This year's Vick rib injury isn't anything like last year's, and he was able to play through the discomfort in Week 10 (poorly, but he played). He was reportedly injured on the Eagles' second pass play, when an unblocked blitzer walloped him on a completion to Brent Celek. I'll still have Vick in the low-teens in my initial QB ranks this week; if he can't go, I'd slot his replacement in the low-20s.
I have zero optimism regarding Maclin, as his shoulder issue (AC joint) sounds like it could be a multi-week problem. Assuming he sits, Steve Smith gets a bump, but obviously his value is tied to his quarterback. So, again: Things aren't looking good.
• Willis McGahee suffered a left hamstring injury early in Week 10, and he's hardly a lock to face the Jets on Thursday night. The Denver Post reports that McGahee "went through warm-ups and stretching [on Tuesday] but did not participate in individual drills." You'll recall that he's been playing with a broken hand, too. Even if he's active on Thursday, we have to assume his role will be somewhat diminished; expect to see plenty of Lance Ball, with perhaps a cameo appearance by Jeremiah Johnson. And, of course, Tim Tebow remains Denver's most dangerous ball carrier.
I have a very tough time believing that a one-dimensional, run-heavy, read-option offense will stress the Jets defense, especially when the running backs are unspectacular players. This is really an extreme test for Tebow; I've ranked him as a non-starter in fantasy this week, which won't often be the case.
• Calvin Johnson is practicing Wednesday, having been cleared of any concussion worries. You've dodged a bullet there, Megatronists. Matthew Stafford (broken finger) is reportedly practicing as well. The Lions have a get-right match-up at home this week against Carolina.
• The Chargers' offensive line could very well be without its left guard, its right guard, and its left tackle this week at Chicago. So good luck dealing with Julius Peppers, fellas. That guy lined up all over the place against the Lions in Week 10, creating all sorts of problems, very nearly destroying both Calvin and Stafford. If you own Philip Rivers in fantasy, you're basically just hoping he survives the week.
• There isn't any positive news just yet on the broken-footed Ahmad Bradshaw. This is from the New York Daily News...
The Giants may have to go one more week without Bradshaw, who is hampered by his fractured foot. He may try to practice either Wednesday or Thursday, according to a team source, but his status will depend on how he feels and whether he's at the point where he can push through the pain.
New York has a relatively friendly match-up against Philly this week, as the Eagles have allowed 4.8 yards per carry and 120.0 yards per game so far this season. Brandon Jacobs is a player of interest this week, and DJ Ware could prove useful in a PPR/flex role.
• AJ Green is calling himself a game-time decision for the Week 11 match-up with Baltimore, and I'm not about to argue with him. He suffered a hyperextended knee on Sunday, while hauling in a ridiculous 36-yard score. If he plays, you almost have to start him.
• Julio Jones, I'm gonna need you to play this week, mmm-kay? I appreciate the fact that you tried to talk your way back onto the field in Week 10. I do. Let's just be a bit more convincing this week, maybe put in a full practice at some point.
Harry Douglas obviously had a fine game against the Saints with Julio sidelined, but you'll recall that he wasn't terribly useful in Weeks 6 and 7, when Jones was out.
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