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Injury Wrap: Hakeem Nicks confirmed out; Buffalo stance remains unclear

Scott Pianowski
Roto Arcade

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Strike a pose? Probably not this week (USP)

Psst. Hey you, Ramses Barden owner. Step away from the keyboard. Hands off the smart phone. It's too early to consider dropping your Week 3 wonder off the waiver wire.

Hakeem Nicks, you see, is a headache once again for Week 4.

The Giants have slapped the doubtful tag on Nicks and don't figure he'll go in the divisional showdown Sunday night against the Eagles. Nicks is dealing with swelling in his knee, and fantasy owners won't want to deal with the wait-and-see concept given that it's the evening game. Start scouting replacements immediately.

(Saturday Update: Nicks is confirmed out; he didn't travel with the club. Done and done.)

[More: NFL referees overwhelmingly approve new contract]

Now we'll go around the league, in this order: QB, RB, WR, TE, other positions. Settle in, settlers.

Matthew Stafford (hip) had a full practice Friday and is listed as probable. Plug and play as you normally would. The weakest part of the Vikings defense is the secondary.

Christian Ponder (neck) is on the injury report but it's as probable; go ahead and use him at Detroit.

Matt Schaub (shoulder) should be fine against Tennessee. He's listed as probable.

• The Buffalo backfield is a cloud of confusion, as Fred Jackson (knee) and C.J. Spiller (shoulder) both hold the questionable tag. The Bills don't mind keeping the Patriots guessing; Bill Belichick would probably list his entire roster as questionable if he could get away with it. Context clues point to Jackson being more likely to play than Spiller, but there's nothing guaranteed with this backfield. Hopefully you have safer options to rely on. If all else fails, Tashard Choice is the No. 3 back.

Steven Jackson (groin) had another limited day Friday and is a game-day call for the home match against Seattle. Given the challenge of the opponent, try to find someone else to use. The NFC West is not to be trifled with this year; every team can get after it on defense (especially the three clubs that Jackson will be facing off against).

Reggie Bush (knee) had a limited Friday and is listed as questionable for Sunday's late start at Arizona. Beat writer Ben Volin of the Palm Beach Post expects Bush to play, for what it's worth. Line up a caddy if possible.

• Just when the Detroit backfield looked safe to invest in, we have to worry a little bit. Mikel LeShoure (groin) had three straight days of limited practice and is considered questionable for Sunday's match against Minnesota. The Vikings have a sturdy rushing defense, which creates another obstacle. Keep in mind LeShoure missed the entire 2011 season with a blown-out Achilles.

• Peyton Hillis (ankle) is listed as doubtful, which means we'll probably see Shaun Draughn as the complimentary piece behind Jamaal Charles this week. Draughn could also see some goal-line work, if the Chiefs find themselves in close.

With LaRod Stephens-Howling (hip) out for Week 4, and Beanie Wells on injured reserve, it really is the Ryan Williams show in Arizona. Good luck behind that offensive line, mate.

• Matt Forte (ankle) has a chance to play at Dallas on Monday. We'll see if we learn anything from Chicago's workout Saturday. Michael Bush (shoulder) is not listed on the injury report.

• Arian Foster (knee) is listed as probable, so barring a setback he's good to go against Tennessee.

• Jonathan Stewart (ankle) is expected to go at Atlanta. He's listed as probable. No one can figure out the Carolina running back matrix, however.

• Willis McGahee (ribs) looked good at the end of the week and is listed as probable.

• Brandon Jacobs (knee) is listed as questionable, if you're in a 24-team league. He had a limited week of practice.

• Bernard Scott (ankle) is listed as questionable, which might lead to more paperwork and carries for BenJarvus Green-Ellis.

• Dexter McCluster (elbow) is listed as questionable and had limited workouts Thursday and Friday. Given his role, build and physical condition, I can't recommend him for Week 4.

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Garcon means boy (QT)

Pierre Garcon (foot) was limited in practice for three consecutive days. The Redskins are listing him as questionable, and unfortunately Washington has a late start at Tampa Bay (4:25 pm ET). Leonard Hankerson takes a step up in value if Garcon can't go.

Dwayne Bowe (groin) missed some of the work Thursday and Friday, making him questionable for Sunday's home match against San Diego. At least it's an early game. Steve Breaston is also listed as questionable, which means Jon Baldwin has some deep-league speculation value this week.

[Video: Saints, Packers searching for answers]

Kenny Britt (ankle) missed the full practice week and although he carries the questionable tag, that seems optimistic for Week 4. Find a safer receiver if you can, especially with the take-no-prisoners Houston defense on the schedule.

• Calvin Johnson (ankle) and Titus Young (knee) both had full practice sessions Thursday and Friday and should be fine against Minnesota. Johnson is usually on the injury report every week.

• Andre Johnson (ankle) missed some practice reps this week, but he's listed as probable so he should be fine. Have fun against that Titans secondary.

• Greg Jennings (groin) is listed as probable, so look for him to be fine against the get-well defense of the Saints.

• Miles Austin (hamstring) had a full practice Friday and should be fine for Monday night against Chicago.

• Jeremy Maclin (hip) is listed as probable for the Sunday night affair against the Giants.

• Laurent Robinson (post concussion) is listed as probable, not that he's really startable at this point.

• Stephen Hill (hamstring) won't play against the Niners, which means the Jets have an opening on the outside. This might mean more snaps for Jeremy Kerley, albeit Kerley is a slot receiver, not someone who plays on the flank.

• Darrius Heyward-Bey (post concussion) is listed as doubtful. Get better, DHB. Derek Hagan might see some extra work with Heyward-Bey out. Rod Streater (neck) is listed as questionable.

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Robert Gronkowski (USP)

Rob Gronkowski had a limited practice Friday and is now listed as questionable. As we alluded to early, this could be the usual Belichick smokescreen in advance of a critical division game. Check back on Sunday, but I'd be surprised if Gronk isn't his usual destructive self on game day. You can forget about Julian Edelman (hand), however; he's already been ruled out.

• Kyle Rudolph (quad) is listed as probable. I'll use him anywhere I can.

• Jared Cook (shoulder) did some work in practice this week, but nonetheless is tagged as questionable for the Sunday match against Houston.

• Dustin Keller (hamstring) isn't expected to play against the Niners. Don't laugh, the Jets really miss this guy.

• Brandon Myers (post concussion) will probably go against the Broncos, though it's a late game and he's certainly no sure thing. He's caught all 15 of his targets this year, a nifty stat.

• Jacob Tamme (groin) should be ready to go against the Raiders. He's listed as probable.

• Kevin Boss (head) will not play Sunday against San Diego, which might mean more targets for Tony Moeaki.

• Nate Kaeding (groin) was knocked out of Friday's practice and is listed as questionable. Why take a chance on your kicker spot if you don't have to? It seems like Nick Novak will likely replace him at Kansas City.

• Sebastian Janikowski (groin) is listed as probable, if you wanted to know.

Brad Evans is not on the injury report, so settle in for the Yahoo! Fantasy Minute.

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