A pensive Foster waits for his chance
The injury landscape isn't too messy as we head into the main thrust of Week 1. Here's a look around the medical room, starting with the running backs.
• Arian Foster (back/calf) is expected to start Monday at San Diego, though the plan is for Ben Tate to also see an extended role. Given how limited Foster was all summer, he's an RB2 for me in the opening week.
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• Le'Veon Bell (foot) won't play Week 1 against Tennessee, though Mike Tomlin says it's more about practice reps than the actual foot problem. It sounds like Bell might help the Steelers in September. In the meantime, Isaac Redman heads up the backfield committee.
• Rashard Mendenhall (knee) should start Sunday against St. Louis; he's listed as probable. Good luck behind that spotty Arizona line, big guy. Alfonso Smith is considered Arizona's second back, followed by Ryan Williams.
• The Jets love to frustrate us - although Bilal Powell is the starter for Week 1, Chris Ivory is expected to get the goal-line carries (should New York actually advance that far). Have a day, Gang Green.
• Lance Dunbar (foot) won't play in the Cowboys opener. DeMarco Murray is the clear starter in Dallas, spelled by Joseph Randle and Phillip Tanner.
Wide Receiver/Tight End
• The ever-helpful Patriots are listing Rob Gronkowski (back/forearm) as doubtful for the season opener at Buffalo. Zach Sudfeld is a decent fill-in option for fantasy owners. The Pats have a Thursday game for Week 2, up against the Jets, giving Gronk a very narrow recovery window.
• Although the Falcons are listing Roddy White (ankle) as questionable, context clues point to him playing at New Orleans. White has never missed a game in his eight-year career.
• Victor Cruz (heel) is moving well this week and is listed as probable for the Sunday night showdown at Dallas. Plug and play.
• Kenny Britt (knee) is listed as probable, if you want to dial him up at Pittsburgh. The Steelers will likely throw CB Ike Taylor in Britt's direction.
• Santonio Holmes (foot) has the questionable tag for Week 1. You should have several safer options, obviously.
• New England doesn't seem particularly worried about Danny Amendola (groin); he's listed as probable for Week 1. The Bills have injury concerns in their secondary, bully for Tom Brady and friends.
• Heath Miller (knee) is considered week-to-week and remains limited in practice. All the more reason to invest in the primary Pittsburgh wideouts; there aren't many mouths to feed in this offense.
• Marques Colston (foot) always seems to be battling one malady or another, but the Saints list him as probable for Week 1. Go ahead and deploy as you normally would.
• Handy Arizona wideout Andre Roberts (quad) should go Sunday and be the team's No. 3 receiver. Tight end Rob Housler (knee) has already been scratched for the opener.
• Marcedes Lewis (calf) missed the last two days of work and won't play against Kansas City.
• Josh Gordon (suspension) won't play for the first two weeks, while Jacksonville's Justin Blackmon (suspension) can't play until Week 5.
• Raiders tight end David Ausberry (shoulder) isn't ready to play, not that he was going to become Oakland's savior. Jeron Mastrud is the fill-in.
• Blaine Gabbert (thumb) took the starter reps Friday and although he's listed as questionable, he figures to start Sunday against the Chiefs.
• Buffalo plans to go with rookie E.J. Manuel (knee) against New England. He's listed as probable. Good time to dial up the Patriots defense, probably.
• Matt Bryant (back) is expected to kick against the Saints.
• Sebastian Janikowski (calf) is expected to go at Indianapolis despite a limited practice week. With all due respect to Janikowski's impressive leg, I don't see why you'd want to be tied to Oakland's offense.
• With Dustin Hopkins (groin) already ruled out, the Bills will use Dan Carpenter on placement kicks.
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