October 08, 2011
It's a tighter wrap this week, with six teams on bye and less big-name injuries to worry about. To the clipboard:
• Rashard Mendenhall(notes) (hamstring) did a little work Friday after missing the two prior days. He's very questionable for Sunday's match against Tennessee. At least it's an early game, so we'll all know 60-90 minutes prior to kickoff. Isaac Redman(notes) is the fallback. No matter who starts for the Steelers, they're looking at tough sledding against a Titans defense that allows just 3.2 yards per carry.
• Brandon Jacobs(notes) (knee) missed the full week and is listed as doubtful for Week 5. Don't look for him to play against the Seahawks. Ahmad Bradshaw(notes) gets a tidy push up the rankings, and D.J. Ware(notes) might be worth a look if you're bye-week desperate (or if you need some tasty tunes for your weekend bash; Ware's the DJ, Bradshaw's the rapper).
• Merry Christmas to all the Arian Foster(notes) owners out there. He's up against an Oakland defense that can't stop the run (they allow 5.9 yards a pop), and Foster's backups (Ben Tate(notes) and Derrick Ward(notes)) are both listed as questionable. Tate has a groin injury, while Ward is battling an ankle injury.
• Adrian Peterson (ankle) is listed as probable and is expected to start against Arizona.
• The Cardinals took it easy with Beanie Wells(notes) (hamstring) this week, giving him three consecutive partial days of work. Wells is officially listed as questionable, but context clues point to him playing against Minnesota. Again, we're bailed out nicely by the early start; you'll have a full plate of options if Wells hits a pre-game setback.
• Curtis Painter(notes) will start for the Colts, in part because Kerry Collins(notes) is still coming off a concussion. But even if Collins were fully healthy, Painter might be the guy starting anyway. Painter has shown a nice rapport with Pierre Garcon(notes) through two games; it doesn't make me mad for Garcon, necessarily, but at least he becomes playable. The Colts host the Chiefs on Sunday.
• Seattle's Mike Williams (concussion) won't play against the Giants, which pushes Doug Baldwin(notes) into the starting lineup. An unheralded (and undrafted) kid from Stanford, Baldwin has 12 catches for 194 yards and a score through the opening quarter.
• I'm not sure how healthy Jacoby Ford(notes) (hamstring) is these days, but he's not on the injury report, an encouraging sign. Still, the first Oakland receiver you look to for fantasy purposes is Denarius Moore(notes).
• Vincent Jackson(notes) (hamstring) had a full day Friday and is listed as probable. Looks like he'll go at Denver, though he could be on a snap count. I'll start him where I have him, though Jackson is more of a WR2 this week. It will be interesting to see how Champ Bailey(notes) (dinged up himself) does against Jackson.
• Devery Henderson(notes) (calf) is questionable, not that you really want a piece of him now that Marques Colston(notes) and Lance Moore(notes) are heathy. At best, Henderson is the team's sixth option in the passing game.
• Aaron Hernandez(notes) (knee) had two limited sessions to finish out the week, and the always-helpful Patriots are listing him as questionable. It's a late start, bringing extra risk to the equation. I still love Hernandez's potential going forward, but I'm not going to gamble on him in Week 5.
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Images courtesy Associated Press