October 05, 2012
Consider this version 1.0 of the Injury Wrap. We'll go deep in the second version later tonight, covering every skill player of note from the Friday practices and news reports.
• Aaron Hernandez (ankle) did some practice work the last two days and might be able to go against the Broncos. This is the type of fantasy option I tend to shy away from, whenever possible; consider all the flags here. Hernandez is coming off a multiple-week injury, of course; it's a late start between the Pats and Broncos; and we know New England never gives out anything helpful with respect to its injuries and personnel plans. I'd like to see a full Hernandez game before I comfortably rank him in the Top 10 at the position. And given how deep tight end is league-wide, most fantasy owners should be able to find a reasonable fill-in while Hernandez makes his way back.
• Lance Moore (hamstring) won't go against the Chargers, which means there are more targets to spread around. I could see Darren Sproles grabbing 8-10 passes this week. Devery Henderson might see more snaps with Moore out, albeit the two players are used in vastly different roles (Henderson is a one-trick pony on the outside, running deep routes, while Moore is a handy slot machine, a between-the-numbers wizard).
• Although the Titans are calling Kenny Britt (ankle) a game-time decision, that sounds like a smokescreen all the way. He didn't practice at all this week. Kendall Wright is expected to start. The player I really like in this passing game at Minnesota is Jared Cook — especially with Matt Hasselbeck under center.
• Greg Jennings (groin) has already been ruled out for Week 5's game at Indianapolis. James Jones has a maddening habit of not producing when we expect him to and then doing something after the crowd looks away, but on paper he looks like a solid option here. Randall Cobb also figures to see an uptick in snaps.
• The Browns secondary is ripe for the picking while Joe Haden is out, but Hakeem Nicks (knee) and Ramses Barden (post concussion) won't be joining the party Sunday. Domenik Hixon came through with six catches and 114 yards last week and looks like a strong rental (he's also Behrens approved).
That's it for the headliners; time for the rest of the story, in the usual RB-WR-TE order (there's no quarterback news to note, now that we all know Hasselbeck is starting for Tennessee):
• It's hard to say how healthy Matt Forte (ankle) is right now, but he was active in the practice week and he's listed as probable for the game at Jacksonville.
• Rashard Mendenhall (knee) is listed as probable and it seems as though the Steelers will use him liberally right away. Pittsburgh has a critical game this week, sitting at 1-2 and hosting Philly off the bye.
• Reggie Bush (hip) is listed as probable. Confirm his status on Sunday to be sure, but he figures to start and play often at Cincinnati.
• Ben Tate (toe) didn't practice Friday and is no sure thing to dress Monday at the Jets. The way he's been deployed thus far in 2012, I can't see using him this week. Justin Forsett is the next back on the depth chart after Arian Foster
• Peyton Hillis (ankle) didn't practice all week and is worth dropping in shallow and medium leagues. Don't expect him to play against Baltimore.
• Brandon Jacobs (knee) has been active at practice and might go this week, though he's listed as questionable. He no doubt would like a few runs against a struggling Buffalo front seven, though the Bills were trampled in part last week because they spent most of their snaps in a dime package (six defensive backs).
• Julio Jones says his hand injury is no big deal, and he's not blaming Week 4's quiet game on the ailment. The Falcons list him as probable.
• Pierre Garcon (foot) had a good week of practice and is listed as probable for the home game against Atlanta. Unless you're loaded at the wideout position, he's probably a viable starter in Week 5.
• Torrey Smith (ankle) had a complete practice week and is listed as probable. Roll on.
• Mohamed Massaquoi (hamstring) is considered doubtful for Sunday's game at the Giants. More passes for Greg Little to drop, I suppose. Travis Benjamin (hamstring) also looks doubtful, which means Josh Gordon could pick up extra work.
• Stephen Hill (hamstring) hasn't returned to practice. No need to risk him Monday, especially up against Houston. The Jets are obviously in trouble at the receiver position; Santonio Holmes went on IR this week. If you're in a pinch and have to use one of the New York wideouts, Chaz Schilens and Jeremy Kerley are the names to consider. But those considerations are only for jumbo-sized leagues.
• Laurent Robinson (post concussion) has already been ruled out for Sunday's home game against Chicago.
• The early timetable on Danny Amendola (broken clavicle) is 6-7 weeks. Your roster specs determine if you want to hold on and hope with Amendola; since bench space is limited in all of my pools, I wouldn't bother holding him. I also don't see any Rams wideout sneaking into the Top 40 for the next two months.
• Although Scott Chandler suffered a concussion last week, he had a full practice run and is listed as probable at San Francisco.
• Coby Fleener (head) had full practices on Thursday and Friday, which suggests he'll probably play against Green Bay. He's officially listed as questionable.
• Dustin Keller (hamstring) isn't back at practice yet and doesn't seem ready for Monday's game against Houston.
• Buffalo's offense needs a wing and a prayer at San Francisco, especially with tackle Cordy Glenn (ankle) and guard Kraig Urbik (ankle) out of action. Glenn, the team's left tackle, looked like an up-and-coming star during the opening month.