• Fog Bowl This Week: November 6
Ooh! Local TV catfight! Woo!
This fight has fantasy implications, too.
KDVR Fox 31 in Denver reported the following story on their website Tuesday: "Kansas City Chiefs running back Larry Johnson is out for the season with a broken right foot. This was confirmed by a source within the Chiefs organization with direct knowledge of the situation."
Fox 31 is the same local TV station that broke the news of Travis Henry's positive marijuana test, so they've been a trusted source of fantasy sports information for, literally, weeks.
And WDAF Fox 4 in Kansas City has seen quite enough.
On Tuesday evening, they called out Fox 31 for initially reporting that it was Johnson's left foot, not his right. But that was only the jab. Then they delivered their finishing move: "The Chiefs completely deny this story, saying their medical staff hasn't told them anything about a broken bone in the foot."
Do they deny it? No, they completely deny it. Take that, Fox 31!
Don't make Leslie Carto and her precocious cat Baxter come over there and finish this thing.
While we wait anxiously to see if the intra-Fox situation escalates – look for KLJB Fox 18 in Davenport to enter the fray – fantasy owners have to deal with the LJ situation.
Johnson had 745 total yards, four touchdowns and three 100-yard rushing efforts through seven and three-quarters games before suffering the injury. Not bad for a guy who's been almost universally labeled a disappointment. The Chiefs upcoming schedule looks spectacular for fantasy purposes, too: Denver, at Indianapolis, Oakland, San Diego (LJ used to own the Chargers, but now they belong to Adrian Peterson), at Denver, Tennessee (OK, that one's tough), at Detroit, and at the Jets.
The foot/ankle injury certainly appeared to be severe. A.J. Hawk brought most of his 250 or so pounds down on Johnson's ankle, and everything bent in a gruesome way. Hard to imagine how that could happen without anything breaking. You can't reasonably expect LJ to return quickly, whether it's a break or a sprain. Whatever it is, it's painful. Johnson has been the subject of an unusual amount of incorrect and premature reporting this season, so it seems best to wait for the Chiefs to officially declare something.
Here's one of the many ways Herm Edwards has said that LJ isn't going to play in Week 10: "I always hate when something happens to a player because your job is to ask where a player is at, and my job is to tell you. But when I don’t have enough information, I don’t want to say something. And then all of a sudden you’re looking at me on a Friday saying, 'You didn’t tell me the truth.' As far as I know, it would be very difficult for (Johnson) to play this week."
A level of frustration is evident in those comments, and it's clearly matched in the fantasy community. Many of the early statements regarding Johnson issued by (and on behalf of) the Chiefs seem to contain the rhetoric of plausible deniability: "their medical staff hasn't told them anything" and "as far as I know" and "I don't have enough information."
It would not be at all surprising if the Fox 31 report proves true. If it does, you should bookmark their website. That's your new leading source for breaking fantasy sports information. Forget those hacks at Fox 4.
You should also target Priest Holmes. Obviously. Edwards had this to say to the Kansas City Star regarding the Chiefs' running back situation: "We’re going to have to do this by committee a little bit. I’m not going to sit here and say Priest Holmes is going to carry the ball 30 times. That’s not fair to Priest Holmes."
The early speculation is that Holmes will be limited to perhaps 15 carries per game. But if he's at all effective, it's difficult to believe that the Chiefs will show such restraint. This is the team that gave Johnson 416 carries last season. Edwards seems to be doing the 34-year-old Holmes a favor by establishing rather low and attainable expectations, at least publicly. Holmes entered the week owned in only 3.4 percent of Yahoo! leagues, and he's clearly worth a roster spot somewhere, in all leagues.
Louisville rookie Kolby Smith will get any carries that Holmes can't handle. He's not someone who needs to be owned in public leagues just yet.
• In other Johnson-related news, Chad Johnson might actually play in Week 10. The Bengals' website reports that he's practicing. Cincinnati has nothing to gain from announcing that he's out or in on Wednesday, so you'll need to follow this situation through Sunday morning. Ocho Cinco can't win here. If he plays against the Ravens, people will say – and, in fact, they've already said – that he was never hurt as badly as it appeared. The guy hasn't missed a game since 2001, though. You earn reliability points for that.
• In other news, the Bengals continue to allow opponents to score over 30 points per game, and everyone continues to blame the offense for their 2-6 start.
• More Johnson news: after that nine-carry, 11-yard performance in Week 9, Rudi Johnson is averaging 2.8 rushing yards per attempt. Not sure he's even worth ranking in Week 10. Kenny Watson had seven receptions for 90 yards in Week 9.
• If you can't trust an unnamed security guard who's quoted by a photographer, who can you trust? No one, that's who.
• In a 10-team public league, Ahman Green (knee) is really droppable. Excellent quote from Green in the RotoWire blurb: "A car doesn't run right with a flat tire."
• Nope, it sure doesn't. All of Ron Dayne's tires were inflated on Sunday; he ran for 122 yards and a touchdown at Oakland. Dayne entered the week owned in only 2.3 percent of Yahoo! leagues.
• Jay Cutler is not broken, just badly bruised. He can't be ruled out in Week 10 … Jack Del Rio has said of David Garrard, "I expect him to play" … J.P. Losman will get another start for Buffalo, which is great news for Lee Evans and his fantasy owners.
Of the three quarterbacks above, Losman is the best play in Week 10. He gets the 0-8 Miami Dolphins, and they've allowed 15 passing TDs. No defense outside Ohio has allowed more. The Dolphins have only intercepted four passes this season.
- Priest Holmes