Dose: SJ39 Shelved for Week 3

Nick Mensio
Nick Mensio identifies a dozen Week 12 sleepers and cheap FanDuel options, checking in on Steven Jackson, Isaiah Crowell, Cecil Shorts and others

Week 12 Sleepers

Nick Mensio identifies a dozen Week 12 sleepers and cheap FanDuel options, checking in on Steven Jackson, Isaiah Crowell, Cecil Shorts and others

Steven Jackson injured his thigh or quad in Sunday’s Week 2 win over the Rams after catching a swing pass for an eight-yard touchdown on the opening drive. He never returned to the game. Now, the Falcons have ruled him out for the team’s upcoming game in Miami. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported Tuesday afternoon that Jackson could be on the shelf for anywhere from 2-4 weeks. Coach Mike Smith says the injury is “short term.”

"It's short term," Smith said of Jackson's absence. "Don't know if that's two or three weeks."

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If you recall, Jackson pulled his quad in the 2011 season opener. He ended up missing Week 2 and saw just four carries in Week 3 before touching the ball 21 times in Week 4. Jackson suffered the injury on September 11 of that year. He declared himself 100 percent on October 14. We have no knowledge that the injuries are in any way similar, but they’re on the same part of the body. Taking this into account, it’s quite possible we may not see the 30-year-old until Week 5 or Week 7 after the Falcons’ Week 6 bye.

Jacquizz Rodgers will get the starts in Jackson’s place, while Jason Snelling will work in and see short-yardage and goal-line work. Neither is a particularly strong starting option in fantasy. Rodgers has a flicker of flex value in standard scoring leagues. Give him a slight bump in PPR formats. Snelling has some value in touchdown-heavy leagues. There are better fill-in options out there. Upgrade the entire Falcons passing offense in Jackson’s absence. Look for Matt Ryan to sling the ball around the yard. It could be a shootout in Miami this weekend. Start your Dolphins, too. The Falcons are badly banged up on defense, losing LE Kroy Biermann (Achilles’) for the season and WLB Sean Weatherspoon (foot) for at least eight weeks. LCB Asante Samuel is still battling his thigh injury.

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News Nugget #2

We’re all awaiting the return of Gronk. It’s coming soon. But outside of the Patriots, nobody really knows if it will be this week against the Bucs or next week versus the Falcons. ESPN’s Ed Werder reported early Tuesday morning that Rob Gronkowski (back) is 50-50 to suit up Sunday. Profootballtalk then reported later in the afternoon that Gronkowski is actually closer to “doubtful” than “questionable.” If listed as questionable, that means the player is 50-50 to play. If listed as doubtful, said player has 25-75 odds of playing. We expect the Patriots to list Gronkowski as questionable on the Week 3 injury report. But as we all know with New England, injury labels mean nothing to them. We shouldn’t rule Gronkowski out this week, though the most likely return is Week 4. He’ll be a huge boon to both the running and passing games. The Bucs and Patriots kick off at 1 PM ET.

In other Patriots news, Danny Amendola is not expected to need sports-hernia surgery. The fragile receiver was slapped with a 2-6 week timetable for return from a groin injury he suffered in Week 1. Amendola isn’t going to play this week, and Gronkowski may be back before him. However, we could see Amendola back on the field in Week 5. As previously mentioned, we wouldn’t expect the Patriots to notify anyone of Amendola’s progress or lack thereof ahead of time. Consider him week-to-week. Julian Edelman will continue to be a fine PPR play as a WR2/3. He’s seen 27 targets already, two behind Andre Johnson for the league lead.

News Nugget #3

Eddie Lacy suffered a concussion on his first carry against the Redskins last week. He was the recipient of a vicious helmet-to-helmet hit from notorious football-field thug Brandon Meriweather. The Packers have yet to update Lacy’s situation and likely won’t do so until Wednesday afternoon. However, a report from the Green Bay Press-Gazette suggests Lacy may sit out through the team’s Week 4 bye and return to action in Week 5 against the Lions. In that scenario, James Starks would get the start against the Bengals this upcoming Sunday. If Lacy is still feeling symptoms, it would be smart for the Packers to hold him out and let him get back to full strength for the division game. Starks will likely be the top waiver-wire pickup this week, but we don’t particularly like the matchup for him against Cincinnati. He’ll be a borderline RB2/flex play at best as a likely one-week starter. Don’t overpay for him.

Quarterback/Running Back Slants

ESPN Cleveland guesses Brandon Weeden (right throwing thumb) will miss Week 3. … Coach Leslie Frazier said he had no thoughts of benching Christian Ponder in last week’s loss to the Bears. … Coach Joe Philbin reiterated that he plans to keep using Lamar Miller and Daniel Thomas in an even timeshare until one guy is “breaking tackles left and right, and the other is not being productive.” We like Miller’s chances of separating from Thomas sooner than later. … Coach Jim Schwartz confirmed Reggie Bush’s knee injury is not “long term,” though it could be “medium term.” Bush owners need to have Joique Bell rostered as the handcuff. We likely won’t know who’s going to start until later this week or the weekend. … Coach Mike Tomlin said Le’Veon Bell (foot) will ramp up his activity this week. … The Bengals released Bernard Scott. … The Jaguars are “optimistic” Maurice Jones-Drew (ankle) will play Sunday versus the Seahawks. Good luck to you, MoJo. … The Cowboys want to run the ball more with DeMarco Murray this week against the Rams. … The Ravens are ready to “ride” Bernard Pierce this week against the Texans if Ray Rice (hip) misses the game.

Wide Receiver/Tight End Slants

The Browns released receiver Tori Gurley to clear a roster spot for Josh Gordon’s return to the team from his two-game suspension. … Kenny Britt believes the Titans are “pullin’ that Jared Cook card,” and 2013 will be his last season in Tennessee. … Coach Mike Tomlin promised third-round rookie Markus Wheaton will be more involved on offense moving forward. He’s played just 12 snaps through two games. The Steelers need to get Jerricho Cotchery off the field and into a reserve role. … Coach Leslie Frazier said Cordarrelle Patterson “deserves to be on the field more” on offense. … Free agent Brandon Lloyd is starring in an upcoming straight-to-DVD zombie movie with Daniel Baldwin. … Anthony Fasano (ankle) missed Chiefs practice Tuesday ahead of Thursday night’s game against the Eagles. … Heath Miller (knee) is expected to practice in full this week. … Marcedes Lewis (calf) might make his season debut this week.

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