It’s Friday the 13th (of September) and the doctor is in. Good thing I am since there are plenty of patients filling the hallways of the Fantasy Football Clinic. That said, let’s get going on this week’s rounds. Patients will know who I am right away as I’ll be the doctor wearing a Burger King crown on my head. Only because it’s my birthday today.
The Patriots are banged up. Horribly. Tight end Rob Gronkowski (back, arm) might be back next week but it’s not confirmed at this point. Fantasy owners rejoice! So shall Tom Brady! The Patriots looked really pathetic offensively last night against the Jets. Brady threw for 185 yards with one touchdown. Yeah, that’s it.
Wide receiver Danny Amendola missed the game with a groin injury and his status is up in the air beyond this week. He’s week-to-week at best so hold him on your bench. Julian Edelman took Amendola’s place and finished with 13 receptions…for a robust 78 yards.
The point is, Brady and the Patriots look nothing like the teams of years gone by. Edelman remains a solid fantasy play while Amendola is out. And let’s be honest, who is surprised that Amendola got hurt?
Running back Shane Vereen (broken wrist) is out at least 8 weeks with hand surgery. Vereen has been placed on DTR-IR and can’t return until Week 11 at the earliest. New England has a bye on Week 10. It puts extra pressure on Stevan Ridley to actually hold on to the ball.
Roddy White (high ankle sprain) has been seen in practice this week but has been limited. He outright missed practice Wednesday and is listed as questionable at best. Consider putting another player in if you can afford to do so. White turned in a 1-catch, 15-yard stinker last week and he might do the same again. High ankle sprains usually take several weeks before things feel back to normal.
Add to this the sudden injury to Julio Jones (knee) that caused him to miss practice on Wednesday. Jones doesn’t seem to be a serious injury while White will be a problem for his owners. And Matt Ryan. Be prepared if Matt Ryan doesn’t post his usual great numbers. It could also mean an uptick for Tony Gonzalez.
Dez Bryant (ankle) and Tony Romo (ribs) both participated in practice the last two days. Bryant told the Dallas News that his foot feels great. Romo told the same newspaper that his bruised ribs are causing nothing more than normal soreness. Romo is expected to play.
Don’t be intimidated by the Kansas City defense and use Romo and Bryant as you usually would. Kansas City held a punchless Jacksonville team off of the scoreboard last week. The Jaguars’ offense did nothing and the Cowboys will do much, much better.
Jamaal Charles (quad) is expected to play against Dallas. His injury is not severe and he’s always a solid play. Reggie Bush (groin, thumb) is not having his workload limited. He looks to be a great start against Arizona.
Arizona has several injuries of its own to deal with this week. Rashard Mendenhall (hamstring) is expected to start barring a setback. Taking on the Lions who limited Adrian Peterson to 17 yards on his final 17 carries makes him someone to sit unless you HAVE to play him. Tight end Rob Housler (high ankle sprain) is likely to miss the game with Detroit. Wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald was limited in practice by a hamstring injury. He should play against Detroit but you’ll want to check his status on Sunday to just make sure he’s a go. Andre Roberts (quad) was a full participant in practice. Robert caught 8 balls for 97 yards last week and has sneaky value in PPR leagues. He’s one to look for if you want a little boost in your receiving corps.
Le’Veon Bell is expected to miss another month with a Lisfranc injury. Hopefully he can come back from it since the Pittsburgh backfield is a hot mess. LaRod Stephens-Howling (ACL) is done for the year. Center Maurkice Pouncey (ACL) is also gone for the season so the blocking will suffer. Isaac Redman starts for now and Johnathan Dwyer backs him up. They play against a Cincinnati team that allowed 2.7 yards per carry to Matt Forte of the Bears last week. It’s time to sit the Steelers running backs.
This last injury isn’t so much of an injury as it is a disease. Tampa Bay guard Carl Nicks is expected to make his return this week after dealing with MRSA. The Bucs’ facility had to be cleaned and sterilized after an MRSA outbreak. Nicks’ return should allow Doug Martin more lanes to run through and give Josh Freeman more time to throw.