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Instead of diving in with the usual pizzazz, I want to step back and take a look at something that happened last week. Baltimore running back Ray Rice was held to 36 yards on 13 carries before leaving with a strained left hip flexor.

And then fantasy football showed its dark side. While we can’t see what was sent to him on his timeline (@RayRice27), it’s safe to say there were quite a few vicious tweets and people verbally puking on him.

What the hell is wrong with people? I get that Twitter gives a platform that can give more direct access to athletes than was ever possible before. To take it that far is ridiculous. This is a GAME, folks. It’s not life and death. As a fantasy doctor, I get life and death. Whether your team wins a game in Week 2 isn’t it.

Rice responded by saying on Twitter, “I was a fan of fantasy football until today so many spiteful and hateful words I still love you all God Bless great win today #Ravens.”

It was a classy answer from Rice given how much bullshit people gave him on his timeline. It should serve as a reminder to all of us—athletes are people too.

Rice is battling that hip flexor injury and is a game-time decision against Houston. Be ready with a Plan B and have it in place before the inactives come out. He’s going to be a game-time decision and, if he plays, it’s hard to tell how effective he will be. It’s not a long-term injury but it’s enough to cause his owners some tension on Sunday morning.

In Arizona, RB Rashard Mendenhall and WR Larry Fitzgerald are both listed as questionable with knee and hamstring injuries, respectively. Both have been held out of practice this week but are expected to play against New Orleans. Look for heavy usage out of both of them so they make good FLEX plays this week, depending on your roster.

Atlanta WR Roddy White is expected to play this week after being limited in practice with a high ankle sprain. If you don’t have anything better, play him. If you have something better, bench him. I would want to see how he actually plays in game situations before I go full speed ahead on Roddy.

Chicago WR Brandon Marshall is questionable heading into Sunday night’s tilt against the Steelers. He left practice yesterday with a “tight back” but the hope is that he is fine. The back is a new injury for this season for him so we really don’t know the exact nature of the problem. Either way, I’d feel confident going with Marshall. Besides, it would be tough to replace him with a Steeler or a last-minute Raider WR for Monday night. You know you won’t find a viable Denver WR on the wire so put Marshall in.

Detroit RB Reggie Bush is a dreaded game-time decision. He plans to practice today and the final decision will come from the coaching staff and doctors. Bush said he expects to play. Watch the inactives for his name too. If he goes, he’s a must start against an awful Washington defense. If not, Joique Bell gets the call.

Eddie Lacy of the Packers will be out this week with a concussion and is listed as week-to-week going forward. James Starks gets the call but he won’t repeat last week’s effort.

WR Andre Johnson of the Texans (concussion) looks to be good to go for the upcoming week against the Ravens. Use him as you usually do.

RB Maurice Jones-Drew (foot) is a game-time decision. But, really? Jacksonville visits Seattle. Sit MJD this week with the matchup and save yourself the hassle.

Rob Gronkowski (multiple) is not expected to play this week. Look for the Gronk next week. Speaking of banged-up Patriots, WR Danny Amendola is week-to-week with hip and groin injuries. It could have been resolved with surgery but the Pats are going to ride it out for now. Either way, I wouldn’t expect Amendola back for at least two more weeks.

Speed Rounds: Falcons’ WR Julio Jones (knee) will play this week…Cincy RB Gio Bernard (hamstring) is likely to play. He should be taking over for The Law Firm in the very near future…Dallas WR Dez Bryant is probable (back) and will play against the Rams. St. Louis has a pillow-soft secondary so it’s all systems go on Dez…Giants TE Brandon Myers (ribs) is questionable but is expected to play this week. He’s a lower-end TE in their matchup with Carolina…RB Le’Veon Bell (foot) practiced this week for the Steelers but is still a couple weeks away from getting back in the lineup…San Diego WR Malcom Floyd is week-to-week after getting drilled last weekend against the Eagles…49ers TE Vernon Davis is day-to-day with a hamstring injury. He’s expected to play against the Colts and should have a solid game.

48 Responses

  1. Chris says:
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    Bernard or Starks this week? And thoughts on Michael Floyd this week?

    Thanks

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      Starks until we know if Rice is out or limited.

      • Chris says:
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        @Sky: giovani bernard* … my B

        • Sky

          Sky says:
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          @Chris: Ah, gotcha. Gio-B then. I should’ve clarified…and I shouldn’t be talking on Andrew’s post. Sorry Andrew!

    • Andrew Nordmeier

      Andrew Nordmeier says:
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      @Chris: Starks is the more safe play. I don’t think Gio Bernard goes nuts again like he did last week. Floyd is someone I’m not too keen on unless Fitzgerald doesn’t play. He hasn’t produced much this season (7-104-0) and has been out targeted by Andre Roberts.

  2. Dimitri says:
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    Would you start Cam Newton or Tony Romo? B. Hartline, M. Brown, or M. Williams as my WR2?

    Thanks for all the help, love the site!

    • Andrew Nordmeier

      Andrew Nordmeier says:
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      @Dimitri: I have the same issue in one of my many leagues at quarterback. I’m going with Romo since he’s been strong at home and the St. Louis secondary has been soft this season. I’m still waiting for Newton to actually prove that he can have a solid game in the first half of the season.

      at WR2 I like Brown over Hartline and both over WIlliams. Brown should get a bunch of targets with the injuries and potential for low production games at RB in Baltimore. Hartline comes in second and Williams has problems with Josh Freeman and not knowing which version of him will show up week to week.

  3. Jamie says:
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    Rice is now listed as doubtful, so assuming he doesn’t play- Pierce or Knowshown .5 ppr?

    • Andrew Nordmeier

      Andrew Nordmeier says:
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      @Jamie: Knowshon. Better matchup against the Raiders than Pierce against the Texans.

  4. the imp says:
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    Andrew,
    Great point about the tweets and how fantasy has its limits. Agree completely. FF is entertainment, not about controlling or owning another person in any real sense.

    • Andrew Nordmeier

      Andrew Nordmeier says:
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      @the imp: Thanks! Glad you agree. We have to realize these people are here as part of our entertainment.

      I, however, can be found on Twitter @AndrewNordmeier and am currently a free agent.

  5. Principle Blackman says:
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    MJD (@sea), Bradshaw(@sf), Ivory(v.buf), and Snelling(@mia) are my from bad to worse RB2 options this week. Who should I start?

    • Principle Blackman says:
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      @Principle Blackman: I should also say it’s 1ppr/.5ppra scoring. Thanks!

      • Principle Blackman says:
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        @Principle Blackman: The above comment is incorrect. Please disregard it. All this Malort and Beer is going straight to my brain!
        It’s actually just 1PPR. It’s my RCL team.

    • Andrew Nordmeier

      Andrew Nordmeier says:
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      @Principle Blackman: Bradshaw looks like a big question mark now that Trent’s arrived. MJD might as well be running into a brick wall. Snelling is going to split with the Quiz Show.

      So I have to go Ivory based on the matchup. Even if he is timesharing with Powell.

      And yes, these options go from bad to bad.

  6. Nick says:
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    looking to make a quick trade since one of the teams in my league set Tavon Austin, Ben-Jar & Denarius Moore to available and requested the RB position..

    I’m looking to trade for his Tavon Austin / Gronkowski and I have the following players I’m willing to move…Trent Rich / Reggie Bush / Chris Ivory / Powell. / Rudolph / P Thomas… I also have Joique Bell (but want to keep him)

    what would be your first & second offer? I was thinking Gronk/Austin for Trent / Powell but feel like I’m giving up too much (first rd pick in Trent)..could go with Gronk/Austin for Reggie Bush & Powell or Kyle Rudolph?

    • Andrew Nordmeier

      Andrew Nordmeier says:
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      @Nick: Yeah you would be giving up a bit to get Gronkowski. See if you might be able to get a better offer from the Graham owner or maybe Witten owner in your league.

      I wouldn’t give up Reggie Bush right now. Holding Bell is a good idea in that situation.

      While Rudolph offers limited value in fantasy (read: Ponder, Christian) I think you’re putting too much value into a guy who has played as many downs in the NFL as you have this season . Besides, I think Gronk is going to find plenty of double teams waiting for him when he gets back on the field due to a lack of other reliable options in the NE offense.

  7. Nick says:
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    Also, drop P Thomas for KC Defense, I currently have the Broncos…10 team league…just want to make sure P Thomas is expendable..I Have Trent Rich/Reggie Bush/Joique Bell/Ivory & Powell & L Bell for my RBs so I think hes droppable in 10teamer, thoughts? Also could drop Hartline but I think his future is brighter than P Thomas…

    • Andrew Nordmeier

      Andrew Nordmeier says:
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      @Nick: Yeah PT Cruiser is expendable. Between Darren Sproles, Mark Ingram and Thomas…and all of the passing options…there’s just not enough touches to go around.

      Hang on to Hartline. Wallace should get more attention; Hartline should get more single coverage.

  8. Rick says:
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    Who do you like for my 2nd RB slot standard 12 team H2H league. L. Miller vs ATL or
    B. Pierce vs HOU? This is assuming that Pierce will start for Rice on Sunday. Also for my 3rd WR slot who do you start Decker vs OAK or J. Gordon vs MIN?

    • Andrew Nordmeier

      Andrew Nordmeier says:
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      @Rick: Miller for the RB2 spot. He’s the safer play and not contigent on an injury.

      And 3rd WR should be Decker. This looks like Denver should put up at least 40 on the Raiders and Decker is due to find the end zone.

      I wouldn’t trust Gordon with Brian Hoyer starting at quarterback for Cleveland.

  9. Luis says:
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    I need a WR (I have Cruz and Bowe as my starting WR’s). I have Gore, Ridley and Bernard as my top 3 RB’s. Just picked up McGahee.

    I was just offered Nicks and J. Jones (Green Bay) for Cruz. I think I need the depth at WR, especially since im worried about Bowe producing now. Do you think I should pull the trigger? Or try and ride out Bowe struggling? I also have R. Randle and Percy Harvin waiting to contribute, since we know Nicks will get hurt at some point.

    • Josh says:
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      @Luis:

      I’d hold onto to Cruz. His production is too valuable, pick up other receivers to stream over Bowe. We have the same running backs lol. I also have Lynch though too..out of the other three, who would you sit this upcoming week?

      • Andrew Nordmeier

        Andrew Nordmeier says:
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        @Josh: Sit Ridley until he actually shows he can do something.

    • Andrew Nordmeier

      Andrew Nordmeier says:
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      @Luis: Hold on to Cruz. James Jones is a sell-high thing since he went off last week.

      I

    • Andrew Nordmeier

      Andrew Nordmeier says:
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      @Luis: Ride out Bowe and see if he gets much of anything done in the next couple weeks. Randle is good for depth for now so I would stay put.

  10. Josh says:
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    Alright man, PPR league, pick the one you would bench this week:

    Frank Gore vs IND

    Giovanni Bernard vs GB

    Steven Ridey vs TB

    This has been KILLING me trying to choose. Please help!

    • Andrew Nordmeier

      Andrew Nordmeier says:
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      @Josh: Ridley. I need to see him produce something and Darrelle Revis is lurking in the background to really limit Brady.

  11. Luis says:
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    I guess I’d have to lean towards Bernard. If only because he’s still in a time share with BJGE. Gore should have a good game against Indy and you gotta think that Ridley will produce again.

  12. Kl Muzingo says:
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    Struggling with flex play slot and I need big points to win- 1 pt per 25 yrd
    Miles Austin
    Hopkins
    Ellington
    Marlon Brown
    Olsen
    Powell

    Thanks!

    • Andrew Nordmeier

      Andrew Nordmeier says:
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      @Kl Muzingo: Hopkins. Will be good opposite Andre Johnson and could be in line for big points.

      The rest of the list: Brown, Olsen, Austin, Powell, Ellington

  13. Kevin says:
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    PPR league,
    Need too fill my spots,
    WR-Jordy Nelson
    WR-Decker
    WR-?
    RB-D Martin
    RB-?
    W/R-?

    Daryl Richardson
    Ryan Mathews
    Reggie Bush
    DeAndre Hopkins
    Alshon Jeffrey
    Aaron Dobson
    Josh Gordon

    Thanks

    • Andrew Nordmeier

      Andrew Nordmeier says:
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      @Kevin:

      RB: Reggie Bush (assuming he plays) Ryan Mathews if he doesn’t
      WR:DeAndre Hopkins
      FX: Daryl Richardson

      Haven’t seen Dobson perform consistently yet. Jeffrey has stumbled out of the gate. Gordon is in his first game back and has to come back to Brian Hoyer at QB.

  14. JohnRamboJr says:
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    I’ve been offered Bernard Pierce for A. Brown. Thoughts?
    Thanks in advance,
    JRJ

    • JohnRamboJr says:
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      That’s Antonio Brown for Pitt

      • Andrew Nordmeier

        Andrew Nordmeier says:
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        @JohnRamboJr: Depends on what the rest of the rosters look like. But in a vaccuum I’d say no. Rice could be back next week while Brown is the WR1 on the PGH depth chart.

        I’d try to trade him to the Rice owner and see what you can get from him. Pierce has more value to a Rice owner.

  15. Chicken Dinner says:
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    Who’s my WR3 this week? Tate, Broyles, S.Moss, Holmes, K.Williams

    • Andrew Nordmeier

      Andrew Nordmeier says:
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      @Chicken Dinner: Broyles.

      SEA should be running over JAX, Moss doesn’t sound like a great option. Not big on Holmes at all and WIlliams is too risky to play as a flex.

  16. Nightpandas says:
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    Ivory, Hartline or A Brown this week at flex? (.5ppr)

    • Andrew Nordmeier

      Andrew Nordmeier says:
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      @Nightpandas: Hartline for this week. Brown won’t get much done against Chicago and Ivory is about to be passed by Powell for the Jets.

      • nightpandas says:
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        @Andrew Nordmeier: Would Snelling move ahead of Hartline?

        • Andrew Nordmeier

          Andrew Nordmeier says:
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          @nightpandas: Nah.

  17. timmy riggins says:
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    whats up, hoping you can help out. Would you trade DeAndre Hopkins (WR4) for David Wilson? Would you trade A.Brown too if he counters with that? Also, do you recommend handcuffing Ridley w/Bolden or is C.Michael or M.Wheaton better stashes?

    RBs: DMartin, S.Ridley, F.Jax, L.Bell, I.Pead, K.Davis
    WR: D.Thomas, M.Wallace, Antonio Brown, Hopkins, A.Jefferey

    12-team .5PPR 3WR/2RB/Flex. 15 week season NO PLAYOFFS.

    Thanks

    • Andrew Nordmeier

      Andrew Nordmeier says:
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      @timmy riggins: I’d hang on to Hopkins until Wilson proves himself.

      Would sent Antonio Brown for him tho since the Steelers look miserable.

      I wouldn’t handcuff Ridley since we know Vereen will be back in a few weeks. Not big on Wheaton and Michael has little value until Lynch gets hurt.

  18. Anthony says:
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    Have to start 2 tomorrow..PPR league; Fitzgerald, Mile Wallace, Hartline, Burleson. Fitz burned me last week..:( thanks man!

    • Andrew Nordmeier

      Andrew Nordmeier says:
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      @Anthony: Fitz (active) Wallace.

  19. Ron says:
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    Need your HELP! I have one flex spot open today. Who should I start in .5PPR?

    Miles Austin
    Josh Gordon
    Mathews
    D. Rich
    Gio
    Hartline

    • Andrew Nordmeier

      Andrew Nordmeier says:
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      @Ron: Gio.

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