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The doc is back in and there are a lot of injuries with fantasy impacts. It’s hard to believe most leagues will be 1/3 of the way through the regular season after this week so injuries are quickly becoming more critical.

Let’s start with the running back situation in Buffalo. Fred Jackson says he is 75% likely to play this week despite suffering that sprained knee ligament a couple weeks ago. CJ Spiller has been back to practice after suffering an AC joint injury last week. Tashard Choice is healthy and finished off the last game for the Bills.

Spiller’s injury to his AC joint is mild in intensity but rather important for a running back. That joint is what is used to have you raise your hands over your head. If Spiller plays, watch how many pass plays he gets involved in. It won’t be many and I would look for him to be more of a rusher than a receiver.

Jackson (questionable) will play in week four unless he has a setback in the next couple days. Spiller is doubtful and Choice is chomping at the bit. Doc thinks Choice will be the lead back and Jackson will be the change of pace on Sunday against New England. Jackson will be more of the straight-ahead runner since the injured knee ligament assists with cutting and slashing. Choice will be the receiving back for Buffalo on Sunday.

In Atlanta, Julio Jones is dealing with a lacerated hand he suffered in San Diego. It’s kept him limited in practice and it bears watching against Carolina. Jones might drop a couple passes if it continues to effect him. Keep him in the lineup but remember his hand injury.

Carolina running back Jonathan Stewart is expected to play against Atlanta on Sunday after dealing with a foot injury. He’s been limited in practice as of late but would cut into the carries of Cam Newton and DeAngelo Williams should he play.

In Detroit, Matthew Stafford worked with the first-team offense Wednesday so his hip injury is not that serious. Doc’s apologies to everyone who raced out to get Shaun Hill on the waiver wire. The moderately serious injury is to running back Mikel Leshoure. He’s officially listed as questionable with a groin injury and has a poor matchup against Minnesota this week. Leshoure is a between-the-tackles runner and that’s where Minnesota is strong. Don’t expect him to put up the same numbers he did last week. Watch for his runs to be more linear meaning he’ll run in a straight line and not cut nor counter much.

In Houston, Andre Johnson (groin) and Arian Foster (knee) are both expected to play this week. Use them in your lineup as you normally would. The Titans take on the Texans this week and have Kenny Britt (ankle) and Jared Cook (shoulder) listed as questionable. If both of them are out, Nate Washington becomes a solid play since we know the Titans can’t run the ball.

Chiefs running back Peyton Hillis has been seen in a walking boot so Shaun Draughn gets the backup role behind Jamaal Charles. Other injured Chiefs include Dwyane Bowe, Steve Breaston, Dexter McCluster and Kevin Boss. Those injuries all warrant consideration up until game time. Keep in mind that Matt Cassel’s value will also be hurt, depending on how many of these Chiefs are hurt.

Darelle Revis is out for the season with a torn ACL and the Jets’ secondary looks less intimidating. Dustin Keller will be back in the lineup but remains a marginal fantasy play at best.

St. Louis running back Steven Jackson is questionable against Seattle with a groin injury. That muscle really helps with cutting and changing directions so look for S-Jax to be much more limited if he plays. If not, Daryl Richardson could be in line for another big day. Either way, the Rams are playing the Seahawks so it might be better to leave your Rams on the bench.

Afternoon Games

Miami running back Reggie Bush (knee) is looking more likely to play this week. It diminishes the value of Daniel Thomas a little bit but really drops Lamar Miller back to waiver wire fodder. Regardless of who runs the ball for Miami, they have to face a fierce Arizona defense so the upside is limited.

Arizona is also facing running back issues of its own with Beanie Wells going on IR with turf toe. Wells would be eligible to come back in late November so it’s going to be Ryan Williams for now. He’s coughed the ball twice already this season for an Arizona team that has struggled to generate any rushing attack.

In Oakland, Darrius Heyward-Bay is highly doubtful after getting his clock cleaned by Steelers DB Ryan Mundy. (Mundy was fined $21,000 for the hit.) Tight end Brandon Myers is questionable with a neck injury so Carson Palmer will have a tough go of things against Denver. Darren McFadden will play so at least he has something that resembles a ground game.

Denver looks to have Willis McGahee (ribs) available for Sunday so they will be able to try and get Oakland to bite on play action and open up deep routes into the secondary. Pittsburgh did that last week and torched the Raiders.

Jacksonville wide receiver Laurent Robinson passed his baseline concussion tests and will practice today. He should be able to go Sunday against a Bengals’ secondary that has been leaky at best.

In Green Bay, running back James Starks is probable to see his first action of the season against New Orleans when the Packers host the Saints. They may be without Greg Jennings as his groin continues to act up. Jennings has been limited in practice and is questionable for the Pack on Sunday afternoon so be ready with an alternative plan.

Ne Orleans (no “W” since they are 0-3) ┬áhas taken Drew Brees (ankle) and Marques Colston (plantar fasicitis) off the injury lists. Colston is a boost to Brees. He was plagued by a condition that gives a painful inflammation to the arch of the foot. It impacted his ability to run with speed. If better, Colston can turn on the jets against the Green Bay secondary.

The Washington Redskins put Roy Helu on IR with turf toe and signed Ryan Grant to bolster a banged-up backfield. Evan Royster has been limited in practice with knee issues. Add to that the continued discomfort of Pierre Garcon (foot, questionable) and there’s a lot of black and blue for the Redskins.

Sunday Night

Ahmad Bradshaw (neck) is probable for the game against the Eagles. Bradshaw suffered a disc injury in week two and isn’t experiencing problems with it now. It still merits checking on his status as you get closer to kickoff for SNF. Hakeem Nicks practiced yesterday and looks like a go for Sunday with his ongoing foot issues. Remember that he broke his foot back in May merely running routes. Perhaps he is still feeling the after-effects of that.

The Eagles will have Jeremy Maclin (hip) for Sunday night as he has been practicing the last couple days. LeSean McCoy was on the injury report with a rib issue but appears to be okay for the game with the Giants.

Monday Night

Chicago running back Matt Forte is not expected to play against Dallas, giving Michael Bush another start. Forte missed the last game with a sprained right ankle and could be back for their week 5 matchup at Jacksonville.

Indianapolis and Pittsburgh are on the bye this week. There are plenty of injuries this week and it serves a fantasy owner well to check on the inactives list which comes out about 90 minutes before kickoff.

Good luck to everyone on Week 4 and leave questions below.

–Sawbones

  1. Tehol Beddict says:
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    I’ll give you 20 grand if you kidnapp Garcon’s wife and tell him the only way he can get her back is by removing his tampon and hitting the field. FUCK

    • Andrew Nordmeier

      Andrew Nordmeier says:
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      @Tehol Beddict, I could use the money…but am like 3,000 miles away. And yes, he is frustrating to own especially with a potential peach of a matchup against Tampa.

  2. E says:
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    Mcgahee or R. Bush for this week?

    A. Hawkins or J. Simpson (non ppr)?

    • Andrew Nordmeier

      Andrew Nordmeier says:
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      @E, I go for Bush since I think Manning will be airing it out all over Oakland. McGahee would be more likely to be used as a play-action decoy than a true rusher.

      Hawkins over Simpson since Hawkins is the proven commodity while we wait to see what Simpson does after his suspension.

  3. Jenny says:
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    First, thank you for everyone’s work on this website. It’s my hidden gem of fantasy goodness. Tough matchup this week and need help. (1) Maclin or Cobb for WR2? Maclin injured and Cobb playing the Saints has me a little favoring Cobb.. But, I just haven’t seen that much from Cobb since week 1. (2) If Maclin, then Cobb/Chris Johnson/Celek/Tashard Choice as my flex. Using Owen Daniels for TE.

    Thank you so much! Need this win and sick of seeing a bunch of points on my bench.

    • Andrew Nordmeier

      Andrew Nordmeier says:
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      @Jenny, Maclin is expected to play so I give him the nod over Cobb. The Giants secondary is still a little roughshod.

      Since we go Maclin…on part two I would flex Choice. While FJax and/or Spiller may play I favor the healthy body in the backfield of the Bills. Also, I would expect Buffalo to run for ball control and to keep Brady and Company on the sidelines as much as possible.

      CJ F–k has been totally lousy and is barely worth a roster spot. If you put in Celek you’d really be relying on Vick to pass-a lot- and that doesn’t end well. Vick’s completion percentage is about 55% which puts him by Russell Wilson (SEA) and Brandon Weeden (CLE) in that regard.

  4. El Guey says:
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    Colston or Morris at flex? Non ppr. Thanks!

    • Andrew Nordmeier

      Andrew Nordmeier says:
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      @El Guey, I go for Morris. He’s going to the bell cow in Washington unless he gets hurt since Helu is done and Royster is banged up. He’s going to get his carries against Tampa Bay.

      I’m not big on Colston since he (and the Saints) haven’t quite fired on all cylinders this year. NO-GB has all the makings of a shootout but we’ve seen Brees favor guys like Lance Moore and Devery Henderson a little more lately. The other thing is that the Saints’ offense has been all over the map. Sproles had 13 catches and 0 rushes one game…and then has 6 rushes and 0 receptions.

  5. Abie T says:
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    Reggie Bush, Leshoure, or Denarius Moore at my flex (.5 PPR)? Thanks!!

    • Andrew Nordmeier

      Andrew Nordmeier says:
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      @Abie T, Bush should be able to get the carries against the Cardinals. Arizona is middle of the pack in rushing defense so he could have opportunities. He might get vultured but the Miami passing attack has been miserable this season except for the game against the sloppy Raiders secondary.

      Leshoure could find a very tough game waiting for him in Minnesota. He makes his hay as a between the tackles runner and the Vikings have been pounding opposing running backs this season. They held Frank Gore to 63 yards on 16 carries last week.

      Moore will get his looks but I’m not sure how much the Raiders will be passing until the latter stages of the game. On paper this looks like Manning and the Broncos should take advantage of a weak Raider secondary.

      Moore would be a garbage-time gamble at best.

  6. mark danger says:
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    Ppr need one with hicks likely out Jerome Simpson, Andre Hawkins or lenord hankerson?

    Also need one for flex ppr, got the group above plus mikel leshoure,spiller or Ryan Williams

    • Andrew Nordmeier

      Andrew Nordmeier says:
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      @mark danger, I like Hawkins out of those three the best being PPR. Cincy is 4th in passing yards in the league (291 YPG) and Dalton has looked good. Hawkins had his eight-catch breakout in week one and has only had two catches in each of the two games since. But he scored in each of those two games.

      Hawkins reminds me of a poor man’s Nate Washington. Washington can be an all-or-none proposition and so far this year he’s been the all.

      As for the flex, I’d shy away from Spiller. Both of the other running backs have a tough matchup but I’d go towards Leshoure in your situation. Detroit will be passing quite a bit on the Vikings to try and neutralize Jared Allen. At some point they will come back to Leshoure and then start pounding the rock when they take the lead.

  7. Bfeels says:
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    If Nicks becomes definitively out, which three of thses would you start…

    Crabtree, Barden, Steven Jackson, Reggie Bush. Thanks!

    • Andrew Nordmeier

      Andrew Nordmeier says:
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      @Bfeels, Bush will get his carries against the Cardinals, so he plays.

      Crabtree will look like a better play against the Jets since Revis Island is off the map for the rest of the year.

      If Nicks is out then I go Barden. If Nicks is in, I go S-Jax. Keep in mind that Philly is the 3rd best pass defense in the league so something will have to give in that battle.

      The key thing to watch on S-Jax is that he has been hobbled by a groin injury and is playing a brutally tough Seattle team.

      • Bfeels says:
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        @Andrew Nordmeier, thanks!…and you guys fo great work

        • Andrew Nordmeier

          Andrew Nordmeier says:
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          @Bfeels, You’re welcome. Spread the word. :)

  8. I have LeShoure in my Flex but won’t be around on Sunday to find out for sure if he is playing – so looking to fill in my Flex with either TE – Brandon Myers who appears to be good to go for Sunday or RB-Shaun Draughn since Hillis appears to be out.

    Both are available on waivers my current bench players are on bye this week so I have 1 spot availbe to pick up from waivers who would be the better play – Myers or Draughn?

    • Andrew Nordmeier

      Andrew Nordmeier says:
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      @Clueless, LeShoure is likely to play so I would feel confident plugging him in as a flex. The other two Myers and Draughn are basically backups at best, so you might as well stick with the starter.

      And the best one to pick up, if needed, is Kevin Smith of the Lions (assuming he’s available).

  9. westly says:
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    I have a tough one, do i start reggie bush, jaquizz rodgers, LaFell, Celek, or even Titus Young. Reggie plays at 3, JR, LaFell and TY play at 1, and Celeck is Sunday Night. Do i risk Reggie and if he’s out go with Celek at Flex, or do i play it save with JR, BL or TY? Help!

    • Andrew Nordmeier

      Andrew Nordmeier says:
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      @westly, Tough question. I would go with Reggie and if he’s out go Celek. Quiz show is still going to be stuck behind Michael Turner who performs well against the Panthers. LaFell might be agarbage-time play at best since Newton has struggled a lot.

      Young is about 4th/5th option on thechart for Stafford so he won’t get many looks. (Megatron, Pettigrew, Burleson ahead of him)

      Besides, if you go Bush, you have time to make a change. If you do any of the others, you’ll wind up kicking yourself in the butt if they fizzle out.

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