Some dude in black hit Steve Smith’s back.  And he was off to a great start this year.  For some reason I wasn’t watching the game last Thursday, I was following it though my Twitter timeline and FantasyCast.  Which I think was something that actually heightened the “experience”.  It meant being flooded with Joe Flacco “elite” Tweets, however.  I mean, when I saw through FantasyCast that Joe Flacco had rushed for zero (or negative) yards on a 4th down play, if I recall, I immediately checked my timeline for the expected barrage of inevitable “Elite Sneak” Tweets.  Like this one:

So how about actually discussing that Steve Smith injury..  Okay.  In due time.  Firstly, I want to remind all of you that I’m ordering this injury discussion from greatest impact to least impact on your fantasy teams.  And Steve Smith’s leading off.  Which is both good and bad.  It’s good that we don’t have a more significant injury this week and bad for all the Steve Smith owners, because he was going to return value over his cost this year.

There’s actually precedent for NFL players trying to play through a broken back.  Daunte Culpepper came back after missing two games because of multiple fractures in his back, but from what I remember at the time, he tried to come back the week following the injury.  Last year, Tony Romo tried to play through a similar injury and only ended up missing one game.

I expect Steve Smith (back) to be back in week 7 at the very earliest and week 10 (following their bye) at the very latest.  Realistically I think week 8 seems more reasonable than week 7, so either that or week 10 is what I’d assume if I were a Steve Smith owner.  While he’s gone, Kamar Aiken, Chris Givens, Marlon Brown and Crockett Gillmore (if he can return to health) all get slight boosts, with Aiken presumably leading the WR corps in fantasy impact.  I’d try to hold onto Smith except perhaps in 10-team or shallower leagues.

Andrew Luck (shoulder) was a player I missed last week because the specifics on his injury seemed to come out fairly late. He’s questionable for tonight.  I really don’t know what to say on this one, the exact nature of the injury has been shrouded in secrecy.  Here’s this to help us out a little:

While he’s out, obviously, all the Indianapolis Colts skill players take a significant hit.  Last week I benched Donte Moncrief for Jordan Reed in one league (bad decision, as it turned out).  And I thought it was a close call, because I love me some Moncrief.

Karlos Williams (concussion) has probably been the most discussed player over the last few weeks.  Now he’s suffered a concussion, one of the more unpredictable injuries.  It’s common for players to return the week after suffering a concussion but I’m not optimistic that Karlos will do so.  He reamins 50/50 for this week.  Anthony (Boobie) Dixon is expected to handle the bulk of the carries should both Williams and McCoy miss this week’s game at Tennessee.

Jordan Reed (concussion, knee) is way up there on the list of players with perpetual injury concern.  He’s suffered concussions in the past, which gives me the impression that he’ll likely miss more time than average with this one.  But I don’t expect you to trust me on that, so here’s something else:

So perhaps the reason previously concussed players tend to miss more time than average is because their concussions symptoms tend to last longer than average because of their previous concussions or perhaps because their concussion symptoms tend to last longer because of their proneness to concussions.  I really don’t know.  But I’d expect Jordan Reed not to miss some games and I think he can be dropped if you are in need of that roster spot.  Derek Carrier, aka the other tight end there, becomes a name to keep an eye on, but I’d probably rather own Richard Rodgers and Gary Barnidge, for instance.  It’s a close call.  However, if I were tight end needy in a deeper league I’d swoop up Derek Carrier instantly.  He was a workout warrior at his 2012 pro day.

Cecil Shorts (shoulder) and Nate Washington (hamstring), I’m handling both guys at once because they play the same position for the same team, so it affects the same player:  Jaelen Strong.  The rookie is expected to be utilized for the first time in today’s Thursday Night Football game versus the Colts after being active for only one game prior to this.  Obviously players who were only borderline roster-able like Shorts and Washington can be let go of, although Shorts was making a pretty significant impact so far in PPR leagues.  So maybe keep him in 14-team or deeper PPR leagues.

Joique Bell (knee) has actually been injured forever, but I put him here because he missed a game last week after playing in all previous games this year.  Joique Bell can be dropped in most leagues.  I don’t have the patience to wait for his (most likely) mediocre performance upon his return.  Make no mistake about it, Ameer Abdullah gets a boost while Bell is out.  I know the Detroit running game has been terrible but it will get better.  For one thing, they’re coming off games against top 5 NFL defenses (Denver, Seattle).  Zach Zenner also needs to be on your radar.  I already own him in two Razzball Commenter Leagues, but 1.  I’m sorta crazy that way and 2.  I might not keep him.

Eric Ebron (knee) was making an impact on the football field, now he’ll be an impact player that’s on your league’s waiver wire.  Because that’s where he should probably be with reports that he’ll miss three weeks.  Tim Wright and Brandon Pettigrew (hamstring) are his replacements.

Lance Dunbar (knee) had some good PPR games notched and I really think he was about to keep doing more of the same.  Now the only thing he’ll be doing is trying to get healthy for next year.  I came across some insane stat about how Joseph Randle only has like two (2!!!) fourth quarter carries this year.  Do you think the Cowboys trust Randle?  Hello, Christine Michael (eventually)?

Others:  Michael Crabtree (ankle) might miss a week with his (seemingly) mild ankle sprain.  Amari Cooper does indeed get a boost in value if he’s out.  It might actually help Roy Helu as well.  Fred Jackson (ankle) will miss some games while Duke Johnson (ankle) is already practicing.

Previously Injured, On The MendTevin Coleman (ribs), Crockett Gillmore (calf), LeSean McCoy (hamstring), and Andre Ellington (knee) should all be nearing their return.  Tevin Coleman is the most interesting to me because of what Devonta Freeman has accomplished while Coleman’s been out.  Freeman’s had two huge games which might have everyone thinking he’s the greatest thing ever.  But it doesn’t necessarily mean that and all that really matters is what the Falcons now think of Freeman in relation to Coleman and I’d have to imagine they like Freeman a whole lot more now.  But Coleman will get some chances and I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s the man to own in Atlanta come week 8 or so.

Alshon Jeffery (calf)… will he ever play again this year? (sarcasm).

I would loved to have spent a little more time on the players nearing their return but “real life” got in the way:

So I’ll just leave you with the practice report for week 5 of the NFL season and hopefully leave Jay with enough time to get this post up.  These are the same reports that each team is required to give the league after every day of practice.  Teams that play Thursday have a full injury report with the “Out/Doubtful/Questionable/Probable” designations due by Wednesday.  Teams that play Sunday (or Saturday) only have a practice report due Wednesday and teams that play Monday have nothing at all due by Wednesday.

The Practice Report for Wednesday October 8, 2015

Arizona Cardinals
Andre Ellington – RB – Limited Participation
Darren Fells – TE – No Participation
J.J. Nelson – WR – No Participation

Atlanta Falcons
Tevin Coleman – RB – Limited Participation
Leonard Hankerson – WR – Limited Participation
Julio Jones – WR – Limited Participation
Jacob Tamme – TE – Full Participation
Roddy White – WR – No Participation

Baltimore Ravens
Crockett Gillmore – TE – No Participation
Breshad Perriman – WR – No Participation
Steve Smith Sr. – WR – No Participation
Lorenzo Taliaferro – RB – No Participation

Buffalo Bills
Marquise Goodwin – WR – Limited Participation
Percy Harvin – WR – No Participation
Chris Hogan – WR – Limited Participation
LeSean McCoy – RB – No Participation
Sammy Watkins – WR – No Participation
Karlos Williams – RB – No Participation

Carolina Panthers
No Practice Information Reported (Bye Week)

Chicago Bears
Jay Cutler – QB – Limited Participation
Alshon Jeffery – WR – Limited Participation
Eddie Royal – WR – No Participation

Cincinnati Bengals
Jeremy Hill – RB – Limited Participation

Cleveland Browns
Shaun Draughn – RB – No Participation
Duke Johnson Jr. – RB – Full Participation
Johnny Manziel – QB – Full Participation
Robert Turbin – RB – Limited Participation

Dallas Cowboys
Dez Bryant – WR – No Participation
Brice Butler – WR – No Participation
James Hanna – TE – No Participation

Denver Broncos
James Casey – TE – Limited Participation
Cody Latimer – WR – No Participation
Peyton Manning – QB – No Participation
Demaryius Thomas – WR – Limited Participation

Detroit Lions
Joique Bell – RB – No Participation
Eric Ebron – TE – No Participation
Lance Moore – WR – Full Participation
Brandon Pettigrew – TE – Limited Participation

Green Bay Packers
Davante Adams – WR – No Participation
Randall Cobb – WR – Limited Participation
James Jones – WR – Limited Participation

Houston Texans
Arian Foster – RB – Limited Participation (Probable)
Jonathan Grimes – RB – No Participation (Out)
Ryan Mallett – QB – Full Participation (Probable)
Chris Polk – RB – Limited Participation (Questionable)
Cecil Shorts III – WR – No Participation (Out)
Nate Washington – WR – No Participation (Out)

Indianapolis Colts
Dwayne Allen – TE – Full Participation (Probable)
Frank Gore – RB – Full Participation (Probable)
Matt Hasselbeck – QB – Full Participation (Questionable)
Andrew Luck – QB – Limited Participation (Questionable)
Tyler Varga – RB – No Participation (Out)

Jacksonville Jaguars
Allen Hurns – WR – No Participation
Marqise Lee – WR – No Participation
Marcedes Lewis – TE – No Participation
Denard Robinson – RB – No Participation
Julius Thomas – TE – Limited Participation

Kansas City Chiefs
Travis Kelce – TE – Full Participation
James O’Shaughnessy – TE – Full Participation
Albert Wilson – WR – Limited Participation

Miami Dolphins
No Practice Information Reported (bye week)

Minnesota Vikings
No Practice Information Reported (bye week)

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints
Marques Colston – WR – No Participation
Brandin Cooks – WR – Limited Participation

New York Giants
Victor Cruz – WR – No Participation
Jerome Cunningham – TE – Limited Participation

New York Jets
No Practice Information Reported (bye week)

Oakland Raiders
Michael Crabtree – WR – No Participation
Taiwan Jones – RB – No Participation
Latavius Murray – RB – Limited Participation

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers
No Practice Information Reported (Monday night football)

San Diego Chargers
No Practice Information Reported (Monday night football)

Seattle Seahawks
Fred Jackson – RB – No Participation
Ricardo Lockette – WR – Full Participation
Marshawn Lynch – RB – No Participation

San Francisco 49ers
Vernon Davis – TE – Limited Participation
Vance McDonald – TE – Limited Participation
Quinton Patton – WR – No Participation

St. Louis Rams
Chase Reynolds – RB – Full Participation

Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Austin Seferian-Jenkins – TE – No Participation
Russell Shepard – WR – No Participation
Luke Stocker – TE – Limited Participation

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team
Pierre Garcon – WR – Full Participation
DeSean Jackson – WR – Limited Participation
Jordan Reed – TE – No Participation

I’m happy to discuss any situation I missed or to elaborate on anything you want.  Comment below!

Lance is (quite obviously) also on Twitter, @RotoLance.

  1. Scott says:

    The good news is Eric Ebron is my backup TE. The bad news is he’s backup to Jordan Reed. Who do I keep on the mend while I drop the other and stream?

    • RotoLance

      RotoLance says:

      @Scott: Ultimately, I don’t know that it matters. I would consider dropping both. If I were keeping just one, it would be Reed. I heard a report that Ebron will miss three weeks. The last time Reed suffered a concussion he missed 6 weeks, according to Rotowire news. So it really doesn’t bode well for either of them but in theory Reed could be back right away, although I think it’s highly unlikely, but one option would be to put the decision off until Sunday.

    • andy says:

      @Scott: i’m in the same boat as well. trying to figure out who will have most targets between tim wright, derek carrier and maxx williams.

      • RotoLance

        RotoLance says:

        @andy: I’d just like to chime in that there are possibly more options than just these 2nd string type tight ends. Also Tim Wright is probably out of the discussion if Pettigrew is going to play. And I don’t trust Carrier or Maxx, but I’d probably go Carrier because we’ve already seen Maxx get a chance and not be useful.

  2. RotoLance

    RotoLance says:

    My mention of Jaelen Strong w/o mention of Keith Mumphery is no doubt confusing, so I’ll clarify by saying Mumphery > Strong. The reason I singled out Jaelen is because he’s the rookie that will be getting his first snaps so that’s interesting.

  3. Barker says:

    10 team 1/2 ppr

    Currently have gore and d murray starting

    With luck injured would you start either hillman or blount over gore

    I hate thursday games and was considering playing either of those guys over gore without the luck injury and in my other money league i picked up HOU def for tonight

    Speaking of which i dropped the ATL def for HOU

    But would you rather have the ravens against browns matchup
    I would have to make a waiver claim and may not get them (bal) but would you at least try that and if it doesnt work go back to ATL

    And last but not least in a full ppr

    I am a bit gunshy on moncreif tonight

    Play hurns or stevie johnson ( is he even playing ) over moncreif

    • RotoLance

      RotoLance says:

      @Barker: I don’t think “hating Thursday games” is the most rational reason to use to bench a guy although I got hammered earlier when I had Alex Smith, Kelce, Demaryius Thomas and CJA playing against each other on Thursday.

      I think Gore will be fine. It’s fairly uncommon for a defense to shut down another NFL team and I expect some yards will be there for Indy. Points might be hard to come by but I still prefer Gore to Hillman and Blount.

      I’m fine with playing Houston instead of the Ravens D. I’m not going to nitpick two good matchups there.

      Hurns over Moncrief is the way I’d go.

    • RotoLance

      RotoLance says:

      @Barker: Please say you stuck with Gore. :)

  4. Steve says:

    Again, handy information you’ve set in front of us…I’d love to ask a couple lineup questions, so here goes (.5 ppr /12 team league)

    QBs: Brees / Newton (Bye)
    WRs: Edelman, Evans, Allen, Hurns
    RBS: Charles, Chris Johnson, Alfred Morris, Anthony Dixon (Lamar Miller on Bye)
    TEs: Witten, Delanie Walker, Gates

    So I can start 3WRs (which are obvious starts) 2 RBs (one obvious), 1 TE (not obvious to me), and a flex WR/TE/RB…

    Which TE should I start? Who should be my second RB after Charles? Who is my flex?

    It’s good to have depth, but sometimes it makes decisions harder, thank you for you help and advice!

    • RotoLance

      RotoLance says:

      @Steve: Gates at TE. Chris Johnson at RB2. Flex is the toughest call of them all, I guess Dixon, obviously Karlos W. and McCoy have to be out to start him. But for me it’s a very close call between Dixon, Hurns and Morris but that’s actually the order I’d rank them for .5 PPR..

      • Steve says:


        Is Dixon better than Walker or Witten as well?

        • RotoLance

          RotoLance says:

          @Steve: Yeah, I like all of those 3 above the tight ends. Dixon is only better assuming his RB teammates are out.

  5. Cheese Eating Surrender Monkey says:

    finally, somebody else who actually watched the difference between coleman and freeman in weeks 1-2. They weren’t close. Some real twit even dropped Coleman just a few days back in a dynasty (14 teams too)

    • RotoLance

      RotoLance says:

      @Cheese Eating Surrender Monkey: I watched some of their first game, other than that it’s more like I paid attention to the situation. I wasn’t trying to say I think Coleman will get the job back, just that he might and that it could take a few weeks. I’m in a 10 team league and unfortunately he was not dropped yet there. Hard to drop him when the Falcons running game exploded like that.

      I thought that Devonta Freeman #13 RB rest of season was actually a bold call in Jay’s rankings. I don’t trust him quite that much yet. I’m ok with the call, it’s not a bad call, it’s a bold call.

      Thanks for reading.

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