by Will Overton
A lot of decisions on injuries won’t be made until tomorrow, but you need to be planning ahead. Injury reports can’t be looked at only on Sunday morning, they need to be monitored and planned for earlier than that. You need to pick players up, make adjustments and have a plan in place for your game time decisions.
So with that in mind here is the most recent injury news on some of fantasy football’s biggest players:
Roddy White – WR, Atlanta Falcons: The last two days Roddy White has been limited in practice, but he’s still been a participant. My gut says he plays in this game on Monday night; White has never in eight years missed a game. Groin injuries can do a number on receivers, but Roddy isn’t the kind of guy you bench if he can play. The biggest dilemma is that his status may well not be known still on Sunday and plugging in a questionable receiver for Monday is a risky venture. If you can afford to sacrifice a bench spot, I would recommend adding Harry Douglas if you’re going to gamble on Roddy, just so you can have someone to plug in at the last minute just in case.
Steve Smith – WR, Carolina Panthers: Still listed as questionable all signs are still pointing towards Smith playing, including his own coach claiming he would be very surprised if Smith didn’t play. A knee injury is scary, but the Saints secondary looked flat out lost at times in week one and this could turn out to be a very good game even with the injury. Unless something changes you need to plug him in.
Jonathan Stewart – RB, Carolina Panthers: Just like Smith, Jonathan Stewart is questionable, but expected to play barring a major setback. The Panthers run game was non-existent in week one and they need Stewart. Still I don’t trust him as much more than a flex play in his first week back considering his injury history. I will say that this news make DeAngelo Williams almost unusable after his week one showing.
Calvin Johnson – WR, Detroit Lions: The number one fantasy receiver has been upgraded to probably for this week’s game against San Francisco. Johnson has been slowed by a foot injury, but all seems to be good to go at this point for the 49ers game. That’s a tough defense, but Johnson is the best fantasy receiver out there. You don’t bench him.
Austin Collie – WR, Indianapolis Colts: Earlier this week the reports were positive and it appeared that Collie had been cleared to play. It looked Wednesday like Collie was basically good to go for this Sunday, but a setback Thursday and no practice Friday makes you believe otherwise. On the other hand T.Y. Hilton looks set to go and in could be a flex play in deep leagues.
Shane Vereen – RB, New England Patriots: The Patriots running back has been practicing this week, though his activities have still been limited the last few days. Vereen is questionable and will likely be a game time decision. Early in the preseason Vereen was thought to be in line for an even split in carries with Stevan Ridley. Then he got hurt and Ridley ran wild in week one. Even if Vereen plays I don’t think he touches the ball enough to hold any value. After Ridley’s week one Vereen has some ground to make up.
Hakeem Nicks – WR, New York Giants: Hakeem Nicks watched practice from the sidelines yesterday which is probably not a very encouraging sign for Nicks fantasy owners. The day off was a planned thing though as the Giants wanted to give him a day off to continue letting his foot heal. I believe unless the foot flares up Nicks is going to be playing. However he isn’t a must play on a bum foot against an underrated Bucs defense that shut down the Panthers last week. I wouldn’t bench him unless you have a very loaded receiving corp, but it’s not out of the realm of possibility.
DeSean Jackson & Jeremy Maclin – WR, Philadelphia Eagles: These two seem to be in two different places right now. Jackson seems destined to be a game time decision as he has yet to participate in a full practice this week. Meanwhile, Maclin did practice yesterday after missing the previous two days and he did it without limitations. Maclin should be good to go, though it’ll be against a difficult Ravens defense. Maclin is a much safer play than Jackson at this point.
Ryan Matthews – RB, San Diego Chargers: There is no word coming out of San Diego about the status of Ryan Matthews for this week. Matthews was a limited participant in practice again yesterday. Norv Turner said he’d be a game time decision and that there would be no decisions made before that time. So don’t hold your breath for a decision any time before game time. If you are available to make last minute changes to your team Matthews could be a flex play against the Titans weak run defense, but don’t gamble unless you can make changes at the last second.
Marshawn Lynch – RB, Seattle Seahawks: Another full day of practice for Lynch yesterday and he seems all ready to go. Dallas’ defense looked strong in week one, but it was just one week. Last season Lynch gouged the Cowboys D for 135 yards on the ground. If he’s 100% he’s a must play and unless something changes today Lynch should be in your lineup tomorrow.
Kenny Britt – WR, Tennessee Titans: A full day of practice was a good sign for Britt. However he is still listed as a questionable player on the injury report. Titans coach Mike Munchak has stated he believes Britt will play and that he’ll play 15 – 25 snaps in the game. I am bullish on Britt and it’s hard for me to bench him if he plays, but with a limitation in place it’s risky to use him. I’d only roll with him in deep leagues this week.
Pierre Garcon – WR, Washington Redskins: Another game time decision it looks like here. Garcon was limited in practice on Thursday, but upped his activity on Friday. The Griffin – Garcon connection was very promising in week one before the injury and if Garcon can go he could be a big time receiver. The Rams were able to pick off Stafford several times in week one, but Stafford still racked up the yardage on them. Griffin may well do the same this week. The good news is that Mike Shannahan is saying it’ll likely come down to a pain tolerance issue and Garcon seems pretty determined to be on that field.
Make sure to check out our Week 2 rankings: