Friday, October 30, 2009

The Friday Injury Lineup

Here's the latest weekly segment to hit my blog.  Every Friday I'll take a look at the injury reports and give you an analysis of what they could mean for you as a fantasy owner.

Andre Johnson (WR-HOU-chest): This injury may be one of the most significant this week and has many owners looking left and right for a strong replacement.  If Johnson does not play, expect Jacoby Jones and Kevin Walter to see an increase in targets, along with Steve Slaton increasing his role against Buffalo.  Chris Brown may be called upon more as well.  However, Johnson insists that he will be in the lineup come Sunday, and what this man wants, he will likely get.  Even if he is spitting up blood on the field.  Update: Johnson will definitely be active for Sunday's game.  Play him.

Calvin Johnson (WR-DET-knee): Again, a big bit of news for Johnson owners who have been waiting for his recovery.  After not participating in practice most of this week, it's certainly questionable whether he will see any snaps on Sunday, but there's always hope.  Check as vigorously as possible for both Andre and Calvin Johnson this weekend.  A feasible replacement could be Bryant Johnson or Dennis Northcutt, who will both benefit from Johnson's absence.  Update: Johnson practiced and should be out on the field against a vulnerable Rams defense.  Play him.

Matthew Stafford (QB-DET-knee): There seems to be a divide as to whether or not Stafford will play on Sunday.  I'm of the opinion that he probably won't against the Rams.  There's no reason for the rookie to be put out on the field with the possibility of him exacerbating the injury.  Even with the possible strong matchup play, don't play Stafford.

Trent Edwards (QB-BUF-head): Lee Evans owners should breath a sigh of relief, as Ryan Fitzpatrick should be starting for the Bills with Edwards on the sidelines.  Fitzpatrick definitely has better chemistry with Evans and it showed the past week.

Chicago's Defense: The list is pretty long, with starting linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa already being declared out with a knee injury for this weekend's game.  Lance Briggs (LB) is still having shoulder troubles and Adewale Ogunleye (DE) has sat out at least part of this week with an ankle injury.  You still can't expect Cleveland to put up any numbers that are start-worthy, but stranger things have happened.

Matt Hasselbeck (QB-SEA-rib): Hasselbeck has had a litany of injuries to deal with in the past.  Don't consider starting baldie unless your only other quarterback options are Jake Delhomme, JaMarcus Russel and Derek Anderson.  I'm praying that's not the case for any poor soul out there.

Chad Clifton (T-GB-ankle) and Mark Tauscher (T-GB-knee): Both have been limited in practice.  The Vikings pass rush could cave in the pocket around Aaron Rodgers constantly during this match at Lambeau if the tackles are not at full health.  Rodgers himself has a foot injury and may not be able to dodge defenders too aptly.  Expect pressure on the pocket for Rodgers and think about replacing him with a stronger matchup play.

Jonathan Stewart (RB-CAR-achilles): With Stewart injured, Deangelo Williams and Jake Delhomme will see an increased workload, which is no good for the offense.  In the first segment on this week's podcast I discuss the Panthers' offensive woes.  Listen for more info.  In the meantime, you may want to reconsider starting Williams this week without Stewart to counterbalance the backfield.

DeSean Jackson (WR-PHI-foot) and Brian Westbrook (RB-PHI-concussion): These two starters of the Eagles offense have been held out of practice this week.  Jackson will be needed if Philly intends on beating the Giants, especially with Kevin Curtis declared out this week.  Westbrook may not be as necessary with LeSean McCoy waiting to take over.  The Eagles could have a tough week and their offense will certainly be hampered.  Prepare replacements.

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