Matthew Stafford: Updates on Detroit Lions QB's Week 4 Status and Fantasy Value

Tim KeeneyContributor ISeptember 25, 2012

NASHVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 23: Matthew Stafford #9 of the Detroit Lions throws a pass against the Tennessee Titans during the game at LP Field on September 23, 2012 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

If Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford is healthy enough to play on Sunday, his fantasy owners are in for a treat. 

Ah yes, but that is also the problem, because at this point, it would appear that even Matthew Stafford himself doesn't know how healthy he is. 

The most recent report about the QB's hamstring, which he hurt in the fourth quarter against the Tennessee Titans, is, well, not really helpful.

It comes from Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio:

Lions coach Jim Schwartz won’t say much about the status of quarterback Matthew Stafford. But that doesn’t make it impossible to know what’s up with the quarterback’s leg.

Per a league source, Stafford has a hamstring issue. For now, the expectation is that he should be OK.

UPDATE: Sunday, September 30 at 11:38 a.m. ET by Jessica Isner

As many suspected, it was much ado about nothing with regards to Matthew Stafford's injury this week. His hamstring issue isn't so severe that it will keep him off the field on Sunday against the Vikings, according to the Lions' official Twitter feed:


As expected, QB Matthew Stafford will also start. #DETvsMIN

— Detroit Lions (@DetroitLionsNFL) September 30, 2012



UPDATE: Friday, September 28 at 4:16 p.m. ET by Tyler Conway

More positive news came out for Matthew Stafford and the Detroit Lions Friday as the star quarterback fully participated in practice and is now listed as probable, according to Tim Twentyman.
Quarterback Matthew Stafford was a full participant in the Lions’ final practice of the week Friday leading up to Sunday’s game vs. the Vikings, and is officially listed as probable for Sunday’s game on the final injury report of the week.

For fantasy owners, that news could not come at a better time. Stafford was likely a first-round pick and a long-term absence could have put teams in dire straits. 

UPDATE: Thursday, September 27 at 11:27 a.m. ET by Brandon Galvin

Great news for fantasy owners and Lions fans as Matthew Stafford has returned to practice, according to Detroit Free Press' Dave Birkett

Matthew Stafford back at practice today. Obviously on track to play in Sunday's #Lions-#Vikings game

— Dave Birkett (@davebirkett) September 27, 2012


UPDATE: Wednesday, Sept. 26 at 5:10 p.m. ET by Tyler Conway

Though he was not in practice Wednesday, there was some interesting news on the Stafford injury front. The quarterback, initially thought to have a hamstring injury, has been reclassified on the report with an injured hip instead, according to Lions writer Tim Twentyman.

The Lions are making a correction to the injury report to list Stafford's injury as a hip.

— Tim Twentyman (@ttwentyman) September 26, 2012


Be sure to keep checking in as we update you on whether this development changes Stafford's playing status on Sunday.


UPDATE: Wednesday, Sept. 26 at 11:30 a.m. ET by Brandon Galvin

As expected, Matthew Stafford is not practicing today. Detroit Free Press' Dave Birkett has the latest: 

Matthew Stafford is not practicing with Lions today. Still speculating that he'll play Sunday. No obvious signs of injury as he walked out

— Dave Birkett (@davebirkett) September 26, 2012


UPDATE: Wednesday, Sept. 26 at 10:48 a.m. ET by Brandon Galvin

We should expect Matthew Stafford to be a game-time decision on Sunday as there are now rumblings that the Lions QB injured his hip, not his hamstring, in Week 3. ESPN's Adam Schefter has the latest:

I would be surprised if he practiced Wednesday or Thursday, but ultimately, when the game rolls around, he's a tough guy to count out. The injury looks to be more of a hip injury than anything else. There will be explanations of hamstrings and glutes this week -- be very skeptical. It's our understanding it's more of a hip injury, and it's a hip injury that's serious enough to prevent him from finishing last Sunday's game and to make him a question mark for this one. But knowing Stafford's toughness, my sense is he'll be out there. If he's not, that tells you how bad the injury is.


Good to know. Let's take a look at how you should approach the situation for Week 4.


Fantasy Value

Luckily, quarterback situations are a little easier to deal with in fantasy because in 99 percent of all cases, only one guy will play.

No timeshare, no splitting carries, no running-back nonsense. 

That just means you have to play the wait-and-see game. If Stafford practices this week, you roll with him. If he doesn't, you plug in Shaun Hill, who you should add now if you have the room. 

The Minnesota Vikings, who the Lions host in Week 4, are a very fantasy friendly matchup. Their defensive numbers on the surface aren't bad, but they've faced Blaine Gabbert, Andrew Luck and Alex Smith. 

Yeah, not exactly Pro Bowlers.

Despite facing that relatively soft QB schedule so far, Minnesota has let opposing gunslingers complete 63.81 percent of their passes (21st worst in the league) and has intercepted just one throw (27th worst in the league). 

The Vikings D-line can put some pressure on Stafford or Hill, but the soft secondary means whoever is under center will be able to have a field day throwing to a very talented receiving corps. 

Start the starter with confidence.