Green Bay Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson's playing status is going down to the wire, but the Pack's game is early on Sunday, which will give patient fantasy owners nearly a full slate of replacement options if he can't go.
Nelson missed last week's game, and he didn't practice this week, but he has apparently shown some signs of progress.
Kevin Seifert of ESPN reported that Nelson tested the hamstring on Friday and there were no reports of setbacks, so he is at least moving in the right direction.
My gut says he won't play. Hamstring injuries aren't something that can be rushed, but that's a pure guess. Keep an eye out for Nelson's status, and keep these guys in mind for a contingency plan.
*Percentage owned via NFL.com.
Cecil Shorts, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars: Owned in 4.6 Percent Leagues
Week 9 Opponent: Detroit Lions
Cecil Shorts is playing his way out of sleeper status. He is clearly the preferred option in the Jaguars' passing game. Granted, that passing game is terrible, but we are talking about the team's clear-cut No. 1 receiver.
Shorts only trails rookie Justin Blackmon for the team lead in targets, but that is due to Blackmon getting far more looks early.
Against the Packers last week, Shorts led the Jaguars with eight catches on 12 targets for 116 yards. He was also on the field for every single passing play.
The Lions' pass defense is not terrible. They are ninth in yards allowed, but they are also tied for 16th in fantasy points allowed to wide receivers.
Shorts is a guy who will put up decent numbers this week and will have value moving forward.
Sidney Rice, WR, Seahawks: Owned in 27.6 Percent of Leagues
Week 9 Opponent: Minnesota Vikings
After a strong start to the year, the Minnesota Vikings' pass defense is beginning to look more like the unit that was shredded all of last season.
The Buccaneers' Josh Freeman threw for over 260 yards against them last week and had three touchdowns on no interceptions.
This pass defense won't be enough to deter the Seahawks from going to the ground first, but they will take their shots in the passing game, and Rice will be the primary target.
He leads this team in receptions, targets and receiving yards, and let's not all forget, he will be going against his former team, which as we've all seen, can provide a definite bump in production.
Justin Forsett, RB, Texans: Owned in 0.4 Percent of Leagues
Week 9 Opponent: Buffalo Bills
With Ben Tate already ruled out for the Week 9 (via the injury report on NFL.com), Justin Forsett moves into the backup role, and since the Texans are playing the Buffalo Bills' generous defense, this gives him solid value for the week.
The Texans have the NFL's sixth-ranked rushing attack and the Bills have the league's worst rush defense—by a healthy margin—and it is getting worse.
The Bills are allowing 6.0 yards per carry on the season, and over the last three games, they have allowed 7.3 yards per rush. That is 0.1 yards more than they are allowing per pass and they are 25th in that category!
Except for the Texans' loss to the Bills, Tate has received at least five carries in every game, and the backup role will be in line for more carries this week, as they Texans may not have to throw a pass to win this one.
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