Two weeks of NFL action are already in the books and what a start to the season we have had. There are surprise teams like the undefeated New York Jets and San Francisco 49ers.
There have been some huge individual fantasy performances from Chris Johnson, Frank Gore, Adrian Peterson, Drew Brees, and the Philadelphia Eagles D/ST, among others. Unfortunately, during the first two weeks of football, we have also seen a good number of injuries.
As you start to prepare your Week Three lineup, the Bruno Boys are once again here to look at the fantasy football impact of some of the news around the NFL. This week we will take a look at a significant number of injuries to some key fantasy football contributors.
Adrian Peterson limited at practice Wednesday, questionable Week Three
Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was limited in practice Wednesday with a back injury. He is officially listed as questionable for the Vikings’ home game Week Three against the San Francisco 49ers.
It has not been reported when the injury occurred, but the fact that he practiced at all on Wednesday leads us to believe the injury is not that serious.
Peterson is the NFL’s leading rusher two weeks into the season with 272 yards rushing and four touchdowns. Keep an eye on this situation heading into Sunday’s contest. If he plays (and it appears he will) Peterson is a must-start RB1.
Pierre Thomas practices in full, Mike Bell sits
According to New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Peyton running back Pierre Thomas practiced in full on Wednesday, while running back Mike Bell missed practice. Both running backs have been suffering from a sprained MCL.
Thomas injured his knee during the preseason and has missed the better part of the Saints first two games. Bell’s injury occurred during the second half of New Orleans’ Week Two victory over the Philadelphia Eagles.
After a strong 2008 season, Thomas was expected to be the Saints primary ball carrier in 2009. He was drafted in the second or third round in most fantasy drafts as a RB2. With Thomas injured, Bell has filled in nicely during the Saints first two games, gaining 229 rushing yards on 45 attempts with one touchdown.
Monitor this situation closely heading into this weekend’s games, but these knee injuries will likely have a negative fantasy impact on both running backs. Even if one or both are cleared to play Sunday against the Buffalo Bills, you need to be cautious inserting either into your starting lineup. Neither back can be relied on as anything more than a RB3 or flex option this week.
Despite missed practice, Welker expects to play versus Falcons
New England Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker was a surprise late scratch with a knee injury in Week Two versus the New York Jets. He had been listed as questionable on the injury report since the preseason, but he did play Week One against the Buffalo Bills and had 12 receptions for 93 yards.
Welker missed practice on Wednesday, but according to ESPN reports he expects to play in Sunday’s game against the Atlanta Falcons. Patriots’ head coach Bill Belichick is traditionally tight lipped when it comes to the injury report and a final decision likely won’t come until after pre-game warm-ups Sunday.
Fantasy owners should use caution before inserting him back into your lineup. The Bruno Boys will update you on his status as soon as it is available on Sunday. When healthy, Welker is a reception machine and makes for a very good WR2.
Barber practices Wednesday, questionable for Monday Night
Dallas Cowboys running back Marion Barber returned to practice in full pads Wednesday, just 24 hours after reports that a quad injury suffered during a 35-yard run Week Two against the New York Giants would sideline him for up to two weeks.
Barber had 18 carries for 124 yards with a touchdown versus the Giants, but he pulled up lame late in the fourth quarter on what looked like it was going to be a 42-yard touchdown run. Cowboys’ No. 2 running back Felix Jones ended up punching in the touchdown on the very next play.
Even with Barber participating in practice on Wednesday it’s too early to tell whether or not he will play Monday night against the Carolina Panthers. If Barber can’t go on Monday, expect Jones and the Cowboys’ No. 3 running back Tashard Choice each see a lot of action.
Keep a close eye on how much Barber practices over the next couple of days with this game being on Monday night, you might have to make your decision on Sunday. The Bruno Boys will keep you posted of any updates on Barber’s before Sundays’ kickoffs.
Tomlinson making progress, however, does not practice Wednesday
San Diego Chargers head coach Norv Turner said that running back LaDainian Tomlinson is “making progress” with his sprained right ankle, but did not say whether Tomlinson will play Sunday against the Miami Dolphins. LT missed the Chargers game last week against the Baltimore Ravens and he did not practice on Wednesday.
Tomlinson injured his ankle during the Chargers’ Week 1 match-up with the Oakland Raiders, in which he had 13 carries for 55 yards with a touchdown. Backup running back Darren Sproles filled in for Tomlinson last week against the Baltimore Ravens, gaining 26 yards on 10 carries and added seven receptions for 124 yards with a touchdown.
Tomlinson is listed as questionable and it appears there is a good chance that he will once again be inactive this week. If Tomlinson is unable to go against the Dolphins, the Chargers will once again turn to Sproles. The Dolphins have been solid against the run early this season, so the Chargers will likely once again get Sproles involved in the passing game. Consider Sproles a solid RB2 play this week.
Gore sprains ankle Week Two, expected to play Week Three
San Francisco 49ers running back Frank Gore was limited in practice Wednesday after injuring his ankle during the 49ers Week Two victory over the Seattle Seahawks. Before the injury, Gore had 16 carries for 207 yards with two touchdowns. His touchdown runs went for 79 and 80 yards respectively.
Gore is questionable for Sunday’s contest with the Minnesota Vikings, but according to reports from ESPN, Gore should not be sidelined or limited this week. This is good news for fantasy owners; he has 237 rushing yards on the season with four total touchdowns. Consider Gore a low-end RB1 this week if he is healthy enough to start.
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*THIS ARTICLE WRITTEN BY BRUNO BOY LARRY JOSEPH*