Everyone knows the old saying: “Time flies when you are having fun.” Well, that goes double when you apply it to football.
After what seemed like an extremely long NFL off-season, it is already October and the fourth week of NFL action is fast approaching. It has been an exciting season so far.
There are seven undefeated teams and we have seen some very good individual football performances. There has also been a fair share of players who have not lived up to their potential and unfortunately there have already been a ton of injuries.
Week 4 signifies the first week of NFL bye weeks, making it more important then ever to be well informed when you are setting your fantasy football weekly lineups. As you prepare your lineup for this weekend’s football action the Bruno Boys are once again here to look at the news around the NFL and analyze the fantasy football impact. With a big rash of injuries during the first three weeks of the season, we will take a quick look at some of the injuries around the NFL.
Tomlinson returns to practice Wednesday & Thursday, listed as probable versus Steelers
After missing the last two games with an ankle injury San Diego Chargers RB LaDainian Tomlinson returned to practice on Wednesday and is officially listed as probable for this week’s game on the road against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Tomlinson stated last week that he would not play unless he is 100% fit and you should keep a close eye on this situation. If Tomlinson is active he is worth starting as a low-end RB2. The return of Tomlinson will also return Darren Sproles to the role of change of pace back, reducing his value to a RB3 or flex option.
Matt Forte suffered a knee injury in Week 3, takes limited reps Wednesday
Chicago Bears RB Matt Forte took limited reps in practice on Wednesday as he tries to recover from a knee injury suffered in the fourth quarter of the Bears victory last week over the Seattle Seahawks.
Consider Forte as questionable for Chicago’s Week four matchup with the Detroit Lions. The fact that he was able to practice (albeit limited) on Wednesday leads us to believe that the Bears are just being cautious with their top RB. In two games against the Lions last season he had a 192 total rushing yards with two TDs. Forte’s participation in practice the rest of the week could be a big indicator on whether or not he plays this week.
Randy Moss dealing with injured back, limited in practice Wednesday
New England Patriots wide receiver Randy Moss was limited in practice on Wednesday as he continues to deal with a back injury suffered in Week three. Criticized for not playing at full speed last week against the Atlanta Falcons, he did manage 10 receptions for 116 yards in the game. Through three games Moss leads all NFL receivers in receptions (26 total) and he has two games of at least 10 catches.
Moss should be able to play this week as the Patriots host the Baltimore Ravens, but head coach Bill Belichick traditionally keeps very quiet about his team’s injury situation. You can likely expect Moss to be questionable heading into Sunday and could be a game time decision. Be prepared with a backup plan just in case.
Wes Welker returns to practice Wednesday in limited action
After missing the last two games with a knee injury New England Patriots WR Wes Welker returned to practice Wednesday in a limited capacity. This would appear to be good news for fantasy football owners, but don’t get too excited yet. After being inactive during Week two, Welker was in and out of practice last week. He was a game time decision, but was left inactive for the second straight week.
The Patriots are preparing to host the Baltimore Ravens and would really like to have all their offensive weapons back. Monitor this situation throughout the week, the more Welker practices the better his chances are of suiting up on Sunday. If he is active this week use him as a low-end WR2 option.
Cedric Benson misses practice Wednesday with apparent knee injury
Cincinnati Bengals RB Cedric Benson sat out Wednesday practice with what is being called a knee injury. The team does expect Benson to return to practice on Thursday in a limited capacity, with hopes of having him ready for Sunday’s road game against the Cleveland Browns.
The injury does not appear to be serious and this could be a way for the Bengals to get their workhorse back a little rested. He is averaging more then 97 rushing yards per game this season and has two TDs in the three games. If he is healthy enough to play this week consider Benson a must start in all fantasy football leagues, he had 171 yards rushing last season when the Bengals traveled to Cleveland.
Kevin Smith to be a game time decision in Week Four with shoulder injury
According to Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz RB Kevin Smith will be a game time decision for the Lions Week four matchup with the Chicago Bears. Smith injured his shoulder in the second half of Detroit’s victory (did we just say Detroit and victory in the same sentence) last week against the Washington Redskins.
Smith had 16 carries for 101 yards against the Redskins before the injury. He has improved his rushing totals over each of the first three weeks and when healthy is a solid RB2 fantasy football option.
With Smith being a game time decision, you better have a backup plan in place for Sunday. If your options are limited consider picking up Smith’s backup Maurice Morris off waivers. If Smith is out Morris could be used as a low-end RB2 or flex option if necessary.
Marion Barber practices Wednesday & Thursday, Felix Jones Ruled Out
Wednesday proved to be a bittersweet day for the Dallas Cowboys. RB Marion Barber returned to practice on a limited basis, but change of pace back Felix Jones did not practice.
Barber is improving after a quad injury that caused him to miss the Cowboys Monday night game against the Carolina Panthers. Jones who played Monday night and was having a big game gaining 94 yards on eight carries, left in the second half with a strained PCL.
All signs are pointing to Barber being active for the Cowboys Week four game in Denver against the Broncos. As for Jones, the Cowboys have already ruled him out in Week four.
If Barber is able to go he should be used as a low end RB1. With Jones being out and Barber coming off an injury you can expect Cowboys No. 3 RB Tashard Choice to see a healthy amount of touches. Just how expanded will depend on the health of Barber throughout the game.