With the meat of the fantasy football season now under way, you tend to evaluate your team after the fourth week of the season.
Do I look for a trade? Should I release a struggling player? Those are questions you need to decide based solely on your own judgment. Those are decisions you control and ultimately must live and die by.
One thing you can’t control is injuries. Hopefully you have been able to skip this article and move on to rankings and analysis of the guys on your team. The good thing after the slate of games from Week Four, the injury front was rather quiet.
Now it’s time to see who did get nicked up during Week Four’s NFL action.
Eli Manning, QB, New York Giants
Manning bruised his heel against the Kansas City Chiefs Sunday on a non-contact play. He remained in the game, delivering a touchdown pass to Hakeem Nicks (with Nicks doing most of the work).
Although the severity of the injury is not known and he’s scheduled for an MRI, it’s tough seeing Manning miss much time, if at all. He seems like a tough guy who wants to be out there with his teammates.
With the Giants likely not needing Manning to defeat the Oakland Raiders this week they could play it safe and make sure Manning is 100 percent before they give him the green light in Week Six.
If he does miss the game it will give him two weeks to heal before their NFC showdown with the New Orleans Saints. Either way, check back here later in the week to find out his status.
Matthew Stafford, QB, Detroit Lions
On most fantasy football teams, Stafford likely will not crack a starting lineup. But with the bye weeks in effect, you may want to know his status.
His injury is being labeled as a dislocated kneecap, which was popped back in on the sidelines during the game. When the test results become available, we should know more of his injury.
He could miss a game or two before returning to action. If that is the case, Daunte Culpepper would likely fill in and should give you results close to what Stafford has produced thus far.
Even if Culpepper fills in it would not hurt the value of Calvin Johnson and Kevin Smith.
Zach Miller, TE, Oakland Raiders
Miller suffered a concussion against the Houston Texans and there is no word if he will miss time. Usually players who have concussions miss a game to recuperate.
Considering how bad JaMarcus Russell has been, deflating the value of Miller, you were likely looking for a replacement anyway.
See if there is something better on the waiver wire. If Miller misses time, there is no need to waste a roster spot on him.
Correll Buckhalter, RB, Denver Broncos
Buckhalter left his game against the Dallas Cowboys with a left ankle injury and did not return. X-Rays done after the game came back negative, but Buckhalter was seen on crutches afterwards.
He likely used the crutches for precautionary reasons and will probably be questionable all week. Expect Buckhalter to play but see limited action.
If he does miss time, Knowshon Moreno’s role will expand, which could lead to limited contributions for Buckhalter when he returns as long as Moreno takes advantage of the opportunity.
Roy E. Williams, WR, Dallas Cowboys
Williams hurt his ribs in the fourth quarter against the Denver Broncos and although he came back immediately following his hard hit, he was not available on the Cowboys final drive.
Williams has been a bit of a disappointment so far this year and this injury could limit him. He will likely be questionable in Week Five, but expect him to tough it out and play this coming week.
Brandon Stokley, WR, Denver Broncos
Stokley has struggled to stay on the field with his thigh injury and it showed this week, as he was unable to play at all in the second half. He will likely miss practice time this week, in hopes of getting back on the field this Sunday.
While Stokley may not be owned in a lot of leagues, his injury does not increase or decrease anyone else’s value. Denver is a running team who, when asked to throw, will spread the ball around not make anyone fantasy worthy.
Brandon Marshall is the only Bronco receiver worth owning at this point.
Dwight Freeney, DE, Indianapolis Colts
Freeney was able to play in a limited role on Sunday, making a quick recovery from his quad injury of a week ago that was supposed to keep him out a couple weeks.
He contributed in the few snaps he did play, registering a sack and two total tackles. After another week where he will try to rest up, Freeney should be able to play in a bigger role this week, making the Colts defense a better play in fantasy football leagues.
Feel free to deploy him in IDP leagues as well.
Patrick Kerney, DE, Seattle Seahawks
Kerney strained his groin muscle in the Indianapolis Colts game Sunday and it is unknown if he will miss time. Considering it is only a strain though, he should be able to bounce back in time for the game Sunday.
He may miss practice all week and be a game time decision, but he should play against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week Five.
Ryan Clark, S, Pittsburgh Steelers
Clark left the game Sunday night against the San Diego Chargers early in the first quarter when he hurt his back, but returned and was able to finish the game. He will likely miss some practice time this week as a precaution, but will play against the Detroit Lions.
The Steelers need Clark to play, as they are thin at the Safety position with Troy Polamalu still out and more than likely not returning until Week Six at the earliest.
Ernie Sims, LB, Detroit Lions
Sims aggravated a shoulder injury that cost him a game this season and bothered him throughout the 2008 season. He will undergo tests this week to see how bad the injury is.
Sims has been one of the best defenders for the Lions since coming into the pros, as he has registered over 100 tackles in all three seasons coming into 2009.
Not that the Detroit defense is fantasy football relevant, but those in IDP leagues who get points for tackles need to monitor his test results on his shoulder this week.
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*THIS ARTICLE WRITTEN BY BRUNO BOY GREG WARNOCK*