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Fantasy Football Week 1: Injury Updates and Recommendations

John SzurlejAnalyst ISeptember 11, 2011

Fantasy Football Week 1: Injury Updates and Recommendations

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    Here is an injury update and noteworthy news from around the NFL heading into Week 1.

    While some reports and team releases haven't shed much light on certain situations, looking for the common trends can lead you to the answer.

    A reading between the lines is usually needed as coaches don't want to tip their hand, which leads to many fantasy football headaches.

    Going forward, these are my recommendations based off of injuries and other note worthy issues for my fellow fantasy owners.

    Information for this piece can be found at,  www.nfl.com/injuries

Arian Foster

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    Arian Foster is listed as questionable and continues to tell the media that he is experiencing minimal pain and still is a game time decision.

    This whole issue has been a thorn in the side, and the fact that he is listed as questionable doesn't help.

    It may wind up being a very limited workload for Foster if he does play, leaving ample opportunity for Derrick Ward to start or get  a majority of the carries.

    I would err on the side of caution and bench him if you have other reliable backs as he may be red flagged just as a precaution by the Texans.

    Stay on top of this story until the last minute you can submit a roster.

Chris Cooley

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    Cooley is listed as "available" for the game against the Redskins but their is no indication if he will play the feature or will be sidelined for a majority of the game.

    With Washington having a favorable matchup against a banged up defense, Tim Hightower will see a lot of work.

    Washington may not need his services for anything but situational downs if he does play.

    Go with your No. 2 TE.

Roddy White

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    Roddy White had participated in team drills and is upgraded to probable for the game against the Bears.

    I don't think there was ever a question about him playing.

    Look for more targets to be thrown to Jones to preserve White, but he'll still be the main feature in the passing game.

    Start him with confidence.

Matt Cassel

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    Although Cassel has been saying he's fine, and given the listing as probable, I would tend to think that he is still a risky start.

    Given the nature of his injury (rib) will effect his throwing ability, look for the Chiefs to lean heavy on the running game.

    Although it looks like he may start, there is no clear comfort factor here about heavy a workload he will have against the Bills.

    Bench him this week and start your No. 2 QB.

Miles Austin

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    Another member of the hamstring injury club for men, Austin is listed as probable and has been hampered by his injury this week.

    Expect the Jets cornerbacks to swarm him like a predator to a wounded animal.

    Don't expect much from him, but if you have to start him, you must.

    If you have other options, consider them and consider the matchup both receivers have before you make your choice.

    This one is 50-50 and I am not comfortable saying start him or sit him.

Mohamed Massaquoi

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    "MoMass" is listed as a go for this Sunday's game against Cincinnati and apparently had no issues with his foot to prevent him from starting.

    If you have him, start him at your own caution as there is no way to gauge how effective he will be with a team that will spread the ball around and lean heavily on the tight end and running back.

    My recommendation is to leave him sit and start another player until you see what he does.

Visanthe Shiancoe

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    From what he says to the listings I've read, it seems there is no question he will be in the game between the Vikings and the Chargers.

    Expect him to see plenty of targets from Donovan McNabb but I'm not sure how effective he will be with the expectations of a heavy dosage of Adrian Peterson.

    If he is your No. 1 TE, then start him, but don't expect many points if he isn't a factor by halftime.

Patrick Crayton

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    If you have him filling a No. 3 or Flex position on your team, he did not participate in practice this week and is listed as questionable.

    With San Diego relying on Vincent Jackson and Antonio Gates, there is no reason to expect him to play or play anything considerable other than situational downs.

    Bench him and start another option.

Plaxico Burress

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    Plaxico Burress has participated in practice this week and his ankle injury doesn't appear to be a hindrance as he is listed as probable.

    With high expectations, Burress should be a major factor in the offense for the Jets against Dallas Sunday night.

    Start him with confidence.

Daniel Thomas

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    Daniel Thomas has had limited participation for the Dolphins and remains questionable for the game against the Patriots.

    Even if he is able to suit up against the Pats, I don't see him playing a significant role in this game and will likely be held back.

    If you have other running back potions give them the start.

Donte' Stallworth

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    For those who have Stallworth as a Flex play, he is listed as questionable for the game against the New York Giants.

    Even if he was listed as probable, there is no reason to start him as he will have minimal impact all season long for the Redskins and is primarily featured in a three or more set.

    Bench him, even drop him, but don't waste a space on your roster.

Maurice Morris

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    If you have Morris handcuffed to Jahvid Best, keep him on your bench.

    Despite Morris being out of his cast and ready to play, the Lions intend to utilize Jerome Harrison in his role.

    Although Morris may see time in the game, the Lions have planned for the Best/Harrison combo and will use Morris sparingly, or at least that's the impression I'm getting.

    Bench Morris for another player on your team this week.

Steve Breaston

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    Another hamstring injury here.

    Breaston is listed as having limited participation in practice this week but is still tagged as probable.

    My interpretation is that they were giving him light reps and he should be fine to play against the Bills.

    Considering the Cassel scenario, he may see limited targets as the Chiefs look to primarily run the ball.

    He's a risky start if Cassel is hurting, but worth the chance.

Javon Ringer

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    If you have Ringer handcuffed with Chris Johnson, this would be a good time to sit him.

    Ringer is still experiencing back issues and was limited at practice this week and is officially tagged as questionable.

    I think his status should be doubtful and expect to see Jaime Harper utilized in Ringer's role today.

    You lose nothing in sitting Javon Ringer and starting someone else.

Wrap Up

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    With the fresh NFL season here, and those of us who have been itching for fantasy action, it is imperative to take your calculated risks when setting your lineups.

    Based on the articles I've read over the week and the official listings reported to the NFL, and available for review at www.nfl.com/injuries, I come to these conclusions.

    Everyone wants to win their first week, both in the NFL and in the fantasy world, but sometimes little errors will cost you what you worked so hard for.

    Good Luck in your season.

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