Fantasy Football Week 3: Antonio Gates and 4 Injured Players You Should Start

Alex SandersonCorrespondent IIISeptember 24, 2011

Fantasy Football Week 3: Antonio Gates and 4 Injured Players You Should Start

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    Almost every NFL player is playing with some kind of injury when they hit the field. Some players do better than others while playing injured, and that factor can be an important one in fantasy leagues.

    Every week there are going to be injury issues that you have to deal with when setting your lineups. It's important to know which guys that you should feel safe in starting when they are hurt.

    The following are five players that are banged up but can still be started with confidence.

Antonio Gates, TE, SD

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    Gates is one of the true warriors of the game, as he is almost always banged up but rarely misses any games. If he says he's going to play, you have to believe him and just plug him into your lineup.

    The tight end position is a deep one this year, but if you drafted Gates, you probably haven't been looking around for another tight end. He is still very much a top-five tight end.

    Chargers receiver Malcolm Floyd is likely out this week, which should help Gates' production. You should have no regrets at all for using him this week.

Michael Vick, QB, PHI

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    Vick may not be all the way back on Sunday after suffering a concussion last week, but he is going to play. That's all you need to know if you own him on your fantasy team.

    Vick at 75 percent is still better than most quarterbacks at 100 percent. He is an elite talent in fantasy and you have to run him out there whenever he gives it a go.

    The risk that always comes with Vick is that he is injury prone, but he has an immense reward factor if your willing to take the chance on drafting him. That risk/reward is no different when starting him a week after suffering a concussion.

Dez Bryant, WR, DAL

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    Bryant is questionable to play on Monday night with a quadriceps injury. He sat out last week but all signs point to him giving it a go in Week 3.

    Fellow starting wide receiver Miles Austin is officially out this week, meaning Bryant is likely to see more targets. He is one of the emerging receivers in the game and you should put him in your lineup this week.

    With the off chance that Bryant is ruled out on Monday, you may want to cover yourself by having someone like Jabar Gaffney or Kevin Ogletree on your bench. But if he plays, Bryant will no doubt have a strong game.

Peyton Hillis (Illness), RB, CLE

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    Hillis is not dealing with an injury, but there was a small window this week where his status for Sunday was up in the air. The coaching staff says he will suit up for the Browns game against Miami.

    The 2010 breakout is coming off a strong Week 2 performance and is looking like a top fantasy running back again in 2011. Miami is a pretty good matchup for Hillis, and you should certainly be starting him in Week 3.

Tony Romo, QB, DAL

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    Romo is not going to be near his complete best for the Monday night showdown against Washington, but you know he will give everything he has. Unless you have a really good backup to Romo, you are going to run him out there this week.

    The Cowboys star showed his immense toughness last week in bringing the Cowboys from behind to defeat San Francisco in overtime. He will need that again in Week 3 as he is dealing with lung and rib issues.