NFL Health Meter: Healthy and Injured Players for Week 7
With nearly half of the NFL season in the books, almost everybody on the field is nursing an injury. Whether it's a tear, a sprain, spasms or breaks, football players are tough and will play through a lot of pain.
But, we gotta think about our fantasy teams, right? Some of these guys are going to sit and some of them are going to play.
Let's run down who we should sit and who we should start in the upcoming week.
Start: Dallas Defense
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Sorry for stating the obvious here guys, but Dallas' best weapon on the defensive side of the ball dealt with back spasms throughout the loss to the Pats in week six.
Demarcus Ware is the man in question, and despite his discomfort, he recorded two sacks versus New England. He is listed as probable early on this week and the 'Boys have an easy matchup against St. Louis this week.
Dallas' defense is ranked fifth in the NFL, while the Lambs are 25th in total offense. Look for a lot of sacks, interceptions and maybe a defensive touchdown or two out of this defense.
Sit: Andre Johnson
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Seems like another obvious decision, but Andre Johnson owners got a little excited when his status was improved to "questionable" last week.
After an interview with SportsRadio 610 Houston, Johnson revealed that his injury shouldn't last more than six weeks. After the statement, Johnson was downgraded to "doubtful" in week seven's contest against the Titans.
Look for Johnson's return in week eight when the Texans square off against the Jags.
Start: Matt Schaub
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Matt Schaub suffered a deep chest bruise in the Texans convincing loss to Baltimore this past Sunday. But, Schaub went through his regular routine and workout on Monday and should be good to go this weekend.
Don't worry when you read that Schaub didn't practice on Wednesday, he's just getting a little extra rest.
The Texans have the Titans this weekend, who have done pretty well against the pass in 2011. They are the 12th best team in the league versus the air assault, but Schaub has proven himself to be more consistent this year. He's already thrown for over 1,500 yards in six games and has a 2:1 touchdown to interception ratio.
Sit: Jahvid Best
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The Lions and 49ers probably played last week's best game. It was brutal, and the usually "un-brutal" coaches handshake at the end of the game took a turn for the worse. So did Jahvid Best's health.
Though he didn't show signs of a concussion during the contest, Best began to show symptoms well afterwards. He is listed as "questionable" as of Wednesday morning.
It wouldn't have been a great matchup for Best anyway. The Falcons have been stingy against the run, allowing just 98 yards per game (8th best in the NFL).
Start: Daniel Thomas
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After another poor showing in week six, the Dolphins may have their first win of 2011 coming up on Sunday. They get Denver in Miami this week.
The matchup bodes well for their featured back, too. Daniel Thomas only scratched together 59 total yards against the defensive-minded Jets, but Denver is towards the bottom of the league in rushing defense and is equally as bad against the pass.
Thomas suffered a hamstring injury recently, but still carried the ball 15 times on Sunday. Look for a similar load against the Broncos, but coupled with a lot more yardage.
Sit: Zach Miller
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We are all waiting for Zach Miller to get healthy enough to be the tight end we know he can be. With the Raiders in 2010, Miller was their most reliable target and perhaps their best offensive player. This year, he has been hampered with a neck injury.
Listed as "questionable" for the week seven game against the Browns, Miller was scheduled to return to practice on Wednesday. This may mean he will be active and available against Cleveland, but he should still be on your bench this weekend.
The Browns are great against the pass (4th in the NFL) and the Seahawks should have a hard time moving the ball against their stubborn defense.
Start: Mike Wallace
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Mike Wallace is one of those guys who might have a goose egg for three quarters on your fantasy team, and then make two catches and give you enough points to edge out your opponent.
Last week was no exception. Wallace tallied 76 yards and a touchdown but only got his hands on the ball twice. He's also dealing with a hamstring tweak.
That's typically not a good sign for a deep threat like Wallace, but he is already been upgraded to "probable." The Steelers will limit Wallace in practice this week, but he will be good to go against a soft Cardinal secondary.
Sit: Antonio Gates
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Antonio Gates is probably still another week out from being able to play. His tightness in his foot still remains and he has a "questionable" tag this weekend.
It's too bad, too. The Chargers could really use him as a target against the difficult Jets.
Gates should have a great game against the Chiefs on Monday night next week. Their mediocre pass defense is the perfect setting for Gates to show his worth for both the Chargers and as our fantasy tight end.
Start: Demaryius Thomas
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I know this is a dangerous limb to go out on, but hear me out. Demaryius Thomas might be a solid wide out for the remainder of the season.
Only listed as "questionable" this week, the Broncos are going to need Thomas to go against a must-win game against the winless Dolphins. To make matters more dire for Denver, the Broncos traded their best receiver in Brandon Lloyd to St. Louis.
Thomas hasn't seen a lot of playing time since he's been drafted, but I think this is his time to shine. If his finger is functional, look for Thomas to find a friend in Tim Tebow for the rest of 2011.
Sit: Peyton Hillis
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Peyton Hillis is not who he was in 2010. I know, shocking. He's even less of who he was with a bum hamstring.
Hillis only carried the ball six times for 14 yards in the Browns' week six loss to the Raiders. Oakland's run defense is in the middle of the pack in the NFL, whereas Cleveland's week seven opponent (Seattle) is ranked seventh.
Hillis underwent an MRI on Monday and the Browns are yet to give us the skinny. What we do know is that he is listed as "questionable." Questionable, as in, "Why did I draft him so early?"
Start: Roddy White
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Frustrated Roddy White owners unite! If you took the Falcons talented wideout early in your draft, you're probably regretting it about now.
White hasn't been good as a number one receiver for anyone. He's only received for 373 yards in six games and crested the end zone twice. What happened to the consistent target fantasy owners have come to know and love over the past four seasons?
You can't sit Roddy based on his past game (two catches, 21 yards), or his recent knee injury. White has already been listed as "probable" early this week.
Roddy's going to go off simply because the Falcons have to win. They get the recently downed Lions this weekend, and if they want to compete in the super-tight NFC South, they need to show up against Detroit.
Sit: Cadillac Williams
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Even if Cadillac Williams was healthy, you'd have to consider sitting him. The Rams have the toughest run defense in the league this weekend: the Dallas Cowboys.
Before going down with a thigh injury against the Packers, Williams had racked up just 24 yards on the ground and 10 yards through the air in the one-sided defeat.
With a "questionable" status, Williams is only a last resort start this weekend. If he does get on the field, he'll probably have a hard time gaining much yardage against Dallas' defensive ends and linebackers.
Start: Bronco's Defense
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Sure, they're ranked 24th in total defense. Sure, they're towards the bottom in every defensive category. But, sometimes you gotta play the matchup. And Denver has an easy one this weekend.
The winless Dolphins are the team in question and despite the theme of this slideshow, the Broncos' defense is very healthy.
If you need a defense, Denver is the answer. Miami looked pitiful against the Jets on Monday and it should be a real ugly fight between these two cellar dwellers on Sunday.
Sit: Todd Heap
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Even though the Cards are coming off of a bye in week six, Todd Heap remains "questionable" according to the Arizona Republic.
Without an injury, Heap isn't a good option at tight end for week seven. Arizona has the top-ranked Steelers defense to worry about.
Heap hasn't played since week four against the Giants when he caught four balls for 41 yards. He started to look like the Todd Heap of old in Arizona's close loss to Seattle in week three. Against the Seahawks, Heap gained 61 yards on six catches--a season best.
Sit Heap against Pittsburgh. He knows all too well how brutal that defense can be from his decade tenure with the Ravens.