TORONTO - Two weeks, after seeing several players go down with a variety of ankle ailments, this past week it was concussion knocking players literally out of lineups. All jokes aside, there are some serious repercussions to both the players themselves and your fantasy team. Here’s the breakdown.
— It’s quite possible that Michael Vick has played his last game as a Philadelphia Eagle. After suffering what has been called a “pretty significant concussion,” we might have witnessed the beginning of the Nick Foles era in Philly. It’s not as if Vick was doing very well for nearly a calendar year. So, if Foles can produce, there would be little reason to rush Vick back. The Eagles are essentially out of playoff contention, so why risk a man’s livelihood when you can prepare for the future. I recommend grabbing Foles, who put up more than 200 yards in a half against Dallas and faces a soft Redskins defence.
— Alex Smith was knocked silly for the 49ers, but that didn’t stop him from throwing a TD with blurred vision. When he was finally taken out, Colin Kaepernick led the Niners to a tie against the Rams. Not too impressive but, surprisingly, Kaepernick could be a solid fantasy option if he gets a run of starts. His ability to run the ball is a lot more valuable than his average passing skill. In fact, despite sparse playing time, Kaepernick has the fifth most rushing yards among QBs this season.
— The situation in Chicago isn’t promising. With Jay Cutler out on Monday, Jason Campbell will get the start. Yes, that Jason Campbell. In relief against Houston, the former Redskins and Raiders starter was constantly checking down and struggling to move the ball. As for Cutler, it’s safe to cut bait at this point. He has the 25th most fantasy points among QBs and could even be out weeks.
— Finally, we get to Ben Roethlisberger, who suffered a scary rib injury to go along with a sprained shoulder. Steelers doctors reportedly told him that his cracked rib could have punctured his aorta. Seeing how he has had to sleep sitting up, it’s unlikely he’ll be able to play any time soon. Byron Leftwich will start in the meantime, but isn’t a good option for your fantasy team.
— These injuries will affect more than just the ailing pivots. There is the matter of those guys that the QBs throw to. In Chicago, Brandon Marshall was Cutler’s favourite target and the two had a solid rapport. With Cutler out, Marshall’s value takes a dive. But, the Eagles duo of DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin may actually get better with Foles. As for the Pittsburgh wideouts, check out Sit/Start.
— It’ll be another week of hoping Rashad Jennings can do something with all those touches in the Jaguars backfield. Maurice Jones-Drew has been on the bike, but hasn’t taken part in football drills yet. Jennings has been a poor option, mainly because the Jags have little in the way of a passing game.
— Aaron Rodgers should have one of his favourite weapons back on Sunday in Detroit. Jordy Nelson “looks like his normal self,” according to coach Mike McCarthy. Whether or not that is bad news for James Jones or Randall Cobb owners remains to be seen against the Lions this weekend.
PICK UP OF THE WEEK
Marcel Reece, RB, OAK
It looks like those in leagues where nobody believed in the converted full back were swayed by his 100+ total yards last week. With Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson likely out again this week, Reece was one of the hottest pickups in fantasy football. It also helps that Oakland are hosting New Orleans, who give up yards in bunches.
DROP OF THE WEEK
Isaac Redman, RB, PIT
It may seem odd to be dropping a running back on a team that just lost its starting QB for an indefinite period of time, but Redman deserves it. With Rashard Mendenhall coming back and the Steelers giving more carries to Jonathan Dwyer than Redman, there are not enough touches in the Pittsburgh backfield to warrant owning Redman.
WAIVER 'D' OF THE WEEK
St. Louis Rams
The Jets offence has been terrible of late and is facing the increasingly tough Rams defence on Sunday. Last week in Seattle, New York gained a pithy 185 yards, including just 124 passing. Unless Mark Sanchez gets injured and Tim Tebow delivers as he did the Broncos last season, it’s going to be a good game for the Rams defence.
SIT OR START
Nick Foles, QB, PHI at WAS
This might be an over-reaction, but the Skins giving up second most points to opposing QBs.
Carson Palmer, QB, OAK vs. NO
Putting up good numbers every week despite turnover troubles.
Andrew Luck, QB, IND at NE
The Pats ‘D’ seems to become more porous by the week.
Philip Rivers, QB, SD at DEN
The last time he faced the Broncos, he threw four picks and lost two fumbles.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis, RB, CIN at KC
Hasn’t performed well recently, but this is a good matchup.
Michael Crabtree, WR, SF vs. CHI
QB Smith possibly sitting and facing the Bears hurts.
Emmanuel Sanders, WR, PIT vs. BAL
With Leftwich starting, will likely lead the team in targets.
Shonn Greene, RB, NYJ at STL
There’s really no reason to start any Jets any more – until Tebow gets a start.
Mike Wallace, WR, PIT vs. BAL
He has only one TD in six career games against the Ravens.
Steven Jackson, RB, STL vs. NYJ
The Jets’ run defence is not the 49ers, whom he ran up a season-best 127 yards against last week.
Brandon Myers, TE, OAK vs. TE
Don’t worry about the concussion scare, he’ll be playing on Sunday.