Week 2: Last-Minute Med Check
If you don't think injuries affect winning after what we saw in Week 1, you've either got a serious case of denial or a tenuous grasp on reality. At least we have one less game to worry about this week, a big positive for owners of Willis McGahee, who gets an extra week to rest. Around the rest of the league, they'll have a lot of tape, braces, needles and guts to get ready for Week 2.
The injury landscape is littered with casualties, so it's a minefield for the fantasy owner. I'll try to guide you through, so let's get to it ... (A reminder -- the ratings of red, yellow, and green are just indications of how serious the injury will affect his fantasy play this week, not an indication of how serious the injury actually is. CWM is "check with me," the QB's signal for an audible. I'll use that to let you know in updates whether or not they'll play.)
Chicago @ Carolina
Matt Forte (GREEN): The Bears rookie will face a tougher D and do it on an ankle that will require heavy taping. Expect a lighter workload, but still a starter.
Devin Hester (GREEN): Hester's speed will be affected by a sore foot, so expect his offensive role to be reduced.
Bears O-Line (YELLOW): John Tait did a nice job against Dwight Freeney, but came out banged up. Now, he gets to face Julius Peppers. Yikes.
Dante Rosario (YELLOW): Last week's waiver-wire darling ended last week with big stats and a foot injury. He's a gametime decision, but sources think he'll play, but be limited.
Tennessee @ Cincinnati
Vince Young (RED): Out with an MCL that will affect his mobility once he returns, Young's position is more tenuous that many expect. He's a fantasy backup at best now.
Titans DST (YELLOW): The physical Titans put a lot of damage on other teams, but take some themselves. If Albert Haynesworth can't play after a concussion last week, the run defense will be down a bit.
T.J. Houshmandzadeh (GREEN): He's off the OIR, but faces a tough matchup against a physical defensive backfield.
Titans DST: Albert Haynesworth will play for the Titans after being cleared by doctors. He's exhibiting no symptoms after a concussion last Sunday. He'll get a few less downs than normal, but is still a force for the physical Titans.
Green Bay @ Detroit
Ryan Grant (YELLOW): Grant will play despite a sore hamstring, though he will lose some carries to Brandon Jackson ...
Brandon Jackson (YELLOW:) ... except he's coming off a concussion. He made it back to practice on Friday, which is a good sign.
Packers DST (GREEN): There's a lot of small injuries, but they're minor and shouldn't be tested by the Lions.
Lions DST: NO SIGNIFICANT INJURIES
Buffalo @ Jacksonville
Bills DST: NO SIGNIFICANT INJURIES
Jags O-Line (RED): With three starters out, the Jags' O-line is broken up the middle. This will affect David Garrard and Fred Taylor more, but should upgrade Maurice Jones-Drew and Marcedes Lewis.
Jerry Porter (Red): Porter is warming up as if he's going to play, but the hamstring and his lack of practice time is going to limit him. Look for him to be used sparingly. He could catch one long touchdown and make us all kick ourselves, but that's not something you can count on..
Troy Williamson (RED): Williamson is out after a quad strain kept him out. With Matt Jones and Dennis Northcutt banged up as well, who gets the targets isn't clear.
Oakland @ Kansas City
Darren McFadden (YELLOW): His shoulder injury was just a stinger, but expect him to be used differently -- less carries, more space.
Javon Walker (YELLOW): He'll play, maybe start, but he won't get the normal targets splitting time with Ashley Lelie. Wait a week.
Brodie Croyle (RED): He's out for a month due to a tough shoulder injury, and Damon Huard doesn't have a great hold on the job, either. Tyler Thigpen could be the very near future.
Larry Johnson (GREEN): Johnson's carries will be reduced if he doesn't show something against the Raiders D early. Some are wondering if the foot is healed completely. My sources say that Johnson is just tentative and could explode with confidence.
Indianapolis @ Minnesota
Colts O-Line (YELLOW): Jeff Saturday will be a gametime decision and Ryan Lilja is still out. The weak middle, even with Saturday, costs the whole offense.
Dallas Clark (RED): Clark remains a gametime decision with his knee, but indications are that he'll play sparingly, if at all. His targets will go to Anthony Gonzalez and Joseph Addai.
Colts DST (GREEN): There's enough depth to get past Ed Johnson's suspension, but this is a defense based on replaceability and Bob Sanders anyway.
Vikings DST: NO SIGNIFICANT INJURIES