Week 3: Game Time Decisions - Injury Update
In this article we profile players that are struggling to get into uniform for the coming week. Week 2 was a train wreck for many fantasy owners as the injuries started to pile up. Steven Jackson has been ruled out with a quad strain and is likely to miss 2-4 weeks. Jason Snelling and Jacquizz Rodgers are likely to split the workload this week against a stout Miami run defense. Packer rookie Eddie Lacy is also likely to sit out until Green Bay returns from their bye in week 5, giving James Starks fantasy relevance despite a difficult week 3 matchup in Cincinnati. At the wide receiver position, Danny Amendola has resumed limited practices, but is fully expected to miss the week 3 game with Tampa. Julian Edelman should remain in lineups as he is expected to avoid Revis in the slot. Kenbrell Thompkins is more likely to struggle on Revis Island this week.
Reggie Bush more than justified his four-year, $16 million contract with his monster week 1 performance. He torched the Vikings defense for 191 total yards and a touchdown despite suffering a dislocated thumb and strained groin. The 28-year-old USC alum was the Dolphins' every-down back the past two seasons and posted 443 carries for 2,072 yards (4.68 YPC) and 12 touchdowns. In week 2, Bush suffered a knee injury that forced him to miss most of the second half as he finished with just nine carries for 25 yards (did add three catches for 44 yards) in the loss to Arizona. An MRI showed no structural damage, but based on his injury history, Bush owners would be wise to open trade discussions for Joique Bell if they were unable to nab the handcuff on draft day. Bell is a must own in all leagues based on his pass catching ability (52 catches in 2012), usage in the red zone (two short week 1 touchdowns) and Bush's injury history (missed 20 games during his five seasons in New Orleans). This week Detroit has a dream matchup with a Washington defense allowing the third most fantasy points to opposing RBs. With Bush shaping up as a game time decision, Bell has a chance to post strong RB2 numbers based on the favorable matchup.
How the mighty have fallen. Coming off an injury riddled 2012 season, MJD lasted just one week before suffering yet another foot injury in the week 2 loss to Oakland. Perhaps it is time to turn his Sirius Radio show into a full time gig. Jones-Drew has a left ankle/foot strain and missed Thursday's practice. If MJD is held out, the Jaguars will go with a committee of Jordan Todman and Justin Forsett against the stout Seattle run defense. The Jags run game should not sniff fantasy lineups this week. Jones-Drew is in a contract year, but has struggled through two games (2.48 YPC).
Rashard Mendenhall is playing the 2013 season on a one-year, $2.5 million deal. The 26 year old is a full season removed from his ACL tear and has amassed 31 carries for 126 yards through two games. The oft injured RB suffered a toe injury and missed Thursday's practice, leaving his status in doubt for the week 3 matchup in New Orleans. If Mendy is unable to suit up, the Cards will likely turn to a committee approach -- including Alfonso Smith and rookies Andre Ellington and Stepfan Taylor -- against a mediocre Saints run defense (allowing 16th most fantasy points to opposing RBs). It is difficult to recommend any Cards backup RBs despite the favorable matchup, as none of them are likely to see double digit carries if Mendenhall sits out.
The 26 year old Rice suffered a hip flexor strain that forced him from the week 2 win over Cleveland. He's been a disappointment to date, totaling 25 carries for just 72 yards and one TD. The Ravens are not worried enough about Rice's injury to grade it with an MRI exam, but he missed Thursday's practice and is shaping up as a game time decision for the week 3 matchup with Houston. Bernard Pierce looks to have a solid chance of getting an uptick in workload this week. Through two NFL seasons, Pierce has averaged an impressive 4.49 YPC and should be viewed as a RB2, despite a difficult matchup with a Texan defense that has yet to allow a rushing TD.
Initial reports indicate Fitzgerald likely suffered a low-mid grade hamstring strain in week 2, but he missed Thursday's practice and is listed as questionable for this week's matchup in New Orleans. The 30 year old WR from the University of Pittsburgh is looking to bounce back after a forgettable 2012 season saw him finish with just 71 catches for 798 yards and four touchdowns. His chemistry with quarterback Carson Palmer was evident in week 1 as Fitz hauled in eight catches for 80 yards and two touchdowns. If Fitzgerald is forced to miss this week's game, Michael Floyd and Andre Roberts would be well worth considering for a game that has shootout potential. Also keep an eye on TE Rob Housler who is expected to make his season debut. The Saints defense has allowed the 12th fewest fantasy points to opposing WRs through two weeks (20.0 fantasy PPG).