Who's in and who's out of the early games in Week 4
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Who's in and who's out of the early games in Week 4

It's only Week 4, and we've got a long list of big-name fantasy players on the injury report. Check back here all morning long for all of the latest news on Steven Jackson @sj39, Rob Gronkowski @RobGronkowski, Mikel Leshoure @MikelLeShoure25, Dwayne Bowe @DwayneBowe82, Fred Jackson @Fred22Jackson, C.J. Spiller @CJSPILLER and many more. For the status of all other players, click on the link below to the league's official injury report.

Players who have already been ruled out for Week 5 include Kenny Britt, Hakeem Nicks, Julian Edelman, Aaron Hernandez, Darrius Heyward-Bey and Nate Kaeding.

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-- Steven Jackson is active for the Rams today. He hardly practiced at all this week after not practicing last week. I don't like him in this matchup, and I think he's a risky flex play. He gained less than 30 yards on 11 carries last week in Chicago, and I don't know how much better his groin muscle is today.
-- Chiefs WR Dwayne Bowe is active. He was listed as questionable with a groin injury, but this is much different than Steven Jackson's situation. Bowe was able to practice in limited fashion Thursday and Friday. He is a strong WR2 versus the Chargers.
-- Mikel Leshoure is active and starting for the Lions today. He won't get as much work as last week, but I expect 20 touches. He's a decent RB2 versus the Vikings' tough run defense. I suspect we'll see more Kevin Smith and/or Joique Bell today.
-- Fred Jackson AND C.J. Spiller are both active today. Oh, boy. This is going to be a difficult situation for fantasy owners, but here's what we know: Jackson is going to get the start and he's clearly closer to full health. I think Spiller should be benched unless you have absolutely no other options. I expect Jackson to get the majority of the touches, but not knowing how much work Spiller will get, I consider Jackson a high-risk RB2.
Update: According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the Bills plan to split the work between Jackson and Spiller "evenly." So reject what I just said about Jackson getting the majority of the carries. If both can get 15 touches, they are both low-end RB2 options. And it's only a low-end RB2 because both are not 100 percent. I have a feeling that this backfield is going to disappoint fantasy owners one way or another. Jackson is the better start, in my opinion.
-- Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder is active. He's playing so well of late that he might be a low-end QB1 this week vs. Detroit. He's still best deployed as a QB2.
-- Stephen Hill is out for the Jets due to his hamstring injury. Santonio Holmes is the only viable Jets receiver, but I'm not very high on him either considering that he's going up against a pissed off 49ers defense.
-- Vikings TE Kyle Rudolph is active today. Detroit has allowed the second-most fantasy points to TEs this year, so get him in your lineup.
-- Brandon Jacobs is inactive for the 49ers once again. That means more goal-line carries for Frank Gore.
-- Tight end Dustin Keller is inactive because of his hamstring injury. Yeah, you're benching your Jets today.
-- Here's a tight end you're not benching: Rob Gronkowski is active for the Patriots. He landed on the injury report Friday with a hip injury and was listed as questionable, but his playing status was never really in doubt. Get him in your lineup as always.
-- Dexter McCluster and Steve Breaston are active for the Chiefs. McCluster is a desperation play as a flex at best. Breaston shouldn't really be owned anywhere.
-- Patriots running back Shane Vereen is active for the first time this year. He's not a fantasy option, but he might be worth picking up in deep leagues because the Pats love to interchange their backs. I still think Stevan Ridley is an RB2 versus the Bills.
-- Peyton Hillis is inactive for the Chiefs. Jamaal Charles won't get 33 carries again, but he's an easy must-start.
-- Titans Jared Cook is active despite a shoulder injury that had him listed as questionable. He's been pretty good this year, and he should see more targets today with Britt inactive. But I hate the matchup against the Texans.
-- Matthew Stafford is active for the Lions. His hip injury is no big worry. He's a fine start.
-- Doug Baldwin is active for the Seahawks. A sleeper WR for me in the offseason, he's roster fodder right now.
-- Jonathan Stewart is active for the Panthers. Atlanta's run defense is not great, but you know the deal here. That Panthers running game is so hard to depend on. Stewart is a flex option, nothing more.
-- WR Titus Young and TE Tony Scheffler are active for the Lions. Scheffler is not a fantasy option. Young is a boom-or-bust WR3. He should be on most benches.
-- Texans WR Andre Johnson is active. He was probable on the injury report because of a groin injury -- so many groin injuries this week! You know you have to start him.
-- Texans QB Matt Schaub is also active despite losing part of his ear in the win over the Broncos last week. He's a low-end QB1.
-- Calvin Johnson was listed as probable. Yeah, he's active. Other studs who were probable on the injury report but should be in your lineups: Arian Foster, Julio Jones and Vernon Davis.
--

Fantasy Analysis:

Britt has told media members today that he will not play against the Texans. For what I think about this situation and how it impacts the rest of the Titans' receiving corps from a fantasy perspective, go check out the news post I wrote about Britt earlier today.
With Nicks out, Domenik Hixon and Ramses Barden will have to pick up the slack. Hixon is ahead of Barden on the formal depth chart, but Barden is the player you want. I think Barden a decent WR3 if you are in a bind today. He obviously looked great when called upon in Carolina.
Sooner or later, the Patriots are going to have no one other OTHER than Wes Welker to throw to. He'll have a big game today in Buffalo. Hernandez has a chance of returning next week. Not much has been said about Edelman's hand injury, leading to speculation that it might be broken.
I have no idea when Heyward-Bey will play again after getting knocked unconscious last week. With Rod Streater and tight end Brandon Myers also banged up, I think Denarius Moore is a strong WR3 today versus Denver.
Kaeding didn't make the trip to Kansas City because of a groin injury. Pick up another kicker. It's a crapshoot.

Source:
NFL.com

15 Comments | Add Yours

Spiller / Jackson / Choice update please

Posted by:
se7ens_travel 09/30/12 11:35 AM

Looks like CJ and Jackson are both active

Posted by:
se7ens_travel 09/30/12 11:37 AM

"I think Spiller should be benched unless you have absolutely no other options." So what counts as an "other option"? What if my best "other option" is Jacquizz Rodgers? :-P

Posted by:
lsrubin 09/30/12 11:48 AM

I have spiller, Andre brown, Jonathan stewart or Michael turner to start in my RB 2 slot in a PPR league. I'm leaning on starting turner, what do you think?

Posted by:
keithfuchs 09/30/12 12:19 PM

HELP HELP ......mcfadden, forte,spiller,lamar miller, t.choice ,shone greens are my backs, who the heck do i start besides mcfadden

Posted by:
tradenet81 09/30/12 12:21 PM

and pierre thomas

Posted by:
tradenet81 09/30/12 12:22 PM

i say turner to help out keith

Posted by:
tradenet81 09/30/12 12:28 PM

PPR League could use help with lineup:
2 RB, 2 WR, 1 TE, 1 FLEX (W/R:
RB's: A Peterson, D Sproles, M LeShoure, C Benson, M Forte
WR's: J Nelson, S Johnson, E Decker, L Moore
TE: J Finley, T Gonzalez
Too many good choices

Posted by:
killerangels 09/30/12 12:30 PM

forte, jackson, reggie bush, or daniel thomas??

Posted by:
ddicesare16 09/30/12 12:33 PM

For trade net I'd say either Greene or spiller since not sure if forte will play.

Posted by:
keithfuchs 09/30/12 12:36 PM

spiller, michael bush, or ahmad bradshaw. PPR. need to pick one. thoughts? ugh, fml.

Posted by:
caveman lawyer 09/30/12 12:37 PM

Update on Mikel Leshoure, please

Posted by:
Mikeyrph 09/30/12 12:42 PM

im kinda maybe thinking that too, just greene plays 49ers, and im not sure whats up with reggie bush, is he
gonna start today? he wasnt playing i was gonna roll dice on l. miller, but yeah your right on forte, he needs to get back on the field he's hurting my team

Posted by:
tradenet81 09/30/12 12:42 PM

2 of 5
spiller, barden, chris johnson, alfred morris, ryan williams

Posted by:
rcris2 09/30/12 12:54 PM

Well now they said spiller might just be a decoy! Geez....

Posted by:
keithfuchs 09/30/12 12:56 PM

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Brian Murphy -
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Los Angeles, CA
FFToolbox Fantasy Football Writer since 2002
Follow me on Twitter: @Spokes_Murphy.

I have played fantasy sports since 2001, specializing in fantasy football and baseball. I wrote for FFToolbox from 2002-2005 and re-joined in 2009.

I am a journalism/mass communication grad student at Cal State University, Northridge. I am aiming to be a sports reporter for a website, newspaper, magazine, anything. I am a graduate from the University of Central Florida. I make my home in Long Beach, Calif.

While I grew up in California, my favorite football team has always been the New York Giants.
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