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Fantasy Buzz: Week Four

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Recent posts by Michael Blunda

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Posted Oct. 02, 2010 @ 2:52 p.m. ET
By Michael Blunda

Updated Oct. 2, 2010 @ 8:21 p.m. ET

Two premier fantasy backs look like they'll be ready to go Sunday after leaving with injuries in Week Three, even though they're both listed as questionable. The Ravens' Ray Rice, who suffered a significant knee contusion, was able to practice in a limited fashion Thursday and Friday and appears likely to play Sunday at Pittsburgh. Although it's a very poor matchup against one of the league's better run defenses, Rice has had success vs. the Steelers in the past and would be difficult to bench. Meanwhile, Lions rookie Jahvid Best hurt his toe last Sunday and rested early in the week but returned to practice on Friday. Best is reportedly feeling better and, according to head coach Jim Schwartz, is on track to play against the Packers. It's still wise to check his status Sunday morning, but it appears safe to put him in lineups.

On the other hand, things aren't looking quite as positive for Rams RB Steven Jackson, who left last week's game early with a groin injury. Although the groin is not torn, Jackson admitted earlier in the week that he might need to sit out at least one game to give it time to heal. He did do some work in Friday's practice, but he's said to be far from 100 percent and is listed as questionable for Sunday's contest with the Seahawks. The stud back appears to be a full-blown game-time decision, so owners will have to confirm his status prior to kickoff. If he can't go, Kenneth Darby would likely handle the bulk of the carries, but he should be considered a fantasy option only in deep leagues.

The Colts' offense has been bombarded with injuries lately, and now they will be without at least two of their skill guys this week. Neither RB Donald Brown (hamstring) nor WR Pierre Garcon (hamstring) practiced all week, and neither made the trip to Jacksonville for Sunday's game. RB Joseph Addai (knee) is also considered questionable and sat out Friday, but he played through last week's contest with the same injury. He'll probably play, but the Colts' late-afternoon kickoff could make it difficult for owners to wait on him. Mike Hart is next in line after Addai on the Colts' Week Four depth chart. WR Austin Collie (heel) too is listed as questionable, but he doesn't appear to be in any danger of missing the game and belongs in all fantasy lineups in this juicy matchup. WR Anthony Gonzalez (ankle) remains out.

Pass catchers on both sides of the field are in danger of missing Sunday's game between the Texans and the Raiders. Houston WR Andre Johnson tweaked his ankle in Week Three and proceeded to miss the entire week of practice. Listed as questionable, Johnson's availability likely won't be known until shortly before the 4:05 p.m. ET kickoff, so owners will need to have a backup plan ready in case the stud wideout can't go. TE Owen Daniels (hamstring) also could be sidelined for the Texans after being held out of practice Thursday and Friday. Regardless of whether he's active, Daniels has not done enough to warrant a spot in lineups this week. For Oakland, WR Louis Murphy (collarbone) is listed as questionable after being limited in practice this week. With Murphy playing very well lately and having a tremendous matchup, he definitely deserves a start if he is active. WR Darrius Heyward-Bey (groin) is also banged up, while WR Chaz Schilens (knee) remains out.

Players are dropping like flies in the Saints' backfield. After Reggie Bush suffered a broken fibula in Week Two that will keep him out at least another few games, Pierre Thomas injured his ankle last Sunday and was able to do only a little bit in practice this week. He's listed as questionable, and while head coach Sean Payton said that he is progressing quickly, P.T. will be a game-time decision. With New Orleans kicking off early, owners should closely monitor this situation on Sunday. Ladell Betts and Chris Ivory would likely split carries if Thomas is out, but starting either one would be a gamble.

Other notable skill players listed on this week's injury report as questionable include Bengals WR Jordan Shipley (shoulder), Falcons WR Michael Jenkins (shoulder), Browns QB Jake Delhomme (ankle), Browns WR Brian Robiskie (hamstring) and Redskins RB Clinton Portis (wrist). Those listed as doubtful include Rams WR Laurent Robinson (foot) and Lions WR Nate Burleson (ankle). Declared out are Broncos RB Knowshon Moreno (hamstring), Lions QB Matthew Stafford (shoulder), Cardinals WR Steve Breaston (knee) and Cardinals WR Early Doucet (groin).

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