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Fantasy Buzz: Week 15

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Recent posts by Michael Blunda

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Posted Dec. 18, 2010 @ 3:43 p.m. ET
By Michael Blunda

The number of plot lines surrounding Monday night's game between the Bears and Vikings have made it quite an interesting contest. For one, the game will be played outdoors due to the damage to the Metrodome. With temps predicted to be in the teens and the field expected to be rock-hard, the offenses could be hindered. Also, Vikings QB Brett Favre (shoulder) has not been able to practice and was declared out on Saturday, and with Tarvaris Jackson (toe) on injured reserve, third-stringer Joe Webb will make his first career start. Since Webb has WR eligibility in Yahoo! leagues, he actually could have some value in that spot, but he shouldn't be used as a QB against the Bears' stellar defense. The rookie's presence not only decreases the value of the team's wideouts but also that of RB Adrian Peterson, who will face stacked fronts all night. It should be an intriguing affair.

Packers QB Aaron Rodgers could not have picked a worse time to get hurt. Last week, the first of the fantasy playoffs in most leagues, Rodgers was forced to leave the game with a concussion, leaving all those who started him high and dry. Rodgers has been ruled out for Sunday night's game against the Patriots, meaning Matt Flynn will make his first career start. Even against a porous secondary, Flynn is not someone owners can trust, given his inexperience. He also hurts the value of someone like WR Greg Jennings, who has a terrific rapport with Rodgers.

The status of a pair of AFC West QBs is up in the air heading into Sunday. Following his appendectomy last week, the Chiefs' Matt Cassel was limited in practice all week and is questionable to face the Rams. While he probably is not worth using at less than full strength, his return would do wonders for WR Dwayne Bowe, who struggled mightily last week with Brodie Croyle under center. In Denver, meanwhile, Kyle Orton was unable to throw this week due to soreness in his ribs, leaving him questionable for Sunday's contest with the Raiders. If he can't go, Tim Tebow would make his much-anticipated NFL debut as a starter. He's someone to monitor, as he could potentially have value in Week 16 vs. Houston.

Going into a monster game at Indy, the Jaguars' two most important offensive players are banged up. RB Maurice Jones-Drew is officially questionable with a knee injury, but the fact that he returned to practice Friday is promising. He's expected to play, and against the Colts' run defense, he's a must-start. Things are a bit dicier with QB David Garrard, who is bothered by a hamstring injury and is listed as questionable. There is some concern about his availability for Sunday, as the Jags signed another QB on Friday. It's still likely he starts, but he's not a great fantasy play against a solid pass defense.

The Donovan McNabb mess took another turn on Friday, as the Redskins announced that Rex Grossman will start this week's game at Dallas. Barring injury, it appears unlikely that McNabb will play again this season, meaning he's obviously safe to drop in fantasy leagues. Owners also have to consider sitting WR Santana Moss, as it's no guarantee he performs with Grossman under center. Washington's offense is likely to revolve around RB Ryan Torain, who is fully expected to play despite being listed as questionable with a hamstring injury. Other than him, it's anybody's guess who contributes for them this Sunday.

Other notable skill players listed on this week's injury report as questionable include Falcons RB Jason Snelling (hamstring), Eagles WR DeSean Jackson (foot), Saints RB Chris Ivory (hamstring), Colts RB Joseph Addai (neck), Patriots TE Aaron Hernandez (flu), Bengals WR Terrell Owens (knee), Colts RB Mike Hart (ankle), Colts WR Austin Collie (concussion), Colts TE Jacob Tamme (knee), Cowboys WR Roy Williams (groin), Cowboys RB Marion Barber (calf), Lions QB Shaun Hill (finger) and Steelers TE Heath Miller (concussion). Those listed as doubtful include Cardinals QB Derek Anderson (concussion) and Browns TE Evan Moore (hip). Declared out are Cowboys QB Tony Romo (shoulder), Lions QB Matthew Stafford (shoulder), Broncos WR Demaryius Thomas (ankle), Rams TE Michael Hoomanawanui (ankle), Ravens TE Todd Heap (hamstring) and Broncos PK Matt Prater (groin).

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