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Recent posts by Michael Blunda
Updated Dec. 26, 2010 @ 12:16 p.m. ET
After Jaguars RB Maurice Jones-Drew laid an egg in a favorable matchup with the Colts last week, he will not be able to go at all in most fantasy leagues' championship week. The star rusher did not practice all week due to a knee injury and on Sunday was declared out for the game with the Redskins. Barring a last-second miracle, Rashad Jennings will get the call in a favorable matchup and is a fine fantasy start given how well he has played lately. WR Mike Sims-Walker, meanwhile, returned to practice Friday but will not start Sunday's contest because of a bad ankle. Since he won't play a full complement of snaps, he's a risky fantasy play even against a poor opponent.
Many owners were dealt a severe blow on Monday night when Vikings RB Adrian Peterson (knee/thigh) didn't play, but things are looking better for this week. A.P. was able to practice late in the week, and head coach Leslie Frazier is confident that his offensive centerpiece will be on the field Sunday night against the Eagles. He is officially questionable, and given his lackluster production lately and Minnesota's quarterback mess, he's not an automatic start if you have comparable options. Speaking of the QB situation, all signs point to rookie Joe Webb getting his first career start after Brett Favre (concussion, doubtful) missed the entire week of practice. Webb has WR eligibility in Yahoo! leagues and could be worth using in larger formats because of his rushing ability.
This week's Houston-Denver game has key figures on both offenses banged up. For the Texans, WR Andre Johnson sat out every practice after doing further damage to his already injured ankle and is listed as questionable. Reports indicate that there is a decent chance he will miss the game, and his status won't be known until just before kickoff. Owners need to have a backup plan ready in case Johnson can't tough it out. On the other sideline, RB Knowshon Moreno missed most of Week 15 after taking a shot to the ribs and was limited in practice this week. Interim coach Eric Studesville says there is a good chance he will play, but he's questionable. Again, owners banking on him should be sure to have an alternate ready. QB Tim Tebow will once again start for the Broncos in place of Kyle Orton (ribs, questionable).
Pass catchers on both sides on the Chargers-Bengals game are hurting entering this matchup. San Diego will once again be without TE Antonio Gates, whose multiple foot injuries likely won't allow him to play again in the regular season. WRs Malcom Floyd (hamstring) and Patrick Crayton (wrist) are both listed as doubtful, so they're unlikely to suit up, either. That means plenty of targets for Vincent Jackson, who broke out with three TDs last week. For Cincy, Terrell Owens is out for the season with a torn meniscus, and Chad Ochocinco is "iffy" to play Sunday because of an ankle injury. Listed as questionable, he has said that he probably will be available for only half the snaps if he is able to go, so owners would be wise to look elsewhere this week.
He hasn't played since exploding for 17-128-1 in Week Six, but Colts RB Joseph Addai could be back on the field this week in a must-win game for Indy. Dealing with a neck injury, Addai was able to practice all week and is expected to play despite being listed as questionable. Owners who have hung on to him this long might be tempted to trot him out in an enticing matchup with the Raiders, but Addai almost certainly will be sharing carries with Donald Brown and possibly others, so don't expect a triumphant return for the vet. RB Mike Hart (ankle, questionable) could also play after missing extended time, but he's not a sure thing. He was limited in practice and likely will be a game-time decision.
Other notable skill players listed on this week's injury report as questionable include Patriots TE Aaron Hernandez (hip), Cowboys WR Roy Williams (groin), Lions QB Shaun Hill (finger), Lions QB Drew Stanton (shoulder), Bengals RB Bernard Scott (toe), 49ers RB Anthony Dixon (ankle), Ravens TE Todd Heap (hamstring) and Broncos WR Demaryius Thomas (ankle). Those listed as doubtful include Cardinals RB LaRod Stephens-Howling (hamstring). Lions QB Matthew Stafford (shoulder) was placed on injured reserve, coach Jim Schwartz confirmed Friday.