Frustrating FelixTuesday, September 27, 2011
Everything was going way too smoothly for Felix Jones against the Redskins Monday night. He was finally showing that elite burst we saw in the preseason, faking defenders out of their shoes and breaking long runs. He piled up 115 yards on 14 carries and added 40 more yards on three catches against a strong defensive front. The game couldn’t end soon enough. Then, just when we were ready to get excited about his breakout potential for the rest of the year, Jones’ old nemesis popped up again. Yes, injuries.
Deep in the fourth quarter, Jones aggravated his shoulder injury. When the Cowboys were setting up Dan Bailey for a game-winning field goal, the running back was Tashard Choice. As of midnight on Monday, we had no update on the extent of the aggravation. All owners can do is hope, because we saw a glimpse tonight of how special Jones can be.
REDSKINS at COWBOYS RANDOM THOUGHTS
The Cowboys’ receivers were a joke. They couldn’t line up right and were running the wrong routes. The coaching staff has to take some of the blame there. … The same can be said for the center exchange. Phil Costa snapped the ball before Tony Romo was ready a remarkable four times. … Martellus Bennett may have talent, but he’s missing everything else. He should have scored on a fade in the fourth quarter and just doesn’t seem to want it. … Roy Helu was mixed in for a couple full series, but Tim Hightower remains the man here. … Chris Cooley was used as an H-back, even getting two fullback dives. … Fred Davis played virtually every snap, but was not a primary target for the first time all season. Fluky. … Dez Bryant missed a couple plays, but otherwise his quad looked OK. He was visibly upset about not getting more targets. I’d buy low on special talent here.
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NEWS OF THE DAY #1
An early-morning report out of Philadelphia said that Michael Vick would be out 3-4 weeks due to a broken right hand. Oops. It turns out that Vick just has a bad contusion, or deep bone bruise in his non-throwing hand.
Vick’s status for Sunday’s game against the 49ers will depend on the swelling and pain in his hand. He needs to be able to take snaps, give handoffs and protect the ball without an issue. Right now, Eagles beat writers are not expecting Vick to play. And that leads us to another question -- who would start if Vick sits? The guess here is Vince Young. His hamstring is 100 percent and was signed to be the clear backup. Mike Kafka is a nice story, but regressed back to his abilities in the loss to the Giants.
NEWS OF THE DAY #2
Fantasy owners worst fears were confirmed Monday as the Titans announced Kenny Britt is out for the season due to a torn MCL and ACL. Outside of an Achilles’ tear, it’s perhaps the worst injury a receiver can have.
The Titans will move forward with Nate Washington as their primary receiver and Damian Williams/Lavelle Hawkins supporting him. The real winner here could eventually be Jared Cook, as he may be their most talented pass-catcher now. Veteran Justin Gage, who knows the system, is expected to be signed off the street. Britt’s injury certainly won’t help Chris Johnson get going as teams won’t be forced to respect the passing game as much.
INJURY QUICK SLANTS
Antonio Gates (foot) will see a specialist this week. Not sounding good. … Arian Foster is expected to be a full go in Week 4. Ben Tate will resume his backup role. … Darren McFadden (groin) may miss some practice time, but he should be fine. … Frank Gore (ankle) is expected to be good to go. … Ryan Grant has a bruised kidney. … Beanie Wells (hamstring) said he will “definitely” play in Week 4. … Danny Amendola (elbow) is a poor bet to be ready this week. … Mario Manningham (concussion) is expected to be cleared at some point this week. That will send Victor Cruz back to the pine. … Jacoby Ford (hamstring) is targeting this week for his return. … Peyton Hillis (strep throat) attended team meetings Monday. … Jeremy Maclin’s hamstring injury is not as bad as originally feared. It doesn’t sound like a multi-week injury. … Lee Evans’ (ankle) status is unclear. Torrey Smith hopefuls need to watch this one closely.
DEPTH CHART QUICK SLANTS
Steven Jackson (quad) came out of Week 3 healthy and is looking at a much larger load this week. … Kyle Orton got a vote of confidence from John Fox. … Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams will continue to split carries. Unfortunate for both. … Peyton Manning isn’t going on IR just yet, but owner Jim Irsay essentially confirmed they are targeting 2012 for his return. Meanwhile, Kerry Collins may be benched in favor of Curtis Painter. … Steve Smith’s poor Week 3 showing is being blamed on the monsoon conditions. … Stevan Ridley is gaining on BenJarvus Green-Ellis. … Deion Branch had zero catches Sunday, but played 69-of-75 snaps. … Alfonso Smith passed Chester Taylor for the Cardinals’ backup gig in Week 3.
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DEFENSIVE SPOT STARTS
Adding a different defense/special teams each week based on matchups is a fine strategy. Here are units that might be on waivers to consider this week for streaming purposes:
1. SAINTS at Jaguars - Blaine Gabbert’s first career start came in horrific weather. Still, we saw enough to be fairly certain that he is not a difference-maker. The Saints defense figures to come out angry after the Texans hung 33 on them Sunday.
2. FALCONS at Seahawks - The Cardinals have perhaps the worst defense in the NFL. And the Seahawks still managed just 13 points against them in Week 3. We also like to play quality teams off a loss, like the Falcons are in this spot.
3. BUCS vs. Colts - Kerry Collins has been so bad that the Colts are actually thinking about turning to Curtis Painter. That’s a turnover waiting to happen.