Patrick Daugherty

Football Daily Dose

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Vick's Quick Fix

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Good news has been in short supply early on this season.

Arian Foster was hurt before the season even began, while Jamaal Charles and Kenny Britt were lost just weeks into it.

Throw in nagging injuries to many of fantasy’s biggest names — Michael Vick, Antonio Gates, Dez Bryant, Steven Jackson and Santonio Holmes among them — and you have a year where many roto squads could find themselves essentially knocked out at the quarter pole.

But tides must turn eventually, and for many on Wednesday, that’s exactly what they did.

Michael Vick
There’s no better place to start than perhaps the game’s best player, who said Wednesday there was a “100 percent chance” he’d play against the 49ers this Sunday after turning in a full practice.  

The proclamation was the culmination of a steady stream of good news for fantasy’s top quarterback, who went from possibly missing over a month of action to perhaps just a day of practice to no time at all.

Injuries to quarterbacks’ hands — throwing or not — are never welcome news, but with Vick, things appear to have been as minor as possible.

And after looking wobbly against the Giants last Sunday, he should also be 100 percent recovered from his “other” injury, his Week 2 concussion. Throw in the fact that Vick will be facing the 49ers, and you have all the ingredients for a bounce-back week after two rough performances against two tough defenses.

Arian Foster
Like Vick, Foster returned to full practice Wednesday. Unlike Vick, it was his first full practice of the 2011 season.

Declaring there were "no issues anymore" with the hamstring that has plagued him since midway through the preseason, Foster appears poised for his first full workload of the season after being taken No. 1 overall in a majority of drafts.

That’s bad news for Ben Tate owners, but good news for everyone who couldn’t afford another limited effort or no show from their first-round pick.

Steven Jackson
One of the young year’s biggest disappointments, Jackson appears to have finally turned the corner Wednesday, getting in his most practice reps since before he injured his quad in the first quarter of the Rams’ first game.  

One week after receiving only four carries in St. Louis’ blowout loss to the Ravens, Jackson can tentatively be expected to receive a workload much more befitting of a RB2 against the Redskins on Sunday.

Jacoby Ford
After missing Weeks 2 and 3 with a hamstring injury, Ford was finally back at Raiders practice Wednesday, turning in a limited session.

A lot happened during his absence, but most notable was the emergence of fifth-round pick Denarius Moore.

It has many thinking Ford’s star has dimmed, that he missed his chance by going down so early in the season. That would be to ignore one thing, however: Ford is pretty darn good in his own right.

In a receiver corps that features perennially banged up Chaz Schilens and perennially disappointing Darrius Heyward-Bey, there is more than enough room for both Ford and Moore to shine.  

Neither are likely to get you, say, WR2 numbers on a weekly basis, but both have the kind of explosive talent that can save a fantasy Sunday with just one big play.

The spotlight is on Moore, and may remain there going forward, but that doesn’t mean it won’t also find time to shine on his equally talented teammate.

Marques Colston
The good news was a little more oblique with Colston — HC Sean Payton may or may not have told a group of Jaguars reporters on a conference call he would return this week — but what is clear is that Colston is finally making progress after breaking his collarbone in Week 1.

If you’re in one of the 16 percent of Yahoo leagues where New Orleans’ No. 1 wide receiver is currently unowned, the time to take a flier is now.

Frank Gore
One thing players generally don’t do if they aren’t going to play on Sunday? Practice on Wednesday.

So it was encouraging that Gore was able to turn in a limited session Wednesday.

Although it’s entirely possible he won’t be able to get his ankle where it needs to be in time to suit up for Sunday’s tilt with the Eagles, things are trending in the right direction.

That’s excellent news considering San Francisco will be taking on a 30th ranked run defense currently allowing an average of 131.3 yards on the ground.

Even at less than 100 percent, Gore will be one of the strongest plays of the week if he avoids the inactives list.  

Danny Amendola
Although beat writer Jim Thomas believes otherwise, Amendola guaranteed on Wednesday that he’d return to face the Redskins this week.

In most cases, with the Rams bye only one week around the corner, it would seem unnecessary for Amendola to rush back just three weeks after suffering a fairly gruesome injury. This isn’t most cases, however.

At 0-3 — an ugly 0-3 — with no let up in the schedule in sight, the Rams need a win in a bad way, and also need a boost to a receiver corps that has been marred by drops and general inconsistency without its linchpin wideout.

The prudent thing would be to wait one more game — two weeks — with Amendola, but this is not a time for prudence in St. Louis. The odds seem in favor of Amendola returning this week, and if he does, the odds will be even more in favor of him leading the Rams’ woeful collection of pass catchers in targets. He should not be unowned in any format.

Dez Bryant
The Cowboys’ breakout candidate was limited on Wednesday, an upgrade on a week ago where he sat out until Saturday. Setback free after Monday’s win over the Redskins, he’ll be active against the Lions this weekend.

Santonio Holmes
Holmes has resumed practicing fully, and should be in for a steady diet of targets in Week 4, one week after complaining about his role in the offense.

The theme today is good news, but that doesn’t mean the bad news isn’t still out there. We’ll start with Jeremy Maclin (hamstring), who did not practice Wednesday, and appears extremely unlikely to suit up this Sunday. … Joining him on the sideline were Andre Johnson (knee) and Roddy White (thigh), though both are expected to return to practice Thursday and be active in Week 4. … Fellow WR1 Mike Wallace was limited by a ribs injury Wednesday, but will play on Sunday. … Beanie Wells was limited in Cardinals practice Wednesday, prompting HC Ken Whisenhunt to say “Hopefully he’ll be OK for the game.” Hardly an inspiring comment for those looking for clues about their RB2’s Week 4 status. … Finally, there’s Antonio Gates, who in addition to basically declaring himself out for Sunday expressed disbelief his foot injury remained an issue. He could be headed for a lost season.  

Patrick Daugherty is a football and baseball writer for He can be found on Twitter .
Email :Patrick Daugherty

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