Chet Gresham

Last Minute Decisions

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Week 1 Injury Questions

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Editor's Note: Rotoworld's partner FanDuel is hosting a one-week $25,000 Fantasy Football Contest for Week 1. It's $25 to join and first prize is $5,000. Here's the link.

Welcome to the official start of week 1 of the fantasy football season. Yes, we saw plenty of fantasy points on Thursday night and I’m underselling it with the word plenty, but it’s not true fantasy football until you, multiple televisions, computers, laptops, Scott Hanson and Twitter are all mixed together in a fake football goulash of monumental gooiness. So let's get gooey!

There are some injuries of import below, but unless someone misses the bus to the stadium or slips on a wet towel in the locker room the major studs’ statuses are fairly defined.

As we get set for Week 1, we'll be here for you. The Rotoworld News Page will be on top of everything all Sunday long to bring you the latest. We've got rankings from Mr. Pat Daugherty here and Evan Silva's detailed look at every game in his Matchup Column here. Inside the Season Pass, you'll find flex rankings and exact projections for every player.




* Danny Amendola (groin) is listed as probable, but was a full go in practice Friday. He should be fine to start in all leagues.

* Rob Gronkowski (back) has been practicing but is listed as doubtful. It feels like a good sign for his progress.

* E.J. Manuel (knee) is listed as probable and will start.

* Safety Jarius Byrd (foot) is doubtful and cornerback Stephen Gilmore (wrist) is out. God speed to the Bills secondary.

* Heath Miller (knee) is listed as doubtful.

* Roddy White (ankle) is listed as questionable, but says he will go and has never missed a game in his previous eight seasons. Start him in what should be a shootout.  

* Cornerback Asante Samuel (thigh) is listed as questionable.


* Darrelle Revis (knee) received the probable designation and will start.

* Mark Sanchez (shoulder) is out and rookie Geno Smith will get the start.

* Santonio Holmes (foot) is questionable and is not a safe play this week.

* Blaine Gabbert (thumb) is questionable, but took most of the reps in Friday’s practice. He should start, but not on your fantasy team.

* Marcedes Lewis (calf) has been ruled out. Allen Reisner will take his place.

* Justin Forsett (toe) is questionable and doesn’t look to be able to go all out. Jordan Todman will most likely be Maurice-Jones Drew’s backup for Sunday.
* Travis Kelce (knee) is listed as questionable. Anthony Fasano will see the bulk of the snaps at tight end.


* Cornerback Brandon Browner (hamstring) is a “game day decision.” If he can’t go or is not 100%, upgrade Steve Smith.

* Sidney Rice (knee) is listed as probable and will play, but is still a bit of a question mark having not played in the preseason.


* Left tackle Andrew Whitworth (knee) is listed as doubtful. That is concerning for Andy Dalton.


* Rookie cornerbacks Will Davis (toe) and Jamar Taylor (groin) are ruled out.

* First round pick Barkevious Mingo is still recovering from his bruised lung and has been ruled out.


* Defensive tackle Kevin Williams (knee) has been ruled out and will be replaced by rookie Sharrif Floyd.



* Matt Flynn (elbow) is probable, but Terrelle Pryor is still the starter.

* Tight end David Ausberry (shoulder) is out and the Raiders will employ a TEBC.

* Tackle Menelik Watson (knee) has been ruled out which leaves the Raiders with very few options on the offensive line.

* Colts linebacker Pat Angerer is out with a concussion.



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* LaMichael James (knee) is listed as questionable, but could be a game day scratch even if healthy. Kendall Hunter is the clear backup to Frank Gore.  

* Rashard Mendenhall (knee) returned to a full practice on Friday and is listed as probable. He will get the start.

* Tight end Rob Housler (ankle) has been ruled out and has no clear backup.





* Victor Cruz (heel) is listed as probable after practicing in full all week. He’s a must-start.

* Jason Pierre-Paul (back) will be a game time decision.

* Defensive end Anthony Spencer is listed as doubtful while Jay Ratliff is on the PUP. David Wilson has a nice matchup.




* Robert Griffin III (knee) is a full go for Monday Night according to coach Shanahan who says that he has proven in practice he can run the whole playbook.
* Pierre Garcon (foot) says his foot/toe is 100 percent.



* Arian Foster (calf) practiced all week and coach Kubiak was impressed with his conditioning. Ben Tate is still in line for more carries than usual, but this is a fluid situation based on the score.

* DeAndre Hopkins passed his concussion protocol and has been cleared to play, but coach Kubiak describes him as “in a catch-up period right now” after missing two weeks due to his brain injury.

*Malcom Floyd (knee) and Eddie Royal (chest/concussion) have practiced in full this week and should be ready to go without restrictions.



Cam Newton vs. Robert Griffin III


Both dropped in my draft so far that I couldn’t not take them, but of course that leaves me with a dilemma. RGIII has yet to play in real action this season, but gets a great matchup with the Eagles, while Cam Newton hasn’t looked great in preseason and has an extremely tough matchup with the Seahawks, but has played and I drafted him before RGIII.


I decided to take the path of least resistance with Robert Griffin III because I do believe that you can sit your studs. That seems like a good rule of thumb, but thumbs are made to be broken, uh, I mean rules are, sorry Blaine. If your stud is facing a team that can stop studs and your backup is facing a team that can’t even stop duds, well, make the switch.



My first thought in a Survivor League is to not play any teams on the road and to save my stud teams until later in the season. Pretty basic stuff of course, but it seems to hold as a sound strategy. This week I looked at the Rams, Steelers and Colts as three teams I liked to win at home.


The Rams face the Cardinals and their new look offense with Bruce Arians and Carson Palmer leading the way, but they go on the road with a weak offensive line facing a tough pass rush. If this were later in the season I might feel good about this one, but there are too many unknowns so I checked this one off my list first.


Next are the Steelers. Their defense looks to be healthy and they face an erratic Jake Locker. That is a plus matchup. The offense is without Le’Veon Bell, but Ben Roethlisberger is healthy and he has a nice group of receivers to throw to while the Titans defense is mediocre. The fact that many believe the Steelers are in for a long season doesn’t deter me from believing they’re a team you can count on at home against a lesser opponent.


So the Steelers are still a go for me, but what about the Colts? The method of using teams that play the Raiders at home is probably a good one. The Raiders beat the Chiefs on the road last year, but lost every other road game. You remember how the Chiefs threw eight touchdown passes all last season? Yeah, that wasn’t good.


I also feel good about the Colts ability with Luck at the helm this season, but with their defense still suspect I wonder if I’d be willing to use them against a better team with confidence?  I’m just not sure. So I’m going with the Colts this week.

Chet Gresham writes Target Watch and The Morning After for and is the founder of The Fake Football. Chet can be found on Twitter .
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