Week 2: Last-Minute Med Check

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The injury landscape is littered with casualties, so it's a minefield for the fantasy owner. I'll try to guide you through, so let's get to it ... (A reminder -- the ratings of red, yellow, and green are just indications of how serious the injury will affect his fantasy play this week, not an indication of how serious the injury actually is. CWM is "check with me," the QB's signal for an audible. I'll use that to let you know in updates whether or not they'll play.)

Chicago @ Carolina

Matt Forte (GREEN): The Bears rookie will face a tougher D and do it on an ankle that will require heavy taping. Expect a lighter workload, but still a starter.

Devin Hester (GREEN): Hester's speed will be affected by a sore foot, so expect his offensive role to be reduced.

Bears O-Line (YELLOW):John Tait did a nice job against Dwight Freeney, but came out banged up. Now, he gets to face Julius Peppers. Yikes.

Dante Rosario (YELLOW): Last week's waiver-wire darling ended last week with big stats and a foot injury. He's a gametime decision, but sources think he'll play, but be limited.

Tennessee @ Cincinnati

Vince Young (RED): Out with an MCL that will affect his mobility once he returns, Young's position is more tenuous that many expect. He's a fantasy backup at best now.

Titans DST (YELLOW): The physical Titans put a lot of damage on other teams, but take some themselves. If Albert Haynesworth can't play after a concussion last week, the run defense will be down a bit.

T.J. Houshmandzadeh (GREEN): He's off the OIR, but faces a tough matchup against a physical defensive backfield.

Titans DST:Albert Haynesworth will play for the Titans after being cleared by doctors. He's exhibiting no symptoms after a concussion last Sunday. He'll get a few less downs than normal, but is still a force for the physical Titans.

Green Bay @ Detroit

Ryan Grant (YELLOW): Grant will play despite a sore hamstring, though he will lose some carries to Brandon Jackson ...

Brandon Jackson (YELLOW:) ... except he's coming off a concussion. He made it back to practice on Friday, which is a good sign.

Packers DST (GREEN): There's a lot of small injuries, but they're minor and shouldn't be tested by the Lions.


Buffalo @ Jacksonville


Jags O-Line (RED): With three starters out, the Jags' O-line is broken up the middle. This will affect David Garrard and Fred Taylor more, but should upgrade Maurice Jones-Drew and Marcedes Lewis.

Jerry Porter (Red): Porter is warming up as if he's going to play, but the hamstring and his lack of practice time is going to limit him. Look for him to be used sparingly. He could catch one long touchdown and make us all kick ourselves, but that's not something you can count on..

Troy Williamson (RED): Williamson is out after a quad strain kept him out. With Matt Jones and Dennis Northcutt banged up as well, who gets the targets isn't clear.

Oakland @ Kansas City

Darren McFadden (YELLOW): His shoulder injury was just a stinger, but expect him to be used differently -- less carries, more space.

Javon Walker (YELLOW): He'll play, maybe start, but he won't get the normal targets splitting time with Ashley Lelie. Wait a week.

Brodie Croyle (RED): He's out for a month due to a tough shoulder injury, and Damon Huard doesn't have a great hold on the job, either. Tyler Thigpen could be the very near future.

Larry Johnson (GREEN): Johnson's carries will be reduced if he doesn't show something against the Raiders D early. Some are wondering if the foot is healed completely. My sources say that Johnson is just tentative and could explode with confidence.

Indianapolis @ Minnesota

Colts O-Line (YELLOW): Jeff Saturday will be a gametime decision and Ryan Lilja is still out. The weak middle, even with Saturday, costs the whole offense.

Dallas Clark (RED): Clark remains a gametime decision with his knee, but indications are that he'll play sparingly, if at all. His targets will go to Anthony Gonzalez and Joseph Addai.

Colts DST (GREEN): There's enough depth to get past Ed Johnson's suspension, but this is a defense based on replaceability and Bob Sanders anyway.


N.Y. Giants @ St. Louis

Plaxico Burress (GREEN): The ankle is still a bit of a problem, but putting up big fantasy points doesn't seem to be an issue for Eli Manning's favorite target.

Giants DST (GREEN): The pass rush didn't miss Strahan or Umenyiora. Now it won't miss Mathias Kiwanuka, who will play despite an ankle sprain.

Drew Bennett (RED): Out with a broken foot, he's likely to miss half the season. Eddie Kennison was signed, but isn't ready to get his targets yet.

New Orleans @ Washington

Marques Colston (RED): Out a month or more with a thumb injury, expect his targets to be split between David Patten and Jeremy Shockey.

Saints DST (YELLOW): The Saints' D is missing four key players for this week's game, so they'll rely on scheme. Might be worth checking the waiver wire.

Deuce McAllister (YELLOW): McAllister will play, but at best he's a part of a timeshare within a timeshare. The hope for him is red-zone carries.

Aaron Stecker (RED): He's out with a strained hamstring. His touches will go to some combination of Pierre Thomas and McAllister.

Chris Cooley (GREEN): The quad strain won't keep Cooley from trying to rebound from a poor first game. He has a nice matchup due to the Saints' injuries.

Redskins DST (YELLOW):Fred Smoot and Shawn Springs should play this week, but Devery Henderson's speed could test their legs.

San Francisco @ Seattle

Seahwaks O-Line (RED):Rob Sims is out, making a weak line weaker. That's no good for anyone on this offense.

Seahawks WRs (RED): With Nate Burleson out, joining Deion Branch (who won't be back until October) and Bobby Engram on the sidelines, this is as bad a WR corps as I can remember. Seneca Wallace may be their best option.

Matt Hasselbeck (YELLOW): Hasselbeck's back made it through Week 1, but he's taking a pounding and has no help. Even against the Niners, you need to look for other options. There's no way he can hold up to a full season of this.


Atlanta @ Tampa Bay

Jason Elam (RED): He's a kicker. He might play, but you should get another to be safe.

Jeff Garcia (RED): Garcia is out due to an ankle sprain and has a tenuous hold on the QB job. The ankle affects his mobility, but sources tell me that it's not that bad, meaning he could be back next week unless Brian Griese has a good game or the Bucs deal him. There's late word that he might be active.

Miami @ Arizona

Ronnie Brown (GREEN): Brown showed he's healthy, but he's still splitting time with Ricky Williams.


San Diego @ Denver

LaDanian Tomlinson (GREEN): Tomlinson is listed as questionable with a "jammed right great toe." If you've been reading my stuff all week, you'll know that I've been calling it turf toe -- exactly what Tomlinson called it on Monday. The Chargers RB has had this before and played well through it. How well? That 243-yarder came came two week after it. He'll play, but look for him to practice less until the toe feels better.

Antonio Gates (YELLOW): Hip? He's listed as having a bruised hip, but the toe is still the big issue. He's showing that he can play through it, but not at the elite level we're used to.

Chargers O-Line (YELLOW): They played well enough last week, but Denver has a tough interior rush, which could pile on problems for Tomlinson.

Eddie Royal (GREEN): Royal was just banged up after a big first game, but note this, all you who picked him up. He's not a big guy and might not take the hits well.

New England @ N.Y. Jets

Tom Brady (RED):Breaking news!Brady is out for the season! Sorry, thought it was a law to do that, the way it's been covered.

Randy Moss (GREEN): A minor back injury suffered on the same play as Tom Brady went out didn't affect him until after the game. It won't be a problem Sunday.

Laveranues Coles (YELLOW): Between a quad strain and his new QB, Coles is having a tough time of it. Jerricho Cotchery is the clear WR1 now, so Coles becomes less of a fantasy factor, especially this week.

Mike Nugent (RED): He's out, but he's a kicker. 'Nuff said.

Pittsburgh @ Cleveland

Ben Roethlisberger (GREEN): Big Ben can be banged up and still play well, so don't worry too much about his minor dings yet. The worry here is that they'll pile up.

Jamal Lewis (GREEN): Lewis played through a sore hamstring last week and sources tell me he feels better. He'll take the feature load against a tough D.

Braylon Edwards (GREEN): Was it the foot that hurt him in Week 1? We'll find out. The foot is fine with another week of healing.

Browns DST (RED): Bad secondary lost the starting safety, their best pass rusher has a bad groin, and the special teams ace is still hobbled. Oh, and the Steelers are a tough matchup. We're going to hear a lot of Madden ramblings in the second half.

Philadelphia @ Dallas

Marion Barber (GREEN): Barber might not be human. He's definitely playing, definitely starting, and definitely not wearing a flak jacket. He's healing from his rib injury at a pace not seen since Claire Bennett. And if anyone tells you the Eagles shut down a bigger back in Steven Jackson, remind them that Barber's team has a real offensive line.

Reggie Brown (RED): He practiced, but even if he does play, he's still limited by the hamstring. I'd stay away if you have options.