October 04, 2008

RED (Out for Week 5)

Aaron Rodgers QB GB:

Rodgers will get the start for the Packers, but is very risky on both a performance level and as a risk to be lifted before he gets a chance to put up points.

Willie Parker RB PIT: It's a good sign that Parker is saying he could play, but the Steelers will have him inactive. That's the smart play.

Maurice Morris RB SEA: He's a game time decision to play, but the decision's already been made to give Julius Jones most of the carries.

Anquan Boldin WR ARZ: The broken sinus is a tough one to read since he's going to get hit when he comes back. He's out for this week after surgery, but beyond that, it's day to day if not week to week. I don't expect him back until after the Cards' bye in Week 7.

Bernard Berrian WR MIN: Berrian was limping noticeably at practice, so you should find a replacement for the speedy receiver despite late reports that he'll play.

Brandon Lloyd WR CHI: Lloyd's knee sprain has him out this week. It's a bad week for him to miss, with great matchups. Devin Hester should get the looks.

Joey Galloway WR TB: It's a tough week for him to miss, but he's out again as the foot is slow healing.

Kevin Curtis WR PHI: Not this week, but if he's still on the waiver wire, things are looking good for Week 6.

YELLOW (Iffy for Week 5)

Ben Roesthlisberger QB PIT: Roethlisberger will play today, but with a questionable running game, there's a worry that the Jags will blitz Big Ben hard. He's a risky play on injuries, but if the Jags try to stuff Mewelde Moore, Roethlisberger's accuracy could bite them. Look for a big week from Hines Ward on crossing patterns and Heath Miller as the safety valve.

Brian Westbrook RB PHI: Westbrook is definitely going to play, meaning he should be in your roster.

Carson Palmer QB CIN: Palmer will get the start, but offensive co-ordinator Bob Bratkowski told Palmer yesterday that he would pull him at the slightest indication of problems. If by "problem" he means a harsh Cowboys pass rush, he'll see that early. Palmer's such a risk that even with worse options, you have to put Palmer on the bench, which is probably where the Bengals should have him.

Cedric Benson RB CIN: Multiple reports have Benson as active for today's game against Dallas. Adam Schefter is reporting that Benson is expected to get half the carries for the Bengals, but that's pretty lofty for a guy who showed up to Bengals camp "out of shape," according to my best Bengals source.

LenDale White RB TEN: The shoulder is slowing him up and the Titans showed that they're not hesitant to use Chris Johnson in the red zone either. The matchup this week isn't helping his value.

Willis McGahee RB BAL: McGahee will definitely play today, but as I warned earlier, LeRon McClain and Ray Rice will cut into his touches.

Roy Williams WR DET: He'll play and have good matchups, but missing time in practice is going to cost him some targets despite the Lions opening up the offense some this week.

Justin Gage WR TEN: Gage is still struggling with his knee and looks to lose a lot of targets and time due to it again this week.

O-Line CAR: The Panthers have big questions on the line with both tackles banged up. That will push them more to the running game, which they may do anyway against a terrible Chiefs rushing D.

O-Line TEX: Both tackles will start against the Colts, but do their injuries hurt them against a speed rush? Absolutely, so look for more running.

Defense WAS: The Redskins won't have three starters against a tough Philly attack. It's likely to be a difference maker in a key NFC East game.

Defense GB:Matt Ryan won't be facing Al Harris or Atari Bigby this week, which has to be a plus for a young QB. Even Charles Woodson is slowed and A.J. Hawk is banged up, so the Falcons offense needs to be upgraded.

GREEN (Almost certain to start in Week 5)

Miami Dolphins: Once again, the Dolphins have no one on the injury report. Is Kevin O'Neill doing something special or is there something in the Parcells system that allows this? The Cowboys were exceptionally healthy during Parcells' tenure and after. This is something of a fluke, but bears watching.

Adrian Peterson RB MIN: Peterson made it through the dangerous part of his hamstring strain and should be more like the guy you thought you were drafting going forward. He's still very injury prone.

Santonio Holmes WR PIT: Holmes' stiff neck won't keep him out, though the injury to Ben Roethlisberger will be as much of an issue for him as the neck.

Deion Branch WR SEA:Matt Hasselbeck finally has someone he's heard of to throw to. Branch isn't back to 100 percent, but he's close enough to be productive.

Bobby Engram WR SEA: As above, this is a big boost to the Seahawks offense and could open things up not just for Hasselbeck, but also for Julius Jones. Engram's a bit ahead of Branch in his recovery, so he could see a few more targets.

Marvin Harrison WR IND: Tony Dungy didn't have Harrison in practice, but sources tell me that while Harrison's knees haven't been sore, he's likely to be held out during the week in the future. The only real downside is that Peyton Manning likes routine, which could cost Harrison some targets.

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