They say time flies when you are having fun. Well, what does it do if you are
having a frustrating season? Injuries, mediocrity and shenanigans have seemed
to plague fantasy owners this year and now we are approaching the final stretch
before fantasy football playoffs begin.
Speaking of shenanigans, this week we saw the return of running back Ricky
Williams... or, at least, his potential return after the NFL
reinstated him. Williams, who has not played since 2005, pretty much told the
league, fans and his teammates to kiss off more than once during his career.
Ranging from repeated violations of the substance abuse policy to retiring on
the Dolphins as training camp was kicking off...
he has certainly marched to his own beat.
Will that beat have any fantasy value to it moving forward? It's tough to bank
on a player like Williams, especially with running back Jesse
Chatman doing so well the last few weeks. However, if you have the roster
spot available and can handle a little extra heart burn, Williams is worth a
Let's take a quick buzz around the NFL to see what
interesting items you should be aware of. Before we go any further, remember
the Bye weeks are now a thing of the past so you can work with a full allotment
of players. Please note, however, that Thursday games return next week with
three on Thanksgiving!
- Fantasy owners of running back Brian Westbrook
(knee) need to be very, very cautious entering this weekend. Westbrook did
not practice Thursday, Nov. 15, or Friday, Nov. 16, this week. Head coach
Andy Reid thinks he will be able to play but
we've seen Westbrook's status go both directions on game-time before so be
ready for the worst... tailback Correll Buckhalter
would likely be the starter if he cannot play. The good news is this is an
early game Sunday so you won't have to go in blind once you have the game
day inactives from KFFL's Hot off the Wire.
- So much for Buffalo Bills running back Marshawn
Lynch's ankle injury being minor! He was still sporting a protective boot
Friday, Nov. 16, and won't be able to play this weekend.
- Detroit Lions running back Kevin
Jones should get his normal workload this weekend even though his lingering
foot issues knocked him out of last week's game twice. There had been some
fear about his status floating around entering this weekend, but he practiced
and appears all set to go in Week 11.
- San Diego Chargers stud tight end Antonio
Gates was limited during practice Friday, Nov. 16, but it was a team decision.
Gates is still expected to start this weekend. Now can quarterback Philip
Rivers get him the football?
- Carolina Panthers wideout Steve
Smith (shin) did not practice Friday, Nov. 16. While listed as questionable,
word has it that he will likely be a game-time decision for the team. That's
not good news for quarterback Vinny Testaverde
(Achilles'), who is expected to start.
- New England Patriots receiver Wes
Welker (undisclosed) is expected to be a game-time decision for the Patriots
this weekend. He is averaging almost seven catches per game for quarterback
Tom Brady, so he would be sorely missed if
he cannot play.
- Still holding out hope for wide receiver Terry
Glenn (knee) to return? So are we, but don't look for it to happen in
- Guess who is expected back! The Houston Texans
have to just be giddy right now, as receiver Andre
Johnson (knee) practiced this week and is expected to start. Johnson hasn't
played since Week 2, and he was averaging seven receptions, 131 yards receiving
and 1.5 receiving touchdowns per game. Hopefully he won't be too rusty, as
he adds another dimension to the offense.
- Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chad
Johnson (knee, illness) did not practice the past two days but is still
expected to play. Taking Thursdays off has become commonplace for him, as
the team does that to allow him to rest.
- It looks more and more likely that Indianapolis Colts
wide receiver Marvin Harrison (knee) will continue to tick off and hurt fantasy
players this week because he is not likely to play once again. The good news
is the Colts should have tight end Dallas
Clark (concussion) back, as he has been cleared to play this weekend.
- The Baltimore Ravens are listing tight end Todd
Heap (hamstring) as questionable but head coach Brian
Billick referred to him as doubtful at the end of the week. He did not
practice Friday, Nov. 16, and it isn't looking good for this weekend. The
only thing he has been a heap of this year is frustration.
- If you picked up Seattle Seahawks running back
Maurice Morris last week you were smiling when
he posted 103 total yards and a score considering halfback Shaun
Alexander (knee, wrist) hasn't been able to do much of anything lately.
Well, Alexander is on the pine once more this week so Morris is expected to
see the bulk of the workload once again.
- Speaking of the Seahawks, it appears wide receiver Deion
Branch (sprained foot) will return to the lineup this week. He considered
it a week ago and, while a game-time decision, he was able to practice all
- New Orleans Saints running back Reggie
Bush (knee, concussion) should be able to play this weekend, too, after
getting dinged last weekend. He was able to participate in practice and should
- So I don't put you to sleep, here's a roundup of other quarterback changes:
Trent Dilfer starts in place of Alex
D. Smith (shoulder) for the San Francisco 49ers
due to Smith not being 100 percent healthy; Brodie
Croyle replaces Damon Huard (neck) as the starter for the Kansas
City Chiefs; Daunte Culpepper is once again
starting for the Oakland Raiders, as he subs in
for Josh McCown (quad); Byron
Leftwich (ankle) is expected to replace Joey
Harrington in the lineup for the Atlanta Falcons;
and, finally, Kyle Boller starts in place of
Steve McNair (shoulder), who is also out for
a few weeks with an injury. It's OK to yawn, I just did.
- Updating a report in this space earlier this week, the New
York Jets should indeed have wide receiver Laveranues
Coles (concussion) back on the field this weekend. He practiced again
Friday, Nov. 16, which is good news for fantasy owners.
Until next time, good luck!
About Ryan R. Bonini
Founding KFFL in 1996, Bonini serves as VP of technology for KFFL's parent company, USA
TODAY SPORTS. Bonini was named the 2009 Fantasy Football Writer
of the Year by the FSWA
and received honors with the Best Fantasy Football Series in '10.
His work has been found in USA TODAY Sports, Yahoo!
Sports, FOX Sports, CBS Sports, NFL.com, and many others. He has also been featured
on numerous radio programs around the country. Bonini is a member of the PFWA,
FSWA and FSTA.
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