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NEWS: CJ Spiller (collarbone) done for season; Fred Jackson (groin) already out for Week 8; Reggie Bush still hurt…

smitty staff

Hey Starters Nation:

We had a few big injuries in Week 7, along with some other injuries worth monitoring. Here we go:

Injuries Heading Into Week 8:

C.J. Spiller broke his collarbone on a 53-yard run and is done for the season. Fred Jackson was injured early in this game as well — Both were carted to the locker room. The Bills have a bye in Week 9, but early word is that Jackson is already looking “out” for Week 8. Get ready for the Bryce Brown show, a player we said to go get prior to kickoff on Sunday (especially in dynasty). Now he gets to show his stuff. Make sure he isn’t on waivers in your league, especially if you lost either/both of these backs.

Reggie Bush (groin) received just nine touches in Week 7, as he was clearly still bothered by his ankle. Joique Bell is a dark horse RB2 of ours moving forward, but of course he can be had lower and should be valued lower (but with upside for that kind of production). If Bush stays moderately banged up for a bit, Bell will surely see some serious action. If Bush returns quickly, we still like Bell as a sneaky flex. Bell is extremely gifted, but he is the kind of back that gets better with carries and lots of work — We hope he gets a big dose of carries moving forward, but we aren’t in charge of his workload (unfortunately).

Other Injuries:

Pierre Thomas left Week 7 with a shoulder injury, Trent Richardson pulled a hamstring, James Starks injured his ankle, and Corey “Philly” Brown suffered a concussion. T-Rich being out only increases Ahmad Bradshaw’s value well past his RB2-type status, and an injured PT gives bumps to both Mark Ingram and Khiry Robinson, but all these injuries just described above could be less serious, or more serious, than initially thought, so stay all over this news wires and our Smart Alerts for updates.

NEWS: Jimmy Graham could play a red-zone role in Week 7? Calvin still doubtful in the contest?

SMITTY: It’s tough to speculate on this just yet, and Graham and the Saints still have over a day to decide. If Graham does go, even in a limited red-zone look capacity, he is a must-play, so stay on both our news wire and Smart Alerts. We will also keep you updated if any news breaks on Calvin Johnson, who is currently expected to miss this contest between the Saints and Lions. If both of these studs sit, Calvin and Graham, both Drew Brees and Matthew Stafford lose their top 5QB upside this week, but both are still must-starts (unless you have Stafford and a comparable QB with a better match-up). Reggie Bush and Golden Tate should have nice outings if both end up being Stafford’s top receiving options in Week 7. Looking for Week 7 Power Rankings?

NEWS: Injuries heading into Week 6; Branden Oliver on the rise, Montee Ball could be out a bit, Calvin Johnson suffered a setback in Week 5.

Donald Brown left Week 5 with a concussion. Branden Oliver dropped 182 total yards and 2TDs in Week 5, and he now becomes a must-own in all leagues and this week’s top waiver wire grab.

Montee Ball suffered a groin injury in Week 5 and is getting an MRI. He is looking very questionable for the next couple games. Ronnie Hillman is a must grab this week.

Calvin Johnson suffered a setback in Week 5; his week 6 status is in question.

Rashad Jennings left Week 5 with a knee injury and will undergo an MRI. Andre Williams is not likely available in any leagues, but do check. If Jennings is out, Williams could produce fantasy RB2 numbers if getting starter carries.

Jimmy Graham injured his shoulder in Week 5, but early word is that it isn’t serious. Stay tuned.

Reggie Bush left Week 5 with an ankle injury. It is not though to be serious, but stay tuned. Hopefully Joique Bell will be back in the next contest.

Drew Stanton suffered a concussion in Week 5; Carson Palmer could be back next week, so keep tabs on this one. Palmer back would be good for Floyd, Fitz and Ellington.

Zac Stacy exited Week 5 with a calf injury. He did not return to the game, so there is concern here. Benny Cunningham is a must-grab if for some reason he is available. It’s not likely, though, but check waivers.

NEWS: Calvin Johnson expected to play Week 5; will he be effective?

SMITTY: He is set as ‘questionable’ for Week 5 with the ankle, but a couple sources now expect Calvin to play. How effective will be be this week, though? Will he once again be a decoy? The bottom line is this… if he plays, you have to run him out onto the field. Even as a projected decoy in the past, he always found a way to pull in big numbers. Just stay close to both our news wire and our Smart Alerts, as things could change directions during warm-ups. Whether Calvin is out or not, and even more so if he is, Reggie Bush could explode, as the team is without Joique Bell this week, and they need someone catching passes. Golden Tate is also set for a huge game if Calvin sits, but he is an excellent start this week even if Calvin goes. For more on this game, view your Smart Alerts that we just sent out on this, as we talk a bit about Sammy Watkins and Eric Ebron heading into this week.

Looking for Week 5 Power Rankings?

NEWS: Week 5 Quick-Hitting Probable/Questionable/Out List

We have so many probable, questionable and out players to report on today, I tossed a majority of them into this one post. It looks like Reggie Bush is going to get a ton of work in Week 5, he is an excellent start this week. Good luck with all your decisions, folks, and be sure to get on our forums and get some last-minute line-up advice!

Probable Players for Week 5

A.J. Green (toe) was limited in practice on Friday, but is probable for Week 5.
Julio Jones (ankle) is probable for Week 5.
Dez Bryant (shoulder) is probable for Week 5.
Jamaal Charles (ankle) is probable for Week 5.
Andre Ellington (foot) is probable for Week 5.
Jordan Cameron (shoulder) is probable for Week 5.
Arian Foster (hamstring) is probable for Week 5.
Tony Romo (back) is probable for Week 5.
Golden Tate (hamstring) is probable for Week 5.
Ladarius Green (hamstring) is probable for Week 5.
Sammy Watkins (ribs) is probable for Week 5.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins (foot) is listed as questionable for Week 5.
Ben Tate is probable for Week 5.

Questionable Players for Week 5

Andre Johnson (ankle) was held out of Friday’s practice and is questionable for Week 5.
Vernon Davis (back) is questionable for Week 5.

Out Players for Week 5

Joique Bell is out for Week 5.

NEWS: Reggie Bush limited Wednesday icing his knee; Joique Bell a sleeping giant?

According to reports, Lions RB Reggie Bush (knee) was limited during Wednesday’s practice; Bush was seen icing his knee on Wednesday.

SMITTY: Predicting injury is a tough business to be in, but there is a reason Joique Bell has been one of my biggest sleeper rushers heading into 2014… Bush has huge injury risk with those knees, and given how aggressively he cuts and runs, the odds of Bush getting hurt are better than the odds of him staying healthy, especially given that he played through last year with knee issues. Even in a sharing role, that Lions offense force-feeds Joique Bell solid touches, proof by his 51 yards rushing and 1TD last week. On top of that, the guy catches 50+ passes a season in that sharing role. If not given the majority of carries, Bell still has awesome flex-type value… but, if given a starter’s workload, this could be the runner that puts strong RB2s on many fantasy benches in the near future. I say all this now not so that you all can go buy-high… go buy-low if you can, his value, if healthy, can almost go nowhere but up. Take a look at our Joique Bell Week 1 Power Rankings?

NEWS: Calvin Johnson making jaw-dropping plays every day in camp?

According to ESPN, Lions WR Calvin Johnson “has looked impressive through the first two weeks of camp, making jaw-dropping plays essentially every day.”

SMITTY: Calvin Johnson is just insanely-talented, there is no other way to put it. I think Julio Jones is right there with him as far as pure physical ability, and of course Dez Bryant and AJ Green are almost right there with those two… receivers are dominating fantasy football consistency right now, and like last year, my favorite plan of attack for upcoming drafts is to go WR/WR and load up on Joique Bell-types at the running back position. I wouldn’t take the WR/WR approach in every league you do, but it’s a fantastic strategy if you know how to land your sleeper rushers. Back on the topic of Lions players, Matthew Stafford could be in for a big year given all his weapons, which includes newly-added Golden Tate, and still-solid Reggie Bush — That’s all on top of having a 100+ and 50+ reception players in both Calvin and Bell. Looking for Week 1 Power Rankings on all these guys?

NEWS: Joique Bell feels 100 percent; Bell in for a big fantasy season?

According to mlive.com, Lions RB Joique Bell (knee) is full-go and is expected to be ready for minicamp. “I’m feeling 100 percent,” Bell said. “I’m feeling great.”

SMITTY: Joique Bell has breakout/sleeper written all over him. Sure, most knowledgeable fantasy owners know he has nice upside, but I think his ceiling is still quite a bit higher than his current ADP, which is 5.10 to 6.04. Now, Reggie Bush could run the ball 180-200 times, and 50+ receptions is almost a given for Bush (assuming he stays healthy), but the Lions have all kinds of room for both of these guys to produce given that they each pull in 50+ receptions. Bell could run the ball over 200 times and pull in even 55 passes in 2014; he might even punch in 8 scores. That’s high-end RB2 appeal, so 5.10-6.04 is a steal! Note: if Bush or Bell get hurt (and especially if both get hurt), get ready for the Theo Riddick show (grab him in deep leagues and make him a must-own if you have either Bush or Bell or both).

NEWS: Theo Riddick to serve a Darren Sproles-like role in DET?

According to freep.com, Lions back-up QB Dan Orlovsky sees Lions RB Theo Riddick taking on a role similar to that of Darren Sproles and he predicts that Reddick will have a breakout season and pull in 50 passes in 2014. “I’m telling you, if he doesn’t 50 catches this year, I’ll be surprised because he’s going to have opportunities and he’s very talented at it,” Orlovsky said. “I think he’s going to play that Sproles role, for sure.”

SMITTY: It’s important to not overreact with this, as it’s hard to imagine a big receiving or running role being available with both Joique Bell and Reggie Bush set to pull in 50 passes and at least 160-180 rushes each. All that said, keep in mind that Bush has a history of knee issues, so even if Dan Orlovsky is jumping the gun here, it’s not difficult imagining injury coming into play here, and that would absolutely open the door to a grip of carries and receptions. The point here, it might be time to grab Theo Riddick in deep dynasty leagues, as this isn’t the first time his name has come up like this.

NEWS: Eric Ebron to move around in 2014; Bell and Bush to pull in 50 passes each?

According to NFL.com, Lions rookie TE Eric Ebron is going move around all over the field in that Lions offense in 2014. “I’ve been everywhere and that is what’s killing me,” Ebron said. “I’m used to either learning the Y or learning the A, which we had at North Carolina. But now it’s the Y, the F, the Z.” He added, “Fifty percent in the slot, 40 percent with my hand in the ground, 10 percent in the backfield.”

SMITTY: Eric Ebron has HUGE upside entering future years, but I think it’s important to curb expectations as he enters his first NFL season. Matthew Stafford is in for a big year, possibly of the top 5-6 variety, but there are a ton of mouths to feed in Detroit in 2014. So, it’s hard to imagine a rookie tight end hitting the ground running in the consistency department, but his presence, especially in the red zone, will create all kinds of mismatches, which in turn will help keep defenses honest and spread out. This helps every other high-impact fantasy player on that Lions’ roster. Calvin Johnson is going to scoop up 100 receptions, and both Joique Bell and Reggie Bush could pull in 50+ receptions a piece… 60-70 could be going to Golden Tate, which makes Ebron more of a touchdown threat than anything as a rookie. Don’t get me wrong, on occasion he could very well look the part of an up-and-coming elite tight end, I just think he is going to need a year to get settle before we all can start expecting top 5 fantasy football tight end numbers. As said above, his presence alone is going to help every high-impact fantasy player around him, and at 6-4, 250 pounds, his dynasty value is unreal!