Week 9: Game Time Decisions
In this article, we profile a few players dealing with bumps and bruises that could keep them in street clothes for the coming week. When scouting injuries, fantasy owners should remember the wise words of Allen Iverson: "We talkin' about practice." Those who don't practice on Fridays are usually not advisable fantasy options. Be sure to sign up for the Scout Forums and check the game-day inactive posts starting at about 11:30 a.m. Eastern on Sunday to determine whether the players profiled below should remain in your fantasy lineups.
Seven weeks into his recovery following a dislocated ankle, it looks like RGIII is ready to get back on the field. Head coach Jay Gruden has decided against resting his quarterback through Washington's Week 10 bye and has already named Griffin as his starter for Sunday's game versus Minnesota, barring any physical setbacks. He is listed as probable. Griffin eclipsed 800 rushing yards with seven touchdowns on the ground in his rookie season. His sophomore season saw that yardage number drastically reduced, and he finished 2013 without a rushing TD. It would be safe to assume that his dual-threat ability will be greatly restricted coming off of this injury, so fantasy owners should tread with caution if they are considering Griffin this week. The Vikings boast a solid pass rush that has recorded 25 sacks, tied for second-most in the league. Minnesota has also allowed the fourth-fewest passing yards per game.
During the Cowboys' Monday night loss to Washington, Romo missed a portion of the second half due to a back contusion. Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett confirmed that this back injury is not related to the back issue that ended his 2013 season and required surgery. Owner Jerry Jones said Romo's status will be determined by his pain threshold, and he's expected to be a true game-time decision after not practicing at all this week. Romo has missed only one game over the past three seasons and if he's unable to suit up, Brandon Weeden would get the start and would be worth considering in two-quarterback leagues based on the favorable matchup. The Cardinals have been very generous to opposing signal-callers, allowing a league-high 303 yards per game through the air.
The Muscle Hamster spent part of the week in a walking boot after leaving last week's game against Minnesota in the third quarter with an ankle injury. Although the boot came off by Thursday, Martin didn't participate in any practices and is listed as doubtful. That leaves Bobby Rainey and possibly rookie Charles Sims in line to see significant action against a Browns defense that has had problems defending the run. Cleveland has allowed the seventh-most fantasy points to opposing running backs. Through five games this season, Martin is averaging just 2.9 yards per carry and hasn't rushed for more than 45 yards in any contest. The fantasy world is abuzz about Sims, who is expected to be activated from injured reserve prior to kickoff after being out since August following ankle surgery. However, his workload should be very limited. It's Rainey who is likely to start Sunday. He has 22 catches for 180 yards this season and had a monster performance in Week 2 against St Louis (22 carries for 144 yards). He is a solid RB2 candidate if Martin remains on the hamster wheel for Week 9.
Green missed the past three games due to a troublesome turf toe injury that could hamper him for the remainder of the season. But on a positive note, he was able to practice for the first time in about a month this week and is expected to play in Week 9. Green is officially designated as questionable but has vowed that he won't be on a snap count against Jacksonville. In Green's absence, Mohamed Sanu has amassed 18 catches with two 100-yard performances since Week 6. However, his fantasy value is bound to take a hit with Green ready to return. Sanu averaged five catches for just 50 yards and scored one touchdown in the three games that Green was a factor in prior to aggravating his toe. Andy Dalton is currently sitting outside of the top 20 among fantasy quarterbacks and has just six touchdown passes through seven games. But if Green is close to 100 percent, Dalton could be worth using against a Jacksonville defense that ranks seventh-worst in pass coverage, according to Pro Football Focus.
Wayne landed awkwardly on his elbow in the Colts' Week 7 win over Bengals and missed last week's loss to Pittsburgh. However, he has returned to full practice and is looking like a good bet to play Monday night versus the Giants. The 35-year-old has had a less-than-impressive start to his 14th season as he's averaging 62 yards per game with just one touchdown. T.Y. Hilton has emerged as the Colts' top receiver, and rookie Donte Moncrief had a breakout performance while filling in for Wayne last week, finishing with seven catches on 12 targets for 113 yards and a score. The matchup against the Giants is not favorable as they have allowed the second-fewest receptions and just five touchdowns to the wide receiver position.