Many were surprised last week when Calvin Johnson was suddenly ruled out for Detroit’s matchup with the Packers just hours before game time. It became a big story on the morning pregame shows and likely sent many a fantasy owner rushing to adjust their lineup or check the waiver wire.
Unfortunately, it remains murky as to whether Megatron will be a go this week against the Browns.
On the plus side, Johnson did practice — albeit on a limited basis — yesterday and on Thursday. Johnson even went so far as to say his injured right knee felt “good.” According to reports, Johnson participated in position drills and worked on his footwork, but did not practice with the first team offense. He was then officially listed as questionable on the injury report, which was the same designation he received last week.
Lions coach Jim Schwartz expressed little sympathy for fantasy players and said that Johnson’s status would likely be a gametime decision once again. Obviously, it would be incumbent on Megatron owners to pay close attention to the pregame shows ready to either activate or bench Johnson.
If he’s in there he has to be played, even with the injury. If he’s not in there, it affects not only his owners but also those of quarterback Matthew Stafford. The Lions offense is already hurting, thanks to the pizza-related broken arm suffered by Nate Burleson and the absence of tight end Tony Scheffler. If Johnson can’t go, I would then look to bench Stafford if I owned him. Let’s face it, he would be seriously lacking in offensive weapons and fantasy points — along with actual points, for that matter — might be hard to come by.
With Ryan Mathews likely out this week for the Chargers, look for Danny Woodhead to potentially have a big week.
Mathews has yet to be cleared to play after suffering a concussion last week against the Raiders and just this week head coach Mike McCoy said he could envision Woodhead as an every down back in his system.
More to the point, Woodhead has shown a great deal of versatility this season. Sure, his 103 yards on 28 rushes isn’t that impressive. But, he does have 31 receptions for 220 receiving yards along with 3 touchdowns. So, it’s not unreasonable to think that if Woodhead sees more touches as a result of Mathews’ absence that he could end up with more than 100 total yards.
I definitely like Woodhead this week.
Michael Vick practiced fully yesterday after being limited on Wednesday and Thursday with a hamstring injury.
He is officially listed as questionable on the injury report for tomorrow’s game vs. the Bucs. However, there are reports out of Philadelphia suggesting he’s a long shot to play. And that seems to matchup with reports from earlier in the week which were pessimistic about his outlook for this week’s game.
You can hold out hope that Vick will be a game time go, but I would also be prepared with an alternative. I would also hope that LeSean McCoy and DeSean Jackson owners are prepared as well, because a Vick absence will most certainly affect those players as well.
Despite the drama surrounding him late this week, Vikings running back Adrian Peterson said yesterday that he would play this week.
Peterson’s 2-year-old son was hospitalized in critical condition in Sioux Falls, S.D., and Peterson had left the team on Thursday. He returned yesterday and announced his intention to suit up against the Panthers, but that was prior to reports that his son had died. It was unclear at press time whether Peterson’s previous statements saying he would play would remain the case.
Stevie Johnson of the Bills and Andre Johnson of the Texans both appear to be game time decisions this week.
Johnson missed the entire week of practice due to a death in his family and had left last week’s loss to the Browns early with a back injury. He said he followed along with the gameplan on his iPad and coach Doug Marrone said he wouldn’t know whether the team’s No. 1 wideout would play until the team had a chance to see where he was mentally and physically.
Meanwhile in Houston, Andre Johnson said he thinks he will play tomorrow against the Rams, although it should be noted that Texans head coach Gary Kubiak said he will be a game time decision due to a lingering shin injury.
Andre Johnson practiced yesterday and said he was “feeling fine.” He even went so far as to even say that, “it’s the best I’ve felt so far since I’ve had the injury.”
So, unless something comes out to the contrary it appears that you should play to have the Texans’ All-Pro in your starting lineup this week.
Andy Silva writes the Fantasy Forecast column for The Salem News. You can also follow Fantasy Forecast on Twitter at twitter.com/sn_fantasysport.