Eric Hartvigson
Breaking the Huddle – Week 7

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In an ideal world, every lineup decision would be a stone cold lock. Easy enough my mother-in-law could pick our players. Peyton Manning, check. Adrian Peterson, of course. Dez Bryant, yep. Antonio Games, why not. In reality, injuries are mounting, position battles wage on, defenses are being defined as weather is constant thorn in our ass.

Friday’s Injury Report

As we know many of our lineup decisions revolve around the Friday Injury Report. Each week we scour this memo searching for any last minute info to help sway our decision. As always we have three categories we are examining. The first is “Probable / full participation in practice.” These are the players dealing with the everyday aches and pains of being a professional football player, but almost certain to take the field. Examining Friday’s Injury Report we find; Zac Stacy, Greg Olsen, Willis McGahee, Arian Foster, Andre Johnson (we'll come back to this), Bilal Powell, Stevie Johnson, C.J. Spiller, Vernon Davis, Wes Welker and Eric Decker. Each should be downgraded slightly, and started as needed.

The second category is Out, and Doubtful. These are players standing on the sidelines in street clothes collecting zero fantasy points. Players we must bench week seven includes; James Starks, Santonio Holmes, DeMarco Murray, David Wilson and Roddy White. Man was I wrong about Steven Jackson. I saw the second coming of Michael Turner plus receiving skills. But S-Jax is just a repeat of the 30-year-old version. He sits yet again with the never ending hamstring injury.

The third and final category is “Questionable,” and or “limited in practice” (dun, dun, daaaahhhh). Questionable is the silent killer synonymous with the dreaded Game Time Decision (GTD). Reading the tea leaves, here is my interpretation of what to expect with the Week 7’s GTD. Mike Williams found himself listed as questionable, but oddly was full participation in practice. All systems appear go as a mid/lower WR3 in matchup facing the leaky Falcons secondary.………. Calvin Johnson is a GTD after being limited in Friday’s practice, but repping the Probable tag. Having practiced every day this week, he’s a lineup lock. Although, he could be on a “limited snap count,” Calvin does more with less than any other WR in the league………… The Packers are just playing games calling James Jones Questionable. He’s not playing……… Jags WR Justin Blackmon has been dealing with a hamstring injury. He is a bit scary after not practicing on Friday. Blackmon has stated there’s “no question” he’ll play. I'm going to point you to the Inactive Report below. If he’s active, start him as a high WR3………….. The Titans are listing Jake Locker as a GTD. With a bye coming in Week 8, no reason to risk him. Truth be told, he should be left on the waiver wire in standard 12 team leagues………. Eddie Royal did not practice. Yeah, more targets for Antonio Gates and Keenan Allen………. Mid-week Cecil Shorts told reporters “he couldn’t sleep due to the pain.” Suddenly, he’s telling everyone he’s planning to start. Something’s rotten in Denmark. I’m sitting Shorts.……….. Martellus Bennett has become a replay of the same TBS movie. He continues to see plenty of action, despite his GTD status. I’m starting Bennett as a mid/lower TE1…….... The Eagles are playing the Harbaugh card from a year ago listing Michael Vick as Questionable/Full. The longer Nick Foles wins, the longer Vick’s injury will linger on. Start Foles if needed and sit Vick…………. And that leads us to Robert James Gronkowski; aka Gronk. On Friday he was cleared by the doctors, cleared by the team, and cleared by his agent Drew Rosenhaus. I could make a strong argument to sit Gronk, but I’d be playing the Devil’s advocate. If he makes his triumphant return to the ring, he starts on our fantasy teams.



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