In an ideal world, every lineup decision would be a stone cold lock. Easy enough that my mother-in-law could pick my players. Aaron Rodgers, check. Doug Martin, of course. Victor Cruz, yep. Julius Thomas, why not. In reality, injuries are mounting, position battles wage on, defenses are being defined while the weather is constantly throwing a left hook into our game plan. This article covers the last minute news and notes to help us set our lineup along with a few players to watch for next week’s waiver wire.
Friday’s Injury Report
Every lineup decision always starts by examining the Friday Injury Report. This simple memo is the best indicator as to each player’s participation in the upcoming game. Any of our players listed as “Probable/full participation in practice” are a near lineup lock. Our current list includes; Martellus Bennett, Ryan Tannehill, Tony Romo, Dez Bryant, Daryl Richardson, Giovani Bernard and Arian Foster. I’m 99% confident these players will be 100% on game day (huh)………….Players listed as “doubtful” or “out” should never be relied upon, down and dirty. The list of prominent players who will not take the field in Week 3 include; Maurice Jones-Drew, Eddie Lacy, Mark Ingram (upgrade Pierre Thomas), Danny Amendola, Brandon Weeden, Steven Jackson and Ray Rice (Bernard Pearce is a mid RB2). Feel free to bench them now (I’ll wait)…….. While losing any player to injury stinks, the real nut busting decisions are players categorized as “limited participation in practice.” Any player limited in Friday’s practice equates to the infamous “Game Time Decision” (GTD; kinda like STD). These are the last minute coach’s decisions that give us the Sunday morning itch. It’s our job to predict which of our players are clean to start, and who should left alone on game day. The players I’m penciling into my lineup include; Jermichael Finley, Julio Jones and Andre Johnson. Mike Wallace suddenly found himself “questionable/limited.” This is the Fins way of taking a shot at Atlanta’s listing of Julio and Roddy as questionable. Start Wallace in what should be a big time matchup (and Hartline). The second class of GTD are those players whose risk exceeds their reward. If you scan across my bench you’ll find the names; T.Y. Hilton, Le’Veon Bell, Reggie Bush, Larry Fitzgerald, Rob Gronkowski, Roddy White and Rashard Mendenhall. All week Vernon Davis has been saying he’ll be ready to go on Sunday. However, reading between the lines I’m not taking the risk. I’m rolling with Coby Fleener, despite the bad matchup vs the 49ers.