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Fantasy News of the Week – 9/27

Packers’ Grant is hoping for more in week four.

The Green Bay Packers have been a bit of surprise on offense this season, and it’s not just because Aaron Rodgers has been outperforming Brett the Jet. Much to the chagrin of Packer fans and fantasy owners running back Ryan Grant is off to a cold start this season, but according to

JSOnline.com that’s due in large part to the fact that he’s been allowed to baby a lingering hamstring injury. It’s now week four and the Packers rank 15th in the NFL averaging 115.3 rushing yards per game — a ranking and average that is very deceiving considering backup running back Brandon Jackson is averaging 31 yards per game and quarterback Aaron Rodgers 23.3 yards per game. So, in other words, it’s time for the Packers to allow Ryan Grant to kick it in to high gear. “It is the situation right now,” Grant said. “I hope it changes. But I just have to do what I have to do. I’m doing more, feeling good, I made it through practice so far, feeling the best I have. So I’m looking (for them) to move me forward.”  Fantasy owners can only hope.

Slaton could be the answer to the Texans’ running back prayers.

The Houston Texans have had a rough start to their 2008 season. They’re 0-2, play little to no defense, and have trouble scoring points. The good news — they may have found not only their solution at running back short term but long-term as well.  According to the

Houston Chronicle, many believe Steve Slaton is exactly what the Texans need at running back. “He’s going to be a great player,” said former Pro Bowl receiver Andre Johnson, who was still bemoaning his own failings in what became a 31-12

Tennessee blowout. “He’ll open up doors for the rest of us. He made some real good runs. One time he came up out of a pile, where it seemed like the whole field had stopped playing, and he just kept on running.” Slaton is definitely a player to keep a close eye in dynasty formats and if you need a solid backup, he’s a good option especially with bye weeks starting.

Mendenhall will start and will receive an earful.  

With Willie Parker out this week, rookie Rashard Mendenhall will start against an intimidating Ravens defense lead by one of most boisterous middle linebackers and leaders in the NFL. And, according to the

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, head coach Mike Tomlin and running backs coach Kirby Wilson have been making Mendenhall aware of the fact that he will hear a lot of jawing from Ray Lewis and the Ravens defense, but Mendenhall insists he knows all about Lewis and is looking forward to the clash. “Oh, man I used to play with him on video games, so I know a lot about Ray Lewis. I mean, he’s a great player, there’s no doubt about it. In this league, in this business, you’re going to face great players every week. He’s a great player; I look forward to playing against him.” This game is important for the Steelers if they want to set the tone for the rest of season within the division as the Ravens will be going in to this contest with a 2-0 record. Mendenhall has some pretty big shoes to fill, but he made it clear that he’s ready to roll. “I’ve been doing this since training camp and OTAs [organized team activities], and I’ve been here every day like everybody else,” Mendenhall said. “So I’m ready.” The Ravens rank in the top five in rushing yards allowed through two games — a ranking they held all of last season as well. If you have other better options at running back I would go with them first. If not, then at least you know that the rookie will be ready come Monday night.

Can Brees continue to excel without star power?

The New Orleans Saints have had a flurry of injury bugs sting their roster, from defensive starters to offensive stars like Marques Colston and Jeremy Shockey. And now veteran wide receiver David Patten may miss this week’s game. What does this mean?  Nothing! In fact it is thought that as long as quarterback Drew Brees is in on the field the Saints have a shot! Yeah, the losses of Colston and Shockey are siginificant for those who own them, but Brees owners have nothing to fear. Why?  Even without Colston, Brees leads the league in passing yards. This week he’ll have Lance Moore, Robert Meachem, Devery Henderson and Billy Miller to throw to, along with that fella named Bush. The good news, according to

The Times Picayune, is that Brees feels great! “I feel like I’m just scratching the surface in terms of what I can accomplish and we can accomplish as a team and as an offense, and I do feel confident as I ever have (in my career),” Brees said this week. To answer the question — yes, Brees should be able to excel even with a banged up offense, and a less than desirable defense.  In fact, you may just want to keep him in your starting lineup for good.



Peyton knows an offensive turnaround starts with him.

The Indianapolis Colts have been not themselves this 2008 season, but when your quarterback and offensive line don’t jive together that’s expected. After not seeing any preseason snaps and losing his starting center you could tell quarterback Peyton Manning was out of his element of accurate passes and big numbers. And, according to the

Indy Star, Manning himself even knows it. “Offensively, our job is to score more points,” Manning said Wednesday. “As the quarterback, my job is to protect the ball better and be accurate with the football and make good decisions in the run game and the pass game. That’s something I haven’t done well enough in two out of the three games, and it’s something I plan to do a better job of starting this week and next week.” While I do believe that Manning will get better, I don’t know if his offensive line can do the same. What does this mean? It means that the Colts quarterback will have to put more trust in his receivers with shorter, quicker passes and less on his big arm. Overall, it may take a few more weeks for Manning to get in full rhythm, but once he does he will be a deadly fantasy weapon.



Shark Attack:

Injury News

Anquan Boldin:  

According to the

Associated Press, Cardinals wide receiver Anquan Boldin tweaked his hamstring in practice on Friday, and is listed as probable, but expects to play. Larry Fitzgerald owners may see big production this week if Boldin has any trouble with it.  

Brett Favre: Favre is listed as questionable, but his streak of consecutive games started shouldn’t be in jeopardy. According to the

Associated Press, head coach Eric Mangini is confident he’ll play. “I expect him to be ready to go,” Mangini said. As if fantasy owners ever expected Favre to miss a game. He’s Mr. Durability.  

Carson

Palmer:

According to the

Cincinnati Enquirer, the Bengals quarterback should be a go for Sunday. He was listed on the injury report as questionable and some speculated he may not play after he sat out Friday’s practice. “It was just a rest day,” Palmer said Friday after practice. “I’m completely confident in what we’re doing. The doctors decided the best thing to do was to be rested and fully healthy for Sunday, and I’ll be ready to roll on Sunday.”

Bob Sanders:

According to

Colts.com, the Colts safety had surgery on one of his knees as he plays the waiting game with his ankle injury. Initially Sanders was expected to miss 4-6 weeks, but Colts officials insist that the knee won’t take any longer to heal than the ankle.

Al Harris:

According to

JSOnline.com, Packers cornerback Al Harris is not expected to miss the rest of the regular season after suffering a serious spleen injury against the Cowboys last week. When will Harris return? “I’d say it’s going to be at least three to four weeks,” coach Mike McCarthy said. “I don’t have an exact time frame for you.”

Other Notable Injuries:

Vikings running back Adrian Peterson is listed as questionable as he continues to battle his bad hamstring. Browns wide receiver Donte’ Stallworth is listed as doubtful — there’s a surprise. The Eagles’ Donovan McNabb and Brian Westbrook are both listed as questionable with chest and ankle injuries. McNabb did participate in practice. Raiders running back Justin Fargas will remain out once again, and Darren McFadden is listed as questionable for the second consecutive week.  Chiefs linebacker Donnie Edwards and cornerback Patrick Surtain are both listed as out. Saints tight end Jeremy Shockey is listed as out, while wide receiver David Patten is listed as questionable after sustaining a groin injury in last week’s loss to the Redskins. Cardinals defensive end Bertrand Berry will not play, while safety Adrian Wilson could play and is listed as questionable. Jaguars safety Reggie Nelson is listed as out. Jets wide receiver Laveranues Coles is listed as questionable with a thigh injury. Buccaneers wide receiver Joey Galloway is listed as out with a toe injury, while linebacker Derrick Brooks is listed as questionable as he continues to nurse a sore hamstring.  Steelers running back Willie Parker, as noted above, will miss this week’s match-up with the Ravens. And the Bears’ Brandon Lloyd is listed as questionable with a hip injury.

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