Fantasy Football Injury Watch: Week 14

Kudos to Ben Roethlisberger for playing through obvious pain when the Browns double-teamed him in the first half and momentarily forced him from the game. His return in the second half, and subsequent 79-yard TD pass to Antonio Brown, likely saved many a fantasy owner’s seasons.

That leaves 15 more games to be played in Week 14. How is the injury ward shaping up in this critical fantasy week?

Quarterbacks

Sam Bradford (ankle) doesn’t look ready to return from his high ankle sprain (and the team has no reason to push him). With A.J. Feeley likely also out, the Rams are in for a long day.

Josh Freeman (shoulder) has been limited in practice this week, and it’s looking likely he’ll return to the starting lineup in Week 14. His injury should definitely keep him on fantasy benches.

Kyle Orton (finger) has been able to put a little practice in this week, but seeing as how he’s barely worked with the offense since being acquired, he’s unlikely to play this weekend.

Christian Ponder (hip) will need to practice Friday to play, though you shouldn’t be starting him at this critical point of the season regardless. Still, Percy Harvin owners will cross their fingers.

Michael Vick (ribs) has practiced all week, meaning not only is he returning just in time to save your fantasy season, he should prevent Vince Young from playing any more meaningful football.

Running Backs

Cedric Benson (foot) missed Thursday’s practice, so be sure he’s out on the field on Friday before committing to him in your lineup. With his tough matchup, you should look elsewhere.

Ahmad Bradshaw (foot) didn’t re-aggravate his injury in last week’s game against the Packers, putting him on track to play again this week despite not practicing yet.

Matt Forte (knee) has no shot of playing this week, leaving the Bears offense in the not-so-capable hands of Caleb Hanie and Marion Barber. The Broncos D is a must-start.

Mark Ingram (toe) has been out of practice all week while dealing with turf toe, and the feeling is he’ll sit this week, with Pierre Thomas and Chris Ivory picking up extra snaps.

Darren McFadden (foot) hasn’t practiced yet and will remain inactive this week against the Packers. Michael Bush is a worthwhile starting option in all leagues.

Willis McGahee (knee) hasn’t made it onto the practice field this week, but everyone around the team insists he’ll play this week against the Bears. He remains a solid RB2 option.

Adrian Peterson (ankle) has put in a limited practice this week, leaving him on track to likely re-join the lineup on Sunday. Peterson owners will be hard-pressed to bench him if he plays.

Kevin Smith (ankle) hasn’t practiced at all this week, and it wouldn’t be shocking to see him limited or even knocked out on Sunday. I’d try to keep him on the bench of my playoff lineup.

James Starks (ankle) isn’t going to play this week, and that means Ryan Grant and Brandon Saine will likely split touches. Just avoid the entire Green Back backfield till further notice.

Michael Turner (groin) put in a limited practice yesterday, putting him on track to face the Panthers, a team that provides the best RB matchup around.

Beanie Wells (hamstring) shouldn’t be in danger of missing this week’s game after practicing a bit on Thursday, but a terrible matchup may doom him to the fantasy bench regardless.

Wide Receivers

Miles Austin (hamstring) is taking it easy in practice, but he remains on track to play in Week 14, shifting ailing breakout WR Laurent Robinson to a supporting role, if he even plays. Start Austin.

Percy Harvin (finger) could still be battling his thought-to-be-behind-him migraine conditions as well as a finger injury, but he’s not in danger of missing time this week.

Andre Johnson (hamstring) has now injured both hamstrings this year, and while he’ll surely miss less time this time around, he’s not expected to play this week. Avoid the Houston passing game.

Jeremy Maclin (hamstring) is practicing in a limited fashion, and he looks like he’ll be ready to return this week. With Vick also back, Maclin is a solid starting option for all lineups.

Mario Manningham (knee) may rejoin the Giants lineup this week, but he’s not worth starting in any fantasy leagues with Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks dominating.

Laurent Robinson (shoulder) not only has to deal with an injury that’s kept him out of practice but also with the return of Miles Austin. With his availability in doubt for Sunday night, bench him.

Nate Washington (ankle) has missed all practice this week, so he’ll have to get some work in on Friday to be available for the Saints game, where the Titans will need to throw to survive.

Tight Ends

Scott Chandler (ankle) is likely headed to the Week 14 inactive list this week, so feel free to cut him in all leagues and pick up someone that can get you a couple points.

Fred Davis (suspension) is serving a suspension for violating the substance abuse policy, and he should be dropped in all leagues. The Redskins receivers (and Roy Helu) should see more targets.

R.J. White is the head writer at the Fantasy Baseball Cafe and Fantasy Football Cafe has also written for FanHouse. You can follow R.J. on Twitter here.

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