Each week this space looks at the names in the headlines and how it will impact fantasy teams over the coming week or weeks. With plenty of injury news to cover as well as potential roster moves and depth chart changes, there is always plenty to talk about at this point in a given week. Here is what you need to know as teams get ready to head to practice on Wednesday.
- It looks like another week that will be filled with waiver claims on backup running backs. Cedric Benson is likely out eight weeks while Ryan Williams will miss the remainder of the season. In Green Bay, Alex Green will get the first crack at keeping the ground attack moving. Green performed well in Benson’s absence but note that James Starks is getting healthy and this could quickly be a challenging situation. In Arizona, there are plenty of running backs ready to take a shot with no real clear leader at this point. Beware of this situation.
- The Jets will continue to stick with Mark Sanchez at quarterback despite the loss last night. While the team was quick to point out his numbers were similar to those of Matt Schaub in the same game, Sanchez missed many relatively easy throws according to analysts including what could have been a touchdown to Antonio Cromartie. He had several balls tipped at the line and continues to struggle moving the team.
- The loss of Brian Cushing further hurts a run defense that has been struggling of late. Chris Johnson ran up his rushing numbers against what is supposed to be a much improved defense. Several plays last night showed Shonn Greene breaking to the outside when he has been averaging just 2.5 yards per carry all season and Tim Tebow putting up several strong runs up the middle. The point? Running backs should like this matchup going forward.
- Watch injury reports this week for more updates on Alex Smith. Smith injured the middle finger on his throwing hand and his ability to play this weekend will be contingent on how he is able to throw the football. While Colin Kaepernick is a very different type of quarterback, he has been effective in limited action. His starting would make the 49ers offense very different than it might be with Smith under center.
- Though some Kansas City fans seem to think a change to Brady Quinn will help the offense, there is little to substantiate that. Quinn is certainly looking like the starter this weekend and it could be his final chance at getting a gig like this. He has completed just 52 percent of his passes and thrown for just 10 touchdowns (with nine interceptions) in 356 passing attempts. Though Tampa Bay is not exactly making it tough on quarterbacks, Quinn could easily struggle and undermine the value of Dwayne Bowe.
- The Redskins have not given an update on Robert Griffin III and his status for this weekend. The best fantasy owners could hope for would be Kirk Cousins to fill in for him if this is the case. That would help in two ways. First, there would be more emphasis on the running game which raises the value of Alfred Morris. Second, Cousins at least has a similar style to Griffin, which means the play calling would not have to be completely changed. Of course, Rex Grossman could still be involved. No one wants to see that.
- ESPN is reporting that tests are being done to see if Jahvid Best will be cleared to return to action for Week Seven. Best obviously comes with a lot of questions and his ability to take a big hit and stay in the game can only be tested once he is in a game. Still, he could help the Lions in the way the Saints use Darren Sproles. While Mikel Leshoure came out on fire his first week back, he has been average at best since. Best passing these tests is the first step in his playing in two weeks.