Here is how we see this weeks big injuries playing out. No need to list the players who are ruled out as we already know they won’t play. Let’s take a look at the DQP players, so you can hit the waiver wire or your bench for a winning line up.
Brandon Marshall (Start him with confidence)
Marshall has been playing with an injured ankle since hurting it in week 1. Although he gets out there and plays every week and I expect him to do the same this week, he has grossly been a decoy or non factor. Even with a 3 TD performance in week 2 at San Francisco, he only had 48 yards. His skill set does allow him to play with this injury as he can still be productive without the quickness and cuts that his ankle is likely limiting him with. With that said, keep in mind that it has been 3 weeks since his injury and most mild ankle sprains are mostly healed within that time or less. Marshall likely could have improved faster by taking some time off, but I expect him to be closer to his normal self this week and put up normal Brandon Marshall numbers against a tough Carolina defense that has had a few hiccups this year. No bubble screens or crisp route running is likely just yet, but I see no reason why Marshalls’ ankle won’t allow him to post up in the end zone and score. I would start him with confidence.
Jamal Charles (The 49ers defense is a bigger factor than his ankle sprain at this point)
Charles bounced back pretty quickly from his high ankle sprain to light The Patriots up. I see no reason why he is not physically able to perform this week with the exception of The San Francisco 49ers. There is the likelihood that he still has some lingering swelling and pain, but based on his performance last week and the fact that he will be 3 weeks out, I think Charles is back to business as usual.
Teddy Bridgewater (Get him ready for week 6 at home vs. the Lions)
The Vikings should not play him and nor should you. After an exciting week for Minnesota fans and those who had Bridgewater in the stash for fantasy, everyone is probably a little over excited about a rookie QB that lit up a sub par defense who had no pro film on him. With what appears to be a mild eversion sprain or maybe a mild high ankle sprain, I don’t see any way Bridgewater gets on the field in a productive way on Thursday night. Furthermore the Green Bay weather forecast calls for rain which compromises his footing. All signs point to sitting Teddy for a week and preserving the excitement that he earned in week 4. So regardless of what Zimmer and the Vikings do, you should not risk a start on Bridgewater and should plan for another QB to be in your line up.
Carson Palmer (over/under for remaining time in Carson Palmers career is 4 months-never start him. Take Denver defense if Palmer steps on the field)
Palmer is listed as questionable but I would have put him as doubtful. Those who read my recent story on Palmer know that I do not have high hopes for Palmer when/if he comes back. With the nerve injury in his throwing shoulder now causing him to see a second specialist confirms my initial fears that this is the beginning of the end for Palmer. As a general rule of thumb, players don’t seek a second opinion for injuries that are doing well. I doubt anyone plans to start him at Denver, but just in case…..DON’T. The smarter bet is probably betting on Denver to cover if Palmer is in the lineup. I don’t expect Palmer to throw well at all if he is on the field and a Palmer start elevates the Denver Broncos Defense to a start in my opinion.
Vernon Davis (Sit him if you can)
We predicted that Vernon Davis would play against Philly and also predicted that he would not play well. Although this small example does not make me right (yet), but I also predicted that Davis is near The Redzone stage of his career and likely to decline rapidly. I feel like this week will be a continuation of last week. It is likely that his ankle is still not fully healed and that his knee also still has pain. As simple as it sounds, the song is true–“the knee bones connected to the thigh bone….the thigh bones connected to the hip bone…. the hip bones connected to the back bone…. All of these injuries become somewhat related and with Davis now suffering from 3 injured areas, other body parts will pick up the slack. In the case of Davis, I believe a hit triggered the back spasms he is currently suffering from, but I also believe his back was primed for this by him trying to play on an injury, which caused him to compensate by putting more work on his back as well as other body parts. I would stay away from Davis for a week or 2 if possible, although productive TE’s are tough to find. I wouldn’t be surprised if he sat this one out or left the game one more injury richer.
Jake Locker (SIt him, start the Browns Defense)
In week 3 we predicted it would be 2-3 weeks before Locker would be effective. Nothing has changed since then and the prediction is still that his first productive week will be week 6 when the Titans host the Jaguars. I don’t know if this is really a sleeper play with all the negative pub that Charlie Whitehurst has received, but The Browns Defense may be a good sleeper play here as no matter who plays, the Titans will be fielding an ineffective QB.
There are no key players listed as doubtful so for this week my doubtful is The entire Atlanta Falcons team. They are very banged up and are holding open tryout for various positions (just kidding). I would stay away from them all, if possible for fantasy, and expect the Giants to cover easily at home.