|Vincent Jackson's balky hamstring is causing a lot of headaches for the Chargers and fantasy owners alike.|
The injury report is not as populated as it's been in recent weeks, but star players are still in question. Let's go inside The Hurt Locker and point you the right way for this weekend. Remember the byes, so picking up replacements is a bit trickier because more players than normal have already been snapped up.
Ben Roethlisberger: From a walking boot after the game, to another week of "will he or won't he." Right now he looks like he'll play. But it doesn't matter. The Steelers are struggling. There are better quarterback options out there right now besides Roethlisberger. Remember, it's not 2010. This edition of the Steelers isn't nearly what they were even a year ago. They're not consistent. Matt Hasselbeck, Mark Sanchez, and even Matt Cassel and Andy Dalton are better bets right now.
Rashard Mendenhall: He practiced Friday, but is questionable, even though he did practice on Friday. Grab Isaac Redman because he's going to get the carries due to Mendenhall's injury and lack of production. The two will split carries which makes Redman a decent flex play.
Ryan Grant: After missing Week 4 with a bruised kidney, he's been back at practice and cleared to play Sunday against the Falcons. Remember a week ago, when Mike McCarthy said he had to get Grant the ball more? That's going to happen this week. James Starks didn't distinguish himself enough last week to maintain a time-share. This week, Grant is a good No. 2 and Starks only if you're desperate at the flex.
Antonio Gates: His foot situation is now week-to-week instead of day-to-day. Go get a good backup and plan on playing him for awhile. Greg Olsen is a terrific pickup as Cam Newton's security blanket. He's the No. 2 guy in targets there behind Steve Smith and you know Carolina will still throw the football. Jermaine Gresham is also a great option.
Vincent Jackson: More and more concern about Jackson's potential production for Sunday against Denver. Look, if he plays, you play him because he's Vincent Jackson and he's going to get the ball. If not? Michael Crabtree or Antonio Brown are your likely top two replacements.
Aaron Hernandez: Back at practice for the Patriots this week, there's been a lot of speculation that he could wind up on Revis Island. No matter what, if he plays, you put him back into your lineup. The Jets can't cover the tight end and Hernandez will line up in so many different places he'll get his touches.
Danny Woodhead: He's week-to-week now, and even though you're not playing him, the reason Woodhead is a big deal is because this thins out the herd in New England's backfield. Now it's a wrestling match between BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Stevan Ridley, and right now they're both worthy of flex plays considering it's the first week of byes.
» Chad Henne's injury shouldn't change things in Miami. Daniel Thomas might wind up with more carries as a result and surely Matt Moore will look for Brandon Marshall on every play. Still play these guys after the bye ...
» With the news that Danny Amendola will miss the rest of the season due to his triceps injury, it's time to cut bait on Sam Bradford. You can always pick him back up, but you can do better for your No. 2. He'll never be an elite fantasy QB until the Rams start getting him real help at WR ...
» Brandon Jacobs has had a knee issue this week, and now that he's officially doubtful, he probably won't play against Seattle. That makes Ahmad Bradshaw a really strong No. 2 or even a No. 1 ...
» Ben Tate and Derrick Ward both practiced Friday for the Texans, and head coach Gary Kubiak said one of them will play, but it doesn't matter. Arian Foster is back as the unquestioned number one so neither of them are worth activating ...
» Plaxico Burress has been limited at practice for the Jets with a tight hamstring. Normally, I'd say shy away from him, but if he goes, he's worth a flex play. If you can't do it against the Patriots, who can you do it against?