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Vick's injury should be a warning sign to fantasy owners

This week it's the lingering injuries that have caught our attention in The Hurt Locker. (At least Joseph Addai is on a bye, snapping his seven-week streak of appearing in this report.) For the most part, the hamstrings aren't healing as fast as fantasy owners would like, but the good news is there's more than an ample pool of handcuffs as options. So let's unlock the combination and see what's inside The Hurt Locker.

Ahmad Bradshaw: He's likely out Sunday night against the Eagles. He's getting better and I expect him back next week, so there's a ray of hope there. Until then, keep riding Brandon Jacobs. He had a horrible matchup last week against San Francisco, but a much better one this week. Play him as your flex or a weaker No. 2. When Bradshaw returns, it's his job 100 percent.

Frank Gore: He looks good to go against Arizona, which could be another gold mine of a day for him. Put him back in and expect a huge day.

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A.J. Green: A game-time decision for Sunday's tilt with Baltimore. Don't we love game-time decisions as fantasy owners? But this is simple - if he plays, play him. You can make plays downfield on the Ravens 'D', and Green was having a good day against the Steelers before getting hurt. But if you need insurance, pick up Earl Bennett or Denarius Moore, who are still widely available in most leagues.

Stevie Johnson: He says he doesn't know if he can play Sunday against Miami with his shoulder injury. He's had zero production the last few weeks, so it's hard for me to recommend starting him, healthy or not. If you need a handcuff, pick up David Nelson who seems to have a nose for the end zone, or even Harry Douglas depending on Julio Jones' status.

Julio Jones: You like that segue? He hasn't practiced most of the week, but at least his situation is easy. Harry Douglas isn't owned in over 88% of all NFL.com leagues, which means he's probably out there no matter where you play. Get him as a handcuff if you're concerned. If Jones plays, play him. If he doesn't? Roll with Douglas.

Darren McFadden: He's getting better but it doesn't look good for him facing the Vikings. This means Michael Bush is a strong No. 2 play with a great matchup. When McFadden does get healthy, he'll still be the bell cow runner, but Bush is still worth a flex play because he'll get at least 10 touches a game and will be the goal-line back. Oakland has to do all they can to protect McFadden, so Bush's role will be even larger than it was before McFadden's injury.

Michael Vick: Vick is out Sunday, so it's wise to make sure you acquire a good backup down the stretch. With his continuing health issues coupled with the Eagles bad record, if they fall completely out of contention it will be easier for Philadelphia to not play him the final few weeks when you're competing for a championship.

Beanie Wells: He's banged up and he has a horrendous matchup this week against San Francisco. Still, zero rushing TD allowed by the 49ers this year. If you have any other options at RB, start them. And I mean the Marion Barbers, D.J. Wares and Law Firms of the world.

Other hurts

>> I never thought I'd say this, but I'd rather start John Skelton over Kevin Kolb right now. Kolb's foot injury has his status up in the air for Sunday - you're not starting him, but Larry Fitzgerald's production can be affected by five points or more depending on who the QB is. Five extra points if it's Skelton…

>> Another week with no Peyton Hillis or Montario Hardesty. I'm sticking with my prediction Hillis won't play again this season. Chris Ogbannaya has produced more than I expected, and in the final bye week he's worth a flex play with a great matchup against Jacksonville…

>> Felix Jones is back! Don't play him. His responsibility is greatly diminished with the emergence of DeMarco Murray. He won't get the carries…

>> Jahvid Best is out again as he recovers from his concussion. Mo Morris is a good play when Detroit has a good matchup, and this is one of those weeks. Put him in your flex, but watch and see how Detroit uses Kevin Smith. I don't think Best will be back for awhile and this situation may go on longer than initially expected…

>> Malcom Floyd is still slow to return from injury, if he doesn't play Sunday then Vincent Brown is a nice handcuff and flex play against the Bears…

>> Jacoby Ford is questionable for Sunday against Minnesota. If he plays, I'd get him in as a flex. Carson Palmer is only looking towards Denarius Moore and Ford so he would be in for a ton of targets.

See Jason Smith on NFL Fantasy Live, airing Sundays at 11:30 a.m. ET on the Red Zone Channel, and Tuesday-Friday on NFL Network at 2 p.m. ET and 12 a.m. ET/9 p.m. PT. He writes fantasy and other NFL pith on NFL.com daily. Talk to him on Twitter @howaboutafresca. He only asks you never bring up when the Jets play poorly.

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