Title week Hurt Locker stuffed with risk-reward players

Championship Week is here. So is Christmas. The best present I can give you is this: just about everyone banged up this week will play in Week 16. The only downside is that with most of these injuries they're things that can crop up during a game and suddenly the player leaves in the 2nd quarter with 3 fantasy points. But you can't predict when injuries will happen. So who do you play at Title Time? Let's unlock the combination and open The Hurt Locker.

A.J. Green: He was back at practice this week so he looks good to go Saturday against the Cardinals. As long as he plays for them, he plays for you. He's catching 5 to 6 passes a game in December, so no worries about a rookie wall at all for him. He's still a great No. 2.

Chris Johnson: He admitted he's having problems cutting and his matchup against Jacksonville isn't the easiest in the world. But it's not the hardest, either. He had a nice week last week catching passes out of the backfield, and barring any more setbacks, he'll be safe to play in Championship Week. Do you really want to leave him on your bench and start someone else?

Felix Jones: In and out of practice this week with a hamstring issue, his status is up in the air. If he plays, he'll likely see his carries decrease a little bit to reduce wear and tear. Sammy Morris would suck up the majority of those, as he subbed for Jones late in the Cowboys win over the Buccaneers. If Jones plays, he's a great flex option for you because he's been over the century mark in the two games since taking over for DeMarco Murray.

Willis McGahee: He was back practicing after missing the 2nd half against New England. This is the biggest fear for McGahee. After not having a big number of carries the last few years, this sudden workload in Denver would wear him down, and that's what's happening. Still, when he's been in there, he's produced. If he goes, he's your flex as Denver has a great matchup against Buffalo, who Reggie Bush gashed for over 200 yards last week.

Ben Roethlisberger: Pittsburgh would like to give Roethsliberger a full week of rest, meaning he won't be throwing footballs on Saturday. Luckily, the Rams are in town, which means you can still play all your Steelers weapons like normal. Rashard Mendenhall is a No. 2 RB, and Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown are in your lineup as well. If you were counting on Roethlisberger for your championship week, you'd do better to pick up and start Matt Moore, Mark Sanchez or Kyle Orton, who all have great matchups this week.

James Starks: He's returned to practice with Green Bay, and could be close to 100 percent. If that's true, it means he'll split carries with Ryan Grant. In that case, neither player is a strong fantasy play this week. You can leave them on your bench as you can't count on either of them for more than 50 yards rushing or a TD.


Anquan Boldin had surgery on his meniscus and will miss the rest of the season, but you likely weren't starting him anymore anyway. He's been surpassed by Torrey Smith as the smart play because Smith is the WR most likely to get in the end zone…

Mario Manningham will be a likely game-time call against the Jets, but he's now the number three option behind Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz, so he wasn't going to be in your lineup regardless…

Stevie Johnson, Ahmad Bradshaw and Frank Gore were all limited in practice this week but will play this weekend. They're banged up but they'll be good to go to start…

Sam Bradford is doubtful due to his ankle against the Steelers, meaning Brandon Lloyd's production is hit-and-miss. If you have a WR you think can get you more than five points, play him over Lloyd.

See Jason Smith on "NFL Fantasy Live," airing Sundays at 11:30 a.m. ET on the "NFL RedZone" 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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