It’s the first week of bye weeks, so between time off and injuries, we’ve got a lot of decisions to make for our lineups this week. No sense in wasting time then, so let’s get to it. We’ll start with the guys we covered on Tuesday and then we’ll scour the injury report looking for more news to help you out. Remember, check back either late night tonight or early Saturday morning for the NFL’s official injury report for Week 5 which will be re-posted at the end of the article. And away we go…
Andre Johnson, WR HOU – It was confirmed earlier in the week that Johnson underwent minor surgery to repair his hamstring and while there won’t be a timetable set for his return just yet (they want to wait until after a week of rehab before officially setting one), it is an estimated three weeks that he will miss. Jacoby Jones and Kevin Walter will see an increase in workload and Owen Daniels could be an even bigger red zone threat than before.
Rashard Mendenhall, RB PIT -- It was originally reported that Mendenhall’s hamstring injury wasn’t that serious, but he was held out of practice on Thursday and only participated in limited fashion Friday. He will be a game time decision, so be prepared and have an alternative ready. If Mendenhall doesn’t go, then Isaac Redman becomes a very good option for the week.
Jeremy Shockey, TE CAR – Apparently Shockey has passed all of the NFL’s new protocol for concussions and is a go for Week 5. However, he is behind Greg Olsen on the depth chart and is really nothing more than a desperate bye week replacement in deeper leagues.
Mike Williams, WR SEA – Unlike Shockey, Williams has not passed all of the concussion tests necessary to be cleared and he is expected to be out for this week’s matchup against the Giants. Ben Obomanu and Doug Baldwin will get the most looks, but neither one is anything more than a low end WR3.
Danny Woodhead, RB NE – After missing practice again on Thursday and Friday with a sprained ankle, it appears that Woodhead will miss the Week 5 match up against the Jets. He’s listed as questionable, but will likely not play. Stevan Ridley should make for a decent flex play with another week of increased workload.
Ben Tate, RB HOU – Tate’s groin injury has knocked him down the depth chart in Houston and will be a game time decision. Even if he does play, it’s time to cut him loose as Chris Ogbonnaya is the new backup.
Ben Roethlisberger, PIT – Big Ben was back at full practice on Thursday and is expected to be under center come Sunday. He’s played with a foot injury before (last season) and wore a protective shoe during games and seemed fine. He may be a little tentative about scrambling, but he should be good to go against the Titans.
Kerry Collins, IND – He returned to practice on a limited basis Friday, but will not be under center as the Colts try to win their first game. Curtis painter remains the starter for now.
Brandon Jacobs, NYG – After missing practice on most of the week, including Friday, it came out that Jacobs is actually dealing with an MCL sprain in his knee. He will likely miss Week 5 against Seattle entirely so you’ll have to find an alternative for your flex position.
Derrick Ward, HOU – Just like Tate, he is questionable for this week and it’s likely going to be one or the other that is activated this week. Ward is not a viable option in any league right now.
Earnest Graham, TB – He was limited in practice on Thursday with a hamstring issue and is being listed as questionable on the injury report. But it looks like Graham will actually suit up this week. He’s the back-up to LeGarrette Blount, but he does see a lot of action on third downs. Doesn’t make him a viable option outside of a flex spot in a crazy, deep league, but still worth noting.
Devery Henderson, NO – He’s being listed as questionable with a calf injury but it sounds like he will see some action. However, given his drop-off in production the last two weeks and the returns of both Marques Colston and Lance Moore, Henderson’s upside is extremely limited now.
Earl Bennett, CHI – He missed Week 4 with the same chest injury that is hampering him now and is listed as questionable for this week. He should sit again this week with Dane Sanzenbacher filling in for him as the slot receiver.
Jacoby Jones, HOU – He’s been limited in practice with a knee injury the past few days, but Jones is still expected to play this Sunday against the Raiders. With Johnson out, Jones should get some good looks this week and if your league counts return yards, then boo-yah!
Louis Murphy, OAK – Murphy has been back at practice the past few days after missing the start of the season with a groin injury. He still hasn’t been cleared yet by team doctors and is listed as questionable, but there is a chance he plays this week against Houston. Unfortunately, adding Murphy to the mix really crowds the Raiders receiving corps and now makes any of them a risky play.
Aaron Hernandez, NE – He’s been a full participant in practice both Thursday and Friday and it looks like, while he’s listed as questionable, he’ll play this week against the Jets. Obviously you’ll have to have a contingency plan just in case, but thing should look good when you check the inactives prior to the game.
Zach Miller, JAC – This is the “other” Zach Miller, so be careful when making your decisions. Not that the other one is lighting it up either, but this Miller missed practice on Friday with a shoulder issue and will probably miss this week’s game. Marcedes Lewis is the go-to TE on this weak offense anyway.
Todd Heap, ARI – It looks like it’s a game time decision for Heap who is listed as questionable with a hamstring injury. He’s been limited in practice all week so it’s just going to be a matter of how he feels on Sunday morning. It would be wise to find an alternative like Jeff King who would benefit even more if Heap were out of action.
KANSAS CITY at INDIANAPOLIS — CHIEFS: PROBABLE: WR Jonathan Baldwin (thumb), WR Terrance Copper (illness), S Jon McGraw (knee). COLTS: OUT: QB Peyton Manning (neck). QUESTIONABLE: T Anthony Castonzo (ankle), QB Kerry Collins (concussion), G Ryan Diem (ankle), TE Brody Eldridge (knee), DE Dwight Freeney (abdomen), DT Fili Moala (ankle), DT Drake Nevis (back), G Mike Pollak (arm), T Joe Reitz (ankle), LB Ernie Sims (knee).
ARIZONA at MINNESOTA — CARDINALS: OUT: TE Jim Dray (pectoral). QUESTIONABLE: TE Todd Heap (hamstring), T Brandon Keith (knee), WR Chansi Stuckey (hamstring), RB Beanie Wells (hamstring), P Dave Zastudil (right knee). PROBABLE: CB Michael Adams (wrist), WR Early Doucet (hamstring), CB A.J. Jefferson (ankle), LB Joey Porter (knee), C Lyle Sendlein (elbow). VIKINGS: DOUBTFUL: CB Antoine Winfield (neck). QUESTIONABLE: P Chris Kluwe (hamstring). PROBABLE: S Husain Abdullah (pelvis), LB E.J. Henderson (knee), T Charlie Johnson (elbow), S Tyrell Johnson (hip), RB Adrian Peterson (ankle), S Jamarca Sanford (knee), C John Sullivan (ankle).
PHILADELPHIA at BUFFALO — EAGLES: OUT: DE Trent Cole (calf), T Jason Peters (hamstring). QUESTIONABLE: DE Juqua Parker (ankle). PROBABLE: S Nate Allen (knee), WR Jason Avant (shoulder), WR Riley Cooper (hamstring), LB Moise Fokou (neck), CB Brandon Hughes (hamstring), DT Cullen Jenkins (triceps), T Winston Justice (knee), DT Mike Patterson (knee), WR Steve Smith (knee), DE Darryl Tapp (pectoral), QB Michael Vick (left finger). BILLS: OUT: T Demetrius Bell (shoulder), LB Chris Kelsay (calf), NT Torell Troup (back), LB Chris White (hamstring), CB Aaron Williams (chest). PROBABLE: LB Nick Barnett (ankle), WR Ruvell Martin (knee), CB Terrence McGee (hamstring), LB Shawne Merriman (shoulder), RB C.J. Spiller (knee), G Kraig Urbik (knee), C Eric Wood (ankle).
OAKLAND at HOUSTON — RAIDERS: OUT: TE Richard Gordon (hand), CB Chris Johnson (hamstring), DE Matt Shaughnessy (shoulder). QUESTIONABLE: LB Ricky Brown (concussion), CB Chimdi Chekwa (hamstring), S Michael Huff (ankle), WR Louis Murphy (groin), RB Marcel Reece (ankle). PROBABLE: S Jerome Boyd (knee), S Tyvon Branch (knee), RB Michael Bush (ankle), QB Jason Campbell (foot), RB Taiwan Jones (calf), S Mike Mitchell (knee), DE Jarvis Moss (chest). TEXANS: OUT: WR Andre Johnson (hamstring). DOUBTFUL: LB Tim Dobbins (hamstring). QUESTIONABLE: CB Kareem Jackson (knee), WR Bryant Johnson (hamstring), CB Sherrick McManis (hamstring), LB DeMeco Ryans (elbow, hamstring), RB Ben Tate (groin), RB Derrick Ward (ankle, shoulder). PROBABLE: CB Jason Allen (knee), G Thomas Austin (knee), RB Arian Foster (hip), WR Jacoby Jones (knee), CB Johnathan Joseph (hamstring), CB Brice McCain (groin), C Chris Myers (elbow, ankle), DE Antonio Smith (ankle), LB Mario Williams (elbow).
NEW ORLEANS at CAROLINA — SAINTS: OUT: T Zach Strief (knee), TE David Thomas (concussion). DOUBTFUL: LB Martez Wilson (neck). QUESTIONABLE: WR Devery Henderson (calf), LB Will Herring (hamstring), C Olin Kreutz (knee). PROBABLE: LB Jonathan Vilma (knee). PANTHERS: PROBABLE: CB Chris Gamble (head), RB Mike Goodson (illness), C Geoff Hangartner (back), T Jeff Otah (back), TE Jeremy Shockey (head).
CINCINNATI at JACKSONVILLE — BENGALS: DOUBTFUL: CB Kelly Jennings (hamstring), LB Dontay Moch (foot). QUESTIONABLE: S Jeromy Miles (groin). PROBABLE: S Chris Crocker (knee), S Taylor Mays (illness), T Andre Smith (foot), T Andrew Whitworth (not injury related). JAGUARS: OUT: CB Derek Cox (groin), RB Montell Owens (knee). DOUBTFUL: TE Zach Miller (shoulder), WR Kassim Osgood (hamstring), G Jason Spitz (quadriceps). QUESTIONABLE: S Courtney Greene (neck), DE Aaron Kampman (knee). PROBABLE: DT Tyson Alualu (knee), T Eugene Monroe (shoulder).
TENNESSEE at PITTSBURGH — TITANS: OUT: S Chris Hope (forearm). QUESTIONABLE: G Leroy Harris (knee), TE Craig Stevens (rib). PROBABLE: S Michael Griffin (illness), WR Marc Mariani (hip), LB Gerald McRath (knee). STEELERS: OUT: NT Casey Hampton (shoulder), LB James Harrison (eye), G Chris Kemoeatu (knee), RB Mewelde Moore (ankle), DE Aaron Smith (foot), LB Jason Worilds (quadriceps). QUESTIONABLE: CB Cortez Allen (ankle), RB Rashard Mendenhall (hamstring). PROBABLE: QB Ben Roethlisberger (foot).
SEATTLE at NEW YORK GIANTS — SEAHAWKS: OUT: G Robert Gallery (groin), WR Mike Williams (concussion). DOUBTFUL: CB Byron Maxwell (ankle), LB Malcolm Smith (hamstring). QUESTIONABLE: S Kam Chancellor (quadriceps), WR Kris Durham (hamstring), CB Marcus Trufant (back). PROBABLE: DE Anthony Hargrove (hamstring), TE Zach Miller (knee). GIANTS: OUT: CB Prince Amukamara (foot), C David Baas (neck). DOUBTFUL: RB Brandon Jacobs (knee), DE Justin Tuck (groin, neck). PROBABLE: DT Rocky Bernard (ribs), LB Michael Boley (knee), DE Osi Umenyiora (knee).
TAMPA BAY at SAN FRANCISCO — BUCCANEERS: OUT: S Devin Holland (back), T James Lee (knee), TE Luke Stocker (knee), WR Sammie Stroughter (foot). DOUBTFUL: LB Zac Diles (hamstring). QUESTIONABLE: LB Quincy Black (ankle). PROBABLE: DE Michael Bennett (groin), DE Tim Crowder (knee), RB Earnest Graham (hamstring), TE Zack Pianalto (calf), CB Aqib Talib (knee). 49ERS: OUT: CB Tramaine Brock (hand), WR Braylon Edwards (knee), RB Moran Norris (fibula). DOUBTFUL: DT Isaac Sopoaga (infection). QUESTIONABLE: CB Shawntae Spencer (toe). PROBABLE: WR Michael Crabtree (foot), RB Frank Gore (ankle), G Mike Iupati (neck), C Adam Snyder (hamstring).
NEW YORK JETS at NEW ENGLAND — JETS: OUT: LB Garrett McIntyre (concussion), WR Logan Payne (wrist), LB Bryan Thomas (Achilles). QUESTIONABLE: C Nick Mangold (ankle). PROBABLE: WR Plaxico Burress (elbow), CB Antonio Cromartie (ribs), DE Mike DeVito (shoulder), LB David Harris (toe), LB Calvin Pace (abdomen), S Eric Smith (triceps), DE Muhammad Wilkerson (shoulder). PATRIOTS: DOUBTFUL: WR Julian Edelman (ankle), LB Jerod Mayo (knee), T Sebastian Vollmer (back), RB Danny Woodhead (ankle). QUESTIONABLE: S Josh Barrett (thumb, hamstring), CB Leigh Bodden (groin), CB Ras-I Dowling (hip), DT Albert Haynesworth (back), TE Aaron Hernandez (knee), DT Kyle Love (ankle), DE Mike Wright (concussion). PROBABLE: S Patrick Chung (hand), DE Shaun Ellis (knee), LB Dane Fletcher (thumb).
SAN DIEGO at DENVER — CHARGERS: OUT: DE Luis Castillo (tibia), DE Jacques Cesaire (knee). DOUBTFUL: TE Antonio Gates (foot). PROBABLE: C Nick Hardwick (neck), WR Vincent Jackson (hamstring), CB Quentin Jammer (illness). BRONCOS: OUT: WR Eddie Royal (groin), WR Demaryius Thomas (finger), TE Julius Thomas (ankle). QUESTIONABLE: S Brian Dawkins (ankle), TE Daniel Fells (knee), CB Jonathan Wilhite (illness). PROBABLE: CB Champ Bailey (hamstring), S Rahim Moore (illness), RB Knowshon Moreno (hamstring), DT Marcus Thomas (groin).
GREEN BAY at ATLANTA — PACKERS: OUT: T Bryan Bulaga (knee), S Nick Collins (neck), DE Mike Neal (knee), LB Frank Zombo (shoulder). DOUBTFUL: TE Andrew Quarless (knee). QUESTIONABLE: LB Brad Jones (hamstring). PROBABLE: T Chad Clifton (knee), WR Donald Driver (shin), RB Ryan Grant (kidney), LB Jamari Lattimore (shoulder), CB Pat Lee (back), LB Clay Matthews (quadriceps), TE Ryan Taylor (shoulder), CB Tramon Williams (shoulder), CB Charles Woodson (foot, knee). FALCONS: OUT: DE Cliff Matthews (knee), C Todd McClure (knee). QUESTIONABLE: DE John Abraham (hip), DT Jonathan Babineaux (knee). PROBABLE: S William Moore (neck), LB Stephen Nicholas (calf), CB Christopher Owens (ankle), TE Michael Palmer (ankle), RB Jason Snelling (concussion), WR Roddy White (thigh).
CHICAGO at DETROIT — BEARS: DNP: WR Earl Bennett (chest), T Gabe Carimi (knee), DE Corey Wootton (hand). LIMITED: S Chris Harris (hamstring), TE Matt Spaeth (calf), C Chris Spencer (hand), CB Charles Tillman (hip). LIONS: DNP: S Erik Coleman (ankle), WR Rashied Davis (foot). LIMITED: CB Aaron Berry (groin), S Louis Delmas (abdomen), LB Justin Durant (concussion), DT Nick Fairley (foot), T Jason Fox (foot), DE Lawrence Jackson (hamstring), S Amari Spievey (hamstring). FULL: WR Calvin Johnson (ankle), LB DeAndre Levy (knee), WR Maurice Stovall (hand), CB Eric Wright (groin).
Howard Bender has been covering fantasy sports for over 10 years on a variety of websites. You can follow him on Twitter at @rotobuzzguy or for questions, thoughts or comments you can email him at email@example.com.
IDP Report Week 8
In the Trenches: Fantasy Football Preview of Thursday's Carolina Panthers vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Week 8 NFL Weather Report 2013
Post Week 7: Fantasy Football Pass Targets
In the Trenches: Murphy's Law Kicks Owners in the Fantasy Footballs
2013 Fantasy Football Weekly Recaps: Week 7
In the Trenches: NFL Week 7 Fantasy Starts & Sits By the Numbers
IDP Report Week 7
Week 7 NFL Weather Report
In the Trenches: Last-Minute Fantasy Look at Seattle vs Arizona
Post Week 6: Fantasy Football Pass Targets
2013 Fantasy Football Injury Report: Jimmy Graham, DeMarco Murray & More
In the Trenches: Will This Dog Hunt?
In The Trenches: Week 7 Matchups
2013 Fantasy Football Weekly Rankings: Week 7
In the Trenches: Fantasy Football's Busted Backs
In The Trenches: The Tight End Position
2013 Fantasy Football Weekly Recaps: Week 6
In The Trenches: Last-Minute Fantasy Football Start/Sit Thoughts for NFL Week 6
2013 Fantasy Football Injury Report: Julio Jones, Cecil Shorts & More