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Bradford out, Hasselbeck in for playoff week

If you took any advice from my Friday fantasy column, ignore it.

After missing practice earlier in the week, Titans quarterback Matt Hasselbeck has gotten healthy and is slated to start today against the Colts. Obviously, that means you should take rookie Jake Locker out of your lineup if you had picked him up.

Hasselbeck, meanwhile, becomes a solid play against an Indy defense that's giving up almost 30 points a game.

In other quarterback news, Sam Bradford is out today for the Rams, with speculation he'll be shut down for the rest of the season to rest a high ankle sprain. Kellen Clemens starts for the Rams, but he shouldn't for you.

Rookie John Skelton will start in place of Kevin Kolb for the Cardinals, who face the Browns at home.

If you're looking for a sleeper candidate, Kyle Orton of the Chiefs should be putting the ball in the air a ton against the Packers, since Kansas City is likely to be trailing.

Here in Buffalo, Matt Moore will start for the Dolphins against the Bills.

At running back, there is good news for Adrian Peterson owners. The Vikings' star back will return to the lineup today after missing three games with an ankle injury. Peterson might not get as much work as he usually does, but he's still a good play.

For New England, wide receiver Wes Welker is expected to start despite a knee injury.

Best of luck. Go get that championship!

---Jay Skurski

http://twitter.com/jayskurski 

Falls' Starks good to go today

Some late-breaking fantasy news on your Thanksgiving.

Niagara Falls native James Starks is active at running back for the Green Bay Packers today, who look to stay undefeated against the Detroit Lions.

On the Detroit side, Kevin Smith is listed as the starter at running back.

Some other fantasy notes as you get ready for some football:

- Packers WR Greg Jennings is active with a bruised knee. He's a good start.

- In the 4 p.m. game, Cowboys WR Miles Austin is out with a hamstring injury.

- In the late game, 49ers RB Frank Gore is expected to play despite being questionable with a knee injury, while Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis is unlikely to play with a toe injury (for those in leagues who start individual defensive players).

Happy Thanksgiving, and best of luck!

---Jay Skurski

http://twitter.com/jayskurski

Rookie WR Green out today for Bengals

Stud receiver A.J. Green of the Bengals is out today with a knee injury, highlighting the injury news heading into Week 11 of the fantasy season.

A quick spin around the league as you set your rosters for those 1 p.m. kickoffs:

- Stevie Johnson is active for the Bills at Miami. He's a No. 2 WR option.

- Mike Vick is out at quarterback for the Eagles, with Vince Young taking over. Young won't have Jeremy Maclin to throw to, as the WR is out, as well.

- Browns RB Montario Hardesty is inactive for a third straight game because of a calf injury. Chris Ogbonnaya is making his third straight start with Hardesty and Peyton Hillis (hamstring) out.

- Dolphins kicker Dan Carpenter won't play against the Bills. Miami signed Shayne Graham to be his replacement.

- RB Felix Jones is active today for the Dallas Cowboys, but rookie RB DeMarco Murray has been playing well and will still get the bulk of the carries. I'd sit Jones unless you had no other choice.

- Mohamed Massaquoi is back at WR for the Browns today. Hey, somebody has to catch the ball in Cleveland.

- Vikings tight end Visanthe Shiancoe, who was questionable with a hamstring injury, is active today.

Best of luck in Week 11!

---Jay Skurski

http://twitter.com/jayskurski

Eagles' Jackson out for Week 10

DeSean Jackson's late scratch this morning is the big fantasy news heading into Week 10.

The Eagles' receiver overslept Saturday, missing a team meeting, and as a result will be inactive for today's game against the Cardinals. If you need an emergency replacement, you might consider Jackson's teammate, Riley Cooper.

Wide receivers are beat up across the league.

- Starting in Dallas, where the Bills meet the Cowboys, Miles Austin will be out for the home team. Laurent Robinson has been great of late for the Cowboys, and is a good replacement if he's available.

- Mario Manningham isn't expected to play for the Giants and Hakeem Nicks is banged up, which means Victor Cruz is the safest fantasy play among New York wideouts.

- Fantasy stud Andre Johnson is out yet again for the Houston Texans, continuing his disappointing season.

- The Bills' Stevie Johnson missed some practice time with an illness this week, but is expected to be fine for the game. You can safely start him.

- Despite missing practice Thursday and Friday with a hamstring injury, receiver Lance Moore is expected to play today for the Saints.

- The Browns' Mohamed Massaquoi is out, which will benefit Josh Cribbs.

At quarterback, John Beck is out and Rex Grossman is back in for the Redskins. Beck probably wasn't starting for you anyway, but make sure he's out of your lineup now if he was.

The Cardinals' Kevin Kolb will miss his homecoming game at Philadelphia, making John Skelton the starter. Make sure Kolb is out of your lineup.

Best of luck in Week 10! The playoffs are right around the corner ...

---Jay Skurski

http://twitter.com/jayskurski

Week Eight walk-thru

An earlier-than-usual spin around the NFL, due to a Toronto trek that will start soon:

- As I wrote in Friday's column, if there's ever a time for Titans running back Chris Johnson to get on track, today against the Colts is it. If Johnson doesn't give you a 100-yard game and get in the end zone, it's time to put him on the trade block to see what his high-profile name can fetch.

In that same game, Colts rookie Delone Carter is a good sleeper running back, while Titans tight end Jared Cook is the same at his position.

- Dolphins running back Daniel Thomas is out with a hamstring injury. Incredibly, the Dolphins don't have a touchdown from a wide receiver since Week Two.

- The Jaguars' defense proved last week it's legit, and Houston will still be without WR Andre Johnson, so QB Matt Schaub can take a seat if you've got a worthwhile backup.

- Ravens QB Joe Flacco has just one TD pass in his past three games, but gets a cake home game against Arizona today to fix that. Start him.

In that same game, Cardinals running back Beanie Wells is expected to play, but in a limited role. That means he can be left on the bench for another week against the ever-tough Ravens' "D."

- Rookie RB Mark Ingram is out for the Saints this week, so Pierre Thomas and Darren Sproles will get more work against the hapless Rams.

In the same game, Brandon Lloyd was targeted 12 times in his St. Louis debut last week. Back with offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, Lloyd should become more of a fantasy factor in the coming weeks and is worth starting today.

- Broncos RB Willis McGahee is out, making Knowshon Moreno the starter.

In the same game, I'm betting that Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford will start with his ankle injury. He's questionable, so it's a roll of the dice, but the Leos need a win after dropping two straight.

- Browns RB Peyton Hillis had a setback from his hamstring injury during practice this week, and I don't expect him to play against San Francisco. That means lots of work for Montario Hardesty, although the 49ers' rush defense is strong.

Best of luck in Week Eight!

---Jay Skurski

http://twitter.com/jayskurski

Gates finally ready to return

Around the NFL before Week Seven kicks off:

- Chargers tight end Antonio Gates is active today against the New York Jets after dealing with a foot injury that has caused him to miss three games this season. Gates should immediately go back into your lineup.

- On the quarterback front, which I touched on in Friday's column, Tarvaris Jackson is inactive for the Seahawks today, making Charlie Whitehurst the starter if you're in need of a QB.

- At wide receiver, the Broncos' Demaryius Moore is active for the first time this season. He probably won't get a ton of playing time in his first game, but with Brandon Lloyd being traded, Moore's got a chance to develop into the No. 1 receiver for QB Tim Tebow. Keep an eye on him.

- Falcons rookie WR Julio Jones is out today, so make sure he's out of your lineup.

- Kicker Sebastian Janikowski, a fantasy star because of his ability to drill 50-plus-yard field goals, is questionable for the Raiders today. Don't take a chance that he won't be ready and find a one-week replacement.

- Also in Oakland, after early reports said QB Carson Palmer might start, it now sounds like will actually be Kyle Boller under center for the Raiders.

- In London, Bucs RB LeGarrette Blount is again inactive, making Earnest Graham the play as the Bucs' RB. Graham is coming off a solid week and is a good option as a No. 2 RB today.

- The Lions have officially ruled RB Jahvid Best out today with a concussion. That means Maurice Morris gets the start. Keep an eye on Morris -- Best could be out long term.

- In Cleveland, Montario Hardesty starts at RB for Peyton Hillis. Hardesty has a chance to earn the job with a good performance, so keep an eye on that situation moving forward.

Best of luck this weekend!

---Jay Skurski

http://twitter.com/jayskurski 

 

Blount out today for Tampa

Let's start a quick tour around the league in Tampa, where Bucs running back LeGarrette Blount is out today with a knee injury. Blount could miss up to six weeks, making Earnest Graham the starter for Tampa Bay. See if he slipped through the cracks on the waiver wire and add him if you can.

On the other side in Tampa is the New Orleans Saints, who should have WR Marques Colston back to 100 percent. Colston is a good start this week with Drew Brees throwing touchdown passes all over the field.

Dolphins running back Daniel Thomas is questionable, but he expects to play Monday night against the Jets. Since it's a Monday night game, though, and it's against the Jets, I'd play it safe with Thomas and use someone else. Like Reggie Bush, the Dolphins' other RB, for instance.

Patriots running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis was limited in practice Friday with a toe injury and it sounds iffy if he'll be able to do much against Dallas this afternoon (it's a 4 p.m. game). Check to see if Stevan Ridley is available -- I expect him to eventually win the starting RB job for the Patriots.

In Washington, coach Mike Shanahan is up to his usual shenanigans with his running backs. Ryan Torain is healthier than Tim Hightower, though, so expect him to get more work against the Eagles, who have a poor rush defense.

Best of luck in Week Six!

---Jay Skurski

http://twitter.com/jayskurski

Mendenhall to play, not start for Steelers

Late-breaking fantasy news before the 1 p.m. kickoffs:

- Steelers RB Rashard Mendenhall will play, but not start for the Steelers. Isaac Redman starts in his place at RB.

- Patriots TE Aaron Hernandez will play against the Jets in a 4 p.m. game. He's still not 100 percent, though, so I'd sit him.

- Jacoby Jones will start at WR for Houston in place of Andre Johnson, who's out.

- Beanie Wells, who leads the NFL with five rushing touchdowns, is active for the Cardinals with his hamstring injury. He's a good start.

Best of luck in Week Five!

---Jay Skurski

http://twitter.com/jayskurski

Dolphins' Thomas out again today

Let's take a quick tour around the league league before Week Four kicks off.

- Miami Dolphins rookie running back Daniel Thomas has been ruled out today against San Diego, so Reggie Bush will get the start.

- I was burned last week by starting Cardinals running back Beanie Wells, who missed the game with a hamstring injury. He's questionable again, but it sounds like he's going to play. I'm once again starting him, but if you have a healthier option, don't be afraid to sit Wells, especially since it's a 4 p.m. start against the Giants.

- Chargers tight end Antonio Gates is a doubtful with a foot injury, so he should sit again.

- San Francisco running back Frank Gore is expected to play against the Eagles, but won't start. That's big news. The 49ers aren't confident Gore can get through the whole game. Kendall Hunter will start for the 49ers.

In the same game, Eagles receiver Jeremy Maclin is expected to play with his hamstring injury, while quarterback Michael Vick despite a bruised right (non-throwing) hand.

- Texans running back Arian Foster will play, but his matchup against the Steelers isn't great. Foster owners will likely have to use him based on his draft status, but don't expect a huge day.

- Just because receiver Marques Colston will play for the Saints doesn't mean he should play for you. Colston will see limited snaps, according to coach Sean Payton, so he should sit for another week until he's 100 percent.

- Bills fans might remember Raiders rookie receiver Denarius Moore from two weeks ago. He's a great sleeper play today against the Patriots.

- Dez Bryant will play for the Cowboys today against the Lions. He was questionable with a lingering quad injury.

- With Ryan Grant out for the Packers, Niagara Falls' James Starks is a good start.

Best of luck in Week Four!

---Jay Skurski

http://twitter.com/jayskurski

Hillis out for Browns; Foster likely a no-go

The big fantasy news this morning comes out of Cleveland, where Browns running back Peyton Hillis has been ruled out because of illness.

Here's a look at some of the other 1 p.m. question marks, and what their status is: Texans RB Arian Foster is likely out with his hamstring injury; Eagles quarterback Michael Vick will start against the Giants despite suffering a concussion last week against the Giants and in the same game, New York WR Mario Manningham will be out with a concussion.

I'm also taking Lions tight end Brandon Pettigrew out of the lineup. He's questionable with a shoulder injury, but missed practice Wednesday and Thursday.

Other players I'd sit include Chargers tight end Antonio Gates, who's listed as questionable with a foot injury. Early reports are he won't play. Quite frankly, the Chargers don't need him against the Chiefs. Need a sleeper at tight end? Try the Bills' Scott Chandler. Three TDs in the first two weeks speaks for itself.

In Denver, even though Knowshon Moreno might play, it sounds like Willis McGahee is going to get more of the carries. He's the play.

Some other random thoughts before Week Three kicks off:

- I'd start Dexter McCluster at running back over Thomas Jones if you have a Chiefs handcuff for the injured Jamaal Charles.

- If you're thin on running backs, consider C.J. Spiller today. Just a hunch.

- Believe the hype against Cam Newton. The Panthers' rookie gets the Jaguars at home. Jacksonville is pretty good against the run, so Newton can be expected to put it up today.

Best of luck this weekend!

---Jay Skurski

http://twitter.com/jayskurski

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