There is some big time injuries to report this week and we take a look at the Thursday nights game first. When some top 10 Wide Recievers as well as some top 10 Running Backs go down it can make for some creative weekly replacements. The goal to is to have some confidence and analysis for who we can count on to be a healthy start. You will find the label of each fantasy player as either “Positive” , “Negative” or “Neutral” fantasy status. This means as we here word of improvement and a feel it to be a projected good fantasy matchup you can look for a positive mark, if there is downside or any health concerns as it relates to the situation a negative mark will be used. Neutral is for risky players that will need some more information leading right up to gametime in order to insert them into your lineup. With that system in play lets look at the Week 3 Injury report:
Ahmad Bradshaw (Sprained Neck): He has officially been listed as OUT for Thursdays game. This will open the door for more Andre Brown who will most likely start. He ran well last week totaling 13 carries for 71 and a score. While David Wilson was once put on the back burner and seemed to be in Coach Coughlins doghouse. This could be a chance to build the rookies confidence back up though on the national stage. I feel it will be more of a split role for these backs, the first round draft pick may just have his chance to get back in the 2 spot on the depth chart.
GAME STATUS: OUT
FANTASY STATUS: NEGATIVE
Hakeem Nicks (Foot): Nicks did not travel with the team after to he re-aggravated his foot that surgery was performed on to repair a broken metatarsal. Nicks being labeled as OUT was not only a surprise but this has a big impact to just about all the WR’s on the Giants. It will probably increase the value of the Tight End Martellus Bennett though, who has gotten a lot of hype the past two weeks. He is a very versatile TE and seems to be a favorable target for Eli Manning. On the opposing side Victor Cruz will likely take a hit to his value due to the fact that the Panthers will be able to put a cushion on Cruz. He will earn a lot of attention especially after his performance last week. Although with it being a short week this was probably the deciding factor in how cautious to be with the star WR.
GAME STATUS: OUT
FANTASY STATUS: NEGATIVE
Jonathan Stewart(Toe): Jonathan Stewart returned from the ankle injury he was dealing with last week and was able to get into the endzone for a score while gaining 51yards on the day. The short week definently did not benefit him since he will require additional time to recover. With any toe injury you have to be cautious and since he was not able to practice he is obviously dealing with a great deal of pain. Mike Tolbert will see the potential for a goal line TD increase, and while Deangelo Williams should have an increase of value I would not start him. Deangelo has to compete with the big QB and the bruiser RB in Tolbert. The carries may be limited anyway and the Panthers may attempt to air it out against the depleted secondary. UPDATE: Stewart is inactive for tonight’s game.
GAME STATUS: GAME-TIME DECISION
FANTASY VALUE: NEGATIVE
Steve Smith(Knee): He did practice all week and Ron Rivera stated Smith was listed on the injury report as more of a formality. He was carted off the field last week and I would assume something just didn’t feel right and that can be scary for any player. He did return though and was able to make the big plays, 104 yards on 3 receptions, which we are accustomed to from Smith. He is a must start this week and remains the best target for Cam and his big play approach. Brandon Lafell was a good pickup if you were thinking Smith could be limited this week. He is a good play as well since Smith will demand a lot of coverage and it could open up some plays for Lafell. He showed he has the quickness and good hands, he could potentially be the other weapon Cam needs in the passing game.
GAME STATUS: PROBABLE
FANTASY STATUS: POSITIVE