2013 Fantasy Football Injury Update: Early Week Worries?

By Dustin Manko
John Abraham
Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

By now you should have drafted your fantasy football team. You should have your Week 1 starting roster set and ready to go. Some big name players with preseason injuries have some owners concerned. Now that the preseason is over, NFL teams don’t have to disclose injury info until late in the week, possibly leaving owners scrambling for replacements. Is it too early to worry about some of your starters? I provide some updated, albeit early injury info for week one.

Rashard Mendenhall is expected to be ready to go for week one against the St. Louis Rams. Mendenhall is not a great fantasy option as the Rams’ defense is underrated and the Arizona Cardinals‘ offensive line is not great.

Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Roddy White has been dealing with an ankle sprain and was not listed on the injury report. Atlanta management and teammates expect White to be fully ready for the opener. White has never missed a game, and I doubt that changes in Week 1. Expect a shootout in the Dome.

E.J. Manuel is listed as questionable with a knee injury. While he shouldn’t be on your starting roster yet, he is worth a bench spot in deep or two quarterback leagues. He has a shot to play if he can get a full week’s worth of practice in and is ahead of schedule on rehab.

In case you missed it, Jonathan Stewart is out until at least Week 7. DeAngelo Williams is the running back to have for the Carolina Panthers. He will obviously lose some goal line opportunities to Cam Newton.

Brandon Marshall tweeted that he will play in Week 1. While the hip is a concern, Marshall is a trooper, playing through all sorts of injuries, only missing five games in the last seven years. He should receive the majority of the targets in the Chicago Bears‘ passing attack. You used a high pick to land Marshall, start him.

Wes Welker‘s ankle injury is nothing to be concerned about. He has been a full participant in practices. Peyton Manning is one of the best regular season quarterbacks ever. Welker should see plenty of targets.

Randall Cobb’s biceps injury is a non factor. Jordy Nelson had a knee scope and looks to be fully ready to go. Both will see plenty of opportunity in the Green Bay Packers‘ pass heavy attack. Start them both.

Ed Reed was removed from the PUP list, a good sign that he will be ready to go in the next few weeks. He still appears doubtful for the opener, so have another option ready.

Danny Amendola is fully ready to go. Rob Gronkowski appears to be looking to return Week 3.

Marques Colston is nursing a sore foot, but all signs indicate he will play. Expect a shootout as the New Orleans Saints host the Falcons.

Jonathan Vilma is listed as questionable, but reports indicate it is unlikely that he plays Week 1. If you play in an IDP league, there are better options out there. Drop Vilma and go get Luke Kuechly, Aldon Smith, or Chad Greenway. Jerod Mayo could be a sneaky choice this week.

New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz appears on track to play Week 1 against the Dallas Cowboys. Games tend to be high scoring when the Giants and Cowboys play each other. The Giants are being cautious with Cruz, and he will retain the questionable tag most of the week. Have a backup ready in case he doesn’t go, but I think he plays.

Avoid the New York Jets in fantasy football.

Darren McFadden is allegedly healthy and ready to go, but as I mentioned earlier, having Marcel Reece as a handcuff is essential.

LaMichael James is out with a strained MCL, and Kendall Hunter is the handcuff to Frank Gore.

Robert Griffin III is cleared and will start Week 1. Kirk Cousins is the handcuff.

As always, I welcome your comments. Thanks for reading and good luck this season.

Dustin Manko is a contributing writer at Rant Sports.com. Follow him on Twitter @DustinManko, ”Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google

Read more at http://www.rantsports.com/fantasy/2013/09/01/5-deep-sleepers-you-need-to-draft-in-2013-fantasy-football/

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