Fantasy Quick-Hitters: LT/Sproles, Pierre/Bell & Gonzalez’s knee

LaDainian Tomlinson limping after win in Oakland. LT2 was replaced for much of the second half by Darren Sproles, who played well in his place. Tomlinson was determined to have a bounce back season, but he’s off to a rough start. Even if his ankle is better heading into Week 2, the Chargers are going to utilize Sproles heavily to keep Tomlinson fresh. This is bad news for LT2 owners.

HC Sean Payton: Bell and P. Thomas are “competing for touches in a course of a game.” Bell’s big day against the Lions has earned him more playing time, much to the chagrin of Thomas owners who drafted him in the third or fourth round expecting RB1/RB2 production. Expect a committee going forward.

A. Gonzalez’s knee injury not year-ending. However, he has multiple sprained ligaments so he may be out a while. Austin Collie, Pierre Garcon and Dallas Clark will pick up the slack, though the Colts will look to add a veteran (but not Marvin Harrison) if Gonzalez’s knee injury will keep him out a month or more.

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Fantasy Quick-Hitters: Boldin, Pierre, Berrian and more

Anquan Boldin returned to a limited practice. Boldin said, “It’s only week one. I’d rather sit out game one as opposed to sitting out four or five other games. You just have to use your discretion.” That doesn’t sound good for his prospects of playing in Week 1. Steve Breaston would be first in line to start, but he’s dealing with a sore knee, so Jerheme Urban could potentially eat into Breaston’s snaps.

Pierre Thomas has been officially ruled out for Week 1. Mike Bell, Mike Bell, Mike Bell. I wrote on Tuesday that Thomas owners (and even non-owners) should grab Bell. He’s a solid RB2/flex play against the hapless Detroit rush defense.

Cassel is questionable for Week 1. Not a big surprise here. Owners should probably keep Cassel on the bench even if he does play. The Ravens are a bad matchup for any passing game.

Bernard Berrian and Kevin Walter are both game-time decisions. It would be wise to sit both players even if they do play, assuming that you have a decent option to plug in. It’s tough to battle back from a hamstring injury and be effective right away.

Kyle Orton will start against the Bengals. It’s not a terrible matchup, but Orton’s preseason performance is not encouraging. Only use him if you’re desperate (or you’re in a 2 QB league). It does help that Brandon Marshall is behaving.

Raiders name Darren McFadden as their starting RB. He has had a very impressive preseason, so this is just a formality. Even if he didn’t start, he’s going to play a ton of snaps because he is easily the Raiders most explosive player. (And he better perform, because I started him over Santonio Holmes this week!)

Pierre Thomas is still limping. Grab Mike Bell.


It’s all right there in the title. If you’re a Pierre Thomas owner, or even if you’re not, you should head to your league’s waiver wire and pick up Mike Bell.

When it was revealed on Aug. 24 that Thomas had a sprained MCL, it wasn’t considered to be a big deal. At that point, he had three weeks to recover, which is generally enough time for an injury like the one he suffered. But as Week 1 has grown closer, the news about Thomas hasn’t been good. (

The bigger concern is still the right knee sprain Thomas suffered two weeks ago at Houston. Thomas’ knee was wrapped as he escaped the locker room and he appeared to still be limping. We’ll find out if he’s ready to go when the Saints hit the practice field Wednesday, but chances are looking slim at this point.

I’m not a doctor, but if Thomas is hoping to play on Sunday, the fact that he is limping on Monday is not a good sign. Knee injuries are fickle and they can take a while to fully heal. Moreover, Thomas declared himself “questionable” for Sunday’s game. (

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