Who's healthy enough to start for your fantasy football team
The fantasy season is nearing its postseason. The weeks are winding down; the injuries are piling up. You need to stay ahead of everything in order to make that playoff push. Here’s some information on those that are on the Week 9 injury report or those stepping in for the injured.
Calvin Johnson, WR, Detroit Lions vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
This sore knee has become a pain in the ... But it is one of the lingering issues dogging Calvin Johnson currently. He did not practice on Friday to conclude a week without practice. No, he has not played like the No. 1 receiver taken off the board, but he has played like the 20th, which is where he is currently ranked in PPR formats at the position. And that means he's still a must-start in leagues that start two WRs (all of them, I would assume, well, except my dynasty league but that's for another day). It's the lack of TDs that are obviously the killer as he is seventh in yards (638) and 11th in catches (41) as the eighth-most targeted receiver (75). What are you going to do? The red-zone targets are down, but perhaps other receivers stepping up will open things up for Megatron.
Hakeem Nicks, WR, New York Giants vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
"One of these days I'll emerge and be back." That was the quote attributed to Hakeem Nicks this week. And that is the scary thing about the talented Giants receiver. He has certainly not been back this season, save for the 10-for-199 performance against Tampa Bay in Week 2. Dealing with foot issues entering the season and adding knee issues on top of it has made Nicks a sit suggestion each week, in hindsight. He says he's now "pushing 90, 95" percent in regards of his health, but we hear all sorts of lip service from players. You would like to sit him until he proves he's back but you don't want to be the one with Nicks on the bench when he does emerge. Since Week 2, with Weeks 3-5 missed, Nicks has 12 catches for 147 yards and no scores on 22 targets (three games). You likely don't have better options, but until I see it he's on my bench. And going against a Steelers team that has allowed just eight of the 28 receivers they've faced this year to reach double digits in PPR is not encouraging, either.
Jimmy Graham, TE, New Orleans Saints vs. Philadelphia Eagles (Monday night)
This is more of a celebration part of the fantasy forecast just to let you know that Jimmy Graham is not on the injury report this week. After battling an ankle injury that shortened his day in Week 5 and did not allow him to return coming out of the Week 6 bye into the Week 7 game, Graham returned in a big way. He drew 10 targets, caught five of them for 63 yards and a late score. With Darren Sproles (hand) out indefinitely, there should be more targets to go around. Graham is still ranked seventh amongst tight ends despite missing basically two games and already having his bye. The Eagles are fifth-best against fantasy tight ends, allowing just one score and only one TE over 65 yards, but if Graham is healthy then Graham is in the fantasy lineup.
— By Corby A. Yarbrough @Corby_Yarbrough on Twitter