There are a few key fantasy contributors that have had a number of injury question marks surrounding their playing status leading up to Week 3 of the 2012 NFL season. Here’s a little bit about these three and what you should consider.
Antonio Gates, TE, San Diego vs. Atlanta Falcons
A late scratch against Tennessee last week, Antonio Gates (ribs) has practiced fully this week and should be good to go against high-powered Atlanta.
It was too bad Gates missed last week’s home game against a Titans team that has consistently been friendly to opposing tight ends and did not prove to be any different last week. Dante Rosario stepped in and scored three touchdowns.
The Falcons have allowed nine catches, 102 yards and a score on just 14 targets to tight ends this season. Atlanta was generous to elite fantasy tight ends Jimmy Graham (11-for-124 and two scores in two meetings) and Jermichael Finley (4-for-67) last season.
Kenny Britt, WR, Tennessee vs. Detroit Lions
Kenny Britt returned to action last week in San Diego after a one-game suspension and a knee injury that knocked him out in Week 3 of the 2011 season. He was expected to be on a limited play count and he was. The receiver was targeted just twice, catching one ball for five yards on 19 snaps.
Detroit is 10th best against fantasy receivers through two games, having faced St. Louis and San Francisco. Those are not two of the premier passing offenses in the NFL, but neither are the Tennessee Titans.
You would have to figure Tennessee will be down early in this game. The Titans have little to offer in defending Calvin Johnson or Brandon Pettigrew. It should mean more time for Britt to get garbage-time production from Jake Locker.
Britt was not limited this week and will be needed to help keep a struggling Titans squad in the game. The matchup could not be any better against a thin Lions secondary. The concern is obviously snap count for Britt and lack of work with Locker.
Britt is the ultimate flier this week. Massive upside on an offense that is as down as it gets.
Jamaal Charles, RB, Kansas City vs. New Orleans Saints
Jamaal Charles (knee) tweaked his surgically repaired knee in a blowout loss to Buffalo last week and said he still could have played.
This week, the inept Chiefs get the Saints generous defense in New Orleans. The question will be whether the Kansas City defense can hang on long enough to keep the running game in play for Charles.
New Orleans allowed rookie Alfred Morris to run for 98 yards and two scores on 28 attempts in the opener and the Carolina duo of DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart to run for 120 yards and a TD on 25 carries.
It is there for the taking for Charles to have a good day and show he is back from the knee injury. But the taking is also there for the Saints offense to quickly make the Chiefs’ use of a running game futile.
— By Corby A. Yarbrough @Corby_Yarbrough on Twitter