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Injury Updates Week 6: Jerome Simpson, Alex Smith, Aaron Hernandez

The injuries are piling up, the bye weeks are in full effect and there are some names in the fantasy world you did not think you would have to rely on so early. Such is life as a fantasy owner as we reach Week 6 of the 2012 NFL season. Here’s a little info about those that are injured or those replacing the injured that can hopefully help lead you to a fantasy victory this week.

Alex Smith, QB, San Francisco 49ers vs. New York Giants
Alex Smith (finger on his throwing hand) is coming off of a 303-yard, three-touchdown game against visiting Buffalo and now gets another New York team at Candlestick. The Giants are ranked 22nd in defending fantasy quarterbacks, having allowed all starters to throw for at least 241 yards and all but Cam Newton to throw for at least one touchdown. Smith's three-TD game last week was his third multi-TD game of the season and he has just one interception. San Francisco is a running team and the Giants are 16th against fantasy running backs. Bye weeks for others, home game for Smith, friendly pass defense means he's worth a shot if you're looking.

Jerome Simpson, WR, Minnesota Vikings vs. Washington Redskins
A back injury has Jerome Simpson's status in the air for a late game at Washington today; he is listed as questionable. While the Redskins are the worst in the league at defending fantasy receivers, you just cannot take the risk with an iffy receiver in a late game that has done little since the return from his suspension. Simpson has four catches for 50 yards and is a waiver-wire prospect until further notice.

Aaron Hernandez, TE, New England Patriots vs. Seattle Seahawks

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It appears Aaron Hernandez (ankle) is ready to make his return this week after being close last week. Seattle is the fourth-best team against fantasy tight ends, but we are talking Todd Heap, Jermichael Finley, Lance Kendricks and Greg Olsen to go along with a drop-happy Jason Witten in Week 2.Of course, you are starting a healthy Hernandez over any of the aforementioned, but therein lies the problem: How healthy is he? The Boston Globe is reporting that while Hernandez made the trip to Seattle and is expected to play it will likely be in a limited stint. The tight end field is deep and there is no need to take a chance on Hernandez against this defense in a late-afternoon game. Consider this one a scouting game; see how Hernandez does and hope for an increased role against the Jets in Week 7.

—   Corby A. Yarbrough @Corby_Yarbrough on Twitter