This is the last of the bye weeks. It’s all up to health and strategy from here on out to get you to a fantasy football championship. Here are some updates on injured players, their status for the Week 11 games or the outlook for their replacements.
Ben Roethlisberger, Byron Leftwich, QBs, Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Baltimore Ravens (Sunday night)
Ben Roethlisberger is on the shelf with a scary rib injury and when fantasy's ninth-best quarterback will returns no one knows. We do know that there is no way you can go to his backup, Byron Leftwich, for your fantasy lineup. He never threw more than 15 TD passes in a season, never threw for more than 2,900 yards in a season and might not even be a good fit for the Steelers under Todd Haley. An article from ESPN AFC North blogger Jamison Hensley certainly caught my attention early in the week, and it did not spell good news for either Leftwich or Charlie Batch as positive replacements. Here's to hoping for a speedy recovery for Big Ben and that no fantasy owner has to rely on either of his backups.
Aaron Hernandez, TE, New England Patriots vs. Indianapolis Colts
He's in. He's out. His ankle injury from earlier in the year continues to be a problem and it seems likely Aaron Hernandez will be out for today's late start against the Colts. Hernandez missed Weeks 2-5 with the injury, returned in Weeks 6 (6-30-1) and 7 (5-54-0) but missed the last two games with a bye week sandwiched in between. Surely you've moved on and have been filling your roster with either or more reliable replacement or are living week to week with a new guy, hoping Hernandez comes back, Well, hope for one more week. And it's a short week at that as the Patriots travel to the Jets for a Thanksgiving night game. That is the last team Hernandez faced, catching the five balls for 54 yards in Week 7.
Torrey Smith, WR, Baltimore Ravens vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (Sunday night)
A chest injury has Torrey Smith listed as probable on the injury report. He practiced in a limited capacity on Friday and is expected to get the start tonight against the Steelers. Pittsburgh, banged up defense and all, has allowed just one TD to a receiver in the last three weeks, three the last five weeks and seven all season. Outside of Demaryius Thomas' 110 yards in Week 1, no receiver has gone over Titans rookie Kendall Wright's 71 in Week 6. Smith enters the game on the heels of just his second set of consecutive double-digit weeks in PPR scoring; Smith had 5-for-71 and a score on nine targets when the teams last met in Week 9 last season. But with Joe Flacco's struggles on the road — his four lowest outputs are away from home this season — and Smith having just one double-digit fantasy day away from Baltimore this season, you better have no other options.
— By Corby A. Yarbrough @Corby_Yarbrough on Twitter