There are a few key fantasy contributors that have had a number of injury question marks surrounding their playing status leading up to Week 5 of the 2012 NFL season. Here’s a little bit about these three and what you should consider.
Jared Cook, TE and Kenny Britt, WR, Tennessee Titans vs. Minnesota Vikings
Jared Cook had the 61-yard touchdown in Week 3 against Detroit and later suffered ligament damage and an AC joint sprain in that game. He was limited to three catches for 36 yards on four targets in the loss to Houston last week. Cook has been targeted no more than six times this season and now draws a Vikings team that has been kind to opposing No. 1 tight ends in three of the first four weeks. Marcedes Lewis (5-for-52 and a score on five targets), Vernon Davis (5-for-53 and a score on eight targets) and Brandon Pettigrew (7-for-67 on nine targets and dropped a TD pass in the end zone) all had double-digit fantasy days in PPR, and had Pettigrew caught the ball, all would have had double-digit days in non-PPR. Cook said he feels better and should play today. As for receiver Kenny Britt, it is not looking so good. He has returned from the ACL/MCL injuries suffered a year ago only to be bothered by a left ankle sprain. He tweaked the ankle this week while doing running on the side. Britt did not practice on Saturday and it would seem highly unlikely you will see him on the field in Minnesota today. Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck takes over for the injured Jake Locker (shoulder) this week. Hasselbeck and Cook really connected at the end of last season, as the tight end was targeted 26 times for 21 catches, 335 yards and one score in the last three weeks of the 2011 season.
Doug Baldwin, WR, Seattle Seahawks vs. Carolina
Doug Baldwin (shoulder) is only drawing a mention because he was likely drafted late — likely dropped since — and it’s a bye week. It’s been a rough go in year 2 for the undrafted free agent out of Stanford. He led the team in receptions last season (51) but has dealt with hamstring that sidelined him in August, broken teeth in Week 1 and a shoulder injury forced him to miss Week 3. He returned last week against St. Louis and drew three targets for one catch and 10 yards. He has little rapport with QB Russell Wilson since they have not worked together much due to the injuries. Today, the Seahawks draw a Carolina team that is last against fantasy running backs — good news for Marshawn Lynch — and sixth against fantasy receivers — likely because of the previous stat. Sure, you could find better, but don’t be surprised if Wilson is showcased in this game as he returns to North Carolina where he played football for N.C. State and minor league baseball for Gastonia and Asheville. Perhaps Baldwin could be the benefit of that showcase, and Pete Carrol said this week “we’ve got to get Doug back into things.” Start today.
— By Corby A. Yarbrough @Corby_Yarbrough on Twitter