This one is going to hurt. The most injured fantasy player this week could very well be yours truly.
Yesterday, I wrote that Andre Brown was a great option for Week 3, taking over for injured Ahmad Bradshaw. Good for me, right?
I was able to pick up Brown off waivers in my league, but was too scared to play him. I figured Thursday night's game between the Giants and Panthers was going to be a track meet, and Tom Coughlin would rely more on Eli Manning than a backup running back. Boy, was I wrong. In my league (.5 PPR), Brown scored 26.5 points as he rushed for 113 yards on 20 carries, caught three passes for 17 yards, and punched in two touchdowns.
Adding insult to injury is the fact that I am facing Mike Potter, former sports editor here at philly.com, this week, and had to sit through the game at Mac's Tavern in Old City with him right next to me, laughing the whole way. I guess I deserved it.
I know I wasn't the only person who had Brown sitting on the bench, but that doesn't make it any easier. The most troubling realization was that if I don't even listen to my own advice, who does?
With that being said, here's a look at who is will play, who might play, and who won't play in Week 3:
Calvin Johnson (WR, DET) - Owners of Johnson had quite a scare earlier in the week when the Lions' wideout missed practice with what the team was calling an ankle injury. Take a deep breath, the league's top receiver in 2011 will be suited up when his team takes on the Titans on Sunday. This is also good news for Matthew Stafford owners, like myself, as we all know that without Johnson the Lions' offense isn't quite the same. The team is listing him as probable, and I'm not too worried about his fantasy value taking a hit, especially since Detroit is facing a favorable fantasy matchup this weekend.
Greg Jennings (WR, GB) - Jennings missed practice on Thursday with the same groin injury that kept wim out of the Packers' Week 2 win over the Bears. He was a limited participant on Friday, and said to the media after practice that he is 'ready to go' for Monday night's game against the Seahawks. Although the team has not said that he will play, I think this is a good indication that Jennings will be out there, especially with the extra day to rest. If he practices again tomorrow, and doesn't suffer a setback before Monday night, Jennings should start.
Ryan Mathews (RB, SD) - Mathews, who has not played yet this season due to a broken clavicle, is listed as questionable on the Chargers' injury report. However, he is expected to play Sunday against the Falcons, and the best news for fantasy owners is that he will be the guy, not sharing the carries in a rotation.
Julio Jones and Roddy White (WRs, ATL) - Both Jones and White have been limited participants in practice this week, but fantasy owners shouldn't worry about the Falcons' receivers heading into their Week 3 matchup against the Chargers. Here is what coach Mike Smith had to say on Wednesday, via the Atlanta Journal-Constitution: “The reason a lot of those guys are limited in their participation is [because] we are on a short week. There aren’t even 48 hours out from the end of the [Monday] ball game. We wanted to rest some of those guys.” Not only is this good news for their owners, but for owners of Matt Ryan as well.
Jamaal Charles (RB, KC) - Charles is listed as probable on the Chiefs' injury report. I think he will likely be in there, and if that is the case, he is definitely worth a start against a Saints team that has struggled defensively this season. Without the bounties, their defensive players must not be as motivated.
Jeremy Maclin (WR, PHI) - Maclin has been officially ruled out for Sunday's game against the Cardinals with a hip injury he first suffered in the Eagles' opener against the Browns and reinjured in Week 2 vs. the Ravens. That's not good news for fantasy owners, who have seen Maclin score a touchdown in each of the Eagles' first two games. Hopefully this won't have a negative impact on DeSean Jackson, who should receive extra attention from the defense in Maclin's absence. There is good news, however, for Maclin owners. It doesn't seem like this is a long-term injury that will keep him sidelined for multiple weeks.
Matt Forte (RB, CHI) - Despite Bears coach Lovie Smith saying that Forte "is making a lot of progress," the Bears running back will not play Sunday against the Rams dues to a sprained ankle. That makes Michael Bush, who started last season for the Raiders after Darren McFadden went down with an injury, a great play this weekend. In nine starts with the Oakland in 2011, Bush ran for 740 yards on 196 carries with four touchdowns. Those numbers aren't great, but the Bears' offense as a whole is much better than the Raiders and should allow for Bush to get more red zone opportunities.
Rashard Mendenhall (RB, PIT) - I'm not high on any of the Steelers' running backs this season, but Mendenhall's absence in Week 3 will certainly help those who own Isaac Redman and Jonathan Dwyer. Although Mendenhall practiced this week, the Steelers are likely playing it safe considering they have a bye following this week's game against the Raiders. Remember, Mendenhall is just a little more than nine months removed from tearing his ACL.
Pierre Garcon (WR, WAS) - Garcon, who missed last week's game with a sore right foot, is like to sit out again and is listed as doubtful for Sunday's game against the Bengals. Luckily for those who own Robert Griffin III, Garcon's absence didn't seem to affect the rookie quarterback last week.
Brandon Lloyd (WR, NE) - Lloyd is still considered "50-50" for Sunday night's AFC Championship rematch against the Ravens. He was, however, a limited participant in Friday's practice. The timing of the game will make it difficult for fantasy owners to leave Lloyd in the lineup. Hopefully more word will come out of New England before then, but I would doubt that. You will likely have to wait until the inactives are announced 90 minutes before kickoff. Therefore, I reccommend sitting Lloyd, unless you have another receiver playing on Sunday or Monday night that you can plug in if he sits. My advice? Pick up one of these three guys just in case: James Jones (GB), Randall Cobb (GB), or Jacoby Jones (BAL).
Steven Jackson (RB, STL) - Jackson did not practice all week due to an injured groin, but is still considered a game-time decision for Sunday's game against the Bears. If he can't go, it appears that Daryl Richardson will get the bulk of the carries, so you may want to handcuff Jackson now just in case he is a late scratch.
Marques Colston (WR, NO) - The Saints take on the Chiefs this weekend, so if you own Colston, I am sure you are really hoping that he is in the lineup. He is still a game-time decision, but has reportedly shown improvement throughout the week.
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Matt Mullin is a sports producer at philly.com. You can reach him by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Matt on Twitter: @matt_mullin