Week 13: Injury Update
The oft injured 24 year old RB was the waiver wire darling last week following his week 11 explosion against a very forgiving Carolina defense. In week 11, Kevin Smith exploded for 200 total yards and three touchdowns and got the start on Thanksgiving, but his tenure as the lead back was short lived after he suffered a sprained ankle that forced him to the sidelines in the first quarter. Smith missed Wednesday's practice and all signs point to (the mediocre at best) Maurice Morris getting the start on Sunday night when the Lions travel to face New Orleans. Morris is worth considering in PPR leagues as he's coming off a 9 catch 81 yard effort against Green Bay, and Detroit will be forced to pass early and often against Drew Brees and the Saints.
Jerry Jones expressed optimism than Austin could return for the week 13 match-up in Arizona, but with Laurent Robinson continuing to impress, Dallas could wait another week to ensure that he's 100% recovered from the hamstring injury that has kept him sidelined since week 9. Austin missed weeks 3 and 4 with a prior hamstring problem. Austin posted back to back 1,000+ yard seasons in 2009/2010, while reaching the end zone 19 times. Through six games in 2011, he's averaging 67 YPG with four TDs (most of his production was in weeks 1/2 (scored all 4 of his TDs). Laurent Robinson has seven TDs over the past five games and the 26 year old WR from Illinois State is averaging 62 YPG. Austin is expected to test himself at practice later in the week, but with two critical games remaining with the New York Giants, Dallas might keep Austin out one more week (especially against an inferior opponent like Arizona).
The 4th year WR from Michigan missed the week 12 loss to New Orleans with swelling in his knee and he's yet to resume practice this week (likely a game time decision for a very favorable match-up with Green Bay). Through nine games, Manningham is averaging just 45 YPG, with three TDs as he's slipped to the 3rd WR on the depth chart following the emergence of Victor Cruz. If he's able to suit up, Manningham is worth considering as a WR3 for a match-up with a struggling Green Bay pass defense that ranks 31st against the pass (288 YPG).
The Seahawks placed Sidney Rice on injured reaseve (ending his first season) with a concussion. His first year in Seattle was less than impressive as the former Viking failed to come close to earning his 5 year $41 million contract. In nine games he averaged just 54 YPG with two TDs. The rather brittle WR (missed 15 games over the past two seasons) will be replaced by Doug Baldwin. The first year WR from Stanford is averaging 55 YPG with two TDs and is nothing more than a desperation play against Philly on Thursday night.