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News-Herald Assistant Sports Editor Kevin Kleps doesn’t just write headlines and stories. He also checks on his fantasy sports teams. A lot. See if the moves and news from the world of sports affect your fantasy teams.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Fantasy football: Week 6 injury updates

Kevin Kolb was impressive in place of Michael Vick last Sunday night, completing 21 of 31 passes for 253 yards and one touchdown in a 27-24 win at San Francisco.

Vick hasn't been ruled out this week, but it seems likely he'll sit for another game because of a rib injury. If that's the case, I'd consider Kolb a starter only in 14-team leagues.

The Falcons, Philly's opponent Sunday, have twice as many interceptions (10) as touchdown passes allowed (five) this season.

Let's take a quick look at some more notable injury predicaments owners are facing this weekend:

-- Raiders running back Darren McFadden is expected to return this week from a hamstring injury, but will be in a limited role. Sunday's opponent, the 49ers, haven't been great against the run -- San Francisco ranks 18th at 111.4 rushing yards allowed per game. McFadden had 392 rushing yards, 16 receptions for 162 yards and two total TDs in Oakland's first four games, but I wouldn't play him this week.

Michael Bush rushed for 104 yards and a TD on 26 carries in McFadden's absence last week, and he caught three passes for 31 yards. He is the better play of the two this week, but should still be considered a flex option at best.

-- Broncos running back Knowshon Moreno hasn't played the last three weeks because of a hamstring injury, and he doesn't seem likely to play Sunday. Until he returns, there isn't a Denver back worth starting. Correll Buckhalter has rushed for 62 yards on 32 carries (1.9 average) this season, and Laurence Maroney continues to disappoint (29 carries for 56 yards, 1.9 average in three games since he was acquired from the Patriots).

-- Saints running back Pierre Thomas likely will sit for the third consecutive game because of an ankle injury, again leaving the rushing chores to Chris Ivory and Ladell Betts. If you have to play one -- and it's better if you don't, obviously -- Betts is the more productive option because of his receiving ability. Ivory has rushed for 106 yards on 22 carries the last two weeks, and Betts has 23 carries for 91 yards and nine catches for 49 yards in that span. Neither has scored a touchdown this season.

-- The news is more favorable for the Colts' top rusher, Joseph Addai. He was limited in practice by a neck injury Wednesday and sat Thursday, but he said he expects to play Sunday night at Washington. The 8:30 start complicates the situation, but the Redskins are a decent matchup for opposing running backs (Washington ranks 19th against the run). If you have Addai and an available roster spot, pick up Mike Hart (who is available in more than 98 percent of the leagues on as a backup plan in case Addai is inactive Sunday night. Backup Donald Brown has been hampered by a hamstring injury, and Hart had 11 carries for 50 yards and a TD last week.

-- Bears quarterback Jay Cutler is expected to return from a concussion Sunday. He was awful in Week 4 before he was knocked out of the game by the Giants, but he threw for 870 yards and six touchdowns in Chicago's first three contests. I'd start him at home against the Seahawks, who rank 31st vs. the pass and are allowing 302 passing yards per game.

-- Lions receiver Calvin Johnson probably will be a game-time decision because of a shoulder injury. Detroit plays at 1 p.m. Sunday, so it's an easy fix if he's deactivated an hour before the game. I would recommend teammate Nate Burleson as a replacement, but he, too, is hindered by an injury. Burleson has been a limited participant in practice the last two days because of an ankle injury.

-- Peyton Hillis has been surprisingly prolific in his first five games with the Browns, but the combination of a leg injury and Sunday's matchup at Pittsburgh should put him on your bench this week. The Steelers' opponents have rushed 95 times for 249 yards (a 2.6 average) this season. Pittsburgh ranks No. 1 against the run.

-- On a non-injury note, the only winner, if there is such a thing in this case, in the Jerome Harrison-Mike Bell trade between the Browns and Eagles is Bell. Harrison might be the better player, but the reason Bell has done nothing this season is LeSean McCoy (365 yards rushing, five TDs, 28 receptions for 218 yards) has been the No. 1 running back in many PPR formats. Harrison likely will only be a factor if McCoy has a setback with his rib injury.

Bell was effective at times in 2006 with the Broncos (677 yards, eight TDs) and 2009 with the Saints (654 yards, five TDs). He figures to get more chances this season than Harrison.

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