News and notes heading into Week 4

Here are a few of the more notable injury updates as we head into the fourth week of the fantasy season:

  • Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson is listed as probable and looks set to return to face the Steelers. Based on the fact that he’s now in a committee with Darren Sproles, not to mention the matchup in Pittsburgh, L.T. shouldn’t be seen as more than a low-end No. 2 fantasy back.
  • Cowboys running back Marion Barber is probable and expected to start against the Broncos. Felix Jones is out with a knee injury, so Tashard Choice will be the team’s No. 2 back. Barber should be active for owners.
  • Chiefs wide receiver Dwayne Bowe is listed as questionable with a hamstring injury. He’s a serious risk even if he is active, based on the nature of the injury and the level of his opponent, the New York Giants. Mark Bradley would have more value if Bowe were inactive yet again.
  • Steelers running back Willie Parker is listed as doubtful and won’t play against the Chargers, so look for Rashard Mendenhall and Mewelde Moore to handle to load. Mendenhall is the better option in standard formats, but he’s a hard player for fantasy owners to trust.
  • Patriots wide receiver Randy Moss is no longer on the team’s injury report. Keep him active against the Ravens. His teammate, Wes Welker, is questionable. Julian Edelman would have starting value if Welker misses another week.
  • Buccaneers running back Derrick Ward is expected to miss this week’s game against the Redskins with a knee injury. Cadillac Williams will start and becomes a more viable flex starter. Earnest Graham will see more looks behind Williams but has less appeal.
  • Redskins running back Clinton Portis is questionable for Week 4 and could be a game-time decision. Fantasy owners who own Portis would be wise to pick up Ladell Betts as insurance should the veteran back become unavailable.
  • Lions running back Kevin Smith is listed as questionable with a shoulder injury. Look for him to be a game-time decision to face the Bears. Maurice Morris would start if Smith were inactive, but he’s not a great fantasy option.
  • Browns running back Jamal Lewis is doubtful to face the Bengals with an injured hamstring. Jerome Harrison will start in his absence and is worth using as a flex starter if you’re desperate in a larger league.
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