Fantasy Injuries with Stephania Bell
Welcome to SportsNation! On Tuesday, fantasy injury expert Stephania Bell will stop by to chat all things injury related. If you have a question on any athletes' sprains, breaks, tears, any injury related question, ask Stephania!
Bell is a physical therapist who is a board-certified orthopedic clinical specialist as well as being a certified strength and conditioning specialist. She is a clinician, author and teacher with extensive experience in sports medicine. An avid fantasy player, Bell spent time at Rotowire.com and on XM Radio's fantasy sports show before joining ESPN.
Bell earned her undergraduate degree from Princeton and her Master's in physical therapy from the University of Miami. A native of San Francisco, Bell roots shamelessly for the 49ers and Giants.
Send your questions now and join Bell Tuesday at 3 p.m. ET!
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Stephania Bell (3:03 PM)
Happy Tuesday! Who's in the fantasy playoffs? Thank goodness despite my War Room league loss, I still have some playoff matchups in other leagues to look forward to this week.
Is Laveon Bell ready to go, and would you start him over Jones Drew? Thank you
Stephania Bell (3:06 PM)
Dick: He's feeling better, following the protocols all players go through after a concussion, but as we saw with Jordan Reed this week, setbacks can happen any time up until kickoff. Wouldn't make my decision yet except that MJD plays Thursday. And I'd go with the safe play.
Ben Tate just resting or is he a back to avoid thursday?
Stephania Bell (3:06 PM)
Zach: Just resting coming off a big Sunday and having to play again four days later.
Cutler? Do I handcuff him to McCown since they play Monday night? % he plays?
Stephania Bell (3:08 PM)
Tom: I would make sure I had both. Latest word is Cutler not yet cleared for footballa activities. Has been doing some running and this could change any day but he would have to show in practice that he's ready in order for them to let him go. Hasn't played since early November.
Any news on Rodgers??
Stephania Bell (3:08 PM)
Ken: No word yet on the latest scans and the follow-up conversation between the team, medical staff and Rodgers.
Hi Stephania, why is GB so worried about Rodgers? Even if he re-injures the collarbone is it really a much long recovery than the original 4 weeks? What are they worried about?
Stephania Bell (3:11 PM)
GM: They're worried about a similar hit which would stress the same area and potentially result in a re-fracture, even a bigger, more complex/displaced fracture which could then require surgery. Obviously he would be lost for the remainder of the season but just generally speaking, do you want to risk a potentially more severe injury for your franchise QB? Risk a surgical situation where currently that is not required? The big problem is that if they lose this week, they're likely done as far as any postseason hopes. They haven't had a win without him. But if he gets hurt, he won't be there to help them even if they did make it. Lot to consider.
Chiefs Defense (Orlando)
Stephania how are Chiefs D's injuries doing and expect more players back soon? Would you hold them ROS or drop for Cards week 14 them stream in weeks 15/16? Thanks
Stephania Bell (3:15 PM)
Great q. Houston is not expected back this week. Hali did play and should be able to go forward. Their matchups the next two weeks are pretty favorable though so I'm not sure I'd make a change.
So, would you hang onto Rodgers if you could use the roster spot for potential upgrade somewhere else? Peyton owner, if that makes a difference.
Stephania Bell (3:16 PM)
Greg: I think we'll have an answer by this afternoon so I'd wait to hear before making moves, for most people. But since you already have Peyton? Upgrade elsewhere.
Jack Del Rio had said he expected Julius Thomas to play last Sunday. Of course he didn't. He's missed 2 weeks now. Time to worry? I have Cameron as my other TE, but he scares me with the way things have gone. Maybe time to add Green from San Diego?
Stephania Bell (3:19 PM)
Scott: Agree with all your points. I would pick up Green, especially if you can afford the spot. I am concerned when a team expresses optimism throughout the week, then Friday he comes in at questionable, then there are some negative rumblings late Saturday into early Sunday...sounds like the player is expressing some concern about his knee too. So...there's something going on there where he doesn't feel quite right.
Shawn (work) [via mobile]
Ethics question: is it okay to pick up players on the WW to prevent someone else from getting them if they told me who they wanted to pick up? I have a first round bye and might play them in two weeks.
Stephania Bell (3:21 PM)
Shawn: Let's have some of the others weigh in. I say all is fair when trying to win your league, as long as it's within the actual rules, but I'd be ready for some anger from the person who told you his planned strategy. Not sure why he told you...
Any news on Harvin? I don't understand what happened.
Stephania Bell (3:26 PM)
MT: Requires a longer answer than I can give in this space but would recommend (if you're interested) that you take a look at the piece I wrote about what his procedure entailed and the normal recovery time. It is not a small procedure and NORMALLY 4 months would be the very earliest return. Harvin came back a week or two shy of four months. THe time doesn't even matter so much as the fact that it was a huge bump up in activity - and really, there's no way to replicate game speed/physicality - but he still did more than I would have expected. Hip gets sore/inflamed (remember the muscles are adapting to the changes in the joint since surgery too) and they have to now scale back his activity as a result. Can't let him out there again until fully settled down and now they'll be a little gunshy. Bottom line for fantasy owners is I'm not sure that he'll contribute much (or enough) in next two weeks to hold on IF you can pick up another option.
Philip (Dallas, TX)
Re: Shawn's question. I say it depends on your relationship with the person. Agree with you on both points: don't know why he told strategy, and if he really is following the strategy, then be ready for anger, possibly. Then again, he could be planting false seeds of info...
4 teams left in my leagues playoffs. 1 playoff team has still not paid their league dues (they were due august 1st). What do you believe is appropriate punishment?
Stephania Bell (3:27 PM)
Group? I say they get bumped from playoffs and next man up if they don't pay by Weds.
Re: Shawn's ethics question. ABSOLUTELY that is ok! That's part of the strategy, you don't tell your opposition what you're going to do!!! Let this owner learn a lesson
Is Andre Ellington going to be useful for me? Is he worth rostering over a QB backup for Peyton?
Stephania Bell (3:30 PM)
Nick: Define useful. By all accounts the injury was not serious so he should improve enough to play, perhaps by this week. That said, sometimes we don't really know until a guy is back in practice and we see whether he struggles at all. Not sure I'd insist on a backup for Peyton. Depending on size of your league may still get a viable QB if something happens to Peyton. And as we've seen, it would take a LOT to sideline Peyton.
jack (White Plains)
Hi Steph! Thanks for your help each week! Just picked up Reed on waivers and have M. Bennett. Both have very strong match ups this week, do you think Reed will play and be productive or concerns given how last week played out?
Stephania Bell (3:31 PM)
jack: No way to know with Reed, especially given the late scratch right before the game. It serves as a reminder that until a player takes the field post-concussion, he is never a lock to play. Probably lean towards Bennett.
Stephania- 2 weeks to go, trailing by 2 games for the last playoff spot... and boom! i got it! I can start 3 - A Brown, Moreno, Stacy, L Bell. whats the play?
Stephania Bell (3:32 PM)
Scott: If it were me, Brown/Moreno/Stacy.
Stephania - Thinking towards the future, who do you think will be a better keeper, considering the injury issues they've had in the past/present? Julio Jones or Arian Foster.
Stephania Bell (3:37 PM)
Matt: Like the q. Not sure I have a good immediate answer b/c I could get talked into either. My sense is that I'd go with Julio. Giant upside with him. His foot injury this year is technically a "repeat" of an injury he's had before. I do think Foster will come back strong following back surgery but his history of soft tissue injuries is a concern and at the end of the day, I think RBs more vulnerable than WRs.
If Weeden cant go this week are you starting Gordon if you other options are say, Garcon, Crabtree?
Stephania Bell (3:40 PM)
Matt: Ugh, Caleb Hanie means I have no idea what to expect. Gordon is an amazing talent but I really am concerned not only about his QB but the fact he'll get Talib next week. On the road. I am not expecting tons out of Crabtree just yet and it is Seattle he faces this week, albeit in SF. And Washington gets Kansas City (and Garcon quite frankly dropped a couple passes the other night). Maybe I'm back to going with Gordon.
Stephania Bell (3:41 PM)
Thank you, Josh in Des Moines.
How's Crab feeling after the first weeks game and what are you expectations for him ROS?
Stephania Bell (3:43 PM)
evan: Just to follow up on this with Crabtree. Haven't heard much, but certainly no negative reports. I think he will gradaully get a bit more work but the 49ers are looking at the big picture. He was on the field I believe for 63% of snaps which is a great first start. Don't see a massive jump although may get a few more targets directed his way.Think he's a decent flex play, probably as high as i go.
Saw Roddy's stat sheet but didn't get to see the game? How did he look?
Stephania Bell (3:44 PM)
Johnson: I have not gone back and looked for myself yet but the reports I heard were that he looked far more fluid running routes than he has all year.
Ethics question: Thoughts on trade ethics for playoffs. I'm in a 2QB Keeper league (3 keepers) and now we are talking about all these possible trades going on and my inner LM is saying these are all bad ideas. One of the proposals was "Can I trade for a player then give the other team a keeper at the END of the season?" I really don't like that but I can't put it into words. My Co-LM thinks we should have tons of trades and have 300+ point contests and I really don't like the sound of that because it's totally changing your team.
Stephania Bell (3:45 PM)
Alex: Bottom line to me is that if these rules aren't in place at the start of the season, you don't change them as you go along. Not everyone will agree and it sets up potential problems.
Delanie Walker - any update? Do I drop him for Fleener or L. Green for the ESPN Fantasy playoffs?
Stephania Bell (3:47 PM)
Mark: He falls under the "we-won't-really-know-until-he-actually-plays" category, as do all concussed players. I would most certainly get a backup as insurance for gameday but I wouldn't abandon Walker based on his recent productivity.
Follow up to Gordon: You can't sit him, despite missing 2 games he's second in NFL in receiving
Stephania Bell (3:48 PM)
Doug: I love Gordon. But we have not seen Hanie throwing to him. Don't really know what to expect with this offense this week.
Stephania Bell (3:48 PM)
Thank you Jeff in Portland, OR.
Diane Selwyn (?) (Los Angeles (?))
Is Miles Austin still recovering from his injuries, or is he just being phased out of the offense?
Stephania Bell (3:50 PM)
Diane: I don't think they're holding him back because of his hamstring. They held him back in terms of how long they waited before allowing him to return. And, given how much time he's missed and the fact he just hasn't been a part of their offense, don't think it's him being phased out as muych as him not being phased in.
Take it from a guy who sat Decker last week...YOU CANNOT bench Gordon HAHA
Stephania Bell (3:51 PM)
Ha! is right. Don't I know it. I paid that price in a couple leagues.
D. McFadden be 100% after 10 days rest?
Stephania Bell (3:52 PM)
Pete: The question is will he ever be 100%? He only carried the ball five times so it's not like he had a huge test last week. If Jennings can't go this week, he will have to carry the load and then we will see if he is indeed healthy, for now.
Hi Stephania - Any update on R Jennings concussion? Thoughts on timeshare with DMC going forward?
Stephania Bell (3:53 PM)
Sean: Same routine with Jennings for concussion. As far as timeshare once he's healthy, I suspect Jennings gets the bulk of the work.
Any trust in Andrew Luck? Keenum any better?
Stephania Bell (3:56 PM)
Scott: I do trust Luck to make adjustments and improve.
Doc (New Hampshire)
Hi Stephania, This is my first chat with you, but I really need your help.MJD on Thursday or Bell on Sunday.I am not sure on Bells'status. Thanks for some help
Stephania Bell (3:57 PM)
Doc: I think I answered this question but want to welcome you to the chat and say thanks for coming. And I go with MJD.
How's Gates' hamstring? I'm worried about his lack of production and emergence of Green, and my other options are concussed.
Stephania Bell (3:59 PM)
Chris: No word that he came out any worse; he just didn't do too much this weekend. And he didn't do much late so you wonder if it began bothering him as the game went on. Of course until we get practice reports Weds, we don't get many hints. I do think Green is going to get some more attention regardless but a guy on the field is better than a concussed player who sits out.
Stephania Bell (4:00 PM)
Time for me to run folks. Thanks for coming to the chat! We'll be back here again on Friday. Have a good week!