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 (1:03 PM)
Happy pre-Thanksgiving Tuesday everyone! Big week as teams try to make playoffs. I'm one of those on the bubble. Injuries not helping. What's on your mind?
Any Dwayne Allen updates? Do you expect him to be 100% by the fantasy playoffs? Tight end options are...underwhelming.
Stephania Bell (1:04 PM)
Matt: Not confident he'll be ready by this week but I certainly think he'll be able to help in playoffs. I'd hang onto him. As you say, the options are relatively few and Allen could be a big help.
Steve (Long Beach, Ca.)
Is Jeremy Hill dealing with some sort of injury? If so what?
Stephania Bell (1:05 PM)
Steve: None that's been reported.
Joe (Det MI)
Hey Stephanie any word on L Murray and his concussion? also Gio looked healthy but Hill still looks like the better RB in a PPR league where I will start CJ Anderson what 2 out of Hill, Gio, and Murray would you recommend? Thanks and happy Turkey day.
Stephania Bell (1:07 PM)
Joe: Just that he didn't practice Monday. Still plenty of time before the weekend but he also has a ways to go. Hill is the better option I believe, right now (as in this week) and Murray to go with him. The PPR makes Bernard tempting but Hill has shown he can catch the ball a few times and I think he's more likely to get in the end zone.
Devon Bridgeton NJ [via mobile]
Hi Stephania, thank you for all your insight and wonderful advice every week! Is Jordan Cameron worth a pick up off waiver wires? Worried about his concussion track record.
Stephania Bell (1:08 PM)
Devon: Thank you! I think the concern is understandable. The team, even Cameron, is well aware and is treating this injury accordingly. That said, he has made it clear he plans to return and it looks as if that return could come as soon as this week. He returned to practice at the end of last week and if there are no setbacks as he ups his activity, don't be surprised if he's back.
one PT to another... what is going on with Foster? Is he dealing with something more severe than media was initially informed like a sports hernia? Have you heard any rumblings on the grade of the strain or imaging being performed or is everything still being kept under wraps with the "belicheck disclosure" the texans now utilize?
Stephania Bell (1:11 PM)
RJ: Always nice to see a fellow PT here. I don't necessarily think so, to the extent one can determine from a distance. Think this is a case of a veteran player who knows his body and doesn't operate well (and it's understandable given what it is that he does) at less than 100%...or very close to it. We will have to wait it out this week but the signals coming from Foster suggest he's been close, just not quite ready to pull the trigger.
Raider Bob (New Jersey)
Update on J. Thomas Do you think he will play? Be effective ?
Stephania Bell (1:12 PM)
Bob: I think the chances are decent. He really did next to nothing last week so there's always the wait and see how he responds to testing it in practice. But even Thomas said he can see the improvement. Also think given his history of prior ankle surgery he won't be out there if he can't be effective.
Hi Stephania, does Foles come back to be useful in the fantasy playoffs? Thank you.
Stephania Bell (1:14 PM)
Syd: Wouldn't count on him for the fantasy playoffs. With these clavicle fractures, the more time to heal without exposing it to risk, the better. If the Eagles continue to do well, there's no need to put him out there and he's better saved for their own playoffs. It wouldn't be before 6-8 weeks that he'd have a chance to return anyway which pushes the fantasy calendar.
Hi Stephania! Any updates on Montee Ball and Ronnie Hillman?
Stephania Bell (1:15 PM)
John: Nothing substantial yet. Ball was expected to miss another 2-3 weeks after the re-injury. Hillman way up in the air.
Hello! Does the back injury to Beckham worry you at all moving forward? Or does he continue to put up big numbers the rest of the year? Thanks!
Stephania Bell (1:16 PM)
Adam: Not yet. I think "soreness" after a game like he had and the hits that he took is not unexpected. No way to totally predict it but I'm not downgrading him right now.
Lynch and his bad back have a short turn around for the Thursday game this week. What type of workload do you think he'll get in the game against a physical 49ers defense?
Stephania Bell (1:18 PM)
Pete: I think they'll go heavier on the pass against the 49ers. It's worked against them before. Lynch is taking the beating of the season and is racking up the nicks here and there (calf, back) and it doesn't feel like he's at his full strength. Still plenty of strength to do damage though so expect the 49ers to brace for that.
Stephania,is Megatron back to 100%?
Stephania Bell (1:19 PM)
pj: We don't know and the Lions wouldn't tell us. And, honestly, it doesn't really matter. Not that we don't want Johnson to be fully healthy but the q is always, is he functionally able to perform at a high level. He is. That's how we evaluate him.
Michael (Alberta, Canada)
G'Morning Miss(or is it Mrs...?) Bell! Can you give us any updates/insight into Cam Newton? NFC South is up for grabs, but is he gonna hold up?
Stephania Bell (1:23 PM)
Michael: Hello, up north! I don't expect a ton to change with him. If he continues to get hit the way he has been, it will be hard for his performance to improve. He's not running as he did before and while he's not injured per se, he doesn't look like the picture of health. Think he guts it out but it may not be pretty.
Hi Stephania - Happy Thanksgiving. I noticed that Ryan Matthews projections are down this week - is that due to his opponent or his shoulder or both? Any worries about his health for this upcoming game?
Stephania Bell (1:24 PM)
Todd: Think it's a combo of everything. Including the fact that Oliver will continue to get work (maybe even a bit more if Mathews' shoulder is bothering him at all).
fjax seems good to go ROS. Confident he is past this injury? Need him bad in my PPR league to help defend my title!
Stephania Bell (1:26 PM)
chris: Not convinced he's 100% just yet but it's like the Calvin Johnson answer. Can he be well enough to functionally perform at a high level? I think between the workload and what he was able to do last night we can certainly feel better about him going forward (for instance, he could be a "probable" on this week's injury report vs "questionable"). As long as there are no setbacks (other than soreness) in his first 3-4 outings, we can start to exhale.
Hi Stephanie,Is Lamar Miller 100%? I am relying on him down the stretch and if so why aren't the dophins giving him more carries???
Stephania Bell (1:27 PM)
John: He's definitely not 100%. He was listed as questionable heading into last week with two different injuries. Like all RBs, he's banged up and probably will be into the offseason. Think they're giving him what they think he can handle.
Which of the Broncos RBs is the one to own for fantasy playoffs? Has CJ Anderson done enough to lift himself out of the "hot hand" shenanigans?
Stephania Bell (1:28 PM)
Ben: He's the healthiest and he showed off last week what he could do. He's certainly the one I trust for the next 2-3 weeks.
Geoff (Easton, PA)
Stephania.... what's the deal-io with Larry Fitzgerald?
Stephania Bell (1:29 PM)
Geoff: Grade 2 MCL sprain. Not an easy injury (Mathews, Jennings were out multiple weeks, over a month). Not saying he'll be out that long but I wouldn't be surprised if he missed another game.
Just got into the playoffs again thanks to your great advice, would Ronnie Hillman be a wise pick up for the playoffs (wk 14-16) if you have roster room or would you use the extra bench space for a handcuff like Carlos Hyde or Helu (as a Gore or Alfred Morris owner)?
Stephania Bell (1:31 PM)
Perry: I'd go with the insurance. There's not enough clarity around Hillman's status for me to use a spot on him whereas the other two are auto plug-ins if one of your key guys goes down.
Was their really a rib problem with Rivers or is that just an excuse? Would you stick with him ROS or go with Tannehill or Cam?
Stephania Bell (1:32 PM)
Craig: I definitely think he had/has an issue but it gets into the nuance area as far as whether it's truly deserving of "injury" status or not. I'm all over the Tannehill bandwagon. Have been for a while. Like him going forward.
Did you see the Odell catch as it was happening? Is there any worry on your part that his breathtaking talent will lead the Giants to overuse him? Did he have much of an injury history at LSU?
Stephania Bell (1:34 PM)
Ben: I did. And it was something to behold. I don't think the Giants will overuse him necessarily. He did have injury concerns earlier this year. It was a hamstring injury in the preseason that caused him to miss all of training camp and the first weeks of the season. The team was getting frustrated with his slow recovery but knew he was worth the wait. It may present a challenge in the future but he's a risk/reward player.
Need a TE to help me in a standard league. Have Rivera and Fleener right now, could add Cameron or Rudolph. Who do you like?
Stephania Bell (1:35 PM)
Chris: Rudolph. I like Cameron. Had really high hopes for him and I think he could be productive for Cleveland but they got Gordon back, his progress still in process. You have 2 great options to start although when Allen comes back, Fleener may dip. And Rudolph should be heating up each week.
Great chats! Have stafford and newton. Think Tannehill is worth picking given the they are playing and with two matchups against my jets still on slate?
Stephania Bell (1:36 PM)
gabriel: Thank you and YES.
Bill (Miami Beach)
Any new injury news out there which would make me hesitate in rolling out the Seattle D against your 49ers? :-)
Stephania Bell (1:36 PM)
Bill: No. They're a good defensive play (unfortunately, as I'm a Niners fan) but this game is so important that I think both defenses will play well.
Any news on Khiry Robinson? Who's the appropriate insurance for Ingram, Khiry or Pierre?
Stephania Bell (1:38 PM)
Bill: Not a word. Not practicing. Pierre is the one you want if you want someone who could bump up his activity now. Thomas will catch some passes, Ingram likely to continue to get the most carries but his numbers will take a dip with Thomas back. Robinson's status uncertain. At least we need to see him practicing before we get excited.
Andre Ellington has played pretty poorly lately. How badly is he hurt, and is this what we should expect the rest of the way?
Stephania Bell (1:41 PM)
Pete: Well, it was Seattle last week. And he did enter that game banged up from the previous week against Detroit. So the physical toll is likely having an effect. But he's got a nice matchup against Atlanta this week. I'd see how he does this week. If he struggles you may want to look around at options given the defenses coming up after that but keep in mind, you know he'll be on the field and he's good for a couple catches each week too.
Hey Stephania! So are u sayin' no need to hang on to Hillman?
Stephania Bell (1:42 PM)
Eggman: I'm saying if I needed help elsewhere I'd be ok with dropping him. Nothing is a sure thing but midfoot injuries are problematic more often than not and you have no guarantees he'll be back. or if he is back, that he'll be producing as he was pre-injury.
If you were going to take a stab at backing up C.J.Anderson for the playoffs, who would you personally grab now Thompson, Ball or Hillman?
Stephania Bell (1:42 PM)
Continuing the theme of injured TEs-- have you heard anything on Jordan Reed? Any reason to be optimistic that he'll play this week?
Stephania Bell (1:43 PM)
Dave: Nothing yet. Won't until they return to practice and maybe not until they issue practice reports.
Stephania Bell (1:44 PM)
All right everyone. Need to run. Have a happy Thanksgiving and good luck in Week 13! Don't forget to set your lineups before Thursday if you have anyone in the three games that day!