Commentary

Will Carroll's Chat Wrap

Updated: July 14, 2008, 5:36 PM ET
By Will Carroll | ESPN.com

Will Carroll: (3:01 PM ET ) Ok - I made it on time this week and I'm fully caffeinated to boot. Tons of injuries heading into the fantasy playoffs so I know everybody wants their answers. Quick rule recap: don't repeat your question a milllion times, I don't answer "who should I play .." questions, and flattery works.

Chupacabra (Parts Unknown): Chester Taylor. Tell me he's playing. Tell me he won't be splitting carries.

Will Carroll: (3:03 PM ET ) Why do people have goofy names for chats? Why isn't "Will (Indianapolis)" good enough?

Ok Chalupa -- Taylor's playing, but his pain tolerance will guide how much Pinner gets the ball. The Vikings are playing for their playoffs, not yours and saving Taylor is big for them.

ronnie (ann arbor, mi): Will, how banged up is Willis Mcgahee? Would Tatum Bell be a better bet this weekend? Thanks!

Will Carroll: (3:04 PM ET ) He's pretty banged up, but effective. He's got a snow game this week (right? Buffalo's at home?) and that helps. He's running behind his line and not fighting for those extra yards or taking those extra hits. Denver on the other hand looks like they're mailing it in. I'd take McGahee.

John Boy (Cincinnati): How many carries can we expect from Fred Taylor this week?

Will Carroll: (3:04 PM ET ) 20 sounds like a good set for the over/under. For entertainment purposes only, of course.

BJ Carmel, NY: Judging by their injuries, who is more likely to start and recieve the bulk of the carries in Atlanta's backfield?

Will Carroll: (3:05 PM ET ) Vick.

No, seriously. I think the uncertainty behind him will have Vick throwing and running more. I think of the RBs, Norwood practicing gives him the edge though the knee is a problem.

Will(Indianapolis): What's the status of Addai & Jones-Drew?

Will Carroll: (3:05 PM ET ) Nice to see the literalists showing up for the chat. Both should play in their normal timeshares.

Jim (Pittsburgh): Ahman is always on the injury report, is there any truth to that? Is he injured? Any issues for him this week?

Will Carroll: (3:06 PM ET ) It is true that he's always on the official report. He does have a problematic knee that by rule should be reported. This week's no different than the last ten.

Dan(Ny): Is Colston healthy enuff to start over Coles...thanks!

Will Carroll: (3:07 PM ET ) Healthy enough - yes. He's not 100% and won't be, but the Saints can rest him after they clinch. If you liked Colston last week, you'll love him this week.

John(Jackson, MI): Are Colston & Horn going to play this week?

Will Carroll: (3:07 PM ET ) And to follow up ... Colston's in, Horn is out.

John Boy (Cincinnati): BTW, the chupacabra is the most feared animal on the planet, if he exists. Maybe my fantasy would be better if I watched ESPN instead of the Discovery Channel.

Will Carroll: (3:08 PM ET ) More fearsome than Matthew Berry after six tequila shots? I think not.

Will (Indianapolis): How will Ronnie Brown produce when he is back from his hand injury? Also, why so long...it is just a hand!

Will Carroll: (3:09 PM ET ) Ok, here's one to play along with at home. Get a hammer. Put your hand down on something hard. Smash your hand, just above the index finger with the hammer. Now hit it again. Hurts, doesn't it? That's why Brown isn't out there. If he takes another big hit on the hand before the bone is fully fused, he's done for the season.

Ben (chicago): What is Thomas Jones' status for my Bears??

Will Carroll: (3:09 PM ET ) He'll play, but I expect Benson to get extra carries.

Pat (DC): Will Driver be ok this week?

Will Carroll: (3:10 PM ET ) It depends on what you mean by ok. Useable in a fantasy context? Sure. 100%? No. The best option Brett Favre has? Yes, no question.

Jim (Cincinnati): What is the status of Hines Ward this week?

Will Carroll: (3:13 PM ET ) He's going to play and has looked good in practice according to reports. The Steelers aren't out of it, surprisingly, so Ward's return should help. I can't give you much guidance on production because the offense has been schizo.

Mike(Boston): Just saw that Horn was added as Probable to teh injury report. Is he good to go this week? Any chance Delhomme plays this week?

Will Carroll: (3:14 PM ET ) I just got the Horn report too and it contradicts everything else. I'm working on this one and hope to have an update before the chat's over. At worst, watch ESPN Motion on Sunday morning for the Med Check.

Mike (D): by the way have you or anyone at ESPN explained the sudden departure of the Fantasy Show??

Will Carroll: (3:17 PM ET ) I did a couple weeks ago. The show is on hiatus now as the good people at ESPN try to figure out how to improve the show for next season. I'll just whisper "Sunday" and hope they hear it.

Jim (Cincinnati): Shaun Alexander really hasnt produced as well as expected. He looked slow last night-is his foot ok? PS Get a new mug shot (or is that the best you can do?)

Will Carroll: (3:18 PM ET ) Agree. He's said as much on the foot, saying two weeks ago that he was at 75%. He's not cutting or "hopping", so he's just running behind his blocks.

And yeah, that's me. I'm just happy my mug shot doesn't have a number in it.

Matt, Ohio: Hey Will, any word on whether or not any of the Bengals have sustained any injuries due to their arrests?

Will Carroll: (3:18 PM ET ) Nicely done.

Chris (Detroit Michigan): How can you take 2 question from someone name John Boy and ignore me lol Would you play Sammy Morris over a questionable Chester Taylor ?

Will Carroll: (3:18 PM ET ) Not if Taylor gets the start.

Dave (RI): More of a general injury question...Brees had what I thought was Tommy John surgery (correct me if I am wrong), would that give him a "boost" of strength similar to what it supposedly does for pitchers?

Will Carroll: (3:19 PM ET ) Brees had labrum surgery, not Tommy John. Tommy John does not give a boost, it just returns pitchers to full strength and because the injury is insidious, it feels like a boost because they've been declining for so long.

Dan (Boston, MA): Is Ward healthy enough to start over Greg Jennings or Santana Moss?

Will Carroll: (3:20 PM ET ) Jennings yes, Moss, no.

Jim (Cincinnati): Sorry about the mug shot comment, I have the Steelers Defense and they've been banged up. What is the status of Troy Pololmu(sp) and the others?

Will Carroll: (3:21 PM ET ) Polamalu is out this week as he recovers from the knee injury, but surprisingly it didn't have much effect on the Steelers last week. We'll see if that was the matchup or whether the long-haired one is as big a factor as we all thought.

Tim (Sherman Oaks, CA): Which is the better injury replacement, Pinner or Benson?

Will Carroll: (3:21 PM ET ) Benson.

Bob (Boston): SD Def: Is Merriman foot injurie serious? and Castillo 100% Thank's

Will Carroll: (3:21 PM ET ) No and no.

Anyone else want to make the easy comment here?

BJ Carmel, NY: Nice plug on the ESPN motion...Whats the latest on Maroney, if he doesnt go how do you feel about Faulk in a PPR league?

Will Carroll: (3:23 PM ET ) Faulk didn't play as much as I expected last week. Sure, he's a nice "yeah but" play, though I don't think he'll get as many touches/targets as the situation seems to indicate. If nothing else, Maroney kept Dillon fresh, something that's showing up now.

Matt,MPLS : NFL Network and Fanball are both saying that Horn was just downgraded to doubtful.

Will Carroll: (3:24 PM ET ) Conflicting reports flying. Again, trying to chat and work the phones, so ...

Mark (NYC): And speaking of Maroney, is Dillon playable if Maroney plays?

Will Carroll: (3:24 PM ET ) Yes. There's a number of situations where the timeshare is making both players viable options. Dillon/Maroney is one of them.

Mike (Arlington, VA): Hey Will, whats the Carolina backfield looking like? Need to replace Kevin Jones with either Dayne, Caddy or DeAngelo.

Will Carroll: (3:25 PM ET ) After last week, I have no idea. I thought they'd run more and instead, Weinke was out there without a pitch count.

Mike (Pittsburgh, PA): I have the double headed Indy Colt combo of Rhodes and Addai, who is more hurt and who will get more carries?

Will Carroll: (3:26 PM ET ) Neither is significantly hurt. With the Bengals D in town, I think Addai gets a few more carries. There's little question he's a better runner, though blitz pickup is why Rhodes still has a job.

Chester (Minneapolis): Am I healthy enough to start over Ladell Betts this week?

Will Carroll: (3:28 PM ET ) Hmm. Yeah, but it's close. I'm starting Betts this week against The Schwab.

Brian (Longmont): Is Favre healthy? Does he have any issues that would keep you from starting him over Romo?

Will Carroll: (3:29 PM ET ) Banged up but starting again. Depends on how much you like Romo.

Matt,MPLS : You rock Will. We need more chats like this with usefull info and less of the other "fantasy" chats that answer the same boring questions week after week.....If Horn is indeed out, or whatever he is, is Henderson a good start? Say yes, as I dont have anyone to replace him with...

Will Carroll: (3:34 PM ET ) Henderson is a good start anyway. Horn showed a couple weeks ago that he could be out quick.

John Boy (Cincinnati): So is Randy Moss def out this week?

Patrick (Albany, NY): Will, Where can we see TheTalentedMr.Roto perform his rasta love poem to Steven Jackson? I was promised....

Will Carroll: (3:35 PM ET ) Oh good one. Sounds like a Page 2 thing!

Scott(MI): What is Steve Smith's status going in this week?

Will Carroll: (3:36 PM ET ) He's healthy.

Curt (IL): What is the status of T. Henry? Is it better to just go w/Edge?

Will Carroll: (3:39 PM ET ) Henry is limited with the ankle, but he's looked good in practice. Edge has looked good as the Cards have played better, but I'd still go Henry.

matt (ct): Matter of Ethics: The person I am playing left D-Jax in the lineup last night, other than that we are pretty even at almost every position, do I take the easy way out or man up and let him switch to a backup receiver for sunday knowing that it could be the difference between a W or L?

Will Carroll: (3:42 PM ET ) Take the win! Its up to every player to deal with their roster.

Wilbur (Chicago): Is A. Green going to be at full strength or still worth starting against the Lions?

Will Carroll: (3:43 PM ET ) Still worth starting against a terrible, injured Lions defense.

Dan (MN): Where did you go?

Will Carroll: (3:44 PM ET ) Working the Horn angle, so I slowed down a bit.

Mike (D): In your opinion will K. Jones play at all in '07 with the lisfranc injury?

Will Carroll: (3:45 PM ET ) I think he will, but the reports after his surgery were worst-case. Brian Westbrook is the best comp, but Jones' injury was worse.

John Boy (Cincinnati): Will the Thrill, Jamal Lewis healthy for the Ratbirds this weekend?

Will Carroll: (3:46 PM ET ) Should be ready to go.

Jim (Cincinnati): I dont see Westbrook on the injury report. Is he truly healthy for the first time this year?

Will Carroll: (3:46 PM ET ) "Healthiest he's been" would be how I'd put it. Great sign and great job by the Philly medical staff.

chris (philly): How significant is Ben Watson's injury? Will he be effective even if he does play?

Will Carroll: (3:47 PM ET ) It's significant enough that they brought in a backup. I wouldn't expect much from him.

Tatem Bell (Denver): How are my toes doing? Would you start me, or Corey Dillon?

Will Carroll: (3:47 PM ET ) The rest helped. Now the Broncos just need to win.

John (Fort Myers): Any significance to the little red cross next to my boys Jones-Drew and Bush on my FF home page? I am stuck as to which one of these guys to sit so I was wondering if an injury could be the deciding factor?

Will Carroll: (3:48 PM ET ) MJD has the hammy issue, Bush has the shoulder soreness. Neither should be significantly impacted, but doesn't that cross help so much? Best feature.

Betty (Fort Myers): Hey good lookin' I love a man with a shaved head! What is the TE situation in NE?

Will Carroll: (3:49 PM ET ) Graham gets the start, Watson looks doubtful, Santiago's a desperation play.

Jeromi (Bloomington IN): Would you start Betts over Addai?

Will Carroll: (3:49 PM ET ) Yes.

Ariel, Los Angeles: WR/TE issues ... I can start Colston at either WR or TE, so which THREE of these monsters do I start: Colston, Gates, Driver, Steve Smith?

Will Carroll: (3:50 PM ET ) You have no issues. That Colston loophole is going to be one of those fantasy legends in years to come. "I won my league back in Ought Six." "Just because of the great loophole!"

bryan (columbus): I have just about every player in monday nights game on my team (rudi johnson, tj housh, chris henry, peyton, wayne, and addai), do you think it will be the high scoring game everyone expects? Or do you think the bengals will be able to control the game with running the ball and solid defense?

Will Carroll: (3:52 PM ET ) I think the answer to this question decides a ton of playoff matchups. We know that the Colts can't stop anyone, but can they pick up the offense with a solid Bengals D? I think it's in the 30-20 range, not a massive score-fest.

Randy(Columbia, SC): Is Benson a better play than Jones-Drew with T. Jones hurt?

Will Carroll: (3:52 PM ET ) No, I'd still take MJD even with the hammy.

Tom (Canada): With Watson in doubt, is graham a better play than someone like utecht or scheffler?

Will Carroll: (3:53 PM ET ) Tough call. Utecht has disappointed me and Scheffler has been a surprise. Go matchup here.

Terry Glenn (Dallas): Would you play me over a slightly injured Colston?

Will Carroll: (3:54 PM ET ) No.

Will Carroll: (3:54 PM ET ) And with that, I'm out of time. Sorry for the slowdown, but I can give you this update. Horn's "very unlikely" to play but the team won't rule him out until game time. Hope this was helpful and good luck to everyone as we hit the playoffs!

Will Carroll | email

ESPN Fantasy Games
Will Carroll writes two injury columns per week relating to fantasy football for ESPN.com. Carroll can also be seen on The Fantasy Show Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2. He also writes baseball injury articles on www.baseballprospectus.com.

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