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Game-Time Decisions: 6 Injuries To Monitor For Week 1

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UPDATE (Sept. 9th - 10:01 AM): Jonathan Stewart tweeted that he's not suiting up for Week 1. Make sure to get DeAngelo Williams in your lineup.

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Injuries in the NFL are a year-round thing nowadays. Guys are either having ACL surgeries, hamstring issues or lingering knee issues. Not to mention the ever present concussion issue surrounding a lot of players.

With a full slate of games itching to kickoff this Sunday, some injuries are taking the spotlight once again. For your fantasy football team, it's important to be well-versed with not just your players' injuries, but with all injuries. Grabbing one of these guys' backup could mean the difference between who's making the phone call in your fantasy league to brag to the other guy.

These six guys—and their pesky injuries—will affect fantasy teams this week. 

Arian Foster - ("Knee")

We detailed Foster's knee—or non-knee, according to Foster—here. Bottom line, sit him.
 

Beanie Wells - (Hamstring)

Wells seems to be a beacon of injuries. All offseason and through the preseason games, his knee was limiting him. He suffered his knee injury in the middle of last season and it lingered on through this year's preseason. And just when you think his knee is fine after putting in a solid preseason game, he hits the injury report with a hamstring issue.

Those who have owned Wells in the past know that this is standard practice for him. He is a beast when he suits up, and is a warrior when he gets the ball. Even after suffering his mysterious knee injury in the middle of last season, he still produced for his team and fantasy owners. He barreled over defenders each and every game.

But Wells should grab some pine for your fantasy team this week. Going up against a strong Seattle defense, with Ryan Williams stealing carries and nursing a hurt hamstring, Wells isn't a good fantasy play. Mix in the fact that he has a late-afternoon game (4:25 EST) and could leave you with either no option or a horrible one, is only more of a reason to seek help elsewhere. Sit him.
 

Denarius Moore (hamstring)

Many of you drafted Moore with high hopes for this season. You had plans of him being your mid-round shocker. Well, you'll have to wait at least another week for your dreams to come true. 

Moore just returned to practice after sitting out the entire preseason with a hurt hamstring. He has said that he will not play if his hamstring is 100%. Throw in the fact that he plays on Monday, and he's a clear candidate to sit this week. If you're intent on starting an Oakland wide receiver, grab Rod Streater. Just lower your expectations.
 

Jonathan Stewart (knee)

Stewart injured his ankle during the third preseason game against the New York Jets and hasn't put in a full practice since. The injury is being deemed minor (as in, not a high-ankle sprain), but it has kept Stewart away from the field. The coaches have declared Stewart a game-time decision for Sunday's game.

"There are reasons for optimism, but we'll probably wait until Sunday morning to make the call," said head coach Ron Rivera

You don't need to wait until Sunday—sit him now. In Week 1, you need to start healthy guys who have a legitimate shot at playing all four quarters. Now is not the time to gamble on an ailing running back in a three-headed monster situation. Just let the DeAngelo Williams and Cam Newton owners have their field day. Stewart should be back next week.
 

Marshawn Lynch (back spasms)

Lynch suffered back spasms earlier in the week that held him out of practice. The back spasms that flared up were the same ones that made him be a late scratch from a game last season. And by late scratch, we mean he was scratched just before kickoff. This is a situation that you need to monitor right up to kickoff. But it sounds like Lynch may suit up this Sunday after putting in some practice time on Friday.

Screen shot_2012-09-08_at_7.05.12_AMRemember, Lynch plays in the late-afternoon set of games, so make sure to have a backup plan. Robert Turbin is a good plan, but if you didn't handcuff Lynch, have a viable alternative ready to go.
 

Ryan Mathews (collarbone)

"I haven't been cleared for contact, and I think we're just going to wait this week," Mathews said of his Week 1 status. So you can safely sit Mathews this week. 

Mathews' return from his broken collarbone will be more in the six week range rather than the four week range. Mathews had surgery on August 10 to repair his clavicle fracture. 

If Mathews is able to play in Week 2 against the Tennessee Titans, that would put him at just a tad over the five week healing mark. 

Cedric Hopkins

Cedric Hopkins Bio

Cedric Hopkins runs this sports law/fantasy football blog. If you have issues with it, it's all his fault. Cedric was an athlete-student at the University of New Mexico (Basketball - Go Lobos!). He then morphed into a student-athlete when he attended law school in San Diego. Age replaced athleticism and now he writes appellate briefs for criminals (alleged criminals, of course) in state and federal cases, including writing U.S. Supreme Court briefs.

For years Cedric has researched and written about legal issues but maintained a love for sports. With FieldandCourt.com, he's combining his two passions: researching and writing about sports. When he's not in court arguing a case before a judge (or writing about himself in the third person), he'll be doing the same with his articles on FieldandCourt.com. Follow me, er, him on Twitter (opens in a new window).

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Cedric Hopkins

Cedric Hopkins runs this sports law/fantasy football blog. If you have issues with it, it's all his fault. Cedric was an athlete-student at the University of New Mexico (Basketball - Go Lobos!). He then morphed into a student-athlete when he attended law school in San Diego. Age replaced athleticism and now he writes appellate briefs for criminals (alleged criminals, of course) in state and federal cases, including writing U.S. Supreme Court briefs.

For years Cedric has researched and written about legal issues but maintained a love for sports. With FieldandCourt.com, he's combining his two passions: researching and writing about sports. When he's not in court arguing a case before a judge (or writing about himself in the third person), he'll be doing the same with his articles on FieldandCourt.com. Follow me, er, him on Twitter (opens in a new window).