Welcome to the first regularly-scheduled installment of my fantasy football blog entries. Look for posts here every Tuesday and Friday by about 8 a.m. ET.
On Monday, Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier answered some questions about RB Adrian Peterson in a way that should have Peterson's fantasy owners alarmed. Frazier said that a decision on Peterson's status will come down to Sunday "without question," and that if Peterson does play it will be with "limited exposure." The Minneapolis Star Tribune notes that the team wants to "put Peterson through a demanding week of practice" and "evaluate how he responds as he continues to absorb some contact." The Daily Norseman doesn't think Frazier is blowing smoke here, as some coaches might (I'm looking at you, Belichick). With all that said, would you be shocked if Peterson got 18 carries? I wouldn't, but that's a hunch.
If you own Peterson, you'll need to watch for practice reports as the week progresses, and wait until late Sunday morning for definitive word on his status. I own Peterson in a couple of leagues, and while I'll probably start him if he's active, I could see benching him if my backup was very strong. Toby Gerhart appears to be a solid Week 1 start, and a better one than Peterson right now. But remember: It's only Tuesday, and a lot can happen before gametime.
On to the rest of the news:
- Jaguars head coach Mike Mularkey said Monday that he envisions Maurice Jones-Drew "being a third-down back" this week against the Vikings, but MJD's exact workload is TBD. Rashad Jennings is expected to start, and I'd be hesitant to activate MJD for fantasy purposes. He didn't report until Sunday, and has a new system to learn.
- Chargers RB Ryan Mathews (broken clavicle) returned to practice on Monday, but still sounds iffy for Monday's opener. Unless you can wait until Monday night to decide on Mathews, you should expect to bench him unless the Chargers clearly state before Sunday morning that he's playing.
- Giants WR Hakeem Nicks missed Monday's practice due to lingering soreness in his foot, but it sounds like he'll be ready to go against the Cowboys. On a related note, please make sure to decide on your Giants and Cowboys before the game starts on Wednesday. You don't want to be that person in your fantasy league who forgets about the first unusually scheduled game. Everyone else makes fun of that person.
- Cowboys TE Jason Witten will have his injured spleen checked today, and he says that he'll play if he gets cleared by the doctors. Stay tuned.
- It sounds like Cowboys NT Jay Ratliff (ankle) won't play tomorrow. Owners of the Giants' running backs should like that news.
- Shanahan, you rascal. The Redskins' depth chart has Evan Royster listed first at running back, followed by Roy Helu and then rookie Alfred Morris. This information should be taken with a grain of salt, and I'm still betting on Helu after his big game last Wednesday, since he's their best back. It's not a big bet, though. Like a dollar or two.
- The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that if Browns RB Trent Richardson gets through the week of practices without any setbacks, he's "likely" to start against the Eagles on Sunday. However, I suspect that the Browns don't want to overload Richardson right away, and will give some carries to Montario Hardesty and Brandon Jackson. You should start Richardson if he plays, but manage your expectations.
- The Jets will incorporate a wildcat package featuring Tim Tebow starting this week. Please don't ask me if you should start a quarterback who will probably get fewer than 10 snaps.
- Panthers RB Jonathan Stewart tweeted last night that his injured ankle is getting better, but his status for Sunday is TBD.
- Colts WR Austin Collie (concussion) might play in Sunday's opener. Yes, I'm as surprised as you are, but he might be a good PPR option.
- Looking for a deep PPR sleeper to keep on your free-agent radar? Read this article on Patriots WR Greg Salas, who caught 27 passes in six games for the Rams last season before breaking his leg.
- Are we playing the Revis Island game this season? This week's guest is Bills WR Stevie Johnson, who has had some success against Revis.
- It sounds like Raiders WR Denarius Moore (hamstring) is looking good for Monday, but if there's any question before you set lineups, you'll have to sit him.
- Seahawks WR Golden Tate (knee) didn't practice Monday, and could miss a couple of weeks, according to the Seattle Times.
- Speaking of the Seahawks, you heard that they released TE Kellen Winslow, right? Zach Miller's value just got a boost as a possible fantasy TE2.
- Remember that Lions RB Mikel Leshoure (two games) and Titans WR Kenny Britt (one game) will serve suspensions to start the season.
- If you have questions on players not mentioned here, you can always contact me via Facebook and Twitter. Also, I'll host live chats on Thursday at 2 p.m. ET, and Sunday at noon ET (Joel Beall will precede me from 11 a.m. until noon).
See you back here with more football news on Friday morning.