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The Saints on Saturday activated DL Sheldon Rankins after he missed the 1st 7 games with a leg fracture. The 1st-round pick can only help the front 7 of 1 of the league's worst defenses. New Orleans will not have ILB James Laurinaitis any more this season, though, after placing him on IR with a groin injury. Laurinaitis has offered little value to the team or fantasy owners since arriving after the Rams dumped him in summer. His deactivation makes Nathan Stupar more interesting in IDP leagues as a potential full-time player the rest of the way.

The Saints list S Kenny Vaccaro (ankle), MLB James Laurinaitis (quad) and OLB Dannell Ellerbe (quad) as questionable for Sunday's game in San Diego. According to ESPN's Mike Triplett, Vaccaro has expressed confidence that he'll play after missing Week 3. Laurinaitis was added to the injury report this week and hasn't spoken to reporters since. Ellerbe just returned to practice this week after missing the 1st 3 games. If he remains out of the lineup, Craig Robertson would start in his place again. Should Ellerbe return, IDP owners might want to wait and see him get through a game before using him. Robertson has delivered strong numbers to date, though, indicating the upside in the position.

Saints OLB Stephone Anthony returned to practice Monday, according to The New Orleans Advocate. That comes about a week and a half after he suffered an unspecified leg injury in the preseason opener. Anthony's return before the 3rd exhibition suggests he'll be fine for the regular season, though we'll keep an eye on his status for IDP purposes. The Saints' depth chart has Anthony starting on the strong side, with James Laurinaitis in the middle and Dannell Ellerbe manning the weak side. DC Dennis Allen doesn't have a clear enough record in the NFL for us to determine which spot presents the highest tackle ceiling in his system. And Anthony's absence has clouded the sub-package plans for the crew. We'll try to decipher that further, but Anthony's age and athleticism keeps him the most intriguing IDP option for now.

Adam Schefter reports that the Saints will sign free-agent ILB James Laurinaitis. The 29-year-old spent the past 7 seasons starting every game for the Rams, but his effectiveness slipped in recent years. We'll see what New Orleans plans for his role, but we're hoping the veteran doesn't keep 2015 first-round pick Stephone Anthony from playing full time. Anthony brings a lot more IDP upside than his better-known new teammate, even though he returned just LB3-4 production as a rookie. Adding Laurinaitis won't change the team D outlook for the Saints at all.

The Rams have released MLB James Laurinaitis and DE Chris Long. Laurinaitis spent the past 7 years starting every game for St. Louis but isn't a special talent at this point -- at least not enough to be worth the $5.25 million in space his ouster cleared under the salary cap. Long will turn 31 in March and started just 11 games over the past 2 seasons because of injuries. He also totaled only 4 sacks over that stretch. The Rams' top 2 backups at DE -- William Hayes and Eugene Sims -- will hit free agency in March, so we'll see what the team does at that position. According to ESPN's Nick Wagoner, St. Louis plans to move OLB Alec Ogletree to the middle and try to re-sign S/LB Mark Barron to continue playing the weak-side LB spot that he took over when Ogletree got hurt last season.

Rams OLB Alec Ogletree fractured his left fibula and will require surgery, according to ESPN's Josina Anderson. He's expected to miss the rest of the season. That takes an LB1 out of fantasy football lineups. Akeem Ayers could see a big playing time boost and offer some useful numbers in Ogletree's place, but don't expect any Ram to match Ogletree's stats. MLB James Laurinaitis should collect a few more tackles as well.

11:40pm EDT 4/25/13

The Rams spent their 2nd pick of Round 1 on Georgia OLB Alec Ogletree.  Character concerns likely knocked the talented LB down the the 30th spot.  A former safety, Ogletree brings loads of cover ability and athleticism to the weak side for the Rams.  Look for him to start right away and cut into MLB James Laurinaitis' tackle domination just a bit.  Ogletree looks like a LB4 in redraft fantasy football leagues for the coming season.

Rams MLB James Laurinaitis and DE Chris Long are active today. Both were officially questionable but put in limited practices during the week. Each is a solid IDP play against Arizona.

Rams MLB James Laurinaitis is questionable for Sunday's game, but it appears he should play. Laurinaitis saw primary starter reps in a limited Friday practice. HC Steve Spagnuolo told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch afterward, "We're trying to save him but we're trying to get him as healthy as we can by Sunday." We'll keep an eye on the inactives, but expect to have Laurinaitis available.

SI.com's Will Carroll says that Rams MLB James Laurinaitis will  probably have to wear "some sort of brace" to help him deal with a "severely strained pectoral muscle." Laurinaitis missed only the 1st and last of the team's 4 preseason games. The most important thing for his fantasy owners is that he'll be in the lineup. The brace has a chance to limit his tackling ability a bit, though. That could afford OLBs Bryan Kehl and Ben Leber a few more opportunities. This doesn't seem like enough to significantly alter expectations but will at least be worth watching. Obviously, a worsening of the injury would be bad news for Laurinaitis.

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