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Jimmy Garoppolo set to return from injury for 49ers

Fri Oct 9 6:39pm ET
AP Pro Football Writer

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) passes against the Arizona Cardinals during the first half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, right, greets quarterback Nick Mullens during warm-ups before an NFL football game against the New York Giants, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) Jimmy Garoppolo will return as starting quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers this week after missing the past two games with a sprained ankle.

Coach Kyle Shanahan said Garoppolo will start Sunday at home against the Miami Dolphins. Shanahan wanted to see how Garoppolo made it through a full week of practice before making his decision.

''Each day he got better,'' Shanahan said Friday. ''Never felt too sore the next day. So, we needed to hear that today and see him out there today and we feel good to go.''

Garoppolo had hoped not to miss any time with the injury, having played through ankle sprains before. But this was a more severe high ankle sprain which made it impossible for him to move well enough to avoid danger in the pocket.

He was able to show he was healthy in practice and will provide a needed spark for the 49ers (2-2), who lost 25-20 at home last week to Philadelphia.

''Ankle is feeling really good right now,'' Garoppolo said. ''Got the last couple of weeks off to get it right. The training staff, I tip my hat to those guys, they did a great job with me, just preparing me and everything. But, as far as getting out there, I mean, we've had the whole week to work on it. So, it's feeling pretty good right now.''

San Francisco has a 20-6 record when Garoppolo starts, compared to a 5-21 mark with any other quarterback since Shanahan arrived in 2017.

Garoppolo threw for 3,978 yards and 27 TD passes last season to lead the Niners to 13 wins and was 33 for 49 for 390 yards, four TDs and no interceptions in six quarters this season.

The Niners could have almost all of their key pieces back on offense with running back Raheem Mostert questionable after missing two games with a knee injury and receiver Deebo Samuel questionable with an illness.

Samuel hasn't been allowed at the facility the past two days because he had a fever and aches earlier in the week. Samuel has taken part in meetings and will be allowed back once he passes one more coronavirus test.

Mostert, Samuel, All-Pro tight end George Kittle and first-round receiver Brandon Aiyuk have all missed games this season so the Niners are looking forward to the possibility of having all their important pieces available together for the first time.

''That's exactly how we envisioned it in the offseason,'' fullback Kyle Juszczyk said. ''It's great to finally have everybody healthy and in there together.''

Shanahan also said C.J. Beathard has moved ahead of Nick Mullens on the depth chart and will be Garoppolo's backup Sunday. Mullens played well in his first start this season before getting pulled in last week's loss to Philadelphia after committing three turnovers.

Beathard played well in relief and now will get the first shot if anything happens to Garoppolo.

NOTES: LB Dre Greenlaw will also return after missing two games with a quadriceps injury. ... CB Ahkello Witherspoon (hamstring) is questionable for the game, while DE Ezekiel Ansah (biceps), CB Dontae Johnson (groin), CB Emmanuel Moseley (concussion) and CB K'Waun Williams (knee, hip) are out. ... Ansah and Williams will be placed on IR on Saturday and the Niners will call up at least one more cornerback from the practice squad.

Player Notes
Jared Cook Oct 28 6:40pm ET

New Orleans Saints tight end Jared Cook is a low-end TE1 this week against Chicago. Cook has been an integral part of this offense this season and with the WR unit banged up right now, he could see more targets this week. The TE has now scored a touchdown in the past two games as well. The Bears Defense, though stingy, has been middle-of-the-pack in covering tight ends, so Cook would be one of the best players to start from this Saints offense.

From RotoBaller

New Orleans Saints Oct 28 6:40pm ET

The New Orleans Saints Defense is a streaming option this week against the Bears. This unit hasn't been consistent or potent at all this season, but the Bears do not have an explosive offense and have struggled to even put up points at times, as evidence of their losses to the Rams and Colts. Add in the fact that top WR Allen Robinson II is injured and Nick Foles could always have turnovers and you have a defense that is in the streaming tier this week.

From RotoBaller

Wil Lutz Oct 28 6:40pm ET

New Orleans Saints kicker Wil Lutz is a solid play this week against a Bears team allowing the seventh-most points to fantasy kickers. Lutz has gone 11-for-11 in field goals and 21-for-21 in extra points this season, meaning he is one of the most reliable players at his position. The kicker is a great play this week.

From RotoBaller

Michael Thomas Oct 28 6:30pm ET

New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas would be a solid play this week even against a tough Bears Defense due to his talent and predicted high volume in the passing game. Nevertheless, the WR is dealing with a hamstring and ankle injury and it's important to monitor his status heading into Sunday's clash to see if he will play.

From RotoBaller

Tre'Quan Smith Oct 28 6:30pm ET

New Orleans Saints wide receiver Tre' Quan Smith is not an ideal play this week against a stingy Bears Defense that is allowing the third-fewest points to fantasy wideouts. Smith would be in line for an elevated role if Michael Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders are out again this week, and he had four catches for 54 yards on four targets last week. Nevertheless, the tough matchup and the fact that guys such as Deonte Harris and Marquez Callaway are seeing more targets means Smith is better left on the bench.

From RotoBaller

Drew Brees Oct 28 6:20pm ET

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees is not a strong option at QB in Week 8 against the Bears. Chicago allows the fewest fantasy points to QBs and Brees may be without Michael Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders once again this week. Therefore, this week will pose a stiff challenge for Brees if he doesn't have a strong receiving corp against a top defense. If there are better options, it's best to go forth with them for this week.

From RotoBaller

Alvin Kamara Oct 28 6:20pm ET

New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara is an RB1 this week against a tough Bears Defense. Kamara posted 14 carries for 83 yards and eight catches for 65 yards last week, displaying his versatility and importance in both the rushing and passing game. The Bears present a tough matchup for RBs generally, but Kamara's volume should keep him as a strong play, and his value would only escalate if Michael Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders don't suit up.

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Michael Thomas Oct 28 5:30pm ET

New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas (ankle, hamstring) did not take part in practice on Wednesday. Thomas tweaked his hamstring in practice last week and was unable to play, and he should be considered highly questionable to suit up in Week 8 against the Bears. The 27-year-old All-Pro wideout has been a huge bust for fantasy managers as the consensus top overall wideout heading into the 2020 season after his monstrous 2019 performance. With Emmanuel Sanders also questionable after being put on the COVID-19 list and missing last week, rookie Marquez Callaway and Tre'Quan Smith could once again have bigger roles in the offense alongside tight end Jared Cook, although Chicago's defense has been one of the stingiest in the NFL through seven weeks.

From RotoBaller

Dak Prescott Oct 28 5:20pm ET

The Dallas Cowboys are expected to sign quarterback Cooper Rush to their practice squad once he passes COVID-19 protocols and a physical, which is likely to be next week, according to a source. With Dak Prescott (ankle) out for the season and Andy Dalton (concussion) looking doubtful to play in Week 8 against the Eagles, the Cowboys are desperate for some depth in the QB room. Rush was tendered as a restricted free agent by Dallas but was then cut when the team brought in Dalton. The Giants claimed rush off waivers but cut him this year. Rookie Ben DiNucci should get the start this Sunday if Dalton can't clear the concussion protocol, but the first-year signal-caller will be a poor low-end QB2 if he gets his first career start.

From RotoBaller

John Brown Oct 28 5:10pm ET

Buffalo Bills wide receiver John Brown (knee) was able to return to practice on Wednesday. That is a good sign after Brown was unable to play during the Week 7 win over the New York Jets. It sounds like there is a chance that Brown returns here versus the New England Patriots. His return would mean Gabriel Davis wouldn't see as much time on the field. Sadly for Brown, the Pats have a top-10 secondary, so he won't be anything more than a low-end WR3.

From RotoBaller

Cole Beasley Oct 28 5:10pm ET

Buffalo Bills wide receiver Cole Beasley is coming off his biggest performance of the season versus the New York Jets in Week 7. He hauled in 11 of his 12 targets for 112 yards in that one. Beasley has been a reliable PPR option all season long, so expect that trend to continue. The New England Patriots have a strong secondary, but nothing has been able to stop Beasley thus far. Fantasy owners in PPR leagues can continue plugging Beasley into their starting lineups.

From RotoBaller

Zack Moss Oct 28 5:00pm ET

Buffalo Bills running back Zack Moss put together his best performance of the season against the New York Jets in Week 7. He rushed seven times for 47 yards and caught three passes in the backfield for 25 yards in the win. He'll continue to split up the carries with Devin Singletary going forward. However, Moss might actually have more value, assuming the Bills continue using him in the passing attack. Moss could hold some low-end PPR value against the New England Patriots this week. His value is dependent on how much they use him in the receiving game.

From RotoBaller

Cameron Dantzler Oct 28 5:00pm ET

The Minnesota Vikings placed rookie cornerback Cameron Dantzler on the Reserve/COVID-19 list on Wednesday. The Vikings have not disclosed whether Dantzler tested positive himself or has been quarantined after having been in close contact with an infected person(s). Dantzler is probably a long shot to play in Week 8 against the division-rival Packers, and the rookie's absence would make it even tougher for Minnesota to slow down Aaron Rodgers and company in the passing game. Regardless of whether Dantzler is cleared this weekend, fantasy managers should be looking to avoid the Vikings Defense at all costs.

From RotoBaller

Stefon Diggs Oct 28 5:00pm ET

Buffalo Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs has been a favorite target of quarterback Josh Allen all season long. He already has three performances with 10 targets or more in a single game. Sadly, Diggs hasn't been able to turn those targets into yards lately. He hasn't been able to hit the 50-yard mark in receiving over the last two games. It's unlikely that his luck changes with a top-10 pass defense in the New England Patriots on the horizon. Fantasy owners should be able to lean on Diggs as a low-end WR2 here.

From RotoBaller

Josh Allen Oct 28 4:50pm ET

Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen has slowed down a bit after his monster beginning to the season. He completed 30 of 43 passing attempts for 307 yards and zero touchdowns with zero interceptions in the victory over the New York Jets in Week 7. It was a game where Allen was expected to have a huge fantasy game, but he was unable to get much done through the air. He salvaged his fantasy value with 11 carries for 61 yards on the ground. He'll get a chance to bounce back against the New England Patriots in Week 8. Fantasy owners should be able to lean on Allen as a QB1 here.

From RotoBaller

Justin Jefferson Oct 28 4:40pm ET

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson will try and keep his hot streak going against the Packers in Week 8. The rookie receiver has exploded over the last month of play, averaging 116.75 yards per game over his last four games with three 100+ yard games and three touchdowns. The Vikings will face a Packers team that is allowing the 11th fewest fantasy points to wide receivers this season but the Vikings were able to move the ball against them in the air in Week 1. Jefferson is a must-start in Week 8 and will carry WR2 status with WR1 upside against the Packers.

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Kirk Cousins Oct 28 4:30pm ET

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins will have his hands full against a talented Packers team in Week 8. Cousins passed for 343 yards with three touchdowns in Week 6 but three first-half interceptions doomed the Vikings in a 40-23 loss to the Falcons. The stat-line looks promising but those touchdowns all came with the team out of reach. Now the veteran passer will face a Packers Defense that is allowing the 12th fewest fantasy points to opposing passers and Cousins passed for 259 yard with two touchdowns against them in Week 1. Cousins has a decent chance at passing for multiple scores but the Vikings could be scoreboard chasing in this game. Cousins lacks top-12 fantasy appeal in Week 8.

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Adam Thielen Oct 28 4:30pm ET

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen will try and burn the Packers one more time this season when the two teams lock horns in Week 8. Thielen caught six passes for 110 yards and two touchdowns in Week 1 against Green Bay. Thielen is averaging 81.6 receiving yards per game over his last three contests with four touchdowns and has seven scores on the season. The Vikings season is hanging by a thread and the Packers have an explosive offense. Thielen has a strong chance at WR1 numbers in fantasy in a must-win game for Minnesota in Week 8.

From RotoBaller

Davante Adams Oct 28 4:20pm ET

Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams will try and replicate his monster Week 7 performance against the Vikings in Week 8. Adams exploded for 13 receptions with 196 yards and two touchdowns last week and now will face a Vikings Defense that is allowing the third most fantasy points to opposing receivers this season. Minnesota has allowed seven different receivers to post 90+ receiving yards against them and have surrendered 12 touchdowns to the position through six games. Seven different receivers have posted more than 15 fantasy points against the Vikings and Adams will have a chance at another enormous fantasy performance in Week 8.

From RotoBaller

Robert Tonyan Oct 28 4:20pm ET

Green Bay Packers tight end Robert Tonyan will look to get back to producing on the field when the team takes on the Vikings in Week 8. Tonyan has posted only 57 receiving yards over his last two games after posting three touchdowns in Week 4. Tonyan and the Packers will face a Vikings Defense that has allowed only one touchdown to the position all season and the 16th fewest fantasy points to opposing tight ends. Tonyan's fantasy value will be tied to touchdowns in Week 8 and may be best utilized in DFS lineups only against the Vikings.

From RotoBaller