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Jimmy Garoppolo set to return from injury for 49ers

Fri Oct 9 6:39pm ET
By JOSH DUBOW
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
N'Keal Harry Oct 26 11:40pm ET

New England Patriots wide receiver N'Keal Harry (head) was forced to exit early during the Week 7 loss to the San Francisco 49ers. He hauled in one of his two targets for six yards before leaving because of a head injury. Harry has not shown much upside even when he is on the field. He has become droppable in most standard formats and won't have great value versus the Buffalo Bills next week.

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Damiere Byrd Oct 26 11:40pm ET

New England Patriots wide receiver Damiere Byrd is a few weeks removed from a game where he saw 10 targets versus the Kansas City Chiefs. Sadly, Byrd hasn't been involved too much since then. He hauled in one of his two targets for 16 yards in the Week 7 loss to the San Francisco 49ers. The Pats offense has been awful lately, so it's tough to assume Byrd is going to pick things up anytime soon. He could be worth holding in deep leagues, but that's about it for the moment.

From RotoBaller

Jakobi Meyers Oct 26 11:40pm ET

New England Patriots wide receiver Jakobi Meyers had one reception on the season heading into the Week 7 matchup with the San Francisco 49ers. He surprisingly saw some action during the blowout loss here. N'Keal Harry (head) was forced to exit early, which opened up playing time for Meyers. He hauled in four of his six targets for 60 yards during the Week 7 loss. No one is worth trusting on the Pats offense right now. However, Meyers could be worth looking at in deep leagues for their matchup with the Buffalo Bills next week.

From RotoBaller

James White Oct 26 11:10pm ET

New England Patriots running back James White has been a decent PPR flex option this season, but was a forgotten man during the Week 7 loss to the San Francisco 49ers. It's unclear why White barely saw the field during this one. He finished with one reception for three yards during the blowout loss. Maybe the team scaled back his workload because they were already getting destroyed early on. Fantasy owners can hope for a bounce back performance against the Buffalo Bills next week.

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Julian Edelman Oct 26 11:10pm ET

New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman hasn't been able to do much of anything on the field since Week 2. His performances are becoming laughable at this point in the season. He finished with one reception on three targets for 13 yards in the Week 7 loss to the San Francisco 49ers. The Pats offense is horrendous, so fantasy owners in 12-team standard leagues can pretty much give up on Edelman at this point. He has posted four straight awful performances, so there's not a good chance it gets better against the Buffalo Bills in Week 8.

From RotoBaller

Rex Burkhead Oct 26 11:00pm ET

New England Patriots running back Rex Burkhead hasn't seen a heavy workload lately and that is unlikely going to change. He rushed four times for 12 yards and hauled in three receptions for 35 yards in the Week 7 loss to the San Francisco 49ers. It appears Burkhead and James White are going to split up the pass catching duties in New England. That being said, it's going to be tough to predict Burkhead's fantasy value on a weekly basis. He's probably worth a stash in 14/16 team leagues right now.

From RotoBaller

Cam Newton Oct 26 10:50pm ET

New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton looked horrendous during the Week 7 loss to the San Francisco 49ers. He completed nine of 15 passing attempts for 98 yards and zero touchdowns with three interceptions. He also rushed five times for 19 yards before being benched in the second half. To be fair, Jarrett Stidham didn't look much better since the Pats receivers can't get open. Head coach Bill Belichick confirmed that Newton is the starting quarterback going forward. He'll be a QB2 option against the Buffalo Bills next week.

From RotoBaller

Denver Broncos Oct 26 10:50pm ET

The Denver Broncos Defense had a daunting matchup in Week 7 against the Super Bowl champions, and they proved they weren't up to the task in the 43-16 blowout loss on Sunday. It came a week after the defense stepped up to slow down Cam Newton and the Patriots in an upset win. But the defense was back to their old ways, only creating one turnover while sacking Patrick Mahomes four times. Through seven weeks, the Denver D ranks 22nd in the NFL in fantasy points, 10th in sacks (18) and have created just six total turnovers (three interceptions, three fumble recoveries). They allow 251.8 passing yards per game (20th in the league) and 109 rushing yards per game (24th). They won't be a particularly attractive play in Week 8 against a Chargers team that just dropped 39 points on the Jaguars.

From RotoBaller

Jarrett Stidham Oct 26 10:50pm ET

New England Patriots quarterback Jarrett Stidham saw some reps during the second half of the Week 7 loss to the San Francisco 49ers. Quarterback Cam Newton was benched after a three interception performance. Sadly, it didn't get much better once Stidham took over under center. He completed six of 10 passing attempts for 64 yards and one interception. Stidham looks awkward, uncomfortable, and confused in the pocket. The Pats confirmed that Newton is the starter going forward. There's almost no reason to own Stidham in any format whatsoever.

From RotoBaller

Damien Harris Oct 26 10:50pm ET

New England Patriots running back Damien Harris has become the lead back for this offense, but hasn't been able to do much damage lately. He rushed 10 times for 58 yards in the Week 7 loss to the San Francisco 49ers. He also hauled in one reception for 12 yards, but was unable to get any momentum going in this one. It didn't help that the Pats were getting blown out and couldn't move the ball on offense. Harris could be a low-end flex option against the Buffalo Bills next week.

From RotoBaller

Brandon McManus Oct 26 10:40pm ET

Denver Broncos kicker Brandon McManus made his lone field-goal try from 43 yards out in the 43-16 blowout loss to the Chiefs on Sunday in the snow. The 29-year-old strong-legged booter disappointed any fantasy managers that picked up him up off the waiver wire and started him after he made all six of his field goals in the Week 6 upset over the Patriots. In a game where the Broncos were down big all day to the defending Super Bowl champions, there just weren't any opportunities to be had for McManus. He also missed one of his two extra-point tries in the loss to Kansas City. The Chargers -- the Broncos Week 8 opponent -- have been a top-10 matchup for fantasy kickers this year, but McManus still ranks 19th in the league in overall fantasy points through seven weeks. Denver's inconsistent offense continues to make McManus a shaky streaming option on a weekly basis.

From RotoBaller

Jerry Jeudy Oct 26 10:30pm ET

Denver Broncos rookie wide receiver Jerry Jeudy had another disappointing day for his fantasy managers in the Week 7 blowout loss to the division-rival Chiefs in a game played in the snow in Denver. The conditions didn't help his cause, but Jeudy caught two of his four targets for just 20 yards on the day. Rookie tight end Albert Okwuegbunam was tied for a team-high seven targets and has 13 targets over the last two games, while Jeudy only has nine targets over that span while going under 33 yards each of the last two contests. The first-rounder out of Alabama has just one touchdown in his rookie season and has yet to top 62 yards in a single game, making him a shaky WR4/flex, especially now that Okwuegbunam appears to be quarterback Drew Lock's go-to guy.

From RotoBaller

Noah Fant Oct 26 10:20pm ET

Denver Broncos tight end Noah Fant missed the team's Week 5 game against the Patriots due to an ankle injury, but he returned for the 43-16 loss in Week 7 against the Chiefs. Fant drew seven targets from quarterback Drew Lock in the snowy conditions in Denver, but he was only able to haul in three of them for 38 yards in the blowout. It was his first game action since Oct. 1, but it didn't help that rookie tight end Albert Okwuegbunam had the same amount of targets and caught all of them for 60 yards. Okwuegbunam's emergence and chemistry with Lock dating back to their days at Missouri could be a thorn in Fant's side moving forward. Against the division-rival Chargers next Sunday, Fant will be more of a TE2.

From RotoBaller

KJ Hamler Oct 26 10:20pm ET

Denver Broncos rookie wide receiver K.J. Hamler returned to action in Week 7 against the Chiefs after missing a month with a hamstring injury that he suffered in the Week 4 win over the Jets. Hamler caught two of his three targets for 24 yards and also had a 10-yard run in the 43-16 blowout loss to Kansas City. In four games so far in his rookie season, the 21-year-old second-rounder has eight receptions on 15 targets for 102 yards. Hamler could eventually be a weapon for Denver out of the slot, but he's too far down the receiving pecking order right now in a much too inconsistent offense. He hasn't had more than three catches in a single game in 2020 and is really only a dynasty/keeper stash for now.

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Albert Okwuegbunam Oct 26 10:10pm ET

Denver Broncos rookie tight end Albert Okwuegbunam led the team in receiving in the 43-16 blowout loss to the Chiefs on Sunday, catching all seven of his targets for 60 yards. His seven targets were tied for the team lead with fellow tight end Noah Fant, who was returning from an ankle injury he suffered in Week 4. Okwuegbunam just made his NFL debut last week against the Patriots, and he had six targets in that one. The rookie played his college ball with quarterback Drew Lock at Missouri, so it appears that the two have some pretty good chemistry. He's worth picking up in dynasty/keeper leagues and deeper formats, but Okwuegbunam's ceiling will be limited with Fant back in the fold moving forward.

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Melvin Gordon Oct 26 10:00pm ET

Denver Broncos running back Melvin Gordon III ran the ball a team-high 17 times for 68 yards and a touchdown in the blowout loss to the Chiefs in Week 7, but he also lost two fumbles. Gordon caught two of his four targets for 12 yards. If it weren't for Phillip Lindsay -- who was the more effective back in this game on nine carries -- leaving the game early with a concussion, it's very possible that Gordon wouldn't have had the numbers he ended up with, especially since he lost two fumbles. Gordon's fantasy managers could be looking at some RB2 upside if he has the backfield to himself again in Week 8 against his former team, the Chargers, if Lindsay can't clear the league's concussion protocol by next Sunday.

From RotoBaller

Drew Lock Oct 26 9:50pm ET

Denver Broncos quarterback Drew Lock attempted a season-high 40 throws in the 43-16 blowout loss to the Chiefs in Week 7, completing 24 of them for 254 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions. However, he somewhat salvaged his fantasy stat line by running the ball three times for eight yards and a touchdown. Lock wasn't a smart pick in this one in the snow against the defending Super Bowl champions, and it was second straight week with two picks thrown. The 23-year-old just hasn't looked comfortable the last two weeks against the Chiefs and Patriots after returning from a right shoulder sprain. The second-year signal-caller will have an easier go of it in Week 8 against the Chargers, a team that has allowed the seventh-most fantasy points per game to QBs, but Lock will still be a low-end QB2 in this below-average offense.

From RotoBaller

Virgil Green Oct 26 8:20pm ET

Los Angeles Chargers tight end Virgil Green (ankle) sustained a considerable ankle injury during Sunday's win over the Jaguars, with head coach Anthony Lynn noting that Green will miss some time with the ailment. Used sparingly this season as an extra tight end, Green made his first touchdown catch of the season Sunday, giving him seven straight years with a TD secured. The team has not yet made a decision on whether or not to place him on injured reserve, but it appears that for at least next week's game against the Broncos, Hunter Henry should have considerable reign on the passes thrown to tight ends. Due to his role in the offense and recent injury, Green can remain on the waiver wire in all season-long formats.

From RotoBaller

Tyler Bass Oct 26 8:20pm ET

Buffalo Bills kicker Tyler Bass was a busy man during the Week 7 win over the New York Jets. In fact, Bass resulted in all 18 of the Bills points on offense in this game. He connected on six of his eight field goals attempts in this one. His longest field goal of the day was a 53-yarder that he connected on. This was a fluke performance by Bass, so fantasy owners searching for kickers shouldn't expect this to happen again. The Bills offense should be able to bounce back against the New England Patriots next week.

From RotoBaller

Cole Beasley Oct 26 8:10pm ET

Buffalo Bills wide receiver Cole Beasley has been a reliable option in PPR leagues all season long. However, he posted his best game of the year against the New York Jets in Week 7. Beasley hauled in 11 of his 12 targets for 112 yards in the win. Quarterback Josh Allen couldn't get anything going down the field, so often targeted Beasley with check down passes. The Bills receivers are a little banged up right now, so Beasley could be a solid WR3 against the New England Patriots in Week 8.

From RotoBaller