Wed Oct 4 9:00pm ET
Field Level Media
A quarter of the way through the 2023 NFL regular season, there are only two teams standing in the pursuit of joining the 1972 Miami Dolphins as the only teams to go undefeated.
San Francisco and Philadelphia have started the season 4-0, but both are considered longshots by oddsmakers to go 17-0 in the regular season -- a feat that has never been accomplished.
Circa Sports is offering +4400 odds on the 49ers going undefeated into the postseason and even longer +5000 odds on the Eagles doing so. By contrast, they are -7200 and -8000, respectively, to lose at least one regular-season game.
San Francisco has been the more dominating of the two thus far, scoring at least 30 points in every game while winning by an average of 16.75 points. The 49ers are in the marquee Week 5 matchup against the 3-1 Dallas Cowboys, with the 49ers favored by 3.5 points by the book.
Philadelphia nearly had its unbeaten streak snapped before escaping with an overtime win at home against Washington last Sunday, bringing its average margin of victory down to seven points. The Eagles play their next two games on the road -- at the Rams and Jets -- before returning home to face the 3-1 Miami Dolphins.
On the flip side, two teams remain winless at the quarter pole of the season.
Carolina and Chicago are both being offered at +3500 to be the first team in NFL history to go 0-17. Only the 2017 Cleveland Browns and the 2008 Detroit Lions have gone 0-16. Circa Sports is offering both the Panthers and Bears at -6000 to win at least one game.
The 1976 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who went 0-14, are the only other team to fail to win at least one game in a non-strike-shortened season since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970.
The Panthers are one of the biggest underdogs in Week 5, with Detroit a 10.0-point favorite at home to send Carolina to 0-5. The Bears are a 6.0-point underdog at Washington.
The two remaining winless teams face each other in Chicago on Nov. 9.
The biggest Week 5 spread at the book belongs to the Dolphins, who are 11.0-point favorites at home against the 1-3 New York Giants. The Giants are coming off a 24-3 loss to Seattle at home on Monday night and running back Saquon Barkley's (ankle) status on a short week remains uncertain.
WEEK 5 NFL LINES (Circa Sports)
--Chicago at Washington (-6, 44.5)
--Jacksonville at Buffalo (-5.5, 48.5)
--Houston at Atlanta (-2, 41.5)
--Carolina at Detroit (-10, 44.5)
--Tennessee (-2, 43) at Indianapolis
--New York Giants at Miami (-11, 48.5)
--New Orleans at New England (PK, 40)
--Baltimore (-4, 38) at Pittsburgh
--Cincinnati (-3, 44.5) at Arizona
--Philadelphia (-4.5, 51) at Los Angeles Rams
--New York Jets at Denver (-1.5, 43)
--Kansas City (-4, 52.5) at Minnesota
--Dallas at San Francisco (-3.5, 45)
--Green Bay at Las Vegas (PK, 44.5)
Dynasty | Jets running back Breece Hall is reportedly no longer on a "pitch count" as the team prepares for their game against Denver. Dynasty Analysis: Hall tore his ACL last season and is just now apparently back to full strength. With Dalvin Cook looking like a fairly big bust of a signing, Hall is needed now more than ever, especially with the Jets sitting at 1-3. Hall remains our RB2 overall and has shown some of his trademark explosiveness in limited action already. This week could be big for his short-term value and for dynasty owners to really look at Dalvin Cook and re-adjust.
Los Angeles Chargers RB Austin Ekeler (ankle) said he expects to be ready to play against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 6.
Fantasy Spin: Fantasy owners should continue to monitor Ekeler's status, but with a bye week to rest prior to a showdown with the Cowboys on Monday night, he should be back in action.
Philadelphia Eagles DT Fletcher Cox (back) underwent an epidural injection procedure to help relieve discomfort in his back, according to a source. Cox isn't expected to miss more than one game, if any.
Los Angeles Chargers running back Austin Ekeler (ankle) told reporters on Wednesday that he expects to be able to return to action following his team's Week 5 bye. Ekeler hasn't played since injuring his ankle during Week 1 but he stated on Wednesday, "We have a long time between now and Monday night football vs. the Cowboys, so expecting to be back by then for sure." Ekeler's return would relegate Joshua Kelley back to a reserve role after an uninspiring stint as the team's lead back over the past three games. Ekeler can be fired up as an RB1 in Week 6 if he does in fact suit up.
Denver Broncos LB Randy Gregory could be traded to another team before the team officially decides to release him, according to head coach Sean Payton.
Los Angeles Rams QB Matthew Stafford (hip) fully participated in practice Wednesday, Oct. 4.
Fantasy Spin: Stafford is on track to play in the Week 5 game and may have one of his top receivers back in the lineup this week. He has thrown for a lot of yards in the first four games but has three touchdowns and five interceptions during that span. He can be a starting option in two-quarterback leagues but can be avoided in standard leagues.
The NFL is considering disciplinary action against Seattle Seahawks safety Jamal Adams (concussion) for his actions toward the independent concussion doctor appointed by the league and NFL Players Association following his concussion evaluation on the sideline during Monday night's win over the New York Giants. Head coach Pete Carroll said earlier this week that Adams should be able to return after the bye in Week 5 to face the Cincinnati Bengals, but that might not be the case now if the 27-year-old is suspended. Adams lost his temper on the sideline after being ruled out for the rest of the game and had to be separated from the doctor. The good news for Adams is that he has extra time to heal from his latest injury.
New York Giants head coach Brian Daboll said it's "leaning towards no" for left tackle Andrew Thomas (hamstring) to play in Week 5 against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday. Thomas did not take part in the team's first practice of the week on Wednesday. It's more bad news for a struggling Giants offensive line. Center John Michael Schmitz (shoulder) and offensive guard Shane Lemieux (groin) also didn't practice on Wednesday. New York's O-line was absolutely dominated by the Seattle Seahawks' defensive line in the Monday night loss, as they allowed six sacks on quarterback Daniel Jones. It could be more tough sledding for Jones and the Giants offense this week against Miami if the Giants' offensive line remains just as beat up.
Los Angeles Rams WR Cooper Kupp (hamstring) was limited during practice Wednesday, Oct. 4.
Fantasy Spin: Kupp is currently on the Reserve/Injured list but there is a chance he could be activated in time to play in the Week 5 game. He should be a weekly starting option when he returns, but fantasy players may want to lower their expectations a bit for his first game back.
Philadelphia Eagles defensive lineman Fletcher Cox (back) received an epidural injection procedure this week to alleviate discomfort he had been experiencing in his back over the last couple weeks, according to a source. If Cox has to miss any time, the expectation is that it won't be more than one game. We'll have a better idea of whether Cox will be able to play in Week 5 against the Los Angeles Rams later this week, but if he is unavailable, there's a good chance he'll be able to return in Week 6 against the New York Jets. The 32-year-old veteran defensive tackle made the Pro Bowl in six straight years from 2015-2020 and is a big part of Philly's dominant defensive line. Through the first four weeks, he has 10 tackles (three solo), half a sack and seven QB hits.
Buffalo Bills pass-rusher Von Miller (knee) returned to practice for the first time this year on Wednesday after missing the first four weeks while on Injured Reserve. The Bills have now opened the 21-day window to activate Miller from IR after he tore his ACL on Thanksgiving last year. The 34-year-old All-Pro thinks he will make his season debut in London this Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars, but the final call as to whether he'll be active this weekend won't be up to him. Even if Miller is able to get the green light for Week 5, the Bills would most likely ease him back on defense after the long layoff. The bottom line, though, is that the eventual return of Miller is big news for an already strong Bills defense, even if Miller is no longer in his prime.
San Francisco 49ers RB Christian McCaffrey (non-injury) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Oct. 4.
Fantasy Spin: McCaffrey is one of the most valuable players in fantasy football and is a must-start option in all leagues.
Free-agent RB Jeremy McNichols was signed to the San Francisco 49ers practice squad Wednesday, Oct. 4.
Denver Broncos practice squad RB Dwayne Washington was signed to the 53-man roster Wednesday, Oct. 4. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.
Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Zay Jones (knee) returned to practice on Wednesday and was listed as a limited participant on the injury report. Fellow wideout Jamal Agnew (quadriceps) was also limited. Jones has missed the last two games with a knee injury, but his return to practice on Wednesday bodes well for his chances of playing in this Sunday's game in London against the Buffalo Bills. All five of his receptions, 55 yards and lone touchdown came in the season opener before he was blanked in Week 2 before suffering a knee injury. Jones should return to three-wide sets if he's active this weekend alongside Calvin Ridley and Christian Kirk, but the matchup against Buffalo's defense isn't a great one. A return to a full practice in the next two days would be a good indication that Jones is trending towards returning in Week 5.
Detroit Lions wide receiver Jameson Williams was listed as a full practice participant on Wednesday and wasn't listed with an injury. The NFL dropped Williams' six-game gambling suspension to four games, so he'll be eligible to make his 2023 debut in Week 5 against the Carolina Panthers. The Lions plan to ease the 22-year-old second-year wideout into the offense after he played in only six games in his rookie season, but injuries to Amon-Ra St. Brown (abdomen) and Josh Reynolds (groin) could alter those plans this weekend. Williams should be rostered in all fantasy leagues because of his big-play abilities as a former first-round pick, but you may want to temper your expectations initially. Keep an eye on Detroit's injury report heading into Sunday's game.
Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay said that wide receiver Cooper Kupp (hamstring) was not going to be limited on Wednesday and was going to go through a normal practice. Kupp opened the season on the Injured Reserve list, which required him to miss the first four games. The Rams have opened his 21-day window to return from IR, though, and he's in play to make his season debut this weekend against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday. Unless Kupp suffers a setback at practice later this week, all signs are pointing toward him playing in Week 5. How many snaps he actually sees is a different question altogether, which will make Kupp risky in starting fantasy lineups if he's active on Sunday. Kupp's return will inevitably hurt the fantasy upside of receivers Puka Nacua and Tutu Atwell.
Denver Broncos LB Baron Browning (knee), LB Frank Clark (hip), C Lloyd Cushenberry (quadriceps), LB Josey Jewell (hip), DT Mike Purcell (ribs) and S Justin Simmons (hip) were limited during practice Wednesday, Oct. 4. S P.J. Locke (toe) fully participated in practice.
Denver Broncos wide receiver Jerry Jeudy (knee) got in a limited practice session on Wednesday. Jeudy practiced in a limited capacity last week with the same knee issue but was removed from the team's final injury report prior to their Week 4 game against the Chicago Bears. Considering that he is back to practicing in a limited fashion again, this could be a maintenance thing for the 24-year-old. Fantasy managers should still keep an eye on his status leading up to the Broncos' Week 5 contest against the New York Jets. Through three games, Jeudy has 11 catches for 158 yards but is still looking for his first touchdown of the season.
San Francisco 49ers running back Elijah Mitchell (knee) did not practice on Wednesday. The third-year back missed Week 4 with the same knee issue and missing Wednesday's practice does not bode well for his chances of suiting up in Week 5. Mitchell has just 16 carries for 52 scoreless yards to begin the season so his role has practically no fantasy value anyway. Christian McCaffrey has been a dominant force both in real life and fantasy football so Mitchell and Jordan Mason are mere handcuffs.