Thu Nov 7 8:40am ET
By JEFF PAUR
Sr Fantasy Writer
Green is iffy to play Week 10
This is going to be a tough week for fantasy teams when it comes to setting lineups. There are six teams on a bye, including a few big-time fantasy players, to go along with all the guys on this injured list. The injury list isn’t crazy populated this week, but there are a decent chunk of players on the list. So good luck getting your lineups set. Hopefully, byes and injuries don’t impact things for you too much.
Evan Engram, TE, Giants. Engram is out of practice to start the week because of a foot sprain. He is in a boot because of the injury, which isn’t a great sign. He seems a long shot to play this week, so get other options ready. Engram has been banged up in recent weeks, marring what looked like could be a breakout season for him.
Le'Veon Bell, RB, Jets. Bell had an MRI on his knee but received good news on the injury. He is just battling a sore knee at this point. He has rested to start the week and still has a shot to play Week 10. Nothing is guaranteed, though, because Bell has struggled in recent weeks and just doesn’t look like himself. We would get other options ready to be safe. It would not be a surprise if the Jets sit Bell.
Adam Thielen, WR, Vikings. Thielen was a game-time decision last week and played in the game. He aggravated his hamstring injury early in the game, though, and sat the rest of the game. The Vikings claim the injury isn’t serious, though, and he didn’t have a major setback. Either way, you should expect the Vikings to make sure Thielen is 100 percent before bringing him back. We would expect Thielen to miss the game this week.
Cam Newton, QB, Panthers. Newton is done for the season, getting placed on Injured Reserve because of his foot injury. This makes Kyle Allen the starter for the rest of the season for the Panthers. Newton’s time in Carolina could be done after battling injuries the last few years and underperforming when on the field.
Sterling Shepard, WR, Giants. Shepard seemed to be making progress from his concussion, but had a setback late in the week last week. There is speculation he could be placed on Injured Reserve in the near future, ending his season. So don’t expect him to play this week or in the near future. Things aren’t looking great for Shepard right now.
A.J. Green, WR, Bengals. Green was set to finally return to the starting lineup this week, but had some sort of setback before practice Wednesday and sat out. He received treatment on the side and is considered day to day. HIs ankle injury is getting better but he’ll need to get in some practice before the week is out if he hopes to play Week 10. Get other options ready once again. Green is looking risky at this point.
Jacoby Brissett, QB, Colts. Brissett was knocked from last week’s game because of a sprained knee. He has not been ruled out for this week and is practicing on a limited basis. He seems to have a pretty good chance to play Week 10. We’ll know more later in the week, so keep an eye on the player notes for the latest.
T.Y. Hilton, WR, Colts. Hilton remains out of practice because of a calf injury. He missed last week and hasn’t been ruled out for this week, but the chances of him playing look pretty slim. He should miss another week, barring a great recovery late in the week.
Matt Ryan, QB, Falcons. Ryan has been limited in practice to start the week because of a sprained ankle. He missed the Week 8 game and had last week off because of a bye, so the all the time off should help Ryan get back on the field this week. We would expect him to be ready to go for Week 10. The Falcons should make an official announcement before the week is out, though.
David Johnson, RB, Cardinals. Johnson was close to a return last week but the short week (Thursday game) didn’t help his cause to play. He has already stated that he is definitely playing this week, though. We would completely take that to the bank but things look good for Johnson to play right now. His ankle is better, and he is practicing with the team to start the week.
Alvin Kamara, RB, Saints. Kamara returned to a limited practice Wednesday but is looking good to play this week. HIs ankle injury is improving after sitting out the last game and getting the bye last week to heal up even more. Kamara seems right on track for a Week 10 return to the starting lineup.
Brandin Cooks, WR, Rams. Cooks has already been ruled out for Week 10 because of a concussion. He is expected to see a specialist because of the injury, which has kept him out the last few weeks. At this points, we aren’t sure when Cooks will return to action.
O.J. Howard, TE, Bucs. Howard is back practicing in full this week after missing the last few games because of a hamstring injury. He is going to return to the starting lineup and has a prime matchup against the Cardinals, a team that struggles to stop the tight end.
Jared Cook, TE, Saints. Cook has missed has missed the last few games because of a sprained ankle. He is practicing in full to start the week and will return to the starting lineup for the Saints.
Patrick Mahomes, QB, Chiefs. Mahomes has missed the last two games because of a dislocated kneecap. The good news is he already is practicing in full this week. The Chiefs haven’t named him the starter just yet, but it sure seems like he will return to action this week. He seems near 100 percent.
Jeff Paur is a two-time finalist for FSWA Fantasy Football Writer of the Year and won the FSWA award for Best Fantasy Football Article on the Web in 2011. He also was the most accurate expert in 2012, winning the FSTA Fantasy Football Accuracy Award. If you have any questions for Jeff, email him at email@example.com. Follow Jeff on Twitter @jeffpaur.
Carolina Panthers TE Greg Olsen (concussion) took part in individual drills Wednesday, Dec. 11, which was a moderate surprise to beat writer Joe Person.
Fantasy Spin: Olsen has a great matchup against the Seattle Seahawks this week if he's able to go. Olsen will be a low-end TE1 option in PPR leagues.
Indianapolis Colts WR T.Y. Hilton (calf) said the team's playoff eligibility won't be a factor on if he returns this season. 'I would never quit on my team,' Hilton said. 'I signed up for 16 games. Some guys may shut it down and call it quits. I don't do that.'
Fantasy Spin: We still view him on the wrong side of questionable to return this season. If he's able to, he'd be a WR2 option. Zach Pascal should be a WR3 in the interim.
New York Giants TE Golden Tate (foot) was limited in practice Wednesday, Dec. 11.
Fantasy Spin: Tate had just one catch for 11 yards with Eli Manning last week, but he has a great matchup against the Miami Dolphins if he can go this week. He'd be a high-end WR3.
New York Giants TE Evan Engram (foot) was limited in practice Wednesday, Dec. 11.
Fantasy Spin: He was limited in practice last week as well, and he didn't play. Rhett Ellison (concussion) was also limited, and this situation remains in flux. If Engram goes, he's a midrange TE1. If he doesn't, Kaden Smith could be worth streaming again.
Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten is a floor-play only for a Week 15 contest against the Los Angeles Rams. Witten has seen plenty of targets lately, with seven in Week 14 and right in Week 13, but he's only come up with 11 catches for 79 yards total in both games. He's one of the least likely players in fantasy football to put up a goose egg in your lineup, but he's also very unlikely to put up a game-changing score, even in PPR. He's a tight end to play when you only need to reach a floor in your matchup, otherwise, even in a position as shallow as tight end, there are likely higher upside options on the waiver wire.
Dallas Cowboys tight end Blake Jarwin is not a strong fantasy option for Week 15 despite a strong performance in Week 14. Jarwin caught six passes for 50 yards against the Bears last week, but it was the first time this season he'd even been targeted more than four times. He's likely to sink back into the two-or-three targets per game life this week against the Los Angeles Rams and makes for nothing more than a dart-throw tight end option.
Dallas Cowboys brand new kicker Kai Forbath is a decent option at kicker for Week 15 fantasy lineups. Forbath was signed to replace Brett Maher, who was released by the Cowboys earlier this week. Forbath has made just under 86 percent of his field goal tries in his career and made his only attempt this year as a member of the Patriots. He did miss one of his two extra points, though. Most leagues will have higher-upside guys available on the waiver wire, but Forbath is fine as a fill-in kicker if needed.
The Dallas Cowboys Defense is a middling option at best in a Week 15 game against the Los Angeles Rams. The Cowboys defense has been generally disappointing this season, and this week they take on a Rams offense that looked like it finally figured things out in Week 14. There are likely better options on the waiver wire in most leagues, especially given this week's matchups.
Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Amari Cooper is a solid choice in any Week 15 fantasy lineup. Cooper looked a bit slow in Week 14 due to his previous injuries, but he'll have had 10 days to heal up even more before the Cowboys take on the Rams on Sunday afternoon. With the Cowboys offense struggling somewhat of late and Jalen Ramsey likely attached to Cooper all day, Cooper's usual upside is a bit limited, making him more of a high-end WR2 this week.
Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Michael Gallup is a strong WR2 option for a Week 15 game against the Los Angeles Rams. With Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey likely shadowing Amari Cooper in this one, Gallup could be more of the first look for quarterback Dak Prescott than usual. Coming off a game in which he led the Cowboys in receiving with 109 yards, Gallup is a strong WR2 option with upside for Week 15.
Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Randall Cobb had a nice flash in the pan moment a few weeks ago, but it looks like he's settled back into fantasy irrelevance in most formats. Cobb saw at least seven targets for four games in a row from Week 9 to Week 12, but saw just eight balls thrown his way in Weeks 13 and 14 combined. That much smaller target share will likely continue in Week 15 against the Los Angeles Rams. Cobb is nothing more than a desperation dart-throw type wide receiver and is not a recommended starter in most formats.
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott is expected to play in Week 15 and has a decent matchup against the Los Angeles Rams. Prescott suffered a sprained left hand and an injured index finger on his throwing hand in Week 14's Thursday night loss to the Chicago Bears. With 10 days to rest, Prescott should be good to go against the Rams. Still, he's been struggling along with the whole Dallas offense of late and a possible flare up of the injuries won't help. Prescott hasn't been great on the field lately, but he's still been producing solid fantasy numbers. He's a low-end QB1 for Week 15.
Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott should be a solid fantasy contributor in a Week 15 matchup against the Los Angeles Rams. Elliott scored twice in Week 14 despite the Cowboys inexplicably going away from the running game for long stretches. Hopefully, coach Jason Garrett feeds his star running back in this one. Elliott comes in as a top-half RB1 for this matchup.
Dallas Cowboys rookie running back Tony Pollard should return from an ankle injury that kept him out of Week 14, but shouldn't be in any fantasy lineups. Pollard will be strictly a backup to Ezekiel Elliott in what is expected to be a close game. Elliott should be on the field for almost every snap, leaving Pollard to only reach relevance if the starter were to get injured. Most leagues will have someone with a clearer path to touches on the waiver wire. Pollard remains no more than a handcuff for Elliott owners.
Philadelphia Eagles kicker Jake Elliott is a decent kicking option in a Week 15 game against Washington. The Eagles shouldn't have too much difficulty scoring on a weak Washington defense, but Elliott does seem to be in a bit of a slump lately. After starting the season off with 12 perfect weeks without a missed field goal, Elliott has missed two of his last six tries. He's still a K1, and should be fine in a fantasy lineup this week.
The Philadelphia Eagles Defense have an excellent matchup in Week 15 against Washington. While the Eagles looked rough against the Miami Dolphins in Week 13 and came out slumping in the first half of Week 14 against the New York Giants, they were able to put it together and play well for the second half of Monday's win. The Eagles defense is a little risky because they have shown the capacity to fall apart against lesser competition, but the Washington offense is last in the NFL in scoring and allows the fifth most points to opposing fantasy defenses. The risk should be worth the reward this week.
Philadelphia Eagles tight end Dallas Goedert is a strong option for Week 15 fantasy lineups. Going up against an easy Washington defense, Goedert has the added benefit of working as one of the top receiving options for Carson Wentz. Dealing with a decimated wide receiver corps, the Eagles will almost certainly rely on their running backs and tight ends to move the ball in this matchup. Goedert could end up behind only Zach Ertz in passing game pecking order. He's a mid-range TE1 with touchdown upside.
Cleveland Browns WR Odell Beckham Jr. (groin) was limited in practice Wednesday, Dec. 11.
Fantasy Spin: OBJ has really struggled the last few weeks, but he's the kind of talent you need in there as at least a WR2 against the Arizona Cardinals.
Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Greg Ward will play a significant role in Week 15's game against Washington. At the end of Monday night's overtime win against the New York Giants, Ward was literally the only healthy wide receiver left wearing an Eagles uniform. Rookie J.J. Arcega-Whiteside (hamstring) is expected to be ready to go on Sunday, but he and Ward make up the entire Eagles wide receiving corps for now. Ward saw nine targets in Week 14 after seeing 10 total in the 13 weeks before. The Eagles will likely focus their passing game on their running backs and tight ends, but Ward could be a sneaky-good play this week, especially in DFS leagues.
Philadelphia Eagles rookie wide receiver J.J. Arcega-Whiteside should play a significant role in Week 15's game against Washington. With the Eagles wide receiver corps decimated, Arcega-Whiteside is one of only two healthy receivers left on the roster. He showed flashes of dominance in the preseason but has turned that into just eight catches for 130 yards and one touchdown this season. He came up limping with a hamstring injury at the end of Monday night's game, but he is reportedly "fine" and will be ready to go on Sunday. Arcega-Whiteside comes with some nice upside this week, but he has a very low floor, as the Eagles could just focus on running backs and tight ends in their passing game.