By JEFF PAUR
Sr Fantasy Writer
Normally, the injury story is pretty drab for fantasy owners but this one actually has some good news in it for once. There are a few key players ready to make a return from injury this week, which could be a big factor for fantasy teams down the stretch this year. Hopefully, this is a trend going forward. Either way, enjoy it for a week.
Derek Anderson, QB, Bills. Anderson remains in the concussion protocol but has a decent chance to be cleared before the week is out. Expect the Bills to do all they can to get Anderson ready because Josh Allen is expected to miss another week and Nathan Peterman is a disaster as the starter. So we expect Anderson back this week with Allen returning the following week, but keep an eye on the player notes for the latest.
Darren Sproles, RB, Eagles. Sproles is practicing this week and expected to return to action this week. His hamstring is finally doing better. And Sproles could have a decent role in the game with the Eagles struggling to run the ball in recent weeks.
Sammy Watkins, WR, Chiefs. Watkins suffered some sort of foot injury last week and needed an MRI. He is dealing with nothing serious but could still miss the Week 10 game. We'll know more later in the week but at this point, we think Watkins misses this week's game.
Ryan Tannehill, QB, Dolphins. Tannehill has already been ruled out for Week 10 but he is making some progress with his shoulder injury. There is hope he is ready for the Week 11 game. For now, Brock Osweiler starts for the Dolphins.
A.J. Green, WR, Bengals. Green is dealing with a foot injury and is going to miss a few weeks of action. The good news is surgery has been ruled out but the bad news is this looks like a multi-week injury. Tyler Boyd will serve as the No. 1 receiver for the Bengals while Green is out.
Sam Darnold, QB, Jets. Darnold was in a boot Wednesday and not practicing. He has a foot sprain and is not looking good to play right now. We would get other options ready. The Jets won't push their rookie if he isn't ready to play. Josh McCoy starts if Darnold is out.
Geoff Swaim, TE, Cowboys. Swaim missed the game last week because of a knee sprain. He is practicing on a limited basis to start this week. He is making progress but still shaky to be ready for the Week 10 game. If he does more in practice before the week is out, Swaim might have a chance to play. Keep an eye on the practice notes for the latest.
Chris Carson, RB, Seahawks. Carson is not practicing to start the week because of hip and thigh injuries. He played last week but couldn't make it through a full game. It would not be a surprise if Carson sits out this week, giving Mike Davis much of the work at running back for the Seahawks.
Leonard Fournette, RB, Jaguars. Fournette is finally practicing in full and seems set to return from his hamstring injury this week. He should return to his starting role and get plenty of work as the No. 1 back for the Jaguars. Consider him a top No. 2 back for Week 10.
Matt Bryant, K, Falcons. Bryant has missed the last few weeks because of a hamstring injury. He still isn't practicing and looks iffy to return Week 10. He could practice before the week is out, though, which would put him on track to play. But for now, we would just expect to use other options at kicker.
Allen Robinson, WR, Bears. Robinson is another player set to return this week. He is practicing in full to start the week. His groin injury finally is close to full strength. He should return to his role as the No. 1 receiver for the Bears.
Rob Gronkowski, TE, Patriots. Gronkowski sat out last week because of ankle and back injuries. He was a game-time decision last week and should be another game-time call this week. He is practicing on a limited basis to start the week.
Sony Michel, RB, Patriots. Michel is inching closer to a return from is sprained knee. He was close last week but ended up sitting out. He is practicing on a limited basis to start this week. We think the chances of a return for Michel are pretty strong, but keep an eye on the player notes for the latest news on his injury status. Nothing is certain right now.
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.
The Detroit Lions signed free-agent cornerback Rashaan Melvin to a one-year, $3.5 million deal on Friday, a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter. Melvin played for the Patriots in 2015 when head coach Matt Patricia was the defensive coordinator. The 29-year-old has been mostly a starter the last three seasons with the Colts and Raiders and had a career-high three interceptions with the Colts in 2017. He could be the replacement for Nevin Lawson, who signed with the Raiders earlier this week.
The Oakland Raiders signed free-agent quarterback Mike Glennon to a one-year, $2 million deal on Friday, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. The 29-year-old will be with his fourth different team in the last four seasons and will serve as Derek Carr's backup in silver and black. Glennon has played in 27 games (22 starts) and is 6-16 as a starter in his five seasons in the NFL. He has 35 touchdown passes, 20 interceptions and an 84.0 quarterback rating. Glennon won't be fantasy relevant.
The Pittsburgh Steelers informed safety Morgan Burnett that they will release him by April 1 per the player's request, according to his agent, Kevin Conner. Both parties discussed trade possibilities before the release, according to a source. Pittsburgh signed the safety to a three-year, $14.25 million contract last season that included a $4.25 million signing bonus. Burnett missed four of the first six games of 2018 due to injury and recorded 30 tackles and six pass deflections in a sub-package role in 11 games. The 30-year-old had previously played eight seasons with the Packers.
The Los Angeles Rams are matching the Detroit Lions offer sheet for restricted free-agent running back Malcolm Brown on Friday. Brown's deal with the Rams is for two years with a $3.3 million base salary, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. He'll receive $2.1 million in practice guarantees ($1 million base guaranteed and a $1.1 million roster bonus to be issued April 15). Brown landed on Injured Reserve in Week 13 with a clavicle injury. He played just 15 percent of the offensive snaps and had 264 yards from scrimmage and one receiving touchdown. He's merely depth behind Todd Gurley.
The New York Giants re-signed wide receiver Cody Latimer to an undisclosed deal on Friday. Latimer played in the first three games and the last two games of the 2018 season but just one of the 11 games in between in his first season in New York because of injuries. He battled a knee injury and also spent two months on Injured Reserve with a pulled hamstring. Latimer finished with only 11 receptions for 190 yards and one touchdown and also averaged 24.6 yards on five kickoff returns. He might have more opportunities to make noise in 2019 with Odell Beckham Jr. out of the picture, but Latimer still doesn't have much fantasy upside.
The New York Jets agreed to terms with free-agent quarterback Trevor Siemian on a one-year, $2 million deal on Wednesday, a source told NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. Siemian can make up to $3 million in incentives. The 27-year-old former Bronco didn't play at all with the Vikings last year while backing up Kirk Cousins. He was the starter in Denver in 2016 and 2017, completing 59.3 percent of his passes for 30 touchdowns and 24 interceptions. New York's addition of Siemian likely means that veteran Josh McCown, a 40-year-old journeyman quarterback, will leave in free agency or retire. Siemian won't have any fantasy appeal in his new digs while backing up Sam Darnold.
The New Orleans Saints are expected to sign free-agent tight end Jared Cook, sources told NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. Cook, who turns 32 next month, had a career year with the Raiders in 2018, catching 68 passes for 896 yards and six touchdowns. The veteran can stretch opposing defenses down the seam and should open up more space for star receiver Michael Thomas on the outside. While it would be foolish to expect Cook to put up better numbers than he did in Oakland, he should remain a strong TE1 option in the high-flying offense of the Saints.
Updating previous reports, Los Angeles Rams LB Clay Matthews' two-year deal has a $9.25 million base value with $5.5 million guaranteed.
Pittsburgh Steelers FS Morgan Burnett will be released by April 1, per the player's request, according to his agent, Kevin Conner.
Free-agent QB Robert Griffin III (Ravens) re-signed with the Baltimore Ravens Friday, March 22, on a two-year deal. Financial terms weren't disclosed, and the deal is pending a physical.
The New Orleans Saints signed long-time Minnesota Vikings punt returner Marcus Sherels to an undisclosed one-year deal on Thursday, according to a source. The 31-year-old was the Vikings primary punt returner for the last eight years and averaged 12.0 yards per punt return in 2018 to finish in the league's top five for the third time in the last six seasons. He was also used occasionally as a kickoff returner and was a backup cornerback. New Orleans ranked in the league's bottom 10 teams in punt return yardage the last two years. Sherels won't be an option in most fantasy leagues with his move to the Saints.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers TE O.J. Howard (ankle) spent time running routes and catching passes from Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes Thursday, March 21.
Fantasy Spin: Howard was having a TE1 campaign in 2018 before an injury ended his season early, but he should be back at full strength well before the start of next season. He is a big-play weapon from the tight end spot and could finish as a top-five fantasy option at his position.
The Baltimore Ravens re-signed backup quarterback Robert Griffin III on Thursday to an undisclosed two-year deal. The 29-year-old will continue to back up starter Lamar Jackson in 2019. The former first-round pick can be an invaluable source for Jackson as he matures heading into his second season, but RG3 will continue to have no fantasy value.
Chicago Bears RB Jordan Howard is unlikely to have a role in the offense if he remains with the team in 2019, in the opinion of Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune.
Fantasy Spin: Howard has always struggled to make an impact in the passing game, and after regressing as a between-the-tackles runner last year, the Bears don't have much incentive to feature him in the offense. Feel free to take a flier on him in the final rounds of drafts, but don't count on him to be a contributor for your fantasy squad.
The Indianapolis Colts signed free-agent outside linebacker Justin Houston to a two-year deal worth $24 million on Thursday, a source told NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. Houston had nine sacks for the Chiefs last year, but he was cut with the team trying to get younger and defense while transitioning from a 3-4 base defense to a 4-3 scheme. The Colts also run a 4-3, but they project to use him as a defensive end for the first time in his career. The 30-year-old has dealt with a nagging knee injury in recent years but still has 18.5 sacks in the last two years. The veteran will certainly help boost a weak Indy pass rush from a season ago.
Washington Redskins TE Jordan Reed (toe) has been working out with teammates this offseason, according to RB Adrian Peterson.
Fantasy Spin: Reed managed to play in 13 games last season, but it didn't translate into much production on the field. Between constant health issues and slipping per-game numbers, Reed is no more than a late-round lottery ticket heading into 2019.
Los Angeles Rams WR Cooper Kupp (knee) said his recovery is where it is 'supposed to be' at this point in the process.
Fantasy Spin: Kupp is expected to be ready for the start of the 2019 season. He was Jared Goff's go-to target on third downs and in the red zone prior to the injury, and Kupp should be able to deliver WR2 numbers, especially in PPR formats.
Los Angeles Chargers TE Hunter Henry (knee) is expected to be ready for the start of OTAs, according to general manager Tom Telesco.
Fantasy Spin: Assuming he doesn't suffer any setbacks, Henry should open the year as the starting tight end for the Chargers and a low-end TE1 candidate for fantasy owners.
Free-agent PK Stephen Gostkowski (Patriots) is making progress in contract talks with the New England Patriots. Gostkowski has also received interest from other teams.
Fantasy Spin: Gostkowski struggled at times this past season but still can be a weekly starting option in all fantasy leagues.
Free-agent DT Al Woods (Colts) met with the Detroit Lions Thursday, March 21.