Thu Jan 10 8:38 am
By JEFF PAUR
Sr Fantasy Writer
This injury list is a little more full this week, but much of it is good news. Several players are expected to return from injury this week. The first round byes were a big plus to a lot of teams, helping heal some of these injured players. Here is the latest injury news from around the league. . . .
Blake Jarwin, TE, Cowboys. Jarwin injured his ankle last week and is out of practice to start the week. His status is up in the air right now. We'll know more later in the week but get other options ready. Jarwin is looking iffy to play right now.
Cole Beasley, WR, Cowboys. Beasley injured his ankle last week but played through the injury in the game. He is out of practice to start this week, though. He is looking questionable to play right now despite playing with the injury last week. He appears to be at less than full strength right now. Consider him a game-time decision.
Melvin Gordon, RB, Chargers. Gordon is dealing with two sore knees now. He is not practicing because of the injuries. He played with the injuries last week, though, and we fully expect him to be in the game this week. He might not be 100 percent but you can expect Gordon to give it all he has in this big game.
T.Y. Hilton, WR, Colts. Hilton continues to miss practice because of an ankle injury. He has practiced rarely in recent weeks but continues to gut it out come game time. Expect him to follow a similar pattern this week. Hilton should be good to go this week and play his usual big role in the game.
Carson Wentz, QB, Eagles. Wentz remains out of practice because of his back injury. Nick Foles will start another game for the Eagles and could remain the starter going forward if the Eagles advance. We aren't sure when Wentz will be healthy enough to play.
Golden Tate, WR, Eagles. Tate is dealing with a knee injury and has been limited in practice. He should be just fine for the game this weekend, though. The Eagles won't push him in practice too hard but this injury should not be a huge issue in the game.
Mike Wallace, WR, Eagles. Wallace has not played since being activated from Injured Reserve a few weeks back. He is practicing on a limited basis. It isn't known if this is the week he finally makes the returns. But even if he plays, expect Wallace to have a limited role in the game.
Alshon Jeffery, WR, Eagles. Jeffery has a rib injury but played with the injury last week and produced his usual big numbers as the top target in this offense. This injury seems minor even though Jeffery has been limited in practice to start the week. We would feel confident in using Jeffery this week. He should be just fine.
Todd Gurley, RB, Rams. Gurley is back practicing on a limited basis this week. His knee injury is progressing. Gurley might not be 100 percent for the game this week, but all indications are he should be healthy enough to play. He has some concerns because of the injury but as long as he is playing, fantasy teams should have high hopes for Gurley.
Sammy Watkins, WR, Chiefs. Watkins has missed the last several games because of a foot injury but is practicing some this week. There is a decent chance he returns to the lineup and assume his starting duties for the Chiefs. HIs return would be a boost for an already great Chiefs passing game. Watkins is trending towards a return this week.
Spencer Ware, RB, Chiefs. Ware was close to playing the last game of the season but ended up sitting out the game. He has been limited in practice because of a hamstring injury, but seems likely to return to the lineup this week. Ware is likely to serve as the backup to Damien Williams upon his return this week.
Hunter Henry, TE, Chargers. Henry is set to return from his torn ACL. He is practicing in full this week and ready to return to the starting lineup for the Chargers. Henry is a great asset in the passing game, so his return is a big plus for the Chargers.
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 released wide receiver Bruce Ellington, safety Glover Quinn and linebacker Nicholas Grigsby on Friday. Ellington signed with the Lions after they traded Golden Tate to the Eagles and became their slot receiver until he landed on Injured Reserve on Dec. 22. He had 23 catches for 132 yards in four games for Detroit. Ellington's best year came in 2017 with the Texans when he had 29 catches for 330 yards and two touchdowns. Wherever he signs, he'll battle for a roster spot in training camp.
The Buffalo Bills released tight end Charles Clay on Friday. Clay provided only 21 catches (36 targets) for 184 yards (career-low 8.8 yards per catch) and no touchdowns in 13 games for Buffalo in 2018. He was rarely in the game plan for the Bills the last two seasons and won't be a very popular target on the free-agent market. His best season came in 2013 with the Dolphins when he had 69 receptions (103 targets) for 759 yards and six scores over a full season. The days of Clay being on fantasy rosters is over.
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles would "probably" be interested in playing for the New York Giants if they decide to move on from Eli Manning, according to one person with knowledge of Foles' thinking. Foles landing with the Giants would be less likely if the Eagles place the franchise tag on him, which is unlikely. The Jaguars are another team to watch out for, and there is mutual interest between them and Foles. After winning Super Bowl MVP two years ago and playing well as a starter again in 2018 when Carson Wentz was injured, Foles should earn a starting gig on the open market with several teams looking for a signal caller. While Foles has QB1 upside in the right matchups, his 2019 fantasy value will ultimately depend on where he winds up.
All indications are that the Pittsburgh Steelers plan to use the transition tag on running back Le'Veon Bell by the deadline on March 5. It's expected to have a value of $9.5 million to $14.5 million for one season and gives the Steelers a chance to match any offer he'd receive on the open market. Pittsburgh doesn't plan on matching any offer to retain Bell, but only to trade him. However, even if the Steelers find a taker in a trade, they'd need Bell to sign the transition tag first, which is highly unlikely. This situation continues to get uglier, but Bell won't be playing in Pittsburgh in 2019 no matter what. Despite having 1,229 rushing attempts in five seasons, Bell is in the prime of his career and has reached the 1,000-yard mark three times. He's one of the more versatile backs in the NFL and should remain an RB1 in his next home.
Arizona Cardinals CB Patrick Peterson will return to shadowing the top opposing wide receivers in 2019, according to defensive coordinator Vance Joseph.
Free-agent RB Mike Gillislee (Saints) worked out for the Detroit Lions Thursday, Feb. 14.
Miami Dolphins WR Danny Amendola could fill the slot receiver role for the Detroit Lions in 2019 because of his connection to head coach Matt Patricia, in the opinion of Bill Barnwell of ESPN.com.
Denver Broncos WR Emmanuel Sanders (Achilles') said he is no longer wearing a walking boot but still has a 'slight limp' when walking around.
Fantasy Spin: After suffering an Achilles' injury late in the year, it wouldn't be a surprise to see Sanders miss time in 2019. He showed last year that he can be a WR2 as the top option in Denver's passing attack, but fantasy owners will need to be patient as he returns to form.
Arizona Cardinals WR Chad Williams caught 37 percent of the passes thrown his way in 2018 and had two catches or less in all but two games.
Minnesota Vikings WR Laquon Treadwell averaged 5.7 yards per target last year, the fourth-worst mark among receivers with at least 50 targets, and Bill Barnwell of ESPN.com expects Treadwell's fifth-year option to be declined.
Fantasy Spin: The former first-round pick has been a bust, and he didn't show any signs of righting the ship despite a bigger role in 2018. Even in dynasty formats, it may be time to give up on Treadwell.
Philadelphia Eagles impending free-agent WR Golden Tate and Washington Redskins impending free-agent WR Jamison Crowder are options to fill the need the Green Bay Packers have at slot receiver, according to Bill Barnwell of ESPN.com.
Fantasy Spin: The Packers need a dependable option to support Davante Adams, and both Tate and Crowder would quickly become potential WR3 options if Aaron Rodgers is throwing them the ball.
Atlanta Falcons SS Keanu Neal (knee) posted a video of himself going through agility drills without a brace on his injured left knee.
Washington Redskins QB Colt McCoy (leg) was seen without any braces or supports for his injured leg.
Los Angeles Chargers impending free-agent LB Denzel Perryman will be re-signed this offseason if the Chargers have their way, according to a source.
Updating a previous report, free-agent QB Colin Kaepernick (49ers) desired at least $20 million to play in the Alliance of American Football, according to a source.
Free-agent QB Nick Foles (Eagles) is expected to 'keep tabs on' the New York Giants this offseason, according to NJ.com's Zack Rosenblatt. A source with knowledge of Foles' thinking said the former Super Bowl MVP would 'probably' be interested in starting for the Giants if they were to release QB Eli Manning.
Fantasy Spin: There are many pieces that must fall in order for Foles to the Giants to work out. It's a sensible destination, though, with Odell Beckham Jr. and Saquon Barkley leading one of the most talented offenses in the NFL. Foles could be the piece that makes them take a forward step. Were this signing to come to fruition, Foles would demand QB1 consideration given the pieces that would be around him.
Free-agent QB Nick Foles (Eagles) is not expected to return to the Philadelphia Eagles as the backup to Carson Wentz.
Fantasy Spin: Foles deserves a starting job. He won't want to play as a backup and make less money when there are teams willing to pay him to be their starter. He can be a part of the QB1 conversation if he lands in the right spot. Of course, when Wentz is healthy he too has QB1 appeal.
Free-agent QB Colin Kaepernick (49ers) and former NFL QB Tim Tebow were asked if they wanted to join the Alliance of American Football, according to league co-founder Bill Polian. Polian said he doesn't know what transpired with Kaepernick, but added that he spoke personally with Tebow, who declined.
Pittsburgh Steelers WR Antonio Brown and Steelers impending free-agent RB Le'Veon Bell are not expected to be intensely pursued by the Indianapolis Colts this offseason. The Colts will have the most salary cap space in the league this offseason and will do their due diligence, but Brown's off-field drama and Bell's asking price may be too much for the Colts.
Fantasy Spin: The Colts did just fine last year without the services of Brown or Bell. Brown seems like more of an immediate need, but general manager Chris Ballard wants a cohesive and cooperative locker room. While the fantasy marriage of Brown and/or Bell with the Colts might be ideal, don't get your hopes up.
Dallas Cowboys LB Sean Lee is considered a strong candidate to be cut this offseason, in the opinion of NFL.com's Gregg Rosenthal. Lee's extensive injury history, $10 million cap hit and the presence of fellow LBs Leighton Vander Esch and Jaylon Smith don't bode well for a possible return.