Thu Oct 17 9:05am ET
By JEFF PAUR
Sr Fantasy Writer
Well, the injury list is super long once again. Not good. It seemed to be trending the right way in recent weeks, but things took a turn for the worse this week. There are a ton of players on here this week with many expected to miss the Week 7 game. This is going to leave fantasy teams short, especially if you consider there are four teams on a bye. Hopefully, your team isn’t scrambling this week because of injury. Here is the latest. . . . .
DeSean Jackson, WR, Eagles. Jackson continues to make progress from his abdomen injury. He is not practicing in full just yet but could before the week is out. There is optimism that Jackson will be ready for the Week 7 game. He is at least trending that way. But for now, keep an eye on the notes for the latest to make sure Jackson gets in more work at practice.
Devin Singletary, RB, Bills. Singletary is already practicing in full this week. His hamstring injury is finally better. He is set to return to the lineup this week. It isn’t sure his role but he should be at least be the backup to Frank Gore and get a lot of work in that role. It could be a matter of time before he takes over the starting role for the Bills. He was trending that way before getting injured.
Amari Cooper, WR, Cowboys. Cooper was knocked from last week’s game because of a thigh bruise. He is out of practice to begin the week, which isn’t a good sign for his status. We would expect him to miss the game unless he makes a big recovery later in the week.
Randall Cobb, WR, Cowboys. Cobb missed last week backs of a back injury and was unable to practice to start the week. Things are not looking good for Cobb to play Week 7. Tavon Austin could serve the Cobb role in the Cowboys offense, working out of the slot.
Saquon Barkley, RB, Giants. Barkley is right on track to return from his sprained ankle. He is practicing in full and looks to be about 100 percent recovered from the injury. As long as he is playing, Barkley should be in all fantasy lineups.
Evan Engram, TE, Giants. Engram is dealing with a sprained knee, causing him to miss last week’s game. Engram is practicing in full, though, and is set to return to the starting lineup Week 7. He should be ready to go for this weekend’s game.
Sterling Shepard, WR, Giants. Shepard missed last week because of a concussion and remains in the league's concussion protocol. He has been limited in practice this week. Shepard will need to clear the protocol before the week is out, so keep an eye on the notes for the latest. But at this point, it doesn’t look great for Shepard return.
Mitchell Trubisky, QB, Bears. Trubisky missed his last game because of a shoulder injury. He had a bye this past week but still isn’t 100 percent to start the game this week. His status is still up in the air a little. He is practicing in full, though, and claims to be close to 100 percent. We would expect Trubisky to return to the lineup and start the Week 7 game.
Christian Kirk, WR, Cardinals. Kirk was a game-time decision last week but was held out of the game because of his sprained ankle. He is still rehabbing the injury and not practicing in full. He has a chance to return this week, especially after being held out the past few games, but nothing is 100 percent certain for him. Kirk is likely another game-time decision for Week 7.
Marquise Brown, WR, Ravens. Brown missed the game last week because of a sprained ankle and remains out of practice. He is looking iffy to play once again. He’ll need to get in some work before the week is out. Consider him a game-time decision, but get other options ready. Things aren’t looking great for Brown at the moment.
Sammy Watkins, WR, Chiefs. Watkins has already been ruled out for the Week 7 game because of his hamstring injury. He is getting closer to a return but isn’t ready just yet.
A.J. Green, WR, Bengals. Green keeps inching closer to a return from his ankle injury. He is practicing some on the side but is not a full participant just yet. There was hope he would return this week, though, and he has not been ruled out. He’ll need to ramp up his activity if he hopes to play. The good news is he is getting very close.
Tyrell Williams, WR, Raiders. Williams missed his last game because of a foot injury and had a bye last week, so expectations were for him to be ready for this week. Unfortunately, he is not practicing to start the week. This is not a good sign for his status. We would expect him to miss another week of action.
Alvin Kamara, RB, Saints. Kamara was dealing with an ankle injury last week and did not look good in the game. He really struggled with the injury. He is not looking great to play this week, especially after the team signed Zach Zenner as insurance for Kamara. Get other options ready. If Kamara can’t go, Latavius Murray starts and get most of the load at running back for the Saints.
Wayne Gallman, RB, Giants. Gallman has been battling a concussion and missed the Week 6 game. He is practicing on a limited basis to start the week. He will need to pass the concussion protocol to play this week. Unless he has a setback, look for him to return to his backup running back duties in Week 7.
John Brown, WR, Bills. Brown suffered a groin injury his last time out but had a bye this past week. The week off was supposed to get him healthy for Week 7. Brown is practicing on a limited basis to start the week, though, which is a little unexpected after the week off. He should be able to play this week but keep an eye on the inactives Sunday to be sure.
Chris Thompson, RB, Redskins. Thompson suffered a toe injury last week and had to miss the game. He is out of practice to start the week and expected to miss the Week 7 game. The Redskins could be really thin at running back this week.
Case Keenum, QB, Redskins. Keenum suffered shoulder and foot injuries last week. He is really beat up right now and was out of practice to start the week. Dwayne Haskins was taking all the first-team reps in practice and looks like the likely starter for Redskins in Week 7.
Todd Gurley, RB, Rams. Gurley missed the game last week with a quad injury and is iffy to play again this week. He is practicing on a limited basis to start the week, though, which is a positive. And with Malcolm Brown also banged up a little, this could expedite the return of Gurley. consider him a game-time decision but things are looking up for a Gurley return.
David Johnson, RB, Cardinals. Johnson was iff to play last week because of a back injury but was able to play and produced big. He is now suffering from an ankle injury, too. He is out of practice right now and could follow a similar pattern to last week. He was a game-time decision and practiced some on a limited basis, so expect more of the same this week. Chase Edmonds is the lead back for the Cardinals if Johnson is out.
Davante Adams, WR, Packers. Adams has been out because of a toe injury and remains sidelined because of the injury. He is not expected to play again this week, leaving a big hole at receiver for the Packers.
Geronimo Allison, WR, Packers. Allison was knocked from last week’s game because of a scary hit. He suffered a chest injury and concussion on the play. It does not look good for Allison to play this week. He is a long shot to suit up.
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 Seattle Seahawks are signing former Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen to a one-year, $7 million deal on Tuesday, according to a source. The deal includes $5.5 million in guarantees. Olsen visited with the Bills and Redskins before making the decision to go to Seattle. Will Dissly ruptured his Achilles in 2019, Ed Dickson is a candidate to be released and Luke Willson (unrestricted) and Jacob Hollister (restricted) are free agents. Olsen, a three-time Pro Bowler in 13 NFL seasons, should be the team's primary pass-catching tight end and will have low-end TE1 value with quarterback Russell Wilson throwing him passes. He was the first tight end in history to have 1,000 yards receiving in three straight seasons from 2014-16, but the 34-year-old (35 in March) has dealt with injuries in recent seasons.
Impending free-agent DE Jadeveon Clowney (Seahawks) once to be one of the highest-paid defensive players - if not the highest-paid - with a contract that will set the market for his position, according to Matt Miller of Bleacher Report.
Impending free-agent TE Jason Witten (Cowboys) made it clear to reporters Tuesday, Feb. 18, that he intends to play next season and hopes to do so with the Dallas Cowboys, although he is not opposed to finishing his career somewhere else. He is hoping to make a more concrete decision about his future following the NFL Scouting Combine next week.
Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten, who will be a free agent next month, wants to play another season and hopes he can remain with the Cowboys. However, Witten understands that he might have to go elsewhere if he wants to play in a 17th NFL season. The veteran tight end has met with new head coach Mike McCarthy and has talked with owners Jerry Jones and executive vice president Stephen Jones. Witten hauled in 63 catches for 529 yards and four touchdowns in 2019 in his return from a one-year absence from the game. He's headed into his age-38 season, and while he can still give something to a team, he won't be anything more than a touchdown-dependent, low-end TE2 if he plays again in 2020 for the Cowboys or another squad.
Impending free-agent LB Shaquil Barrett (Buccaneers) could receive in upwards of $20 million per season on his next contract, according to ESPN's Jeremy Fowler. However, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers may ultimately decide to use the franchise tag on him if the two sides are unable to come to a long-term agreement before the start of free agency.
Denver Broncos QB Joe Flacco (neck) recently got good news after undergoing an MRI. As a result, he is expected to be physically cleared to return to action this season, although there is some question as to whether or not he will be back with Denver, according to ESPN's Jeremy Fowler.
Impending free-agent RB Kareem Hunt 'expects to be in the (Cleveland) Browns' plans next year,' according to ESPN's Jeremy Fowler.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will make an attempt to re-sign linebacker Shaquil Barrett, who led the NFL in 2019 with 19.5 sacks in his first year with the team. Barrett, who is scheduled to be a free agent in March, would be looking at potentially $20 million per season on the open market, so it won't be easy for the Buccaneers to retain him. If they choose to, Tampa could place the franchise tag on Barrett to ensure that he's around for at least one more season. In addition to the 19.5 sacks, the 27-year-old pass rusher had a career-high 58 tackles (45 solo), six forced fumbles and one interception. In his four seasons with Denver prior to 2019, Barrett had a combined 14 sacks.
An MRI exam taken on Denver Broncos quarterback Joe Flacco (back) last week showed encouraging results, but his agent, Joe Linta, is seeking a second opinion from spine specialist Dr. Andrew Dossett. "Joe has every intention to play but not at the risk of his long-term health," Linta said Tuesday. Flacco went on season-ending Injured Reserve with a bulging disc in his neck after the team's eighth game of last season. The veteran QB has two years at $20.25 million and $24.25 million left on his contract, which will be way too high as a backup quarterback. The Broncos could either restructure Flacco's contract, trade him or release him. The 35-year-old would be Drew Lock's backup in Denver if he stays, and he'd be auditioning for a backup job on the open market as well, most likely.
The Atlanta Falcons signed kicker Younghoe Koo and punter Ryan Allen to one-year contract extensions on Tuesday. Koo, 25, played in the team's final eight games in 2019 after the club parted ways with veteran Matt Bryant. He made 23 of his 26 field-goal attempts and made 15 of his 16 extra points. Koo made his only field-goal try from 50-plus yards and was also pretty successful with onside kicks in the second half of the season. In an Atlanta offense that could easily bounce back in 2020, Koo could be a fantasy sleeper at the kicking position heading into drafts.
Cleveland Browns running back Kareem Hunt expects to be in the team's plans for 2020 despite admitting that he would fail a drug test during a routine traffic stop. Hunt is a restricted free agent, so he's hoping Cleveland will place a first-round tender on him or try to sign him to a long-term deal. The 24-year-old was suspended for the first eight games last year for a domestic-violence incident, and he took a back seat to Nick Chubb in the ground game. However, he was used consistently as a passer out of the backfield with 37 catches for 285 yards and a touchdown through the air. If he returns, he'll continue to have RB3/flex appeal in PPR leagues behind Chubb.
Free-agent TE Greg Olsen (Panthers) is signing a one-year, $7 million contract with the Seattle Seahawks, according to a source. The deal includes $5.5 million in guaranteed money.
Fantasy Spin: Olsen turns 35 in March and has a history of injuries in recent seasons, which makes him a risky option in any fantasy setting. The addition helps QB Russell Wilson the most and hurts TE Will Dissly (Achilles), whose outlook already was questionable after consecutive seasons ending due to major injuries. Olsen is a fringe starter in 12-team fantasy leagues but has limited upside, substantial risk, and figures to be inconsistent given all of Seattle's other ways to attack.
The New Orleans Saints seem likely to give quarterback Taysom Hill, who will be a restricted free agent in March, at least a first- or second-round tender offer now that Drew Brees has announced he will return for at least one more season. Teddy Bridgewater is expected to have a big market in free agency and seems destined to leave town now that Brees is returning, so Hill would be in line as the heir apparent if Brees hangs up his cleats after the 2020 season. Hill attempted just six passes last year despite Brees missing time with injury, and it remains to be seen if they really believe he can be a franchise signal-caller in the long-term. He's a great Swiss Army knife for the Saints, but he probably won't have much fantasy appeal in redraft leagues next season unless Bridgewater leaves and Brees misses more games due to injury.
Philadelphia Eagles LB Nigel Bradham was released Tuesday, Feb. 18.
Houston Texans LB Benardrick McKinney (ankle) recently underwent arthroscopic ankle surgery but is expected to make a full recovery before the start of next season, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle.
Houston Texans middle linebacker Benardrick McKinney (ankle) underwent arthroscopic ankle surgery, according to league sources. McKinney is expected to make a full recovery before next season. The 27-year-old just finished up his fifth season in the NFL with Houston and recorded 101 tackles (54 solo), one sack, one forced fumble and two fumble recoveries in 14 games played in 2019. He was a Pro Bowler in 2018 and has recorded 100-plus combined tackles in three of his five seasons in the league. McKinney has also missed just four games in five seasons, and he's an integral part of the middle of Houston's defense.
New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees announced that he will be returning for his 15th season as Saints quarterback. There was some uncertainty about whether Brees would retire this offseason, but his return was the widely expected result. This leaves Teddy Bridgewater very likely to become a free agent instead, where recent rumors say he may get $30 million a year offers. Brees should remain a solid fantasy option in all formats, although he has stated his willingness to give Taysom Hill more snaps under center.
Denver Broncos cornerback Chris Harris Jr., whose name was thrown around before last year's draft and at the October trade deadline, thinks that the team will allow him to test the open market once he officially becomes a free agent next month. "If they want me back, then Ill be back," Harris said. The 30-year-old has become one of the better cover cornerbacks in the NFL after nine years in the league, earning four Pro Bowl nods and a first-team All-Pro selection in 2016. This past year, Harris had 56 tackles (44 solo), one interception and one forced fumble over a full season. With Denver's D looking to take a step forward in Year 2 under head coach Vic Fangio, losing Harris would be a big setback to the secondary.
The Arizona Cardinals agreed with left tackle D.J. Humphries on a three-year, $45 million deal on Monday, according to sources. Humphries will make $30 million over the first two years, and the deal includes $29 million guaranteed. The 26-year-old played in a full season in 2019 for the first time since going 24th overall in the first round in 2015. Humphries isn't the most talented left tackle in the league, but he'll bring stability at the position and help protect quarterback Kyler Murray's blind side moving forward.
Multiple teams expect New Orleans Saints quarterback Teddy Bridgewater to have a strong free-agent market as a starting or bridge quarterback for a team in transition this offseason. Bridgewater is expected to sign with another team unless Drew Brees retires. The 27-year-old Louisville alumni played in nine games in 2019 and held his own with Brees missing time due to an injury, but he wasn't asked to be much more than a game manager. He hasn't been a starter in the NFL since 2015 with the Vikings, but Bridgewater could certainly become fantasy relevant at least as a high-end QB2 if he's starting elsewhere in 2020. How much upside he'll have will depend on where he lands.