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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Jeff on Twitter @jeffpaur.
Atlanta Falcons RB Brian Hill played 51 percent of the offensive snaps Sunday, Nov. 10, in the win over the New Orleans Saints. The bulk of Hill's work came with RB Devonta Freeman (foot) out of the game.
Fantasy Spin: With Freeman expected to miss multiple games and backup Ito Smith (neck) already out for the year, Hill will have a big role in a nice matchup against the soft Carolina Panthers run defense. He should be a top waiver priority this week.
Kansas City Chiefs RB Damien Williams played 72 percent of the offensive snaps in the Week 10 loss against the Tennessee Titans Sunday, Nov. 10. RB Darrel Williams played just 21 percent with RB Darwin Thompson getting a total of five offensive snaps. RB LeSean McCoy was a healthy scratch.
Fantasy Spin: Williams' 109 yards from scrimmage were the second-most he's racked up in a game and came on the heels of a season-high 125 rushing yards last week. He didn't find the end zone for the first time in three weeks, but it was a heavy workload and he lived up to the task. Fantasy managers who took a chance on him this year seem like they'll be rewarded down the stretch run.
Miami Dolphins RB Kalen Ballage played 82 percent of the offensive snaps Sunday, Nov. 10, against the Indianapolis Colts. RB Patrick Laird played just eight offensive snaps with RB Myles Gaskin playing five total snaps (all on offense).
Fantasy Spin: Ballage ran the ball 20 times but for a very disappointing 43 yards. He caught all four of his targets but for just two yards. It was the Dolphins' second straight win but it remains highly doubtful there'll be many more of these. If he wasn't successful in Week 10, it's unlikely he will be.
Cleveland Browns RB Kareem Hunt played 54 percent of the offensive snaps against the Buffalo Bills Sunday, Nov. 10, but starter Nick Chubb played a three-week high of 81 percent in the 19-16 victory. RB Dontrell Hilliard played just eight offensive snaps for his lowest total since Week 5.
Fantasy Spin: Chubb ran 20 times for 116 yards while catching two of four targets for just five yards. Hunt totaled 74 yards from scrimmage on 11 touches with seven receptions and four carries. It's quite possible both could be effective fantasy options in the same games, but Chubb remains the definitive No. 1 option.
Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Diontae Johnson has put together a solid rookie campaign with 30 receptions, over 360 yards, and three touchdowns. In Thursday night's game against the Cleveland Browns, Johnson will work to stay in the sights of quarterback Mason Rudolph. However, Rudolph has been favoring shorter routes recently, which puts Johnson at a bit of a disadvantage. Although Johnson's big-play ability gives him value as a touchdown-dependent WR4 in Week 11.
Cleveland Browns WR Jarvis Landry drew criticism from head coach Freddie Kitchens Tuesday, Nov. 12, for the 15-yard taunting penalty he took Sunday, Nov. 10 against the Buffalo Bills. 'I don't like penalties,' said Kitchens. 'I don't like penalties. I want him playing with passion, though, not emotion, but passion.'
Fantasy Spin: Landry had one of his best games of the season by catching nine of 10 targets for 97 yards and finding the end zone for the second straight week, but the penalty set up the missed 48-yard extra point by PK Austin Seibert.
Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster has just 12 receptions for 170 yards and one touchdown in his last four games. With a Thursday Night football matchup against the Cleveland Browns in Week 11, Smith-Schuster shouldn't be considered the reliable option many drafted him as. Quarterback Mason Rudolph has been favoring shorter to intermediate routes, which should favor the USC product, but the numbers haven't followed. Look at Smith-Schuster as a touchdown-dependent WR2 against Cleveland.
Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver James Washington is coming off the best consecutive performances of his young career. He's hauled in 10 of 11 targets for 159 yards and a touchdown in the last two games, and he seems to be redeveloping a connection with his college quarterback Mason Rudolph. He'll face off against the Cleveland Browns on Thursday night and has a chance to build himself more opportunities in the offense. View Washington as nothing but a WR4 in deeper leagues, as he still has some room to prove his fantasy worth.
Pittsburgh Steelers running back James Conner (shoulder) was a full participant in Tuesday's practice, all but confirming he's good to go for Thursday night's road game against the Cleveland Browns. After missing the last two contests, Conner has been missed on offense, as the Steelers have combined for just 132 rushing yards in that span. Against the Browns, Conner should help open up the offensive gameplan by reassuming the lead-back role. Look at the 24-year-old as an RB2 against a defense that allows 19 fantasy points per game to running backs.
Pittsburgh Steelers running back Jaylen Samuels steps away from the lead-back role with the expected return of James Conner (shoulder) in Week 11 against the Cleveland Browns. Over the last two games, Samuels turned 38 touches into just 123 yards and no touchdowns, so it's clear he's not suited for four-down work in this offense. Against the Browns on Thursday, the NC State product isn't very fantasy appealing as Cleveland has allowed just 40 receptions to running backs this season, the ninth-fewest in the NFL. Since Conner is likely returning, Samuels is best left on fantasy benches in Week 11.
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph gets a favorable matchup for Thursday Night Football when the Steelers travel to take on the Cleveland Browns. Rudolph has been gaining more confidence with each start, and his 242 yards passing last week were the second highest of his short career. Against the Browns, the second-year signal caller faces a defense that allows an average of 23 fantasy points per game. Rudolph can be considered a low-end QB2, especially in the early game of the week. You could do worse, but you could certainly do better for a streaming option.
Free-agent QB Colin Kaepernick (49ers) shared a message on Twitter Tuesday, Nov. 12, addressing the previous reports of the league-arranged free-agent workout Saturday, Nov. 16. 'I'm just getting word from my representatives that the NFL league office reached out to them about a workout in Atlanta on Saturday. I've been in shape and ready for this for 3 years, can't wait to see the head coaches and GMs on Saturday,' Kaepernick wrote.
San Francisco 49ers running back Matt Breida (ankle) will seek a second opinion on his reaggravated sprained ankle. Breida only accrued 25 yards on 12 touches in Week 10 before exiting in the second half. Breida is no stranger to playing injured but NFL Networks Tom Pelissero believes he could miss some time to let it heal. Breidas absence would benefit third-string back Raheem Mostert who flashed promise earlier this season when Tevin Coleman was hurt. Mostert would be a risky but upside flex play in Week 11 against the Arizona Cardinals if Breida is inactive.
San Francisco 49ers WR Dante Pettis is running out of time to prove his worth in head coach Kyle Shanahan's offense. 'The more he doesn't take advantage of his opportunities, the less opportunities he gets,' Shanahan said Tuesday, Nov. 12.
Fantasy Spin: Pettis, a second-year pro, has caught just 11 of 24 targets this season for 109 yards and two touchdowns. He shouldn't be on rosters in anything shallower than 14- or 16-team leagues.
Seattle Seahawks TE Luke Willson (hamstring) has a 'legit' hamstring injury, according to head coach Pete Carroll Tuesday, Nov. 12.
Seattle Seahawks TE Ed Dickson (knee) was close to being activated off of injured reserve this past week and will return for Week 12 following the team's bye, according to head coach Pete Carroll Tuesday, Nov. 12.
San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle (knee, ankle) and wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders (ribs) are considered day-to-day and shaping up as game-time decisions in Week 11 against the Arizona Cardinals. Kittle and Sanders figure to practice minimally this week, if any. Kittle missed Week 10 and his injury appears serious but head coach Kyle Shanahan refrained from ruling out the warrior. Sanders suffered a rib cartilage injury on Monday night and the severity is unknown. Without their top aerial playmakers, the biggest gainer could be wideout Deebo Samuel. The rookie amassed 112 yards on eight catches in Week 10 and was clearly the most electric player amongst Kendrick Bourne, Marquise Goodwin and Dante Pettis. Samuel will be a hot waiver commodity and slots as a WR3 if both Kittle and Sanders cant go.
Updating a previous story, San Francisco 49ers DL Ronald Blair (knee) will undergo season-ending surgery for his torn ACL, according to head coach Kyle Shanahan Tuesday, Nov. 12.
Denver Broncos QB Drew Lock (thumb) returned to practice Tuesday, Nov. 12. A decision will need to be made by Dec. 3 to activate him from injured reserve. CB Bryce Callahan (foot) also returned to practice Tuesday. He has remained on the 53-man roster.
San Francisco 49ers TE George Kittle (knee) is day-to-day, although head coach Kyle Shanahan is 'hopeful' Kittle will be able to play in Week 11 against the Arizona Cardinals.
Fantasy Spin: Expect the third-year tight end to be held out of practice early in the week, although it sounds like Kittle's fantasy owners need to be prepared for the possibility of another missed game. If he can make it through a limited practice by Friday, he'll have a chance to suit up and be worth a start in fantasy. If he can't go, Ross Dwelley and Garrett Celek figure to see the bulk of work on passing downs in his absence.