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FFL: Week 8 | NFL: Week 8

Jimmy Garoppolo set to return from injury for 49ers

Fri Oct 9 6:39pm ET
By JOSH DUBOW
AP Pro Football Writer

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) passes against the Arizona Cardinals during the first half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)


San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, right, greets quarterback Nick Mullens during warm-ups before an NFL football game against the New York Giants, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)


SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) Jimmy Garoppolo will return as starting quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers this week after missing the past two games with a sprained ankle.

Coach Kyle Shanahan said Garoppolo will start Sunday at home against the Miami Dolphins. Shanahan wanted to see how Garoppolo made it through a full week of practice before making his decision.

''Each day he got better,'' Shanahan said Friday. ''Never felt too sore the next day. So, we needed to hear that today and see him out there today and we feel good to go.''

Garoppolo had hoped not to miss any time with the injury, having played through ankle sprains before. But this was a more severe high ankle sprain which made it impossible for him to move well enough to avoid danger in the pocket.

He was able to show he was healthy in practice and will provide a needed spark for the 49ers (2-2), who lost 25-20 at home last week to Philadelphia.

''Ankle is feeling really good right now,'' Garoppolo said. ''Got the last couple of weeks off to get it right. The training staff, I tip my hat to those guys, they did a great job with me, just preparing me and everything. But, as far as getting out there, I mean, we've had the whole week to work on it. So, it's feeling pretty good right now.''

San Francisco has a 20-6 record when Garoppolo starts, compared to a 5-21 mark with any other quarterback since Shanahan arrived in 2017.

Garoppolo threw for 3,978 yards and 27 TD passes last season to lead the Niners to 13 wins and was 33 for 49 for 390 yards, four TDs and no interceptions in six quarters this season.

The Niners could have almost all of their key pieces back on offense with running back Raheem Mostert questionable after missing two games with a knee injury and receiver Deebo Samuel questionable with an illness.

Samuel hasn't been allowed at the facility the past two days because he had a fever and aches earlier in the week. Samuel has taken part in meetings and will be allowed back once he passes one more coronavirus test.

Mostert, Samuel, All-Pro tight end George Kittle and first-round receiver Brandon Aiyuk have all missed games this season so the Niners are looking forward to the possibility of having all their important pieces available together for the first time.

''That's exactly how we envisioned it in the offseason,'' fullback Kyle Juszczyk said. ''It's great to finally have everybody healthy and in there together.''

Shanahan also said C.J. Beathard has moved ahead of Nick Mullens on the depth chart and will be Garoppolo's backup Sunday. Mullens played well in his first start this season before getting pulled in last week's loss to Philadelphia after committing three turnovers.

Beathard played well in relief and now will get the first shot if anything happens to Garoppolo.

NOTES: LB Dre Greenlaw will also return after missing two games with a quadriceps injury. ... CB Ahkello Witherspoon (hamstring) is questionable for the game, while DE Ezekiel Ansah (biceps), CB Dontae Johnson (groin), CB Emmanuel Moseley (concussion) and CB K'Waun Williams (knee, hip) are out. ... Ansah and Williams will be placed on IR on Saturday and the Niners will call up at least one more cornerback from the practice squad.

Player Notes
Ben Roethlisberger Oct 29 10:30am ET

In Week 8, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will be looking to bounce back from his worst performance of the season. Roethlisberger threw three interceptions and two touchdowns in Week 7, although the Steelers still wound up winning. He draws a tough matchup against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 8. Baltimore's defense is allowing the 13th-most fantasy points per game to the quarterback position but their pass defense does rank seventh in DVOA. Fantasy gamers should treat Roethlisberger as a mid-range QB2 for Week 8.

From RotoBaller

James Conner Oct 29 10:30am ET

Pittsburgh Steelers running back James Conner has been a productive fantasy option for much of the season, having found the end zone four times in six games. He may struggle to reach his normal production levels in Week 8, however, against a tough Baltimore Ravens run defense. Baltimore is allowing the fourth-fewest fantasy points per game to the running back position and has a run defense that is ranked third in DVOA. Conner should see enough work to finish as an RB2, just don't expect a big game out of him this weekend.

From RotoBaller

Cleveland Browns Oct 29 10:20am ET

The Cleveland Browns Defense has been a solid play in fantasy for much of the 2020 season. While they are allowing opposing offenses to score frequently, Cleveland's defense has been opportunistic, leading the league with 14 takeaways through seven games. Cleveland is installed as three-point home favorites for their Week 8 matchup against the Las Vegas Raiders. While the Las Vegas offense has been good this season, Cleveland can still be treated as a top-12 fantasy option for Week 8.

From RotoBaller

Jarvis Landry Oct 29 10:10am ET

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Jarvis Landry is averaging just 5.57 targets per game through the first seven weeks of the season. He should, however, see an uptick in targets with Odell Beckham Jr. out for the remainder of the season with a torn ACL. Now Cleveland's No. 1 WR, Landry draws an excellent Week 8 matchup against the Las Vegas Raiders. Las Vegas' pass defense ranks just 29th in the league in DVOA and is allowing the 10th-most fantasy points per game to the position. While he has been borderline unstartable most weeks this season, fantasy gamers can trust Landry as a low-end WR2 for Week 8.

From RotoBaller

Rashard Higgins Oct 29 10:10am ET

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Rashard Higgins set season-highs in Week 7 with six catches for 110 yards against the Cincinnati Bengals. Slated to see a larger role thanks to Odell Beckham's season-ending knee injury, Higgins is all of a sudden very fantasy viable in Week 8 against a weak Las Vegas Raiders defense. Las Vegas is allowing the 10th-most fantasy points per game to the wide receiver position and ranks just 29th in pass-defense DVOA. Fantasy gamers in a pinch can fire up Higgins as a solid flex option this Sunday.

From RotoBaller

Harrison Bryant Oct 29 10:10am ET

Cleveland Browns tight end Harrison Bryant had a huge game in Week 7, finishing with four catches for 56 yards and two touchdowns. The rookie tight end took on a larger role in the game with Austin Hooper unavailable after needing an emergency appendectomy. Hooper didn't practice on Wednesday and is looking unlikely to play in Week 8 against the Las Vegas Raiders. Provided Hooper doesn't play, fantasy gamers can use Bryant as a mid-range TE2 against a Raiders pass defense that ranks just 29th in the league in DVOA.

From RotoBaller

Baker Mayfield Oct 29 10:00am ET

Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield is coming off an excellent five-touchdown game in a win over the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 7. Mayfield will look to repeat that success in Week 8 when he faces the Las Vegas Raiders at home. Las Vegas' pass defense has been shaky this season, allowing the fourth-most fantasy points per game to the quarterback position. While it is unlikely that Mayfield tosses five touchdowns in a game again anytime soon, he does set up as a high-end QB2 for fantasy contests this weekend in a game that could turn into a shootout. Fantasy gamers who have a quarterback on bye or facing a tough matchup can pivot to Mayfield with confidence this weekend.

From RotoBaller

Kareem Hunt Oct 29 10:00am ET

Cleveland Browns running back Kareem Hunt has managed to find the end zone seven times through seven games thus far in the 2020 season. He draws an excellent Week 8 matchup against a leaky Las Vegas Raiders run defense that ranks just 29th in DVOA and is allowing the third-most fantasy points per game to the position this year. Hunt will continue to see the vast majority of the backfield work for the Browns with Nick Chubb sidelined, making him a no-brainer RB1 for Week 8. Fire him up as a sure-fire starter in all formats this Sunday.

From RotoBaller

San Francisco 49ers Oct 29 9:40am ET

The 49ers Defense has been fantastic lately, allowing a total of 22 points over the past two weeks. Unfortunately, in Week 8, they will face a Seattle Seahawks offense that has been the class of the NFL so far this year. The Seahawks lead the league in both yards per game (425.2) and points per game (33.8). Expect a high-scoring affair in the matchup between division rivals, which means that the 49ers Defense shouldn't be started in any fantasy formats.

From RotoBaller

Kendrick Bourne Oct 29 9:20am ET

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Kendrick Bourne has some key factors working in his favor going into Week 8. The 49ers will face the league's worst pass defense this week, the Seattle Seahawks. The Seahawks are allowing 368.7 passing yards per game on the year. Additionally, the 49ers will be without Deebo Samuel (hamstring), who led all 49ers receivers in targets over the past three weeks. Bourne should see at least five targets in a game that figures to be high-scoring. However, that's about what he was getting earlier this year before Samuel made his 2020 debut and the results were extremely underwhelming. Bourne is essentially a touchdown-or-bust option this week and is best left on waivers.

From RotoBaller

Brandon Aiyuk Oct 29 9:10am ET

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk had his first career 100-yard game last week against the New England Patriots. This week, as the 49ers face the Seattle Seahawks, the team is likely to lean on him even more with Deebo Samuel (hamstring) out. The Seahawks are allowing 368.7 passing yards per game this week, which is dead last in the league. Aiyuk saw seven targets last week while Samuel was on the field, so it's reasonable to believe he should have a floor of around seven targets this week. That alone against the Seahawks' dreadful pass defense should enable him to have a solid showing, making him a strong WR3 play in all formats.

From RotoBaller

George Kittle Oct 29 9:00am ET

San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle is in position to have a monster game in Week 8 against the Seattle Seahawks. The Seahawks rank dead last in the league in passing yards allowed per game with 368.7. In a game that is likely to be high-scoring, Kittle should have a number of opportunities to make plays for the team. Expect to see quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo look Kittle's way at least 10 times in this game, giving Kittle a good chance to compile over 100 yards and a score.

From RotoBaller

Tevin Coleman Oct 29 8:50am ET

San Francisco 49ers running back Tevin Coleman (knee) has a chance to make his return for the team in Week 8 against the Seattle Seahawks. He has been out since suffering a knee sprain in Week 2. With both Raheem Mostert (ankle) and Jeff Wilson Jr. (ankle) out for the game, the team is certainly in need of running back depth. As it stands, Jerick McKinnon and JaMycal Hasty are their only sure thing active running backs for this week's game. If Coleman is active this week, it's hard to know just how much the team will utilize him. He could see anything from just a few carries to a featured role. McKinnon's workload has been reduced lately and Hasty has just 20 carries on the year. Neither of them project to receive a massive workload, which opens up an opportunity for Coleman. Regardless, there are too many variables at play to feel comfortable starting Coleman this week. He's a fine stash to keep on your bench, but resist from inserting him into your lineup this week.

From RotoBaller

JaMycal Hasty Oct 29 8:40am ET

San Francisco 49ers rookie running back JaMycal Hasty is averaging 5.2 yards per carry over 20 carries on the year and is coming off a solid game where he gained 57 yards on just nine carries. The 49ers will go into their Week 8 game against the Seattle Seahawks extremely shorthanded at running back. Hasty and Jerick McKinnon are the only sure thing active running backs at this point, while Tevin Coleman (knee) looms as a potential addition to the depth chart if he can show enough at practice this week. The Seahawks rank last in the league in pass defense, but their rush defense has been slightly above league-average. They're allowing 110.5 rushing yards per game, which ranks 13th in the league. If Coleman plays in Week 8, we could see something of a three-way split at running back, which would hurt Hasty's upside. Yet, with or without Coleman, Hasty is a decent flex option. He should see somewhere around 10 touches, which gives him a good chance to make at least a few big plays.

From RotoBaller

Jerick McKinnon Oct 29 8:40am ET

San Francisco 49ers running back Jerick McKinnon had an extremely disappointing showing in Week 7. He only earned three carries in a game where he was assumed to be the team's primary rusher. Head coach Kyle Shanahan later said that the team had been planning to rest him due to his heavy workload to start the year. This week, the 49ers might need McKinnon more than they have in previous weeks. McKinnon and rookie JaMycal Hasty are the team's only sure thing active running backs for Week 8 against the Seattle Seahawks. Tevin Coleman (knee) is the wild card in the mix. He's been on Injured Reserve since before Week 3, but has a chance to return this week. McKinnon should see around 10 touches in this game, but clearly there's also a chance that Shanahan continues to rest him, leading to another disappointing fantasy day. He's a low-end flex option who is fine to start if you don't have a better option.

From RotoBaller

Jimmy Garoppolo Oct 29 8:20am ET

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo has an extremely favorable matchup against the Seattle Seahawks in Week 8. The Seahawks have allowed 368.7 passing yards and 28.7 points per game this year. With the 49ers hurting at running back, Garoppolo's arm will be leaned on more than usual in Week 8. Expect to see a season-high in passing attempts for Garoppolo this week. He hasn't topped 33 attempts in a game yet this year, but this week should see him with around 40 attempts, enabling him to throw for around 300 yards with a good chance for multiple scores. He's a great option as a QB2 this week and could be considered as a low-end QB1 in deep leagues as well.

From RotoBaller

Chase Claypool Oct 29 1:30am ET

Pittsburgh Steelers rookie wide receiver Chase Claypool has been successful on the traditional go route in the team's offense in the last few weeks. Entering Week 6, Claypool was targeted at the third-highest rate among wideouts on go routes -- six catches on 20 targets for a 30 percent rate. His percentage has dropped to 18.4 percent since then, showing that the Steelers continue to send him deep frequently. Pittsburgh has found success on passes of 10-plus air yards when targeting Claypool, and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has a completion percentage of 50 and a 3:0 touchdown-to-interception ratio when targeting Claypool for 10-plus air yards. The rookie has been the team's most efficient deep threat so far, but he's proven he can be a boom/bust WR3/flex with upside after catching seven passes for 110 yards and three touchdowns in Week 5 and then going for one catch for minus-two yards in Week 7.

From RotoBaller

Christian McCaffrey Oct 29 12:50am ET

Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey (ankle) arrived to practice on Tuesday with a red non-contact jersey on, but he then took it off and put on a regular jersey. It signals that he at least got in a limited practice on Thursday, which could put him on track to return from Injured Reserve and play against the Falcons. The 24-year-old do-it-all back hasn't played since suffering a high ankle sprain in Week 2, and fantasy managers will need to check back before game time on Thursday to see if he's been activated. It's hard to imagine the Panthers throwing him out there if he's not ready, so McCaffrey should be returned to all starting lineups if he's active. Mike Davis has been the workhorse back in his absence and might have just one more week of RB1 upside. He'll revert to being a McCaffrey handcuff once the Stanford product returns.

From RotoBaller

Tevin Coleman Oct 29 12:40am ET

The San Francisco 49ers opened their 21-day practice window for running back Tevin Coleman (knee) and tight end Jordan Reed (knee) on Wednesday. Both players are still on the team's Injured Reserve, so they're not listed on the official injury report leading up to Week 8 against the Seahawks. If they make it through the week without any setbacks, there's a chance they could be activated from IR and play on Sunday. With both Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson Jr. on IR as well, Coleman would return to a backfield currently occupied by Jerick McKinnon and rookie JaMycal Hasty. It's time to add Coleman if he's available in your league, although he'll be a risky starting option this week if he returns, as he'll be at risk of being eased back in. McKinnon and Hasty are both low-end RB2/high-end RB3 backs this week if Coleman isn't ready to return. Reed would simply be a backup to George Kittle and wouldn't have any standalone value.

From RotoBaller

Greg Olsen Oct 29 12:10am ET

Seattle Seahawks tight end Greg Olsen had a down game in Week 7 and could be on track for another poor performance in Week 8 against the San Francisco 49ers. The 49ers are allowing an average of just 5.1 fantasy points per game to the tight end position. On top of that, Olsen doesn't get an overwhelming amount of volume. He has just 22 targets on the year, which is fifth on the team, and it's less than half of what wide receivers Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalfhave seen. If Olsen can get into the end zone, he could be worth the lineup spot, but that is far from a guarantee. He's in the TE2 conversation this week.

From RotoBaller