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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
Amari Cooper Oct 28 2:20pm ET

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Amari Cooper has tumbled out of the WR1 rankings for a Week 8 matchup with the Philadelphia Eagles. Through no fault of his own, Cooper is unlikely to do much in a game that looks like it will have seventh-round rookie Ben DiNucci starting under center in place of Andy Dalton (concussion). Dalton was already struggling to move the ball for the Cowboys and DiNucci is unlikely to do much better behind a tattered offensive line. Cooper did catch all seven of his targets for 80 yards last week, but he's only scored two touchdowns so far this season and would likely need to find the end zone to put up significant fantasy points in Week 8. Treat Cooper as a lower-upside WR2 at best.

From RotoBaller

Tony Pollard Oct 28 2:10pm ET

Dallas Cowboys running back Tony Pollard doesn't make for a strong fantasy option in Week 8 despite an increasing role in the previous week. With starter Ezekiel Elliott failing to distance himself from Pollard and losing two fumbles last week, Pollard has been seeing more and more touches, with a season-high 12 in Week 6 and another nine in Week 7. That's still not enough for consistent production, but it does eat into Elliott's upside. With the Cowboys offense in shambles and perhaps getting even worse this week with Andy Dalton (concussion) on the wrong side of questionable, Pollard should remain on fantasy benches in most formats.

From RotoBaller

Ben DiNucci Oct 28 2:00pm ET

Dallas Cowboys rookie quarterback Ben DiNucci is looking more and more likely to get the start in Week 8 against the Philadelphia Eagles. Starter Andy Dalton (concussion) still hasn't been cleared to play and was not even able to practice on Wednesday. DiNucci played in Week 7 after he replaced Dalton, going 2-for-3 for 39 yards while absorbing three sacks. DiNucci under center would be another big downgrade to all of the Cowboys offense, making the Eagles Defense suddenly a top-five fantasy option in Week 8.

From RotoBaller

Ezekiel Elliott Oct 28 2:00pm ET

Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott might be the only reliable fantasy option in the entire Cowboys lineup in Week 8. With seventh-round rookie Ben DiNucci looking like the likely starter in place of Andy Dalton (concussion), the Cowboys offense could be even more of a mess than they have been since Dak Prescott (ankle) went down. Elliott could be the only one on the Dallas offense to get consistent enough touches to be worth a spot in a fantasy lineup in Week 8. Elliott has yet to run for 100 yards this season and has been struggling behind a broken-down Dallas offensive line. Elliott won't have his usual upside in Week 8, but should still be a solid lower-end RB1 option against the Eagles.

From RotoBaller

Jake Elliott Oct 28 1:50pm ET

Philadelphia Eagles kicker Jake Elliott won't make for a great fantasy option in Week 8 lineups despite what is predicted to be a high-scoring game against the Dallas Cowboys. Elliott has been a solid kicker in previous years, but this season he's only made eight of his 12 field goal attempts and 11 extra points. The Eagles offense isn't giving him many chances, and he's not doing great with the few chances he's been given. While Week 8 against the Cowboys certainly sets up as a nice bounce back game for Elliott and the Eagles as a whole, most fantasy leagues will still have better, safer kicking options on the waiver wire.

From RotoBaller

Philadelphia Eagles Oct 28 1:50pm ET

The Philadelphia Eagles Defense is set for an excellent Week 8 performance against the Dallas Cowboys. Cowboys quarterback Andy Dalton (concussion) has yet to be cleared to play, meaning rookie Ben DiNucci could end up getting the start on Sunday night. As much as Dalton has struggled to move the ball in the Cowboys offense, it may be even worse with DiNucci under center. The Eagles defense recorded three sacks, an interception, and two fumble recoveries last week and should have their best week of the season in Week 8. They are a top-five option in fantasy lineups.

From RotoBaller

Richard Rodgers Oct 28 1:40pm ET

Philadelphia Eagles tight end Richard Rodgers likely has one more week as the team's top tight end, and it comes against a porous Dallas Cowboys Defense. Dallas Goedert (ankle) has returned to practice and is expected back from Injured Reserve after the team's Week 9 bye, so this should be the final week for Rodgers at the top of the depth chart. He saw a season-high eight targets last week, catching six of them for 85 yards, both also season-highs. He's in line for a somewhat similar workload this week, although the potential return of rookie receiverJalen Reagor (thumb) would give quarterbackCarson Wentz one more body to throw to. Still, with the excellent matchup against Dallas, Rodgers comes in as a low-end TE1 in most formats for one more week.

From RotoBaller

Michael Pittman Jr. Oct 28 1:40pm ET

Indianapolis Colts head coach Frank Reich said that rookie wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. (calf) is returning to practice on Wednesday. Indianapolis will now have 21 days to activate Pittman from Injured Reserve. The USC product could return to face the Lions this weekend, but he'd likely play limited snaps if that was the case. The 23-year-old had nine receptions on 12 targets for 73 yards in three games before going down with injury. The Colts haven't had much volume in the passing game with Philip Rivers under center so far this year, but Pittman is a big-bodied receiver capable of making some noise down the stretch if he becomes a big part of the offensive attack. He's worth a speculative pickup in deeper leagues right now, but he should already be owned in all dynasty/keeper setups.

From RotoBaller

Jalen Reagor Oct 28 1:30pm ET

Philadelphia Eagles tight end Dallas Goedert (ankle) and rookie wide receiver Jalen Reagor (thumb) are taking part in practice on Wednesday. Goedert will likely be limited, but Reagor is doing well. Goedert is expected to return in Week 10 after the team's bye, but he should be stashed in all leagues right now since he'll be the unquestioned top receiving tight end when he returns with Zach Ertz (ankle) also on IR. The 25-year-old will have easy TE1 upside when he returns. With the Eagles key skill players nearing returns, quarterback Carson Wentz's fantasy stock is going up as a QB2 streamer. Reagor, a first-round pick, has a chance to play this Sunday against Dallas if he doesn't suffer any setbacks. The 21-year-old could be a deep league flex option if he returns, especially if Alshon Jeffery and Miles Sanders miss another game.

From RotoBaller

Jalen Reagor Oct 28 1:30pm ET

Philadelphia Eagles rookie wide receiver Jalen Reagor (thumb) could be back on the field for a Week 8 contest against the Dallas Cowboys. Reagor hasn't played since Week 2 but has returned to practice and looks like he'll play on Sunday night barring any setbacks. With the Eagles still desperate for pass catchers, it's possible Reagor sees a big workload in his first game back. It's worth checking waiver wires in case impatient fantasy managers let Reagor go after Week 2. The Cowboys Defense makes for a nice soft landing if Reagor comes back this week.

From RotoBaller

Derek Carr Oct 28 1:30pm ET

Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett (ankle) is sitting out of practice on Wednesday. Garrett is a must-start IDP defensive lineman each and every week, so this is an injury to keep an eye on throughout the rest of the week. Garrett has a league-high nine sacks and four forced fumbles through seven weeks, including 22 combined tackles (19 solo), five tackles for loss, 13 QB hits and two fumble recoveries. The season-opener against the Ravens is the only game so far in 2020 where he has failed to record a sack. Cleveland's defense overall has given up a lot of points this year and aren't attractive from a fantasy point of view, but Garrett continues to be a pass-rushing beast. Raiders quarterback Derek Carr is hoping that Garrett's injury keeps him from playing in Week 8.

From RotoBaller

Greg Ward Oct 28 1:20pm ET

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Greg Ward scored a touchdown last week against the Giants, but isn't a great fantasy option despite an even better matchup in Week 8. Ward spent some time as quarterback Carson Wentz's favorite target, but that title has been snatched by Travis Fulgham, who has drawn double-digit targets in three straight games. Ward has operated mostly as the second wide receiver read, but that could change with rookie Jalen Reagor (thumb) expected back. Ward will likely need to score a touchdown in order to have significant fantasy value this week, even against a bad Cowboys Defense. He's somewhere in the lower WR4 ranks for Week 8.

From RotoBaller

John Hightower Oct 28 1:20pm ET

Philadelphia Eagles rookie wide receiver John Hightower is not a reliable option for any Week 8 fantasy lineups. Hightower has caught a few deep passes this season, but he's not seeing anywhere near consistent enough targets to be worth starting in almost any format. He's a zero-floor big play threat who has caught nine passes on 21 targets for 166 scoreless yards so far this season. He's shown glimpses of upside which certainly make him worth rostering in dynasty and keeper formats, but he can stay on the wire for now in most redraft leagues.

From RotoBaller

Allen Robinson Oct 28 1:10pm ET

Chicago Bears wide receiver Allen Robinson II is in the league's concussion protocol this week. Robinson had a season-low four targets in the Monday night loss to the Rams, but he caught all four of his targets for 70 yards. He's had only nine catches the last two games against the Panthers and Rams in Chicago's stagnant offense after catching 10 passes in Week 5 against Tampa. The Bears need to start getting A-Rob more involved if they want to break out of their current funk. But his head issues this week could make him very iffy to face the Saints in Week 8, so keep a close eye on his practice status this week. As of now, Robinson is a shaky WR2 given his concussion issues. Jimmy Graham, Darnell Mooney and Anthony Miller would be the biggest beneficiaries if Robinson was unable to play this weekend.

From RotoBaller

Travis Fulgham Oct 28 12:50pm ET

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Travis Fulgham is set for another big game in Week 8 against the Dallas Cowboys. Fulgham didn't score a touchdown last week for the first time in three games, but he did see 10 or more targets for the third game in a row. Through his first four games of the season, Fulgham has come out of nowhere to catch 23 of his 37 targets for 357 yards and three touchdowns. He's quickly become quarterback Carson Wentz's favorite target. Fulgham is solidly in the WR2 discussion in Week 8 against an exploitable Cowboys secondary.

From RotoBaller

Baker Mayfield Oct 28 12:40pm ET

Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield had his fourth career game with a 125-plus passer rating in Week 7 against the Bengals when wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (knee) suffered a torn ACL. The other three games came in 2018 before Beckham was with the team. OBJ's 53.5 catch rate this year was the second-lowest among 34 receivers with 40-plus targets. Mayfield's passer rating when targeting Beckham is 71.1, which is the lowest among all players that he's targeted 20 or more times since 2019. Mayfield has also been much more likely to throw interceptions when Beckham has been on the field. The sample size is too small to draw any absolute conclusions, but Cleveland's offense has surely lost an explosive playmaker in OBJ. Mayfield may be more efficient when not trying to force the ball to Beckham, but it won't make him a QB1 for Week 8 against the Raiders, even though Las Vegas has allowed the fifth-most fantasy points per game in 2020 to opposing signal-callers.

From RotoBaller

Miles Sanders Oct 28 12:30pm ET

Philadelphia Eagles running back Miles Sanders (knee) is still day-to-day and has not practiced yet this week. Sanders was forced to miss Week 7 and is on the wrong side of questionable heading into Week 8. With the Eagles scheduled for a Week 9 bye, the team may decide not to push their starting running back and could hold him out until after the bye. For now, he's still listed as questionable, but fantasy managers with Sanders on their roster should already be making alternate plans.

From RotoBaller

Boston Scott Oct 28 12:30pm ET

Philadelphia Eagles running back Boston Scott could have a big game in Week 8. Scott went for 46 yards on the ground and 46 yards through the air last week, catching the game-winning touchdown in a win over the Giants. With starter Miles Sanders (knee) looking likely to miss another week, Scott should operate as the unquestioned lead back again in the Eagles backfield. Facing a barely-there Cowboys Defense, Scott is ranked somewhere right around the RB1/2 border for Week 8.

From RotoBaller

Corey Clement Oct 28 12:30pm ET

Philadelphia Eagles running back Corey Clement is unlikely to do much in Week 8 despite an excellent matchup and injuries ahead of him. Last week, with starter Miles Sanders (knee) out, Clement only received three touches, running the ball twice for nine yards and catching a pass for 12 yards. With Sanders not on the field, Boston Scott took over the backfield and operated as the lead back. He should do the same again this week, so even with an excellent matchup against a bad Cowboys Defense, Clement likely won't get enough touches to have any significant fantasy value. He's not an option in fantasy lineups for Week 8.

From RotoBaller

Seattle Seahawks Oct 28 12:20pm ET

The Seattle Seahawks acquired defensive end Carlos Dunlap from the Cincinnati Bengals on Wednesday, according to sources. It's unclear what the Bengals received in exchange, but it's likely to be just a late-round draft pick in 2021. In his 11 years in Cincinnati, Dunlap has been one of the team's best pass-rushers, but he became disgruntled with his role when the Bengals demoted him to a situational role this season. The two-time Pro Bowler has 18 combined tackles and one sack in seven games this year. He'll head to a Seattle defense in need of a spark, as they rank 27th in the NFL with just nine sacks through seven weeks of the season.

From RotoBaller