Thu Feb 1 1:00 pm
By JEFF PAUR
Sr Fantasy Writer
Both teams head into the big game with minimal injury situations. The biggest name most are concerned about is Rob Gronkowski, who was knocked out of his last game because of a concussion. His status is below but it looks like all systems go for the elite tight end. You always want to see the teams at full strength for the Super Bowl. There are some injuries both sides are dealing with, but things look pretty good for both teams considering how late in the season it is right now. Hopefully, this makes for an entertaining Super Bowl.
Rob Gronkowski, TE, Patriots. Gronkowski remains in the concussion protocol but has been doing pretty much everything in practice. He should be cleared to play in the next day or so. The expectations are he will be fine and his usual self for the big game. Keep an eye on the notes to see when he is cleared, but he should be just fine for Sunday.
Jay Ajayi, RB, Eagles. Ajayi was limited in practice the week before his last game because of an ankle injury but was able to play in the game. He is practicing in full this week, so it seems his ankle injury is a thing of the past for now. He should be near 100 percent healthy for the Super Bowl.
Mike Gillislee, RB, Patriots. Gillislee is battling a knee injury and has been inactive the last several games. He seems healthy enough to play but the Patriots are holding him out with the current backs making plays with their chances. So expect Gillislee to be a healthy scratch again for this week with Dion Lewis, James White and Rex Burkhead getting all the work at running back for the Patriots.
Tom Brady, QB, Patriots. Brady's hand injury seems a thing of the past. He looked just fine in his last game out and should be able to play this week without anything too cumbersome on the hand. This injury isn't a factor anymore. Brady will be just fine.
Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay said kicker Greg Zuerlein (groin) will be sidelined for three to six weeks. It's a blow to the Rams special teams unit, as Zuerlein has one of the strongest legs in the league. Sam Ficken was signed to replace him this week. Zuerlein owners can cut bait and look for other kicking options. Dan Bailey in Minnesota is a strong option off the waiver wire.
Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr has 591 passing yards and an 80.6% completion rate in two games against two of the better pass defenses in the NFL. He's only thrown one touchdown, but that number figures to rise significantly, perhaps as soon as Week 3. Carr's next opponent is a Dolphins defense that has shown signs of promise early on, but lacks the track record to know what to make of it just yet. After all, Miami did just allow Jets rookie Sam Darnold to throw for 334 yards and a touchdown this past Sunday. Much of that production came with the Jets trailing by multiple scores, but those numbers aren't exactly the mark of an outstanding defense. If Miami's 2-0 start is a mirage, Carr and the Raiders could be the ones to expose it. For fantasy owners nervous about tough matchups for Philip Rivers or Russell Wilson, Carr presents a fill-in option at quarterback for Week 3.
Houston Texans WR Will Fuller (hamstring) was limited in practice Wednesday, Sept. 19.
Fantasy Spin: Fuller has been dealing with a hamstring issue lately but it didn't seem to affect him in last week's contest, when he scorched Tennessee for 113 yards on nine grabs and a score. He's an above-average WR3 as long as quarterback Deshaun Watson continues to return to his rookie form.
Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay said linebacker Mark Barron (Achilles) is unlikely to play in Week 3 against the Chargers. The middle of the Rams defense remains somewhat of a weakness with Barron out, but their defense/special teams remains a strong fantasy unit moving forward, even against the Chargers this weekend.
Indianapolis Colts RB Marlon Mack (foot, hamstring) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Sept. 19.
Fantasy Spin: Owners will need to check on Mack's status later in the week to see if he will be able to play. He received 11 touches in the Week 2 game and posted only 36 yards during the game. He will be facing a solid Philadelphia Eagles defense this week and may only be a flex option.
Houston Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins (ankle, thumb) was a limited participant in practice Wednesday, Sept. 19.
Fantasy Spin: Fantasy owners of Hopkins shouldn't be concerned, as the former Clemson product made it through three limited practice sessions only a week ago before torching the Titans to the tune of six catches for 110 yards and a score. As always, he remains a strong WR1 option.
Indianapolis Colts TE Jack Doyle (hip) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Sept. 19.
Fantasy Spin: Doyle has been a reliable target for Andrew Luck over the last few years but has only 80 yards over the first two games. Owners should keep an eye on his situation but could be a low-end No. 1 fantasy tight end if he plays.
Indianapolis Colts WR T.Y. Hilton (quadriceps) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Sept. 19.
Fantasy Spin: Hilton may be receiving a day off to rest his quadriceps, but owners will need to monitor the situation. He has posted a touchdown in each of his first two games and can be a No. 1 or No. 2 receiver in all leagues this week.
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (knee) is concerned that his left knee could worsen if he continues to play on it. He played with a brace on his knee in Week 2 against the Vikings and made it through the whole game, but he admitted that his knee "obviously won't be 100 percent, so I'll just adjust accordingly to how I'm feeling and try to get through." Green Bay didn't practice on Wednesday, but it was estimated that Rodgers wouldn't have practiced. Rodgers looked to favor his knee at times last Sunday while making throws from the pocket, but he also ran three times for eight yards. The fear here is that Rodgers' knee worsens and he's forced to sit out games. That'd be the worst-case for fantasy owners. Hopefully those that own Rodgers have a decent backup just in case. It's likely that Rodgers doesn't practice much while monitoring his knee on a week-to-week basis. But as long as he's active on Sundays, he's a must-start in fantasy.
Cincinnati Bengals TE Tyler Eifert (back) fully participated in practice Wednesday, Sept. 19.
Fantasy Spin: Eifert has recorded five passes for 67 yards over the first two games of the season but could receive a bigger role as the season goes on. He probably should be owned in most leagues but can be benched if owners have better options available.
Cincinnati Bengals RB Joe Mixon (knee) and C Billy Price (foot) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Sept. 19. LB Preston Brown (ankle), DE Michael Johnson (knee), CB Tony McRae (knee) and RB Thomas Rawls (cramps) were limited during practice. WR Cody Core (back) fully participated in practice.
Indianapolis Colts running back Marlon Mack (hamstring, foot) missed practice Wednesday while dealing with two different injuries. Health continues to be a problem for Mack who in addition to re-aggravating a hamstring injury that forced him to miss much of training camp must have suffered a foot injury in last week's victory over the Washington Redskins. Fantasy owners didn't exactly get much in the way of production from Mack when he did play this season, with 10 carries going for 34 yards and one reception for two receiving yards. His situation is one to monitor throughout the week when choosing to start Colts running backs.
Indianapolis Colts tight end Jack Doyle (hip) was absent from the team's practice on Wednesday with a hip injury. While Doyle didn't appear to suffer any serious injuries in Week 2, the wear and tear of playing on 59 of the Colts' 61 offensive snaps likely contributed to him taking a rest day. Doyle gets a tougher matchup against a hard-hitting Philadelphia Eagles defense next week, so fantasy owners should be careful about setting expectations too high.
The New Orleans Saints placed wide receiver Tommylee Lewis (knee) on Injured Reserve on Wednesday after he injured his knee in Week 2 against the Browns. Lewis didn't have any catches in the two games this season. He wasn't a fantasy factor to begin with.
The New England Patriots re-signed wide receiver Corey Coleman to their practice squad on Wednesday after releasing him. Coleman has been tossed around like a rag doll on the NFL transaction list so far this year after proving to be a first-round bust in Cleveland. He is well off the fantasy radar.
Arizona Cardinals head coach Steve Wilks said the team worked out free-agent wide receiver Kendall Wright, but the team will not sign him. The Cardinals haven't been happy with the production from their receivers behind Larry Fitzgerald, but the whole offense has been dreadful so far and has produced just six points in two weeks. Fitzgerald is the only receiver in this offense worth starting in fantasy, and even then he should be downgraded to more of a WR3 until further notice.
Free-agent WR Corey Coleman (Patriots) was re-signed to the New England Patriots' practice squad Wednesday, Sept. 19, according to sources.
Detroit Lions cornerback Darius Slay (concussion) did not practice on Wednesday, while defensive end Ezekiel Ansah (shoulder) was limited. If Slay, the team's best defensive back, can't play in Week 3, it'd be a big upgrade for Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and wide receiver Chris Hogan. Ansah sat out last weekend and is the team's best hope for a consistent pass rush, but he continues to be set back by nagging injuries. He's hard to rely on in IDP leagues.
Green Bay Packers RB Aaron Jones was activated from his two-game suspension Wednesday, Sept. 19. CB Deante Burton was released in a corresponding move.
Fantasy Spin: As stated previously, Jones won't immediately start upon his return. Jamaal Williams and Ty Montgomery will be playing ahead of him, so Jones will need to earn his way back. Keep him stashed on your bench this week.
Baltimore Ravens running back Alex Collins (illness) and linebacker C.J. Mosley (knee) both missed practice on Wednesday. Collins should be fine to play in Week 3 against the Broncos, where he'll be more of an RB3/flex type. He's averaging just 3.0 yards per carry on 16 attempts through two weeks and has lost a lot of passing work to Javorius Allen. Mosley is the team's best linebacker. Without him, Baltimore's defense isn't as attractive in fantasy.