Y'all know the drill, it's time to look at this week's injury report and evaluate who is impacted by players sitting out or making their return from injury. We've got some heavy hitters, such as Sony Michel, A.J. Green, and Leonard Fournette in this one, so lets quit with the chit-chat and get this baby humming.
SAM DARNOLD - NEW YORK JETS
So it looks like the youngin' banged up his foot. Many will be quick to say guys like Robby Anderson and Quincy Enunwa get massive upgrades with Josh McCown now behind center, but I'd be cautious. McCown's only time he's ever been halfway decent was for a 10-game stretch last season. The guys is 39 years old, and this is still the New York Jets we're talking about. This week, against the Bills, who have given up more than 1 touchdown just once since week 2. I'm completely avoiding this team and their weapons for the foreseeable future.
JOSH ALLEN - BUFFALO BILLS
We're two for two with trash players. Josh Allen still isn't 100%, but even if he was, there is no reason for him to be in your starting lineup. When your #1 receiver is a 300 pound unathletic sneak-disser, you're not in a good position to succeed. Once again, just avoid this team and their weapons at all costs.
BAKER MAYFIELD - CLEVELAND BROWNS
MATCHUP: ATLANTA FALCONS
The position is fairly thin this week, but Mayfield looks to be a solid option. The only quarterbacks Atlanta has held to under 3 touchdowns have been Nick Foles, Alex Smith, and Eli Manning. Well, Baker Mayfield is neither in the NFC East or washed, so Mayfield should be able to produce. Atlanta will score, and Cleveland will need to keep up. Baker will have the volume necessary to be a back end QB1 this week.
BROCK OSWEILER - MIAMI DOLPHINS
MATCHUP: @ GREEN BAY PACKERS
This isn't somebody I'd ever want to start, but here we are, 9 weeks down, turning to Osweiler. Brocktober is over, and so are Miami's playoff hopes, so Oswy is gonna be slinging that pigskin all over the shop. The Packers certainly aren't boasting an elite secondary, so the man cannon should have the opportunity to produce. In no way am I saying he's a must start, but with guys like Watson and Captain Kirk on bye, you might need a 6'8 man in your life. Green Bay has allowed multiple passing touchdowns in 5/8 weeks (only guys to have not reached this threshold are Josh Allen, Mitch Trubisky, and Tom Brady) and even gave up 2 scores to Beathard and Alex Smith. He's not a QB1 this week, but he has the potential to boom in a plus matchup.
There aren't any stashworthy QBs. If you want to pick up Jameis Winston in hopes Fitzmagic implodes, which is certainly possible, then go right ahead, but this cycle of moving between Fitz and Jameis looks like it'll continue throughout the season.
It doesn't look there are any substantial recent injuries to the runningback position. Hurrah! Give it a week.
SONY MICHEL - NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
It looked like Sony would suit up last week, but, alas, we were all duped. Despite this, he looks good to go this week against the Titans. As for how his return impacts the Pats' offense, it shouldn't do too much. Josh Gordon and Julian Edelman will still see their 7-10 targets, James White will get his 6-9 targets, and Gronk will still fail to produce. James White is still a back end RB1 with Michel back, as he was when Sony was active, and Edelman/Gordon are still WR2s. This week, though, Michel may struggle to produce, as Tennessee has only allowed 2 rushing TDs to the position thus far. The Pats are always in the redzone, though, so if they get down inside the 5, which is highly likely, Michel has the ability to find paydirt any given week, no matter the matchup.
CHRIS CARSON - SEATTLE SEAHAWKS
Carson hasn't practiced yet this week and was taken out of his matchup in the beginning of the 2nd quarter against the Chargers this past Sunday. Carson has dealt with nagging injuries all year, so this development isn't one that should be ignored. If he sits, Mike Davis should slide right into that RB1 role, which has RB2 upside for fantasy purposes. This week though, if Carson sits, facing the Rams, the Seahawks will need to throw, as their ground game won't have the same dynamic as it would if it was headed by Carson. Because of this, I'd upgrade Russell Wilson to a solid QB1 play with Baldwin as a high end WR3 and Lockett as a sneaky FLEX play. If Carson does suit up, I'd expect the Seahawks to attempt to run the same type of offense they ran when they faced off against their division rival Rams in week 5, where Carson saw 19 carries, turning them into 116 yards and Mike Davis put up a 12/68/1 line. Wilson only attempted 21 passes in that game, but on the road, that should increase a bit, even if CC suits up.
LEONARD FOURNETTE - JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS
Guess who's back (hopefully), back again (fingers crossed). Fournette looks like he's on track to make his first appearance since dealing with hammy issues on two separate occasions. In his first game back facing the Colts, I'm not sure he gets the volume we're used to seeing out of him. Yeldon has been solid in his absence and is a superior pass catcher, and facing an Andrew Luck led offense, they're going to need to throw. Jacksonville's defense hasn't been the same as it was last year, and with A.J. Bouye looking doubtful, Luck has the ability to drop some knowledge in this spot, making Yeldon a more rational play for the Jags. I'm not going to bank on a coach's competence, so they might just throw Fournette out there for 90% of snaps, but I have reason to believe this won't happen. They did trade for Hyde, who provides much of the same skills as Fournette (not to the same level), and the Jags are a young team not looking to have a franchise piece keep missing games. Because of this, I think both Yeldon and LF are back-end RB2s, and as for the passing game, the only receivers I can somewhat trust are Moncrief and Westbrook, who are noting more than WR4s.
CHRIS THOMPSON - WASHINGTON REDSKINS
I should probably list him under the "out" section, but he hasn't technically been downgraded as of yet. I don't expect him to play, so once again, Peterson should dominate carries out of the backfield. The Bucs have allowed 7 rushing scores over the past 4 weeks, and even with a banged up line, AP has a good shot of finding paydirt. We saw what their offense looked like last week without CT, so I'd expect much of the same. Even in this beautiful matchup, I'm not sure I have confidence starting anyone outside of Peterson, and that includes Alex Smith.
MARLON MACK - INDIANAPOLIS COLTS
Mack was limited in practice this week with a foot injury, but he looks good to suit up. The Jags don't look like a good matchup, but they've allowed 90+ yards rushing or a touchdown in each of their last 4 games and 4.1 yards/carry over that span. The Colts' line is much improved and Mack should be a high-end RB2 in this spot.
MIKE DAVIS - SEATTLE SEAHAWKS
MATCHUP: @ LOS ANGELES RAMS
I already covered this in the Carson portion of this article, but if he sits, Davis is a must start RB2. Sure, maybe the Seahawks will pass a bit more without Carson, but Davis will still handle the load and is basically a lock for 15+ touches. Last week, he had 7 receptions on 8 targets, showing Wilson isn't afraid to target him, either. If CC sits, start Davis, it's that easy.
THEO RIDDICK - DETROIT LIONS
MATCHUP: @ CHICAGO BEARS
This may look like a terrible spot, but Riddick is basically the Lions' 3rd receiver. The only way you're starting Riddick is if you're in a PPR league, and if you are, he's a solid start. Stafford will have Mack & Co. up in his grill in approximately .0004 seconds, so he'll need to check it down. The Bears gave up 8 receptions to James White, 3 to Trenton Cannon, 4 to Drake, and 4 to McCoy, all over the past 4 weeks. I'd venture to say Riddick will be closer to the White side of receptions total against the Bears, as Stafford looked his way 8 times last week in a similarly tough spot.
ITO SMITH - ATLANTA FALCONS
MATCHUP: @ CLEVELAND BROWNS
Tevin Coleman had his breakout game last week (finally), but Ito still had a decent game, putting up 64 total yards and a score, good enough for RB17 on the week. In a solid spot against a Browns team who have allowed 8 rushing TDs in their past 4 matchups, Smith has a real shot at finding paydirt. In each of his past 3 games, Ito has seen at least 9 opportunities and 5 total red zone carries. He's an upside play in this spot and is a legitimate RB3/FLEX option in a plus matchup.
MALCOLM BROWN - LOS ANGELES RAMS
SPENCER WARE - KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
These guys are on here for the same reason; if Hunt/Gurley ever go down, these guys will be RB1s. Their offenses are incredible and just about anybody they put back there would have the opportunity to achieve fantasy relevance. Also, both of these teams have a shot at locking up a playoff bye, and if they do before week 17, they'll have no incentive to keep rolling out their starters, pushing these guys into their team's RB1 roles. If you have a deep bench, pick these guys up.
KENNETH DIXON - BALTIMORE RAVENS
Te Ravens are doing anything in their power to keep Alex Collins off the field, whether it be with Buck Allen, or the trade for Ty Montgomery. With Dixon eligible to return in Week 11, but reports are surfacing that he may be facing punishment from the NFL. At this point, if you're stashing him, there's really no risk if he does get suspended. Put him in your IR spot and hope for the best.
A.J. GREEN - CINCINNATI BENGALS
R.I.P. to a real one. Green is out for atleast two weeks with a foot injury, so how does this impact other weapons in the Bengals' offense? Well, you'd think Tyler Boyd becomes an automatic WR1...I don't. With Green out, Boyd will likely face opposing teams' #1 corners if he plays on the outside. If this is the case, I'd actually downgrade him, just because we don't know if he can produce as a team's alpha receiver. If he stays in the slot, he'll get a slight bump and become a high end WR2, as his target share will get a boost. Even with Green out, their other options, Josh Malone, John Ross, and Alex Erickson, are not fantasy relevant. Ross could put up big games, but you'll never know when to start him. C.J. Uzomah could provide back end TE1 value, but that's only because of how thin the position is. Joe Mixon is already a strong RB1, so even with Green out, his value isn't boosted all that much, and as for Dalton, he's only a bye week fill-in. As you can see, overall, I think this injury does nothing but cause detriment to this team.
GERONIMO ALLISON - GREEN BAY PACKERS
Geronimo didn't play last week, so we've already seen a glimpse of what the Packers want to do without him. Adams is an elite WR1, Randall Cobb is useless, and MVS looks like he could be a back-end WR2 from here on out. He's averaging a 4/79/.5 over the past 4 games, and as he gains trust with Rogers, he can only improve. Nothing else really changes with the departure of Allison.
PAUL RICHARDSON - WASHINGTON REDSKINS
Again, are you excited about anybody with Richardson out? Maurice Harries looks to be the only viable pass catcher in this offense, and even he's nothing more than a WR4. Avoid this team at all costs, even in what looks to be a plus matchup with the Bucs.
ALLEN ROBINSON - CHICAGO BEARS
We've seen what this offense does without Allen Robinson, so I'm going to analyze this assuming ARob suits up. With him in the lineup, Trubisky gets his big bodied red zone threat receiver back, which is something he was missing recently. Without Robinson, they were left with Anthony Miller and Taylor Gabriel at the receiver position, neither of which provide the same skillset as AR. With his return, I think it suppresses Gabriel's value but doesn't effect Miller much, as he has locked down the slot role in this offense. As for Burton, his volume hasn't been impacted much whether Robinson is in or out, so I'm still rolling him out there as a TE1. Cohen is still a middling RB2, as he's a huge part of this offense (not so much last week, by kind of fluky as the Bears scored multiple defensive TDs).
SAMMY WATKINS - KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
Watkins doesn't look like he's going to be playing this week, so how does this impact the offense? Well, they'll still be elite, Kelce will be the TE1, Hunt is a top 5 RB, Mahomes is still a top 3 QB, and Hill is bumped into the top 10. Whoever steps into the WR2 job here, which could be Chris Conley, has WR3/4 upside as he'll likely get work in the passing game as Pat Pete does his best to cover Tyreek Hill. Overall, nobody is downgraded and you were starting all of their offensive pieces anyways.
TYRELL WILLIAMS - LOS ANGELES CHARGERS
MATCHUP: @ OAKLAND RAIDERS
Tyrell has been rolling, and yet, he's available in over 60% of leagues. Obviously, TWill won't continue his recent production for the rest of the year, but in this matchup, the streak may continue. He's scored 4 times over the past 3 games and has played in over 84% of snaps over that span. He's the clearcut WR2 in LA, and may be the third option behind Keenan and Melvin Gordon, but in one of the most efficient offenses in the league, he doesn't need 7-8 targets to produce. The last time Williams faced Oakland, he put up 3-66-0, almost 10 fantasy points, which is serviceable as a waiver wire replacement. This week, I'd expect much of the same with the upside to take a 70 yarder to the house. If you're in need of a WR/FLEX this week, look no further than the gazelle.
ADAM HUMPHRIES - TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
MATCHUP: WASHINGTON REDSKINS
These numbers really say it all; the Buccaneers have shown they want to use Adam Humphries. He's going to get the targets, and as we all know, the Bucs will NEED to throw in order to hold onto a lead, as their defense might not even be able to stop Alex Smith. In this spot in a pass heavy offense, Humpdaddy is a back end WR3 this week.
TRE'QUAN SMITH - NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
MATCHUP: @ CINCINNATI BENGALS
Oh no! Dez Bryant is here, Tre'Quan is dead!!! If you seriously think 30 year old, injury riddled, Dez Bryant is going to step into this offense and immediately become the #2, you are one of two things: someone who wants to rationalize their pickup of Dez on their fantasy teams, or two, a diehard Bryant fan. Let me spell this out to you, nobody wanted Dez Bryant. Bryant was practically begging Jerry Jones to bring him back, and despite having Cole Beasley as their #1, they turned their nose. On the other hand, we have a young, explosive receiver in Tre'Quan SMith, who has stepped into the #2 role in New Orleans. Sure, he didn't produce 2 weeks ago and his day was salvaged by a TD against the Rams, but I think this week could be huge. He's been running over 20% of his routes out of the slot, and with Dez entering, this could increase (assuming they use him on the outside). In the last 3 weeks, the Bengals have given up 7/11/0 to Juju Smith-Schuster, 7/68/1 to Tyreek Hill, and 7/76/0 to Adam Humphries, all of which run atleast 30% of their routes from the slot. If Smith gets slot work with Meredith now down, he has a chance to boom against a porous secondary. There's still uncertainty with TQ, but if you're desperate, there are certainly worse options.
ANTHONY MILLER - CHICAGO BEARS
As we all know, in fantasy football, volume is king. Miller has seen 20 targets over his last 3 games, including 3 inside the 20. He hasn't had a "boom" game yet, but he's dominating slot snaps. Typically, slot receivers draw easier matchups, and with ARob returning, defenses won't be able to focus on Miller. He's one of my favorite stashes, as the Bears face the Vikings, Rams, Packers, and Lions (maybe not them as much), matchups where they'll need to throw. He also isn't dead weight on your bench, as he can be plugged in when you're desperate.
MAURICE HARRIES - WASHINGTON REDSKINS
I know, I know, the Redskins are a team you don't want to target, but Harris is their only option left and broke out last week. He played almost 97% of snaps, commanded 12 targets, and dropped 10/124/0 on the Falcons. It was an easy matchup for him, but that shouldn't be discounted, as he proved he can produce. This week, he gets the Buccaneers, another spot he can take advantage of. If he becomes their #1, there can be value in that, and as a deep stash, there's no risk of picking him up before it's too late.
CHARLES CLAY - BUFFALO BILLS
Who cares, it's a Buffalo tight end. This offense is a mess, and in a matchup against the Jets, I'd be surprised if 20 total points are scored between the two teams. If you're extremely desperate, maybe look to Logan Thomas, who commanded 8 targets last week, but that's only if you're EXTREMELY needy at the position. Overall, just look away.
DAVID NJOKU - CLEVELAND BROWNS
Njokue has been active every week and looks to be good to go again. Expect much of the same out of this offense, peppering Juice with targets, and now, looking at Duke Johnson out of the backfield. Njoku is still a back end TE1, but is a little risky due to his recent inconsistencies and lack of volume.
C.J. UZOMAH - CINCINNATI BENGALS
I already touched on Uzomah in the A.J. Green part, so to summarize, he's a back-end TE1 solely because of volume. Green has seen 14 red zone targets thus far, and with him out, Uzomah could step up and see some of those. He'll have TD upside and should be started with confidence based on the expected opportunities he should see this week.
ROB GRONKOWSKI - NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
It feels weird to say, but I'm not sure Gronk is a tight end 1. He has finished as such in just 3/7 games and now, dealing with injuries, I don't have much confidence in him. The offense has been cooking without him in the hands of James White, Julian Edelman, and Josh Gordon, and because of this, I'm not sure Gronk gets the volume you'd typically expect for him. The Titans have allowed more than 40 yards to the position just once (against Zach Ertz), though, the other teams they've faced don't have a real tight end (Miami, Houston, Jacksonville, Buffalo, Baltimore, Chargers, and Dallas). Tennessee has been awful against wide receivers, so I'd expect Brady to take advantage, leaving Gronk behind once again. Gronk isn't a must-sit, but if you have a guy like O.J. Howard, David Njoku, or Jack Doyle, then Gronk's riding the pine.
WAIVER REPLACEMENTS/DEEP STASHES
RICKY SEALS-JONES - ARIZONA CARDINALS
MATCHUP: @ KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
RSJ is here almost every week, and every time, he's a disappointment. I'm just that stubborn. Well, as you know, he's here again, and there's good rationale for it. He's facing the Chiefs, who have allowed 74 or more yards or a TD to the position in 7/9 weeks, and with RSJ running his 2nd most routes (27) and highest snap percentage (82%) since week 3, Leftwich has shown he wants Ricky to be the team's #1 TE. Since week 3, he is seeing just shy of 5 targets a game, so even though he hasn't quite produced, he's getting looks. Tight end is a shit position in fantasy unless you have Zach Ertz, Travis Kelce, and a select few others, so playing Seals-Jones certainly isn't the worst option. The Cards will need to throw, so I'd expect 6 or more looks for RSJ, which is all you can really ask for.
VERNON DAVIS - WASHINGTON REDSKINS
MATCHUP: @ TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
Davis is both a deep stash and a waiver replacement. The reasoning for his deep stash status is simple; if Jordan Reed goes down (which is certainly possible), he becomes the #1 TE in this offense. That may not seem great, as he's still on the Skins, but being a TE1 in an offense that utilizes the position is huge for fantasy football. Why I believe he's a possible waiver replacement this week is because he's in a great spot against the Bucs, who outside of Week 8, have allowed 151 yards or a TD in 6 straight games to the position. He isn't the #1 as of now, but he saw 7 targets last week, and with CT, Paul Richardson, and maybe Jamison Crowder out, they have nothing left. He could easily command 6 or more targets once again, and in tis spot, that's all you need to return value.
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