Thu Oct 29 10:42am ET
By JEFF PAUR
Sr Fantasy Writer
There is some good and bad on this list this week. Normally, the bad outweighs the good, but there are some quality players set to return this week, which is a big plus for fantasy teams. Hopefully, these injured players give your lineup a boost and make up for the other guys that won’t be able to play.
Dallas Goedert, TE, Eagles. Goedert is practicing this week and has a chance to return from his ankle injury. The Eagles have a bye next week, so the thought is Goedert sits out one more week to give him ample time to get healthy. Goedert is not ruled out this week, though, so keep an eye on his practice notes for the latest. There is a chance he suits up if all keeps progressing quickly for him.
Dalvin Cook, RB, Vikings. Cook is back practicing this week. He is right on track to return from his groin injury, barring a late-week setback. As long as he is active, Cook is a must start for fantasy teams.
Andy Dalton, QB, Cowboys. Dalton took a huge hit last week and was knocked from the game because of a concussion. He is in the concussion protocol and seems a long shot to play this week. Rookie Ben DiNucci is expected to get his first NFL start this week for the Cowboys.
Miles Sanders, RB, Eagles. Sanders is still iffy to play this week because of a knee injury. There was some hope he would be ready, but sitting out practice to start the week is not a good sign for Sanders. He seems likely to miss one more week of action, giving Boston Scott another start at running back for the Eagles.
Allen Robinson, WR, Bears. Robinson suffered a concussion last week and is currently in the concussion protocol. We will have a better idea of his status late in the week but get other options ready. There is a decent chance Robinson misses the game this week, making Anthony Miller the top receiver for the Bears in Week 8.
Jalen Reagor, WR, Eagles. Reagor has a chance to finally return to the lineup this week, coming back from Injured Reserve. He is practicing this week and on track to play, barring some sort of late-week setback. His thumb injury seems healed enough for Reagor to be able to play.
Michael Pittman, WR, Colts. Pittman is finally back at practice this week. His calf injury is improved, giving Pittman a chance to return to action this week. He has a real good chance to play and play a big role in the offense, returning to the starting lineup for the Colts.
Mark Ingram, RB, Ravens. Ingram is not practicing to start the week. This is not a good sign for him to play. He is still battling an ankle injury. And missing practice to start the week after having a bye is a real red flag for Ingram to be able to play this week. At this point, look for Gus Edwards and J.K. Dobbins to carry most of the load at running back for the Ravens.
Joe Mixon, RB, Bengals. Mixon missed last week because of a foot injury and is out of practice to start the week. It seems likely he will miss another week of action, giving Gio Bernard another start at running back for the Bengals.
Aaron Jones, RB, Packers. Jones was pushing to play last week but held out because of a calf injury. He still is out of practice to start this week, which is not a good sign for Jones to return to action. Don’t rule him out just yet, but get other options ready. He will need to practice before the week is out. Jamaal Williams would be the starter if Jones misses again.
Sammy Watkins, WR, Chiefs. Watkins has missed the last two games because of a hamstring injury and still isn’t practicing. He is expected to miss another game, giving Demarcus Robinson and Mecole Hardman more looks in the passing game for the Chiefs.
Michael Thomas, WR, Saints. Thomas just can’t get healthy. He was expected to return last week from his ankle injury and ended up tweaking his hamstring in practice. He had to miss the game and still isn’t practicing. It is looking more and more like Thomas will miss the Week 8 game. Consider him very questionable to play Week 8. Marquez Callaway and Tre’Quan Smith should start for the Saints at receiver once again this week.
Austin Hooper, TE, Browns. Hooper had a appendectomy late last week and to miss the game. It is looking like he misses one more game before being able to return. Rookie Harrison Bryant should get another start at tight end for the Browns in Week 8.
Jamison Crowder, WR, Jets. Crowder continues to battle a groin injury and is out of practice. He is likely to miss another week of action, leaving Denzel Mims the likely top target in the passing game for the Jets in Week 8 with Breshad Perriman also hurting.
Tyler Higbee, TE, Rams. Higbee missed the game last week because of a hand injury. He is practicing on a limited basis this week and could be ready to go Week 8. Consider him a game-time decision. But even if he plays, he is a hard fantasy player to trust because of his erratic play this season.
Chris Carson, RB, Seahawks. Carson is out of practice because of a sprained foot. He had to leave the game early last week because of the injury. Carson is likely to miss the game this week and could miss a few weeks of action. Carlos Hyde has a hamstring injury but is expected to be healthy enough to play and start for the Seahawks this week.
Chris Godwin, WR, Bucs. Godwin broke his finger last week and has already been ruled out for the Week 8 game. There was talk he would miss just a week but could be out a little longer. Mike Evans should be the top target in the passing game this week with Godwin out of action.
Phillip Lindsay, RB, Broncos. Lindsay is another player in the concussion protocol. He suffered the injury last week. We’ll have a better idea of his status later in the week but get other options ready. He is no sure thing to play.
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 email@example.com. Follow Jeff on Twitter @jeffpaur.
Five Hot Plays: Week 13
New England Patriots running back James White has been lackluster on the ground lately, but continues to carry fantasy value. Last week, White finished with 18 total rushing yards, but scored two touchdowns, which saved his fantasy value. The Pats are going to continue getting White involved whether it's on the ground or through the air. The Los Angeles Chargers haven't been able to stop running backs this season, which makes White a solid flex play for Week 13.
New England Patriots wide receiver Jakobi Meyers rebounded fairly nicely last week with five receptions for 52 yards in the win over the Arizona Cardinals. He saw six targets in that one and should continue getting involved versus the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 13. Sadly, the Chargers have allowed the sixth-fewest fantasy points to wide receivers this season. The Pats are not exactly known for their solid passing attack. Meyers should be able to carry low-end flex appeal in PPR leagues this week.
New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton (abdominal) is currently listed as questionable for the Week 13 matchup against the Los Angeles Chargers. He is expected to suit up, but won't be a favorable fantasy option for this one. Newton is coming off a performance in which he had a season-low 84 passing yards. He'll now face a Chargers secondary that has been fairly solid against the passing attack this season. It appears Newton is banged up and in an unfavorable matchup here. Fantasy owners probably don't want to trust Newton unless no other decent options are available.
New England Patriots running back Damien Harris has seemingly run away with the lead back job. Sadly, Harris has been unable to do much damage on the ground lately. He has failed to surpass 47 rushing yards over his last two games. He'll get a decent rebound matchup against the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 13. A team that has allowed the ninth-most fantasy points to running backs this season. However, Harris has struggled lately, so he should be considered a low-end flex option this week.
Washington Football Team wide receiver Terry McLaurin has been one of the most consistent fantasy options and should be locked-into starting lineups despite a tough matchup in Pittsburgh. McLaurin has seven catches in five of his last six games and has at least 74 yards in every game in that span. On the season, McLaurin is yet to see less than seven targets in any game. He'll draw the Steelers' toughest coverage, but McLaurin has been blanketed by every team's best corner this year and has still been anywhere from good to elite for fantasy. Start Scary Terry, period.
The Washington Football Team defense has been good for fantasy at times this season, but they are not a recommended option in Week 13. Washington's strength has been it's ferocious defensive line featuring Ryan Kerrigan and Chase Young. The Steelers, however, have allowed a league-low 10 sacks this season as the undefeated unit has shredded defenses all year. Overall Pittsburgh allows the fourth-fewest fantasy points to opposing defenses. Washington is best left on the bench this week.
Cleveland Browns wide receiver Rashard Higgins looked earlier this season as if he would benefit immensely within the team's offense after the loss of Odell Beckham Jr. (knee) for the remainder of the season. But after logging his fifth game of the year last week with one catch or fewer, Higgins has lost any season-long or DFS fantasy appeal that he may have previously established. A large reason for this is the run-heavy nature of the Cleveland offense, which has led to fewer pass attempts for quarterback Baker Mayfield. Having to jockey primarily with Jarvis Landry, Donovan Peoples-Jones, and Austin Hooper for targets, Higgins has simple slipped too far out of relevance, even in deep season-long formats to garner appeal against Tennessee in Week 13.
Los Angeles Rams running back Darrell Henderson Jr. led his team in carries (10) last week versus San Francisco, but he managed just 19 yards rushing. That lack of production has become glaring for Henderson, whose production has ebbed throughout 2020. Cam Akers and Malcolm Brown loom as perpetual threats to chip away at Henderson's carry load, with the second-year back not having seen 15 or more rush attempts since Week 7. Entering Week 13, Henderson is entirely a touchdown-dependent RB option in season-long and DFS formats, although projecting which Los Angeles back will get the ball close to the goal line is a risk within itself.
Washington Football Team running back J.D. McKissic has been quiet in recent weeks and faces another tough test Monday against the Steelers. McKissic burst onto the fantasy scene when Alex Smith took over at QB for Washington as the veteran peppered McKissic with 29 targets in his first two games. Since then, however, McKissic has just six targets in the last two games. He's also not been involved in the running game with no more than eight carries in any game this season. This is not good news against a Steelers Defense that allows the fewest receptions and receiving yards to running backs. McKissic is a risky flex-option at best in Week 13.
Washington Football Team running back Antonio Gibson will face a stiff test in his first game since shredding the Cowboys for 128 yards and three touchdowns. The rookie running back introduced himself to the nation with the huge Thanksgiving performance, but now faces a Steelers Defense that allows the fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs. Fantasy managers should keep Gibson locked into lineups despite the daunting opponent. Gibson has found the end zone in five straight games and has three 90-plus yard performances in that span. His ceiling is lower than most weeks with Washington likely facing a pass-happy game-script, but the rookie has earned must-start status in fantasy regardless of matchup.
Detroit Lions wide receiver Marvin Jones Jr. is in line to be the team's top wideout target Sunday versus the Bears with Kenny Golladay (hip) once again out of the mix. But unfortunately for Jones, he has the double whammy of catching passes from a banged-up quarterback (Matthew Stafford, hip) and facing a stout defense in Chicago. Jones hauled in four receptions for 55 yards against the Bears Defense back in Week 1, albeit with a healthy Stafford and Golladay on the field. While there is some WR3/Flex appeal for Jones in season-long formats, he'll be something of a risk even as he comes off a season-high 12-target performance last week.
Veteran running back LeGarrette Blount announced his retirement from the NFL on Saturday, ending a nine-year career that ended three times with a Super Bowl victory. Blount's best individual season came in 2016 when he led the NFL in rushing touchdowns (18) with the Patriots. Known for his bruising rushing style, Blount carried considerable fantasy intrigue when on the field due to his propensity for receiving carries near the goal line. Having been out of the league since an '18 stint with the Lions, Blount was firmly off all season-long radars, but he can now receive an official tip of the cap from fantasy managers for his years of production.
Tennessee Titans tight end Anthony Firkser will fill in for injured Jonnu Smith this week against the Browns. Fantasy players should have all the confidence in the world in firing up Anthony Firkser, who accrued a team-high 21.9% target share with 29 routes on Ryan Tannehill's 46 dropbacks in his only spot-start for Smith this year. Smith wasn't able to practice at all this week after his egg in the box score from Sunday, so Firkser should play quite nicely in DFS and should be spot started if you are looking for help at tight end.
Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Stephon Tuitt (COVID-19 list) was activated off of the COVID-19/reserve list Saturday, paving the way for a potential return to action in Week 13 for Monday's game versus Washington. Having landed on the list prior to last week's game versus Baltimore, Tuitt has now cleared protocols and is eligible to return to practice. Tuitt has started all 10 games that he has appeared in this season, having compiled a career-high seven sacks to this point in 2020. His addition to the Steelers Defense solidifies the group as one of the top defensive units in fantasy, one that should undoubtedly be rostered in a favorable matchup against Washington this week.
Tennessee Titans wide receiver A.J. Brown has put his explosive ability on display with eight receiving touchdowns in his last eight games, and Tennessee's top option in the passing game will look to get back into the end zone in Week 13 against a Browns team that has allowed 13 touchdowns to wide receivers this season. The team leader in target share could be in for a monster day against weaker Browns Defense. He's a low-end WR1 this week, though his range of outcomes is probably wider than most WR1 options. He could very well see top 5 value if the game script falls in his favor.
Tennessee Titans wide receiver Corey Davis has racked up at least 67 yards in six of his nine appearances for the Titans this season, and he'll continue to serve as the team's No. 2 receivers behind A.J. Brown when the Browns come to town in Week 13. Davis has quietly established something of a decent fantasy floor as the team's secondary option behind Brown. He should be in the high-end WR3 conversation next week against the Browns.
Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill picked up his 23rd passing touchdown and second rushing touchdown last week, and he'll be relied upon to lead Tennessee's offense in Week 13 against a Browns Defense that's right around league average against the pass while ranking a bit tougher against the run. Tannehill has a sneaky great matchup as the passing attack should be more heavily featured. The Browns will likely try to shut down Derrick Henry first. He'll be a borderline QB1 and a solid play in DFS.
Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry exploded for three touchdowns in last week's blowout win. He's been running as a man possessed. The Titans host a Browns team that's limiting opponents to 108 yards per game on the ground, but that should be no issues for Henry who is in mid-season stride. Titans coach Mike Vrabel has also said the team has to "be able to throw the ball" to Derrick Henry more. If he's to see more targets via the passing attack, this could bode well for Henry's owners who already have been enjoying an amazing season from him. He's a locked and loaded RB1, and should see 25+ touches again in week 13.
The Cincinnati Bengals Defense is not worth starting this week against a Dolphins squad that has a capable QB in Ryan Fitzpatrick. In nine of 11 games this season, this unit has allowed at least 20 points and features no elite names. Add in the fact that this unit ranks near the bottom of the league in many defensive categories, and it means the Cincy defense is best left on waivers.
Cincinnati Bengals kicker Randy Bullock is better left on the bench this week. The kicker is coming off a miserable performance just a couple of weeks ago with two missed field goals and a missed extra point. On the season, Bullock has gone for 21-for-25 in field goals and 23-for-24 in extra points. The Dolphins allow the fewest points to fantasy kickers, making Bullock a risky choice this week.