Thursday Night Recap – Arizona Cardinals – 33 San Francisco 49ers – 21
This was a matchup of bad quarterbacks in this hard to watch game between two 1-3 teams. The Cardinals ended up pulling out the win, largely because of a tremendous effort by RB David Johnson. Larry Fitzgerald had a nice performance as well, but the other two Cardinals receivers, John Brown and Malcom Floyd, were both no-shows. Carlos Hyde had a nice game, but was the only fantasy relevant player on the niners side of the ball. Colin Kaepernick didn’t get any PT, but I heard rumors that if the niners are ever trying to run the clock out in the 4th, he is going to be their guy to take the knee.
RB Committee News
Ryan Matthews has fully recovered from ankle injury and is still the lead, workhorse back for the Eagles. He will likely lose touches/ playing time to Darren Sproles and Wendell Smallwood. Matthews is an iffy play this week, but he should receive a bulk of the carries and short yardage/ red zone work. He is a weak RB2 play and a decent flex option.
The Raven’s released veteran RB Justin Forsett over the week stating that they “wanted to go younger”. Fantasy experts were predicting this sort of situation from the get go. Last week, Terrance West received most of the running back work as he rushed for 113 yards and 1 TD. West is the guy you should play this week, but there is another back in the mix. Rookie running back out of Louisiana Tech, Kenneth Dixon, has been hurt for most of the year, but reports say that he is fully recovered and will see his first NFL action this Sunday. Dixon looks to be the future for the Baltimore running game and he is a solid bench stash who may see more time as the season progresses.
With first stringer, Latavius Murray, likely to be held out for this week’s matchup, DeAndre Washington will get the start and receive a bulk of the carries. Jalen Richard is the other back in the mix here, but will be used more so in passing downs. Washington is an OK RB2 or flex option this week against a San Diego defense that has allowed 7 rushing TDs on the year (tied for most in the AFC).
Depending on Arian Foster’s playing status this weekend (he is currently still up in the air), the other running backs, Jay Ajayi and Kenyan Drake, could see a bump in playing time. Adam Gase has been quoted saying that he will rely on both backs to handle the carries in Foster’s absence.
Injury Updates – Order is QB, RB, WR, TE
Jay Cutler – QB Chicago Bears
Cutty looks to be held off the field for the second straight week (thumb injury). Brian Hoyer will receive the start in a favorable matchup against the Colts.
Trevor Siemian – QB Denver Broncos
Trevor participated in part of practice on Thursday. He was able to make some throws for the first time in 2 weeks. He will probably make the start this weekend against the Falcons and is an intriguing start if you are having QB troubles.
Tony bRomo – QB Dallas Cowboys
Bromo is nearing fantasy relevance. He has been recovering ahead of schedule and looks to be healthy for week 8. Even when Romo is healthy there’s a large chance that the Cowboys continue rolling Dak out there (still no picks!!!).
Cam Newton – QB Carolina Panthers
Big Cam missed Thursday’s practice as he is still undergoing the league’s concussion protocol. This is a tough call for fantasy owners especially if your other QB plays in one of the early games on Sunday. If Cam passes the test then he is a must start, but if he is still doubtful to play on Sunday I would start your other option.
Jeremy Hill – RB Cincinnati Bengals
Hill was limited in practice as he is dealing with some chest issues. Barring bad news, he will likely play this weekend. Hill is a solid start at running back this week.
Latavius Murray – RB Oakland Raiders
Murray is going through some issues with turf toe. He is doubtful to play this weekend. Even if he does get the start, he really hasn’t lived up to the pre season hype and his fantasy production has been highly reliant on TDs.
Jonathan Stewart – RB Carolina Panthers
Stewart was held out of practice on Friday and is not going to play this week. Fozzy Whittaker and Cameron Artis-Payne will split the carries in Stewart’s absence. Whittaker is the more intriguing play because of his pass catching abilities out of the backfield.
Doug Martin and Charles Sims – RBs Tampa Bay Bucs
Doug Martin is going to be sidelined for an additional week and Charles Sims is in line to get the start. Sims did not practice on Thursday and is doubtful to play on Monday night against the Panthers. If Sims sits then the Bucs will throw Jacquizz Rodgers in there. Rodgers is a pure body banger. If he finishes off this one concussion-free then it will be a failed attempt Monday night.
Jamaal Charles – RB Kansas City Chiefs
Charles is finally at 100% (according to him) and will receive his first start of the year against the Raiders. Spencer Ware is still likely to be involved, but it sounds like the Walrus will be leaning on the veteran workhorse in this one.
Arian Foster – RB Miami Dolphins
All signs are pointing towards Foster missing another week. He seems to be one of those players that will be in injury recovery mode the rest of his career. Keep him out of your lineup until he shows signs of more playing time and production.
Rashad Jennings – RB New York Giants
Rashad was held back in practice on Thursday. Even if he does get the start he is facing a tough Packers run defense and is a desperation RB play. In his absence, Orleans Darkwa will take over the early downs work and Bobby Rainey will be in more of a pass-catching third down role.
Alshon Jeffery – WR Chicago Bears
Alshon has not practice in full so far this week. He has a knee injury, but will likely end up getting the start this week against a garbage Colts pass defense. He is a high end receiver start, and I could see him going off for the first time this season.
Kevin White – WR Chicago Bears
Unfortunately for Bears fans and Kevin White himself, the former first round draft pick suffered a fractured left fibula and a high ankle sprain and was placed on the IR. He will likely need surgery and will not return in 2016. Eddie Royal and Alshon Jeffery will receive a bump in targets.
Sammy Watkins – WR Buffalo Bills
Watkins was shut down for the season over the week. It looks like the Bills are opting to let him fully recover from his foot injury. There were some complications with the initial surgery and unfortunately for fantasy owners it looks to be another lost year for the young talent.
Eric Decker – WR New York Jets
Decker has not progressed well from his shoulder injury and he is not going to play in week 5. If the injury recovery outlook does not improve, Decker could be placed on the IR and shut down for multiple weeks. Brandon Marshall and Quincy Enunwa will receive a bump in fantasy value for the duration of Decker’s absence.
Dez Bryant – WR Dallas Cowboys
Dez didn’t practice Thursday and is likely out for Sunday’s game as he is still recovering from a bone fracture in his leg.
Stefon Diggs – WR Minnesota Vikings
Diggs was held out of practice on Thursday and is questionable to start this weekend against the Texans. Monitor his status up until game time and make sure you have other receiver options in place.
Julian Edelman – WR New England Patriots
Julian is suffering from a foot injury and was added to the Pat’s injury report on Thursday. This is bad news for Edelman owners as mid week injury updates usually mean he tweaked something in practice or another complication arose. Monitor his status up until game time. If he plays he should have a big game with Big Tom being reinstated.
Tyler Eifert – TE Cinncinnatti Bengals
According to Bengals’ head coach Marvin Lewis Eifert has a slim chance to play this week. I would consider other TE options as Eifert is still dealing with a sore back and is unlikely to have a big game.
Antonio Gates – TE San Diego Chargers
Gates seems unlikely to play this week, but did participate in parts of practice. He is probably going to return in week 6. Rookie Hunter Henry will start in his place and is a solid TE play.
QB Streaming Options
Dak Prescott’s Cowboys vs The Red Rifle’s Bengals
The Bengals have proven to be one of the worst passing defenses so far. Dak is a conservative fantasy play as he is unlikely to pop off, but he should provide solid production and turnover-free football. Hank’s Hot Take: 2 TDs, 250 passing yards, 20 rushing yards.
Carson Wentz’s Eagles vs. Lovie’s Tampa Bucs
Carson is starting to look like a solid start week in and week out. He faces a bad Lions defense that was exploited by Brian Hoyer and the Bears in week 4. The Lons have allowed 12 TDs so far and have mustered only one interception. Hank’s Hot Take: 320 yards and 2 TDs
Brian Hoyer’s Bears against the Colts
It looks more and more like Hoyer will get the start this weekend against a brutal Colts defense. He looked good last week in the Bear’s win over the Lions. Losing Kevin White definitely hurts Hoyer a little bit, but he still has solid options to get the job done. Hank’s Hot Take: 270 yards, 3 TDs, 1 pick.
D/ST Streaming Options
Baltimore Ravens vs. Washington Redskins
This is a shaky start defensively and there are probably some better options. However, Kirk Cousin’s Redskins have given up the 3rd most points to fantasy defenses this season.
Chicago Bears vs. Indianapolis Colts
This is a risky defensive play because Andy Luck could end up going off and putting up some huge numbers. However, the Bears d looked strong last shutting down Matthew Stafford’s Lions. The Colts have produced the most points for fantasy defenses this year. They have given up 15 sacks and 3 defensive TDs. The Bears are a solid start.
Thanks for reading and good luck this weekend.