You made it. In seasonal leagues, this is (or at least should be) Championship Week. Hopefully you are playing for the title, or at least in a third-place game, but there’s always DFS to conquer as well. For consistency purposes, once again there are a plethora of injuries and situations to monitor and the COVID situation is ever evolving. Let’s take a look around the league at what we have our eye on for this week.
At this point, it’s been a week since Jimmy Garoppolo has thrown a football, and things don’t look too optimistic for him to take the field on Sunday. Trey Lance is taking all of the reps with the starters in practice this week and I would expect him to start on Sunday for San Francisco. Based on what we have seen from the rookie so far this season, it is hard to rely on him from a seasonal perspective, but he does bring upside to the table.
Lamar Jackson returned to practice on Wednesday, so that was a plus, but he didn’t look great out there on the field as his ankle appears to still be an issue. That was the case once again on Thursday and Jackson didn’t take part in practice. Baltimore’s intention is clearly for Jackson to return, but it remains to be seen if his ankle is up to the task and we might be waiting all weekend to find out. The good news for Baltimore is that Tyler Huntley is back from the COVID list and would be ready to step in.
We no longer have to worry about Jalen Hurts taking the field on Sunday, but that doesn’t mean his ankle injury is completely past him. The fact that he did practice in full on Thursday is a good sign for Hurts’ status for picking up volume on the ground after he carried the ball only times last week. And after what Dallas did to Washington last week, it’s a good matchup for Hurts.
Aaron Rodgers’ continues to deal with his toe injury and sit out practices during the week to manage his health, but it hasn’t seemed to impact him on Sunday. I would expect that to continue once again this week against Minnesota.
Unless something changes drastically, Drew Lock will be starting under center for Denver once again this week as Teddy Bridgewater is still not participating in practice. However, with just 153 passing yards, I would look in a different direction.
Since Jared Goff was placed on the COVID list, we were previously unaware of his knee injury, but after he didn’t practice on Thursday, it’s not looking good for him to take the field on Sunday. If Goff does get the start against Seattle, then he is a back end QB2, but I wouldn’t expect that many fantasy teams (other than those that allow you start multiple quarterbacks) to be awaiting his status. Tim Boyle would get the start again if Goff is sidelined, and there isn’t much to see there.
Justin Fields practiced on a limited basis for the second straight day on Thursday as he is working his back from an ankle injury. It’s unclear what direction Chicago is leaning this week, as Matt Nagy has spoken about exercising caution around Fields’ ankle, so Friday will likely be critical in determining his status. After Nick Foles led Chicago to victory last week, Andy Dalton is also back to practicing in full, so perhaps he gets the start this week?
At this point, we know there is nothing to worry about, as Ben Roethlisberger customarily sat out practice on Thursday. We know that he is going to take the field on Monday night in what might be his last home, regular season game in Pittsburgh. But after his struggles last week in Kansas City, it’s hard to rely on Roethlisberger this week.
The good news is that it seems we only have one week of Ian Book as both Taysom Hill and Trevor Siemian are back from the COVID list and Hill appears ready to take back the reigns; although in his case it’s what he does on the ground that we are after.
After practicing in full on Wednesday, there doesn’t appear to be anything to be concerned about with Derek Carr and his ribs.
Nice and easy is how we like it. Dalvin Cook is back off the COVID list, practiced in full on Thursday, and is ready to take back control of the Minnesota backfield this week.
When healthy and on the field this season, Elijah Mitchell has had success, but the rookie has also dealt with multiple injuries. After missing a few weeks, Mitchell is back to practicing on a limited basis and things are trending towards him making his return this week. The problem, is that he appears to be lined up to be part of a time share with Jeff Wilson (14 carries, 45 yards and a touchdown) and that does limit his value.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire not practicing again on Thursday doesn’t bode well for him taking the field on Sunday as he is dealing with a shoulder injury. At this point, Darrel Williams looks to be carrying to load for Kansas City in the backfield this week with Derrick Gore in a supporting role.
Dealing with turf toe and now a hip injury, it’s possible that Antonio Gibson’s health issues might finally catch up to him this season. He didn’t practice on Thursday and that’s not the best sign after he didn’t play much of role in last week’s game. Granted, game script didn’t work in Gibson’s favor, but this is something to monitor heading into the weekend. Jaret Patterson could be an interesting option this week if Gibson is in fact sidelined or limited.
The Philadelphia backfield has thinned out a little bit this week as Miles Sanders will be out this week with a broken hand. We are now waiting on Jordan Howard and his status following his stinger from last week, but Kenneth Gainwell did return to practice this week after dealing with an ankle injury. At this point, all signs point to Boston Scott being the back to target.
After missing Thursday’s practice with a heel injury, all signs point to John Conner being sidelined for the second straight week. That sets things up for another strong week out of Chase Edmonds who was limited in practice on Thursday with a back injury after picking up 127 combined yards and a touchdown on Saturday.
There is nothing in doubt regarding Saquon Barkley’s status, but the running back is still missing something from a performance perspective. At this point, starting Barkley is not a no-doubt decision, but we don’t have to worry about his status at least even as the Giants are careful with him during the week at practice.
As been custom for the past few weeks, Aaron Jones has been limited in practice with a knee injury but he is still the dominant half of the Green Bay back field that he shares with AJ Dillon. At this point, it doesn’t appear things will be any different this week.
With Rhamondre Stevenson is back off the COVID list so that means the New England backfield is crowded once again. Stevenson will likely share the majority of the work with Damien Harris although I would expect the latter to receive a large amount of the work after rushing for 103 yards and three touchdowns last week. There doesn’t appear to be anything to worry about with Harris being limited in practice on Wednesday with a hamstring injury and the same applies to Brandon Bolden as a third down back who is dealing with a knee injury.
Kareem Hunt is still unable to return to practice as he deals with an ankle injury and things aren’t looking too optimistic for him to take the field on Monday. It’s all about Nick Chubb once again here, and I wouldn’t limit the roster flexibility by holding out hope for Hunt to be active.
With Darrell Henderson out this week, it’s all about Sony Michel in the Rams’ backfield once again this week. It’s still unclear if Cam Akers will make his return this week, but if he does, it likely will be a limited fashion.
It was the plan all along, but Michael Carter has been taking on a greater role in the Jets’ backfield as the season progresses, but his volume should increase this week with Tevin Coleman now on the COVID list.
At this point, the fact that Alex Collins is practicing on a limited basis doesn’t really matter from a fantasy perspective as Rashaad Penny has grabbed hold of the starting job and is finally living up to his potential; albeit it in a small sample size.
Antonio Brown came back at just the right time for Tampa Bay as he caught 10 passes for 101 yards last week but it’s not the best sign that he didn’t practice on Thursday. It’s unclear whether Brown had a setback or if Tampa Bay was just trying to play things carefully with him, so this is something to keep an eye on. It does appear though that Mike Evans is trending towards taking the field as the hamstring injury appears to be past him and he is off the COVID list.
DK Metcalf practiced in full on Thursday, and once again all systems are a go from a health perspective. The performance though is a different story as Metcalf continues to struggle and is coming off a two catch, 41-yard effort last week; although one of those catches was a touchdown.
It’s never ideal when you see AJ Brown miss practice on Thursday with a calf injury after practicing on Wednesday. For obvious reason we want Brown to be healthy on the field as he most certainly will be busy with Julio Jones and Nick Westbrook-Ikhine both on the COVID list. This is going to be a critical situation to watch heading into the weekend.
The headline here is Mike Williams, but both he and Jalen Guyton are now back from the COVID list. Williams will likely break the 1,000-yard mark this week (he is currently at 964 yards) and order is restored once again for the Chargers and their receivers.
Anytime we hear illness these days, it’s always concerning, as Marquise Brown missed practice on Thursday. It doesn’t have the COVID label attached to it, so we’ll take that as a plus along with the fact that he practiced on Wednesday, but this is something we need to keep an eye on. Should Brown be sidelined, it is a good sign that Devin Duvernay returned to practice on Thursday after dealing with an ankle injury, but Rashod Bateman and Sammy Watkins should also get a boost to their value as well.
Regardless of who is under center for Detroit this week, Amon-Ra St. Brown figures to be busy as both Josh Reynolds and Kalif Raymond have been placed on the COVID list. While there is still a chance one or both can clear protocol, it’s not something we can plan on. Tom Kennedy would likely be the next man up, but it’s hard to trust anyone other than St. Brown.
It’s not a great sign for Elijah Moore that he hasn’t returned to practice from his quadricep injury and that he is still on the COVID list. Things aren’t looking great for Moore to return in time for Sunday, and with Jameson Crowder not being able to return to practice with a calf injury, Braxton Berrios will be the last man standing for Zach Wilson.
Emmanuel Sanders didn’t practice on Thursday as he deals with a knee injury. Buffalo will be getting Gabriel Davis and Cole Beasley back this week, so even if Sanders can take the field, there isn’t much in the way of value here.
Darius Slayton is on the COVID list so it’s likely we will be without him on Sunday and Kadarius Toney’s status is also in question as he didn’t practice on Thursday with a shoulder injury. We know that the Giants’ quarterback situation doesn’t do anyone any favors and it makes it quite difficult to rely on their receivers, but Kenny Golladay would get all of the value that he can handle; or that Mike Glennon and Jake Fromm are capable of giving him.
For the most part, Rondale Moore hasn’t done much this season so I wouldn’t read too much into his return to practice this week as he only has one touchdown in 14 games this season.
The foot injury is fine, but Marquise Goodwin didn’t practice on Thursday due to an illness. He only caught two passes for 23 yards last week so I’m not sure there is much to see from a fantasy perspective here.
At this point I’m not sure it even matters whether or not Curtis Samuel even plays this week. He did practice on a limited basis last week but that didn’t lead to him taking the field, so I wouldn’t read anything into Samuel practicing on a limited basis again on Thursday as he continues to deal with his hamstring injury.
Denver’s passing offense leaves something to be desired, but it appears they will be without Tim Patrick this week as he was posted on the COVID list. With that being said, I’m not sure that anything more than Courtland Sutton and Jerry Jeudy can be supported; at that might even be pushing it.
I’m not sure we can count on Nelson Agholor to make his return from a concussion after still not practicing on Thursday, but even if he does return, I’m not sure there’s much to see from a fantasy perspective behind Jakobi Meyers, Kendrick Bourne, and N’Keal Harry. Meyers has been limited in practice with a thigh injury this week, but for now, it doesn’t appear to be anything to worry about.
After missing last week’s game, Bryan Edwards has been activated from the COVID list, but it shouldn’t have much of a fantasy impact as he has just 30 receptions for 508 yards and three touchdowns on the season.
With Tre’Quan Smith not practicing on Wednesday or Thursday, he is slated to miss this week’s game with a chest injury. At this point, Marquez Callaway is the only receiver worth targeting in New Orleans as their quarterback situation is still far from ideal.
Zach Pascal works in a complementary role in Indianapolis’ offense (369 yards and three touchdowns) but it is at least a good sign for the Colts that he has been activated from the COVID list.
Travis Kelce is not only off the COVID list, but he is practicing in full for Kansas City so it appears we can move forward without issue here after the tight end missed last week’s game.
Zach Ertz has clearly benefited from DeAndre Hopkins being sidelined as he has 14 catches for 128 yards over the past two weeks, so it certainly is a good sign that he practiced in full on Thursday as his hamstring injury doesn’t appear to be holding him back from taking the field on Sunday.
Darren Waller has yet to return to practice after dealing with knee and back injuries, but he has now been placed on the COVID list as well. There is a possibility he clears those protocols by Sunday, but at this point since Waller hasn’t been back to practice, I wouldn’t plan on him being active this week.
Nice and clear is the way we like it. Pat Freiermuth practiced in full on Thursday as he is now clear of his concussion and should be locked and loaded for this week.
It’s good news that Tyler Conklin progressed to practicing on a limited basis with a hamstring injury, but with the Vikings not playing until Sunday night, it is something that we are going to monitor closely for more clarity.
After missing practice again on Thursday with a hip injury, things aren’t trending in the right direction for James O’Shaughnessy to take the field on Sunday.
Things aren’t trending towards Jack Boyle being able to take the field this week as he deals with a knee and ankle injuries. Mo Alie-Cox would then get the start, but with Carson Wentz sidelined, I’m not sure how production there is to go around in the Colts’ offense.
Granted Ian Book was under center, but I’m not sure being the number one tight end really means all that much for the Saints. If you are in a league deep enough that it does, Nick Vannett was limited in practice on Thursday with an ankle injury but it shouldn’t impact his status for Sunday.
In now way am I looking to target anything related to the Giants’ passing offense, but Kyle Rudolph did practice on a limited basis Thursday with an ankle injury, he is trending towards playing on Sunday. But with just 22 receptions and one touchdown on the season, there isn’t much to see here.