An abbreviated list of players to talk about this week as things are likely to be a little dry on the waiver wire.
Let’s kick things off talking about the major talking point of the weekend, that being the injury to Aaron Rodgers. Obviously this is a major blow to the Packers, with early reports coming out of Green Bay that this may cost him the rest of the season. Backup Brett Hundley is poised to take over the reigns, and given the very limited experience that he has on an NFL field, there are going to be some bumps along the way. Hundley is not a high recommendation, but for a team looking for a backup to cover a bye week, he is a good candidate to grab and stash. The downstream effect of this change, is that Green Bay receivers Jordy Nelson, Davante Adams, and Randall Cobb will see a reduction in their weekly stats. Runners Ty Montgomery and Aaron Jones will see an uptick in workload, as the Packers will need to limit the throws from their now inexperienced leader. Tough times for Green Bay, and a lesson to all fantasy owners out there that depth at quarterback is critical to keep your team on the winning track.
The other piece of fantasy fodder that came down prior to this week’s games, was the announcement that Ezekiel Elliott’s suspension is now underway. There is still some behind the scenes wrangling going on, but it looks like he will be on the sideline for the foreseeable future. Dallas was on their bye week, so we will find out this week in San Francisco how the Cowboys will handle things. Many will think that it will be Alfred Morris leading the charge out of the Dallas backfield, and he will be in the mix. Despite being inactive for much of this season, we see it as Darren McFadden being the first out of the shoot for Dallas. In either case, the presence of both of the players will reduce their fantasy appeal. The advice we give from this perch is that both should be rostered, with preference to McFadden, but expectations should be kept at a minimum with owners taking a wait and see approach to see if the coaching staff leans one way or the other.
Finally, let’s briefly touch upon Adrian Peterson and his six degrees of separation. Rarely do significant players, especially significant offensive positional players, get traded during the season. Whatever was going on in New Orleans, and perhaps it was simply a “paradox of choice” situation where there were too many good choices for the Saints, Peterson was not getting any play in the Bayou. The Saints moved him to Arizona, where the Cardinals were without their star David Johnson. The move once again makes the Cardinals relevant, and Peterson went wild rushing for 134 yards on a day where he carried the ball 26 times and scored twice. In the unlikely event that Peterson is available in your league, grab him if you can. His departure from New Orleans left Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara, both of whom excelled in his absence. Ingram ran for 114 yards while catching five balls for 26; Kamara ran for 75 while catching four passes for 12 yards. Both of them should continue to excel as the Saints rotate them into the offense on a near balanced basis.
That’s enough of the chit-chat, onto this week’s wonders!
RB Dion Lewis, New England
We had previously been talking about Lewis, as he was lurking in the shadows while slowly seeing an increase in his time on the field. This week he opened up as the lead back on New England’s first drive, and even got himself a goal line carry. Mike Gillislee had a costly fumble in the game, which has him on the outside of Bill Belichick’s circle of trust. Lewis carried the ball 11 times to the tune of 52 yards and a score, making him at least for the time being, the back to own for the Patriots.
On the Radar
WR Robert Woods, Rams
For the second straight week, Woods was on the receiving end of five Jared Goff passes. This week against the Jaguars, that was good for 70 yards, this on the heels of his going for 66 yards against the Seahawks. We like what we are seeing out of the Rams offense, earning Woods a spot on this week’s radar.
WR Kenny Stills, Miami
With DeVante Parker on the shelf, the Dolphins are getting to see what Kenny Stills can do on the field. Against the Falcons, he caught four balls for 49 yards, including one for a touchdown. Reports are that Parker may miss this week’s game, which makes Stills another candidate to be picked up off this week’s radar.
RB Chris Ivory, Jacksonville
The Jaguars running attack is going strong, with rookie Leonard Fournette leading the way. This is a speculative add, as Fournette has been picking up some small injuries on the way, with this week’s malady being a sore ankle. Ivory is waiting in the wings, and would fill in nicely if Fournette were to go down some a serious injury. In the meantime, he is one of the leading targets of Blake Bortles, catching nine passes for 74 yards and a score this past week against the Rams. Grab and hold the Jaguars backup runner.
Deep and/or Dynasty Only
WR Tanner Gentry, Chicago
The Bears are looking for someone that can catch the ball, with practice squad player Gentry getting the latest look. This is a deep and speculative recommendation for those in dynasty leagues.
RB Devontae Booker, Denver
The Broncos have C.J. Anderson and Jamaal Charles, but recently back from injury, Booker is a player that can do the job if it is asked of him. He has minimal carries so far on this season, so this is a speculative add in case either of those in front of him on the depth chart miss some time.