Robert Griffin III progressed through the return-to-play algorithm without any delays or setbacks and is likely to start today. He’s listed as questionable, but he’s a game-time decision only in the sense that he’ll be watched closely for any unexpected symptoms during warmups. Though the team says they’ll not remove any designed runs from the playbook this week, it’s not likely that they’ll put Griffin in a position to take a big hit. Fantasy recommendation: A drop in rushing attempts limits Griffin’s ceiling today, especially against a solid pass defense. Consider him a low level, risk-reward QB1.
Hakeem Nicks made it through two limited practices this week and was on the team flight to San Francisco. Earlier in the season, a limited late week practice without setbacks meant Nicks would play a full complement of snaps without limitations. That’s less likely to be the case today and Nicks’ matchup isn’t all that favorable anyway. Fantasy recommendation: Consider Nicks as a WR3/flex play only.
Aaron Hernandez made the trip to Seattle and is expected to play today, though there are no guarantees with the Patriots. He’s been able to handle consecutive limited practices over the past two weeks, but is still just four weeks from a mid-grade high ankle sprain and will still be feeling the effects of the injury. Expect the Patriots to limit his snap count today, but use him in high leverage situations. Fantasy recommendation: A possible snap count against a tough defense makes Hernandez a risky fantasy play. His upside earns him consideration as a mid TE1, but there’s a very low floor this week.
Adrian Peterson practiced fully on Friday. I still think his mechanism of injury was consistent with a mild high ankle sprain. Peterson has shown that he can play through injuries others may not and still be effective. This ankle injury would appear to be no exception. There’s a chance Peterson could tweak the ankle or take a few more plays off than usual today, but the Friday practice is an excellent sign. Fantasy recommendation: Use Peterson as you normally would.
Pierre Garcon is back on the injury report. Though there’s been no official statement that Garcon has had a setback with his foot, the team has said that he’s still bothered by the injury and the questionable tag suggests that the team wants to see how he looks in warmups before committing to him in the lineup. Garcon’s stat line could’ve been better last week, but he did see a team leading seven targets. Fantasy recommendation: Game time decisions in a late afternoon tag are never easy calls. The late week addition to the injury report, lack of production to date and relatively tough matchup make Garcon a risky WR3. If you decide to take the risk, make sure you have a hedge should he be made inactive.
Demaryius Thomas has a hip injury, but didn’t appear to be limited last week and fully practiced both Friday and Saturday. There’s little reason for concern this week. Fantasy recommendation: Use Thomas as you normally would.
Malcom Floyd was added to the injury report with a groin injury late this week but practiced fully Saturday. Late week groin injuries (new or aggravations) are always a concern for wide receivers. All indications are that Floyd will play, but there’s no guarantee he avoids a setback in pre-game or can play with his usual effectiveness. Fantasy recommendation: Floyd is no better than a risky WR3.
Jermichael Finley is a game-time decision. Though he was able to get through a limited practice on Friday, there was very little positive news on him this week. Already a risk to drop passes, the AC sprain will limit his ability to extend to make catches away from his body. He’s a risk even if active, and his presence on the active roster might not be a reassuring sign if the Packers are forced to make D.J. Williams inactive with his hamstring troubles. Fantasy recommendation: Finley, if active, has the matchup to be considered a TE2, but he requires a solid late game hedge as his status won’t be known until Sunday evening.
Darrius Heyward-Bey returns to play this week. He’s been fully practicing for two weeks and should not be limited after his Week 3 concussion. He’s not likely to see double digit targets today, but should see a full complement of snaps. Fantasy recommendation: Consider Heyward-Bey a risk-reward WR3 / flex play.
Jerome Simpson will try to play through the disc issue that’s causing weakness in his lower leg. It’s a condition that can be managed with anti-inflammatories, but isn’t likely to cool off enough in one week to allow him to return to full effectiveness. He may struggle with certain parts of the route tree and is a risk to leave the game early again. Fantasy recommendation: Simpson is no more than a risky flex play until he proves himself capable of taking a full workload without any route limitations.
Martellus Bennett says he’ll play today, but his knee injury will limit him. Sideline exams and Bennett’s comments strongly suggest that he’s dealing with a ligament sprain. Expect his snap count and route running effectiveness to limit his upside significantly today. Fantasy recommendation: Keep Bennett on your bench unless you’ve no other options.
Categories: Sunday Expectations