Sunday AM Notes and Fantasy Recommendations (W9)

It’s a quiet morning for injuries. Calvin Johnson is the only major concern. I’ll have much more on Darren Sproles and Jamaal Charles tomorrow, along with updates on DeMarco Murray, Maurice Jones-Drew, Greg Jennings and others.

Calvin Johnson did not practice this week but, according to Jim Schwartz, still has a chance to play today. However, I think it’s telling that Johnson told reporters last week that the injury had bothered him enough that he could have missed the game if the team had enough bodies to function without him. That suggests that he was close to missing last week’s game despite his probable listing on the injury report. There’s been no information about the nature of Johnson’s injury, but it’s clearly something that Johnson feels would improve with rest. Pro Football Weekly reported yesterday that Johnson may be used only in high leverage situations if active and the matchup against Jacksonville’s questionable secondary and pass rush is very favorable. Those are the only reasons you should consider Johnson in your lineup. Fantasy recommendation: Johnson is an extreme risk-reward WR3 play today.

Dez Bryant hasn’t practiced all week with his hip contusion. We’ve seen a similar injury limit Jeremy Maclin earlier this season and there’s reason for concern since Bryant didn’t participate in the team walkthrough this week. Most indications are that Bryant will be active, but  his snap count may be limited. Like Hakeem Nicks and Kenny Britt in past weeks, those snaps are likely to be high leverage snaps and his target count may not take a huge hit. Fantasy recommendation: Sit Bryant if you’ve another top 20 option to replace him with, otherwise try to roster a hedge player should Bryant look worse than expected during pre-game warmups tonight.

Jordy Nelson reportedly looks healthier this week than last. But that doesn’t mean he’s closer to playing. The Packers now know they’ll be without Greg Jennings for at least 3-4 more weeks. They know that an aggravation of Nelson’s hamstring injury could extend his absence into December. And they know that Nelson will have another two full weeks to recover through their Week 10 bye if he sits today. I think it’s extremely doubtful that he plays after not practicing this week. Even if he’s close enough to full strength to play today, I expect that his snaps will be very limited. Fantasy recommendation: Avoid Nelson even if he’s active today.

Donald Brown had an odd week of practice. He was not listed on the injury report Wednesday, missed the Thursday practice, then fully practiced on Friday. Yesterday, reports surfaced that his knee was again swollen. Consider him on the doubtful side of questionable. I’ll be surprised if he’s active. Fantasy recommendation: The likely rotation with Vick Ballard against Miami already made him a risky RB2 start, he’s now a risky flex play at best.

Ryan Tannehill needed his knee drained twice last week after a hyperextension injury. The team says there are no structural issues in the joint, which would seem to rule out ligament, meniscus and cartilage conditions. Tannehill is expected to start today, but there’s no guarantee he’ll be able to finish the game. The injury is to his plant leg and he may have difficulty driving his throws and may be conscious of the knee when the pocket gets messy. Expect the Dolphins to lean heavily on the running game and possibly use shorter drops and more max protect schemes. Fantasy recommendation: Tannehill is an option as a QB2 in two quarterback leagues only.

Categories: Sunday Expectations

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