Antonio Brown, LeSean McCoy, Greg Jennings, Danny Amendola and Percy Harvin have already been ruled out or are very unlikely to play. Should Brown, Amendola or Jennings play, I’d consider each marginal WR3 plays at best. I’ll have much more on McCoy and Jennings, Ben Roethlisberger and many other ongoing injury issues in tomorrow’s debriefing.
I thought Julio Jones was clearly limited during last week’s game and was concerned that he worsened his syndesmotic sprain on a tackle in the third quarter last week. So, I’m pleasantly surprised that he has been able to practice, though limited, this week. But I’m still not convinced he’s a lock to be effective today. Though the injury may be mild enough that Jones can again convince the training and medical staff to allow him to play, expect them to watch him very closely and potentially limit his snaps as they did early last week. If Jones is active, I expect we’ll see the Falcons use him as they did last week – primarily in critical third down and red zone situations and when they’d like to take a shot deep, with Jones running routes that keep him moving in a vertical direction and don’t require him to change directions quickly. Fantasy recommendation: Jones is a little safer this week than last, and the matchup against a soft Tampa Bay passing defense is helpful. Consider him a boom-bust WR2 this week, with a similar floor to his Week 11 performance.
Darren Sproles is back for the Saints, after missing four weeks with a broken hand. It’s very reassuring that Sproles was able to practice fully all week. There should be no issues with swelling or mobility in whatever splint he’s wearing – barring an unlucky re-injury during the game. Temper your expectations, though, as great coverage linebackers and a defense that limits extended drives make the Niners a relatively tough matchup for receiving backs. Fantasy recommendation: Drop Sproles down a tier from his usual expectation. He’s a RB2 in PPR leagues, flex option in non-PPR leagues.
Beanie Wells returns to the Arizona backfield today. He has had nine weeks to recover from his turf toe injury and the extended rest will also hopefully have furthered his slow recovery from a January surgery for his chronic knee issues. He’ll still have to overcome his team’s offensive line issues as he gets back into gameday shape, however, and is not a lock for more than 12-15 touches today. Fantasy recommendation: Wells is a flex RB today, but the matchup is strong enough to risk using Wells as a RB2 today if you’re desperate.
Categories: Sunday Expectations
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