Andrew Luck, QB, IND - partial shoulder separation may miss another game on a short week (Thursday vs. HOU)
LeSean McCoy, RB, BUF – hamstring injury aggravatated, 3-4 more weeks possible. Backup Karlos Williams suffered a concussion, Anthony Dixon may split carries with newly signed ex-Colts RB Dan Herron if Williams can’t go.
Lance Dunbar, RB, DAL – knee injury, out for season. This solidifies Darren McFadden as the Cowboys’ 3rd down back and means that newcomer Christine Michael will start getting carries, but Joseph Randle looks to remain the lead back at this time.
Marshawn Lynch, RB, SEA – hamstring.. rumors of a grade 1 or 2 tear but nothing has been officially announced. Fred Jackson has a high-ankle sprain and will likely be gone for a few weeks. In the meantime Thomas Rawls will monopolize carries if Lynch can’t get back on the field – Seattle is not carrying any other RBs.
Nate Washington & Cecil Shorts, WR, HOU – Both have been somewhat productive this season so far across from DeAndre Hopkins, though the Houston offense is very inconsistent on a week-to-week basis. We’ll likely see rookie Jaelen Strong take the field at this point but he is only a consideration in deep leagues due to the Texans’ QB woes.
Stevie Johnson, WR, SD – hamstring injury, has had the same thing in the past – may sideline him for a game or more so keep an eye out!
Jordan Reed, TE, WAS – Reed was playing well but it was only a matter of time before an injury caught up with him. Not only did he suffer a concussion in the game against the Eagles, but he also sprained his knee and his ankle. Yikes.
(Listen to the Fantasy Football Podcast: 10/6/15, Week 5 Preview)
Blake Bortles, QB, JAC – After a disappointing week 1 against the Panthers stout defense (putting up 22/40 for 183 yards, 2 TDs and 1 INT), Bortles has thrown 5 TDs with only 1 INT over the last 3 games (21.62, 17.28 and 19.02 points per game, respectively). He’s currently the #10 QB in overall fantasy points and we’re now entering into the bye weeks. Only 18% owned in Yahoo leagues currently, Bortles will likely be snatched off many a waiver wire to be played in weeks 5 and 6 against Tampa Bay and Houston (allowing 15.5 and 18.5 points per game, respectively. Plus, he gets Julius Thomas back shortly. Last year, Bortles finished as the 24th highest scoring QB in standard leagues – can he keep up his current production to stay within the top 15 this year? Will Bortles finally lead Jacksonville to at least 6 wins in a season for the first time since 2010?
Sam Bradford, QB, PHI – Bradford hadn’t played in an NFL regular season game since 2013, but hopes were high this year for a landmark season out of the Eagles and a lot of that comes from the QB. So far this year he is only the 19th highest scoring QB in standard leagues even though some experts had him as high as 7th to start the season. Bradford has been trending down since week 1, having scored 15.44, 9.86 and then 8.52 fantasy points over the first 3 weeks, but his performance in week 4 against the Redskins was a bright spot, registering 270 yards and 3 TDs with no interceptions. Facing a hapless Saints’ passing defense giving up the 2nd most fantasy points to quarterbacks so far in 2015, is this the beginning of a resurgence for the Eagles’ offense and Bradford’s fantasy hopes in general? He is owned in 63% of Yahoo leagues, and so likely not available, but looks to be a great spot start (at the very least) in weeks 5 and 6 against the Saints and the Giants.
Todd Gurley, RB, STL – Gurley didn’t play in an NFL game until week 3 against the Steelers, but he was really only getting his feet wet in that game, mixing in for a few touches only. In Week 4, Gurley broke out in a big way with 19 rushes for 146 yards and 2 catches for 15 yards. He didn’t hit pay dirt, but it’s looking like Gurley could definitely be a workhorse for this offense and a weekly mention among the top RBs. The Cardinals have a fairly stingy rushing defense, so this was a good test for Gurley. As the season progresses, the Rams play quite a few soft rushing defenses including Cleveland, Minnesota, Chicago and Green Bay. Will Gurley continue to run all over them as was foretold by so many after the draft this year? Could he end up being a top 10 RB when the dust clears?
C.J. Anderson, RB, DEN – Anderson has only scored 17.4 points total so far this season, which basically makes him a big, red, neon sign flashing the words, ‘DISAPPOINTMENT’. Some of this can be attributed to the injury issues that Anderson had in the first few weeks, but the fact that the Broncos have looked more and more towards Ronnie Hillman in clutch game situations tells the story. No TDs on the year and no games with more than 50 rushing yards are certainly leading fantasy team managers that have played Anderson each week to frustration. Does C.J. get his groove back? Will Ronnie Hillman take the reins of the Broncos’ rushing offense, or will they just continue with the current RBBC that is shaping up in Denver?
Allen Hurns, WR, JAC – Hurns is currently sitting as the 21st highest WR this year with a total of 41.40 fantasy points in standard leagues. He started off slow (so did Bortles), but has since scored 6.8, 13 and 17.6 fantasy points in his last 3 games, respectively. Against the Colts this past weekend, Hurns had 15 targets and brought down 11 receptions for 116 yards and 1 TD. He goes on to play the Bucs this week who have given up the 10th most fantasy points to WRs. Is there enough room for several receivers on the Jacksonville offense? Maybe. Hurns is trending up but he does have to face the Bills and the Jets in his next two matchups. Regardless, he is an excellent spot start this coming week with 4 teams on bye. He is only 21% owned. *included in week 5 waiver picks
Marvin Jones, WR, CIN – There has been a lot of talk about Jones over the past few years. The Bengals have been clicking on offense this season, but there are a lot of mouths to feed: A.J. Green, Tyler Eifert and Mohamed Sanu are also soaking up targets, not to mention Giovani Bernard. We thought that Marvin Jones was settling in as the WR2 this year, but it looks like Eifert has usurped that role, leaving Jones as a boom or bust play on a weekly basis. His next game is against Seattle, who boasts a top passing defense, so it’s likely that Jones will not be a play in week 5 except in desperation. What do you do with a guy like Marvin Jones? Drop him? Keep him on your bench for a good matchup and roll the dice? His last 4 games have resulted in scores of 1.9, 11.1, 15.4 and 1, respectively.
Gary Barnidge, TE, CLE – Who is this guy? Seriously, I had barely heard the name ‘Barnidge’ until this week 2, when he exploded onto the scene with 6 receptions for 105 yards and 1 TD. His past 4 games have resulted in scores of 3.8, 1.7, 16.5 and 13.5 and he has scored TDs in the last two while averaging 8 targets per game. Will this 30-year-old tight end continue to act as a security blanket for Josh McCown and a redzone threat? Week 5’s matchup has him going against the Ravens who have somehow only allowed 8 receptions for 31 yards to all tight ends that they have played. Would it be crazy to play Barnidge against the Ravens knowing this information? *included in week 5 waiver picks