Another week is in the books, and another disappointing primetime outing for the Bears. I heard a lot of hopeful fans (myself included) talking about the Bears making a huge run to make the playoffs after a 1-5 start; the Chiefs did it last year!!! Well, this is obviously not the case. The Bears were unable to capitalize on a sub-par Aaron Rodgers and a decimated Packer backfield. Hopefully they can get that #1 pick though!
I have decided to significantly shorten the injury segment within my weekly fantasy football blog. I will now only focus on the key player injuries, that have an immediate fantasy impact. We all know how to use the internet: simply go to Google, type in the name of your injury-prone fantasy stud, and read on to determine his playing status. This will save a lot of work on my end and will hopefully free up some time to focus on different fantasy insights.
The Injury Bug (QB, RB, WR, TE)
Ben Roethlisberger – QB Steelers
Big Ben had knee surgery after getting banged up in week 6. He looks to be out for multiple weeks. All the Steelers fantasy players are downgraded in his absence .
LaSean McCoy – RB Bills
McCoy has been held out of practice all week with a hamstring strain. The Bills have not officially ruled him out yet, but he is doubtful to play this week. Mike Gillislee will assume the primary role in the backfield until Shady is back.
Doug Martin – RB Buccaneers
Martin had a set back in his recovery from a hamstring injury. He is out this week and could miss multiple games. Look for the human bowling ball, Jacquizz Roders, to take over the reigns while Martin is on the sideline.
Carlos Hyde – RB 49ers
Hyde has been ruled out with a shoulder injury. Shaun Draughn will assume the role in his absence and is a solid add for teams having RB troubles.
Eddie Lacy – RB Packers
Fat Eddie has been placed on the IR after hurting his ankle. With backup RB, James Starks, hurt as well the Packers are indeed in some trouble. They recently added Knile Davis, but he didn’t really play at all on Thursday night against the Bears. WR, Ty Montgomery had the most touches last night and is a must add in all formats.
Latavius Murray – RB Oakland Raiders
Murray looks to return this week, as he has finally recovered from turf toe. He may be the lead back, but is a risky play in an Oakland backfield that has been spreading around touches all year.
Dez Bryant – Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys are off this week, but Dez is probably going to end up starting in week 8. Fantasy owners can expect a redemption performance in what has been a disappointing season so far.
Jordan Reed – TE Redskins
Jordan Reed has been ruled out for week 7 with lingering concussion issues. He missed last week as well and his playing status is certainly up in the year. Scour your waiver wire for other TE options.
Hanks’s Hot Starts
These are QBs that aren’t owned in too many leagues with solid match ups. They are listed in order of preference.
Andy Dalton’s Bengals vs. the Cleveland Brownies
315 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT
Marcus Mariota’s Titans at home against the Colts
2 TDs, 280 yards, 65 rushing yards, 1 rushing TD
Kirk Cousins’ Redskins in Detroit against the Lions
3 TDs, 330 yards, 1 int
Joe Flacco’s Ravens vs. the New York Jets
2 TDs, 340 yards, 1 int
Blake Bortles’ Jaguars vs. the Oakland Raiders
3 TDs, 290 yards, 1 int
Tyrod Taylor’s Bills in Miami against the Dolphins
3 TDs, 240 yards, 40 rushing yards, 1 rushing TD
Alex Smith’s Chiefs at home vs. the New Orleans Saints
2 TDs, 300 yards
Colin Kaepernick and the 49ers vs. the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2 TDs, 260 yards, 1 int, 50 rushing yards, 1 TD
Defenses Primed for Success
These defenses are playing sub-par to downright bad offenses. Look to stream these defenses if you don’t have a consistent one on your roster.
Buffalo Bills vs. the Miami Dolphins
The Dolphins have turned the ball over a lot this year. Look for the feisty Bills defense to wreak havoc on Sunday.
Cincinnati Bengals vs. the Cleveland Browns
The Browns offensive woes have been on full display all season. The Bengals held the Pats in check last week and are a solid streaming start this week.
Backfields to Stay Away from
These teams have been using multiple backs in a committee type system. The running backs on these teams are risky starts at best. I’m not saying you shouldn’t start these guys, but just don’t expect much from any single player as the touches will be divided.
Even with Latavius Murray returning this backfield is still not a good fantasy situation. The carries have been split up among 2-3 backs the entire year.
Theo Riddick is questionable to play this week. He is a solid flex play if he gets the nod, but don’t expect much out of anyone else.
I’m not sure why, but Jordan Howard’s role has decreased significantly over the past two weeks. Kadeem Carey got about the same amount of touches last night and has played in passing downs. Neither are viable fantasy starts next weekend.
New York Giants
The Giants run game has been downright awful this year. I’m not even sure who they’re throwing out there this week, but I would stay away.
After a solid start to the season, Isaiah Crowell has been getting worse and worse. With Duke Johnson getting a bigger role, neither of these guys can be trusted to put up big numbers.
New York Jets
Similarly to the Browns, the Jets have not succeeded in the run game since the first two games of the season. Neither Matt Forte or pass catching back, Bilal Powell, are good fantasy starts this week.
While many had thought Jerick McKinnon could be a fantasy stud after AP’s departure, he has underwhelmed in the spotlight. Matt Asiata is the one scoring touchdowns, but neither are reliable starts.
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