Week 4 NFL News You Can Use

This week there are tons of relevant injury concerns for us fake football players. Much of it might not be cleared up until 90 minutes before that player’s game time, but I’ll do my best to sort it out for us.

 

Terrelle Pryor was allowed to practice, but still needs to pass one last concussion test before he will be cleared to play. As a west coaster, he doesn’t play until the late game, so we may not know until then if he’ll start. Of course Jay Glazer or Adam Schefter could get the scoop earlier and all systems look pretty good for take off, so keep your eyes and ears open.  The reason this is important is Pryor has a great matchup with Washington at home. If he does play he makes for a great bye week replacement or FanDuel start.

 

I’ve heard many conflicting reports as to the decision to play Ray Rice or not, but he said himself it will be a game time decision. Thankfully the game is early and we’ll know before we have to set lineups. My hunch is he won’t go because he doesn’t seem to be 100% and the Bills aren’t the toughest opponent in the league. If that turns out to be the case, Bernard Pierce will make for a must start against the Bills poor run defense.

 

Rob Gronkowski and Danny Amendola did NOT make the trip to Atlanta, so that makes things a lot easier. Julian Edelman, Kenbrell Thompkins, Aaron Dobson and Brandon Bolden all should continue to get playing time.

 

Reggie Bush practiced in full two days in a row and should be good to go. This leaves Joique Bell as a shaky play. If Bush does play all the game and doesn’t get hurt, Bell will only see about 10 touches.

 

Mike Glennon is the new Tampa Bay quarterback, but has only had one limited practice with Mike Williams and Vincent Jackson due to hamstring and rib injuries, but they are both going to play. I don’t put anything by a rookie quarterback who a defense hasn’t seen play, so I’m not going to say sit these two, but lower expectations a bit.

 

C.J. Spiller practiced in full and is a full go after leaving last week’s game with a quad injury. He gets a tough matchup with the Ravens, but you know what he can do if he gets space. He is a high risk/reward play, but unless you have a stud to replace him with I’m still starting him.

 

Don’t worry too much about Larry Fitzgerald. He is a full go and didn’t miss any practice this week. He will see some Darrelle Revis, but Bruce Arians is moving him around so much that he will avoid him often. I do worry about he Cardinals’ offensive line being able to protect Carson Palmer, but Fitzgerald will still get his looks.

 

Le’Veon Bell is slated to play in London and was a full participant in practice this week. He’s still a rookie coming off an injury and has never played in a NFL game, so take a wait and see attitude with him.

 

The Minnesota Vikings secondary is hurting with Chris Cook out of this one and they’ve already been playing poorly with little pass rush to help them out. Ben Roethlisberger without a pass rush can be pretty deadly.

 

Trent Richardson will get to horde carries against a weak Jaguars’ run defense because Ahmad Bradshaw is out this week with a neck injury. We’ll get to see how he looks with his new team with a week running with the first team in practice, but based on the matchup and likely amount of carries, there no reason not to see him as a great play.

 

The Seahawks offensive line is hurting going into Houston, which is not the place to be missing offensive lineman. Both Max Unger and Breno Giacomini are doubtful for this one and facing Anthony Smith and J.J. Watt is no easy task at full strength. I’m downgrading Marshawn Lynch and the whole Seahawks’ offense a little bit.

 

The Bengals defense is one of the best in the league, but they will be three players down in their secondary due to hamstring injuries, with the most notable loss being Leon Hall.  The Browns are second in the league in pass attempts and that was with two weeks of Richardson in the fold. Don’t be afraid to play Josh Gordon and Jordan Cameron.

 

Ryan Broyles will get all of Nate Burleson’s snaps and targets now that Burleson is out and Broyles  a better run after the catch ability than Old Man Burleson. I’m thinking maybe Broyles planted that pizza.  The Bears pass defense is on the wrong side of the statistical divide and Peanut Tillman is battling injuries. I’d feel good starting Broyles if needed.

 

Chris Ivory is out once again with a hamstring injury, which gives Bilal Powell all the carries he can handle. He did well last week against a poor Bills defense and the Titans run defense isn’t anything to write home about.

 

Miles Austin is also out with a hamstring injury this week. I’m thinking he needs to get a hamstring replacement surgery. Come on Garrett! This leaves Dez Bryant and Jason Witten as the main targets. Terrance Williams should be the replacement starter, but Dwayne Harris and Cole Beasley will get mixed in as well.

 

Roddy White continues to miss practice and be limited, so if you can take a wait and see approach on him I’d probably do that. I do have a feeling he has his best game of the season, but that’s just based on how his snaps have increased each week.

 

Lance Moore and Mark Ingram look unlikely to play on Monday night. We won’t know for sure until later, but it’s looking like Pierre Thomas and Kenny Stills should sea bump in snaps.

 

My FanDuel Guys

 

I will find it difficult to not have Bilal Powell ($4,700) in my lineups at his low price in FanDuel. I’m guessing that will be the route many others take as well, so I could see fading him. He’s not a special talent, but his price and workload and matchup are good.

 

I’ve done my best this season to play quarterbacks other than Peyton Manning ($9,900) and it has cost me. Sometimes you do have to spend those extra bucks for players that are on Manning’s level, especially in matchups at home against the Eagles.

 

I’m feeling pretty good about the Steelers passing game in Minnesota with Chris Cook out. I could easily see Antonio Brown ($6,500) having another big game and Heath Miller ($5,800) getting back into touchdown town now that he’s cleared to play a full complement of snaps.

 

As I wrote above, the Bengals secondary is slim pickens and Josh Gordon ($6,500) and Jordan Cameron ($7,200) are really the whole Browns offense.  They’ll be on some of my teams.

 

I have a sneaky suspicion that Kenny Stills ($4,800) will get back into the target department with Lance Moore likely out, but I feel better about Ryan Broyles ($5,000) for my cheap wide receiver play.

 

Terrelle Pryor’s ($6,300) status makes him tough to play at this point, but I do think he goes and that we’ll know in time to set our lineups. His matchup is too good at home not to jump on. For me it’s between him and Peyton this week.

 

Jason Witten ($6,5000) and Dez Bryant ($8,600) without Miles Austin should see a bump in targets against a team that was shredded by Jake Locker and company. I will find a way to get them on some of my teams.

 

Alfred Morris ($8,3000) has been playing very well this season, but his team keeps getting behind, which is not where he excels. This week in Oakland I think they will make a strong effort to get him going.

 

I’m a big Trent Richardson ($8,000) fan so I’m very much looking forward to his game against the Jaguars. I can’t say he’s going to go off with 100% confidence, but this is the perfect matchup for him. The Jaguars aren’t going to get a big lead and put the Colts in pass first mode and they have given up 120 yards rushing a game to running backs.  If he is bottled up I will be shocked and will have to reevaluate all of my life choices up to this point (as usual).

 

Good luck this week!

Chet Gresham

Chet has written for the N.Y. Times: Fifth Down Blog, Rotoworld, and Razzball. He is extremely/obsessively active on Twitter @Chet_G and owns and operates TheFakeFootball.com.

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