dalvin cook

Fantasy football: Plenty of waiver wire options after an injury-filled Sunday

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Fantasy football: Plenty of waiver wire options after an injury-filled Sunday

This was an awful, awful week for injuries around the NFL.

In fact, in the NBC Sports Philadelphia fantasy football league, my 3-0 team went up against John Boruk's 3-0 team and poor Boruk lost Derek Carr, Julio Jones, Dalvin Cook and Davante Adams in the same week. (That's not how I wanted to win, JB!)

If you had Cook, you're going through the miserable realization now that you lost your most exciting player. He was the NFC version of Kareem Hunt, breaking big play after big play and factoring heavily into the passing game. 

His backup, Latavius Murray, is this week's top waiver-wire pickup, but expectations should be tempered.

RB Latavius Murray (Vikings)
Murray carried the ball seven times after Cook left Sunday's game with a torn ACL. Murray offers none of the total yards or passing-game upside Cook does, but he has proven to be a solid goal-line back.

Last season, Murray had 1,052 yards from scrimmage and 12 touchdowns in 14 games. Solid RB2 numbers. But that was in a much more prolific offense with more weapons and a better offensive line. This is a wholly different situation.

Still, based on volume alone, Murray is the unquestioned top pickup this week. He seems like a safe bet for 15 to 20 touches per game moving forward, but his upside will be similar to LeGarrette Blount's or Mike Gillislee's.

If you're in a league in which you spend free-agent auction bucks on the waiver wire, Murray is worth a sizable sum — I'd say 30 to 35 percent of your season-opening total.

Side note: You're not going to confidently start Jerick McKinnon, ever, so you might as well let him linger in free agency.

RB Eddie Lacy (Seahawks)
Lacy got a bulk of the work for Seattle after standout rookie Chris Carson was carted off with a leg fracture Sunday night.

The thing is, Thomas Rawls and C.J. Prosise were both inactive, so Lacy's workload may not be a sign of things to come. 

This Seattle running situation will be too tough to predict on a weekly basis, so I would not advise breaking the bank for Lacy. 

QB DeShaun Watson (Texans)
Three starting-caliber fantasy QBs are on bye in Week 5: Drew Brees, Matt Ryan and Kirk Cousins. Add Marcus Mariota (hamstring injury) and that's four top QBs who could be off the board next week.

Enter DeShaun Watson, who has in the span of three weeks become the franchise cornerstone for the Texans.

The last two weeks against the Patriots and Titans, Watson went 47 for 67 (70.2 percent) for 584 yards with six TDs and three interceptions, also adding 65 rushing yards and a rushing TD.

Watson looks like a slightly better fantasy version of Tyrod Taylor and is worth picking up in all leagues. He does have a tough Week 5 matchup against the Chiefs, but it's at home and the Chiefs will be on a short week. 

I'd rather start Watson in Week 5 than Taylor, Alex Smith, Matthew Stafford, Jared Goff or Blake Bortles. Maybe over Eli Manning (at Chargers), too.

WR Jaron Brown (Cardinals)
It's always confusing with the Cardinals' receivers because there's John Brown and Jaron Brown, so if you go scanning the waiver wire, make sure you've selected the right J. Brown.

Carson Palmer has targeted Jaron Brown a whopping 29 times the last three weeks and Brown has turned it into 14 catches for 205 yards and a TD. 

This Sunday, he draws the Eagles' average secondary, which was just victimized by Keenan Allen and Tyrell Williams in L.A.

Larry Fitzgerald will always get his in Arizona's offense, but Palmer is utilizing Jaron Brown a lot with the running game nonexistent and John Brown and J.J. Nelson playing at less than 100 percent.

TE Cameron Brate (Buccanneers)
Somehow, Brate is available in 50 percent of Yahoo! leagues despite the thinness of the tight end position. 

Brate on Sunday scored for the second straight week, catching four balls for 80 yards. Over the last two games, he has eight catches for 113 yards and two TDs. 

Rookie tight end O.J. Howard also scored a long TD for the Bucs in Week 4 and that will likely take attention away from Brate. If you need a tight end, Brate is a pretty safe option.

He has a solid matchup Thursday night against the Patriots, who have been horrendous on defense and allowed 300-plus passing yards and multiple TDs to every QB they've faced in 2017.

RB Aaron Jones (Packers)
Packers head coach Mike McCarthy indicated that starting running back Ty Montgomery (ribs) could play in Week 5 with the long layoff. 

Whether or not he plays, I wouldn't advise going hard after Jones. Yes, he scored a touchdown in relief of Montgomery and Jamaal Williams in Week 4, but he's a pretty small back (5-9/208). There's little reason to think he would hold up with a Montgomery-like workload, and this seems more like a situation in which the Packers would add a running back off the street before giving Jones 20-plus touches.

Defenses to stream in Week 5
• The Ravens travel to Oakland to face the Raiders, who are without Carr for 2 to 6 weeks as he recovers from a back injury. That means the Ravens' defense will be facing E.J. Manuel. 

Given the Oakland QB situation, the Michael Crabtree chest injury, Amari Cooper's invisibility and the fact that Marshawn Lynch has rushed 15 times for 30 yards the last two weeks, this is a good bounce-back matchup for the Baltimore D/ST. 

• Would you have been able to find one person on Earth who'd guess the Jets would be ahead of the Patriots in the AFC East standings four weeks in? The Jets' defense really isn't that bad, and this Sunday they get the hapless, turnover-prone Browns.

NFL Notes: Bears to start Trubisky; Raiders' Carr out 2-6 weeks

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NFL Notes: Bears to start Trubisky; Raiders' Carr out 2-6 weeks

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Bears are going to give prized rookie quarterback Mitchell Trubisky a try.

The team says the No. 2 overall draft pick from North Carolina will start against the Minnesota Vikings next Monday night after Mike Glennon struggled in the first four games.

It's hardly a surprise that the Bears (1-3) will go with Trubisky considering how badly Glennon has struggled. He has five interceptions and three lost fumbles. He got picked off twice, lost a fumble on a sack and had another snap ricochet off his knee for a lost fumble in Thursday's 35-14 loss at Green Bay (see full story).

Raiders: QB Carr to miss 2-6 weeks with back injury
ALAMEDA, Calif. -- The Oakland Raiders will be without quarterback Derek Carr for two to six weeks after he injured his back in a 16-10 loss to the Denver Broncos.

Carr left the Raiders' game at Denver late in the third quarter Sunday after being shaken up on a sack.

Carr was hit by defensive end Shelby Harris and was going down when defensive end Adam Gotsis flew in and wrapped a padded arm between his helmet and shoulder pads.

Carr remained on the ground for several moments as team trainers and medical personnel came on to the field to tend to him. He eventually was able to get up and walk off the field on his own power, holding his lower back (see full story).

Bills: Jordan Matthews breaks thumb
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Buffalo Bills starting receiver Jordan Matthews and starting linebacker Ramon Humber are out indefinitely because of broken thumbs for a team already lacking experienced depth.

Coach Sean McDermott says the two will require surgery after both were hurt in a 23-17 win at Atlanta on Sunday.

Buffalo's receiver depth was already thin after Sammy Watkins was traded to the Los Angeles Rams in August, and Anquan Boldin retired two weeks after signing with the team in training camp.

Matthews was acquired in a trade with Philadelphia in August. The fourth-year player leads Bills receivers with 10 catches for 162 yards, and scored his first touchdown of the season Sunday.

Vikings: Rookie RB Cook suffers torn ACL
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Dalvin Cook became the latest integral offensive player lost by the bad-luck-trodden Minnesota Vikings.

The team's fear of a torn ACL in the rookie running back's left knee was realized Monday, sealing the end of a promising rookie season.

Coach Mike Zimmer confirmed the diagnosis, signaling the switch to Latavius Murray as the primary ball carrier. Cook will have reconstructive surgery once the swelling subsides. Some additional cartilage damage was discovered, Zimmer said, but no additional ligaments were injured beyond the ACL.

"He's a great kid," Zimmer said. "I'm extremely impressed with everything he's done to this point. It's obviously a terrible thing for him, and for us, but we'll move forward and go on from there. He's a great worker, and I have no doubt that he'll come back from this" (see full story).

Seahawks: RB Chris Carson has fracture
RENTON, Wash. — Seattle running back Chris Carson suffered a fracture in his lower left leg when he was pinned in a pile in the fourth quarter of the Seahawks' win over the Indianapolis Colts.

Speaking on his weekly radio show on KIRO-AM on Monday, coach Pete Carroll said the fracture was discovered just below Carson's knee.

Carroll said the initial concern was about Carson's ankle and initial examinations didn't show a fracture there but additional tests revealed the extent of the injury. Carroll said Carson will be out for a while.

Carson, a rookie seventh-round pick, had become Seattle's starting running back for the first month of the season.

Left tackle Rees Odhiambo was still in the hospital Monday morning, Carroll said. Odhiambo had breathing problems after the game (see full story).

NFL Notes: Krishawn Hogan trying to go from janitor to living NFL dream

NFL Notes: Krishawn Hogan trying to go from janitor to living NFL dream

TEMPE, Ariz. -- There are no grades for floor mopping or toilet cleaning at the NFL combine.

But Krishawn Hogan has done them both, right there at the Indianapolis Convention Center, which connects with Lucas Oil Stadium, the place draft hopefuls gather each year to try to show they have what it takes to make it on the game's biggest stage.

Hogan was a long way away from that back in 2013, when he failed in a bid to make it at NCAA Division II Walsh University in Ohio. He came home to Indianapolis, his dream of playing football still flickering, and got a job as a janitor at the convention center, working the midnight to 8 a.m. shift.

During the day, he worked at an inflatable indoor playground.

The NFL was a long way away.

So when Hogan walked into the arena this year, the only player from an NAIA school invited to the combine, he couldn't help thinking of those hours pushing brooms.

"It was pretty surreal just walking through the buildings," he said. "I just felt blessed the whole time to be there."

Browns: Top pick Garrett still not practicing
BEREA, Ohio -- Myles Garrett wore a baseball cap at practice Wednesday instead of a helmet.

The No. 1 overall draft pick remains slowed by an injury the Browns insist is not serious but are choosing to keep secret.

Garrett stayed on the side and worked with a trainer while his Cleveland teammates continued their offseason workouts without the rookie defensive end. Browns coach Hue Jackson did not specify Garrett's injury or why he was kept out of practice.

"It's nothing major," Jackson said. "So I think we're right where we need to be."

Jackson said Garrett did practice on Tuesday, when the workout was closed to the media, but it's not known how much he participated.

"I know you guys want to see him in the worst way," Jackson told reporters. "He looked like Myles Garrett. Big, fast, tough. He's everything we think he is."

Last week, Garrett described the injury "as a little nick" and said the Browns were holding him out of practice as a precaution. He also said he expected to be "full tilt" for this week's workouts. The 6-foot-4, 272-pounder was slowed by an ankle injury during part of his junior season at Texas A&M, but Jackson said it's not related to his new ailment (see full story).

Vikings: Cook signs to put team’s entire class under contract
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- The Minnesota Vikings have signed their second-round pick, running back Dalvin Cook, to put their entire rookie class under contract one month after the draft.

Cook's deal was done Wednesday. He was the last of the team's 11 draft picks to sign.

Cook was the 41st overall selection out of Florida State, the third running back off the board. He finished his career with the Seminoles as their all-time leading rusher with 4,464 yards and 46 touchdowns over three seasons.

Cook will compete with Latavius Murray and Jerick McKinnon for carries. Speaking to reporters after practice, a few hours before he signed his contract, Cook said he's had his "rookie moment" in adjusting to the speed of the defense during organized practices with the full team, which began last week.

Texans: Report details Mumphery punishment at MSU
EAST LANSING, Mich. -- Police documents say Houston Texans wide receiver Keith Mumphery was expelled from a Michigan State graduate studies program last year for a sexual misconduct violation.

The Detroit Free Press reported Wednesday that Mumphery was accused of sexually assaulting a student in March 2015. A campus police report says they agreed to meet in her dorm room, but contains conflicting accounts of what happened and whether it was consensual.

Prosecutors opted not to file charges and the woman didn't return contact.

Mumphery has played two seasons with the Texans. The Texans declined comment in a statement to The Associated Press beyond saying team officials are "gathering information." Mumphery's agent, Kennard McGuire, declined comment.

The incident is the third case of alleged sexual misconduct involving several current and former Michigan State players during the past three years. One player has been charged.