Coach Gary Kubiak said ahead of Week 7 that he wanted to get rookie Devontae Booker more snaps and touches. Sticking to that word, Booker actually out-snapped C.J. Anderson 35-29 and out-touched him 18-16 in the Monday night win over the Texans. Both had arguably their best games of the season, carrying the offense on their backs, piling up 194 total yards and two touchdowns.
With the offense running so smoothly in the 27-9 victory over Houston, Kubiak said he expects to continue forward with the backfield timeshare. That’s not to say Anderson’s value takes much of a hit, however. This situation reminds so much of the Falcons’ backfield. Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman simply alternate series for the most part, with neither having a defined “third-down” or “goal-line” role. And it’s worth mentioning that Falcons OC Kyle Shanahan used to be Kubiak’s coordinator in Houston, and both are disciples of Kyle’s father, Mike Shanahan. These are essentially the same offenses. Both Denver (8th) and Atlanta (10th) are top-10 in rushing play percentage through Week 7. Unlike Atlanta with Matt Ryan, the Broncos don’t have a proven quarterback and figure to lean even more on their running backs. There’s plenty to go around here to make both Anderson and Booker every-week RB2 plays. Through seven weeks, Coleman is RB7 and Freeman is RB12. There is no need for Anderson owners to panic. Both can be top-20 fantasy running backs the rest of the way. Meanwhile, Booker is the top waiver add of the week.
In Other News…
Coach Chuck Pagano said Donte Moncrief (shoulder blade) is expected to practice in a limited capacity Wednesday. Moncrief hasn’t played since fracturing his shoulder blade in Week 2 and was slapped with a 4-6 week timetable. This is the six-week mark, so Moncrief should be closing in on a return. If Moncrief indeed does practice Wednesday, it will give him a good shot to return against the Chiefs. The Colts are unlikely to take it slow with him since Phillip Dorsett (foot, hamstring) and Dwayne Allen (ankle) are already hurt. They need Moncrief to help T.Y. Hilton and Jack Doyle.
After spending the first seven games on reserve/PUP, Ladarius Green (ankle) returned to practice Tuesday with the Steelers getting in a light session on their bye week. With Green returning, it opens up a three-week window for the Steelers to activate him. As long as all goes smoothly, Green has a chance to play when Pittsburgh next returns to game action. He could have some TE1 appeal in one of the league’s top offense for the stretch run and into the fantasy playoffs.
Brock Osweiler was unfathomably bad for the final three quarters of Monday night’s loss to the Broncos and has arguably been the league’s worst starting quarterback through seven weeks. Despite all the issues, coach Bill O’Brien said he’s not considering benching his $72 million passer. If Osweiler can’t get right at home against the Lions in Week 8, then these serious problems are going to be magnified even more. The Lions are dead-last in fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks.
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Quarterback & Running Back Slants
The Falcons signed RB Stevan Ridley and promoted RB Terron Ward from the practice squad. It all but assures Tevin Coleman (hamstring) will miss Week 8. … The Texans consider Lamar Miller (shoulder) day to day ahead of a juicy date with the Lions. … Jeremy Langford (ankle) returned to practice Tuesday. This backfield has become a fantasy quagmire that isn’t worth trusting Week 8 against the stout Vikings. … Ben Roethlisberger (knee) hopes to practice next week. … Bleacher Report’s Jason Cole reports Jared Goff is still a “long way from playing.” Coach Jeff Fisher has already committed to Case Keenum for Week 9 out of the bye. … The Bears signed RB David Cobb to their practice squad. … Kevin Hogan is listed atop the quarterback depth chart for the Browns with Cody Kessler recovering from a concussion. We’ll know more later this week. … Chargers RBs coach Ollie Wilson said they could lighten Melvin Gordon’s load a bit. He’s still a locked-in RB1 with massive touchdown upside. … Coach Doug Pederson said he’s not down on Ryan Mathews despite his fumble issues. … CSN Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco reports the 49ers aren’t shopping Torrey Smith.
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Wide Receiver & Tight End Slants
Coach John Harbaugh said he wants Breshad Perriman to “speed the curve up” and begin advancing more quickly as an NFL player. … Free agent Nate Washington worked out for the Bucs. … Allen Hurns (neck, shoulder) practiced in full Tuesday. … Tajae Sharpe (knee) was upgraded to a limited practice Tuesday. … Julius Thomas (ankle) did not practice Tuesday. … The Broncos acquired TE A.J. Derby from the Patriots in exchange for a 2017 fifth-round pick. … Bills promoted WR Ed Eagan from the practice squad. … Jared Cook (ankle) will resume practicing this week. … Eddie Royal (toe) remained out of practice Tuesday.