Most Wednesdays feature a lot of small news with a couple of notable names missing practice here-and-there. This week was a bit different as major news seemed to be breaking every few hours, impacting numerous different Week 10 games.
Kicking off Week 10 is a matchup between the Steelers and Panthers on Thursday night. This is a projected shootout with the total opening at 50 and getting bet all the way up to 52. The Steelers are currently 3.5-point favorites at most Sportsbooks, but the line continues to move towards Carolina and it will likely end up at three prior to game time. For a look at every fantasy relevant player and a more in-depth breakdown check out Evan Silva’s matchup column.
Dez Signs with Saints
After refusing to sign with inferior teams for good sums of money, Dez finally decided to sign with the Saints. His role and usage are yet to be seen, but there are still plenty of viable ways the Saints can utilize him effectively. The Saints already have their locked-in No. 1 WR with Michael Thomas, and an explosive No. 2 in Tre'Quan Smith, so he would most likely be lined up against inferior No. 3 or slot corners. Even if he’s “washed” relative to his former athleticism, he can still take advantage of playing in the Saints high-scoring and highly-efficient offense. Per NFL.Com’s Next Gen Stats, Drew Brees has the highest completion percentage above expectation this season, putting Bryant in a really intriguing spot. I fully expect him to become a regular fixture in the red zone and play a sizeable role otherwise. If HC Sean Payton is creative enough with scheming, there is loads of potential for Bryant to turn in some big games. He’s certainly worth snagging off waivers but shouldn’t be started in fantasy for at least a week or until we know what his role will be.
Editor's Note: If you love Fantasy Football you have to be playing on DRAFT. It's daily fantasy football snake drafts instead of salary caps. All the fun of season long drafts but with no management and they last for just one week. They take minutes to complete and there's even auction drafts! No more setting lineups or constantly worrying about pros, just draft and win! Right now DRAFT is giving Rotoworld readers an exclusive FREE entry into a real money draft when you make your first deposit! Here's the link
Darnold Out for Week 10 vs Bills
A game that was already projected to be miserable somehow got even worse. Sam Darnold is reportedly struggling with a “significant” foot sprain, an injury that will sideline him through the Jets Week 11 bye. With Darnold out, the Jets will turn to veteran Josh McCown at quarterback. A career journeyman, McCown’s last full season (67 percent completion rate, 18/9 TD/INT ratio) is actually better than how Darnold (55 percent completion rate, 11/14 TD/INT ratio) has been this season. Interestingly enough, Sportsbooks didn’t adjust the spread more than a field goal. Prior to the Darnold news, the Jets were lingering as eight-point favorites, and since then have dropped to either 6.5 or seven depending on the book. Usually, the difference between a starter and backup is at least a touchdown according to sportsbooks, but this uninspiring shift is an indictment not only on the difference between Darnold and McCown but also the Bills. With Josh Allen still limited in practice and Derek Anderson in concussion protocol, the Bills may once again have to trot out one of the worst quarterbacks in recent memory, Nathan Peterman. One fantasy twist on the Jets quarterback situation could be a re-emergence of WR Robby Anderson. He and McCown showed excellent chemistry at times last season with Anderson posting three 100-yard outings. He’s an intriguing high-upside dart throw in DFS this week.
Bell to sit out all of 2018?
This saga just doesn’t ever seem to end. I normally side with the players in these types of arguments as they are risking their body and health every game. Without a long-term contract with guaranteed money, they are one injury away from exponentially lowering their future worth. Bell’s case is a bit different though. He was offered a decent contract but declined, thinking the Steelers would come begging and offer him more despite the plethora of serviceable running backs available. DeAngelo Williams should have been a massive warning sign as he was literally a 1-to-1 replacement on Bell’s value in past seasons. This year ended up being no different. Bell’s plan completely backfired as James Conner effectively replaced all of his production and more. Conner single-handedly proved that there is no reason for the Steelers to keep Bell. So Bell has made no money this year, is a year older, has no leverage on the situation and still doesn’t have a long-term deal. The only potential positive here is that he didn’t rack up 300+ touches this season. The Athletic's Mark Kaboly now reports there's a "real possibility" Le'Veon Bell won’t report by the franchise tag deadline. Bell has already gone this far so it wouldn’t surprise me to go the whole way. By not reporting before next week he is forfeiting $6.84 Million.
Cowboys LB Sean Lee (hamstring) is expected to miss 4-6 weeks. The Cowboys Defense has had significant splits with Lee on and off the field dating back to last season. He’s a huge loss for a defense that was just starting to play well. … Falcons signed DE Bruce Irvin to a one-year, $1.5 million contract. Irvin turned down offers from the Patriots and Steelers despite both teams offering him more money. He’ll help upgrade the Falcons poor pass-rush. … Sammy Watkins is considered day to day with a foot injury. The injury isn’t supposed to be a long-term issue but could force him to miss a couple of weeks. His practice participation will be something to monitor going forward. … Leonard Fournette (hamstring) returned to practice Wednesday. Coming off a Week 9 bye Fournette has been participating in individual drills and is set to return this week. His workload will be in question but he should exceed 10 touches, sharing early-down work with recent-acquisition Carlos Hyde. … Eagles coach Doug Pederson expects Darren Sproles (hamstring) to return this week. Sproles will ease back into a passing role in a three-way committee with Wendell Smallwood and Corey Clement. He should be added in PPR formats. … Browns placed WLB Christian Kirksey (hamstring) and CB E.J. Gaines (concussion) on injured reserve. Kirksey played 70 percent of the snaps for Cleveland and was a key member of their secondary. …. Eagles RT Lane Johnson (knee) is expected to play in Week 10 against the Cowboys. This is good news for the Eagles as Carson Wentz has had significant on/off splits with Lane Johnson. … Josh Allen (elbow) was limited at Wednesday's practice. Allen is really close to returning but hasn’t been able to practice fully, a sign he isn’t truly healthy. His return would be significant for the Bills who have been abysmal in his absence. … Coach Adam Gase said the Dolphins are targeting Week 12 for Ryan Tannehill's (shoulder) return. Tannehill has already been ruled out for Week 10, meaning Brock Osweiler will draw another start. Tannehill just started throwing again but there doesn’t seem to be much progress. A Week 12 return seems slightly optimistic at this point. … Chris Carson (thigh, hip) didn’t practice on Wednesday. He was injured in last week’s game and isn’t expected to have a busy week of practice. He will be a game-time decision in Week 10. … Vikings claimed RB Ameer Abdullah off waivers from the Lions. Roc Thomas was let go to make room for Abdullah. The former preseason-highlight star will likely be the Vikings’ third-string running back behind Dalvin Cook and Latavius Murray. … Mike Evans (knee) didn't practice on Wednesday. Evans is just taking a day off like he did last Wednesday. Nothing to see here. … Browns claimed CB Phillip Gaines off waivers from the Bills. It’s almost never a good thing when a player is cut from the Bills and Gaines is no exception. … Allen Robinson (groin) is practicing in full for Week 10. This is big news as Robinson has missed the last two games. He wasn’t targeted much prior to his injury and will be a WR3 entering this week’s matchup against Detroit. … Kerryon Johnson (ankle) was limited at Wednesday's practice. This is a new injury but isn’t anything to worry about yet. He will continue to split work with pass-catching specialist Theo Riddick and goal-line vulture LeGarrette Blount. … Rob Gronkowski (ankle, back) was limited in Wednesday's practice. Gronk has missed two of his last three games and may not return in this one. His status is something to watch this week. … Josh Gordon (hamstring) has been removed from the Patriots' injury report. This is Gordon’s first time fully off the practice report as a Patriot. He is an intriguing play against the Titans burnable secondary. … Khalil Mack (ankle) is practicing in full for Week 10 against the Lions. He has missed the past two games with a sprained right ankle. He didn’t look like the same player when pushing through it the weeks prior and needed some time off. He could be in for a big game against a susceptible Lions offensive line. … Texans waived RB Tyler Ervin. He never truly was able to solidify himself into the pass-catching role many had hoped. He may resurface somewhere as a return specialist. … Marlon Mack (foot) was limited at Wednesday's practice. This isn’t great news as the Colts are coming off a bye and Mack was expected to be fully healthy. … Matt Bryant (hamstring) remained sidelined at Wednesday's practice. Bryant wasn’t able to play last week and doesn’t look good to go for this one either. Giorgio Tavecchio will fill in in his absence.