It’s Week 6 and we’re nearing mid-season form in most season-long leagues. As the NFL season rolls on and the fantasy football wheel turns, it’s easy for pertinent news to fall by the wayside on a given weekday. This is a time of the year where fantasy football can be a little taxing – even I will admit that – but if anything, now is the time to put our foot on the proverbial accelerator and finalize championship-winning rosters.
Wednesday was actually a fairly heavy news day, so let’s get down to it.
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Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said Marshawn Lynch (hamstring) “should be ready to go” in Week 6 against the Panthers. Carroll continued by saying Lynch should practice in full on both Thursday and Friday and will receive a full workload on Sunday. This is obviously a major step in the right direction for Lynch and his fantasy owners.
Andrew Luck (shoulder) was making “full throws” at practice on Wednesday, but HC Chuck Pagano gave zero indication whether or not Luck is ready to start. Pagano said, “If (Luck) is ready to go, we’ll put him out there.” Traditionally speaking – and Luck’s shoulder injury has been no different – the Colts are very tight-lipped when it comes to injuries. However, Luck making “full throws” is positive but there really isn’t a clear read for his Week 6 status against the Patriots as of yet.
Bills HC Rex Ryan said Tyrod Taylor is dealing with a strained MCL on Wednesday. He sustained the injury on a horse-collar tackle in Week 5 against the Titans. Earlier in the week, the Bills signed veteran Josh Johnson for emergency depth purposes. Ryan did indicate E.J. Manuel will “get the majority of reps” in practice this week, meaning the team probably isn’t counting on Taylor playing against the Bengals. If Taylor is indeed inactive in Week 6, the Bills’ offense should regress significantly with Manuel under center. In turn, the Bengals’ defense and special teams would make for a top-5 play on the week.
Continuing the theme of injured quarterback news… Ben Roethlisberger (MCL, bone bruise) threw passes at Wednesday’s practice. If Big Ben proves to the Steelers’ medical staff he’s healthy enough to play – even at less than 100% - it would be unquestionably huge news for the entire Steelers’ offense. With Martavis Bryant officially added to the 53-man roster, Pittsburgh is just sitting on explosive scoring numbers when Big Ben is deemed healthy enough to return. It’s still early in the week, but make sure to check Thursday and Friday’s practice reports for updates.
In Ravens’ running back news… Justin Forsett (ankle sprain) did not practice on Wednesday while Lorenzo Taliaferro (foot) was moved to injured reserve. We don’t have full details on the extent of either backs’ injuries at the moment. If Forsett can’t go in Week 6, rookie Buck Allen will be the Ravens’ lone healthy running back with Raheem Mostert – who Baltimore just claimed off waivers – as the No. 2 option. HC John Harbaugh was optimistic that Forsett would be available for Week 6 earlier this week and also played down that his injury was not a high ankle sprain.
The Cowboys named Matt Cassel as their starting quarterback when they are out of their bye in Week 7. I am not really sure this matters much for fantasy purposes, but if anything, Cassel might be just a slight upgrade over Brandon Weeden. The ‘Boys are also making a change up front indicating La’El Collins will replace Ronald Leary at LG. Ian Rapoport reported Christine Michael is also expected to get more work.
It’s early in the week, but Odell Beckham (hamstring) did not practice on Wednesday. Keep in mind the Giants play on Monday Night Football so Beckham does get an extra day of rest. He returned to the Giants’ Week 5 game for the game-winning drive and received an MRI on Monday that revealed no significant damage to his ailing hammy. He’s considered “day-to-day” for the time being.
The Colts re-signed 29-year-old Ahmad Bradshaw to a one-year contract on Wednesday. Indianapolis desperately needed some depth at running back. Dan Herron was released before the season, Vick Ballard hasn’t carried the ball in two years and is injured again, and Josh Robinson has only earned 17% of the Colts snaps thus far. Bradshaw likely won’t immediately cut into Gore’s workload, but he will provide solid hands out of the backfield. Keep in mind, Frank Gore only has 13 targets (2.6 per-game) on the year.
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Davante Adams (ankle) was limited in practice on Wednesday. … The Patriots lost LT Nate Solder for the year to a torn bicep. … Lions LB DeAndre Levy (hip surgery) is out indefinitely and could make his way to season-ending injured reserve. … Stevie Johnson (hamstring) missed Chargers practice on Wednesday. … Vernon Davis (knee) is expected to play Sunday. … Steve Smith (back) was limited in practice on Wednesday. … Finally, Jordan Reed (concussion) did not practice on Wednesday and is doubtful to play in Week 6.