Just hours before the start of Week 7 (for most teams, anyways) I know many people have questions running through their heads. Who should I start? Who should I sit? Let’s take a look at how some of the recent news changes things:
Jimmy Graham, New Orleans Saints, Tight End
According to Adam Schefter (via Twitter): “Saints also downgraded TE Jimmy Graham from questionable to out. Graham did not accompany the team on its flight to Tampa this afternoon.”
Graham had initially been listed as questionable with an ankle injury. Graham has 25 receptions for 252 yards and three TDs over five games this season. He hasn’t scored in his past two games, however, and has 16 yards or fewer in two of his previous three games.
Graham has been targeted 42 times this season, but don’t look for one person to get them all. Marques Colston should remain the top option, with Lance Moore and Devery Henderson still holding potential as WR3 against a Tampa Bay defense allowing 312.2 passing yards per game. The biggest benefactor, however, could be Darren Sproles, who has failed to live up to the numbers he posted a year ago. As a RB2 in PPR formats, he’s worth the gamble.
Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys, Wide Receiver
Adam Schefter (via Twitter) is also reporting that:
“Barring a setback in pregame warmups, the Cowboys expect WR Dez Bryant to start Sunday against the Panthers, via @Edwerderespn.”
It’s good news for fantasy owners, given his questionable tag and having not practiced. Monitor the news, but with a 1 p.m. E.T. game start, fantasy owners should know in plenty of time. At this point in time, plan on using him in all formats.
Trent Richardson, Cleveland Browns, Running Back
He’s listed as questionable with a rib injury, but there appears to be little to be concerned about here.
According to Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon-Journal (click here for the article):
When asked whether pain will be the biggest hurdle for Richardson, Shurmur said, ‘I think when he gets in there and gets rolling, a lot of things that tend to hurt until the adrenaline flows kind of go away. He’s cleared to play and my assumption is that he’ll be there Sunday.’
Obviously, Richardson is a must-play in all formats.
Jonathan Dwyer, Pittsburgh Steelers, Running Back
Isaac Redman and Rashard Mendenhall are both out, leaving Dwyer as almost the last man standing. Dwyer has struggled when given chances this season, however, with 70 yards on 24 carries (2.9 yards/carry). He does take on a Bengals defense that has been susceptible to the run (116.8 rushing yards/game and eight TDs), but that’s hardly enough to trust him.
The Steelers could easily go with a passing-centric attack instead of carrying the football. That becomes even more possible when you consider that the Bengals have allowed the eighth most passing plays of at least 20 yards (22). Look for Ben Roethlisberger, Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown to try to exploit that. Dwyer should be considered a gamble as a flex play, at best.
Ahmad Bradshaw, New York Giants, Running Back
He’s listed as questionable with a foot injury, but even if he plays, it is hard to expect him to carry the same load he has the previous two weeks (57 carries for 316 yards and two TDs). Couple Andre Brown’s expected return from a concussion, David Wilson apparently earning the trust of the coaching staff and taking on a Redskins defense that has been burnt by the pass (328.3 yards, 15 TDs), and it all comes together for a lesser role. Bradshaw has potential as a RB2, but he’s better suited as a flex play if he’s even going to take the field. With a 1 p.m. E.T. start time, monitor the news just in case something changes this morning.
Josh Gordon, Cleveland Browns, Wide Receiver
Listed as probable with a knee injury, Gordon should be playing and likely starting across from Greg Little. He’s a big play receiver, with five receptions for 181 yards and three TD over the past two weeks. The Colts have allowed 10 passing TDs this season but only 15 plays of at least 20 yards (tied for 25th in the league). Is there potential? Of course, but there also is a ton of risk involved. Even as the top receiver on his team, Gordon is a high-risk WR3 play, at best. Consider your other options before committing to him.
Pierre Garcon, Washington Redskins, Wide Receiver
He’s “doubtful," though we all know he’s not playing at this point. Leonard Hankerson should start, though he’s combined for three receptions for 26 yards over the past two weeks and hasn’t scored since Week 2. There’s too much risk involved in starting him, even against a Giants’ secondary that has had problems at times. As it is, if you are a Garcon owner, you already should’ve found an alternative.
Make sure to check out all of our Week 7 rankings: