Injury Report: Dez Returns But “On a Pitch Count”

I am not a doctor, nor do I play one on television. However, I am willing to give my best guesses as to whether or not certain potential impact players play this week based on their practice reports. This is just my opinion, but here are my takes on injured players heading into week eight:

Anquan Boldin, 49ers, $8,700 – All was going smoothly for Anquan Boldin’s week until he tweaked his hamstring on Thursday morning during a workout. He was immediately downgraded to questionable and his week eight status appeared to be in doubt. Boldin then went on to miss Friday’s workout as well, but assured reporters there is “no doubt” he will play against the Rams. Whether or not he’ll be effective is a different story entirely, as I actually wrote about him as a player to avoid this week prior to the injury. Now, at the very least, he’ll be at less than 100-percent and could very possibly be hampered by the injury, so there’s simply no reason to risk using him with plenty of viable options on the slateUPDATE: Boldin is inactive.

Carlos Hyde, 49ers, $8,400 – After recently being diagnosed with a stress fracture in his foot, Carlos Hyde could be destined for surgery. He has already been ruled out of week eight, therefore he’s obviously not worth consideration. This appears to be a “week-to-week” situation and we shouldn’t expect him back for at least a few weeks. In his absence, Reggie Bush should draw the start and emerges as an interesting weekly option due to the PPR format. Mike Davis should lock down the early-down/short-yardage role, but he ultimately isn’t an option, especially this week against the Rams. The 49ers’ RB situation is a wait-and-see this week, as opposed to a situation where foresight would prove to be profitable. UPDATE: Hyde is inactive.

Davante Adams, Packers, $7,800 – Ty Montgomery is virtually a lock to sit out this week and Davante Adams is listed as probable after missing weeks four through six. The top-two wide receivers (WRs) on Green Bay face difficult tasks this week, squaring off against Chris Harris Jr. and Aqib Talib. While the two top options struggle to get open, Adams will have an opportunity to see more targets than usual. Drops have tormented him early in his career, but ProFootballFocus only has him for one drop so far this season. As long as he can hang on, he should make for a nice value play in tournaments.

Dez Bryant, Cowboys, $15,400 – The long-awaited return of Cowboys’ star receiver Dez Bryant will happen this week, but the Dallas Morning News is reporting he’ll be on a pitch count. “I don’t think it’s realistic to think he’s going to be able to go out there every play after not playing here for six, seven weeks,” said Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones. That makes a lot of sense, especially considering the nature of the injury (a broken foot essentially), which is partially why Bryant is an auto-fade this week. The other factor contributing to why I wouldn’t use Bryant is that Richard Sherman said he would shadow him when on the field. With an awful quarterback (Matt Cassel), coming off injury and one of the best in the game covering him, there’s just no reason to risk it. Give him a week before getting too bullish on him.

Eric Decker, Jets, $10,400 – According to the Jets’ official website, Eric Decker is listed as questionable coming off of back-to-back limited participations in practice on Thursday and Friday. As of yesterday, it was widely believed that Decker’s decision would ultimately come down to a game-time call. However, reports are now surfacing suggesting that Decker will in fact play. The main report is via NJ.com and I honestly do not have a track record for their credibility, so I would remain a bit skeptical. If Decker plays, he will look to get back to his scoring ways as week seven marked the first time this season he did not find the end zone. He still managed to register six receptions (RECs) for 94 yards, so it’s not like he was held quiet. Decker is worthy of consideration anytime he suits up, so stay tuned for the news. I’ll give him an 80 percent chance of playing and 75 percent chance of playing well, assuming he does play.

James Starks, Packers, $9,500 – Here’s an injury worth keeping a close eye on, because recently James Starks had overtaken Eddie Lacy… at least, we think. In week six, Starks turned 10 carries into 112 yards and a touchdown (TD), while Lacy carried four times for three yards. Similarly to Decker, Starks has practiced on a limited basis the past few days, but he looks even more on the questionable side. Coach Mike McCarthy “hopes” Starks will play, but just doesn’t know. Unfortunately, the Packers do not play until 8:30pm EST on Sunday night, meaning there’s just no way you can rely on him in cash. He’s a GPP option only, and when using him you must know he could easily put up a zero. For the most part, I recommend finding a different option and saving the idea of a potential Starks breakout until next week.

John Brown, Cardinals, $11,400 – John Brown is a different case entirely than most of these other players because he completely missed Wednesday and Thursday practices. On Friday, he returned on a limited basis but, according the Cardinals’ website, Brown’s status is “wait and see” at this point. His track record this season seems to suggest he’s listed as questionable constantly and plays through it, but this week is looking a little more gloomy than usual. I’ll give him a 60 percent chance of playing, but you definitely want him in if he goes because Carson Palmer is amidst a monster season.

Josh McCown, Browns, $10,600 – Gary Barnidge no doubt is rooting for his starting QB (Josh McCown) to play in week eight. McCown’s tight end (TE) has registered at least 100 yards or a TD in every game since week two. Multiple reporters have reported McCown will start although he is suffering through both right shoulder (this throwing shoulder) and rib injuries. Either way, he’s matched up against a stout Arizona defense and should be avoided. On the other hand, Barnidge can be safely deployed if McCown suits up.

Vincent Jackson, Buccaneers, $9,600 – There’s not much insight to give here as Vincent Jackson is listed as doubtful. This does affect two things: Jameis Winston will possess one less weapon (although Austin Seferian-Jenkins should return) and Mike Evans without a doubt becomes the number-one option. You never know what’s going to happen in division games, so the Tampa offense, especially passing offense, could turn out to be a sneaky snack in GPPs.

Ricky Sanders

Ricky Sanders

Ricky Sanders is a fantasy sports expert with over 15 years of playing experience. After starting several freelance fantasy sports blogs, Ricky moved up in the fantasy industry when he joined Going9 Baseball. He wrote fantasy baseball content and had a weekly radio spot on the site’s SiriusXM Satellite Radio show. Shortly thereafter, in early 2013, Ricky joined RotoExperts as a three-sport fantasy contributor, eventually becoming one of the site’s lead basketball writers. While writing for RotoExperts, Ricky was introduced to daily fantasy sports and immediately fell in love. With help from some of his mentors, some of the best DFS players in the world, he honed his skills and became the daily fantasy expert he is today. When RotoExperts created a daily-focused website called DailyRoto.com, Ricky was brought on as one of the main contributors. He still makes frequent appearances on the RotoExperts SiriusXM Radio show and on the FNTSY Sports Television Network, talking daily fantasy sports. He also continues to write for a few DFS content sites: RotoCurve and The Fantasy Fix. Ricky is a proud and active member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. He has agreed to be a writer and representative for the FantasyDraft brand and serves as an ambassador to the site. He has no more access to the site than the typical user. Don’t hesitate to contact Ricky with questions on Twitter @RSandersDFS.

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