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Another week, another Tuesday chock-full of fantasy-relevant tidbits.
Well, not really, actually. Tuesday is the calmest day of the football week, but that doesn’t mean it’s completely void of all news. Let’s get right into the most important notes from around the league.
Toney only played six snaps in Week 6. On those snaps, he amassed three targets for 36 yards. Simply put, it looked like the first-round rookie was on pace for another massive day before an ankle injury forced him out of the game. News broke Tuesday that there is some damage to Toney’s ankle, so the Florida product is highly unlikely to play in Week 7. It’s an unfortunate development for a wideout who has surprised many (including myself) with his play this season, but it opens the door for Sterling Shepard to regain his role as Daniel Jones’ unquestioned slot receiver.
In three full games this year, Shepard has yet to post a single-game target share lower than 24.3%. When healthy, he has been the clear WR1 in New York, and that should continue in Week 7 without Toney. Kenny Golladay and Darius Slayton are also banged up, so there’s a chance it’s just Shepard and nobody else (besides Evan Engram and Devontae Booker) as pass-catching weapons this week. Dante Pettis and Collin Johnson ran alongside Shepard as the team’s starting receivers after Toney was forced out in Week 6, and New York figures to rely on them as well as whatever other bodies they can scrounge together if Golladay and Slayton can’t go against Carolina. Slayton, to be fair, appeared legitimately questionable last week and should have a decent shot at playing this weekend. Regardless, Shepard is approaching must-start status even if everyone is healthy, and he’s absolutely in that realm given how banged-up the Giants’ receiving corps is at the moment.
Thursday Night Injury Bonanza
The Browns and Broncos face off on Thursday – arguably two of the teams least-equipped for a short week considering how many injuries both teams are dealing with right now.
Teddy Bridgewater has a sore foot, but he’s expected to start. That’s good news for Courtland Sutton, Noah Fant, Tim Patrick, and both Denver running backs. It’s a situation worth monitoring just to be safe, but Bridgewater doesn’t seem like he’s in real danger of not playing on Thursday.
Nick Chubb, on the other hand, has already been ruled out. With Kareem Hunt (calf) on IR, that leaves D’Ernest Johnson and Demetric Felton as the two Browns running backs who fantasy managers are debating between. Felton is really a running back in name only, as he has almost exclusively played wide receiver this year. Ian Hartitz (of Pro Football Focus) pointed out that Felton has lined up in the backfield twice and out wide 31 times this season. He may see more backfield snaps with how dire the health situation in Cleveland is, but he’s mostly just a pass-catching threat. He’s not much of an option for fantasy players.
Meanwhile, Johnson is in line for a sizable rushing workload. Cleveland also brought John Kelly up from the practice squad on Tuesday, and he figures to mix in some as well. Johnson should be the primary rusher since he was the one actually on the active roster before all of the injuries.
Baker Mayfield is dealing with an injury to his non-throwing shoulder. He was in severe pain in Week 6 when the injury occurred but quickly returned to the field. Mayfield himself stated that whether he plays is “his call,” which bodes well given his penchant for competitiveness. Still, it’s a long season, and there’s a chance the Browns decide to play it safe with their starting quarterback. Fantasy managers will have to monitor injury reports leading up to Thursday to gauge whether Mayfield is going to give it a go. If he can’t, Case Keenum is a competent backup.
Broncos coach Vic Fangio said on Monday that Jerry Jeudy has a “less than 50% chance” of playing on Thursday. That doesn’t mean it’s out of the question, but it would likely take something incredible for the second-year wideout to suit up on a short week. He should be back for the Broncos’ next game against Washington, at which point he’ll immediately challenge Sutton for WR1 duties if he’s fully healthy.
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Colts Send Parris Campbell to IR
Campbell suffered a potentially season-ending foot injury in Week 6 against the Texans. That opens the door for T.Y. Hilton and Zach Pascal to join Michael Pittman in 3-WR sets, although Hilton is already dealing with another injury after he missed the first five games of the year. Ashton Dulin is next in line if Hilton also can’t go, and he could challenge the veteran for snaps regardless after Indianapolis limited Hilton in his season debut. Regardless, it’s a heartbreaking injury for Campbell who worked himself all the way back after suffering a season-ender in 2020. This remains a run-heavy team with Pittman as the alpha and numerous others (the aforementioned wideouts as well as Jonathan Taylor, Nyheim Hines, Mo Alie-Cox, and Jack Doyle) fighting for Carson Wentz‘s targets behind him.
Other News and Notes
Dawson Knox is not expected to miss much time with a hand injury he suffered on Monday Night Football in Week 6. That’s great news for fantasy managers considering Knox has looked like a true top-12 tight end, graduating from a part-time role last year to a near-every-down player in 2021. You can’t expect him to continue the touchdown efficiency he displayed early this year, but he’ll be a viable option once he’s healthy.
Julio Jones is day-to-day with a hamstring injury. The 32-year-old has looked like the Julio of old when on the field, but availability has been an issue during his brief Titans tenure. He’s a volatile option if healthy on account of the low-volume Tennessee aerial attack and the general danger surrounding soft-tissue injuries.
Ravens OL Ronnie Stanley is done for the year. It’s just another hit to a Ravens team that has somehow thrived despite a plethora of injuries.