The Loop Fantasy Football Update Week 8: Last-minute moves – St. Paul Pioneer Press

  • October 30, 2022

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UPDATE: 8:49 a.m. Sunday
As the Broncos and Jaguars flail away across the pond, the morning’s biggest surprise is that Seattle wide receiver D.K. Metcalf, who was thought to have a serious knee injury last week, is now actually expected to play against the New York Giants.
While that’s generally positive news, we’d be quite a bit hesitant to start Metcalf today as he is very likely to be on a pitch count. This news, though, does bode well for his partner in crime, Tyler Lockett, who will now face less attention from Big Blue.
Two notes that affect The Loop’s own team: Dallas RB Tony Pollard will start today with Ezekiel Elliott injured, and Detroit WR Amon-Ra St Brown has been cleared two weeks after getting banged up against the Vikings. Both will be in our starting lineup.
We’ll be back later with the early-game inactives.
 UPDATE: 8:44 p.m. Saturday 
The big news Saturday night is out of Nashville, where the Titans’ Ryan Tannehill has been ruled out of Sunday’s game.
That’s not too significant for fantasy footballers. What is, though, is that rookie quarterback Malik Willis will be making his first career start. And he could be something, eventually.
Only a few roster notes to mention tonight. Ruled out of Week 8 play are Houston wide receiver Nico Collins, Cleveland tight end David Njoku and Pittsburgh kicker Chris Boswell.
We’ll be back in the morning, if for no other reason than to laugh at the Russell Wilson Show in London.
UPDATE: 12:23 a.m. Saturday 
The big news at week’s end is out of Cincinnati, where one of the NFL’s top receivers is going to spend some time on the sideline.
The Bengals’ Ja’Marr Chase has a hip fracture. There was talk he could be placed on injured reserve, but now the Bengals have hopes he could be ready to play after their Week 10 bye. Might be some wishful thinking there.
Those who were wishing that Dallas would finally turn its running game over to Tony Pollard got the news they were waiting for. Zeke Elliott is considered doubtful this week, so Pollard will finally show what he can do as a No. 1 back. The Loop cannot wait.
A number of notables have already been ruled out for this week. They include San Fran wideout Deebo Samuel, Packers WR Allen Lazard, Rams RB Cam Akers, Carolina RB Chuba Hubbard and two Saints receivers, Michael Thomas and Jarvis Landry.
Detroit RB D’Andre Swift is now good to return this week, and Denver QB Russell Wilson will give it a go in London.
     ORIGINAL POST: 9:23 a.m. Wednesday 
We thought we hit a home run with our preseason pick of New York Jets running back Breece Hall to be the top fantasy running back this season.
Well, we did … until the former Iowa State Cyclone blew out his knee last Sunday in Denver. That ended his season after 681 total yards and five touchdowns.
That play dealt a severe blow to the Jets’ renaissance, though they have moved quickly to Plan B. They traded for Jacksonville’s James Robinson, who will now work in a timeshare with Michael Carter, at least when the former Jaguar is fully healthy (he’s nursing a knee injury).
So the battle for fantasy rookie of the year has started anew, with the focus on these five freshmen:
Kenneth Walker III (Seahawks RB): The former Sparty star from East Lansing had his big coming out last week with 168 yards and two touchdowns in his second start after Rashard Penny’s season-ending injury. He’s averaging nearly seven yards a carry over the past three weeks and easily could finish in the league’s top 10 in rushing.
Dameon Pierce (Texans RB): The ex-Florida Gator has been the busiest rookie, averaging just under 100 total yards and scoring three touchdowns. He has averaged 24 touches over the past four games with Houston, which is not as bereft on offense as you might think.
Chris Olave (Saints WR): Thanks in part to injuries to Michael Thomas and Jarvis Landry, this former Buckeye is clearly the top rookie pass catcher for now. He just had his third game with at least 13 targets. For the season, he has two TDs and an average of about 80 yards per game.
George Pickens (Steelers WR): This Georgia product made another highlight-reel catch for a TD last week in Miami. He has been averaging about seven targets per week recently, and that will only go up, especially if the Steelers follow through on efforts to trade Chase Claypool.
Drake London (Falcons WR): Our No. 2 rookie pick before the season has been awfully quiet since getting two TDs in the first three weeks. The Atlanta passing game has almost been non-existent. But at least this USC Trojan is doing better than teammate Kyle Pitts.
First, a fossil quarterback alert: Keep both Bucs’ Tom Brady and Packers’ Aaron Rodgers on the bench, especially the latter going up to Buffalo. … We have a hunch that Arizona QB Kyler Murray will regress again vs. the Vikings. … Seattle WR Tyler Lockett will have a harder time posting numbers without D.K. Metcalf on the other side of the field. … Cooper Kupp is the only Ram you can feel comfortable starting against San Francisco … But that’s more than the zero number of Bears you should count on against Dallas. … And be wary of relying on any New York Jets against what should be a bounce-back week for the New England defense.
Jacksonville has been a constant disappointment, at least until QB Trevor Lawrence and RB Travis Etienne come up against Denver. … Baltimore RB Gus Edwards will have another good week against Tampa Bay. … Tennessee’s Derrick Henry may have his best week of the year against Houston. … Green Bay will need a big game from RB Aaron Jones to stay close to the Bills … Las Vegas’ Josh Jacobs will continue his impersonation of a No. 1 RB against the Saints … Carolina’s good matchup against the Atlanta defense will boost RB D’onta Foreman and WR D.J. Moore. And Philly receivers Devonta Smith and A.J. Brown will have fun against the Steelers’ secondary.
Seattle got good news in that WR D.K. Metcalf is not done for the season, but Marquise Goodwin will have a big role again this week. … Tennessee QB Ryan Tannehill could be on the sideline watching Malik Willis get his first NFL start. … Los Angeles WR Mike Williams injured his knee, but the Chargers are on bye anyway. … The long list of players listed as questionable includes three running backs (Detroit’s D’Andre Swift, Arizona’s James Conner and Carolina’s Chuba Hubbard), a slew of receivers (Detroit’s Amon-Ra St Brown, Green Bay’s Allen Lazard, Tampa Bay’s Mike Evans and Russell Gage and San Fran’s Deebo Samuel) and three top tight ends (Baltimore’s Mark Andrews, Vegas’ Darren Waller and Dallas’ Dalton Schultz).
The tight end position is still a mostly barren wasteland, but you can also put some faith in a TE working for Tom Brady. So Tampa Bay rookie Cade Otton could be an interesting bye week pickup. With Bucs starter Cameron Brate out with a sprained neck, Otton caught four passes for 64 yards in last week’s debacle in Pittsburgh. He has averaged five targets per game over the past three weeks. Hardly Gronkowski-type numbers, but you can do a lot worse.
Ravens at Buccaneers (+1½):
Pick: Buccaneers by 3
We’ll be updating our column, based on the latest injuries and innuendo, right up until Sunday’s kickoff. Go to TwinCities.com/theloop.
You can hear Kevin Cusick on Wednesdays on Bob Sansevere’s “BS Show” podcast on iTunes. You can follow Kevin on Twitter — @theloopnow. He can be reached at [email protected]
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