- Checking in on the biggest fantasy news across the league.
Any fantasy owner who has spent the balance of the season waiting for Leonard Fournette may already be out of playoff contention. Those who managed to stay in the race, or those who acquired him at a discount from his original owner, got the news Wednesday they’ve been waiting for impatiently.
Fournette practiced in full for the first time since September, a sure sign that he will make his return on Sunday against the Colts. It’s entirely possible the Jaguars will limit his role, but at 3-5 they’re two games behind the Texans in the loss column in the AFC South, as well as the Bengals for the final AFC wild card playoff spot. In other words, they need to start stacking wins now, and a healthy Fournette gives them a better chance to do so than leaning on T.J. Yeldon or Carlos Hyde.
The Colts have been relatively soft against the run all season, ranking 23rd against running backs in 4for4’s schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed metric (aFPA) in standard-scoring leagues, and 24th in PPR formats. Unless the Jaguars indicate that Fournette will be limited in his return to the field Sunday, fantasy owners should plan on firing him up with confidence for the first time in two months.
Here are the other fantasy-relevant notes from Wednesday’s practices.
Chris Carson did not practice because of his hip injury, and his status for Sunday is in serious doubt. Pete Carroll said the injury is different than the one that cost him a game earlier in the season, which doesn’t really affect how fantasy owners should view this situation. On the one hand, it could be better that it’s a new injury, given that an aggravation of an existing injury typically requires more rest time than the original recovery period. On the other, a new injury could signal an ongoing issue exacerbated by the first ailment. Either way, the key piece of information, beyond Carson sitting out practice, is that he had to leave last week’s game after just 10 snaps. Carson owners should plan on going in another direction this week, while Mike Davis would pop up on the RB2 radar should the starter be inactive.
Sammy Watkins is in trouble for Week 10 due to a foot injury suffered last week against the Browns. The injury isn’t thought to be serious, but it still could cost Watkins one week. It would be a major letdown for his owners if the Chiefs let him heal through their Week 12 bye, because he would then miss what’s expected to be the fantasy bonanza between the Chiefs and Rams in Mexico City in Week 11. Watkins has come on strong recently, catching 17 passes for 243 yards and two touchdowns in his last three games.
The Bengals will be without A.J. Green this week because of a foot/toe injury, but the should be getting some reinforcements to partially make up for that loss. John Ross practiced in full on Wednesday, and is expected to return after missing last week’s game with a groin injury. All eyes will be on Ross, who will join with Tyler Boyd to try to paper over the loss of the Bengals’ best skill-position player. Ross will be worth starting in deeper leagues in a matchup with the Saints, a game that carries a 54 over/under.
Allen Robinson, who has missed the Bears' last two games with a groin injury, practiced in full on Wednesday. The Bears didn't need him in wins over the Jets and Bills, but that may not be the case with the Lions in town on Sunday. The fact that he logged a full practice this early in the week should give his fantasy owners confidence in deploying him as usual in Week 10.