Here we are — the halfway point of the NFL season and six weeks away from the start of the fantasy postseason for many. Injuries are making lineup decisions harder — sometimes easier in the committee world of some positions — and bye weeks leave us scrambling for the best start at some positions. Here are a few updates to hopefully help you make that push toward the fantasy postseason.
Aaron Hernandez, Rob Gronkowski, TEs, New England Patriots vs. St. Louis Rams (London)
Well, that was a fun two-week return for Aaron Hernandez. He is now back on the shelf as he did not make the trip to London with the Patriots for their early game against the Rams today. Hernandez' ankle injury that sidelined him earlier this season has slowed him down a bit. Still, a bit for him was 11 catches for 84 yards and a score the last two weeks. He was right back to double-digit status in PPR leagues. He will now get Week 8 off and Week 9 for the bye and hopefully return healthy in Week 10 against a Buffalo team that Rob Gronkowski torched for five catches, 104 yards and a score on 11 target sans Hernandez. Gronkowski is listed on the injury report as questionable with a hip but he is expected to play. Gronk, as mentioned, had the 5-104-1 game with Hernandez out of the lineup in Week 4, and he has caught 12 balls for 139 yards and two scores in the two weeks with Hernandez back. If he's dressed, he's in your lineup. St. Louis has been stingy against tight ends, surrendering their first TD to the position in Week 6 and coming back to hold Jermichael Finley to two catches for 31 yards the next week. Brandon Pettigrew (Week 1) and Anthony Fasano (Week 6) are the only two tight ends to reach double digits against the Rams.
Jimmy Graham, TE, New Orleans Saints vs. Denver Broncos (Sunday night)
The trifecta of bad for fantasy: An elite player, a game-time decision, a Sunday night game. The ankle injury that sidelined Jimmy Graham last week has limited him in practice all of this week in preparation for tonight's game at Denver. "If it were up to me, I'd play," Graham said Friday. But it is not up to him and it is up to us as fantasy owners to make the call on what to do with Graham this week. First thing, is go get a back up off the waiver wire. It would be nice if we could just get Graham's backup, David Thomas, but he is just not dependable. He has nine targets all season with four catches and one score. There are better options on the wire that will see the ball more frequently. I have Graham and I cannot afford the gamble of hoping he will go in a night game. If Lance Moore was not there to steal some of Thomas's targets it would be a no-brainer to own both Saints TEs and then make the call. But Moore is back and picked right back up where he left off. Look elsewhere for your Graham replacement.
— By Corby A. Yarbrough @Corby_Yarbrough on Twitter