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.
Danny Amendola, WR, St. Louis Rams vs. New England Patriots (London)
The PPR machine was back practicing for the Rams this week, including Friday in London. He was listed as questionable for today’s game, but has since been downgraded to out. It would have been Amendola's first game since separating his SC joint Oct. 4. It would have been a pretty big risk for both you as a fantasy owner and the Rams as a team to take in activating Amendola. St. Louis has its bye next week and Amendola should be ready to go by Week 10. If he is on your waiver wire, you might want to go ahead and snatch him back up as he is ahead of his recovery.
Blaine Gabbert, QB, Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Green Bay Packers
Let’s be clear, this is only to let you know Blaine Gabbert suffered a torn labrum in his non-throwing arm and will start against the Packers in their early game. Gabbert suffered the injury in the second quarter last week in Oakland. He is only being mentioned for three reasons: He’s starting. Two-quarterback leagues. He’s playing the Packers and their 16th-ranked fantasy defense against QBs. Gabbert was 8-of-12 for 110 yards and a touchdown and on pace for his best game of the season. Yes, it could have been because Maurice Jones-Drew went out on the team’s second offensive play, but production is production. The team will insert Rashad Jennings in place of MJD and Gabbert will get to play a Packers team that has allowed five of the seven starting QBs it has faced to throw for at least 211 yards and only Matt Schaub (232 yards) did not throw a TD against them. Gabbert is fantasy’s 30th ranked QB and you would be crazy to start him in any format, but with Schaub, Joe Flacco, Andy Dalton and Ryan Fitzpatrick on a bye, he IS viable as the last-ranked QB in 2-QB leagues.
Hakeem Nicks, WR, New York Giants vs. Dallas Cowboys
Hakeem Nicks was a full participant in practice this week — the first time that has happened this season — and he said he feels “like I finally got over the little hump.” The hump has been foot and knee injuries this season. He was still slowed from the foot injury when the Giants opened with the Cowboys in Week 1 and Nicks had four catches for 38 yards on six targets. He returned the following week to post a 10-for-199 and one-TD game on 15 targets against Tampa Bay. But injuries sidelined him until a return in Week 6. He admitted he was not his normal self in the Week 6 game at San Francisco, receiving five targets and catching three for 44 yards. He garnered 10 targets, catching five for 53 yards in last week’s win against Washington. The Cowboys are the third-best team against fantasy receivers this season, allowing four TDs to the position and only three to eclipse 80 yards. It has been hard to trust Nicks this season, obviously, and Eli Manning has not fared very well either. But if Nicks is healthy it is hard to sit a guy that is fantasy’s 52nd-best receiver despite really only playing as himself in two games (Weeks 2 and 7).
— By Corby A. Yarbrough @Corby_Yarbrough on Twitter