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.
Darren McFadden, RB, Oakland Raiders vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Darren McFadden is listed as probable on the injury report with a shoulder but practiced all week and should be good to go in one of the two late-afternoon games on the Week 8 slate today. The injuries, as feared in the preseason with McFadden, have not been the problem this year; it has strictly been a lack of production. He has four double-digit days in PPR leagues but just one game above 20 points (24.8 in Week 1). Run DMc has rushed for under 70 yards in five of six games and scored just twice. He is a slightly poorer man’s Chris Johnson so far. A return to the 24.8 points from Week 1 would be nice today against a Chiefs team that has allowed seven running backs to have double-digit PPR days thus far.
Eddie Royal, WR, San Diego Chargers vs. Cleveland Browns
This is not so much about Eddie Royal, who has been declared out today, as it is to how much worse Philip Rivers could get. There’s not much worse than the performance Rivers went into the bye week with — a second half against the Broncos that had five turnovers. Royal bailing on a couple of routes did not help matters in that game. But I digress. Royal was limited with a hamstring injury and did not practice on Friday. It was in issue going into the bye week, it is an issue coming out of the bye week and it is an issue for Rivers. The Chargers’ QB has little to no weapons to throw to with Malcom Floyd averaging 6.3 catches for 69.6 yards and just one score this season; free-agents Robert Meachem (12-189-2) and Eddie Royal (13-98-1) have made little impact and Vincent Brown (broken ankle) looks nowhere near ready to return. Tight end Antonio Gates has just 19 grabs for 224 yards and two scores; his 35 targets is 18th amongst tight ends. The Chargers are playing a get-well defense today as Cleveland is ranked 28th against fantasy QBs, but is there enough well on the Chargers’ side for Rivers to be able to capitalize? It’s a four-team bye week so you might not have another route to go, but beware.
Jordy Nelson, WR, Green Bay Packers vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Are you excited about a receiver that depends on his speed and is playing with a bum hamstring? Me either. And that is reinforced even more by two factors today: the Packers have other options and they are playing the Jaguars. Jacksonville is ranked 18th against fantasy receivers and have allowed at least 26 points in five of six games; a number Green Bay has reached in the last four outings. Nelson was held out of Thursday and Friday practices and has been declared out for today's game. This game has James Jones, Randall Cobb and Alex Green written all over it. The Packers’ motto today should be: “Get in, get a win and get out in under 3:10.” It’s what they have done with ease the last two outings.
— By Corby A. Yarbrough @Corby_Yarbrough on Twitter