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.
Pierre Garcon, Leonard Hankerson & Santana Moss, WRs, Washington Redskins vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
I told you in this spot last week that Pierre Garcon should sit until after the Redskins’ Week 10 bye and it looks like that is the best-case scenario. It is either surgery or rest for Garcon. One would mean the end of the season the other means no fantasy value for you. It is unlikely that Garcon will have any fantasy value left this season and it will fall to Leonard Hankerson and Santana Moss to pick up the slack. Keep in mind that tight end Fred Davis (Achilles) went down for the year last week and Hankerson and Moss should see a marked fantasy improvement. It might be a coin toss as to who’s more productive week in and week out, but after the Week 10 bye, the Redskins face four teams currently ranked 16th or worse against fantasy receivers. Gut says go with experience: Moss; Upside says go with Hankerson.
Jay Cutler, QB, Chicago Bears vs. Carolina Panthers
The rib injury suffered against the Lions on Monday night was worrisome, but Jay Cutler returned to the game and practiced in full on Thursday and Friday this week. The ribs are a concern with how much time Cutler usually spends on the run — and the 150 yards and one score against a Lions team that is ranked 13th against fantasy QBs was not encouraging, either. Carolina is 17th in the league with 14 sacks while Chicago is ranked 28th with 19 allowed. However, the Panthers have allowed the last five starting QBs they’ve faced to throw for at least 221 yards and at least one TD while collecting five interceptions. It should also be a good day for Bears RB Matt Forte as the Panthers are ranked 28th against fantasy RBs. But Cutler could easily benefit from that as Carolina has surrendered the most receptions (53) and the second-most receiving yards (417) to opposing running backs.
Ahmad Bradshaw, Andre Brown, David Wilson, RBs, New York Giants vs. Dallas Cowboys
Ahmad Bradshaw (foot)is listed as questionable after a week in which he missed Friday’s practice and was limited on Wednesday and Thursday. He told reporter “it’s a bone bruise; it may take a while” in regards to his return to a clean bill of health. But we’re in Week 8 of the NFL season; there is no clean bill of health anymore. Fantasy owners have become accustomed to RBBC’s in the NFL. Sometimes injuries to part of that committee leave you with a great play for a couple of weeks, but upon their return the picture is muddled again. Welcome to New York and a number of other teams across the league. The Giants are the ninth-best team in the league in terms of PPR fantasy scoring from their running backs, and everyone has had their day — Bradshaw with five double-digit days, Andre Brown with three and rookie David Wilson with one. Today, all three face a Cowboys team that has surrendered just three scores to the position and outside of Marshawn Lynch’s 122 yards in Week 2, no back has eclipsed 63 yards since. Bradshaw had 17 carries for 78 yards and a score and two catches for 15 yards in Week 1 against the Cowboys. But that was half a season ago at this point.
— By Corby A. Yarbrough @Corby_Yarbrough on Twitter