A couple of highly drafted wide receivers could finally pay some dividends this week while a pair of Jaguars is ready to go on the prowl in London. Here’s the latest on their playing status and some other wide receivers for Week 8.
Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Arizona Cardinals vs. Atlanta Falcons
Fitzgerald has been dealing with injuries to both of his hamstrings and while he has yet to miss a game, there have been times where it’s apparent he was not 100 percent on the field. Last week, Fitzgerald managed just two catches for 17 yards against Seattle. The good news is that Fitzgerald was a full go at practice all week and he is listed as Probable. While his production to this point has been disappointing, this could be the week Fitzgerald finally breaks out as the Falcons are 23rd in the NFL in passing defense and are allowing the fifth-most fantasy points to wide receivers.
Justin Blackmon and Cecil Shorts, WRs, Jacksonville Jaguars vs. San Francisco 49ers (London)
The good news is that Blackmon (right) and Shorts both made the trip to London. Unfortunately, Blackmon didn’t practice on Friday because of a hamstring injury and Shorts is still listed on the injury report with a sprained shoulder joint. Both are Probable and expected to face the 49ers. The matchup is not great by any means, but if you have either Jaguar receiver you pretty much have to take your chances and hope for the best. The Jaguars probably will end up throwing the ball quite a lot, as the 49ers are heavy favorites to win by a comfortable margin.
Danny Amendola and Julian Edelman, WRs, New England Patriots vs. Miami Dolphins
First Rob Gronkowski came back last week and now, just maybe, Amendola can do the same. After missing last week’s game because of a concussion, Amendola returned to practice and has passed all of the necessary tests and NFL protocols to clear the way for him to play. He has been limited in practice and Amendola is officially listed as Questionable, but on Friday he proclaimed, “I’m healthy and I’m ready to play.” The final decision doesn’t rest with him, but as long as you are able to check on his status leading up to the 1 p.m. ET kickoff, you should be safe to put Amendola back in your lineup. There’s no telling how many snaps he will get against the Dolphins or targets, but he has borderline WR1 potential, so it’s worth the risk. Amendola’s fantasy prospects look even better depending upon Edelman’s status. Edelman took Amendola’s place as the Patriots’ No. 1 wide receiver while the latter was sidelined, first for a groin injury and then the concussion, but the former has been dealing with his own thigh injury. Edelman has yet to miss any time, but he is Questionable and with Gronk back and Amendola feeling good about his chances to play, it’s possible the Patriots could decide to rest Edelman. Either way, Edelman is a riskier play this week than Amendola in my opinion, although both should probably be employed if they do play.
Roddy White, WR, Atlanta Falcons at Arizona Cardinals
Julio Jones is on injured reserve and White will miss his second straight game, as he’s already been ruled Out due to a hamstring injury. The team is hoping that White will get healthy soon, although Harry Douglas filled in quite nicely last week. Douglas caught all seven of his targets against the Buccaneers for 149 yards and a touchdown. Douglas is a must-start this week and the only thing keeping me from putting him in the WR1 discussion is the potential matchup with Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson.
Jeremy Kerley and Santonio Holmes, WRs, New York Jets at Cincinnati Bengals
Holmes remains Out because of a hamstring injury and probably won’t return until after
the Jets’ bye in Week 10. Kerley was limited in practice on Thursday because of a hamstring injury, but was a full participant on Friday. He is Probable to play the Bengals and is coming off his best game yet, eight catches for 97 yards and a touchdown in the overtime win against the Patriots. Geno Smith is hard to trust, especially on the road, but Kerley has been his most productive target recently and he is probably worth employing as a WR2/WR3 this week.
Marvin Jones, WR, Cincinnati Bengals vs. New York Jets
Jones didn’t practice on Thursday because of a shoulder injury, but he was back on the field on Friday. He is considered Probable to play this afternoon and has a touchdown catch in each of his last two games. The Jets are a solid defense, but most of their attention will be on limiting A.J. Green so Jones could be the beneficiary for a third straight week. If you are in need of WR help this week, you may want to take a look at Jones.