The Patriots’ wide receiving corps is almost back to full strength for Week 6, while the Cardinals may be without their No. 1 guy this afternoon. Here’s the latest information on those teams and some other injury situations.
Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Arizona Cardinals at San Francisco 49ers
Fitzgerald’s good health lasted about a week, as he suffered some sort of setback with his hamstring and is Questionable to play this afternoon. He was limited Wednesday and Thursday, but was able to practice fully on Friday. The team said it’s the same left hamstring, but this injury is in a different place. Fitzgerald could be a game-time decision, but with him being in a late afternoon game, you may not be able to wait that long. Fitzgerald’s numbers have disappointed to start the season, as he’s had no more than 80 yards in any game. He also has just three touchdown receptions and two of those came in Week 1. The 49ers’ defense has been playing really well lately, so it may be worth at least considering keeping Fitzgerald on your bench this week.
Danny Amendola, WR, New England Patriots vs. New Orleans Saints
Amendola returned to the lineup last week, catching four passes (out of nine targets) for 55 yards in the loss to Cincinnati. His groin is not completely healed, as he was limited in practice this week. So once again, Amendola is officially listed as Questionable, but barring a setback during warm ups, he is expected to play. Even though he may be more of a WR2/WR3 right now, Amendola needs to be in your lineup, especially in PPR leagues. Although it was just one game, Amendola’s return had an immediate impact on the target distribution, as Julian Edelman (right), Kenbrell Thompkins and Aaron Dobson all saw fewer looks from Tom Brady. This will be something to monitor moving forward, but Edelman and Thompkins are probably more on the WR2/WR3 level now, with Dobson slipping to flex consideration.
Cecil Shorts, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars at Denver Broncos
Shorts is not completely over his groin injury yet, which was still limiting him in practice on Friday. However, he is listed as Probable to play, and the matchup/game situation alone is enough reason to plug him in and see what happens. The Broncos should win this game rather handily, which means the Jaguars will more than likely be forced to throw because they will be playing catch up most of the game. There’s also the opportunity for garbage yards/points later in the game. Plus, Chad Henne will be starting for Jacksonville, and he and Shorts have been successful in the past. Shorts is averaging more than 12 targets per game and even with Justin Blackmon back, Shorts should see more than enough to provide WR2/WR3 production, with a chance of even better numbers.
Miles Austin, WR, Dallas Cowboys vs. Washington Redskins
After missing the past two games because of a hamstring injury, Austin is listed as Probable and expected to play in tonight’s big NFC East showdown. If he plays, Austin is expected to resume his role as the Cowboys’ No. 2 receiver, which means rookie Terrance Williams will go back to being No. 3. Williams exploded for 151 yards and a touchdown on just four catches last week against Denver, but could be in line for fewer targets against the Redskins. Austin has been mostly ineffective this season and even though the ‘Skins are giving up a bunch of passing yards and points, he’s no sure thing to break out in this game. Austin is at best a WR3 option tonight, which is probably the best-case scenario for Williams. No contest who offers more explosiveness and upside though.
Marlon Brown and Jacoby Jones, WRs, Baltimore Ravens vs. Green Bay Packers
Jones injured his knee in the season opener in Denver, giving the undrafted rookie Brown a chance to start opposite of Torrey Smith. Brown has made the most of this opportunity, as he has three touchdown receptions in four games. He injured his hamstring two weeks ago against Buffalo, an injury that held him out of last week’s game in Miami. Jones is back practicing, albeit on a limited basis, and he and Brown are listed as Questionable for today’s home date with the Packers. Both will probably be game-time decisions, but I wouldn’t bother with either. Smith is the only Raven wideout worth owning, as he has nearly twice as many targets as anyone else on the roster. Brown or Jones could become more fantasy relevant once they are back to full health, but some of that will depend on if either seizes the starting gig or if it ends up being more of a timeshare.
Santonio Holmes, WR, New York Jets vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Holmes remains Out this week because of a hamstring injury. Jeremy Kerley and Stephen Hill will serve as the starters, and with a rested Pittsburgh defense ready to face rookie Geno Smith, both wideouts are probably WR3 options at best this week.