Good morning, Fools. It's another beautiful day in Fantasyland as we begin the second half of the season. (Can you believe it's already halfway over?)
Don't know about you, but more than half of my starting lineup is out on bye. That was semi-intentional as I was drafting, thinking it would be best to "forfeit" one week and be strong the rest. Add in a couple of untimely injuries, and one of my teams is forced to start Tim Hightower and Corey Coleman, and pray that Shady will start on Monday night. So it could get ugly for me this weekend.
But enough about me...Let's whip around the NFL to see what we need to know to dominate our matchups.
Big Ben has been looking better each day but remains a game-time decision. By all appearances, he is preparing to start, though he'll have a tough matchup with his division rival Ravens.
Looking for a desperation play at RB? DuJuan Harris is starting for the 49ers today, with Carlos Hyde sidelined with a shoulder injury. Given that the Saints' run defense is awful, Harris certainly has a high ceiling. The veteran has outplayed the other backups in recent weeks and will get his chance to shine today.
Word out of Buffalo is that LeSean McCoy is on track to play Monday night, but it's still a 50/50 proposition; and even if he goes, the Seahawks present a tough challenge. If you have Mike Gillislee or C.J. Prosise in reserve, you'll be less nervous about waiting.
Jerick McKinnon will be back to share the Vikings backfield with Matt Asiata today. I wouldn't start either behind that line.
Surprise, surprise...Knile Davis is a Chief again. Actually, that seemed like a foregone conclusion after Jamaal Charles went on IR and Spencer Ware was knocked out with a concussion. Charcandrick West will start today, and should rumble over the lowly Jags. Don't expect much, if anything, from Davis; and don't be surprised if he's unemployed again once Ware is ready to return.
Too bad for those who just grabbed Derrick Henry. DeMarco Murray will play despite his toe jam football, leaving only scraps for the rookie.
Ty Montgomery is back and expected to start at RB for the Packers. James Starks has been ruled out again, and Randall Cobb will likely sit out with his bum hammy. Monty (and virtually all other Packers starters) have loads of upside against the Colts' sad-sack defenders.
In something of a surprise, Steve Smith is active and will return to the field today. His presence will limit Mike Wallace's upside a bit, but I still like Wallace in this matchup.
Look for Mark Ingram and Tim Hightower to share carries against the poor 49ers run defense. Ingram is clearly on a short leash, and if he fumbles again, this backfield could belong to Hightower alone.
After some initial concerns, Amari Cooper is set to play today as usual. He has a tough matchup with the Broncos, but I sure wouldn't bet against him.
As mentioned above, Corey Coleman will be back for the Browns today, and he'll be facing a depleted Dallas secondary. But just how much rapport will he have with Cody Kessler at QB? I guess we'll find out together.
Bad news for Jack Doyle's owners: Dwayne Allen is expected to return from his ankle injury today. The rookie presumably won't hog all the TE targets for himself as a result.
So Percy Harvin came out of retirement to bolster the Bills' passing attack? Pardon me while I yawn.
And looking ahead, Doug Martin is getting close to returning, possibly as soon as Week 10. And Thomas Rawls may be ready to roll in Week 11. If either is available, now's a good time to grab them, while your competitors are napping.
That's it for today. I'll be tweeting inactives and other breaking news throughout the day. Go get 'em, Fools!