Matthew Stafford, QB DET – Cautious Start
Matthew Stafford suffered a bruised hand in last week’s game against the Ravens. While the Lions have not stated that Stafford will start this week, the fact is that Detroit is running out of games, and at 6-6 on the season, they probably need to win every game to make it to the playoffs. Because of this, we expect Stafford to play even if he is not 100 percent. A couple of years ago, Stafford was able to play with a broken finger on his throwing hand, so a bruised hand shouldn’t be too bad. If it is a toss-up between Stafford and another equitable Fantasy option, I would lean away from Stafford. But if he is far and away your top quarterback, you should feel fairly comfortable playing him. Stafford practiced on a limited basis Wednesday but did not do any throwing. At Thursday’s practice, Stafford was throwing with his ring finger and pinkie taped together, which indicates that he will likely play Sunday.
Amari Cooper, WR OAK – Cautious Start
Amari Cooper has had a litany of injuries the last few weeks, including a concussion and a twisted ankle. He cleared concussion protocol, so it looks like he is out of the woods in that respect, but his ankle is still not 100 percent. He was unable to practice Wednesday or Thursday, so he has to participate in at least a limited practice on Friday to be eligible to play on Sunday. If he doesn’t return by Friday, then he won’t play. Just keep an eye on his practice designation, and if he practices, go ahead and start him in your Fantasy lineup. Unless your team is extremely deep at wide receiver, Cooper’s upside is large enough to outweigh the risk of him not starting/not playing a big role.
Adrian Peterson, RB ARI – Risky Start
Adrian Peterson was inactive against the Rams last week with a neck injury, and he did not practice on Wednesday or Thursday, which is not a good sign. Coach Bruce Arians said Wednesday “We’ll wait and see.” This doesn’t exactly instill much confidence, but it also doesn’t rule him out. If he is able to play, the injury probably won’t have a huge impact on his effectiveness. Although one big hit could aggravate the injury, forcing him out of the game. He is a High Injury Risk.
Also recall that, aside from games against terrible rush defenses Tampa Bay and San Francisco, Peterson is averaging just 2.5 yards per carry, and he only has two touchdowns on the year, both against Tampa Bay. A lot of people aren’t very high on Peterson right now even ignoring the injury, so proceed with extreme caution if you plan on playing him.
Kelvin Benjamin, WR, BUF – Sit
Kelvin Benjamin has not been on the field in three weeks, and it is possible that streak extends to four. He has been out since tearing his meniscus early in the game against the Chargers three weeks ago. On the bright side, he was able to practice on a limited basis Wednesday and fully on Thursday, which is a good sign he is making progress. But if you consider that he wasn’t a very big piece of the offense even when he was healthy, and the fact that the quarterback situation has been a nightmare recently, he doesn’t look like an impact Fantasy option. I would probably pick up a streaming option just for this week before I would start Benjamin. I recommend he sits on your bench.
Other Notable Injuries:
Will Fuller, WR HOU – Start
Greg Olsen, TE CAR – Cautious Start
Jeremy Maclin, WR BAL – Risky Start
Chris Hogan, WR NE – Risky Start
Delanie Walker, TE TEN – Risky Start
Ameer Abdullah, RB DET – Risky Start
Jonathan Stewart, RB CAR – Sit
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