The Chicago White Sox have interviewed Tony La Russa for their managerial opening, and he remains a top candidate in their search, according to two sources. General manager Rick Hahn and executive vice president Kenny Williams each spoke with the 76-year-old. La Russa managed the White Sox from 1979-86 before moving to the Athletics and Cardinals during his Hall of Fame career, but he hasn't managed since winning a World Series with St. Louis in 2011. His close personal relationship with chairman Jerry Reinsdorf could help him get the job. Chicago is hoping to pick a new manager in the next 10 days to two weeks. La Russa's 2,728 career wins as a manager rank third-most all time. He's won titles with the A's in 1989 and with the Cardinals in 2006 and 2011.
Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Charlie Morton, who is 5-0 in five playoff starts with the team, will get the ball for Game 3 of the World Series against the Dodgers on Friday. Morton's velocity was down during the regular season, but he's been great in the postseason. The right-hander threw 5 2/3 scoreless innings in just 66 pitches in Game 7 of the American League Championship Series against the Astros. The 36-year-old is 3-0 with a 0.57 ERA in three playoff starts this year, with opposing hitters sporting just a .474 OPS against him. Morton helped beat the Dodgers in Game 7 of the World Series with the Astros back in 2017. The playoff experience and success is there, but he's also facing a historically stacked Dodgers lineup, making him a risk/reward DFS choice.
Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott has lost four fumbles this season after losing just five in the first four years of his career, and his giveaways this year have turned into 28 points for the opposition. Elliott has more fumbles lost in 133 carries than all nine of the league's top-10 rushers combined in 1,104 touches, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Head coach Mike McCarthy said Elliott might have to prioritize ball security over fighting for extra yards to correct the issue. Dallas has 15 turnovers on the year and are an NFL-worst minus-12 in turnover differential. Despite the 25-year-old's fumbling issues and the fact that he hasn't had a 100-yard rushing game yet, he remains a must-start, high-end RB1 because he'll remain firmly in the game plan with quarterback Dak Prescott (ankle) out for the year. Elliott has six total touchdowns and 32 catches through six weeks and should rebound in Week 7 against Washington.
Defensive end Aaron Lynch has unretired and has been reinstated to the Jacksonville Jaguars exempt list on Wednesday. Lynch must go through five days of COVID-19 testing before he's eligible to return to the team's facilities. He signed a one-year contract with the team in May but retired on Aug. 18 due to personal reasons. Nose tackle Al Woods and linebacker Lerentee McCray both opted out of the season, and defensive end/tackle Rodney Gunter (heart) has been out, so Lynch's return will give Jacksonville some much-needed depth on that side of the ball. Lynch has 20 sacks and 10 pass breakups in 73 career games with the 49ers and Bears. The Jaguars Defense is well off the fantasy radar, however, ranking 31st out of 32 NFL defenses in fantasy points.
New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas (ankle, hamstring) was listed as a limited participant in practice on Wednesday with ankle and hamstring injuries. The hamstring injury is new and is something to watch, but Thomas' high ankle sprain is what has kept him out of action since the season-opener. It was believed that the All-Pro wideout would return in Week 5 before the team's bye, but the Saints sat him for disciplinary reasons after he punched a teammate in practice. Unless the 27-year-old has a setback this week, he should make his return against Carolina in Week 7. The Panthers Defense has allowed the fourth-fewest fantasy points to wideouts this year, but Thomas is a target hog and reception machine and is a must-start, high-end WR1 if he's active.
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray has used his legs and arm effectively in the red zone so far this year, completing 18 of 22 red-zone passing attempts for 109 yards and eight touchdowns. He hasn't thrown an interception inside the 20-yard line and has posted the fourth-highest red-zone passer rating in the league at 126.9. On the ground, Murray has four rushing touchdowns inside the red zone on 66 yards (6.0 yards per carry) and an 81.8 percent success rate. The 5-foot-10, 207-pounder has a pair of red-zone touchdowns when eight or more defenders have been in the box. Murray threw for just 188 yards in Week 6 against Dallas, but he still had three touchdowns and will remain a must-start, high-end QB1 in Week 7 against a Seahawks Defense that has allowed the second-most fantasy points per game to quarterbacks.
New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton has scored all five of his red-zone rushing touchdowns this year while working with a blocking disadvantage, using his 6-foot-5, 245-pound frame to his advantage with his quick feet doing the work. Newton has also completed eight of his 17 red-zone passing attempts for 61 yards, two touchdowns and a 95.5 passer rating in 2020. He's scored five rushing touchdowns in the red zone on 44 rushing yards and a 66.7 percent success rate. Fantasy managers might be hesitant to start Newton after he laid an egg in the Week 6 loss to the Broncos, but he'll have QB1 upside against the 49ers this Sunday. San Fran's defense has allowed a league-high 35 rushing attempts to opposing signal-callers for 231 yards and two touchdowns through six weeks.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans has been quarterback Tom Brady's favorite weapon when the team is inside the red zone this year. Four of Evans' five red-zone touchdowns have come on plays in which he was lined up out wide. The 6-foot-5, 231-pounder is great in one-on-one matchups and jump-ball scenarios and is 4-for-4 for 10 yards and 24 total points on such plays in 2020. Evans has scored a league-high four red-zone touchdowns against press coverage, but he's only gained six yards on those plays near the goal line. He's also scored his five total red-zone touchdowns on five different types of routes, so he can beat defenders all kinds of ways near the goal line. The 27-year-old had his worst outing in Week 6 against Green Bay (one catch, 10 yards) and broke a five-game scoring streak. He'll look to bounce back on Sunday night against the Raiders and will be a touchdown-dependent WR2 in that matchup.
Tennessee Titans tight end Jonnu Smith is averaging less than six yards per red-zone catch this year, but he's scored on all five of his red-zone catches (six targets) inside the 10-yard line. Smith has hooked up with quarterback Ryan Tannehill twice for 11 yards and two touchdowns on crossing routes in the red zone, which is tied for the most such touchdowns in the league. The 25-year-old ranks third in fantasy points at his position through six weeks, but he suffered a minor ankle injury in last week's overtime win over the Texans and is questionable for Sunday against the division-rival Steelers. If Smith plays through his injury, fantasy managers may want to temper expectations a bit against a Steelers Defense that is allowing the sixth-fewest fantasy points to tight ends.
The San Francisco 49ers acquired outside linebacker Jordan Willis and a seventh-round pick in 2021 from the New York Jets on Wednesday in exchange for a sixth-round pick in 2022, according to a source. Willis has no tackles and one fumble recovery in two games for the Jets this season and has recorded 52 tackles (36 solo), eight tackles for loss, nine QB hits and three sacks in 43 career games (two starts) between the Bengals and Jets since 2017. The 25-year-old will merely be linebacker/defensive end depth for San Francisco, while the Jets continue to accumulate late-round picks amidst their lost 2020 season.
The Seattle Seahawks are positioned to make a push to sign free-agent wide receiver Antonio Brown with his suspension eligible to end after Week 8, according to league sources. Other teams are also interested in signing him, but the Seahawks may be the favorites. Rostered in just six percent of Yahoo leagues as of Wednesday, Brown is worth picking up and stashing if you have the room and need receiver depth. It's unclear exactly how he'd fit in a Seahawks passing game that already includes Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf, but he'd be an intriguing fantasy weapon in Seattle's high-scoring offense led by MVP candidate Russell Wilson. Stay tuned for more news on Brown and his suitors with his suspension coming to an end shortly.
Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce has four receiving touchdowns and five catches on six targets when he's shifted in motion before the snap in the red zone, which leads the league. Kelce also has a league-high two red-zone scores on corner routes and is a perfect 2-for-2 on those targets for 22 red-zone receiving yards. The 6-foot-5, 260-pounder has a big size advantage over most defensive backs in that part of the field. In total, he has five red-zone touchdowns on seven catches (10 targets) for 53 receiving yards this year. Kelce caught both of quarterback Patrick Mahomes' touchdown passes on Monday night against the Bills. He'll look to extend his touchdown streak to three games this week against Denver, where he'll be the top fantasy tight end.
Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry has four red-zone touchdowns this year on carries inside the tackles on handoffs from quarterback Ryan Tannehill while under center through five games. His one rushing touchdown that didn't come with Tannehill under center came last week when Henry took a direct snap in the overtime win over the Texans. Henry has 97 rushing yards in the red zone, five touchdowns and a 57.6 percent success rate. The bruising back ran 22 times for 212 yards and two touchdowns in Week 6, single-handedly helping his fantasy managers to victory. The unstoppable force will meet the immovable force of the Steelers Defense in Week 7, as Pittsburgh has allowed the fewest fantasy points to running backs this year. Still, Henry remains an elite high-end RB1 that can't be benched.
Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook has found most of his red-zone success this year when he bounces his runs outside of the tackles. Cook has scored five of his six red-zone touchdowns in 2020 on runs outside the tackle box, recording the most such red-zone scores in the league among running backs despite missing Week 6 and half of Week 5 with a groin injury. Four of his red-zone touchdowns have come with quarterback Kirk Cousins under center. Cook has 88 rushing yards (5.2 yards per carry) and an 88.2 percent success rate on his red-zone rushes this year. The Vikings have their bye this week and Cook is expected to return in Week 8 against the Packers. As one of the most productive running backs in the league, Cook is a must-start RB1 if he's active.
Cleveland Browns running back Kareem Hunt can do it all in the red zone for the Browns. He's rushed for three touchdowns and has caught three touchdowns in the red zone this season for a 61.1 percent success rate. Hunt is the only running back in the NFL to have a receiving touchdown when lined up out wide in the red zone. The 25-year-old was held to just 40 rushing yards on 13 carries in the Week 6 blowout loss to the Steelers, but he remains a locked-in RB1 with Nick Chubb (knee) sidelined with his injury. Hunt will face a Bengals Defense in Week 7 that has allowed the 13th-most fantasy points to running backs per game, including 26 receptions for 181 yards and a touchdown through the air.
New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara has four rushing touchdowns in the red zone with quarterback Drew Brees under center this year, which is tied for the most in the NFL. Kamara has gained 51 rushing yards on red-zone carries in all formations for a success rate of 73.3 percent on those attempts. He's also caught two red-zone touchdowns while lined up in the backfield. The 25-year-old was held out of the end zone in Week 5 before the team's bye, but he's gone over 100 total yards in four straight games and has at least five catches in four of his five games in 2020. Kamara is an elite must-start RB1 coming off his bye in Week 7 against the Panthers.
Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen is the team's No. 1 receiver with Stefon Diggs now in Buffalo, and he's made most of his money as a red-zone weapon with eight catches on eight targets for 72 yards and a league-high six touchdowns in the red zone this year. Quarterback Kirk Cousins leads the NFL with a success rate of 66.7 on all of his red-zone targets because of Thielen. Thielen has found success in the red zone on all types of different routes, too. He's 6-for-6 on red-zone targets when lined up out wide, turning five of those targets into touchdowns. Thielen has had 51 receiving yards or less in three games this year, but his red-zone success and chemistry with Cousins makes him a must-start fantasy receiver when the Vikings return from their bye in Week 8 against the Packers.
Cincinnati Bengals head coach Zac Taylor said that running back Joe Mixon (foot), who injured his foot in the Week 6 loss to the Colts, will not practice on Wednesday. The good news is that Mixon returned to the Week 6 game in the second half after his injury, but he could be up in the air this weekend against the Browns, who have been in the middle of the pack against opposing running backs this year. Mixon has done very little outside of his 151-yard, three-touchdown performance in Week 4 against the Jaguars in which he also caught all six of his targets in the passing game. If he can't go this weekend, Giovani Bernard would have RB2/3 value for fantasy managers. Keep a close eye on Mixon's practice status the rest of the week.
Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid said that newly signed running back Le'Veon Bell will practice with the team on Wednesday, but the Chiefs aren't tipping their hand in terms of Bell's availability for Week 7 against the Broncos. "We will take it day by day...really we got to just have good communication between coach and player to see where he is at, but he'll be in at practice and we will see how he does," Reid said, via Hayley Lewis of KSHB Kansas City. Rookie Clyde Edwards-Helaire went off for 161 yards on 26 carries on Monday night against Buffalo, but Bell will add another dimension to an offense filled with big-time playmakers. Bell could see plenty of matchups against linebackers in space on passing downs, with the rookie mainly working early downs. Until we get a better idea of Bell's role with his new squad, he'll be a shaky RB3/flex in PPR leagues.
The Las Vegas Raiders are placing right tackle Trent Brown on the Reserve/COVID-19 list on Wednesday, according to a source. Contact tracing is underway with the team coming off of their bye week, so there has been minimal contact among players and coaches. The Raiders facility is open and practice will take place on Wednesday. Brown has only played in two games this year due to a calf injury, but he returned to action before the team's Week 6 bye. It's unclear if the 27-year-old tackle will be able to play in Week 7 against the Buccaneers. If Brown cannot suit up, it will be bad news for a Raiders offensive line against a very tough Tampa defensive front on Sunday night.
Jacksonville Jaguars kicker Josh Lambo (hip) has been designated to return from Injured Reserve after missing the last four weeks with a left hip injury. The Jaguars have used a revolving door at kicker ever since Lambo was put on IR four weeks ago. They went with Jon Brown, who had never previously kicked in the NFL, in Week 6. In his two games before his hip injury, Lambo made all three of his field-goal attempts and six of his seven extra points. The Chargers Defense, Jacksonville's Week 7 opponent, has allowed the third-most fantasy points per week to kickers, but Lambo just won't be a very trustworthy option coming off injury for an inconsistent Jaguars offense.
New York Jets head coach Adam Gase said there's a chance that rookie wide receiver Denzel Mims (hamstring) plays in Week 7 against the Bills "as long as we don't have any setbacks." The second-round pick has yet to make his NFL debut for the winless Jets, but it may come this weekend against Buffalo. New York has nothing to lose at this point and should be looking to get Mims involved the rest of the way, but nobody outside of receiver Jamison Crowder can be trusted for fantasy lineups right now. Mims will be fighting for targets among Breshad Perriman, Jeff Smith and Braxton Berrios when he steps on the field for the first time. The rookie should remain on most single-year waiver wires for now, but he's a name to keep an eye on heading into the second half of the season.
Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Alshon Jeffery (foot) and defensive tackle Malik Jackson (quadriceps) have been ruled out for Thursday night against the Giants. While Jeffery has been limited in practice the last couple of weeks, he has yet to make his 2020 debut after offseason surgery. The oft-injured 30-year-old will eventually be a starter for the Eagles as they work him back in, though, so he's worth stashing for receiver depth in deeper leagues. He could very well make his debut in Week 8 against the Cowboys and their awful defense. DeSean Jackson (hamstring) is on track to make his return on Thursday after a three-game absence, which could be bad news for Travis Fulgham, Greg Ward and rookie John Hightower.
The Buffalo Bills released offensive guard Quinton Spain on Wednesday. It comes after Spain signed a three-year, $15 million deal with the Bills in March, which included a $1.5 million signing bonus, a $1.4 million roster bonus and a $1.6 million guaranteed base salary. He started the first two weeks of the season for Buffalo but took a back seat in Weeks 3 and 4 and missed the last two games with a foot injury. The 29-year-old should latch on quickly with another team, as Spain has earned good marks for his pass and run blocking. Pro Football Focus credited Spain with zero sacks allowed last season.
Los Angeles Dodgers rookie right-handed pitcher Tony Gonsolin will start Game 2 of the World Series against the Rays on Wednesday. Gonsolin faced 11 batters and tossed 41 pitches in Game 7 of the National League Championship Series against Atlanta on Sunday, so he may only be able to go a couple of innings. Manager Dave Roberts said that youngsters Julio Urias and Dustin May will also be available out of the bullpen on Wednesday, although Urias and May combined to face 14 batters in Game 7. Whoever is freshest among Gonsolin, May and Urias will likely start in Game 4 on Saturday. Because Gonsolin may not go over a few innings on Wednesday, he's not a sound DFS choice on Wednesday over Rays starter Blake Snell.
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson's passing numbers are down across the board through six weeks this season, from completion rate to passing yards and touchdowns, but he says it has nothing to do with his mechanics. Jackson's sidearm delivery has been scrutinized over the last three seasons, but quarterbacks coach James Urban isn't worried about Jackson's delivery. Last year's MVP ranks 24th in completion rate (63 percent), 25th in passing yards (1,135), 23rd in yards per attempt (7.01) and 14th in passer rating (99.2). He ranks 13th with 10 touchdown passes after leading the league in 2019. Baltimore doesn't seem too worried, but it's certainly not the start Jackson's fantasy managers were hoping for. Hopefully he'll pick it up in the passing department after the team's Week 7 bye, but Jackson remains a high-end QB1 for his elite rushing ability.
New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (shoulder) will be limited in practice on Wednesday. It's a positive step for Darnold, who has missed the last two games with a sprained shoulder. Even if the 23-year-old gets cleared to return to the field this Sunday, he'll be hard to trust as a low-end QB2 in superflex leagues against the Bills. Darnold was 21-for-35 for 215 yards, one touchdown and an interception in the 27-17 loss to Buffalo back in Week 1. Veteran Joe Flacco hasn't been any better in the last two games in place of Darnold, going 39-for-77 for 381 yards, one touchdown and an interception against the Cardinals and Dolphins. The only player you should be using in your starting lineups for the 0-6 Jets is wide receiver Jamison Crowder.
Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson said it would be hard to get wide receiver Alshon Jeffery (foot) ready on a short week against the Giants on Thursday night. Jeffery has been limited so far in practice this week, but the Eagles remain cautious with him since he has yet to play in 2020 while coming off foot surgery. The good news is that Philly could get DeSean Jackson (hamstring) back in Week 7. Regardless, Travis Fulgham remains the most attractive fantasy wideout for the Eagles against a shaky Giants Defense on Thursday night. Rookie John Hightower and Greg Ward will also see playing time even if Jackson is active. Jeffery could return in Week 8 against the Cowboys and is a stash option for receiver depth.
Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson said that he anticipates both wide receiver DeSean Jackson (hamstring) and offensive tackle Lane Johnson (ankle) playing on Thursday night against the Giants. Neither Jackson nor Johnson were on the team's final injury report for Thursday night. Jackson has missed the last three games and has been limited in practice so far this week. Even against a beatable New York secondary, D-Jax is a risky boom/bust WR4/flex option at risk of re-injury. His return to the lineup could also make things more difficult for Travis Fulgham, Greg Ward and rookie John Hightower in the receiving pecking order, depending on how many snaps Jackson actually plays in his return. Johnson's return would be great news for quarterback Carson Wentz and running back Boston Scott.
The Carolina Panthers placed kicker Joey Slye and offensive lineman Trent Scott on the Reserve/COVID-19 list on Wednesday. They are going on the list not because of a positive COVID-19 test, but because of close contact, according to a source. Slye has made a league-leading 16 field goals on 18 tries this year, so this is a blow to fantasy managers that were planning to use him in Week 7 against the Saints. He's also made 10 of his 12 extra points, ranking him fourth in fantasy points among kickers through six weeks. Slye hasn't been officially ruled out for this weekend, but you need to make other plans at this point.