The Las Vegas Raiders placed four starting offensive lineman on the Reserve/COVID-19 list on Thursday. Center Rodney Hudson, guards Gabe Jackson and Denzelle Good and tackle Kolton Miller were deemed high-risk contacts, according to sources. Tackle Trent Brown is already on the COVID-19 list, so the Raiders could be without all five starting offensive linemen in Week 7 against the Buccaneers. Las Vegas has just five remaining offensive linemen on their 53-man active roster, along with two practice-squad linemen. The offensive linemen must quarantine for five days plus their last day of contact (Monday), so they could be cleared Sunday morning. If the Raiders are without their entire starting offensive line this Sunday, that would spell bad news for both quarterback Derek Carr and running back Josh Jacobs against a stout Tampa defense.
Jacksonville Jaguars tight end Tyler Eifert (neck) was held out of Thursday's practice as he continues to work his way back from a neck injury. Eifert was able to log just five offensive snaps last Sunday versus Detroit before being removed, which doesn't bode well for his shot at suiting up this Sunday against the Chargers. James O'Shaughnessy would take over a larger role should Eifert remain out, although the veteran logged 75 percent of the team's offensive snaps last week and saw just one target (with zero catches). With wide receivers DJ Chark Jr. (ankle) and Laviska Shenault Jr. (hamstring) joining Eifert on the injury report, Jacksonville may wind up facing a stingy Chargers Defense without its full allotment of offensive talent.
Tennessee Titans wide receiver A.J. Brown (knee) popped up on the injury report Thursday after missing practice due to a knee ailment. Brown has already missed two games this season due to knee issues, so his latest injury development may not be insignificant. Since returning, Brown has hauled in 12 receptions for 140 yards and three touchdowns, making him a high-end WR2 in season-long formats moving forward. With Corey Davis and Adam Humphries both back in the mix, an absence from Brown would pave the way for the aforementioned duo to see increased roles Sunday against a stout Pittsburgh secondary. Check back throughout the week for updates on Brown's status as they become available.
Los Angeles Rams running back Darrell Henderson Jr. (thigh) and tight end Tyler Higbee (hand) were both absent from Thursday's practice, throwing their status for Monday's game against Chicago into flux. This is the first of an injury concern for either, which could mean that the move was a precautionary one by the Rams with an extra day allocated for playing on Monday Night Football. Henderson appears to have wrestled full-time RB1 duties away from Malcolm Brown, thereby becoming a high-end RB2 in most season-long formats. Higbee has established a safe floor, making at least two receptions in each of his first six games, but he has logged more than three catches just once. The duo will have two additional days of potential practice to get in, so it's worth keeping an eye on their status until there's further clarification.
Green Bay Packers tight end Robert Tonyan (ankle) did not practice Thursday, marking yet another day that he was unable to return in any capacity ahead of Sunday's game versus Houston. Tonyan returned to play last Sunday against the Buccaneers and hauled in three receptions for 25 yards, but he has backtracked that progress by notching two consecutive DNPs. Having amassed five touchdowns over his first three games (including three in one contest), Tonyan has massive upside when given the green light to suit up, which would be the case if he can work through his ankle injury to play Sunday. Check back for an update to his status prior to Sunday.
Houston Texans tight end Jordan Akins (ankle, concussion) was held out of practice Thursday, a trend that indicates that he could miss his third consecutive game Sunday when his squad faces Green Bay. An absence by Akins would keep Darren Fells in season-long consideration as a low-end TE1 and as a high-upside selection in DFS contests, even as the Packers have yielded just one touchdown to opposing tight ends this year. Having hauled in 14 of the 15 balls that he has been targeted on this season for 168 receiving yards, Akins could become a consistent fantasy commodity whenever he's finally healthy. Check back over the coming days to see if he can make a drastic pivot in fortunes and take the field.
Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Sammy Watkins (hamstring) once again did not practice Thursday, putting his status for Sunday's contest against Denver up in the air. Watkins was considered questionable to play Monday due to a hamstring injury, with Kansas City at least leaving the door open that he could have played; his extended practice absence may be a means of keeping him fresh for game action Sunday, but that remains unclear. Averaging a career-low 10.6 yards per reception through five games this season, Watkins would be a roll of the dice fantasy selection for season-long or DFS lineups Sunday even if he's able to recover in time. Check back throughout the week to monitor his status, as an absence from Watkins could pave the way for Demarcus Robinson and Mecole Hardman to see increased roles.
Denver Broncos tight end Noah Fant (ankle) was able to practice in full Thursday, a significant step in the right direction concerning his availability for Sunday's contest against the Chiefs. Fant has missed each of Denver's two prior contests, with his return to practice on a full-time basis marking the first time in three weeks that he has had no restrictions. With Drew Lock also recovered from injury and back under center, Fant has some legitimate TE1 appeal in season-long formats, in addition to drawing some DFS upside due to the rapport that the two established last season. Having hauled in five receptions in three of his four games this season, Fant presents a solid floor in any-sized format.
The Buffalo Bills Defense gets the fortune of playing what is on track to be a decimated Jets offense Sunday. Joe Flacco is likely to start under center again for Sam Darnold (shoulder), while Jamison Crowder (groin) was held out of practice Thursday. But on their side of the ball, Josh Norman (hamstring) and Tre'Davious White (back) were both limited practice participants, joining Matt Milano (pectoral) as question marks to suit up Sunday. In season-long formats, the Bills defense is a definite must-roster, irrespective of the final status on White and Norman; but in DFS, absences from either or both could make the unit a slippery slope when considering it's sky-high price tag. Check back throughout the week for updates on the corner situation specifically.
For the second consecutive day Thursday, Jacksonville Jaguars wide receivers DJ Chark Jr. (ankle) and Laviska Shenault Jr. (hamstring) were both limited practice participants. Neither appears in any immediate danger of missing Sunday's contest against the Chargers, but their status is something to keep an eye on, even as Chark compiled a season-high 14 targets last Sunday. The duo makes up much of the fantasy intrigue at WR for the Jaguars, so an absence by either would thereby enhance the other's upside. Should Chark ultimately be cleared, he'd be a must-start in the vast majority of season-long formats, while Shenault continues to make a case for being rostered in medium-sized and smaller leagues. Check back over the coming days to see if their practice status progresses.
Minnesota Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph is a name that multiple NFL teams have reportedly asked about ahead of the trade deadline on Nov. 3, according to Albert Breer of the MMQB. Minnesota has already moved defensive end Yannick Ngakoue to Baltimore, an indication that the organization could be open for making other shrewd moves that look beyond 2020. Rudolph's role in the passing game has diminished from where it has been over the past decade, as he's compiled just 14 targets (10 receptions) over his first six games this year. With essentially little season-long value currently attached, Rudolph could benefit from a change of scenery in an offense that would be hoping to highlight his red-zone abilities. Stay tuned to see if Rudolph changes uniforms as the deadline approaches.
New York Jets wide receiver Jamison Crowder (groin) did not take part in Thursday's practice as he continues to work his way through a groin ailment. The only steady offensive producer that the Jets have deployed this season, Crowder has seen double-digit targets in each of the four games that he has suited up for. His fantasy stock has taken a dip across the board with quarterback Joe Flacco filling in for Sam Darnold (shoulder), but Flacco and the Jets offense would become even more anemic if Crowder is ruled out Sunday against a stout Bills Defense. Crowder compiled seven receptions for 115 yards and a touchdown when he faced Buffalo back in Week 1, but his injury may make some fantasy managers reluctant to utilize him with the same vigor.
Dallas Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee (hernia) and cornerback Chidobe Awuzie (hamstring) have both been designated to come off of Injured Reserve as soon as this Sunday versus Washington. Lee has yet to suit up for the Cowboys Defense in 2020, having been sidelined due to a sports hernia. Awuzie played in two games, collecting an interception before hitting the IR. The eventual return of both players will be a boon for a defense that has struggled mightily this season. Even with a favorable matchup against Washington on Sunday, Dallas' defensive unit will have some work to do before it works its way into season-long consideration in most formats.
Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill will look to start a new touchdown streak in Week 7 against the Denver Broncos. Hill had his touchdown streak of five games snapped in Week 6, but will face a Broncos Defense that is allowing 171 yards per game and has allowed five touchdowns on the season. All five of those touchdowns came in Week 2 and Week 3, but the Chiefs passing attack is strong enough that they will do their best to get in the end zone Sunday. Hill has 25 receptions for 384 yards on the season and will be a WR1 with boom potential on Sunday. He should remain a steady option for managers on a weekly basis.
Kansas City Chiefs rookie running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire will look to build off of his best performance as a professional in Week 6 with a matchup against the Denver Broncos in Week 7. CEH will face a Broncos Defense that is averaging 76 yards a game versus opponents and has not allowed more than 100 yards rushing in a contest since Week 2, but has been allowing just over five receptions a game and 36 yards to opposing runners. Edwards-Helaire should see plenty of action as both a runner and receiver, but it has not been determined yet if recent acquisition Le'Veon Bell will suit up. If Bell suits up, CEH's value will take a bump and he may lose opportunities in the pass game. CEH for now remains a backend RB1 heading into Week 7, but that could change if Bell suits up.
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes will look to continue his strong season in a Week 7 matchup versus the Denver Broncos. Vic Fangio's defense has been stingy against opposing quarterbacks by allowing just 252 yards per game on the season and zero passing touchdowns for two straight weeks. The Chiefs offense is so explosive that both those stats should change in Week 7. Mahomes will enter the contest with 1699 yards, 15 touchdowns and just one interception on the season and remains a weekly QB1 option in all formats.
Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce is coming off a two-touchdown performance in Week 6 against the Buffalo Bills, but he draws a tough matchup against a Broncos Defense that hasn't allowed an opposing tight end to score a touchdown since allowing two in Week 1, and they have allowed just 49 yards a game to opposing tight ends. Kelce is a different breed compared to most at his position, though, and he should still have plenty of opportunities in an explosive offensive attack with the best quarterback in the game in Patrick Mahomes throwing him the ball. Kelce might not be the best play in DFS in Week 7, but he should be fired up as TE1 in weekly leagues.
Los Angeles Chargers tight end Hunter Henry will look to put together another positive week versus the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 7. Henry scored his first touchdown of the season in Week 5, but only picked up 23 yards and that comes after a 39 yard performance in Week 4. With the emergence of a healthy Mike Williams, Henry's value has a taken a little hit, but he still remains a backend TE1. The Jaguars have been strong against opposing tight ends with the exception of Jonnu Smith in Week 2. The Jags are only allowing 58 yards per game to tight ends and that makes Henry a better play in weekly leagues versus DFS.
Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Mike Williams will look to build off of a strong Week 5 outing with a Week 7 date against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Williams went off against the Saints for a pair of touchdowns and 109 yards with five receptions in Week 5, but most of that action happened after Keenan Allen (back) exited early with a back injury. Allen is expected back in Week 7, but Williams should still be a big part of the Chargers passing attack. Williams will face a Jaguars Defense that has allowed opposing receivers to average 169.5 yards a game to opposing receivers, but under a touchdown a game. The touchdown opportunities may be hard to come by, but Williams is a fine WR4 option in a game that should be back and forth and remains a strong upside option for managers.
Los Angeles Chargers rookie quarterback Justin Herbert will look for his first NFL victory in a matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 7. Herbert has been performing very well since taking the starting gig away from Tyrod Taylor in Week 2. The Chargers had a Week 6 bye, but Herbert threw for 264 yards and four touchdowns against the Saints in Week 5. The rookie will look to keep the stats coming against a Jaguars Defense that is giving up 274 yards and two touchdowns a game, but they have been also been averaging an interception per contest. In what should be a back and forth battle on Sunday, Herbert should be considered a QB2 with upside and should already be rostered in leagues that play two quarterbacks.
Los Angeles Chargers running back Joshua Kelley will look to pick up some yards in Week 7 against the Jacksonville Jaguars. With Austin Ekeler (hamstring) sidelined, Kelley was expected to draw the start and be the beneficiary, but it was Justin Jackson who started and took advantage of the opportunity given to him in Week 5. Kelley was a hot name entering the season and had started the year strong with a pair of 60 or more yards rushing in those games, but he has just 79 total rushing yards over his last three games. Justin Jackson seems like the preferred option at the running back position right now, but Kelley should get at least a third of the snaps behind center against a Jaguars Defense allowing 114 rushing yards per contest. Kelley should be avoided in Week 7, but is an upside player worth rostering in deeper leagues until Ekeler returns.
Los Angeles Chargers running back Justin Jackson (knee) practiced on Thursday. Jackson was a limited participation on Wednesday with a knee injury, but managers shouldn't worry as Jackson appears ready for a Week 7 matchup a Jacksonville Jaguars Defense that is allowing 114 yards and a touchdown per contest this season to opposing runners. Jackson started the Chargers first game with Austin Ekeler (hamstring) sidelined in Week 5 and received 59% of the snaps. Jackson took advantage and picked up 71 yards and also hauled in five balls for 23 yards. Jackson appears to be the favorite in the backfield with Ekeler sidelined, but rookie Joshua Kelley is likely to steal some snaps. Even with Kelley in the picture, Jackson is the safer play in Week 7 and makes for a fine flex option.
Denver Broncos rookie wide receiver Jerry Jeudy has impressed in his first season with his quick feet and polished route-running skills, but he's seen his stock drop in the last few weeks in Denver's inconsistent offense. The 21-year-old Alabama product has just four catches on nine targets for 93 yards in the last two weeks against the Jets and the Patriots, although he did find the end zone for the first time in his career in Week 4. Out of the slot, Jeudy figures to match up with Chiefs defensive back Tyrann Mathieu this Sunday. KC's defense has allowed the fifth-fewest fantasy points to receivers, making this a difficult matchup for the rookie. He'll need more aerial targets and for quarterback Drew Lock to play better to be anything more than a WR4 this weekend.
Denver Broncos wide receiver Tim Patrick has come out of nowhere this year to post back-to-back 100-yard games with Courtland Sutton (knee) done for the year. But in Week 7 he'll be facing off against a Chiefs Defense that has allowed the sixth-fewest fantasy points per game to the receiver position in 2020. KC was second-best at stopping wideouts last year on their way to a Super Bowl championship. And it's not as though quarterback Drew Lock has lit up the scoreboard in passing yards in his two-plus games this season. Denver may be forced to throw the ball more than they'd like against the Chiefs high-scoring offense, but that won't guarantee another big day from Patrick. He's a WR4/5 for this week's matchup.
In Denver Broncos running back Phillip Lindsay's return from a turf-toe injury in Week 6 against the Patriots, he put up a dominant performance with 23 carries for 101 yards in the upset win. Lindsay operated as the workhorse back with Melvin Gordon III out with strep throat, but Gordon is on track to return in Week 7 against the Chiefs. Expect the two backs to split up the workload this Sunday. While Lindsay's ceiling obviously won't be as high with Gordon back in the picture, he showed enough last week in his return to at least warrant RB3/flex consideration in PPR leagues. Lindsay could see more work in the passing game if the Broncos are forced to throw often, but KC's defense has yet to allow a receiving touchdown to a running back in 2020.
Denver Broncos running back Melvin Gordon III (illness) missed last week's game with a non-COVID-19-related illness, but he's not on the injury report heading into Week 7 against the division-rival Chiefs. Gordon still faces the possibility of a suspension from the league after his DUI last week, but fantasy managers should expect Gordon to play as of right now. Phillip Lindsay led the backfield in Gordon's absence in Week 6 and ran for over 100 yards against the Patriots. Gordon will still see his fair share of touches against KC, but the presence of Lindsay will lower his ceiling and make him more of a high-end RB3/flex for fantasy managers. The Chiefs Defense has allowed only three rushing TDs to backs in 2020, and the Broncos may be forced to abandon the run if they fall behind big early.
Denver Broncos quarterback Drew Lock returned from a shoulder sprain in Week 6 to lead the team to an upset win over the Patriots, but he didn't look very sharp and tossed no touchdowns and two interceptions. In the two full games Lock has played in 2020, he hasn't gone over 216 passing yards and has just one touchdown and two picks. He could once again be without his top target in tight end Noah Fant (ankle), too, which won't make life any easier on him against the juggernaut that is the Chiefs. Kansas City shut down Bills quarterback Josh Allen last week, albeit in rainy conditions. They've allowed nine passing TDs this year but have also picked QBs off seven times. Lock could rack up yards if the Broncos are forced to pass often, but he just can't be trusted as anything more than a low-end QB2 in fantasy until he shows us more.
Las Vegas Raiders safety Johnathan Abram will go on the COVID-19 list on Thursday because he was deemed a high-risk close contact after offensive tackle Trent Brown was placed on the COVID-19 list on Wednesday. It doesn't mean that Abram won't play in Week 7 against the Buccaneers, but he's certainly in danger of missing this weekend's game. The Raiders game for Sunday is still on against Tampa, but their secondary could be short-handed if Abram isn't cleared by then. The 23-year-old hard-hitting safety has 28 tackles (21 solo), one interception, three passes defensed and one fumble recovery in five games so far this season, but he might not be in play for IDP managers this weekend.
The game between the Seattle Seahawks and Arizona Cardinals in Week 7 has been moved to Sunday night at 8:20 p.m. ET, with the previously scheduled Sunday night game between the Buccaneers and Raiders being moved to 4:05 p.m. ET. The Raiders placed offensive tackle Trent Brown on the COVID-19 list on Wednesday and have quarantined several of their offensive linemen, so there's the potential for that game to be moved back to Monday as well. Any injured players that end up questionable for the Seahawks or Cardinals will now be even riskier fantasy plays with their game behind moved back to Sunday night. Stay tuned for more news on the Raiders COVID-19 situation.
New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas (ankle, hamstring) was not present during the period of practice open to the media on Thursday after he was limited on Wednesday. Thomas hasn't appeared in a game since suffering a high-ankle sprain in the season-opener, and he tweaked his hamstring in practice this week, potentially making him questionable for Week 7 against the Panthers. The All-Pro wideout was set to return in Week 5 before the team's bye, but he punched a teammate in practice and was held out for disciplinary reasons. His practice status on Friday will be telling. Even though the Panthers have allowed the fourth-fewest fantasy points to wideouts this year, Thomas is a must-start in fantasy if he returns on Sunday after being the top-scoring fantasy receiver in 2019.