Stefon Diggs played his normal snap rate against the Cardinals this past Sunday, securing 6-of-7 targets for 37 scoreless yards as he was locked down in Patrick Peterson’s shadow coverage. On Monday, however, Diggs was listed as a limited participant in practice due to a knee injury. On Tuesday, he was downgraded to “did not practice.” That raises serious concern on a short week with the Vikings set to kick off with the Lions on Thanksgiving day at 12:30 PM ET.
Minnesota has made a habit of limiting Diggs’ reps in practice many times throughout the season. But there’s been a stark difference in his production in weeks he’s been on/off the injury report. Our own Evan Silva has noted it several times throughout the season. In weeks Diggs is on the injury report this season, he’s posted receiving lines of 4-40-0, 5-47-0, and 2-18-0. When not listed, Diggs has put up lines of 7-103-0, 9-182-1, 8-76-1, 13-80-0, 13-164-0, and the latest 6-37-0 vs. Peterson in Week 11. That could be pure coincidence, but more than likely there is something to it. Over the past five weeks, the Lions have allowed the fifth-fewest fantasy points to receivers. Even if he plays Thursday, Diggs won’t be 100 percent and the matchup isn’t all that great in what projects to be a low-scoring game.
The one plus for Diggs is that over the past month, he’s second among all players in targets per game with 12.25, just behind Antonio Brown (13). If he sits Thursday, that opens a ton of opportunity for the Vikings’ remaining pass catchers. Kyle Rudolph instantly becomes even more attractive. The Lions have struggled with tight ends all season, allowing the most touchdowns and second-most fantasy points to the position. Adam Thielen would be someone worth streaming consideration.
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In Other News…
Andrew Luck smacked the back of his head on the turf in Sunday’s home win over the Titans late in the fourth quarter. He didn’t come out of the game but reported concussion symptoms later that evening. Luck hasn’t practiced the first two days of the week, and Scott Tolzien is preparing to make the start Thursday night against the Steelers. It pretty much ruins what would have been a compelling game to cap off Thanksgiving. The Steelers are now nine-point favorites. Luck’s absence downgrades the entire offense, making T.Y. Hilton and Donte Moncrief bust-prone as WR3s. The Colts may lean more on Frank Gore, who at least holds his RB2 value in this one against a bad run defense.
Jay Cutler’s season appears over. He has also likely played his last snap as the Bears quarterback. Cutler is believed to have suffered a torn labrum in his shoulder in the Week 11 loss to the Giants. It has yet to be confirmed, but everything points to Cutler being done for the year. Matt Barkley is the next man up, while the Bears also signed former Chicago draft pick David Fales off the Ravens’ practice squad. This offense will be one to stream defense against the final six weeks.
The Vikings cut Ronnie Hillman on Monday and will move forward with Jerick McKinnon and Matt Asiata at running back. On Tuesday, the Chargers claimed Hillman off waivers. He played for coach Mike McCoy early in his career in Denver and should know the offense for the most part. Hillman is no threat to Melvin Gordon’s workload. But it’s notable that it was later revealed that the Broncos also tried to claim Hillman on Tuesday. Since C.J. Anderson (knee) went down, Devontae Booker has averaged a pitiful 50.7 rushing yards and 2.9 YPC in three starts for Denver. The Broncos appear to be searching for running back help. Kapri Bibbs is currently the backup to Booker.
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Quarterback & Running Back Slants
Ameer Abdullah (foot, I.R.) had a checkup on Tuesday. According to ESPN Lions reporter Michael Rothstein, “everything went well” at it. Abdullah is a strong candidate to be the Lions’ designated-for-return player within three weeks. … The Chiefs waived RB Bishop Sankey. … Theo Riddick (ankle) remained limited in Tuesday’s practice, but should play Thursday. … The Bengals are confident Rex Burkhead can help replace Giovani Bernard’s (knee, I.R.) production. … Coach Andy Reid said he isn’t worried about Alex Smith’s down play. It won’t get any easier Week 12 at Denver. … Coach Chip Kelly said Carlos Hyde remains the “main focus” of what the 49ers are doing offensively. He’s been able to maintain production despite the 49ers losing every week.
Wide Receiver & Tight End Slants
Brandon Pettigrew (knee, PUP) practice for the first time this season on Tuesday. He’s not expected to be ready for Thanksgiving day. … The Lions waived WR Corey Fuller. … Jets signed WR/KR Jeremy Ross. … DeSean Jackson (shoulder) was limited in Tuesday’s practice. He played through the issue this past Sunday night and should be fine for Thursday. … Will Fuller (leg) was setback-free in his return to the lineup Monday night. However, he was out-snapped and out-targeted by Braxton Miller. Neither receiver is a fantasy option. … The Vikings appear open to re-signing contract-year WR/KR Cordarrelle Patterson. … Tom Brady heaped praise on rookie WR Malcolm Mitchell following his big Week 11 game against San Francisco. Mitchell could cut into Chris Hogan’s snaps.
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