There are only two teams on bye (Detroit and Houston), but this is a brutal slate for fantasy purposes. Just one game (Atlanta-New England) has a Vegas over/under above 49, while seven games have totals set below 44 points. Even on brutal slates like we have on deck for Week 7, Rich Hribar navigates all the nooks and crannies of the matchups in his weekly Worksheet. It’s an epic data-driven must-read, especially when there are plenty of decisions to make.
Even though this looks like a weak slate matchups-wise, we at least have a moderately slow news cycle heading towards the weekend. Let’s cover all of the pertinent news in Thursday’s Dose.
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The Vikes’ have sustained some terrible injury luck this year. Dalvin Cook (ACL) is on IR, Sam Bradford (knee) clearly isn’t right, and now Stefon Diggs (groin) is in jeopardy of missing Week 7. The Vikes’ may play it safe with their star wideout as they have their bye in Week 9, and Diggs has struggled to produce when injured in the past. We now have four games worth of a sample of the Vikes’ target distribution when Diggs misses time. In those contests, Adam Thielen has averaged 8.3 targets per contest (game-by-game targets without Diggs: 8 > 11 > 1 > 13) while Kyle Rudolph has put up 9.5 targets per day sans Diggs (4 > 10 > 15 > 9). As expected, Adam Thielen lined up in the slot on just 45% of routes in Week 6 without Stefon Diggs. Thielen was a 64% slot receiver in Week 1-5 with Diggs (per PFF). If Diggs misses again in Week 7, the Vikes’ two-receiver set could comprise just Thielen and Laquon Treadwell as Michael Floyd (calf) is questionable.
Unfortunately, the Dolphins’ lead boundary receiver DeVante Parker (ankle) is still not practicing. Parker’s ankle injury was originally described as “minor,” but that simply does not appear to be the case. Parker only played three snaps in Week 5 before leaving the game, so the Dolphins have essentially run without Parker for two straight games. In those contests, Jarvis Landry has seen an absurd 24 targets (40% share) and has led the ‘Fins in team share of air yards (44%) in that span, per Airyards.com. For reference, with Parker in the lineup in Week 2-4, Landry’s team share of air yards was 17%. Julius Thomas has nine targets while Kenny Stills has six without Parker. If Parker misses again in Week 7, Landry will be a volume monster once again versus the Jets.
Jameis Winston (throwing shoulder) was limited in practice on Wednesday, and won’t attempt to throw until later in the week. As it stands now, Winston is best viewed as 50/50 at best to suit up in Week 7 vs. the Bills. Even if Winston can find a way to play, he’ll be a mid-range QB2 start on the road in Buffalo against the Bills’ stout secondary. No team is allowing a passing score at a lower rate per attempt than Buffalo (1.06%). At press-time, Winston will likely be pressed for time to suit up in Week 7 since it seems like pain tolerance is the main issue. If Winston can’t be at the controls come Sunday, Ryan Fitzpatrick will be shoved into a spot start on the road against one of his former teams. In place of Winston in Week 6, Fitzpatrick dropped 290 yards passing on 32 attempts against Arizona, but, he still managed to throw two interceptions in garbage time. Last year, Fitzpatrick led the league in interception rate (4.2%) among qualified passers. Fitzmagic can funnel targets to Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson and Cameron Brate, but it’s obviously a big step down, efficiency-wise, from Jameis Winston.
Leonard Fournette (ankle) did not practice Wednesday, but there is a positive catch. Fournette tweaked his ankle late in the Jags’ Week 6 game vs. the Rams and was cleared to come back into the game, but he didn’t. Fournette will likely play in Week 7 vs. the Colts, but it’s worth noting how many foot/ankle issues Fournette has sustained in his career dating back to his days at LSU. Fournette missed time during the 2016 season in college with an ankle issue, he sprained his foot during the preseason in August and now tweaked his ankle again in Week 6. Hopefully, all of these lower-extremity nicks don’t cost Fournette any games. All of Fournette’s foot and ankle issues over the past 14 months are worrisome, to say the least.
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TNF Quick Hits
Charcandrick West (concussion) is out for Week 7 against the Raiders. It’s worth noting that Kareem Hunt played a season-high 78% snap rate in Week 6, as West missed the entire second half with a concussion. … Chiefs’ WR Albert Wilson (knee) is questionable. … Chiefs’ G Laurent Duvernay-Tardif (knee) and C Mitch Morse (foot) are both out. … For the Raiders, CB Gareon Conley (shin) is out.
Offensive Quick Hits
Rinse and repeat: Colts GM Chris Ballard said Andrew Luck has experienced soreness in his surgically-repaired right (throwing) shoulder and will not practice this week. … Shocker: The Browns are turning back to DeShone Kizer as their starter in Week 7. Cody Kessler is now their No. 2 QB on the depth chart. … Jordan Matthews (thumb) was cleared to practice Wednesday. He’s still questionable for Week 7. … Mohamed Sanu (hamstring) returned to practice Wednesday. … Jeremy Maclin (shoulder) practiced on Wednesday; Breshad Perriman (concussion) did not. … Bilal Powell (calf) did not practice Wednesday. Robby Anderson (ankle) also did not practice. … Corey Davis (hamstring) didn’t practice Wednesday. … Branden Oliver (hamstring) is practicing in full for Week 7 against the Broncos.
Defensive Quick Hits
Patrick Peterson (quad) was limited in Wednesday’s practice. … Ravens DT Brandon Williams (foot) returned to practice Wednesday. … Redskins first-round DT Jonathan Allen (foot) will miss the remainder of the season. … Seahawks placed DE Cliff Avril (neck) on injured reserve. … Cowboys WLB Sean Lee (hamstring) is practicing fully for Week 7.
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