Each Saturday, Aaron Larson (@aalarson) and Michael Stephenson (@DFF_MSte) examine the hottest NFL rumors and offer their insights as to any potential fantasy football implications they might have heading into the weekend. So, grab your beverage or snack of choice and get ready to start the week off with some good old-fashioned fantasy football speculation.
Fantasy Fallout: Doyle has been out since suffering a hip injury in week two, and Eric Ebron has been an elite tight end in his absence. He has a history of being one of Andrew Luck’s favorite targets, so his return would seem to be a downgrade for Ebron, but also an upgrade for Luck as he gets yet another offensive weapon back. (AL)
Rumor: 49ers running back Matt Breida returned to practice Friday in a limited fashion.
Fantasy Fallout: This is just all around bad news for fantasy football. Even if Brieda plays Sunday, there’s a chance he exits early again. If he is ultimately inactive for the game, then Raheem Mostert becomes a must-start against the lackluster Cardinals defense. If Breida is active Sunday, then it becomes almost impossible to trust anybody in the San Francisco backfield. (AL)
Rumor: The Jets signed veteran receiver Rishard Matthews heading into their week eight matchup with the Chicago Bears.
Fantasy Fallout: The Jets receiving corps is in rough shape at the moment. Robby Anderson and Quincy Enunwa are banged up, they just cut Terrelle Pryor, and Jermaine Kearse is coming off a game with zero catches. Matthews might not make a huge impact in his first week as a Jet but is worth a speculative add in deeper leagues. (AL)
Rumor: After being held out of Thursday’s practice, Marlon Mack returned to practice Friday and is listed as questionable for Sunday’s matchup with the Raiders.
Fantasy Fallout: Mack is coming off of a huge week seven performance, so it was a bit of a surprise to see him held out Thursday, but his return Friday is excellent news. As long as he’s active Sunday, he should be safe to roll out in your lineup in a nice matchup with the Raiders. If he is ultimately held out of Sunday’s game, you can take a shot with Jordan Wilkins or Nyheim Hines. (AL)
Rumor: Carolina Panthers wide receiver Torrey Smith has been ruled out for their week eight game against the Ravens
Fantasy Fallout: While Torrey Smith hasn’t had a huge fantasy impact this season, his absence does create more opportunities for DJ. Moore and Curtis Samuel, who could be sneaky deep league and DFS tournament plays. (AL)
Rumor: LeSean McCoy is practicing in a limited fashion, but has yet to be cleared from concussion protocol.
Fantasy Fallout: McCoy was starting to put together some good fantasy performances before exiting early last week. It’s always risky to count on an injured player in a Monday night game, so if you want to risk it with McCoy make sure you have a backup plan with the likes of Chris Ivory or Kenjon Barner. (AL)
Rumor: Rob Gronkowski, who was a surprise inactive last week with a back injury, has been getting in limited practices this week.
Fantasy Fallout: The fact that he’s been practising all week is good news, but much like McCoy, it’s always tough to count on a questionable Monday night player. Be ready with Charles Clay or Dwayne Allen if you plan on risking it with Gronk this week. (AL)
Rumor: Broncos running back Royce Freeman has been ruled out for week 8 vs. Chiefs.
Fantasy Fallout: This is a huge bump for Philip Lindsay who was already leading this committee backfield through 7 weeks, now that Freeman’s 8-10 touches have been freed up we could see Lindsay take a step forward. Devonte Booker could also see a small bump in production, but I would not expect him to become fantasy relevant (MS)