Leading up to gameday each week, Aaron Larson (@aalarson) examines the hottest NFL rumors and offers insights for potential fantasy football implications they might have. So grab your beverage or snack of choice and get ready for the weekend with some good old-fashioned fantasy football speculation.
Rumor: Joe Flacco is doubtful to play against Cincinnati Sunday, but it’s unclear who will start at quarterback for the Ravens.
Fantasy Fallout: The fantasy football community has been waiting patiently to see what Lamar Jackson can do as a starter, but the Baltimore may choose to trot out Robert Griffin III instead. Whoever gets the call under center will have a juicy matchup against a poor Bengals defense, but owners will likely have to wait until just before kickoff to find out who it will be.
Rumor: Eagles head coach Doug Pederson says that Golden Tate will be more involved in the offense this week.
Fantasy Fallout: Tate only caught two passes on four targets while seeing action on just 29% of Philadelphia’s offensive snaps last week in his Eagle’s debut. Now that he’s had more time to acclimate to Philly’s offense, he could have a significant impact against the Saints. Tate has 440 yards and five touchdowns in four career games against New Orleans.
Rumor: The Bengals have listed A.J Green as doubtful for Sunday’s game in Baltimore while running back Joe Mixon is without an injury designation after returning to full practice Friday.
Fantasy Fallout: Green hasn’t been expected to play after sitting out practice all week with a toe injury, but it’s good news for Mixon to be cleared after being limited in Thursday’s practice. Nevertheless, Mixon will have a tough matchup with a Ravens defense that’s allowing the fewest fantasy points per game to running backs.
Rumor: Brandon Marshall has signed with the Saints, but it’s uncertain if he will be active this week.
Fantasy Fallout: New Orleans signed the veteran receiver after Dez Bryant tore his Achilles in just his second practice with the team last week. If he is active, he is worth a desperation play as a red zone target in a high powered offense that faces an Eagles team missing it’s top two corners to injury.
Rumor: Detroit wideout Marvin Jones has been ruled out for the Lions matchup with Carolina this week.
Fantasy Fallout: With Jones out and Golden Tate shipped to the Eagles, Kenny Golladay will be the Lions number one receiver by default. Golladay had some impressive fantasy performances this season, but it’s yet to be seen if he can be leaned on as a true number one receiver.
Rumor: Chiefs wide receiver Sammy Watkins did not practice on Friday in preparation for the Chiefs Monday night showdown with the Rams.
Fantasy Fallout: After sitting out week ten with a foot injury, it appeared that Watkins was trending towards playing week eleven on Monday night. His downgrade Friday puts a damper on the prospects of a revenge game for Watkins against his former team. Fantasy owners need to prepare for the possibility that he sits out. Chris Conley saw the biggest snap increase in Watkins’ week ten absence but was only able to catch one pass on two targets for 22 yards.
Rumor: The Ravens have officially designated running back Kenneth Dixon to return from injured reserve.
Fantasy Fallout: Dixon was expected to compete with Alex Collins in the Baltimore until he suffered a knee injury in week one. Collins hasn’t been a dominant back this season. Buck Allen and Ty Montgomery are also vying for backfield touches, so the return of Dixon only makes the situation more difficult to predict.