The most feared words in fantasy football might just be “game time decision”. Especially when it involves a player in the Sunday or Monday night games. But that’s exactly what we’re dealing with in week one with the Giants’ Odell Beckham Jr. and Denver’s Demaryius Thomas.
Beckham did not practice all week, but he did run and jump without any obvious pain. If it is up to Beckham, he will insist he is alright to play. The question is whether head coach Ben McAdoo lets Beckham play after not practicing. If he can run, McAdoo might let him play as a decoy. Beckham running full speed down the sidelines will take a couple of defenders with him, opening things up for the other receivers.
It’s too iffy a situation to play with. Unless you have a Monday night receiver you can substitute at the last minute, don’t risk it. I have Beckham as a bust even if he plays. I think he is only good for five catches and 65 yards while Eli Manning distributes passes to his new toys, Brandon Marshall and rookie Evan Engram.
In Denver, Demaryius Thomas is listed as questionable with a groin injury all week, but is expected to play in the late Monday night game. However, if your appetite for risk is low, you might consider other options in case he has a setback.
Other game time decisions:
Washington’s Jamison Crowder says he will play Sunday despite a hip injury that landed him on the Redskins’ injury report as “day-to-day”. Crowder will play mostly in the slot and could get more targets than any other Washington receiver.
Thomas Rawls says he will play in what looks like a four-man committee in Seattle. If someone emerges from the pack, that could change. For now, though, I am avoiding Seattle rushers.
Cam Newton and one of his rookie receivers, Curtis Samuel, are listed as questionable, but will play. The big question is whether Cam is in sync with Carolina’s receivers in their new short timing-route passing attack. I guess we need to know if he can throw deep, too. All we saw was two passes, both completions, in the preseason. The excitement in Carolina indicates they think Newton is ready to go.
The Rams’ rookie Cooper Kupp is expected to play despite a groin injury that limited him in practice this week. In Houston, Braxton Miller (ankle) and D’Onta Foreman (groin) are both expected to go, as is Detroit’s rookie wide receiver Kenny Golladay (ankle).
Joe Flacco (back) is definitely starting Sunday as is Danny Woodhead (hamstring). Which is good for Baltimore as that combination may account for the bulk of their offense this season.
More serious stuff
Cincinnati rookie, John Ross is probably out for week one’s game against Baltimore. Ross is expected to provide a speedy option on quick short routes as well as deep routes to complement AJ Green. With everyone else healthy, the Bengals probably won’t be too affected in week one.
Jacksonville’s TJ Yeldon is not likely to play in week one, either. If you were counting on him to provide fantasy points this week, well…
If you drafted Sebastian Janikowski as your kicker, you need another one. One day after convincing their veteran to take a million dollar pay cut, Oakland put him on the IR with a bad back. They signed somebody named Giorgio Tavecchio to replace him.
In Chicago, left guard Kyle Long will miss the season opener. This could put a damper on Mike Glennon’s day and affect Jordan Howard, too. Quick passes to speed rookie Tarik Cohen might be the order of the day in the Windy City.
Under the weather
Weather will not be a factor in any game this weekend. Well, except for the Tampa Bay game at Miami. Hopefully, you have already removed all Buccaneers and Dolphins from your rosters as they will be on bye for week one due to Hurricane Irma.
For every other outdoor game site, the National Weather Service says to expect sunny skies with minimal winds and temperatures ranging between 60 and 90 degrees. It is a perfect opening day weekend, outwith Florida.
The Cowboys announced that linebacker Jaylon Smith, returning from a leg injury that cost him his entire rookie season, will start against the New York Giants. He will split time with Justin Durant to replace the injured starter, Anthony Hitchens. Whether the Giants try to exploit the pair will be interesting to watch.
Adrian Peterson’s return to Minnesota will probably be more dramatic and exciting than Eddie Lacy’s return to Green Bay. Peterson is reportedly set to get a bigger portion of touches than he will see the rest of the year, so don’t trade or cut Mark Ingram based on Sunday’s time share.
Miami canceled opening day once before and played 16 games in a row when Hurricane Andrew hit the area in 1992. The Don Shula-led Dolphins went 11-5, winning the division, but losing to the wild card Buffalo Bills in the AFC Championship game.
Be sure to check the pregame shows for last-minute changes to the injury reports. You never know when someone will trip getting off the bus or wind up suspended for a missing necktie or something.
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