There are lots of ways to handle a squeaky wheel. As the adage says, “the squeaky wheel gets the grease!” Earlier this season, with his team sitting at 0-4, Melvin Gordon told the media he needed the ball more. He quickly added that if the team was winning, he wouldn’t mind, but he thought he could help the team if he got more touches. A respectful conversation with coach Anthony Lynn followed. Lynn greased Gordon to the tune of 80 touches in three games, all victories for the Chargers and some great NFL fantasy results!
Joe Mixon, greasy wheel… kicked
This week, rookie Joe Mixon (a rookie!), had the audacity to compare himself to Le’Veon Bell in effect. The Bengals rusher enjoyed first-half success against Pittsburgh but did not see a rush and only two passing targets in the second half. Both his coach and offensive coordinator said Mixon was the victim of the game script, mainly that the Bengals abandoned the run when they fell behind by two scores.
But then they both alluded that Mixon could have been more involved in the comeback attempt had he been in better position on some plays. Coach Marvin Lewis kicked his squeaky wheel a little more by explaining that the rookie needs to grow up and learn how to not get sucked into making inappropriate comments to the media. Don’t expect much of an uptick in Mixon’s touches.
Martavis Bryant, squeaky wheel… removed
Then there was Martavis Bryant. He squeaked the loudest, and it wasn’t about anything except his personal happiness. He didn’t care Pittsburgh is winning games. There was no gratitude for the Steelers choosing to trade Markus Wheaton and save Bryant’s spot on the roster for when he returned from suspension. It didn’t matter Bryant is the second-leading receiver after Antonio Brown. None of that was enough. He could not be happy without more catches, so the Steelers should trade him to make him happier.
In rapid succession, coach Mike Tomlin ruled out a trade. Then Ben Roethlisberger announced Bryant’s ranting would not get him any more targets. Then Tomlin, with third wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster still in concussion protocol, told Bryant he should expect to be inactive for the game against Detroit this week. That greasy wheel got removed, and you will need to cover his slot if you are still playing him for some reason.
Trade! Dontrelle Inman to the Bears
Just a few days after watching their castoff wide receiver Deonte Thompson gain over 100 yards receiving for Buffalo, Chicago sent a 7th-round draft pick to Los Angeles for the Chargers’ Dontrelle Inman. Inman was seeing no action in LA this season, despite gaining 810 yards on 58 receptions last year. There is hope that coach John Fox might let Mitchell Trubisky throw more than seven times a game as happened last week. But I wouldn’t pick up Inman until we see what happens.
Suspensions: Zeke in, Marshawn Lynch still out
Marshawn Lynch tried to appeal, but running out from the sideline and grabbing an official is really something I would have been grateful to only get one game off for. It doesn’t matter if he was trying to be a peace-maker or help a friend. Jalen Richard is the better option over DeAndre Washington in Lynch’s absence.
Meanwhile, the NFL tried to get Ezekiel Elliott’s suspension started this week, but the judge told them to go away and wait for next week’s decision. Elliott will be in the lineup against the Redskins.
Kicker news: Mike Nugent back! Graham Gano?
Mike Nugent signed with the Cowboys to cover for Dan Bailey and his injured groin. Don’t be scared off by Nugent’s experience with Tampa Bay. That’s a Buccaneer curse. Nugent kicked extremely well in the preseason before the Giants went with youth. Nugent will get all the opportunities that Bailey got each week and he will hit most of them.
Carolina signed Roberto Aguayo to their practice squad just in case they need a last-minute replacement for Graham Gano. Gano, for his part, says he feels great and does not anticipate missing any games with a tweaked knee.
News from London: DeShone Kizer in, but Case Keenum?
Case Keenum popped up on this week’s injury report with a chest injury that held him out of practice Wednesday. He is questionable but likely to play. Keenum was a popular streamer play against the Browns’ defense before word of the injury. Kyle Sloter is the backup for the game in London.
Hue Jackson announced that rookie DeShone Kizer will start for Cleveland. The coach did not announce who will finish the game, however.
Michael Thomas, Danny Amendola questionable
Michael Thomas did not finish practice Wednesday and is listed as having a knee injury on the Saints’ injury report. If he can’t go on Sunday, every other Saints receiver gets a boost in value as they vie for his targets. Willie Snead is also questionable but likely to play this week.
Patriots’ wide receiver Danny Amendola was a surprise addition to New England’s injury report. He sat out practice with an unspecified knee problem. It is unclear when he suffered the injury as there was no point during last Sunday’s game when he appeared in distress. We’ll have to watch for updates.
Other injury updates: tough week for wide receivers
Pittsburgh wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster is in the concussion protocol but took part in practice. The rookie reports no ill effects and expects to be cleared before game time Sunday. The Steelers already told Martavis Bryant he will not be active, so it appears the team also expects Schuster to be available.
Emmanuel Sanders probably will not play for the Denver Broncos this week as he recovers from an ankle injury.
Golden Tate was expected to miss this week’s game against Pittsburgh, but he showed up at practice Wednesday without a sling and did individual work on the side. That doesn’t mean he will be ready to play, but he appears ahead of his original timeframe.
Stefon Diggs is now listed as having an ankle injury on top of his groin issues which limited him in practice. He is questionable for Sunday.
The 49ers’ Marquise Goodwin should line up against the Redskins after his back injury.
Running backs slowed
Melvin Gordon was a limited participant in Wednesday’s practice because of a foot injury. The team says he is likely to play Sunday.
Charcandrick West should be back from concussion protocol this week. Coach Andy Reid told reporters the team was monitoring Kareem Hunt’s usage this week. He offered no clues as to possible touches for West or Akeem Hunt yet.
CJ Prosise is most likely out of the Seahawks’ running back committee for another week with his ankle injury.
That’s it for now. If you have a question about NFL fantasy football, you can send it to [email protected] Then look for the answer in our NFL Fantasy Mailbag every Wednesday.
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