Read ESPN’s fantasy football daily notes every weekday to stay caught up on the news you need to know and get a head start on the fantasy football content coming today and tomorrow to ESPN.com and the ESPN Fantasy App.
The news: Colts RB Deon Jackson stepped up against the Broncos on Thursday night with 91 total yards on 18 touches.
What it means in fantasy: Jonathan Taylor was already ruled out with an ankle injury, and Nyheim Hines also left early because of a concussion. Jackson stepped up and excelled in a frustrating game, a 12-9 Colts overtime victory. This was the first time in NFL history that two opposing quarterbacks each passed for more than 250 yards without scoring a touchdown. Jackson will be on the flex radar if either Taylor or Hines misses next week’s game against the Jaguars.
Going deeper: Jackson had a strong collegiate career at Duke, rushing for 2,267 yards and 18 touchdowns.
The news: Saints RB Alvin Kamara is expected to play against the Seahawks.
What it means in fantasy: Kamara suffered a rib injury during the Saints’ season opener against the Falcons, causing him to miss Weeks 2 and 4. To be on the safe side, he’ll wear extra padding. Kamara can be viewed as a low-end RB1 in a plus matchup against the Seahawks.
Going deeper: Kamara has averaged 17.5 touches and 20.6 fantasy points per game in his career. With Andy Dalton most likely under center, Kamara is expected to see a lot of action as a receiver.
The news: Bears RB David Montgomery was limited in Thursday’s practice.
What it means in fantasy: Montgomery has been out of action since suffering an ankle injury in Week 3, but he has taken a step toward getting back into the lineup by participating in practice. It’s possible Montgomery will play against the Vikings on Sunday, but we’ll get a better indication based on his activity level during Friday’s practice. Before getting hurt, he ran 35 times for 149 yards and caught five passes for 38 yards. The past two weeks, Khalil Herbert has run 32 times for 234 yards in Montgomery’s absence. Fantasy managers can view Montgomery as an RB2 if he is active.
The news: Seahawks RB Rashaad Penny returned to practice on Thursday after being sidelined with a shoulder injury.
What it means in fantasy: Penny’s absence from Wednesday’s practice doesn’t seem too serious after he participated in Thursday’s practice. Wednesday might have been more of a rest day. Penny was named FedEx Ground Player of the Week for his outstanding performance against the Lions in Week 4, when he ran for 151 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries. He won it two weeks in a row in January to close out the 2021-22 season. Against the Saints on Sunday, Penny can be considered as a flex option.
Going deeper: Those who have Penny on their rosters should also have Kenneth Walker III. He would fill the void if Penny were out. Walker played in 32 collegiate games with Wake Forest and Michigan State, finishing with 3,069 total yards and 36 total touchdowns. Entering this season, Penny has played in only 37 out of a possible 65 games.
The news: Lions WR Amon-Ra St. Brown and RB D’Andre Swift did not practice on Thursday.
What it means in fantasy: It looks like the Lions will be without their two best offensive players for another game. Swift has ankle and shoulder problems, while St. Brown has an ankle injury and the Lions have a bye in Week 6, giving them extra incentive to rest their players one more week. Jamaal Williams will fill the running back void and can be viewed as an RB2 for fantasy purposes. After sitting out Wednesday’s practice, wide receivers DJ Chark and Josh Reynolds were limited participants on Thursday. Reynolds is my favorite out of those two for those looking for options in deeper fantasy formats.
The news: Saints WR Michael Thomas did not practice Thursday because of a toe injury.
What it means in fantasy: Thomas suffered the injury against the Panthers in Week 3 and might not play against the Seahawks on Sunday. In the event Thomas misses Sunday’s game, it will be his 27th game missed since signing a five-year, $96.2 million deal in 2019. Through his first three seasons in the league, he averaged 1,262 yards and nearly eight touchdowns. Rookie Chris Olave benefits from his absence. He can be viewed as a WR2.
Going deeper: Olave leads all wide receivers with 673 air yards. That’s more than Tyreek Hill (453), CeeDee Lamb (440), Davante Adams (438) and A.J. Brown (425).
The news: Commanders WR Curtis Samuel and WR Jahan Dotson did not practice on Thursday.
What it means in fantasy: Samuel is dealing with an illness and missed practice for the second consecutive day, while Dotson is recovering from a hamstring injury and was working on a side field. Samuel might be able to play against the Titans. Dotson could miss a week or two, so fantasy managers should plan for his absence this weekend. Samuel can be viewed as a flex option. As Dotson is not expected to play, Dyami Brown could see more targets, but Terry McLaurin stands to benefit the most.
The news: Falcons TE Kyle Pitts did not practice Thursday because of a hamstring injury.
What it means in fantasy: Pitts could miss a game for the first time in his career as he deals with a hamstring injury and has missed practice for the second consecutive day. When you rely on explosiveness as Pitts does, soft-tissue injuries can be tricky. Through four weeks of the 2021 season, Pitts has accumulated only 10 catches for 150 yards, with a single game accounting for five of those catches and 87 yards. If would be wise for his fantasy managers to look to stream the tight end position for now, with Logan Thomas, Will Dissly, and Tyler Conklin all options to consider.
Going deeper: Pitts has run a route on only 29 snaps and played less than 70% of the Falcons offensive snaps over the past two weeks.
The news: Saints QB Jameis Winston did not practice Thursday.
What it means in fantasy: Winston is dealing with fractures in his back. He has now missed five consecutive practices. Andy Dalton will most likely make another start for the Saints against the Seahawks. Winston injured his back against the Falcons in the Saints’ season opener. During the following two weeks, Winston struggled, and last week New Orleans turned to Dalton to run the offense. Streamers who need a QB2 for superflex or two-quarterback leagues should consider Dalton for this game.
The news: Giants WR Kadarius Toney did not make the trip to London to face the Packers in Week 5.
What it means in fantasy: Toney has a hamstring injury. The 20th pick in the 2021 NFL draft did have a limited practice on Wednesday, but his absence on Thursday suggests he might have suffered a setback. Kenny Golladay was also unable to make the trip because of a knee injury. After back-to-back limited practices, Wan’Dale Robinson, who is also suffering from a knee injury, might get the opportunity to play following a three-game absence. With Sterling Shepard out for the season with a torn ACL, the Giants need all the help they can get at wide receiver. Robinson is available in 93.5% of ESPN leagues. In deeper formats, he’s someone to keep an eye on.
The news: Patriots QB Brian Hoyer is put on injured reserve.
What it means in fantasy: Hoyer suffered a concussion on Sunday against the Packers. In the event Mac Jones cannot play through his ankle injury, rookie Bailey Zappe will be the starter against the Lions. In Sunday’s loss to the Packers, Zappe replaced Hoyer. Rhamondre Stevenson and Damien Harris, the Patriots’ running backs, will likely play substantial roles. Both are on the RB2 radar.
The news: Titans WR Treylon Burks did not practice Thursday because of a turf toe injury.
What it means in fantasy: Burks won’t need surgery but will miss a few weeks. Turf toes can be a nagging injury if not treated properly, and it cropped up after Burks cleared some other offseason hurdles. During the offseason for the Titans, Burks was on and off the field, with an asthma issue contributing to his absence from minicamp. Over Tennessee’s first two games, the 2022 first-round pick caught seven passes for 102 yards. Burks’ absence should increase Woods’ targets. He’s a flex option.
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Mike Clay’s Playbook: projections and analysis for every game
Eric Karabell’s Fantasy Hot Seat for Week 5
• Daniel, Liz and DJ talk Russell Wilson, Kenny Pickett and rethink when to draft quarterbacks
• Fantasy Focus podcast: Daniel Dopp, Stephania Bell and Mike Clay preview everything you need to know for Week 5 including key injury updates, lineup locks, how to manage James Conner, if you should drop Russ & much more! Listen | Watch
• The Fantasy Football cheat sheet: The week’s best advice in one place
• Inactives Watch: who’s in, who’s out and what does it mean?
• Matt Bowen and Tristan H. Cockcroft’s fantasy highs and lows
• Fantasy Football Now: Sunday at 10 a.m. ET on ESPN2
In Case You Missed It:
Field Yates’ Fantasy Field Pass for Week 5
Mike Clay’s TNF Playbook: Colts vs Broncos
Tristan H. Cockcroft’s positional Matchup Map
Matt Bowen’s fantasy film room Week 5 upgrades and downgrades
Al Zeidenfeld’s DFS Best Buys for Week 5
• Fantasy Focus podcast: Mike Clay and Daniel Dopp tell us the WRs who NEED to be in your lineup this week and the ones who you need to bench. Then, Adam Schefter joins to talk the storylines to watch in Week 5, including how injuries will be impacting some key backfields. Listen | Watch
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