While running back injuries have gotten the brunt of the attention the past few weeks, there have been plenty of pass-catchers who have been dinged up during that span. Wide receivers Calvin Ridley, Kenny Golladay, Allen Lazard, and Sammy Watkins have all missed time, and tight end Zach Ertz has been on IR for several weeks. Heading into Week 11, all of these players may have a chance to suit up, and they will certainly impact start ’em, sit ’em decisions and waiver wire strategy for fantasy owners fighting for playoff spots.
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Is Calvin Ridley playing this week?
After missing Week 9 and enjoying a bye in Week 10, Ridley has had two weeks to rest his injured foot. According to Falcons reporter William McFadden, Falcons coach Raheem Morris said Monday that Ridley was running with a trainer on Monday and that the team would have “a better feel” for his status on Wednesday. If Ridley is a non-participant in Wednesday’s practice, that will likely indicate that he needs another week off. Conversely, if he’s limited or full, that will show that he has a chance to play.
If Ridley is out, Julio Jones and Hayden Hurst will be in for more targets while Olamide Zaccheaus, Russell Gage, and Christian Blake rotate roles in place of Ridley. Of that bunch, Zaccheaus may represent that biggest fantasy threat thanks to his ability to catch deep passes downfield.
Is Kenny Golladay playing this week?
Golladay (hip) missed practice all of last week and was declared out for the second straight game. The Lions have yet to provide an update on Golladay’s status ahead of Week 11, but if he’s going to play, he’ll need to practice more than he did last week.
Until the Lions provide an update on Golladay, it’s hard to know whether he has a chance of playing this week. Wednesday’s practice will be the first big milestone for him. If he can’t go, Marvin Jones and Marvin Hall will continue to be the team’s top two targets with Danny Amendola working the slot. Jones is the player with the most fantasy relevance and will be a high-end WR3 if Golladay can’t play. The others are just speculative fliers or bargain-bin DFS options.
Is Zach Ertz playing this week?
Ertz (ankle) hasn’t played since the Eagles’ Week 6 game against the Ravens, but some good news was reported about him on Monday. According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, Ertz has been designated to return from IR by the Eagles, so he now has a 21-day practice window open during which he can return to the team.
Ertz was expected to miss four-to-six weeks with the ankle injury, so he could return as soon as this week, but his 21-day practice window will give him until the lead-up to Week 14 before he needs to be officially activated. The Eagles don’t have to list him with a practice status because he is still on IR.
If Ertz can’t make it back this week, Dallas Goedert will continue to be the Eagles’ top tight end option. Richard Rodgers will also drawing targets after a couple of solid games. The Eagles TE room is strong enough to support two players at the position, and given that Carson Wentz loves throwing to TEs, Ertz and Goedert could be in for a few nice games down the stretch. They will both be relied on as starters once they are both available.
Is Allen Lazard playing this week?
There was a chance that Lazard (core) would return against the Jaguars last week. However, the team decided to play it cautiously and sit him once again. Now, his 21-day practice window is coming to a close, and the Packers have until Wednesday to activate him.
That said, it seems likely that will happen. According to ESPN’s Rob Demovsky, Packers coach Matt LaFleur said “it’s probably promising” that Lazard will be activated on Wednesday, but the team is waiting until that day to make a decision. At that point, fantasy owners will know whether Lazard is ready to play in Week 11 or if he will miss the rest of the season.
At this point, it seems highly likely that Lazard will return in Week 11. He’ll get a tough matchup against the Colts out of the gate, but he can still be considered a potential flex option and will be a WR3/flex for most of the rest of the season. That said, fantasy owners may want to sit him against Indy given their tough defense and that we don’t know if Marquez Valdes-Scantling, who has three TDs the past two weeks, has overtaken Lazard in the pecking order at WR.
Is Sammy Watkins playing this week?
Watkins (hamstring) was on bye last week. Prior to that, he had missed four straight games. That said, in the lead up to the Chiefs’ last game in Week 9, Watkins logged two limited practices and was listed as questionable for the game.
Watkins’ practice status will be important to watch this week, but if he starts the week in a limited or full capacity, he should play against the Raiders, barring a setback. If he does suit up, he’ll be a worthwhile start against a defense that has some holes in the secondary.