Andre Ellington - RB - Arizona Cardinals
Arizona Cardinals RB Stepfan Taylor vultured two touchdowns in the red zone Sunday, Oct. 19. RB Andre Ellington said he called Taylor in at the goal line and could have stayed in the game, but Taylor deserved the goal line love.
Huddle Up: Ellington had a nice fantasy day, but losing those two TDs certainly sapped some of the bang from it. Taylor doesn't offer much going forward other than goal line work, but if he continues to get it he'll be a fantasy factor in TD-heavy scoring formats. Meanwhile, Ellington remains a stud in performance league but appears to be trimming some of his own value in scoring-based leagues.
Anthony Dixon - RB - Buffalo Bills
Buffalo Bills RB Anthony Dixon is likely to start against the New York Jets in Week 8.
Huddle Up: The Bills lost both Fred Jackson and CJ Spiller to injuries on Sunday, Spiller for the season and Jackson for at least a couple weeks. Dixon was the only other back on the active roster, and he'll get the nod with Bryce Brown likely his backup.
Denard Robinson - RB - Jacksonville Jaguars
Jacksonville Jaguars RB Denard Robinson rushed 22 times for 127 yards in the Week 7 game Sunday, Oct. 19. He was the team's first 100-yard rusher in almost a calendar year. Head coach Gus Bradley was somewhat vague when asked if Robinson would keep the featured back role. 'Yeah, I think so. We'll look at the film. He did a good job and we hope to get Toby (Gerhart) back,' Bradley said.
Huddle Up: Maybe Robinson shares some of the workload with a healthy Gerhart or with Storm Johnson, but after Sunday's showing Robinson certainly looks to be the Jaguars' back of the future--both next week and next season.
Owen Daniels - TE - Baltimore Ravens
Baltimore Ravens TE Owen Daniels was targeted by QB Joe Flacco nine times Sunday, Oct. 19, and caught six balls for 58 yards and a touchdown in Week 7. Daniels is second on the team with 27 catches, 275 yards and three touchdowns. 'He makes catches in traffic,' Flacco said. 'He obviously has held onto the ball a lot of times while getting hit by two guys, even one in the end zone. So, yes, I have a lot of confidence throwing to him.'
Huddle Up: No surprise that Daniels is standing out in a Gary Kubiak offense he's intimately familiar with. His role seems secure as one of the Ravens' top three pass catchers, and he'll see enough looks to be a fantasy factor the rest of the way.
C.J. Spiller - RB - Buffalo Bills
Updating previous reports, Buffalo Bills RB C.J. Spiller (collarbone) is out for the season, according to a source.
Huddle Up: Spiller's injury came after Fred Jackson had already exited the game with a groin injury, leaving the Bills with only Anthony Dixon at running back. As there were already trade rumors regarding Spiller, he may have played his last game in a Bills' uniform.
Gavin Escobar - TE - Dallas Cowboys
Dallas Cowboys TE Gavin Escobar had career-highs with three receptions, 65 yard and two touchdowns in Week 7 against the New York Giants. It was his first multi-touchdown game.
Huddle Up: Escobar is far from the first option in Dallas' offense, but he's capitalizing on an expanded role by giving Tony Romo another viable red-zone option. And when Jason Witten finally hangs 'em up, Escobar looks to be capable of handling at least some of his workload.
Peyton Manning - QB - Denver Broncos
Updating a previous report, Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning threw his third touchdown of the first half of Week 7 against the San Francisco 49ers to WR Demaryius Thomas in the second quarter. It was the 509th touchdown pass of Manning's career, as he moved into the top spot in NFL history for career touchdown passes.
Huddle Up: Manning carved up the 49ers all night, quickly securing the record before calling it an evening with the Broncos up by a healthy margin. He remains the top fantasy quarterback in the game, even without the record to pursue.
DeMarco Murray - RB - Dallas Cowboys
Dallas Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray is the first player in NFL history with over 100 rushing yards in each of his first seven games to begin a season, surpassing Hall of Fame RB Jim Brown.
Huddle Up: Murray is having a remarkable season, capitalizing on the Cowboys' renewed commitment to the ground game and a line that features the teams' last three first-round picks
Fred Jackson - RB - Buffalo Bills
Updating a previous report, Buffalo Bills RB Fred Jackson (groin) had an MRI Sunday, Oct. 19, and he will be out at least two weeks due to the groin injury he suffered in the Week 7 game against the Minnesota Vikings. The team has a bye in Week 9, so it is possible he returns in Week 10 and misses just one game.
Huddle Up: One game is a best-case scenario for Jackson; don't be surprised if it's closer to a month before he's back on the field. With CJ Spiller also out, Anthony Dixon and Bryce Brown are left to handle the Bills' backfield workload.
Aldon Smith - LB - San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers LB Aldon Smith was given a nine-game suspension for multiple violations of league policies before the season began. According to multiple sources, there's a chance the suspension could be lifted a game or two early.
Huddle Up: The league has tweaked a few rules this season, reducing a few suspensions along the way, so an early return for Smith is hardly out of the question. The Niners could use some good news on the defensive front, as they've been gutted by injury this season and just got sliced and diced by Peyton Manning.
Charlie Whitehurst - QB - Tennessee Titans
Tennessee Titans QB Jake Locker (hand) is expected to be back in Week 8. Head coach Ken Whisenhunt said Sunday, Oct. 19, that Locker's hand was still sore this week. QB Charlie Whitehurst started in his absence in Week 7 against the Washington Redskins.
Huddle Up: Whitehurst hasn't been particularly impressive in Locker's absence. The next time Locker goes down, don't be surprised if Zach Mettenberger gets the call instead. In fact, with Locker's contract expiring at the end of the season it would behoove the Titans to get a look at Mettenberger to determine if he's their future at the position.
Calvin Johnson - WR - Detroit Lions
Detroit Lions WR Calvin Johnson (ankle) would not give any indication whether he would play in Week 8 against the Atlanta Falcons. After the Week 7 game Sunday, Oct. 19, he simply said, 'maybe' as he was asked about his playing status next week.
Huddle Up: Megatron was apparently not even close to playing this week; not playing in London next week, with the Lions on the bye Week 9, would give him almost a full month of recovery time.
Reggie Bush - RB - Detroit Lions
Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush (ankle) was not benched in the Week 7 game against the New Orleans Saints. Bush only played a handful of snaps in the second half in favor of RB Joique Bell because his ankle was bothering him, according to head coach Jim Caldwell.
Huddle Up: The Lions have a stable of backs they've needed to shuffle around due to nagging injuries, with Bell seeing the bulk of the work and Bush missing the bulk of the time. No word on if the injury will keep him out of next week's game; he'll likely miss some practice time and his fantasy owners will need to get up early on Sunday for the morning game to see if he'll be in the lineup.
Bryce Brown - RB - Buffalo Bills
Buffalo Bills RB Bryce Brown was inactive for the seventh time this season in Week 7 against the Minnesota Vikings. However, with injuries to RBs Fred Jackson (groin) and C.J. Spiller (collarbone), head coach Doug Marrone said Sunday, Oct. 19, that he would 'have no problem bringing up Bryce.'
Huddle Up: Brown's activation is almost a given with both Spiller and Jackson sidelined. Anthony Dixon will be the starter, but Brown has flashed in the past and could carve out a role at least until Jackson returns from his groin injury.
Kelvin Benjamin - WR - Carolina Panthers
Carolina Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin (concussion) traveled with the team and is on track to play Sunday, Oct. 19, in Week 7.
Huddle Up: Reports say all signs point to Benjamin playing on Sunday. Benjamin would be a strong WR2 against a beat-up Green Bay secondary that is already missing CB Sam Shields and could also be without CB Tramon Williams.
Juwan Thompson - RB - Denver Broncos
Denver Broncos RB Juwan Thompson is slotted behind RB Ronnie Hillman on the depth chart, and he is a versatile back. He never rushed for more than 500 yards in a season in college, but he caught the ball well, blocked well and played special teams. He even started a game at linebacker in college.
Huddle Up: Thompson will back up Ronnie Hillman on Sunday. He currently has little fantasy value though unless Hillman gets hurt.
Montee Ball - RB - Denver Broncos
Denver Broncos RB Montee Ball (groin) will have a difficult time regaining the featured-back role this season after his injury. It's beat writer Mike Klis' opinion that Ball never fully recovered from his appendectomy, which could have been a precursor to his groin injury.
Huddle Up: Ball was ineffective as the starter and Ronnie Hillman rushed for 100 yards in his first game as the No. 1 back against the Jets. It's likely the Broncos will use both running backs when Ball returns, with Hillman remaining the starter.
Zac Stacy - RB - St. Louis Rams
St. Louis Rams RB Zac Stacy may have his workload cut after offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer confirmed the team will use the running back with the hot hand late in the game. 'Early in the game, we try to get guys multiple touches (and) then we try to go with the hot hand late in the game,' Schottenheimer said. 'Most places that I've been that have really good running games, they had the people to spread the ball around. Different backs bring different types of plays.'
Huddle Up: Stacy, Benny Cunningham and Tre Mason will all be in line for carries in the coming weeks. It's a fantasy mess that is best left alone for the time being if possible. Mason has the highest ceiling of the threesome.
Charles Sims - RB - Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Charles Sims (ankle) could return to practice soon and is eligible to return after the team's game against the Cleveland Browns Sunday. Nov. 2. Sims underwent ankle surgery this offseason and is on the Reserve/Injured list with a designation to return.
Huddle Up: Sims could help add a spark to a dormant Buccaneers running game. Sims is an excellent receiver out of the backfield and was expected to have a big role in the offense before getting injured. He's worth stashing in PPR leagues if you have the room.
DeAngelo Williams - RB - Carolina Panthers
Carolina Panthers RB DeAngelo Williams (ankle) has been ruled out for Week 7.
Huddle Up: Jonathan Stewart is expected to start this week for Carolina. He'll see a majority of the touches and is a flex play consideration against Green Bay.
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