Martavis Bryant - WR - Pittsburgh Steelers
Pittsburgh Steelers WR Martavis Bryant cut into WR Markus Wheaton's workload in Week 7 against the Houston Texans, and QB Ben Roethlisberger took three 'shot' plays down the field to Bryant. The team is unsettled at receiver behind WR Antonio Brown, with WRs Wheaton, Lance Moore and Darrius Heyward-Bey fighting for targets. It was the first game in which Bryant was active this year.
Huddle Up: Bryant, a fourth-round pick out of Clemson, was targeted 5 times in the game and finished with 2 catches for 40 yards, including a 35-yard scoring reception. And "cutting into Wheaton's workload" is an understatement as he finished with nary a reception or target for the first time this season. Wheaton had only 5 catches for 50 yards in the previous 2 games, so fantasy GMs should definitely be looking at a move if they haven't already.
Zach Mettenberger - QB - Tennessee Titans
Tennessee Titans QB Jake Locker (thumb) will start at quarterback when he's healthy, according to head coach Ken Whisenhunt. QB Charlie Whitehurst has filled in for Locker three times this year, but buzz continues to mount for QB Zach Mettenberger, the team's sixth-round draft pick this year. "We're trying to get him better as we go, knowing with the way it's gone for us at quarterback this year that's something that could happen at any time," Whisenhunt said. Whisenhunt doesn't sound concerned about playing Mettenberger too soon, either.
Huddle Up: Locker should be ready to return this week after missing the last 2 games, but it is Locker so his status is always in doubt. Whitehurst has either failed to throw for 200 yards or a TD in each of his three starts, so fantasy owners of Titans' pass-catchers really have nothing to lose if the team decides to go with the rookie.
Andre Johnson - WR - Houston Texans
Houston Texans WR Andre Johnson had five catches for 77 yards in a Week 7 loss Monday, Oct. 20, to move past Hall of Famer Steve Largent and into 14th place on the all-time receiving yards list.
Huddle Up: Johnson is still a low-end WR 2 or flex starter in PPR leagues, but he's had only one scoring reception in his last 14 games dating back to last season and his owners in standard-scoring leagues can hardly be blamed if they've sought out other starting options.
Dwayne Allen - TE - Indianapolis Colts
Indianapolis Colts TE Dwayne Allen (hip) said he is still working his way back to pre-injury form, but he looks a lot better than he did in training camp, according to beat writer Stephen Holder. Allen has 33 catches for 305 yards and five touchdowns thus far.
Huddle Up: Even with the injury Allen has emerged as the scoring tight end in Indy's rotation, surpassing Andrew Luck's former college teammate Coby Fleener for that role.
Reggie Wayne - WR - Indianapolis Colts
Updating previous reports, Indianapolis Colts WR Reggie Wayne (elbow) could miss time with his elbow injury. Beat writer Stephen Holder tweeted that he isn't receiving good vibes from the situation, but it doesn't sound major. The team is receiving multiple opinions on the injury.
Huddle Up: The Colts have some depth at the position, but Andrew Luck would miss Wayne's veteran presence should he be down for any extended length of time.
Ben Tate - RB - Cleveland Browns
Cleveland Browns RBs Ben Tate, Isaiah Crowell and Terrance West were held to 69 yards on 33 carries in Week 7, and head coach Mike Pettine suggested a change was coming for the trio. 'We'll have a discussion this week as to how to best rotate those guys,' Pettine said. West was benched Sunday, Oct. 19, after failing to pick up a first down in two short-yardage situations. He had room to run on both carries but danced in the hole on one carry and ran into his lineman on the other.
Huddle Up: Tate had been mostly effective until last week; in his absence the tag-team of Crowell and West had success as well. Based on recent events--including Sunday's benching--the best guess is that Crowell and Tate will battle for the lead role with the other serving as a change of pace, with West the odd man out. It's a volatile fantasy situation at best.
Pierre Thomas - RB - New Orleans Saints
New Orleans Saints RB Pierre Thomas (shoulder) is expected to miss two to three weeks due to a shoulder injury, according to sources.
Huddle Up: Fortunately for the Saints they have a thousand other backs they can (and often do) rotate in and out of the lineup. Khiry Robinson and Travaris Cadet are the most likely candidates to pick up Pierre's workload, but good luck trying to figure out how Sean Payton will use his backs on a week-to-week basis.
Le'Veon Bell - RB - Pittsburgh Steelers
Pittsburgh Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell rushed 12 times for 57 yards and caught 8 passes for 88 yards and a TD Monday, Oct. 20 in a 30-23 win over the Houston Texans.
Huddle Up: Thanks to his career-high 8 catches for 88 yards -- also matching a career single-game best -- Bell totaled 145 yards from scrimmage and now has at least 105 in every game this season. His fantasy owners, though, were probably the most pleased to see him find his way into the end zone for the first time since Week 1.
A.J. Green - WR - Cincinnati Bengals
Cincinnati Bengals WR A.J. Green (toe) said he will play Sunday, Oct. 26, against the Baltimore Ravens, according to ESPN's Chris Mortensen.
Huddle Up: Welcome news for the fantasy GMs who have been without Green over the last 2 games. Double that considering the opponent as Green has caught 18 passes for 343 yards and 3 TDs in his last 3 games against the Ravens, including a 6-131-1 showing in last month's season opener.
Brian Hoyer - QB - Cleveland Browns
Cleveland Browns QB Brian Hoyer completed only 39 percent of his passes in the team's Week 7 game, which is the worst completion percentage by any quarterback this season. The Browns, however, said Hoyer remains the starting QB.
Huddle Up: While Hoyer has certainly bought himself some time with the 3-2 start, he had best take advantage of favorable matchups against the Raiders and Bucs the next two weeks, or we might see Johnny Football starting in November.
Colt McCoy - QB - Washington Redskins
Washington Redskins QB Colt McCoy would start this week if QB Robert Griffin III (ankle) is unable to play, according to head coach Jay Gruden.
Huddle Up: Griffin will be put through some tests Wednesday to see where he's at in his recovery, but his return likely remains a few weeks away. That means McCoy, who was 11-of-12 for 128 yards and a TD in relief Sunday, will make his first start since 2011 next Monday night in Dallas.
Zach Miller - TE - Seattle Seahawks
Seattle Seahawks TE Zach Miller (ankle) will not be able to play in Week 8.
Huddle Up: While Miller will miss a fourth straight game, backup Luke Willson could return following a one-game absence. In the meantime, Cooper Helfet flashed production with 3 catches for 61 yards and a TD on 6 targets in Sunday's loss to the Rams.
Matt Ryan - QB - Atlanta Falcons
Atlanta Falcons QB Matt Ryan was sacked five times as the team's offensive line continues to struggle with injuries and poor play. 'We had way too much pressure,' head coach Mike Smith said. 'Our quarterback was hit and sacked way too much. There were times where we really didn't have a chance to get the play off, and that's very difficult for a quarterback, and we have to do better with our protection.'
Huddle Up: After throwing for 3 scores in 3 of his first 4 games, Ryan has cooled considerably with only 3 TD passes total and 1 300-yard game over the last 3 weeks. The schedule doesn't bring any good news, either, as the Lions and their vastly improved D await Sunday in London.
Vincent Jackson - WR - Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Vincent Jackson's name came up over the weekend in reports that the team was fielding phone calls from interested teams, but head coach Lovie Smith said Monday, Oct. 20, that the team isn't interested in trading their star receiver.
Huddle Up: Jackson is averaging 10 targets a game, which ranks sixth among WRs, but only has caught 25 of the 60 passes thrown his way for 344 yards and 2 TDs. Still, that might have as much to do with the team's struggles at QB and other areas, and V-Jax remains one of the few valuable commodities the 1-5 Bucs possess.
Donald Brown - RB - San Diego Chargers
San Diego Chargers RB Donald Brown (concussion) would not have participated in practice Monday, Oct. 20, had the team worked out.
Huddle Up: Brown already has missed the last 2 games so it's not out of reason that the Bolts could have held him out Sunday to save him for the short week and Thursday's game in Denver, but he's likely going to have to get on the practice field in the next couple days for that to happen.
Martavis Bryant - WR - Pittsburgh Steelers
Pittsburgh Steelers rookie WR Martavis Bryant is expected to make his NFL debut Monday, Oct. 20 as he avoided the inactive list for the first time this season. Meanwhile, the Steelers have declared OG Chris Hubbard, CB Ike Taylor, WR Justin Brown, QB Landry Jones, LB Ryan Shazier, SS Shamarko Thomas, DL Steve McLendon inactive for Week 7.
Huddle Up: The 6-foot-4 fourth-round pick provides a red-zone target for a team that has had more than its share of struggles inside the 20. Don't be surprised if Big Ben gives him a shot or two to make a play Monday night.
Rey Maualuga - LB - Cincinnati Bengals
Cincinnati Bengals LB Rey Maualuga (hamstring) is expected to miss a few weeks because of his hamstring injury.
Huddle Up: The Bengals' D has struggled of late, allowing 107 points over the last 3 games and playing without their starting MLB isn't going to help.
Jadeveon Clowney - LB - Houston Texans
Houston Texans DE Jadeveon Clowney (knee) will not play in Week 7 because his lateral movement is not where the team wants it to be.
Huddle Up: The top overall pick warmed up and reportedly was close to returning, but he will sit out a sixth straight game.
Austin Pettis - WR - St. Louis Rams
The St. Louis Rams waived WR Austin Pettis Monday, Oct. 20.
Huddle Up: Pettis was inactive Sunday after catching 12 passes for 118 yards and a TD in the previous 4 games, but with a deep -- and still mediocre -- WR corps, the Rams felt he was expendable.
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.
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