THURSDAY’S DFS NEWS NUGGETS
1. Antonio Gates looking healthy ahead of Week 9
Gates didn’t practice at all last week due to his low-grade MCL sprain. He surprisingly suited up against the Ravens, but only played on 50.7 percent of the snaps and went 4-56-0 on five targets. This week should be a different story as Gates was able to practice on Wednesday, a strong sign that he emerged from Week 8 with no setbacks. The 35-year-old also has an extra day to prepare as the Chargers host the Bears on Monday night. Furthermore, Keenan Allen (kidney) is done and Ladarius Green (ankle) is very iffy. Gates, who works underneath similarly to Allen, should be closer to 80 percent of the snaps this week in a game where the Chargers have a team total of 27 points.
2. Ryan Fitzpatrick gets clearance to play in tasty matchup
The damaged ligaments Ryan Fitzpatrick sustained last week were to his non-throwing thumb, so it’s not a surprise he’s already been cleared for Week 9. The injury shouldn’t hamper his effectiveness against an all-around awful Jags defense Sunday. I prefer Tyrod Taylor ($5300) and Derek Carr ($5500) at the bottom tier of quarterbacks this week, but Fitzpatrick is certainly worth considering. Just make sure Brandon Marshall (toe, ankle) and Eric Decker (knee) are good to go. They both sat out Wednesday’s practice.
3. Mt. Seferian’s return to the peak
Austin Seferian-Jenkins (shoulder) practiced Wednesday, putting him on track to play for the first time since Week 2. Remember that he went 5-110-2 on seven targets in Week 1. Now he returns to as good of a situation as he’ll find all year. First, Vincent Jackson (knee) is doubtful and Louis Murphy (knee) is out. More importantly, the Giants are brutally inept at defending the tight end position thanks to an awful set of linebackers and safeties. Tight end lines against the Giants this year:
- Week 1 Jason Witten: 8-60-2
- Week 2 Jacob Tamme: 4-77-0
- Week 3 Jordan Reed: 6-96-0
- Week 4 Charles Clay: 9-111-0
- Week 5 Garrett Celek: 3-26-1
- Week 6 Zach Ertz: 4-43-0
- Week 7 Jason Witten: 6-73-0
- Week 8 Ben Watson: 9-147-1
4. Chris Thompson gets healthy ahead of Patriots game
Thompson had seized control of the Redskins’ no-huddle/four-minute role prior to his back injury. He was also handling a lot of the third-down work. It led to 22 catches in the four-game span between Weeks 3-6. Meanwhile, Matt Jones has passed up Alfred Morris but not completely iced him. So now we have a very messy three-headed monster, one where Alf will still get a bit of early-down work, Jones will get a bit of pass-down work and Thompson will play enough to make sure Jones can’t be trusted. The Redskins are 14-point dogs at New England Sunday, which in theory means it’ll be a Thompson game. But with so much clutter here, I’m avoiding.