News on the injury front for fantasy football owners isn’t as bad as it’s been in past weeks, with the two biggest questions heading into Week 6 revolving around the concussed pair of quarterbacks from last year’s NFC Championship Game.
In Arizona, the Cardinals expect Carson Palmer to return Monday against a Jets’ pass defense that ranks worst in the league in QB rating (118.6), completion percentage (71.7) and yards per pass play (9.2) allowed, and 31st in passing yards per game allowed (302.4).
The Panthers are in more of a state of limbo, with Cam Newton still in the NFL’s concussion protocol. Concussions aren’t like hamstrings, with varying possibilities of playing status. Newton is either cleared or he isn’t, and right now he isn’t, though he did participate in some football-specific drills on Monday. Newton’s owners can consider grabbing Alex Smith (@OAK, owned in 26 percent of FOXSports.com leagues), Brian Hoyer (vs. JAX, 11.1 percent owned) or his real-life backup, Derek Anderson (@NO, 4.6 percent owned). Anderson wasn’t good Monday night, but isn’t every QB startable against the Saints?
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In other news …
Panthers head coach Ron Rivera said last week that he feels "pretty comfortable" about the chances for RB Jonathan Stewart (hamstring) to return against the Saints.
Remember your byes: The Vikings and Bucs are off this week. When the Bucs return to the field in Week 7, RB Doug Martin (hamstring) is expected to join them. Charles Sims (knee) won’t, as he’s been placed on injured reserve.
With Tony Romo expected to be healthy in time for Week 8, the great Cowboy QB debate is already raging. The Cowboys play at Green Bay this week, and then get a bye during which they can stage a Romo-Dak Prescott steel cage match at AT&T Stadium. Jerry Jones says that Romo will be the starter when ready, but if his team is 5-1 heading into the bye, the decision will be difficult.
"I know there will be some things that he’ll tweak, but the basic system is not going to change." So said Ravens head coach John Harbaugh about new offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg, who replaced Marc Trestman on Monday. Harbaugh seems to think the Ravens have abandoned the run too quickly, which could mean good things for Terrance West and Kenneth Dixon.
The Raiders hope to get RB Latavius Murray (toe) back for this week’s game against the Chiefs. If Murray returns, he’ll probably go back to getting half the snaps, which won’t be good for DeAndre Washington or Jalen Richard.
The Broncos won’t have head coach Gary Kubiak (migraines) on the sideline Thursday night at San Diego, but they seem optimistic about the chances for QB Trevor Siemian (non-throwing shoulder) to return, and should get TE Virgil Green (calf) back as well. Green caught seven passes in the first two games before getting hurt.
The Browns hope to have QB Cody Kessler (chest) back for Sunday’s game at Tennessee, but Josh McCown (collarbone) is also a possibility. Hoping your third-string quarterback is ready to go passes as good news for the Browns these days. They’ve been mostly competitive, though.
As good as Marcus Mariota was in Week 5, remember that he threw just 29 times for 163 yards. That kind of volume won’t keep him productive, and the Titans like to run the ball.
Looking for free-agent wideouts? Sammie Coates is owned in 18.4 percent of FOXSports.com leagues, while Cameron Meredith is owned in just 0.4 percent of leagues. They should be at the top of your list.
If you need more help with free agents for Week 6, send me a tweet (@jhalpin37). Good luck!