Daily Notes: Uncertainty for Kyler Murray, Matthew Stafford, Ezekiel Elliott

    Former manager at a Fortune 100 financial services company, now living my dream creating fantasy and sports betting content about the NFL, NBA, and WNBA for ESPN.

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The news: Cardinals QB Kyler Murray did not practice on Wednesday.

What it means in fantasy: A hamstring injury prevented Murray from participating in practice. This is significant considering he’s a mobile quarterback. As the Cardinals only conducted a walkthrough on Wednesday, that listing is an estimate of what would have happened. Murray’s status needs to be monitored on Thursday and into the weekend. The backup quarterback in Arizona is Colt McCoy. Murray’s absence would affect fantasy relevant players such as DeAndre Hopkins, Rondale Moore, and James Conner.

The news: Rams QB Matthew Stafford entered the concussion protocol on Wednesday.

What it means in fantasy: Stafford was being routinely examined after the Rams’ loss to the Buccaneers on Sunday when the decision was made to place him in protocols. Stafford was hit eight times and sacked four times in the loss. His 28 sacks this season rank third in the league. Stafford’s absence would be detrimental for the Rams offense, which has scored fewer than 20 points in four of their last five games. Stafford has yet to score 19 fantasy points in a game and averages 11.7 fantasy points per game. John Wolford would start if Stafford is ruled out. The only Rams player fantasy managers can trust is Cooper Kupp.

The news: ESPN’s Todd Archer reported that the Cowboys will monitor RB Ezekiel Elliott’s practice reps this week.

What it means in fantasy: Elliott is wearing a brace on his hyperextended right knee. Elliott missed his only game due to injury against the Bears in Week 8, and the Cowboys are coming off a bye week. Tony Pollard accumulated 147 total yards and three touchdowns on 15 touches against Chicago. Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy and owner Jerry Jones, however, constantly remind fantasy managers that Elliott will remain the team’s lead running back, taking the wind out of Pollard’s sails. Pollard can be viewed as a high-end flex option if Elliott is active, and as an RB1 if Elliott is inactive.

The news: 49ers WR Deebo Samuel was a full participant in Wednesday’s practice.

What it means in fantasy: Samuel missed Week 8 with a hamstring injury prior to the 49ers Week 9 bye. His participation bodes well for his availability against the Chargers on Sunday. Samuel can be viewed as a WR2 against Los Angeles. This season, he has averaged 8.0 touches and 14.4 fantasy points.

The news: Texans WR Brandin Cooks did not practice Wednesday, while WR Nico Collins was limited.

What it means in fantasy: The fact that Cooks wasn’t dealt before last week’s deadline and didn’t play against the Eagles last Thursday raised some concerns about his future in Houston. Despite being at the Texans’ facility last Friday and again on Wednesday, Cooks did not take part in drills with his teammates during the open portion of practice. Head coach Lovie Smith expects Cooks to practice at some point this week. Keeping an eye on this situation is crucial because it could escalate. Collins, who hasn’t played since Week 7 due to a groin injury, could suit up against the Giants in Week 10. In the two games before his injury, he had seven receptions for 148 yards as the No. 2 receiver behind Cooks. Collins is rostered in only 7.1% of leagues and should be stashed in deeper formats.

The news: Giants WR Kenny Golladay was a limited participant in practice on Wednesday.

What it means in fantasy: Golladay has been sidelined with a sprained MCL since Week 4. With only two receptions for 22 yards before the injury, he wasn’t doing much, but the Giants have lost a few receivers since then. There is a good chance that Golladay will return to the field on Sunday, as he said he will be “ready to go” this week. The 29 year-old receiver has been a disappointment after signing a four-year, $72 million contract with the Giants before the 2021 season

The news: Titans WR Treylon Burks said the plan is for him to play against the Broncos on Sunday and QB Ryan Tannehill was limited in Wednesday’s practice.

What it means in fantasy: Burks was placed on injured reserve after the Titans’ game against the Colts back in Week 4. Since then, Titans receivers have struggled, and the rookie is expected to see a lot of targets when he returns. Burks is rostered in only 22.4% of ESPN leagues. Tannehill has been sidelined with an injured ankle for the past two weeks but mentioned he’s beginning to feel better. The Titans rank sixth in rushing attempts with 31.1 per game but have been truly one-dimensional with rookie Malik Willis completing only 11 of 26 passes for 135 yards over the past two games.

The news: Packers WR Sammy Watkins is still dealing with “bumps and bruises” according to head coach Matt LaFleur and did not practice on Wednesday.

What it means in fantasy: Watkins missed four games due to a hamstring injury. He has played 130 snaps and run 87 routes since returning but has only caught four of 10 targets for 48 yards. Allen Lazard is the only Packers wide receiver fantasy managers should trust. Christian Watson did not suffer a concussion against the Lions on Sunday; he was a full participant in Wednesday’s practice. Watson’s availability on offense is essential for the Packers as they prepare for Sunday’s matchup with the Cowboys with Romeo Doubs facing an extended absence due to an ankle injury. Watson is rostered in only i7% of leagues.

The news: Browns TE David Njoku did not practice on Wednesday.

What it means in fantasy: Njoku is recovering from a high ankle injury, but earlier this week said he’s planning to play in Week 10 against the Dolphins. If active, Njoku can be viewed as a low-end TE1 against the Dolphins in what is expected to be a high-scoring game. Cole Kmet finished with 22.0 fantasy points in Week 9 against the Miami defense. In Weeks 3 through 7, Njoku averaged 7.2 targets and 14.2 fantasy points per game.

The news: Buccaneers TE Cameron Brate was a full participant in practice on Wednesday.

What it means in fantasy: Brate has been out since Week 6 after suffering a neck injury. He first returned to practice last week. Cade Otton has scored at least 10 fantasy points in three of the last five games, With Brate’s return, Otton’s fantasy value would be diminished. Cole Kmet, Noah Fant, or Greg Dulcich are all options for fantasy managers who need a tight end streamer.

Today on ESPN.com/Fantasy and in the ESPN Fantasy App:

Field Yate’s Week 10 Field Pass: Josh Allen, JuJu Smith-Schuster, tough backfields to call

Mike Clay’s TNF Playbook: Falcons vs Panthers

Tristan H. Cockcroft’s Matchup Map: Best and worst matchups at each position for NFL Week 10

Matt Bowen’s fantasy film room: Trevor Lawrence, Dak Prescott among Week 10 upgrades, downgrades

Al Zeidenfeld’s DFS Best Buys for Week 10

• Fantasy Focus podcast (10 a.m. ET)


Mike Clay’s Playbook: projections and analysis for every game

Eric Karabell’s Week 10 hot seat

• Daniel Dopp and Liz Loza’s Fantasy Improv: the lighter side of fantasy

• Fantasy Focus podcast (10 a.m. ET)

In case you missed it:

Mike Clay’s Shadow Report: wide receiver vs. defensive back matchups analysis

Seth Walder’s Next Gen Stats Advantage: Mismatches to exploit

DFS cheat sheets for DraftKings and FanDuel

• Rankings for Individual Defensive Player leagues

• Fantasy Focus podcast: Field Yates, Daniel Dopp and Stephania Bell talks the players to target in trades for a late season push, players you can drop and when you should take a risk in your league. Plus, Liz Loza joins to talk the players to watch in the NFC North! Listen | Watch

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