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Tunnel Vision of Week 11 – The Huddle

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QB Justin Fields – Ribs
RB Michael Carter – Ankle
RB Jordan Howard – Knee
RB Jerick McKinnon – Hamstring
RB Najee Harris – Head
WR Jamal Agnew – Hip
WR Jarvis Landry – Knee
WR A.J. Brown – Chest
WR CeeDee Lamb – Head
QB Justin Fields (CHI) – Left the game with what was called a rib injury, but there is concern that Fields may have injured his spleen as well. Head coach Matt Nagy had no update  after the game. Initial tests did not reveal any broken ribs but he’ll undergo further tests on Monday. Should he miss any time, Andy Dalton will be the starter this week in Detroit for a very advantageous situation.
RB Michael Carter (NYJ) – Injured his ankle and did not return to the loss to the Dolphins. Carter’s a central figure in the offense and emerged as the primary rusher. He’ll undergo more tests on Monday, but if he misses time, the Jets will add La’Mical Perrine to the rotation of Ty Johnson and Tevin Coleman. None of those three backs will likely offer much fantasy value even if Carter misses this week in Houston.
RB Jordan Howard (PHI) – Suffered a knee injury that knocked him out of the win over the Saints. His status will be determined Monday, but Miles Sanders had a big performance in his first game back, and the Eagles already add in  Boston Scott as well.  Howard was already due to a decrease in workload anyway.
RB Najee Harris (PIT) – A hard hit to his helmet rocked the rookie head back and he left the game with a suspected concussion. He returned later after being cleared by doctors.
WR Jamal Agnew (JAC) – The Jaguars’ wideout had his leg trapped awkwardly beneath him and suffered a gruesome-looking twisting of his leg that is described as a hip injury. Head coach Urban Meyer described the injury as “devastating,” and there is speculation that he’s lost for the season. He’ll be tested further on Monday but good results are not expected.  Tavon Austin is his backup, but Agnew was the rising star of the receivers. His slot role could be cobbled together from several other receivers.
WR Jarvis Landry (CLE) – Left the win over the Lions with a knee injury  but re-entered the game with minimal impact. He was held to only four catches for 26 yards and the Browns were already without Donovan Peoples-Jones. Barring surprising news, Landry appears to have missed any serious injury.
WR CeeDee Lamb (DAL) – Suffered a concussion in the loss to the Chiefs and did not return. This injury could be a problem since the Cowboys play again in four days on Thanksgiving. Cedrick Wilson would likely see an increase but Amari Cooper was also out and Dalton Schultz and Michael Gallup were the  leading receivers.
WR A.J. Brown (TEN) – He left the game with a hand injury and was listed as questionable to return. But he did return and then left for a second time with a chest injury. He ended with just one catch, and for the second non-Henry game, he was a nonfactor when he played. Julio Jones was out as well, and Brown gets intense coverage. His status will be clear later in the week, but the Titans play at the Patriots this week and Brown already has a tough matchup even if he is healthy.
Free Agents, Flops and Other Notables
Patriots Backfield – While it seems to be constant change, the Week 11 rotation in the win over the Falcons is probably what most weeks will see. Damien Harris was the primary rusher and ended with ten carries for 56 yards, while Rhamondre Stevenson gained 69 yards on 12 carries and had a larger role in the second half of the already decided game.  Stevenson also had a 36-yard run called back on a penalty. Brandon Bolden is the odd man out, with only one carry for one yard and two receptions for 15 yards. Both Harris and Stevenson also had a catch.
RB Qadree Ollison (ATL) –  The Falcons depth player was a surprise lead back in the loss to the Patriots and it probably means little. Cordarrelle Patterson missed the game, and  Wayne Gallman ran for 55 yards on 15 carries in Week 10 but was only allowed one rush last Thursday night.  Ollison ran a team-high nine times for 34 yards, and Keith Smith was given a season-high three carries. The takeaway is that Mike Davis is done, there’s no rhyme or reason for the rotation outside of Patterson who carries the only fantasy value in the backfield.
QB Cam Newton (CAR) – His re-debut as a Panther didn’t get the win, but he already looked like an upgrade to Sam Darnold and P.J. Walker.  Christian McCaffrey may lose rushing scores to him, but still totaled 119 yards and a score in his first game with Newton.  He passed for 189 yards and two scores that included one to DJ Moore (5-50, TD) and he even connected with Robby Anderson (5-30) for a season-high five receptions.  Newton ran for 46 yards with a 24-yard touchdown as a rusher.
RB Latavius Murray (BAL) – Saw his first action since Week 6 and only gained 32 yards on ten carries while Devonta Freeman (16-49, TD) remained the primary back and even added six catches for 31 yards.  Murray had been the No. 1 rusher before injury, but the Ravens appear comfortable with Freeman as the main guy.
QB Andy Dalton (CHI) – Sure, they lost and HC Matt Nagy’s hot seat just was turned up to 11. But Dalton came into the loss to the Ravens midway in the third quarter and nearly pulled off a comeback when he threw for 201 yards and two scores.  Darnell Mooney (5-121, TD) and Marquise Goodwin (4-104, TD) both turned in their best production of the year. In just one and a half quarters with Dalton. If Justin Fields remains out, the Bears play in Detroit on Thanksgiving.
QB Tim Boyle (DET) – Replaced Jared Goff in the loss to the Browns and threw for a whopping 77 yards and two interceptions. So, maybe Jared Goff will be back.
49ers backfield – With Elijah Mitchell out, the 49ers went with Jeff Wilson (19-50) and Trey Sermon (10-32) in the blowout win over the Jaguars. Of course, Deebo Samuel (8-79, TD) was the most productive rusher even if he only caught one pass.
WR Elijah Moore (NYJ) – The rookie never caught a touchdown from Zach Wilson, but he’s scored four times in the four games since he left. After spinning through Josh Johnson and Mike White as starting quarterbacks, the first game with Joe Flacco produced a season-best eight catches for 141 yards and a touchdown. The seventh wideout drafted this year, Moore looks like a star just waiting for a good quarterback that can last more than one week.
RB Mark Ingram (NO) – The Saints fell to the Eagles, but Ingram looked sharp when he replaced Alvin Kamara and ran for 88 yards on 16 rushes, and added six catches for 25 yards.
RB Miles Sanders (PHI) – His first game back since leaving in Week 7, and Sanders ran for 94 yards on 16 carries. Jordan Howard (10-63) was also involved but left injured, and Boston Scott (6-16) also pitched in. The committee is not only still alive, but Jalen Hurts ran in all three offensive touchdowns.
RB Dontrell Hilliard (TEN)  –  The team that once had the biggest workhorse in the NFL now uses three different running backs and  changes their rotation each week. Adrian Peterson (9-40) took the top spot, and D’Onta Foreman (7-25) flopped just when you thought you scraped a starting running back from the waiver wire. And now Dontrell Hilliard (7-35) had his first action with the Titans after three very quiet seasons between the Browns and Texans. He added a team-high eight catches for 47 yards. He was a practice-squad call-up that replaced Jeremy McNichols who had a concussion.  Hilliard should see another chance to play based on his success, but this is a committee that may not be afforded a lot of touches in future games.
RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire (KC) – He landed on injured reserve with a nasty knee injury in Week 5. Edwards-Helaire came back for the win over the Cowboys and looked none the worse. He ran for 63 yards on 12 carries with one touchdown and caught two short passes. Damien Williams was ineffective on his five rushes for 15 yards.
RB Jonathan Taylor (IND)  –   Set a franchise record with five touchdowns against the No. 1 defense in points allowed and the No. 1 defense against fantasy running backs (that rank will drop).  He was even on the road. Taylor took over the game with 32 carries for 185 yards and four touchdowns, plus caught three passes for 19 yards and the fifth score. He scored 53.4 fantasy points. In the Huddle Expert League with 12 teams, I just lost with the second highest score, 169.10 – 156.86 thanks to playing against him. Plenty of  leagues probably had a guy like me. Ouch.
Salute!
Now get back to work…
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