More Week 9:— — — — —
What's this? Every Tuesday through Friday, Chris Towers will catch you up on the previous day's biggest news first thing in the morning. Here's what you missed Wednesday:
Get ready to potentially file this one under, "Maybe it can get worse …"
Trevor Siemian has been awful for most of this season, but we don't have much reason to believe Osweiler will be better. Last season, Osweiler tossed 15 touchdowns and 16 interceptions, while averaging a woeful 5.8 yards per attempt – and he did that in an offense that rookie Deshaun Watson has stepped into and immediately turned into one of the league's best.
Still, given how poorly Siemian has played since Week 3, a change had to be made. Osweiler will be playing for his job every week with 2016 first-round pick Paxton Lynch getting healthy from a shoulder injury, and at the very least, it's a different look. Osweiler has almost no Fantasy value of his own, but maybe he can improve on Siemian's play and get Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders going. He was better in Denver in 2015, throwing 10 touchdowns to only six interceptions, with a solid 7.2 yards per attempt in seven starts.
You're just hoping for average here.
Eddie Lacy in line for larger role in Week 9
There are a lot of reasons why the Seahawks' running game has been so bad this season, but the team thinks it has identified a solution to at least one: Sticking with one back this week. After swapping in both Eddie Lacy and Thomas Rawls over the last few weeks, the team seems committed to getting Lacy going in Week 9 against Washington:
"I don't feel like we've been in rhythm," Pete Carroll said. "I think I've held them back a little bit by spreading it around quite a bit and trying to figure that out, and so as we zero in here, heading into the second half, I'm hoping that we're going to make some real headway."
When asked if he wants to see Lacy become the featured back, Carroll said: "We'll see. Yeah, I would love that to happen."
It's not like Lacy has been much better than Rawls so far; Lacy is averaging 2.6 yards per carry on his 42 attempts, while Rawls is at 1.9 on 30 rushes. However the team seems intent on trying to find some kind off answer, and it looks like Lacy will get first crack at running behind an offensive line that added three-time Pro Bowl tackle Duane Brown.
Lacy is worth adding where available (29 percent owned), and can be viewed as a No. 3 running back this week.
Josh Gordon (suspension) was reinstated Wednesday
Iwhen the news happened, and you can find all of the details there. The short version? He's a long shot to contribute, but has been so good when allowed to play that it's hard not to at least take a chance on him if you can afford the roster spot.
Joe Flacco (concussion) expects to play in Week 9
This is a great sign after Flacco was knocked out by a vicious hit in Week 8. The extra time off since seems to have helped, however. He has been awful this season, but Ryan Mallett is a lot worse, so this makes the Ravens' offense better at least. Though beyond Alex Collins, there may not be a single must-start option on the team.
Dede Westbrook is in line to make his debut
Westbrook, the team's fourth-round pick in this year's draft, hasn't played this season while recovering from core muscle surgery in the first week of the season. He has been practicing in full ahead of Week 9, and looks ready to step into the starting lineup, likely lining up on the outside opposite Marqise Lee, with Allen Hurns working in the slot in three-receiver sets. He's worth throwing on the end of your bench to see if he emerges as the team's top option in the passing game.
Westbrook was arguably the most productive wide receiver in NCAA last season, hauling in 80 passes for 1,524 yards and 17 touchdowns at Oklahoma, but slid due to a troubled history and character concerns. He led the NFL in receiving yards in the preseason.
DeVante Parker (ankle) practiced in full
Ever since he was ruled out for Week 8, it seemed like Parker was almost guaranteed to make his return this Sunday. He began ramping up his work in practice that week, but a Thursday matchup with the Ravens made it tough for him to get up to full speed in time.
That shouldn't be a concern, as Parker is expected to work without limitations all week ahead of Sunday's matchup with the Raiders. He was enjoying his much-hoped-for breakout season before the injury, racking up 236 yards on 19 catches and a touchdown in three games before the injury, and should be viewed as a solid No. 2 Fantasy option for a great matchup against Oakland.
Pierre Garcon (neck) did not practice Wednesday
Garcon suffered the injury in the fourth quarter of Sunday's game, and we'll see how he progresses through the week before figuring out if he should be in your lineup. He didn't practice Wednesday, so he'll need to get on the field Thursday or Friday in order to have any confidence in him at all.
Even after catching only two passes in Week 8, Garcon remains on pace for his second 1,000-yard season in a row. However, his Fantasy appeal remains muted by the fact he has yet to find the end zone in the 49ers' anemic offense. If he plays, he's a solid start, especially in PPR formats, where he is on pace for 80 catches.
Jamison Crowder (hamstring) did not practice
This is especially bad timing for Crowder, who finally turned in the breakout performance we've been waiting for in Week 8, hauling in nine passes for 123 yards in the loss to Dallas. We'll have to keep a close eye on his status heading into Week 9 against the Seahawks, though he might be just a low-end starting option against this matchup even if healthy.
Corey Davis (hamstring) practiced in full
His rookie season hasn't quite gone as hoped, as Davis was only able to play one full game before going down with this injury. However, what we saw in that game was impressive, as the No. 5 overall pick hauled in six of 10 targets for 69 yards in his NFL debut. The hamstring has been an issue since Week 2, but he is in line to return and start for the Titans in Week 9. He's not a recommended Fantasy option against a tough Baltimore secondary, but Davis is well worth adding in all formats (50 percent owned), as he could be in line for a breakout second half.
- Jay Cutler (ribs) is practicing in full … Cutler seems ready to return, and could be in line for a solid day against the Raiders. With Jay Ajayi gone, the Dolphins may need more from their veteran quarterback, who has largely struggled this season. The return of Parker won't hurt.
- Leonard Fournette (ankle) practiced in full … After sitting out Week 7 and then getting the bye in Week 8, this comes as very little surprised. Get Fournette back in your lineup for Week 9.
- Delanie Walker (ankle) did not practice … Walker declared himself day to day Wednesday, expressing optimism about his chances of playing despite being held out of practice. We'll see what Thursday and Friday hold for him before deciding whether he'll be worth starting.
- Mike Wallace (concussion) practiced in full … Wallace never had a chance to play in Week 8 with just three days to recover, but he looks likely to return this Sunday against the Titans.
- Devonta Freeman (neck/shoulder) was limited … We'll keep an eye on this one, but the injury sounds minor. Don't be surprised if he's back at practice without limitations in the next day or so.
- Jordan Reed (hamstring) is not practicing … This isn't much of a surprise, as the team has already said it doesn't expect Reed to play in Week 9.
- Charles Clay (knee) is out for Thursday Night Football … No surprise here, as he continues to recover from knee surgery.