Shark Bites

The Cowboys will start Anthony Hitchens at MLB and Sean Lee on the weak side Sunday against the 49ers, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. That means 2nd-year LB Jaylon Smith will return to a reserve role. The Dallas plan had reportedly been to bring Smith along slowly in his 1st season of on-field action, but Hitchens' August knee fracture and Lee's recent hamstring injury forced him to play more snaps and make the defensive calls. “I don’t see a lot of physical limitations,” DC Rod Marinelli said this week. “It’s just a lot for a young guy, a rookie, coming in at that position. It’s a lot and the communication and all the things you have — close calls, adjustments — it can wear you out as you go. It’s a lot to it.” Smith remains interesting long term. Hitchens' contract runs out after this season, so we could see the youngster back in the middle to open 2018. But Smith is safe to drop in redraft IDP leagues.

Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott has been granted a temporary restraining order from the Southern District of New York. It again prevents the NFL from imposing Elliott's 6-game suspension. This restraining order is good for no more than 14 days, so it makes Elliott eligible for Week 7 and potentially Week 8. His legal team will need to again make its case in front of a different judge on or before October 30. (Dallas' Week 8 game is on October 29.) So round and round we go. The simple takeaway: Elliott will play against the 49ers this Sunday. His status beyond that is completely up in the air. RBs Darren McFadden and Alfred Morris are still worth stashing on fantasy benches.

When a federal circuit court last week lifted the injunction blocking Ezekiel Elliott's 6-game suspension, the immediate question for fantasy owners became: Which Dallas backup do I want? "I think the feeling inside the organization is that Darren McFadden is the guy they're going to lean on," ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Sunday. McFadden, of course, has been a healthy scratch for every game so far this season. Morris has been active but logged just 8 total carries. The whole situation will bear watching.

ProFootballTalk.com reports that the judge overseeing Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott's case has informed both the NFL and the NFLPA that Elliott remains eligible to play until the Firth Circuit Court of Appeals rules on his petition for rehearing. It's uncertain how long it'll take for that decision. As usual, Elliott's status is as clear as mud.

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has vacated Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott's temporary injunction. So his 6-game suspension is reinstated ... for now. As always with this legal stuff, there's a counter-move. Elliott can re-file for a new injunction from the Southern District of New York. It's unclear how long that process will take. Zeke lucks out with a Week 6 bye, but it's certainly possible that he's ineligible when Dallas returns for Week 7. The situation is further complicated by the lack of a sure-fire handcuff. RB Darren McFadden ran with the starters during the preseason, but he's been a healthy scratch for each of the season's first 5 weeks. RB Alfred Morris, meanwhile, has carried 8 times for 87 yards. Both guys are worth stashing as we wait for the situation to hopefully sort itself out.

3:10pm EDT 10/8/17

Cowboys LB Sean Lee is inactive for the 2nd straight game with a hamstring injury. LB Jaylon Smith played 100% of the snaps for the 1st time in Lee's absence last week. He's the Dallas LB to use if you're looking for one against the Packers.

Cowboys OLB Sean Lee is questionable for Sunday's game against the Packers with the hamstring injury that cost him the Week 4 loss to the Rams. Lee again missed every day of practice and doesn't look likely to play. Even if he's active, he'll present high risk for not finishing the game. Try to look elsewhere for your IDP lineup.

Cowboys HC Jason Garrett said Thursday that RB Ezekiel Elliott bruised his ribs in last weekend's game against the Rams. Zeke didn't seem impacted by the injury in that one and put in a full practice on Wednesday. We'll keep an eye on this, but consider Elliott's fantasy stock unaffected for now.

Cowboys OLB Sean Lee is inactive for today's game against the Rams because of the hamstring injury that knocked him out of Monday night's contest. His absence could mean more time for LB Jaylon Smith, though there's no "safe" option in the Dallas LB corps for IDP owners.

Cowboys OLB Sean Lee is officially questionable for Sunday's game against the Rams with the hamstring injury that knocked him out of Monday night's contest. Lee has said this week that he hopes to play, but he also missed all 3 days of practice. Even if he's active, Lee would likely bring significant re-injury risk. He sits way down our Week 4 IDP rankings as a result.

10:09am EDT 9/28/17

Cowboys LB Sean Lee put in a limited practice Wednesday, just 2 days after leaving the win over Arizona with a hamstring injury. ESPN's Todd Archer reports that Lee hopes to play in Week 4. We'll keep an eye on his status through the week.

Cowboys OLB Sean Lee left Monday night's win over the Cardinals in the 4th quarter with a left hamstring injury. We have yet to see any further update on the severity. We'll keep an eye out for news and his participation level in practice this week before an upside fantasy-scoring matchup with the Rams.

Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott's hearing with the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals will take place on October 2, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. This is in regards to the NFL's move to block the current injunction that's currently allowing Elliott to play. So, at minimum, Elliott will be eligible for Weeks 3 and 4. It's unclear how long it'll take the court to come to a decision after hearing arguments on the 2nd. And, of course, the court could rule against the NFL's request for a stay. There's still some risk that Elliott is forced to serve his suspension this season, but the most likely outcome is that he's eligible for all 16 games.

Cowboys S Byron Jones (groin) is active for today's game against the Broncos. He entered the day questionable after putting in limited practices this week.

Cowboys WR Terrance Williams (ankle) is active for today’s game against the Broncos. Even at 100%, he wouldn’t be a fantasy option in this matchup.

Cowboys WR Terrance Williams (ankle) is expected to play against the Broncos today, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. Williams only practiced on Friday this week but was able to return to last week's opener after twisting the ankle. His presence is good news for QB Dak Prescott, but Williams isn't a fantasy option in Denver.

Cowboys WR Terrance Williams (ankle) is questionable for this weekend’s game against the Broncos. He returned to a limited practice on Friday after sitting out the previous 2 days. Williams shouldn’t be in fantasy lineups in a brutal Week 2 matchup.

Cowboys WR Terrance Williams (ankle) missed his 2nd straight practice on Thursday. He rolled the ankle early in last week's opener but was able to return to the game. We'll see if he's able to practice tomorrow, but Williams shouldn't be in your fantasy plans with a brutal Week 2 against the Broncos.

NFL spokesman Joe Lockhart confirmed to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport that Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott is expected to be eligible for Sunday's game against the Broncos. The league has appealed the injunction that is allowing Elliott to play, but that process figures to take months. Zeke still has a good chance to be eligible for all 16 games this season.

The NFL has filed an appeal of Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott's injunction with the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. If the league wins that ruling, Elliott's suspension would go back into effect. It's unclear how long it'll take to get that ruling and what the odds are that the NFL wins. Stay tuned ...

 
 
 

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