Shark Bites

Bucs QB Jameis Winston (shoulder) will start this weekend's game against the Bills, HC Dirk Koetter announced on Friday. Winston did his most extensive throwing of the week in Friday's practice and evidently looked good enough. There's still risk here with a QB with a throwing-shoulder injury. And the matchup is tough in Buffalo. Winston is a shaky QB1 for Week 7.

Giants RB Paul Perkins (ribs) is out for Sunday’s game against the Seahawks. He got back on the practice field this week and should be nearing a return. But Perkins will likely find himself behind Orleans Darkwa and Wayne Gallman on the depth chart. Darkwa figures to serve as the lead back this weekend and is in the RB3/flex mix.

Giants WR Sterling Shepard (ankle) is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game against the Seahawks. He was limited in practice all week. The game doesn’t kick off until 4:25 pm ET, so hopefully we’ll learn more Sunday morning. If active, Shepard will be a risky fantasy play at less than 100% in a tough matchup.

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.

Raiders RB Marshawn Lynch was ejected with 6:05 left in the 2nd quarter of Thursday night's game after making contact with an official. He finishes with just 2 carries for 9 yards. Lynch was losing a bunch of snaps to RBs Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington, who had combined for 8 carries and 3 catches when Lynch was tossed.

Seahawks RB C.J. Prosise (ankle) put in a full practice on Thursday. He's set to return for this weekend's game against the Giants. Seattle has shown no desire to give him a shot at lead-back duties, but OC Darrell Bevell did say this week that he believes Prosise can be an "every-down back." He's a risky Week 7 fantasy play but is worth stashing on fantasy benches as the Seahawks backfield sorts itself out.

Just days after signing him, the Raiders expect to start LB NaVorro Bowman tonight against the Chiefs, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. Oakland obviously signed him to help a struggling LB corps and likely felt more pressure to speed the veteran along because starters Cory James and Marquel Lee are dealing with injuries that have them questionable for the game. It's tough to know just how much Bowman will play in his 1st Raiders game, but he's the best bet in the corps to play enough snaps to help your IDP squad in a tackle-heavy format.

Redskins RB Rob Kelley (ankle) returned to a limited practice on Thursday. It gives him a shot to play against the Eagles on Monday night. A healthy Kelley should be Washington's lead ball-carrier, but he'd be no better than a RB3 vs. a Philly defense allowing just 2.9 yards per carry.

Panthers HC Ron Rivera revealed Thursday that WR Kelvin Benjamin is dealing with knee swelling after taking a hit in last Thursday night's loss to the Eagles. Rivera admitted that he's "a little concerned" about Benjamin's availability for Sunday's game against the Bears. He's yet to practice this week. We'll see if he can get on the field tomorrow.

Bucs QB Jameis Winston (shoulder) will take all the 1st-team reps in Friday's practice, HC Dirk Koetter said. That presumably means the Bucs expect Winston to play against the Bills this weekend -- although how tomorrow goes will play a big part in that decision. Winston hasn't done much so far this week.

Titans RB DeMarco Murray (hamstring) remained sidelined on Thursday. He played through the injury on Monday night, so Tennessee could just be taking a cautious approach with the veteran. But it's clear that he won't be 100% if he plays against the Browns on Sunday. Check back tomorrow for another update.

Broncos WR Demaryius Thomas (calf) was on the practice field Thursday after sitting out the previous day. He'll likely be listed as limited but is on track to play against the Chargers this weekend. It remains to be seen how close to 100% he'll be. We'll get another update tomorrow.

Vikings WR Stefon Diggs (groin) returned to practice on Thursday. He admitted beforehand, though, that his Week 7 status remains uncertain. “It’s kind of up in the air right now," he said. “Each day I’m going to do more and more. I feel good. (My) body feels fine. It’s not up to me. It’s bigger than me." We'll see how Diggs progresses over the next few days. Vikings-Ravens kicks off at 1 pm ET on Sunday.

Jaguars WR Marqise Lee (knee) missed his 2nd straight practice on Thursday. It looks like he's in danger of missing this weekend's game against the Colts. His absence would shift more targets toward WR Allen Hurns. We'll get another update on Lee tomorrow.

Jaguars RB Leonard Fournette (ankle) missed his 2nd straight practice on Thursday. This could certainly be Jacksonville's plan to take it easy on the rookie early in the week, but we also can't assume that he'll definitely be available for Sunday's game against the Colts. Check back tomorrow for another update.

Jets RB Bilal Powell (calf) put in a full practice on Thursday. He's on track to return for this weekend's game against the Dolphins. How touches will be divvied in the Jets backfield is anyone's guess, though. Powell is the preferred fantasy play over Matt Forte and Elijah McGuire, but he's no more than a RB3 or flex.

Eagles RB Wendell Smallwood (knee) put in a limited practice on Thursday -- his 1st since going down back in Week 4. Dave Spadaro of the team's official website believes Smallwood is still a "question mark" for Monday night's game against the Redskins. We'll continue to monitor his progress, but he shouldn't be in Week 7 fantasy lineups right now.

Raiders LB Cory James is questionable for Thursday night's game against the Chiefs with the knee issue that dogged him in Week 6. James played just 7 snaps in Sunday's loss to the Chargers after leaving the previous game early with the injury. James looks like a poor bet to play in this game and certainly isn't worth trusting in IDP lineups even if he's active.

Chiefs RB Charcandrick West (concussion) is out for Thursday night's game against the Raiders. He's played 24% of the offensive snaps so far and averaged 2.7 touches per game. The majority of that work should go to RB Kareem Hunt vs. Oakland.

Seahawks RB C.J. Prosise (ankle) put in a limited practice on Wednesday. That gives him a shot to return for this weekend's game against the Giants. Prosise would be tough to trust in Week 7 fantasy lineups but is worth owning in most PPR leagues. There's opportunity in Seattle's unsettled backfield.

 
 
 

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