Shark Bites

The Saints have added WR Michael Thomas to the active roster, according to Nick Underhill of NewOrleans.Football. That comes as no surprise after a practice week filled with positive reports. Thomas looks ready for Sunday's game against the Bears.

NFL.com reports that Washington QB Alex Smith (calf) will be inactive for tonight's game against the Buccaneers. That means Taylor Heinicke will start in his place. Heinicke fared well against Carolina in Week 16 in relief of Dwayne Haskins, completing 12 of 19 throws for 137 yards and a TD. But he has logged just 1 career NFL start. The matchup is terrific for Tampa Bay's defense, even without MLB Devin White. A healthy Heinicke, though, might be better for Washington's pass-catchers than the injured Smith we saw at Philly last week.

Bills RB Zack Moss left Saturday's win over the Colts with an ankle injury and is expected to miss some time, according to NFL Network's Mike Garafolo. It remains to be seen just how long, as we await an official diagnosis. Obviously, it'll also depend some on how far the Bills advance. We'll watch for updates. In the meantime, Devin Singletary gains fantasy upside.

The Bears have downgraded LB Roquan Smith (elbow) to OUT for Sunday's game against the Saints. That leaves no clear full-time replacement behind him. It likely means full or near-full playing time for LB Danny Trevathan, though, making him a better IDP option.

The Bears have downgraded WR Darnell Mooney (ankle) to OUT for Sunday's game against the Saints. That boosts the fantasy football outlook for WR Anthony Miller.

FOX's Jay Glazer reports that QB John Wolford will start for the Rams today, with Jared Goff serving as his backup. Adjust your fantasy football lineups accordingly.

Rams LB Micah Kiser (knee) is active for today's game against the Seahawks. That should mean he's back in the starting lineup in place of Troy Reeder. It'll be Kiser's 1st action since Week 11.

Seahawks CB Shaq Griffin (hamstring) and DT Jarran Reed (oblique) are active for today's game against the Rams.

Seahawks RB Rashaad Penny (knee) is inactive for today's game against the Rams. That can only be good news for Chris Carson, after Penny got a near-even work split in Week 17. Look for Carson to re-emerge as the clear backfield leader in today's game. RB DeeJay Dallas is a healthy scratch as well, leaving only Carson and Carlos Hyde in the backfield.

Rams QB Jared Goff (thumb) is active for today's game against the Seahawks. "No word yet on if he's starting or if he's the emergency QB," NFL Network's Ian Rapoport tweeted. We'll see whether Goff's actually starting this game or if it's John Wolford. You shouldn't be using him in fantasy either way.

The Browns announced Saturday that CB Denzel Ward won't come off the COVID list in time to face the Steelers on Sunday. Slot CB Kevin Johnson will also remain on the list. That leaves Cleveland down at least 2 of its top 3 corners against pass-heavy Pittsburgh. And we're waiting to see whether CB Terrance Mitchell will play. He's questionable with a non-injury issue.

The Browns have activated S Ronnie Harrison, TE Harrison Bryant and LB Malcolm Smith from the COVID list. That makes all 3 available for Sunday's game against the Steelers. None figures to be a big fantasy factor. Harrison carries nice tackle upside for IDP lineups, though, against a pass-heavy Pittsburgh offense.

Bills WRs Stefon Diggs (oblique) and Cole Beasley (knee) are active for today's game against the Colts. Diggs was expected to play, but Beasley had been genuinely questionable. He carries attractive upside against an Indy defense that tends to funnel action to the middle in the passing game. Of course, he also carries some risk of re-injury or playing limited snaps. Keep both aspects in mind as you set your lineups for the Wild Card round.

Colts DT DeForest Buckner (ankle) is active for today's game against the Bills. He's probably somewhere short of full strength, but his presence makes a big difference for the Colts' defense vs. both the run and pass.

Browns DE Myles Garrett is questionable for Sunday's game against the Steelers with a shoulder injury he apparently sustained in Friday's practice. He turned up limited that day after being estimated as a full participant the previous 2 days. Cleveland, of course, didn't actually practice until Friday, so it's a tough situation to read. We'll see about his status on Sunday. Losing Garrett would obviously be a huge blow for an already lackluster defense and a team with big COVID issues for the playoff opener. DT Sheldon Richardson (neck) and CB Terrance Mitchell are also questionable. Mitchell's issue is not injury related, so it's not yet clear what puts his status in question. The Browns also don't yet know if CB Denzel Ward will be able to come off the COVID list in time for the game against Pittsburgh.

Bears LB Roquan Smith (elbow) is questionable for Sunday's game against the Saints. He missed practice all week after suffering the injury in the 1st quarter of the Week 17 loss to the Packers. Smith didn't return to that game. We'll see whether he's ready to play in this one. CB Jaylon Johnson (shoulder) is also questionable. He returned to a week of limited practices after missing the season's final 3 games. We'll see about his status Sunday.

Ravens CB Marlon Humphrey (shoulder) and OLB Yannick Ngakoue (thigh) are questionable for Sunday's game against the Titans. Humphrey played through the issue last week and made it through a full practice Friday. So he should be good to go. Ngakoue also progressed from missing practice all last week and then sitting out the game to participating every day this week and finishing with a full Friday workout. So he appears on track to return. We'll check the status of both on Sunday.

Seahawks CB Shaq Griffin (hamstring) and DT Jarran Reed (oblique) are questionable for Saturday's game against the Rams. Griffin came down with his injury this week and missed the final practice. Reed put in limited workouts the final 2 days. We'd bet on him playing. We'll check the status of both Saturday afternoon, when the inactives come out.

The Saints have ruled DE Trey Hendrickson (neck) out for Sunday's game against the Bears. That leaves New Orleans without its season sack leader. The matchup for the Saints defense still looks good, though, against the 2nd-worst offense in the playoffs (behind Washington), according to Football Outsiders DVOA.

NFL Network's Mike Garafolo reports that Buccaneers WR Mike Evans plans to "try everything he possibly can" to play in Saturday night's game against Washington. It's good that he sounds like he'll be able to play through the Week 17 knee injury, but it also sounds like Evans will be a risky fantasy play this weekend. We'll see about his official game status Saturday evening.

 
 
 

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