Adams and Lazard Out, Other Tuesday Notes

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Tuesday usually isn’t an overly happening day for the NFL, and yesterday was no exception. Still, that doesn’t mean nothing happened, so let’s go over the most important news and notes from around the league with an eye on fantasy football.

Davante Adams and Allen Lazard Sent to COVID-19 List

The Packers will be without two of their top receivers in Week 8, one of whom is arguably the best wideout in football. With Green Bay facing off against Arizona on Thursday Night Football this week, neither player has enough time to clear league protocols and return for what looks (or looked, at least) like one of the best matchups of the week. Davante Adams is vaccinated, but he actually tested positive for COVID-19 and will not have enough time to record two positive tests before Thursday barring a miraculous recovery. Lazard, on the other hand, is not vaccinated and will reap the consequences of his own decision as a close contact with someone (presumably Adams) who tested positive, even though he himself did not actually record a positive test.

Marquez Valdes-Scantling has been out with a hamstring injury, but Doug Kyed (of Pro Football Focus) reported the “current expectation is” he will be able to return against the Cardinals. That would be a much-needed addition for Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay offense, as Randall Cobb is currently the de facto WR1 with Adams and Lazard out. Aaron Jones is perhaps the main beneficiary of the Packers’ outbreak, as he has averaged 6.0 targets per game without Adams over the past two seasons vs. 4.0 targets per contest with the stud wideout.

Green Bay may also lean on the run as much as possible in Week 8 without any dependable receiving options. Also in Jones’ favor is the fact that second-year back A.J. Dillon fumbled twice in Week 7, which could lead to a reduced workload, although it’s difficult to imagine the Packers truly giving a workhorse-like market share of attempts to Jones. Regardless, the point remains that Jones is a game-script-independent RB1 who could see wideout-type receiving volume against the Cardinals.

Jerry Jeudy Will Play in Week 8

After spraining his ankle in Week 1, Jerry Jeudy will make his much-awaited return in Week 8. The heralded sophomore was dominating the Giants in Week 1 – catching 6-of-7 targets for 72 yards – before his ailment forced him out of the game. He’ll rejoin a Broncos receiving corps that’s much more depleted than it was when he left. KJ Hamler is out for the year and second-string tight end Albert O is on injured reserve. Denver was forced to pick up and almost immediately activate journeyman wideout John Brown to alleviate their receiver concerns.

Courtland Sutton has returned to the monster he was pre-injury, but Jeudy is talented enough to make this a co-WR1 situation. Both Broncos wideouts should be weekly starters in the fantasy WR2 range, and it’s anyone’s guess as to who Teddy Bridgewater prefers in any given week. Still, over the long term, both are fantasy-viable options, and Jeudy should reenter the fantasy conversation right away against a Washington defense that has surprisingly had its ups and downs this year after wholly shutting down opposing offenses last season.

Eagles Could Promote Jordan Howard From Practice Squad

Although rookie running back Kenneth Gainwell got more snaps and ran more routes, Boston Scott had the rushing attempts edge after Miles Sanders exited the Eagles’ Week 7 game with an ankle injury. Gainwell has had a major role the entire season even with Sanders healthy, while Scott had only played four total offensive snaps prior to this past weekend, so it was interesting to see the Eagles generally keep Gainwell in the same role.

Eagles coach Nick Sirianni said Sanders is “week-to-week,” implying Philadelphia will likely be without their starting running back in Week 8. That opens the door for an increased role for Gainwell and Scott, but the Eagles could also elevate Jordan Howard from the practice squad. Howard fits the mold of a classic between-the-tackles grinder who would complement the pass-catching Gainwell perfectly.

Scott would be impossible to trust if the Eagles promote Howard, but Gainwell is intriguing as he should maintain his usual receiving role and see a minor uptick in rushing volume.

Patriots: “We’ll See” Whether Rhamondre Stevenson Plays in Week 8

The Rhamondre Stevenson experience continued in Week 7 when the Patriots elected to make J.J. Taylor a gameday active over the fourth-round rookie. Taylor went on to score two garbage-time touchdowns as New England absolutely kicked the tires off the Jets. Patriots running back coach Ivan Fears says it’ll be a week-to-week decision whether Stevenson will be active over Taylor. The Oklahoma product has struggled with fumbling and blocking issues, which doesn’t fly in the New England offense. Stevenson is right on the fringe of being roster-worthy as he was a decent all-around role when active, but it’s a coin flip as to whether he’ll actually be active in any given week.

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Other Notes

  • NFL commissioner Roger Goodell says the league is not going to take action on Deshaun Watson right now and rather let the criminal investigation run its course. It’s an interesting take from the commissioner given how the league has handled incidents in the past as well as the heinous nature of the Watson accusations. Regardless, that means Watson would theoretically be eligible to play if he is traded (or if the Texans suddenly decide to play him), but that seems unlikely.

  • Goodell also said the league will not release the report against the Washington Football Team alleging workplace misconduct to the public, citing the need to protect the anonymity of those who came forward. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported two ex-WFT employees requested the team make the report public.

  • Goodell also said WFT owner Daniel Snyder has been held accountable for his actions.

  • DeAndre Hopkins logged another DNP on Tuesday, so that’s a situation worth monitoring leading up to Thursday Night Football.

  • Wil Lutz is out for the year, a significant hit for the Saints’ special teams unit. Brian Johnson will man kicking duties in his absence.

  • Saints LG Andrus Peat tore his pectoral and is out for the year. It’s a minor ding to Saints fantasy assets.

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