Read ESPN’s fantasy football Daily Notes every weekday to stay caught up on the news you need to know and get a head start on the fantasy football content coming today and tomorrow to ESPN.com and the ESPN Fantasy App.
The news: Browns RB Nick Chubb will play against the Saints on Saturday.
What it means in fantasy: Chubb returned to practice on Friday, and he has been removed from the Browns’ injury report. He missed the first two days of practice to start the week with a foot injury. In a game that likely will involve snow and heavy winds, Chubb is a must-start Saturday. New Orleans’ defense has allowed the 10th-most rushing yards per game to opponents.
The news: Seahawks RB Kenneth Walker III is expected to play against the Chiefs on Saturday.
What it means in fantasy: Walker has dealt with an ankle injury that he suffered in Week 13 against the Rams. He also had a case of back spasms this week, which prevented him from practicing. Even though Walker has a questionable tag, coach Pete Carroll expects him to play. The Seahawks’ running game desperately needs a spark. In the past five games, Seattle has not rushed for more than 90 yards. Walker is firmly on the RB2 radar against the Chiefs.
The news: Broncos RB Latavius Murray did not practice on Thursday.
What it means in fantasy: Murray was limited on Wednesday because of a foot injury. According to coach Nathaniel Hackett, this is a precautionary move, which is encouraging, but fantasy managers should monitor Murray’s practice status on Friday. He rushed for 130 yards and a touchdown on 24 attempts against the Cardinals on Sunday. His 130 rushing yards against Arizona was Murray’s highest total in a game since 2018 and the fourth-highest single-game total of his career. He can be viewed as an RB2 against the Rams on Sunday.
The news: Eagles QB Jalen Hurts will not play against the Cowboys on Saturday.
Need a boom-or-bust candidate for your critical fantasy football matchup? Here are some suggestions:
Kirk Cousins has boomed in consecutive weeks and has a 26% chance to record his sixth boom week (over 22 fantasy points) of the season against the Giants.
Purdy looking pretty? Don’t count on it: Brock Purdy‘s bust chance (29%) is more than twice his boom chance (12%) this week against the Commanders.
The emergence of Jerick McKinnon has taken some of the shine off of Isiah Pacheco, and that figures to continue this week: 8% chance to boom (15 fantasy points).
Back-to-back boom weeks for JuJu Smith-Schuster, but be careful in assuming it continues against Seattle. He enters this weekend with a 27% chance to bust (under 6.5 fantasy points), more than four times his odds of booming (over 18 points).
Could Gerald Everett provide a Monday night miracle? He has a 25% chance to post his fifth boom performance of the season and score north of 12 fantasy points.
What it means in fantasy: Eagles coach Nick Sirianni has hinted at this all week and now we have confirmation. Gardner Minshew will start, and he’s a great alternative for fantasy managers who have Hurts on their rosters. Since the Eagles play on the road, the weather will not be an issue. There is a retractable roof on the Cowboys’ stadium. The offensive skill position players supporting Minshew include A.J. Brown, DeVonta Smith and Dallas Goedert. Additionally, the Eagles’ offensive line ranks second in run block win rate and seventh in pass block win rate. During his career, Minshew has made 22 starts and averaged 17.3 fantasy points. He can be viewed as a high-end QB2 against a tough Cowboys defense.
The news: Ravens QB Tyler Huntley will start against the Falcons on Saturday.
What it means in fantasy: Lamar Jackson remains sidelined with a knee injury for the third straight week. After being limited by a right shoulder injury in Wednesday’s practice and not throwing during the media viewing window, Huntley returned to practice Thursday and was observed making throws. Coach John Harbaugh does not have any concerns regarding Huntley’s shoulder. The Ravens have lost five of the six games that Jackson hasn’t started over the past two seasons. Huntley can be viewed as a low-end QB2.
The news: Titans QB Ryan Tannehill has been ruled out against the Texans on Sunday.
What it means in fantasy: As I wrote yesterday, ESPN confirmed reports by NFL reporter Paul Kuharsky that Tannehill is “very likely” out for the season because of an ankle injury. Rookie Malik Willis will take over at quarterback against the Texans and has struggled mightily in relief of Tannehill on a number of occasions this season. It is not advisable to trust WR Treylon Burks in fantasy lineups, even though he is expected to return after missing the past two games with a concussion. However, Derrick Henry is one Titans player fantasy managers can trust against a Texans defense that allows the most fantasy points per game to running backs.
The news: Saints WR Chris Olave will not play against the Browns on Saturday.
What it means in fantasy: This shouldn’t come as surprise since Olave did not practice all week because of a hamstring injury. The Saints also placed WR Jarvis Landry on injured reserve. The New Orleans pass-catchers shouldn’t be relied upon when the weather in Cleveland includes heavy winds and snow. Olave might be shut down for the season given the Saints’ record and the injury.
The news: Broncos WR Courtland Sutton was limited in Thursday’s practice.
What it means in fantasy: Sutton hasn’t played since injuring his hamstring in Week 13 against the Rams. He’s practiced for two consecutive days and can be viewed as a flex option against the Rams on Sunday. While Sutton was out, Jerry Jeudy played the “X” wide receiver, but coach Nathaniel Hackett said both receivers will be used in multiple ways upon Sutton’s return.
The news: WR Brandin Cooks is questionable for Saturday’s game against the Titans but is expected to play, per Aaron Wilson of KPRC 2.
What it means in fantasy: Cooks is expected to play against the Titans after recovering from a calf injury. He hasn’t had double-digit targets since Week 2 as he continues to get phased out of the Texans’ offense. Cooks is likely to see more targets since Nico Collins has been ruled out, which places him on the flex radar against a Titans defense that allows the most fantasy points to wide receivers. I would prioritize Chris Moore in fantasy if you are looking for exposure to the Texans’ passing game. He has amassed 20 targets over the past two games.
The news: Bears WR Chase Claypool is doubtful for Saturday’s game against the Bills.
What it means in fantasy: Claypool has been dealing with a knee injury since Week 13’s game against the Packers. While he was estimated as limited earlier in the week, Claypool did not practice on Thursday. Justin Fields will be without Claypool and Equanimeous St. Brown against the Bills in a game that will be affected by heavy winds. The Bears will most likely lean heavily on the running game. Claypool can be dropped in most leagues.
The news: Patriots WR DeVante Parker did not practice on Thursday.
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What it means in fantasy: Parker hasn’t practiced since Week 14 because of a concussion. It is unlikely he will play this week against the Bengals after missing Week 15. Nelson Agholor should see additional targets if Parker is ruled out. The poor performance of QB Mac Jones this season makes it difficult for fantasy managers to have confidence in any of the Patriots’ pass-catchers. Agholor can be viewed as a flex option for fantasy managers in deeper formats.
Mike Clay’s Playbook: projections and analysis for every game
Eric Karabell’s Week 16 hot seat: Jamaal Williams leads list of players who make for tough Week 16 lineup decisions
• Daniel Dopp and Liz Loza’s Fantasy Improv: Replacing Jalen Hurts, adjusting for winter weather conditions and more
• “Fantasy Focus” podcast: Field Yates, Daniel Dopp and Mike Clay recap a poor TNF for fantasy before previewing everything you need to know for Week 16 including injury updates, what RBs need to be in your lineup for the playoffs, QBs you can stream and who you should be benching. Plus, how will some insane weather impact fantasy playoff matchups? Listen | Watch
• The Fantasy Football cheat sheet: The week’s best advice in one place
• Inactives Watch: Who’s in, who’s out and what does it mean?
• After the games: Matt Bowen and Tristan H. Cockcroft’s fantasy highs and lows
• Fantasy Football Now: Sunday at 10 a.m. ET on ESPN2
In Case You Missed It:
Field Yates’ Fantasy Field Pass: Replacing Jalen Hurts and Jonathan Taylor, rejoicing in Jerick McKinnon
Mike Clay’s TNF Playbook: Jets vs. Jaguars fantasy projections
Tristan H. Cockcroft’s positional Matchup Map
Matt Bowen’s fantasy film room: Jerick McKinnon, Dak Prescott among Week 16 upgrades, downgrades
Al Zeidenfeld’s DFS Best Buys for Week 16
• “Fantasy Focus” podcast: Field Yates, Daniel Dopp and Mike Clay preview TNF with questionable weather before talking WRs who need to be in your lineup and what RBs you have to trust in the playoffs. Then, Adam Schefter joins us to talk about the storylines to watch in Week 16, including what injuries to watch and the impact of the weather on the league this week. Listen | Watch