Dose: Pryor Cleared for Week 5Thursday, October 03, 2013
Coach Dennis Allen said Wednesday that Terrelle Pryor (concussion) is symptom-free and will start Sunday night’s – err Monday morning – Week 5 game against the Chargers. After concussion symptoms flared up on Pryor last Saturday night, forcing him to miss Week 4, the quarterback says he feels completely normal.
"I believe I'm 100 percent right now,'' Pryor said. "I feel normal.''
Allen likes to fancy himself as a Bill Belichick type when it comes to withholding as much information as possible, especially in regards to the statuses of injured players. So, fantasy-wise it was nice to have Allen announce Pryor as the starter so early in the week. Now, we won’t have to play the guessing game up until Sunday night. Pryor will be a legitimate back-end QB1 this weekend. The Chargers have allowed the most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks through four games. Personally, I’d start Pryor over guys like Andrew Luck, Russell Wilson, Cam Newton, and Tony Romo this week.
There was some other significant news among Raiders quarterbacks Wednesday. Matt Flynn, after his pitiful Week 4 performance against the leaky Redskins, has been demoted to the No. 3 quarterback and will be a game day inactive the rest of the season barring injury. Undrafted rookie Matt McGloin has been elevated to backup duties behind Pryor. The Raiders would be in serious trouble if McGloin ever saw the field. He was nothing special at Penn State and doesn’t possess a strong arm. McGloin beat out fourth-rounder Tyler Wilson for the No. 3 job in training camp and preseason. Flynn is a lock to get cut after the season. He may never see the field in a regular season game ever again.
Editor's Note: Rotoworld's partner FanDuel is hosting a one-week $300,000 Fantasy Football league for Week 5. It's $25 to join and first prize is $25,000. Starts Sunday at 1pm ET. Here's the link.
News Nugget #2
Coach Leslie Frazier went out of his way both Monday and Tuesday to reiterate that Christian Ponder is still the Vikings’ starting quarterback despite missing Week 4 with a rib injury. Matt Cassel led the team to its first win and looked like a monster upgrade on Ponder. On Wednesday, however, ESPN 1500 Twin Cities’ Judd Zulgad reported Ponder suffered a broken rib near his heart and suspects Ponder will end up missing 3-4 games.
Ponder already missed the one game. The Vikings are on their bye week right now. So, by Zulgad’s projection, Ponder would be back by Week 8 or Week 9. Cassel will have some favorable matchups if he indeed ends up starting the next few games. The Vikings have a tough home date with the Panthers in Week 6. The leaky Giants and Packers’ defenses are on tap after that. The Giants have allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks, while the Packers have surrendered the fifth-most.
Of course, Cassel is not a fantasy option outside of two-quarterback leagues. His insertion into the lineup last week made everyone around him better. Adrian Peterson ran like a beast let out of its cage against the Steelers. Jerome Simpson had a 100-yard receiving game, and Greg Jennings caught two touchdowns. All those guys get boosts with Cassel under center. The fact that we’re even talking up Cassel shows just how poorly Ponder has played in his two-plus seasons.
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News Nugget #3
Daryl Richardson was asked by a fan on Twitter if Richardson was going to be the Rams’ starting running back this week against the Jaguars. He responded by saying, "not this week man." Richardson started each of the Rams’ first four games. On the season, he’s averaging a lousy 2.71 YPC and is coming off a horrific 12-carry, 16-yard performance against the 49ers last Thursday night. Coach Jeff Fisher seemed none too pleased with Richardson’s tweet.
"I'll discuss it," Fisher said. "I don't think he meant it. He's coming off some injuries and he just needs to be more thoughtful about his responses. We haven't gone one direction or the other [on a starter] yet."
Fisher had previously been committed to Richardson as his lead back, so this goes to show he’s at least considering going in a different direction at the position. Richardson backtracked on his tweet after practice, saying “it’s going to be a competition” this week.
Following practice, ESPN Rams blogger Nick Wagoner wrote a piece on the team’s running back situation. Wagoner believes “it seems as though it’s time” for fifth-round rookie Zac Stacy to “at least lead the committee.” Stacy has been the least used back in the Rams’ backfield this season. He’s rushed just once for four yards. All three of Richardson, Isaiah Pead and Benny Cunningham have seen significantly more run in the opening month. Stacy is a bruiser at 5-foot-8, 216. There’s no telling which way Fisher will go with his running backs, but Stacy is definitely worth picking up in 12- and 14-team leagues. The Rams have one of the most fluid running back situations in the league. It’s time to give Pead and Stacy extended looks. Pead should be owned in all 12- and 14-team leagues. The Jaguars defense is allowing over 5.0 YPC, so we may get some clarity Sunday.
Quarterback/Running Back Slants
The Seahawks claimed rookie quarterback B.J. Daniels off waivers from the 49ers. The poaching between the division rivals continues. … Coach John Harbaugh indicated the Ravens will commit to reinstalling Ray Rice as the focal point of their offense moving forward. … Stevan Ridley missed Wednesday’s practice with what the Patriots called a knee injury. Word is Ridley is just suffering from a minor thigh bruise. It’s not a significant issue. … C.J. Spiller (ankle) is officially questionable for Thursday night. He’ll be a game-time decision. Fred Jackson (knee) is probable. … Ahmad Bradshaw (neck) is doubtful for Week 5. Trent Richardson is locked in as an RB1 against the Seahawks at home. … Chris Ivory (hamstring) returned to a limited practice Wednesday. … James Starks (knee) has been ruled out for Week 5. Coach Mike McCarthy says Starks may miss a “couple weeks.” … LaMichael James expressed frustration with his role in San Francisco by saying “I’m not trying to be insurance.” Get used to it, LaMichael.
Wide Receiver/Tight End Slants
Mike Wallace has run 90 percent of his routes down the right sideline. The Dolphins are using him more as a decoy than true No. 1 receiver. Danny Amendola (groin) remained limited in Wednesday’s practice. Nate Burleson (broken arm) said he’s ahead of schedule in his recovery. … Eric Decker (ankle), Cecil Shorts (groin), Miles Austin (hamstring), Brandon Marshall (foot), and Marlon Brown (hamstring) all missed practice Wednesday. … The Lions signed Kevin Ogletree. He’s not a threat to anyone in Detroit’s receiver corps. … Jeremy Kerley and Clyde Gates are expected to be the Jets’ starting receivers Monday night against Atlanta. Stephen Hill (concussion) and Santonio Holmes (hamstring) aren’t expected to play. … Rob Gronkowski told reporters following his limited Wednesday practice session that he’s still “not sure yet” when he’ll return to game action. … Vernon Davis (hamstring) was limited in Wednesday’s practice. He’s going to play Sunday night. … Jermichael Finley (concussion) practiced Wednesday.