Fantasy news & notes: Ty Montgomery a lead back?

More likely than not your waiver wire looks like hell on earth and your "starting" roster probably does too.

Approximately 19 teams are on a bye and I think there are 387 running backs injured. You need redemption. It can be found in Green Bay. But buckle up because I'm about to take you straight into the #FantasyDangerZone with some deeeeeep sleepers.

Randall Cobb was limited with a hamstring and is now looking very sketchy to play against the Colts. He will be a game-time decision Sunday. But with him gone, it once again opens the door for other players to shine in what is expected to be a high-scoring affair.

Jordy Nelson and Davante Adams will see an uptick in targets but there will be another receiver that will emerge in what is likely to be numerous three wide receiver sets for the Pack. Jeff Janis and Trevor Davis are dart-throw plays if you want to get crazy. Both caught touchdowns last week, FYI.

Ty Montgomery returned to practice and was taken off the team's injury report, meaning he'll be back on the field Sunday versus the Colts. Run him out there with extreme confidence. Indianapolis has given up the fifth-most points to the running back position and Montgomery was reportedly working almost exclusively with the team's backs this week. (He's still listed by the team as a wide receiver though, and so he shall remain in our game FYI. Stop complaining.)

Ty Montgomery is likely the lead back but believe it not, I don't hate FULLBACK Aaron Ripkowski. What the hell, let's get crazy. He's a massive human being at 6-foot-1, 245 pounds and is adept at leaving broken bodies in his wake. Last week he took his six carries for 34 yards, a 5.7 yards per carry average. The run game can't depend entirely on Montgomery, they just cut Knile Davis meaning I wouldn't be shocked to see Rip get 10-ish totes for 40 yards. If the team gets into goal-to-go situations (spoiler alert: they will) Rip will get a chance to punch it in. For those of you who are desperate in deeper leagues, you'll take the 10-point upside. Full "analysis" can be found here.

Oh by the way, James Starks returned to practice as well. If he's out there and you have the roster space, he's absolutely worth a stash.

More injury news and notes ...

NEWS: LeSean McCoy (hamstring) was back practicing in a limited basis this week. He told reporters he was "ready to roll" and Rex Ryan said he feels that his star back is ready to play Monday night.

- Fantasy spin: It's the riskiest of propositions to say the least. McCoy has a horrendous matchup facing the Seahawks defense in Seattle and it would surprise no one if he tweaked his hammy and left the game. And, oh by the way, they play on Monday meaning if he suffers a setback pregame, you'll be left holding the bag.

- Bottom line: It's the second week of bye-week hell so you very well could be past of point of no return. Roll out Shady if you have to but try to play him in the flex if possible so you have some options Monday evening if he's suddenly ruled out.

NEWS: Carlos Hyde reportedly has a sprained AC joint (shoulder). He's been practicing but in a non-contact jersey. He's been officially listed as questionable but told reporters that he's sore and that he's not sure how he'll handle a hard hit. Asked straight away about whether he was going to play he said, "I'm really not sure."

- Fantasy spin: Unless we hear otherwise, you almost have to play him given the upside versus the Saints who are the second-worst versus the run in terms of fantasy points per game. The worst? The Niners. Like McCoy, a big hit could send Hyde to the sideline which could kill your week. But again, the upside is there.

The backups behind him are a mess as well. Mike Davis is likely next in line but the team gave DuJuan Harris a lot of burn as well and we have yet to mention that Shaun Draughn will work in somewhere as well. Good luck figuring that out.

- Bottom line: Start Hyde with zero confidence but play him and pray.

NEWS: Spencer Ware (concussion) missed practice all week and has been officially ruled out for Sunday. Jeremy Maclin missed practice Thursday with a groin injury but was back at practice Friday and was upgraded to probable for Sunday versus the Jaguars.

- Fantasy spin: Fire up Charcandrick West. Given the history Andy Reid has with running backs, West possesses top-10 positional upside. As for Maclin, he might be unplayable in traditional 10-team leagues despite the heavy byes. Maclin hasn't topped 78 yards all year and gone for less than 50 yards in four of his seven games this season. Combine this with the fact that he takes on Jalen Ramsey who is emerging as a lock-down corner. Ramsey helped to limit Jordy Nelson to 32 yards, T.Y. Hilton to 42 yards and Amari Cooper to 29 yards. That being said, Alshon Jeffery still racked up 93 yards and Steve Smith had 87 yards versus the Jags defense.

- Bottom line: Play Charcandrick West with great confidence. Play Maclin if you need him but just know he has a low floor and a low ceiling.

NEWS: Big Ben was a limited participant in practice this week, did 7-on-7 drills and shared first-team practice reps with Landry Jones. Receiver Eli Rogers said "it looks like he's good to go" versus the Ravens Sunday. Expect Ben to start.

- Fantasy spin: It means good things for Antonio Brown if Ben plays and given his penchant for deep shots, Sammie Coates will see a bump as well if Ben can play and finish the game. But in regards to Roethlisberger, I won't get into the nitty gritty but Ben on the road has been bad, coming off an injury has been bad, and his career numbers versus Baltimore have been bad.

Bottom line: I don't see any scenario where you can comfortably play Ben in standard 10-team leagues. Hell, I'd rather play Colin Kaepernick than Ben with all the things working against him in this game.

Other news:

  • Jerick McKinnon (ankle) returned to practice this week albeit in a limited capacity. He's confident he'll play versus the Lions.
  • Corey Coleman (hand) was back practicing in full, he is expected to play against a banged-up Dallas secondary. He hasn't played since Week 2.
  • Dwayne Allen (ankle) was back practicing and it looks like he'll play Sunday on the road in Green Bay. He was limited in practice with an ankle injury so he could be on some sort of snap count but regardless, with him back there will likely have a negative impact on Jack Doyle's fantasy value.
  • DeMarco Murray was a full participant in practice Thursday and Friday after being limited with a toe earlier in the week.
  • Tyrell Williams and Travis Benjamin were both limited in practice this week with their respective knee injuries. Williams sounds confident that he'll play and told reporters, "I'll be good to go." Benjamin is also expected to play but should be limited. San Diego takes on Tennessee.
  • Speaking of San Diego, Hunter Henry (knee) missed practice all week and has been ruled out.
  • Steve Smith (ankle) practiced in a limited capacity Thursday and Friday but away from the view of reporters. It was the first time he practiced since spraining his ankle four weeks ago. The Ravens take on divisional rival the Steelers.

Want more fantasy news and notes? Follow James Koh on Twitter: @JamesDKoh

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