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Wednesday, October 22, 2014, 6:13pm

Vikings TE Kyle Rudolph (abdomen, groin) did not practice Wednesday.

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Wednesday, October 22, 2014, 6:13pm

Dolphins TE Dion Sims (neck) took limited practice reps Wednesday.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014, 6:13pm

Titans TE Taylor Thompson (knee) took limited practice reps Wednesday.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014, 6:13pm

Broncos K Brandon McManus (right groin, probable) practiced fully Wednesday.

Sorting out the short-term future of the St. Louis running game

Wednesday, October 22, 2014, 2:36pm

ESPN - [Full Article]

In the span of a couple of hours, the Rams introduced Zac Stacy as the starting running back, then Benny Cunningham actually started the game before Tre Mason ended up getting 18 carries, by far the most amongst the backs and the second most by a Ram this season. All of that while Stacy played one snap and got no carries.

Apparently, it didn't take long to decide that Mason had the hot hand.

“We’re going to play all three backs," coach Jeff Fisher said Sunday. "I have great respect for all three of them, and Trey Watts for that matter. They are very unselfish, they root each other on. Tre got a hot hand and it was just kind of a different thing. We felt that we may have a chance to crease their defense at times with him."

How much it has changed things remains to be seen. When asked about the division of carries again Monday, Fisher offered a similar refrain.

“It’ll be a week-to-week thing," Fisher said. "Zac could get 25 carries this week. We had some things in early this week. It was working so we decided to stay with ‘Mase.' It’s nothing that Zac has done or hasn’t done. He’s been a little banged up the last couple of weeks, but obviously he’s an outstanding runner as well. We clearly have significant depth there at the position.”

Fantasy Impact:

Fantasy owners would love to get more clarity here, but it doesn't look like Fisher is going to tip his hand. Mason has been far more productive (5.4) in his 23 carries, and he did it against two good run defenses (SEA, SF). We expect all three backs will be involved, but that the new guy (Mason) has the best chance to seize an RB1-type role.

Bills RB Anthony Dixon gets first team reps at practice

Wednesday, October 22, 2014, 1:37pm

ESPN - [Full Article]

Questions have coming streaming in this week, especially from a fantasy perspective, about how the Buffalo Bills will use Anthony Dixon and Bryce Brown.

In the portion of practice open to reporters Wednesday -- essentially just warm-up drills -- Dixon lined up with the first-team next to Kyle Orton, while Brown was paired with EJ Manuel and the second team.

That doesn't mean Dixon will receive more touches than Brown but it's further indication he's ahead of Brown on the depth chart.

Fantasy Impact:

This indicates that the Bills don't currently view Brown as the "starter," and that Dixon is likely to get first crack at the carries in the Buffalo backfield. The team has split carries between Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller, and is likely to do so again with Dixon and Brown. We're expecting Brown to be more active than Dixon in the passing game, but Dixon may see more carries and get the goal line work. In short, it's unclear which back has more fantasy value, and it may depend on your league format (i.e. Dixon in standard, Brown in PPR).

How Percy Harvin's departure shuffled the Seattle receiving corps

Wednesday, October 22, 2014, 12:40pm

Seattle Times - [Full Article]

Seahawks WR Doug Baldwin's role changed the most Sunday as he moved back to playing primarily in the slot with Percy Harvin no longer around. It was one of several adjustments for the receivers.

It was Baldwin who had to make the biggest adjustment to accommodate Harvin, moving from the slot position he played primarily his first three seasons to playing more on the outside.

Carroll said it was no coincidence Baldwin thrived being back in the slot. “He’s played a lot of outside stuff for us, which he does fine, but he’s always been really difficult to cover inside,’’ Carroll said. “He’s got a great sense for it — he and Russell have a good chemistry and I think that was pretty obvious that that was back in our favor. Hoping we’ll continue to get that from those guys.’’

Without Harvin, rookie Paul Richardson on Sunday played as the other outside receiver, and essentially the No. 3 receiver overall, and was on the field for 42 snaps. He responded with four catches for 33 yards.

Fantasy Impact:

Baldwin was a 4for4 preseason favorite, and it looks like he's going to make some noise after returning to the slot. Richardson is now on the deep league radar as he replaces Baldwin on the outside.

Explaining Keenan Allen's sophomore slump

Wednesday, October 22, 2014, 12:35pm

Union-Tribune - [Full Article]

Chargers WR Keenan Allen, while scoreless in seven games, hasn't lacked for impact. Defenses have schemed against him differently in year two, an anticipated trend that's presented opportunities elsewhere in the passing game. The effect for Allen is fewer statistical outbursts like the ones he had in Denver last season.

Defensive coaches had months to game plan for him. Allen and the Chargers aren't surprised what came out of it.

"People, they aren't stupid," wide receivers coach Fred Graves said. "They're not just going to let him run free. They're going to take some things away."

Allen has seen more press coverage this year. That is partly why, despite a team-high 34 catches, he has a modest 354 yards. His average yards after the catch is down from 6 to 2.9.

"They're pretty close to me after I catch the ball," Allen said.

Fantasy Impact:

The article goes on to explain that the attention that Allen is getting is opening things up for the other Charger receivers, namely Antonio Gates, Malcom Floyd and Eddie Royal. As those players continue to produce, Allen should receive less attention, which should free him up for more big plays.

Texans HC Bill O'Brien endorses Ryan Fitzpatrick as the starter

Wednesday, October 22, 2014, 12:25pm - [Full Article]

Bill O'Brien doesn't sound like a coach prepared to remove Ryan Fitzpatrick from under center any time soon.

The first-year coach has been riding with the journeyman quarterback through a 3-4 record so far, but thinks his team's performance is not the reflection of one position playing poorly.

"Fitzy is our quarterback," O'Brien told reporters on Tuesday.

He added: "When you look at our tape ... you cannot just point to one position and say that's the position that is at fault. There are a lot of positions that need to play better. We need to coach better, all those different things. It all goes into why sometimes we stall offensively. It's not one guy."

Fantasy Impact:

When coaches begin to endorse a beleaguered starter, it's usually a sign that change is coming. It sounds as if Fitzpatrick still has a bit of leash, but if the season gets out of hand, the team may turn to Ryan Mallett to see what he brings to the table.

Jags Beat: Denard Robinson predicted to be the lead back going forward

Wednesday, October 22, 2014, 12:11pm

ESPN - [Full Article]

Jaguars beat writer Michael DiRocco predicts that RB Denard Robinson will see "15-20 carries...maybe even a little bit lower." He went on to predict that while the team may mix it up when Toby Gerhart returns, "the main job will be Denard Robinson's going forward."

Fantasy Impact:

The Jacksonville running backs are averaging 18.0 carries per game, so the team is going to have a tough time feeding Robinson the ball 15-20 times per game. We're expecting 13.7 carries for Robinson in Week 8.

49ers RB Marcus Lattimore set to return to practice

Wednesday, October 22, 2014, 11:55am - [Full Article]

49ers RB Marcus Lattimore, who endured one of the most gruesome in-game injuries we've ever seen on a football field back in 2012, will hit the practice field as an active participant for the first time in his career once the San Francisco 49ers return from the bye week.

Fantasy Impact:

Lattimore is behind Frank Gore and Carlos Hyde, so he's unlikely to make much of a fantasy impact this season, but it's good to hear that he's healthy enough to return to practice.

Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles claims he wasn't concussed in Week 7

Wednesday, October 22, 2014, 11:52am

ESPN - [Full Article]

Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles on the big hit he took in Week 7...

“It definitely hurt,'' he said. "A couple plays later, I just (saw) this light buzz around my eyes and I was trying to catch ‘em. But I was like, ‘let’s get the ball and run again.’"

The hit happened on Charles' touchdown run in the second quarter. He went on to describe other symptoms that could be consistent with those of a concussion. He said he had flashbacks to scenes from his childhood. But he indicated he was never checked for a concussion because, he said, he didn't have one. Charles finished the game.

“I didn’t have a concussion,'' he said. "It was definitely a hit that shocked me. I didn’t think I had to go through the concussion protocol and all that because I didn’t want to go through that again. That’s what happened in the playoffs. I was definitely fine. I think I came out pretty good.

"I could definitely play through stuff like that. It wasn’t a concussion. If it was a concussion I wouldn’t remember the plays or remember none of my teammates’ names or remember what sideline to go to. I definitely remember everything. It was just a huge hit.''

Fantasy Impact:

It's unclear if the NFL will take any action here by putting Charles into the concussion protocol, but this is something for owners to file away.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014, 11:44am

ESPN - [Full Article]

Ravens RB Justin Forsett has seven runs of 20 or more yards. That is tied with Dallas' DeMarco Murray for tops in the NFL. Forsett has a run of more than 20 yards in his last six games. To put this in perspective, the Ravens had five such runs as a team for all of last season. Forsett has surpassed that total, and it's not even the midway point of the season.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014, 8:30pm - [Full Article]

The Titans signed RB Antonio Andrews from their practice squad to their active 53-man roster.

Signed by the Titans as an undrafted free agent out of Western Kentucky in 2014, Andrews carried 21 times for 137 yards (6.5 avg.), including a long of 47 during the Titans' 2014 preseason.

Andrews was released on final cuts and subsequently signed to the team's practice squad after he cleared waivers.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014, 6:28pm

ESPN - [Full Article]

Denver Broncos running back Montee Ball returned -- briefly -- to the practice field Tuesday, but the Broncos had enough concerns about their overall depth at running back to tweak the roster.

Ball, who suffered a right groin injury in the Broncos’ Oct. 5 win over the Arizona Cardinals, was in a jersey and on the practice field during the open period of practice for the first time since the injury. Ball went through the pre-practice stretching with the team and then went to work with the strength and conditioning coaches.

The Broncos have planned for Ball to miss at least three weeks with the injury -- and Thursday night’s game against the San Diego Chargers will be the third game Ball has missed -- so they promoted running back Kapri Bibbs from their practice squad, even as some teams in the league had started to circle the undrafted rookie with interest in signing him.