NFL Quick Hits: Waiting for Doug Martin

Last week, Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter said he was "hopeful" that RB Doug Martin (hamstring) would return in Week 10 against the Bears. When Monday’s practice came around, Martin wasn’t involved. With Jacquizz Rodgers (foot) still in a walking boot and Antone Smith (knee) out for the season, rookie Peyton Barber (owned in 5.6 percent of leagues) would be the next man up If Martin isn’t ready by Sunday.

In other news …

Patriots RB Dion Lewis (knee) must be activated by Nov. 17 or miss the rest of the season, so he’ll probably be back soon. However, he’s not a lock to play in Week 10 and might be eased back into action when he does return.

Chiefs QB Alex Smith is expected to play at Carolina on Sunday, but WR Jeremy Maclin (groin) is day-to-day, and RB Spencer Ware (concussion) is still in the protocol. Head coach Andy Reid said Monday that there’s a "good chance" Ware will be ready to go, but that decision is ultimately up to the doctors.

Monday’s Bills-Seahawks game had a lot more offense than we thought, but the most interesting fantasy takeaway was Christine Michael running five times for one yard (and a TD). The Seahawks apparently decided last week to open up the passing game, and if Russell Wilson’s health cooperates there’s no reason to think this approach won’t continue. In a couple of weeks, we could be looking at a Michael/Thomas Rawls timeshare getting limited carries behind a bad O-line. Ugh.

Remember your byes: The Bills, Lions, Colts and Raiders are off in Week 10. Thursday’s game is Browns-Ravens.

Todd Gurley’s touches and numbers "need to increase significantly," according to Rams head coach Jeff Fisher. We agree, coach. Make sure to tell Gurley’s blockers.

Pat Shurmur’s debut as the Vikings’ offensive coordinator produced 14 targets, 13 receptions and 80 yards for WR Stefon Diggs. Diggs’ fantasy owners should obviously be excited about that kind of volume.

Check out this tweet from longtime Broncos’ watcher Mike Klis. I don’t know if "in Bibbs’ favor" simply means more than nine snaps or a majority of the workload, but we’ll keep a close eye on Broncos news this week.

Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said this Monday about his running back situation: "I’m not going to project who’s going to get the bulk of the load but right now I think it’s going through Robert Kelley as I stand up here right now. And that could change come Thursday or Friday, but Matt [Jones] will get his touches and earn his way back into the role that we think he should be in." That’s a long-winded way of saying Kelley is the starter, right? He’s owned in 16.1 percent of leagues.

Before you get too excited about Quinton Patton’s six catches for 106 yards, note that Torrey Smith’s back injury played into Patton’s higher volume, and it might not continue. In other Niners news, there’s no update yet on Carlos Hyde’s shoulder. DuJuan Harris would have a tougher time at Arizona than he did against the Saints.

Jaguars WR Allen Hurns is in the league’s concussion protocol. Stay tuned.

Packers RB James Starks (knee) is still TBD for Week 10. Starks is owned in just 11.3 percent of leagues, but with a limited upside and cloudy short-term outlook, you shouldn’t be chasing him.

Jets QB Ryan Fitzpatrick sprained a ligament in his left knee on Sunday, and his status for Week 10 is up in the air. Bryce Petty will get the start if Fitz can’t play against a Rams’ defense that’s still available in 46.5 percent of leagues.

"It could be a day, it could be up to a couple of weeks." So said Titans head coach Mike Mularkey Monday about RB Derrick Henry’s calf. You should plan to be without Henry this week.

Giants WR Victor Cruz suffered a minor ankle sprain on Sunday, and could still play next Monday night against the Bengals.

Good luck with your free-agent pickups!

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