NFL Quick Hits: Who’s back for the Pack?

The Packers were without some of their fantasy stars in Week 8. WR Randall Cobb missed the game with a hamstring injury, and WR/RB Ty Montgomery was a late scratch due to an illness related to sickle-cell trait. The news of Montgomery’s absence didn’t come out until about 1:30 p.m. ET, putting many of his fantasy owners in a bind.

The news looks better this week. The Wisconsin State Journal reports that Montgomery "worked extensively" in Thursday’s practice, and looks like a good bet to play Sunday. Cobb has been limited in practice, but the word on his status has been positive as well. If Montgomery plays, look for him to again get double-digit touches while playing mostly out of the backfield. He’s WR7 on my board for the Pack’s matchup against the Colts, while Cobb is WR15. To add context, I seem to be higher on Montgomery than most fantasy analysts, mainly because I love his volume.

RB James Starks (knee) returned to practice on Thursday following a three-game absence, but isn’t expected to play Sunday. The Pack’s backfield looks like it will belong to Montgomery again.

In other news …

Bills RB LeSean McCoy (hamstring) practiced on a limited basis Thursday, and declared himself "ready to roll" before saying he’ll take things one day at a time. Many observers suspect that McCoy won’t play Monday against the Seahawks, and we might not know much more about this situation until after the Bills’ Saturday practice.

With Spencer Ware still in the concussion protocol, Bishop Sankey might back up Charcandrick West in the Chiefs’ backfield on Sunday. No, you shouldn’t pick up Sankey unless you’re in a super-deep league. Yes, you should plan to start West. Reminder: Nick Foles will start at QB for the Chiefs.

Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger took snaps with the first-team offense on Thursday, and appears on track to start Sunday at Baltimore. While things look good and I’m planning to start Roethlisberger in a league, have a backup plan ready (or on your roster) in the event that he can’t go.

Falcons-Bucs review: Mike Evans left with a possible concussion, while Jameis Winston exited with a knee injury. Evans’ situation doesn’t sound bad, and we’ll know more about them early next week … Falcons TE Austin Hooper went 3-46-1 on six targets, and will be streamable for as long as Jacob Tamme is out … In the Bucs’ backfield, Peyton Barber was in for 36 snaps to Antone Smith’s 24 and Mike James’ 20. That usage didn’t clear up anything.

Remember your byes: The Patriots, Bengals, Bears, Texans, Redskins and Cardinals are off.

49ers RB Carlos Hyde (shoulder) has been in a no-contact jersey at practice, and "did not sound optimistic" when asked if he’ll be able to play Sunday, according to CSN Bay Area. In the Niners’ last game, the snap count was divided almost evenly between Mike Davis, DuJuan Harris and Shaun Draughn, with Draughn’s job mainly confined to the passing game. You’ll need to be desperate to claim and start either Harris or Davis, but the 49ers OC said recently that Harris had "earned more opportunities."

Colts WR T.Y. Hilton (hamstring) was back at practice Thursday after missing Wednesday’s session, and should be good to go for a juicy matchup at Green Bay. TE Dwayne Allen (ankle) has also been practicing, and would cut into Jack Doyle’s modest fantasy value if he returns.

New Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur has said this week that he doesn’t plan any big changes in the offense, but some suspect that a short, quick passing game will help take pressure off an embattled offensive line. Can I cast a vote for more use of Jerick McKinnon in space, since he’s expected to return this week?

Chargers WRs Tyrell Williams and Travis Benjamin are battling knee injuries, and both were officially limited at Thursday’s practice. Benjamin seems like a shakier bet than Williams to play on Sunday.

Good luck in Week 9!

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