Fantasy Fallout: Can Greg Olsen, David Johnson come back and help?

Updated: November 11, 2017

7:00 AM ET

Help is on the way … sort of.

We’ve reached the point in the NFL season where some top players will be returning from the minimum eight weeks spent on injured reserve. But how many of them can truly help your fantasy team?

Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen is the only safe bet (and still just 51 percent owned in ESPN fantasy leagues, so go get him).

Baltimore Ravens running back Danny Woodhead should be back for Week 11, but he’s entering a backfield that feels more crowded than when he left. Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson says he wants to play again, but he’s still a long shot. And it’s hard to get too excited about Cleveland Browns receiver Corey Coleman.

Here’s the lowdown from ESPN’s NFL Nation:

OLSEN: Olsen will be back after the Week 11 bye, and ESPN Panthers reporter David Newton said he expected the 11-year veteran to “blend right into the role he’s had in the past and maybe be Cam Newton‘s security blanket once again” after the Panthers traded away Kelvin Benjamin. In fact, Newton says he thinks Olsen’s pending return was one of the reasons why Carolina was comfortable letting Benjamin go.

Carolina does have other options that have emerged since Olsen broke his foot in Week 2, including receiver Devin Funchess and tight end Ed Dickson. But Olsen was ESPN’s No. 4-ranked tight end heading into the season for a reason. In 2016, he became the first tight end in NFL history to record three consecutive 1,000-yard seasons.

This isn’t the first time we’ve linked to one of Archer’s breakdowns of the Cowboys’ backfield without Ezekiel Elliott But it’s more relevant now that the running back is finally set to serve his six-game suspension. As Archer has maintained, the Cowboys will use a committee approach with Alfred Morris, Darren McFadden and Rod Smith to replace the Elliott monopoly.

  • Tom Brady must be thrilled to have tight end Martellus Bennett back, Reiss writes. Bennett should provide the Patriots a needed boost in the red zone, assuming his shoulder is healthy enough.

  • There are two reasons why you can use both New Orleans Saints running backs Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara in your fantasy lineups. They’re both versatile enough to contribute in the run game and the passing game. And the Saints are running the ball as much as ever in the Drew Brees-Sean Payton era.

  • The Miami Dolphins also like where their running-back duo of Kenyan Drake and Damien Williams is heading in the wake of the Jay Ajayi trade.

  • Indianapolis Colts RB Frank Gore is aiming to get rookie Marlon Mack ready to take the reins from him in the future.

  • Kareem Hunt‘s slump has more to do with the Kansas City Chiefs team as a whole than himself.

  • Atlanta Falcons QB Matt Ryan has been “a little off” but needs to find his MVP touch.

  • Benjamin is on track to contribute Sunday in his Buffalo Bills debut.

  • Chicago Bears receiver Markus Wheaton is the ultimate wild card for fantasy owners.

  • Philip Rivers is up next on the Jaguars defense’s QB revenge tour.

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