NFL fantasy football: Aaron Hernandez to play Thursday

Hernandez will be limited: First, the good news for fantasy owners: New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez will play in Thursday’s game against the New York Jets. The bad news: he will likely be limited. With Rob Gronkowski on the shelf for at least the next month, the next man in line is expected to be Visanthe Shiancoe. Whether this blast from the fantasy past can get back to the fantasy future remains to be seen, but Shiancoe should get his chance to produce. During his one-week stint with the Pats, Kellen Winslow, Jr. saw a few targets but made just one reception. It’s not unreasonable to think Shiancoe gets the same treatment this week.

Steelers’ RBs uncertain: It’s been hard enough for fantasy owners to figure out which running back the Pittsburgh Steelers will feature on a given week. That task will get harder because even head coach Mike Tomlin isn’t sure which of his ball carriers will start Sunday’s game against the Cleveland Browns. Last week, Jonathan Dwyer was the most effective rusher, but Tomlin expects to rotate his backs once again. The Browns are giving up more than 19 fantasy points per game to running backs at home, which means there are opportunities to exploit. But good luck figuring out which back is going to do it.

Cowboys could miss Jones: With DeMarco Murray already expected to miss Thursday’s contest versus the Washington Redskins, it’s not good news that Felix Jones is dealing with a knee issue. Jones was limited in practice on Monday and didn’t work out at all on Tuesday, leaving Lance Dunbar and Phillip Tanner to share the first team reps. If Jones can’t go this week, Dunbar is expected to start. With the bye weeks now over, there are likely better options available if you’re in need of running back help.

— Marcas Grant
Follow Marcas on Twitter @MarcasG

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