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Returner Recap and Latest News: Week 9

Week 9 news for fantasy leagues that utilize returners.

Individual returner projections for each week are included in your MyFBG projections and rankings automatically. My returner projections are included in the default projection set with David Dodds' offensive predictions. Choose David as the source, and then choose a scoring system in which you have included points for return yards.

The base return projections for a week can be seen on this page. You can also go to the content for the week and use the Returner Projections link to get there.

UPDATES

Jacoby Jones was released by the Chargers and then picked up from waivers by the Steelers. The Steelers then released kickoff returner Dri Archer. Presumably Jones will handle kickoff returns for the Steelers.

Along with releasing Jacoby Jones, the Chargers have placed both Brandon Oliver and Keenan Allen on injured reserve. Javontee Herndon has been promoted from the practice squad and is listed on the team's depth chart now as the primary returner for both punts and kickoffs. Danny Woodhead is listed as his backup.

Titans head coach Ken Whisenhunt spoke of replacing Bishop Sankey on kickoff returns with Dexter McCluster. Whisenhunt has since been fired. It remains to be seen whether Tennessee will stick with that change or not under interim coach Mike Mularkey.

The Raiders signed wide receiver Marcus Thigpen. Thigpen could see time as a returner, and on punt returns particularly where the Raiders might seek to limit wear and tear on Travis Carrie.

Rashad Greene is back practicing fully with the Jaguars, though he is not eligible to make his return from injured reserve until Week 11.

Damien Williams has been limited with a thumb injury, which increases the chances of Jarvis Landry seeing kickoff returns for the Dolphins.

Week 8 Recap

Top Performers

The struggling defense of the Lions led to great kickoff return stats for Ameer Abdullah, who led the league in Week 8 with 6 returns for 151 yards. Rookie returner Quan Bray of the Colts was second as his 4 kickoff returns netted 127 yards. Dexter McCluster received a few rare kick return opportunities for the Titans on his way to placing third with 124 return yards split fairly evenly between kickoffs and punts.

Vikings punt returner Marcus Sherels was the only returner to find the end zone this week.

The Chargers special teams have played poorly for several seasons, but this year punt return yards have been bad in a nearly historic sense. After 8 games the Chargers have only 1 punt-return yard, with only the 1972 Patriots having had fewer through their first 8 games. The NFL all-time record for fewest punt return yards in a single season is 27 yards by the St. Louis Cardinals in 1967 in a 14-game season. The Chargers are only averaging 1 punt return per game while the league average is 2.3 punts returned per game.

All Week 8 Returners

Below are all returners for Week 8.

RKPLAYERTEAMKick RetKR YdsKR TDPunt RetPR YdsPR TDTotal YdsTotal TDs
2 Ameer Abdullah DET 6 151 0       151 0
37 Quan Bray IND 4 127 0       127 0
13 Dexter McCluster TEN 2 61 0 5 63 0 124 0
42 Taiwan Jones OAK 4 101 0       101 0
15 Dwayne Harris NYG 3 87 0 1 13 0 100 0
32 Marcus Sherels MIN 1 12 0 3 77 1 89 1
6 Bruce Ellington SFO 2 49 0 4 38 0 87 0
40 Shane Vereen NYG 2 82 0       82 0
17 Eric Weems ATL 2 58 0 2 23 0 81 0
30 Marc Mariani CHI 3 78 0 2 3 0 81 0
22 Jarvis Landry MIA 2 68 0 4 9 0 77 0
12 DeAnthony Thomas KAN 1 27 0 6 41 0 68 0
11 David Johnson ARI 3 63 0       63 0
5 Brandon Tate CIN 2 52 0 1 5 0 57 0
28 Keith Mumphery HOU 1 29 0 3 28 0 57 0
31 Marcus Murphy NOR 1 23 0 2 30 0 53 0
29 Knile Davis KAN 1 50 0       50 0
36 Patrick Peterson ARI       4 50 0 50 0
27 Justin Gilbert CLE 2 46 0       46 0
8 Cordarrelle Patterson MIN 2 43 0       43 0
26 Julian Edelman NWE       3 38 0 38 0
18 Fozzy Whittaker CAR 2 37 0       37 0
4 Bishop Sankey TEN 2 36 0       36 0
14 Dri Archer PIT 2 34 0       34 0
1 Adam Jones CIN       2 33 0 33 0
38 Raheem Mostert BAL 1 33 0       33 0
33 Micah Hyde GNB 1 23 0 1 9 0 32 0
47 Tyler Lockett SEA 1 18 0 1 12 0 30 0
16 Emmanuel Sanders DEN 1 13 0 3 12 0 25 0
49 Zurlon Tipton IND 1 23 0       23 0
21 Jared Abbrederis GNB 1 22 0       22 0
48 Zac Stacy NYJ 1 21 0       21 0
45 Travis Benjamin CLE       2 19 0 19 0
44 Ted Ginn CAR       2 18 0 18 0
23 Jeff Cumberland NYJ 1 17 0       17 0
25 Jeremy Ross BAL       2 17 0 17 0
35 Patrick Chung NWE 1 17 0       17 0
41 T.Y. Hilton IND       4 14 0 14 0
3 Benny Cunningham STL 1 13 0       13 0
24 Jeremy Kerley NYJ       2 10 0 10 0
7 Cole Beasley DAL       1 8 0 8 0
46 Travis Carrie OAK       4 6 0 6 0
43 Tavon Austin STL 1 6 0 3 -1 0 5 0
34 Michael Hoomanawanui NOR 1 3 0       3 0
19 Golden Tate DET       1 2 0 2 0
9 Corey White DAL       1 0 0 0 0
10 Danny Amendola NWE       1 0 0 0 0
39 Reggie Bush SFO       1 0 0 0 0
20 Jacoby Jones SDG       1 -2 0 -2 0

Returners Year to Date

Here are the top 40 returners for the year by total return yards.

RKPLAYERTEAMKick RetKR YdsKR TDPunt RetPR YdsPR TDTotal YdsTotal TDs
1 Tyler Lockett SEA 14 356 1 24 195 1 551 2
2 Ameer Abdullah DET 19 536 0 0 0 0 536 0
3 Dwayne Harris NYG 11 375 1 17 132 0 507 1
4 Bobby Rainey TAM 9 254 0 18 217 0 471 0
5 Marcus Murphy NOR 9 218 0 20 205 1 423 1
6 Jarvis Landry MIA 8 208 0 19 210 1 418 1
7 Marc Mariani CHI 12 310 0 13 98 0 408 0
8 Rashad Ross WAS 15 400 1 0 0 0 400 1
9 David Johnson ARI 13 391 1 0 0 0 391 1
10 Cordarrelle Patterson MIN 15 371 0 0 0 0 371 0
11 DeAnthony Thomas KAN 6 138 0 26 221 0 359 0
12 Keith Mumphery HOU 8 201 0 19 157 0 358 0
13 Dri Archer PIT 14 354 0 0 0 0 354 0
14 Adam Jones CIN 7 193 0 12 154 0 347 0
15 Knile Davis KAN 13 347 0 0 0 0 347 0
16 Eric Weems ATL 9 218 0 12 127 0 345 0
17 Griff Whalen IND 9 244 0 12 85 0 329 0
18 Brandon Tate CIN 10 190 0 10 98 0 288 0
19 Dexter McCluster TEN 3 81 0 20 197 0 278 0
20 Travis Benjamin CLE 0 0 0 21 273 1 273 1
21 Benny Cunningham STL 11 262 0 0 0 0 262 0
22 Jeremy Ross BAL 7 205 0 6 55 0 260 0
23 Taiwan Jones OAK 9 254 0 0 0 0 254 0
24 Justin Gilbert CLE 9 248 0 0 0 0 248 0
25 Corey Grant JAX 8 220 0 0 0 0 220 0
26 Marcus Sherels MIN 1 12 0 18 207 1 219 1
27 Ty Montgomery GNB 7 218 0 0 0 0 218 0
28 Darren Sproles PHI 0 0 0 14 206 1 206 1
29 Danny Amendola NWE 3 83 0 12 121 0 204 0
30 Bruce Ellington SFO 7 164 0 5 38 0 202 0
31 Branden Oliver SDG 8 197 0 0 0 0 197 0
32 Zac Stacy NYJ 9 195 0 0 0 0 195 0
33 Bishop Sankey TEN 9 192 0 0 0 0 192 0
34 Jacoby Jones SDG 9 193 0 5 -4 0 189 0
35 Shane Vereen NYG 7 179 0 0 0 0 179 0
36 Damien Williams MIA 7 173 0 0 0 0 173 0
37 Patrick Peterson ARI 1 24 0 18 144 0 168 0
38 T.J. Jones DET 5 106 0 7 59 0 165 0
39 Jeremy Kerley NYJ 0 0 0 19 164 0 164 0
40 Tyler Varga IND 6 151 0 0 0 0 151 0

Week 9 Outlook

Job Changes

With the Colts struggling so far this season in most all phases of the game, the team has shaken up their returner depth chart. T.Y. Hilton handled his first punt returns in two seasons as Indianapolis risked their offensive starter looking for a special teams spark. The Colts also added receiver Quan Bray and used him on kickoff returns in place of Griff Whalen. Bray played well, with 4 kickoff returns for 127 yards, while Hilton only managed 14 yards on 4 punt returns. Another punt return option, Phillip Dorsett, had ankle surgery and will need 4-6 weeks to recover. 

The punt returners in San Francisco are undergoing injury and roster-churn related shuffling. Reggie Bush is done for the season with a torn MCL. Prior to that, Jarryd Hayne had been released by the 49ers. Hayne cleared waivers and is going on the 49ers practice squad now. With the injury to Reggie Bush, Hayne's chances of being activated again briefly increased before decreasing again when the 49ers added running back Pierre Thomas.

Emmanuel Sanders shows up in Denver's box score with a kickoff return, though it came on the punt-like kickoff from a safety. Omar Bolden remains Denver's primary kickoff returner.

While Jeremy Ross continued to handle punts for Baltimore, the Ravens used Raheem Mostert on kickoff returns. Mostert was briefly a returner in Miami earlier in the year before being released and picked up by Baltimore. This may be a difficult situation to predict from one week to the next, as Mostert may not always be active.

The Lions left T.J. Jones inactive, which meant Golden Tate handled punt returns in his absence.

Dexter McCluster saw some kickoff returns for the Titans after Bishop Sankey has had ball security issues.

INJURIES OF NOTE

As previously mentioned, Reggie Bush's season ended when the 49er suffered an MCL injury in Week 8.

Chris Owusu was waived-injured by the Jets as he recovers from a concussion. If he goes unclaimed he will be placed on the Jets injured reserve list. Zac Stacy will likely see kickoff returns again as he did when Owusu was previously missing time.

Ty Montgomery's ankle injury caused him to miss Green Bay's game Week 8. His status will need to be watched going into the Packers game with the Panthers. Micah Hyde and Jared Abbrederis handled kickoffs with Montgomery out.