Week 8 Injury Report Recap (2019 Fantasy Football)
Welcome to another edition of Injury Report Recap! Each week, I’ll be combing through NFL teams’ injury reports to give you advice on who to start and who to sit in your fantasy lineups. This week’s biggest stories include the Chiefs’ quarterback situation, who the Saints plan to start on offense, what’s going on with David Johnson, and Keenan Allen’s practice injury.
Seahawks at Falcons (Sunday, 1:00 PM EST)
The Falcons are in quite the pickle. Matt Ryan was limited in practice on Friday, and the Falcons held him out on both Wednesday and Thursday. He’s a game-time decision for Sunday’s match with the Seahawks. If you’re a Ryan owner, I hope that you added his bye-week fill-in a week in advance. If you didn’t, Derek Carr could be a great last-minute waiver add. Aside from Ryan, the Falcons’ offense won’t have Ito Smith, whose absence will give both Devonta Freeman and Brian Hill a boost in value. On defense, they’ll be down star cornerback Desmond Trufant, which does not bode well for their ability to stop Russell Wilson and the Seahawks’ passing attack. If you’re lucky to have one of the Seahawks’ offensive starters, just look at what the Rams did to the Falcons last week and expect more of the same. That said, they may have to do so with limited help along the offensive line, as tackle Duane Brown is a game-time decision after being limited at practice all week.
Broncos at Colts (Sunday, 1:00 PM EST)
Both teams head into Sunday’s matchup relatively healthy, but that doesn’t mean much for the Broncos. They’ve been struggling all season with Joe Flacco under center, and I’d look for that to continue this week. Why? It’ll be the veteran’s first game without Emmanuel Sanders. That means Flacco will be throwing to two sophomore wideouts, two sophomore running backs, and a rookie tight end. Yikes. Meanwhile, the will Colts have ball-hawk safety Malik Hooker back this week. If you need a DST streamer, the Colts might be worth a shot. On offense, I’m not sure what’s going on with Jack Doyle, as he was a late addition to the team’s injury report after not practicing on Friday. If he misses time, Eric Ebron becomes a much better option at tight end. Head coach Frank Reich also said that he thinks Parris Campbell has a “good chance” to play on Sunday, which would probably push Zach Pascal’s value back down after his big week against the Texans.
Buccaneers at Titans (Sunday, 1:00 PM EST)
Two top-10 tight ends amid disappointing seasons will sit this one out. Howard’s absence might give backup Cameron Brate some streamer value, but like with most tight end streamers, much of his value will depend on whether he can find the end zone on Sunday. Similarly, Delanie Walker‘s absence gives Jonnu Smith some value. Walker might be Smith’s biggest fan, and Smith managed three receptions for 64 yards last Sunday. His 7.9-point performance was good for TE13 in Half PPR, so he may be one of the higher-floor streamers this week. On defense, speedy corner Adoree’ Jackson’s absence should boost the Buccaneers’ receiving corps, but you really didn’t need a reason to start Mike Evans or Chris Godwin, did you?
Cardinals at Saints (Sunday, 1:00 PM EST)
Once again, Kliff Kingsbury has pronounced David Johnson a game-time decision. Given his 3-snap, 1-carry performance last week as a game-time decision, I’m pretty skeptical of what Kliff Kingsbury has in mind for Johnson. The coach clearly trusts Chase Edmonds with the offense, and the running back tore off three long touchdowns against the Giants last week. The Saints make for a much less friendly matchup, however, as they give up just 15.1 points per game to the position in Half PPR. That’s good enough for fourth-lowest in the league. If Johnson sits, fire up Edmonds. If he doesn’t — it might be worth benching both. Meanwhile, Christian Kirk’s injury lingers on, and he’s another game-time decision. The Cardinals haven’t really tried to use any of their depth wide receivers to replace Kirk, so if he sits, expect Larry Fitzgerald to draw more targets in a game that will force Kyler Murray and Kingsbury to pass the ball. The Saints’ starters at quarterback and running back are the other big stories in this matchup. Sean Payton declined to name a starting quarterback for Sunday’s game, and it looks like Alvin Kamara will be a game-time decision. The Saints proved that they could win without either Brees or Kamara last week, and given that the team has a Week 9 bye, I wouldn’t be surprised if they give them both some time to get healthy. Meanwhile, Jared Cook will miss his date with the league-worst defense against tight ends, so Josh Hill might be a smart streamer if you’re desperate.
Bengals at Rams (Sunday, 1:00 PM EST)
Fire up Jared Goff and your Rams wideouts this week. The Bengals are down two of their best cornerbacks, Darqueze Dennard and Dre Kirkpatrick. They may have William Jackson back this week, but there’s only so much one corner can do against Goff’s stack of wideouts. A.J. Green owners will continue to go without the star wide receiver, and so Andy Dalton will have to make do with Auden Tate, Alex Erickson, and Tyler Boyd. If the Rams get ahead early, look for Dalton and company to put together some garbage-time points in London. On the Rams’ side, Malcolm Brown‘s absence will prevent him from vulturing touchdowns from Gurley or a Rams receiver.
Eagles at Bills (Sunday, 1:00 PM EST)
The good news for the Eagles is that they’ll have both Jalen Mills and Ronald Darby back against the Bills, but the two corners couldn’t save them from the Dallas Cowboys last week on Sunday Night Football. The bad news, however, is that they’ll be without star lineman Jason Peters against the Bills’ potent defense, and they won’t have DeSean Jackson to stretch the field. Carson Wentz got beaten up last week, as the Cowboys forced pressure on 52 percent of dropbacks and sacked Wentz three times. I’d expect the Eagles’ struggles to continue against the Bills, who are pretty healthy. On the Bills’ side of the ball, some expected receiver Duke Williams to have value in deeper leagues without Zay Jones around. That hasn’t been the case, and the only two Bills pass-catchers worth considering are Cole Beasley and John Brown.
Chargers at Bears (Sunday, 1:00 PM EST)
Chargers: DL Brandon Mebane (knee) OUT, DL Justin Jones (shoulder) OUT, DL Cortez Broughton (illness) OUT, DL Melvin Ingram (hamstring) QUESTIONABLE, WR Keenan Allen (hamstring) QUESTIONABLE.
Bears: No fantasy-significant injury report listings.
A tale of two teams. The Bears are pretty healthy, while the Chargers are… not. They’ve somehow lost another defensive lineman to injury, and while Melvin Ingram might come back, the rest of the injuries along the defensive line have piled up. This is a get-right matchup for the Bears’ struggling offense, and we’ll see who emerges out of it. David Montgomery disappointed his owners last weekend with a four-touch performance, but I think he’ll rebound. The Saints’ defense played much better than the Chargers’ will. Wide receiver Keenan Allen was a surprise mid-week addition to the injury report after a freak hamstring injury in practice, and head coach Anthony Lynn said that the team plans to limit his snaps if he plays at all. That said, Allen had been trending downward before this week anyway because of Rivers’ inability to get him the football. Sure, ten targets per game might sound good on paper, but if your star receiver can only catch 62% of them (53% since Week 4), something is wrong. You should bench him, and I hope that you have someone else to start. The one upside for the Chargers is that the Bears won’t have defensive lineman Akiem Hicks, who they placed on injured reserve last week. Their defense has struggled without him, and while I’m not saying that Melvin Gordon or Austin Ekeler are in for big games, the Bears’ DST isn’t what it was before Hicks got hurt.
Giants at Lions (Sunday, 1:00 PM EST)
Not included in their injury report this week is defensive back Quandre Diggs, who Detriot sent over to Seattle. As a result, the Lions are down two of their best secondary-level defenders, and they could also be without two of their best defensive linemen. The Lions DST has been a relatively popular streaming option, and Zachary Hanshew recommended them earlier this week. Now that we know the scope of the injuries that Matt Patricia’s group is dealing with, you should pass. Not only that, but you should also fire up your Giants. Saquon Barkley should be able to manhandle the Lions’ banged-up front seven, while slot receiver Golden Tate should continue to see a large target share in Sterling Shepard’s continued absence. Tate earned 11 looks from Daniel Jones last week, so I’d expect a lot of production from the receiver this week. Oh, and it’s a revenge game for him. Tate’s a must-start.
Jets at Jaguars (Sunday, 1:00 PM EST)
Dede Westbrook is questionable again, but I expect him to suit up given that he played through the injury designation last week. That said, D.J. Chark is the better fantasy play of the Jags’ receivers because of his deep-threat ability, and Westbrook owners should be sure to double-check his status on Sunday. That said, I’d look for the Jaguars to run the ball against a Jets defense that’s without two of its better linebackers, C.J. Mosley and Albert McLellan. On the Jets’ side of the ball, tight end streamers who were banking on Chris Herndon to save their season at the position will have to wait another week to see how Sam Darnold incorporates him into the offense. Also, Jamison Crowder avoided the injury report after he was limited at practice on Thursday, as the veteran wideout was able to practice in full on Friday.
Panthers at 49ers (Sunday, 4:05 PM EST)
Newton’s out again, so Kyle Allen will have the unenviable job of starting against the rock-solid San Francisco defense. He’ll have to do so without tackle Greg Little, whose second concussion this season continues to keep him away from the field. They’ll have guard Trai Turner back, however, who should help compensate for Little’s absence. For the 49ers, Kyle Juszczyk’s injury should keep their talented backfield from reaching their ceilings. Their situation at the receiver position is far more interesting, as George Kittle, Deebo Samuel, and Dante Pettis all avoided injury designations. Last week’s mud-fest was an anomaly, so I’d look for Jimmy Garoppolo and the 49ers’ receivers to recover against the Panthers. Oh, and they’ve got Emmanuel Sanders in the mix now, too, and head coach Kyle Shanahan said that the new acquisition is”going to play … a lot.” While Kittle has been Garoppolo’s favorite target this season, we’ll have to see what the addition of Sanders means for the 49ers’ offense. Additionally, I wouldn’t start Marquise Goodwin or Raheem Mostert even if they’re active this week. Let’s wait and see what the 49ers offense looks like with Sanders first.
Raiders at Texans (Sunday, 4:25 PM EST)
Will Fuller’s hamstring injury was one of Week 7’s biggest stories, and it looks like he’ll miss a good chunk of time with his hamstring injury. These injuries take time to heal, and a study showed that they cause players to miss an average of 2.6 games. If you’re a Fuller owner, I hope that you got Kenny Stills on waivers, since he’s most likely to gain from Fuller’s absence. Both receivers are good at catching deep passes, and Deshaun Watson has a pretty strong arm. That said, the injury to tackle Tytus Howard limits the time Watson has to throw deep, but that shouldn’t be a problem against the Raiders’ porous defense. You saw what Aaron Rodgers did to them last week. On Oakland’s side of the ball, the Raiders could have both Tyrell Williams and Josh Jacobs back despite their injuries. Head coach Jon Gruden expects that Jacobs will play, but Williams’ status is worth monitoring as Sunday approaches. The receiver practiced in a limited capacity all week, so we’ll have to wait and see.
Browns at Patriots (Sunday, 4:25 PM EST)
The big news for the Browns is that their cornerback tandem of Greedy Williams and Denzel Ward are finally healthy. That said, the Patriots will be a tough test for the young duo, and they’ll have to perform without help from safety Damarious Randall. On the Patriots’ side, Julian Edelman’s owners have probably gotten used to the receiver’s frequent questionable status. But despite the recurring injury designation, Edelman has played every game so far this season, so owners should plan to start him this weekend. We’ll have to see how Mohamed Sanu’s addition and Josh Gordon’s departure affect the offense, but I’m confident that Edelman will continue to see targets from Brady. The other takeaway from the Patriots’ injury report is that Rex Burkhead could make his return. If he does, James White and Sony Michel could see a reduction in their workloads, so their owners should keep an eye on his status for Sunday.
Packers at Chiefs (Sunday, 8:20 PM EST)
Despite the mid-week speculation that Patrick Mahomes could return this weekend, he’ll be out for the Chiefs’ game against the Packers. It’s the smart thing to do for his health, and I hope that the quarterback can rehab his ankle injury while he recovers from a dislocated kneecap. Sammy Watkins should return this week, but I doubt he’ll have much value without Mahomes’ arm to throw him deep balls. The Chiefs will be without defensive linemen Frank Clark and Chris Jones this week, so I’d look for the Packers to emphasize the run against them, especially if they can get out to a big lead against the Matt Moore-led Chiefs. Cornerback Kendall Fuller’s continued absence from Kansas City’s secondary should help the Packers’ wide receivers, who seem to be in better health except for Davante Adams — neither Geronimo Allison nor Marquez Valdes-Scantling made the injury report. My take? Expect another big day for Aaron Rodgers and Matt LaFleur on Sunday.