The eighth weekend of the fantasy football season is here, and the Rotoworld crew has everything you need to lock up a win. Patrick Daugherty answers your lineup questions with his Week 8 Rankings, Nick Mensio tells you who to start and who to fade in Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em, and Evan Silva breaks down every matchup in his award-winning Matchups Column.
As for me, I am here to shed light on the most important injury situations facing fantasy owners heading into the weekend. The sister resource to this column is the Rotoworld News Page, which will have every inactive and all the late-breaking news up to kickoff and beyond. I also occasionally tweet about football @RMSummerlin.
Redskins “@” Bengals
*Jordan Reed (concussion) and Josh Norman (concussion, wrist) were both listed as questionable, but they are expected to play after traveling with the team to London. Reed will be a top-three option at tight end while Norman puts a slight dent in A.J. Green’s outlook, although Green is still an elite play. Vernon Davis (groin, questionable) can be sent back to the wire with Reed back. DeSean Jackson (hamstring, shoulder), LT Trent Williams (knee), RG Brandon Scherff (shoulder), and Jamison Crowder (groin) are expected to play through questionable tags, but Matt Jones is going to sit with a knee injury. Chris Thompson will see an expanded workload and is a great RB2 with Jones out, and Rob Kelley is in play as an RB3/FLEX in a week with six teams on bye. CB Bashaud Breeland (ankle), LB Terence Garvin (hip), and C Spencer Long (chest) are also questionable.
*The Bengals are incredibly healthy, with no one on the active roster getting in less than a full practice Friday. In his second game back from ankle and back injuries, Tyler Eifert is expected to take on a bigger role this week. He is a back-end TE1.
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Lions @ Texans
*Theo Riddick (ankle) and Dwayne Washington (ankle) will make their returns after not being listed on the final report, and Eric Ebron (ankle, knee) is expected back despite a questionable tag. Riddick immediately steps back in as an RB2 in a good matchup, while Washington is tough to trust with the backfield rotation in flux behind Riddick. Ebron is not worth using in standard-sized leagues against one of the best tight end defenses in the league. CB Nevin Lawson (foot), DT Haloti Ngata (shoulder), RT Riley Reiff (illness), OT Corey Robinson (ankle), and TE Cole Wick (knee) are questionable while LB DeAndre Levy (knee, quadricep) and CB Darius Slay (hamstring) are out. Slay sitting hurts an already bottom-of-the-barrel pass defense.
*Lamar Miller played through his shoulder injury Monday night and was able to practice all week, but coach Bill O’Brien said he will be a game-time decision. Miller expects to play, but he is not “positive” how much playing time he will get. Miller owners should handcuff him with Alfred Blue and expect a smaller workload than normal even if he plays. Jadeveon Clowney (elbow), S Quintin Demps (calf), and RB Jonathan Grimes (ankle) are questionable while LB Brian Peters (quad) is out.
Patriots @ Bills
*Martellus Bennett (ankle) and Julian Edelman (foot) were listed as questionable like they are every week, but Bennett might actually be questionable after sitting out Friday’s practice. If Bennett sits, Edelman and Rob Gronkowski will likely take on even bigger roles. DT Woodrow Hamilton (shoulder), CB Jonathan Jones (hip), WR Malcolm Mitchell (hamstring), LB Elandon Roberts (ankle), and DT Vincent Valentine (back) are also questionable.
*After being foolishly pushed to play last week, LeSean McCoy (hamstring, doubtful) is going to sit out this week. Mike Gillislee (foot, questionable) will get the start and is a plug-and-play RB2. Marquise Goodwin (concussion) and S Aaron Williams (neck) will join McCoy on the sidelines, but Robert Woods (foot) and Charles Clay (knee) are expected to play through questionable tags. LT Cordy Glenn (ankle), DT Marcell Dareus (hamstring), LB Jerry Hughes (hand), DT Corbin Bryant (shoulder), LB Lerentee McCray (knee), and RG John Miller (shoulder) are also questionable.
Chiefs @ Colts
*Coach Andy Reid admitted Friday that Jamaal Charles’ knee “acted up” last week against the Saints. It was ridiculous Charles was playing at all in that game, and now he could be looking at an extended absence. Spencer Ware is a locked-in RB1. RT Mitchell Schwartz (ankle) is questionable while OG Jordan Devey (ankle) and CB D.J. White (hand) are out.
*Donte Moncrief (shoulder) will play this week for the first time since Week 2. Moncrief’s touchdown prowess makes him an immediate start in what should be a high-scoring game. It is not all great news for the Colts, however. They will be without Dwayne Allen (ankle), DE Henry Anderson (knee), DE Kendall Langford (knee), LB Curt Maggitt (ankle), LG Jack Mewhort (triceps), and Chester Rogers (hamstring, foot).
Seahawks @ Saints
*Russell Wilson (knee, pec) and Jimmy Graham (knee) are good to go, but Seattle will be shorthanded on defense with DE Michael Bennett (knee), SS Kam Chancellor (groin), CB DeAndre Elliott (hamstring), and LB Kevin Pierre-Louis (ankle) all out. Thomas Rawls (fibula) and TE Luke Willson (knee) will also sit. Tyler Lockett (thigh) is expected to play despite a questionable tag, but LT Bradley Sowell (knee) is highly questionable after sitting out all week.
*CB Delvin Breaux (fibula) returned to practice this week, but he is going to sit out along with LB Stephone Anthony (hamstring), WR Jake Lampman (knee), and CB Sterling Moore (abdomen). LT Terron Armstead (knee), LB Dannell Ellerbe (quad), C Senio Kelemete (neck), RB Daniel Lasco (hamstring), and G/T Andrus Peat (groin) are questionable.
Jets @ Browns
*Brandon Marshall (foot), Matt Forte (knee), and Bilal Powell (toe) all sat out a practice early in the week, but they all got in full sessions Friday. The Jets will be without C Nick Mangold (ankle), T Brent Qvale (neck), TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins (ankle), and CB Buster Skrine (knee), who are all listed as doubtful, as well as LB Bruce Carter (quad) and LB Darron Lee (ankle). LT Ryan Clady (shoulder) and DE Muhammad Wilkerson (ankle) are questionable.
*With Cody Kessler (concussion) out, Josh McCown will get the start for the Browns. He will be without Corey Coleman (hand), who looks like he has a good shot to play Week 9, but McCown is great streaming option in a solid matchup, especially with Terrelle Pryor (hamstring) looking closer to full health after practicing in full Friday. CBs Joe Haden (groin), Marcus Burley (hamstring), and Jamar Taylor (groin) are questionable.
Cardinals @ Panthers
*Carson Palmer (hamstring) is not listed on the final report, but Arizona faces big questions at receiver, with both John Brown and Michael Floyd questionable with hamstring injuries. Brown looks likely to play after sitting out last week, but Floyd was only able to get in a single, limited practice. Floyd will likely be a game-time decision. S Tony Jefferson (illness) and LT Jared Veldheer (finger) are also questionable. TE Darren Fells (ankle), LB Alex Okafor (calf), and DT Ed Stinson (toe) are out.
*CB James Bradberry (turf toe), DE Kony Ealy (illness), CB Robert McClain (hamstring), DT Paul Soliai (foot), and CB Daryl Worley (concussion) are questionable. Bradberry is on the doubtful side of questionable, but coach Ron Rivera said team doctors are working on a cleat to give his injured toe extra support. Getting Bradberry back would be a big boost for a reeling secondary. LT Michael Oher (concussion) remains out, and DT Vernon Butler (ankle) will sit after suffering a setback this week.
Raiders @ Bucs
*Oakland is not missing anyone of note, with G/T Vadal Alexander (ankle), WR Andre Holmes (hip), RB Taiwan Jones (knee), S Brynden Trawick (shoulder), and RT Menelik Watson (calf) listed as questionable while DT Stacy McGee (ankle) is out.
*Doug Martin (hamstring) remains out, leaving Jacquizz Rodgers to again handle a monster workload in a great matchup. DT Clinton McDonald (hamstring) will also sit, but DT Gerald McCoy (calf) and DE Robert Ayers (ankle) look likely to play despite questionable tags. C Joe Hawley (ankle) is also questionable.
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Chargers @ Broncos
* Travis Benjamin (knee), Hunter Henry (concussion), and WR Tyrell Williams (knee) are all expected to play despite questionable tags. All three are risky fantasy plays – Benjamin and Williams because of the matchup and Henry because of the improving health of Antonio Gates. CB Brandon Flowers (concussion) will return and LB Denzel Perryman (shoulder/foot, questionable) should play, but the defense will be without LB Jeremiah Attaochu (ankle), CB Craig Mager (concussion), and S Jahleel Addae (collarbone, doubtful).
*C.J. Anderson (knee) was placed on injured reserve Friday, leaving Devontae Booker as an every-week RB1 the rest of the season. ILB Brandon Marshall (hamstring), C Matt Paradis (hip), CB Aqib Talib (low back), and OLB DeMarcus Ware (forearm) are questionable.
Packers @ Falcons
*Randall Cobb (hamstring) and Ty Montgomery (illness) were listed as questionable, but both look likely to play. With the Packers likely to remain pass heavy, both will be WR2s if they suit up. OLB Clay Matthews (hamstring) and RG T.J. Lang (hip) are also questionable. The Packers remain banged up in the secondary, with CBs Damarious Randall (groin) and Quinten Rollins (groin) ruled out. Jared Cook (ankle) and James Starks (knee) will also sit.
*Tevin Coleman will sit out with a hamstring injury, but Devonta Freeman is not listed on the final report despite being limited by a hip injury early in the week. Even in a tough matchup, Freeman is a must-start with Coleman out. DE Dwight Freeney (quad) is highly questionable after not practicing all week.
Eagles @ Cowboys
*Jordan Matthews (knee) is good to go after getting in two full practices Thursday and Friday. DT Taylor Hart (ankle) is very questionable after missing practice Friday while LB Kamu Grugier-Hill (hamstring) and DT Bennie Logan (groin) are out.
*Tony Romo (back) remains out, but Dez Bryant (knee) is expected to return despite a questionable tag. Even in a tough matchup, Bryant should be reinserted into most lineups as a WR2. Jason Witten (chest), LT Tyron Smith (back), CB Morris Claiborne (concussion), DE Demarcus Lawrence (back, shoulder), RB Lance Dunbar (knee), OT Chaz Green (foot), DE David Irving (ankle), SCB Orlando Scandrick (hamstring, hamstring), and LB Kyle Wilber (neck) are all listed as questionable. Witten, Smith, Claiborne, Lawrence, and most everyone in the list is expected to play.
Vikings @ Bears
*Jerick McKinnon shed his walking boot Friday, but he still did not practice. He looks unlikely to play, leaving Matt Asiata as a volume-based RB2. Cordarrelle Patterson (concussion) also looks like he will sit after missing Friday’s practice.
*Jeremy Langford (ankle) looks set to return after limited practices on Thursday and Friday. His presence will further muddle an already headache-inducing backfield. Cameron Meredith (shoulder) should also play, but Eddie Royal (toe) sat out both Thursday and Friday. Jay Cutler is magically not listed on the injury report after sitting out several games with a thumb injury. He will start for Brian Hoyer, who landed on injured reserve with a fractured forearm.