Sunday of Week 8 was a difficult scene for fantasy owners, as injuries devastated the landscape and multiple top-tier fantasy producers were lost for the season. Whether it was a stud running back, top wide receiver, or any fantasy contributor in between, no player was safe and starting lineups that managed to escape Sunday unscathed were quite rare. Fantasy waiver wires will be booming this week with numerous backups about to be shoved into starting roles due to depth chart shuffles, so stay tuned to Rotoworld for top-notch fantasy coverage to get your team through this rough patch and into the postseason. Let’s take a quick spin through the fantasy action from Sunday in the latest Daily Dose.
Le’Veon Lost For the Season
An MRI is coming on Monday, but the Pittsburgh Steelers received devastating news on Sunday as running back Le’Veon Bell suffered a torn MCL and will reportedly miss the remainder of the 2015 season. Just as Ben Roethlisberger returned to the field for the Steelers, they will now be without their top weapon as they head into the second half of the NFL regular season. Fantasy owners are also reeling, as Bell is one of the premier players in the fantasy game. As Le’Veon’s name slips sadly onto the waiver wire, desperate owners will be seeking DeAngelo Williams’ services, who will be taking over for Bell. Williams ran for 71 yards on nine carries in Pittsburgh’s 16-10 loss to Cincinnati on Sunday and also added 39 receiving yards on four catches. You may remember Williams being very successful in the Pittsburgh offense at the start of the season, as he rumbled his way to 204 rushing yards on 41 carries (4.9 ypc) in his two-game stint as the Steelers’ starter while Bell was suspended. Williams will be a top Week 9 add and will immediately be in the RB2 picture.
Editor's Note: For updated rankings, fantasy news columns, IDP, injury analysis, dynasty and much more, check out the Rotoworld Season Pass.
Shootout In New Orleans
Drew Brees and Eli Manning had a shootout for the ages on Sunday as they combined to throw an astonishing 13 touchdown passes in a wild 52-49 New Orleans win. Both quarterbacks had eye-popping stat lines, with Brees registering 511 passing yards and seven touchdowns, and Manning chucking six touchdowns to go with 350 yards. These two passers also combined to complete 77 percent of their passes as they threw just 21 combined incompletions on a whopping 91 attempts. Four players in this game caught eight or more passes, including Odell Beckham Jr., who scored three times on eight receptions. Tight end Ben Watson filled the stat sheet for the Saints, grabbing nine passes for 147 yards and a touchdown as New Orleans snuck away with a win on a last-second Kai Forbath field goal. This game was incredibly exciting and was reminiscent of Saints offenses of years past, and was also a reminder of how poor both of these defensive units are at the moment.
Editor's Note: Play against our writers in the Rotoworld Football Championship – a series of one-week fantasy contests on FanDuel with $20K in FREE prizes! Enter the Week 9 contest before it fills.
Baltimore wide receiver Steve Smith Sr. was enjoying a productive final season in the NFL, as he planned to retire after the conclusion of the 2015 schedule. Unfortunately, that end came sooner than anticipated with Smith Sr. tearing his right Achilles’ tendon on Sunday. Smith was averaging 95.7 receiving yards per game this season and will be sorely missed by Joe Flacco and the Ravens offense that is paper thin in the pass catcher department. With Smith out for the season, Kamar Aiken will take over the WR1 role in the Baltimore offense, and tight end Crockett Gillmore will likely see an increase in usage in the passing game as well. In deeper leagues, Marlon Brown is worth a look but expect most of Smith’s targets to be spread among Aiken and the Baltimore tight ends and running backs.
Forte Suffers Knee Injury
The running back position took quite a blow with Le’Veon Bell’s knee injury, but things got worse when Matt Forte suffered a knee injury of his own. The Bears believe Forte has an injury to his MCL, but the extent of the injury won’t be known until Monday. Forte was his usual dynamic self through the first half of the 2015 season, chipping in fantasy points in both the running and passing game, so fantasy owners will go back to the drawing board in hopes of replacing his reliable weekly production. Forte leaves some big shoes to fill, but rookie Jeremy Langford will get the first chance to lead the Chicago rushing attack. Langford ran for 46 yards on 12 carries on Sunday and should have a chance to produce if Forte misses extended time, so add his name to the long list of top waiver wire targets this week.
News And Notes
Jacob Tamme had a solid day for Atlanta, hauling in 10 of 12 targets for 103 yards and a touchdown as he benefited from Leonard Hankerson’s absence. … Rookie Stefon Diggs continued his hot streak, catching six passes for 95 yards and a score. … Brian Hartline made a splash on Sunday with two touchdowns but doesn’t deserve waiver wire attention this week. … C.J. Anderson finally had a productive outing, running for 101 yards and a score on 14 carries. Ronnie Hillman still got more work, but Anderson looked great on Sunday night. … Darren McFadden was the Dallas workhorse as expected, tallying 113 total yards on 26 touches. … Malcom Floyd scored twice on Sunday, including one bomb from Philip Rivers on his way to 92 yards on four catches. Floyd remains an excellent deep ball threat. … Derek Carr shredded the New York Jets on Sunday to the tune of 333 yards and four touchdowns and was impressive in a difficult matchup.
Injury Quick Slants
Keenan Allen had back issues on Sunday and departed San Diego’s game early. No news has been released regarding his status for Week 9. … Brandon Marshall was banged up on Sunday with ankle and toe issues, with further details likely to be released throughout the week. … Kendall Wright was dealt a sprained MCL on Sunday and more details on his status will surface in coming days. … Khiry Robinson suffered a leg injury on Sunday, in what looked like a serious situation. More news will be released this week. … Jets QB Ryan Fitzpatrick tore ligaments in this thumb and missed most of New York’s Week 7 game. Geno Smith will start if Fitzpatrick’s Monday MRI delivers bad results. … Reggie Bush tore his ACL on Sunday in an unfortunate slip on the sideline in St. Louis. Until Carlos Hyde returns, Mike Davis and Kendall Gaskins will lead the way for the 49ers.