It’s been a few days since we updated the injury status (click here for the original post) for many players who have been limited/missing practice heading into Week Eight. With games only a day away, let’s take a look on who appears to be in and who’s out:
Calvin Johnson is listed as questionable.
Quoted on mlive.com (click here for the article) as saying, “Just trying not to overwork it. I didn’t want to mess it up more than it is” in regards to his knee, owners have to be very concerned that he will not play on Sunday. Keep checking the news, but make sure to stash a potential replacement that you are comfortable throwing in at the last minute.
Andre Johnson is listed as probable.
He wasn’t practicing earlier in the week, but Nick Scurfield quoted coach Gary Kubiak on Twitter as saying, “Andre looked great. He’s ready to go”. Feel confident using him in all formats.
Brian Westbrook is listed as questionable.
As I’ve said, no matter what the Eagles are trying to sell, I’m not buying it. I fully anticipate him sitting against the Giants so find yourself another option. Read more
Injuries have definitely had an affect on our original wide receiver rankings, so let’s take a look at how things currently stand as we move closer to Sunday:
- Reggie Wayne – Indianapolis Colts – vs. San Francisco
- Vincent Jackson – San Diego Chargers – vs. Oakland
- Marques Colston – New Orleans Saints – vs. Atlanta
- Larry Fitzgerald – Arizona Cardinals – vs. Carolina
- Mike Sims-Walker – Jacksonville Jaguars – at Tennessee
- Calvin Johnson – Detroit Lions – vs. St. Louis
- Andre Johnson – Houston Texans – at Buffalo
- Roddy White – Atlanta Falcons – at New Orleans
- Donald Driver – Green Bay Packers – vs. Minnesota
- DeSean Jackson – Philadelphia Eagles – vs. New York Giants Read more
There was a few changes towards the top of the rankings, but the majority of changes came towards the bottom with a few QB changes being made. Let’s take a look at the current rankings:
- Peyton Manning – Indianapolis Colts – vs. San Francisco
- Aaron Rodgers – Green Bay Packers – vs. Minnesota
- Drew Brees – New Orleans Saints – vs. Atlanta
- Kurt Warner – Arizona Cardinals – vs. Carolina
- Philip Rivers – San Diego Chargers – vs. Oakland
- Matt Schaub – Houston Texans – at Buffalo
- Matt Ryan – Atlanta Falcons – at New Orleans
- Joe Flacco – Baltimore Ravens – vs. Denver
- Donovan McNabb – Philadelphia Eagles – vs. New York Giants
- David Garrard – Jacksonville Jaguars – at Tennessee Read more
There’s some pretty big movement this week in the RB rankings, with the injuries to Brian Westbrook & Donald Brown wreaking some havoc. Let’s take a look at how things currently stand:
- Adrian Peterson – Minnesota Vikings – at Green Bay
- Maurice Jones-Drew – Jacksonville Jaguars – at Tennessee
- LaDanian Tomlinson – San Diego Chargers – vs. Oakland
- Kevin Smith – Detroit Lions – vs. St. Louis
- Chris Johnson – Tennessee Titans – vs. Jacksonville
- Steven Jackson – St. Louis Rams – at Detroit
- Matt Forte – Chicago Bears – vs. Cleveland
- Michael Turner – Atlanta Falcons – at New Orleans
- Steve Slaton – Houston Texans – at Buffalo
- Ronnie Brown – Miami Dolphins – at New York Jets Read more
The NFL released the early Week Eight injury report yesterday, so let’s take a look at which players are on it that fantasy owners need to be concerned about (and should quickly grab a replacement) and who you can safely leave in your line-up:
Joe Flacco practiced in full despite an ankle injury.
There was little concern coming out of a bye week after rolling his ankle in Week Six. He is going to be on the field this Sunday and is a must use in all formats.
Andre Johnson did not practice due to a bruised lung.
He’s saying he’s going to play, as per Nick Scurfield of www.houstontexans.com on Twitter (click here to view). We all know he’s a must use if in the line-up and for now, there’s no reason to think he won’t suit up.
Jamal Lewis & Derek Anderson both practiced in full.
Lewis (wrist) and Anderson (hip) are two of the key figures in one of the worst offenses in the league. Both could conceivably lose their starting job at any time, so their health isn’t the only concern for fantasy owners. They are low-end options in deeper leagues when healthy and nothing more.
Matt Hasselbeck did not practice due to a rib injury.
Coach Jim Mora was quoted in the Seattle Times (click here for the full article) as saying, “it is not anything that will keep him from playing Sunday at full strength.” He was ranked as the 18th QB on our initial Top 25 rankings (click here to view), so this news does little to affect his ranking. He’s only usable in two-quarterback formats or as a bye week alternative. Read more
We finish up our preliminary weekly rankings with a look at the Top 15 defenses for Week Eight. This week the top of the rankings are filled with home teams, something that is more usual than last week’s rankings. Let’s take a look at how things shape up:
- San Diego Chargers – vs. Oakland
- Indianapolis Colts – vs. San Francisco
- Chicago Bears – vs. Cleveland
- Dallas Cowboys – vs. Seattle
- Arizona Cardinals – vs. Carolina
- St. Louis Rams – at Detroit
- New Orleans Saints – vs. Atlanta
- Minnesota Vikings – at Green Bay
- Green Bay Packers – vs. Minnesota
- Philadelphia Eagles – vs. New York Giants Read more
Targets is one of the hot stats this year for fantasy football owners, so let’s take a look at some of the recent trends:
Increase Targets (excluding those with Week 5 bye):
1. Fred Davis: Washington Redskins: +9
2. Louis Murphy: Oakland Raiders: +7
2. Sidney Rice: Minnesota Vikings: +7
4. Steve Smith: Carolina Panthers: +6
4. Gary Barnidge: Carolina Panthers: +6
4. Antonio Bryant: Tampa Bay Buccaneers: +6
4. Percy Harvin: Minnesota Vikings: +6
- With Chris Cooley going down to injury, Fred Davis stepped into the main tight end role and made the most of his opportunity. There was never any question about his ability to catch the ball, so let’s see if he can continue to put up big numbers.
- Louis Murphy plays for the Raiders, so does anyone really care that he saw a big increase in targets?
- Gary Barnidge went from no targets to six this week, landing him on this list. Chances are he goes back to obscurity next week, considering he’s the third tight end in Carolina.
- Sidney Rice is quickly emerging as Brett Favre’s go-to receiver, so the fact that he’s getting more and more targets could mean big things for him moving forward. Read more
Let’s take a look at some players who are potentially on your waiver wire after Week 7 and determine if they are worth owning or not:
Jamaal Charles – Kansas City Chiefs – RB
As if Larry Johnson’s inability to make plays was bad enough, he now seems to be self-destructing before our very eyes. It appears to be a matter of when, not if, Charles becomes the #1 option running the football in Kansas City, making him worth stashing in all formats immediately.
Verdict: Worth owning in all formats
Beanie Wells – Arizona Cardinals – RB
He finally got the lion’s share of the carries and did produce, rushing for 4.8 yards a carry as well as scoring a TD. Look for his increased workload to continue, meaning if someone in your league gave up on him you need to grab him as quickly as possible.
Verdict: Must own in all formats
Mike Wallace – Pittsburgh Steelers – WR
This is a tough one for me to gauge. He’s the third receiver on his team, behind Santonio Holmes & Hines Ward. Then, you have to factor Heath Miller’s presence into the mix. Sprinkle in Rashard Mendenhall & Willie Parker and you have to wonder if there are enough balls to spread around and keep Wallace productive. I know the 72 yards and a touchdown this past week are nice, but in his seven games he’s had more than three catches just once. With that type of production the only way he’s going to be useful is if he can find the end zone every week and how likely is that?
Verdict: Not worth owning outside of the deepest of formats Read more
While fantasy owners often overlook their kicker, simply picking up a warm body, that’s a fairly big mistake. Each week there appears to be a kicker making a difference in match-ups, like Nate Kaeding this past week, so let’s look at how the Week Eight rankings look:
- Nate Kaeding – San Diego Chargers – vs. Oakland
- Nick Folk – Dallas Cowboys – vs. Seattle
- Robbie Gould – Chicago Bears – vs. Cleveland
- Neil Rackers – Arizona Cardinals – vs. Carolina
- John Carney – New Orleans Saints – vs. Atlanta
- Matt Stover – Indianapolis Colts – vs. San Francisco
- Mason Crosby – Green Bay Packers – vs. Minnesota
- Josh Scobee – Jacksonville Jaguars – at Tennessee
- David Akers – Philadelphia Eagles – vs. New York Giants
- Lawrence Tynes – New York Giants – at Philadelphia Read more
In any given week it feels like any tight end can step out of obscurity into posting a good week. Two weeks ago it was Zach Miller who had 139 receiving yards, which he followed up by getting just 15. With that said, let’s take a look at how this week’s rankings look:
- Dallas Clark – Indianapolis Colts – vs. San Francisco
- Antonio Gates – San Diego Chargers – vs. Oakland
- Owen Daniels – Houston Texans – at Buffalo
- Tony Gonzalez – Atlanta Falcons – at New Orleans
- Vernon Davis – San Francisco 49ers – at Indianapolis
- Jeremy Shockey – New Orleans Saints – vs. Atlanta
- Jason Witten – Dallas Cowboys – vs. Seattle
- Greg Olsen – Chicago Bears – vs. Cleveland
- Brent Celek – Philadelphia Eagles – vs. New York Giants
- Vishante Shiancoe – Minnesota Viking – at Green Bay Read more