Fantasy Football Week 8 Injury Wrap: Backfield issues with Seahawks, 49ers

·5 min read

You know the 2020 drill — the NFL’s injury report is as long as the phone book (I can hear some of you, “What’s a phone book?”). Let’s take a good look around.

• Pete Carroll has been coy about his running backs all week. The Seahawks listed Carlos Hyde (hamstring) as doubtful, so we can look past him. But Chris Carson (foot) and Travis Homer (knee) could wind up being true game-time decisions, and as usual the Seahawks play a later game (4:25 pm ET). DeeJay Dallas is an interesting sleeper if several Seattle backs are ultimately scratched. The Seahawks aren’t sure if star safety Jamal Adams (groin) will be able to play; he did have a limited workout Friday.

• The 49ers backfield is just as messy as Seattle’s. We know Jeff Wilson Jr. (ankle) and Raheem Mostert (ankle) are out multiple weeks. But Tevin Coleman (knee) has a chance to play Week 8. JaMycal Hasty would be my preference for Sunday fantasy value; Jerick McKinnon was hardly used at New England, and according to Kyle Shanahan, he’s been “battling tied legs.” WR Deebo Samuel (hamstring) is also out, pushing Brandon Aiyuk squarely into our plans. Seattle’s horrible pass defense ranks 30th in DVOA.

• Dallas Goedert (ankle) came off IR, setting up a return against Dallas. The Eagles also welcome back Jalen Reagor. I’m still slotting both of them conservatively in their first game back; I’ll use Travis Fulgham proactively and Richard Rodgers in deeper formats. As for the backfield, Boston Scott is an exciting play with Miles Sanders (knee) out another week.

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• The Saints receiving group is a mess again, as Michael Thomas (hamstring), Emmanuel Sanders (COVID-19/reserve list) and Marquez Calloway (ankle) are all out at Chicago. Tre’Quan Smith is the first pivot, and Deonte Harris is there for deeper leagues.

• Mark Ingram (ankle) missed the full week and is unlikely to play against Pittsburgh. Maybe this frees up Gus Edwards or J.K. Dobbins as playable fantasy options in medium-plus formats, though Pittsburgh is a nasty matchup. The difference between two and three running backs in a platoon is significant, though the Baltimore runners will always have to share with Lamar Jackson.

• Normally we chuckle at New England’s creative use of the injury report, but it’s no laughing matter as the Patriots prepare for Buffalo. Julian Edelman (knee) went on IR and will be out several weeks, though Bill Belichick thinks he could return this year. N’Keal Harry (concussion) is also out. New England’s primary receivers entering this game are all undrafted free agents — Damiere Byrd, Jakobi Meyers, and Gunner Olszewski. New England will also be without CB Stephon Gilmore, last year’s Defensive Player of the Year (he’s been far less effective this year, showing how collaborative defense is).

Oct 25, 2020; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; San Francisco 49ers running back JaMycal Hasty (38) runs the ball with help from fullback Kyle Juszczyk (44) against New England Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore (24) in the first half at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
JaMycal Hasty (left) might be ready for an expanded role in Week 8, but Stephon Gilmore (right) won't play for New England. (David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports)

• Aaron Jones (calf) is out for his second straight game, and the Packers also aren’t sure on LT David Bakhtiari. Jamaal Williams is an easy play in Jones’s place, taking aim at a mediocre Vikings defense.

• Joe Burrow has his work cut out for him against Tennessee — the Bengals will be without tailback Joe Mixon (foot) and three offensive line starters. Giovani Bernard played 76 percent of the snaps last week.

• Allen Robinson cleared concussion protocol and is likely to play against New Orleans, despite missing the full practice week.

• Austin Hooper (appendectomy) remains week-to-week and won’t play against Vegas. Harrison Bryant is your first pivot, off a two-touchdown game last week.

• Although the Vikings did list Dalvin Cook (groin) as questionable, all context clues point to him playing at Green Bay.

• Andy Dalton (concussion) was ruled out at Philadelphia, setting up Ben DiNucci to make his first NFL start. The Dallas offensive line remains an injury mess, but at least OG Zack Martin (concussion) is playing this week.

• Tim Patrick (hamstring) missed the full practice week and is a risky play against the Chargers. Phillip Lindsay (concussion) is worth checking in on; he’s listed as questionable.

• Jamison Crowder (groin) is doubtful at Kansas City, and the Jets already ruled out Breshad Perriman. Denzel Mims and Braxton Berrios are your pivot plays, and maybe Jeff Smith in deeper leagues.

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• Chris Godwin (finger) won’t go Monday at the Giants. This passing tree could get awfully crowded in coming weeks, if Godwin returns soon and Antonio Brown (aiming for Week 9) has a smooth onboard.

• Devonta Freeman (ankle) hasn’t been practicing, setting up Wayne Gallman to be the likely starter against Tampa Bay.

• DeVante Parker (groin) returned to practice Friday and should be fine for the Tua Tagovailoa debut against the Rams.

• The Raiders expect Bryan Edwards (foot/ankle) to return, but given how Nelson Agholor has played lately, Edwards might have a modest role at Cleveland.

• Tyler Higbee (hand) did limited work and might play at Miami. He was not active in the Week 7 win at Chicago. Higbee is difficult to trust for fantasy these days, but if he sits, it might push managers towards Gerald Everett.

• Diontae Johnson had a late toe injury in the win at Tennessee, but he practiced in full and will go in the Baltimore showdown.

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