Inside injuries: Start or sit these players questionable in Week 8 fantasy football?

Players like Jordan Reed and Donte Moncrief may be listed as questionable, but should fantasy owners start them? Inside Injuries takes a closer look at their situations.
Publish date:

Inside Injuries predicts the impact of injuries on player performance by using data analytics, medical expertise and statistical modeling. Inside Injuries is designed to educate sports fans, fantasy sports enthusiasts, weekend warriors and others interested in an “inside” look at common sports injuries.

Two of the key metrics calculated to predict the impact of injuries on player performance are Injury Risk Category (IRC) and Health Performance Factor (HPF). A player’s injury risk is defined as the likelihood a player will sustain an injury based on several factors included in the Inside Injuries data algorithm, e.g., injury history, number of games played, age, etc. A player’s injury risk is calculated on a scale of 0–100% (0% is best). A player’s health performance factor helps the consumer determine how healthy a player is on a scale of 0–100% (100% is best). The health performance factor is calculated based on the frequency and severity of the player’s injuries, as well as several other data points in the Inside Injuries algorithm.

Here, we take a look at some key players who are listed as questionable for Week 8 of the NFL season.

LeSean McCoy, RB, Buffalo

Injury: Grade 2 hamstring strain
Status: Played last week @ Miami, aggravated injury and was taken out; questionable for Sunday vs. New England
Overall Injury Risk: High—28.79%
Health Performance Factor: Below average—56.25%

The Bills pushed it a little too far last week with McCoy, and he re-aggravated his hamstring during the loss to Miami. Reports out of Buffalo say that McCoy will be a game-time decision this week like last, but this week it’s less likely he actually plays. The smart thing for the Bills would be to give McCoy the week off so that this doesn’t become an injury that plagues him for the rest of the season. Don’t expect McCoy to suit up this weekend. Very risky start.

Fantasy football Start 'Em, Sit 'Em: How to set your lineups for NFL Week 8

Jerick McKinnon, RB, Minnesota

Injury: Grade 1 ankle sprain
Status: Played last week @ Philadelphia, but was in and out of lineup in second half due to ankle issue; questionable for Monday night vs. Chicago.
Overall Injury Risk: Elevated—19.39%
Health Performance Factor: Above average—66.83%

Risk Assessment: It was reported Thursday that McKinnon was in a walking boot, which seems like extreme precaution for a grade 1 ankle sprain, but it should worry fantasy owners nonetheless. McKinnon was ineffective Sunday, especially when he came back in after suffering the injury. With the Vikings playing Monday night, it is a risky bet to leave him in your lineup, even against a weak Bears defense. Risky start.

Roundtable: Week 8 fantasy solutions for injuries, split backfields and byes

Donte Moncrief, WR, Indianapolis

Injury: Grade 3 shoulder injury—fractured shoulder blade
Status: Has been out since week 2; Questionable for Sunday vs. Kansas City
Overall Injury Risk: Elevated—18.79%
Health Performance Factor: Below average—51.67%

Risk Assessment: Donte Moncrief is on the road back to rejoining the Colts after missing the last five games with a shoulder injury. Moncrief is still practicing in a non-contact jersey this week, but most believe he’ll start on Sunday. Moncrief, who has the opportunity to put up big numbers moving forward, is a risky flex play this week, but he does provide some upside. Risky start.

Target Report: Can Ty Montgomery, Randall Cobb keep up their rushing production?

Jordan Reed, TE, Washington

Injury: Concussion
Status: Has missed last two games; Questionable for Sunday vs. Cincinnati
Overall Injury Risk: Elevated—21.36%
Health Performance Factor: Below Average—64.83%

Risk Assessment: Jordan Reed sustained a concussion in Week 5 against Baltimore, and he has yet to be cleared by an independent neurologist—which isn’t a given ahead of Sunday’s game in London due to his history of concussions. He should also see a bump in his injury risk and HPF if he is cleared and can get in a full practice. If Reed is active, he is a must-start TE1 this week in a Redskins’ offense that has missed him in the red zone. Good to start.

Fantasy football Week 8: Complete NFL player rankings for every position

Lamar Miller, RB, Houston

Injury: Grade 1 shoulder injury
Status: In and out of week 7 game; Questionable for Sunday vs. Lions
Overall Injury Risk: Elevated—21.52%
Health Performance Factor: Above Average—73.92%

Risk Assessment: Miller was in and out of the Texans’ Week 7 game after sustaining a shoulder injury early in the game. He had a much quieter day, rushing 11 times for 61 yards. He was able to get in a limited practice on both Wednesday and Thursday, and despite being questionable he’s fully expected to play. He will be a high-end RB1 against a Lions defense that hasn’t shown much life this year. Must start.

NFL Week 8 Power Rankings: AFC West looks like the best division in the NFL right now

Dez Bryant, WR, Cowboys

Injury: Grade 3 knee injury
Status: Injured in Week 3; Questionable for Week 8 vs. the Eagles but expected to play
Overall Injury Risk: High—30.61%
Health Performance Factor: Below Average—47.5%

Risk Assessment: Bryant suffered a hairline fracture to the tibial plateau in Week 3, and is expected to start on Sunday in a prime time divisional matchup against the Eagles. The Cowboys have been rolling behind strong play from rookies Dak Prescott and Zeke Elliott, so fantasy owners shouldn’t be surprised by a potentially slow few weeks from the receiver. Proceed with caution.

Download the Inside Injuries app now to follow the injuries of these athletes and the injury risk and projected performance of EVERY player in the NFL.