Week 8 Fantasy Football Injury Report

How should fantasy managers adjust their lineups following injuries to some key players?
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The injury report from Week 7 is just as chaotic as the player’s performances. Marvin Jones scored four touchdowns, infuriating fantasy owners who benched the Lions' wide receiver, because who would have started Marvin Jones? Meanwhile, David Johnson was in all lineups, started the game for the Cardinals, but handled just one carry before calling it a day. His teammate Chase Edmonds then ran over the Giants for three scores and 126 yards.

It sure was a wacky and odd weekend in the NFL. It all started last Thursday with the reigning MVP going down with a dislocated kneecap. I wrote about Patrick Mahomes's injury at length here. We all should have known the instant Mahomes got hurt that Week 7 was going to be “one of those strange weeks” in the NFL.

There are a lot of injuries to go over, so let’s get to it.

Won’t See Them Again

Luckily there’s no one new to add to this section, and quite frankly after some of the injuries we’ve had to deal with, it’s about time we catch a bit of a break.

Might be a while before we see them again

Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs, knee

The Chiefs' quarterback is expected to miss a minimum of three games, according to various reports, some more optimistic than others. Fact is, Mahomes won’t play in Week 8 but is eyeing a return to action before the team’s bye in Week 12. I discussed Mahomes’s injury and the major impact it has on all Chiefs playmakers in this article.

David Johnson, Arizona Cardinals, back/ankle

After a week of limited practice, Johnson was surprisingly active on Sunday and announced as the team’s starter. He even took the first handoff of the game. But that was all he did in Week 7, as Johnson made his way to the sidelines and never reentered the game. Head coach Kliff Kingsbury said the five-year veteran was active purely for “emergency” purposes, which quite frankly is tough to believe, considering Johnson entered the game as the starting back—which clearly wasn’t an emergency situation.

Fantasy Impact: Something much more serious is at play here. My proof? The Cardinals are bringing in free agents Jay Ajayi and Spencer Ware for workouts this week. Teams don’t simply bring in free agents for workouts unless they need to add depth or replace a player. I’m not suggesting Johnson needs to be replaced, but outside of Chase Edmonds (who had a monster performance against the Giants) there’s not much else on the Cardinals' roster. Arizona plays the Saints, 49ers (twice) and Buccaneers before their Week 12 bye.

Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons, ankle

When discussing his quarterback’s sprained ankle, Falcons head coach Dan Quinn told the media "hopefully it's not a long-term thing and more a shorter-term thing." Real riveting stuff there, coach. File this one under one of those Priceline commercials with Captain Obvious. Quinn wouldn’t rule out Ryan for Week 8, but considering Atlanta is now 1-6 with five straight losses, it would be silly to rush back the franchise quarterback when the playoffs are so far out of the realm of possibility. Truth is, even with Ryan under center, the Falcons are just a bad football team in 2019. But that’s the difference between fantasy football and real life football. While the Falcons are one of the worst teams in the league, Ryan has been one of the best quarterbacks in fantasy. Chalk it up to excessive garbage time or a bad Atlanta defense that forces the offense into a pass-heavy mode. Fact remains, Ryan is the No. 5 passer in fantasy points and that’s factoring in his dismal seven-point performance against the Rams in Week 7.

Fantasy Impact: If Ryan can’t go in Week 8, 38-year-old Matt Schaub would take over under center for the Falcons. Coming off the bench in relief duty for the injured Ryan, Schaub went 6-for-6 with 100 yards and a score against the Rams. He’s a capable backup with plenty of NFL experience but we can’t expect the same level of production from Schaub as we were getting from Ryan. That means Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley and Austin Hooper all get downgraded until Ryan returns, even after the team traded Mohamed Sanu to the Patriots this morning.

Will Fuller, Houston Texans, hamstring

Some people don’t believe in labeling players “injury prone.” I am not one of those people. Fuller joins the likes of Sammy Watkins as one of the most injury-prone wide receivers in the league. Since being drafted in the first round of the 2016 NFL draft, Fuller has yet to play a full 16-game season. He missed two games as a rookie, six games in 2017, nine in 2018 and will now miss several weeks in 2019. Houston’s big-play receiver reportedly has a “significant” hamstring pull.

Fantasy Impact: With Fuller on the sideline, Kenny Stills stepped up in a big way, catching four passes for 105 yards. The Texans are expected to use Stills along with DeAndre Hopkins and Keke Coutee in three-wide sets while Fuller is on the mend. In a bit of a desperation move for depth, Houston brought in free agent wide receiver Eli Rogers for a tryout on Monday.

Kerryon Johnson, Lions, knee

The Lions' second-year rusher had an early exit in the first quarter of the team’s loss to the Vikings after injuring his right knee. Johnson had five carries for 23 yards before his day came to an end. There’s no word yet on the severity of the injury, but Johnson was wearing a brace on the sideline after his trip to the locker room. Detroit’s rusher missed six games during his rookie season with a left knee injury.

Fantasy Impact: Rookie Ty Johnson entered the game and took over as the primary ball carrier for Detroit once Kerryon Johnson was ruled out. Ty Johnson toted the rock 10 times for 29 yards but did boost his fantasy production a bit thanks to four catches for 28 yards. Ty and J.D. McKissic would be in line for more work while Kerryon Johnson is out.

Adam Thielen, Vikings, hamstring

Injured on an early touchdown catch, Thielen fell awkwardly trying to tap his toes in the back of the end zone, and remained down for several minutes after his score. He was eventually helped to the sideline but never returned to action. Minnesota plays on Thursday night against the Redskins, a matchup Thielen will almost certainly miss. But it gives him plenty of time to rest for their Week 9 game against the Chiefs.

Fantasy Impact: The matchup against Washington is one Minnesota should be able to win even without Thielen. Quarterback Kirk Cousins has been red-hot after starting the year ice cold. The Vikings passer has four touchdowns in each of his last two outings and now has over 300 yards in three consecutive games. Thielen accounted for two of those eight touchdown passes, so while he’ll surely be missed, Cousins should still be able to get it done against a bad Redskins squad. Olabisi Johnson will line up opposite Stefon Diggs while Thielen is nursing his hammy.

Delanie Walker, Tennessee Titans, ankle

The 35-year-old Titans tight end was already listed on the injury report with an ankle injury before the team’s Week 7 bout against the Chargers, so it wasn’t much of a surprise when he was unable to finish the game. Walker barely made it through the first half before being shut down for the day. He finished Week 7 with a zero across the board as he wasn’t even targeted.

Fantasy Impact: An ankle injury practically cost Walker the entire 2018 season, as he got hurt in Week 1 of last year. Jonnu Smith took over for Walker in Week 7 and caught three passes for 64 yards. Smith will remain the Titans' starter while Walker is sidelined. Walker also made Frankie Taddeo's Week 8 droppables list.

Should be ok but expect a questionable tag and limited practice

Adrian Peterson, Washington Redskins, ankle

With a game on Thursday, expect Peterson to be listed as DNP (did not practice) up until game day. He reportedly had an MRI on his ankle but those test results have yet to be revealed.

Fantasy Impact: The Vikings have a solid run defense, allowing the sixth-least points to running backs, according to our partners at FantasySP. So even if Peterson is healthy, he has a tough matchup, making him nothing more than a flex play. With Chris Thompson and Derrius Guice both injured, Wendell Smallwood is the only healthy option in the Washington backfield.

Nothing To See Here

Saquon Barkley, New York Giants, toe/foot

Returned to action after a few plays on the sideline.

Josh Jacobs, Oakland Raiders, shoulder

Made a quick trip to the locker room to get evaluated, but returned to action.

In the protocol

Matt Breida, San Francisco 49ers: Cleared concussion protocol but did not return to the game

Ito Smith, Atlanta Falcons

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