Cook may finally return, but he will be limited and should be kept on fantasy benches
With six teams on bye for Week 9, fantasy owners are hoping that that they have enough healthy (and active) bodies on their roster to fill out a starting lineup. Even with Arizona, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, the New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles on bye, there are still plenty of names on the injury reports.
At the running back position, only a couple of guys (mainly Ronald Jones and Chris Thompson) have been ruled out while everyone else is questionable. Be sure to check out the second set of RBs (and one big TE) here. The wide receiver list is once again pretty long as well. Week 9 is definitely one of those weeks in which you want to consult the inactive report before game time to make sure you can field a full lineup.
Teams on bye: Arizona, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, New York Giants, Philadelphia
Note: All times are ET and all games are on Sunday, Nov. 4.
Melvin Gordon (hamstring), RB, Los Angeles Chargers at Seattle Seahawks, 4:05 p.m.
Gordon was able to put in a full practice after two limited practices this week. He was a last-minute inactive in Week 7 before the London game. He had tweaked his hamstring, but the Chargers had a bye in Week 8, giving him time to rest. All signs point to Gordon playing in a great matchup against the Seahawks. However, he is susceptible to aggravating the injury and the Chargers may limit him somewhat with the number of touches he gets. Fantasy owners should start him as a RB1, but just beware that hamstring injuries often linger and he may not get his usual workload.
Dalvin Cook (hamstring), RB, Minnesota Vikings vs. Detroit Lions, 1 p.m.
The Vikings have gone back and forth on the timeline for Cook. They have a bye in Week 10, and originally it seemed that Cook was going to be held out with the goal for him to return in Week 11. Now he’s listed as questionable and the Vikings’ plan is to ease Cook back into game action. He will likely be on the field for a limited amount of snaps, and he’ll only be given a limited amount of carries. They want to ease him back to make sure he doesn’t re-injure the hamstring, but they also want him to experience true game action. For all of these reasons, Cook should not be started in fantasy this week. Latavius Murray is still a RB2.
Chris Carson (ankle), RB, Seattle Seahawks vs. Los Angeles Chargers, 4:05 p.m.
Carson went from not even being listed on the injury report on Wednesday to putting in limited practices on Thursday and Friday. A hip injury was what caused him to be a surprise inactive back in Week 4, so fantasy owners have reasons to be concerned. The expectation is that Carson will play but because of the injury (which Pete Carroll described as a "little groin thing" on Friday) his carries may be limited. It sounds like Carson could end up being a game-time decision. If he plays, Carson is a RB2 with upside. Just remember that Mike Davis thrived (101 rushing yards, 2 TDs) when Carson missed Week 4.
Kapri Bibbs (shoulder), RB, Washington Redskins vs. Atlanta Falcons, 1 p.m.
With Chris Thompson ruled out, Bibbs will back up Adrian Peterson. However, expect this to be the Peterson show with Bibbs coming in for some passing downs. Keep in mind, Bibbs is someone that the Redskins cut from their roster at the beginning of September. Odds are he’s not going to get a lot of work unless something happens to Peterson. He can be ignored for fantasy purposes, unless you are in a really deep league and are desperate for a flex option.
— Written by Sarah Lewis, who is part of the Athlon Contributor network and lives, eats, and breathes fantasy football. Have a fantasy football question? Send it to her on Twitter @Sarah_Lewis32.