Gronkowksi should play Sunday night, but it's been a struggle for the Patriots' TE
It's Week 9 and the last thing fantasy owners wanted to see this week were a lot of names on the injury report. It's hard enough to field a full lineup with six teams on bye, but given the number of running backs and wide receivers on the injury report, it's clear that some owners will be digging deep into their bench and maybe even the waiver wire this week.
For running backs, there are more listed as Questionable compared to already ruled Out (Ronald Jones, Chris Thompson). And it doesn't help when you see some of the names. It's a similar story with the wide receivers. There's also one tight end (see below), but at this point, his inclusion should not come a as a surprise.
Be sure to check the inactive list prior to game time so that you know you your guys are playing.
Teams on bye: Arizona, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, New York Giants, Philadelphia
Note: All times are ET and all games are on Sunday, Nov. 4.
Rob Gronkowski (back), TE, New England Patriots vs. Green Bay Packers, 8:20 p.m.
It’s clear that Gronkowski isn’t 100 percent healthy, and he won’t be for the rest of the season. Whether it’s the back injury or the ankle injury, he simply hasn’t been the elite tight end that he’s been in the past. He got in two limited practices this week, so he'll likely be out there on Sunday night. He's played through the injuries in recent weeks but he has a tough matchup this week. Gronk should still be started in fantasy, but avoided in daily formats.
Sony Michel (knee), RB, New England Patriots vs. Green Bay Packers, 8:20 p.m.
When Michel was injured, it looked like a multi-week injury, especially considering the amount of time he missed for a knee injury in the preseason, which carried over to the start of the regular season. However, Michel was listed as a limited practice participant all three days, which means it is possible he plays on Sunday night. Odds are that he will be a game-time decision, which is tough on fantasy owners given the timing. James White is the Patriots running back to start, and Michel is an injury risk. Fantasy owners should be hesitant to start Michel even if he is active.
Alex Collins (foot), RB, Washington Redskins vs. Pittsburgh Steelers, 1 p.m.
Even though Collins did not practice on Thursday, he was able to return for a full session on Friday. That puts him on track to play in Week 9, so his fantasy owners can breathe a sigh of relief. However, the matchup against the Steelers is a tough one. When the two teams faced each other in Week 4, Collins only had 11 carries for 42 yards. He’s a low RB2.
Royce Freeman (ankle), RB, Denver Broncos vs. Houston Texans, 4:05 p.m.
Freeman missed Week 8 with a high ankle sprain, and he did not practice this week. Typically high ankle sprains are multi-week injuries, so having Freeman back in Week 9 seems unlikely. He was given a questionable tag and is likely a game-time decision. Fantasy owners should not plan on starting Freeman. Phillip Lindsay is a borderline RB1 if Freeman sits. If Freeman is active, Lindsay is a RB2.
— 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.