Fantasy owners need to be diligent about checking the inactive report before game time this week. Plenty of players are on the injury report and many may be in starting lineups. There also are four teams on a bye, which makes roster management even more important for Week 9.
For quarterbacks, Cam Newton is still out as he meets with a foot specialist. Joe Flacco has been put on injured reserve, same for Detroit running back Tra Carson. Tight ends O.J. Howard, Delanie Walker, and Vernon Davis are out again. Running back Chris Thompson is still out as well. And for Pittsburgh, James Conner is doubtful and Benny Snell is out. That leaves Jaylen Samuels (and Trey Edmunds) to carry the load for the Steelers this week. Samuels is a low RB1 based on the amount of work he's going to get. Be sure to check the rundown on wide receivers as well before setting your lineup.
Teams on bye: Atlanta, Cincinnati, Los Angeles Rams, New Orleans
Patrick Mahomes (knee), QB, Kansas City Chiefs vs. Minnesota Vikings, 1 p.m.
It seems very unlikely that Mahomes will be back for Week 9. However, the fact that he's questionable puts him on track to return for Week 10. Fantasy owners should expect to be without their QB1 for one more week, but hopefully, that will be it. The Chiefs don’t have a bye until Week 12, so it does seem like Mahomes will return before the bye. Fantasy owners can watch the inactive report, but don't expect Mahomes this week.
James White (toe), RB, New England Patriots at Baltimore Ravens, 8:20 p.m.
White practiced all week but was listed on the injury report on Friday with a toe injury. This indicates that it was either he picked up the injury in practice or it was just something that got medical attention. Odds are that White will play in Week 9, but it's going to be a tough matchup for him. The Ravens are very good at defending pass-catching running backs. With Rex Burkhead likely back and playing more snaps, White is a low RB3.
Rex Burkhead (foot), RB, New England Patriots at Baltimore Ravens, 8:20 p.m.
Burkhead did play in Week 8, but he had four touches for five yards. Whether it was the foot injury or game script wasn't clear, but Burkhead is likely going to play in Week 9. However, it is a tough matchup as the Ravens' run defense is very good. The Patriots are likely going to rely on Julian Edelman. Burkhead has one touchdown on the year and odds are that he doesn't get another in Week 9. He's a low RB3.
Cameron Brate (ribs), TE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Seattle Seahawks, 4:05 p.m.
With O.J. Howard out, Brate seemingly should step up into fantasy relevance. Last week when Howard was out, Brate had three receptions for 32 yards. In Seattle, it doesn't seem like Brate will be a better option. He's dealing with a ribs injury, but it seems that he will play. He was able to practice this week, which is more than Howard did. Brate is a low TE2.
Chris Herndon (hamstring), TE, New York Jets at Miami Dolphins, 1 p.m.
Herndon is still waiting to make his 2019 debut, and it doesn't seem like Week 9 will be that week. He's still dealing with a hamstring injury, although he did get in some practice time this past week. Either Herndon isn't ready to play because of injury or conditioning is unclear, but fantasy owners should not expect him this week. Perhaps Week 10 will be the week, but we've been saying that for weeks.
— 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.