With six teams on bye, the thought would be the fantasy injury report for running backs would be shorter for Week 9, right? However, that is not the case, as Week 8 was brutal for injuries, leaving fantasy owners with plenty of names to pay attention to. Consider yourself lucky if your roster made it through last week semi-intact.
Teams on bye: Arizona, Baltimore, Detroit, Houston, Kansas City, Seattle
Note: All games are at 1 p.m. ET unless otherwise noted.
Ronnie Hillman, RB, Denver Broncos at Indianapolis Colts (Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET)
Questionable – Thigh
Hillman has a questionable tag, but the Broncos have said he will be their starting running back for Week 9. He'll start and he'll play, but unfortunately for fantasy owners, so will C.J. Anderson. The two will end up sharing carries, which eats into the fantasy value for both. Hillman is a RB2, but it is possible Anderson ends the day with more fantasy points.
Ryan Mathews, RB, Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys (Sunday, 8:30 p.m. ET)
Questionable – Groin
The Eagles are coming off a bye, so for Mathews to still be on the injury report is a little worrisome. However, he was able to put in a full practice on Friday, which bodes well for him playing on Sunday. In the previous three games before the bye, Mathews averaged almost eight carries for 70 yards. He had two touchdowns in that span as well. The hope for fantasy owners is that the Eagles have recognized his effectiveness and will get him the ball more. Until we see it, though, he's a RB3.
Dion Lewis, RB, New England Patriots vs. Washington Redskins
Probable – Abdomen
While this game has the potential to feature a lot of LeGarrette Blount, Lewis has scored double-digit fantasy points in every game he's finished. He'll be active for this game, and it's hard to sit Lewis even if the Patriots may go into clock-killing mode with Blount. Lewis is still a low-end RB1 because the Patriots find a way to get him the ball. Tom Brady has attempted at least 27 passes in every game he's played this season - and Lewis will be the target on enough of those to make him a fantasy starter (especially in PPR formats).
Orleans Darkwa, RB, New York Giants at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET)
Probable – Back
After making a (small) splash on the fantasy football scene in Week 7, Darkwa had four carries for 23 yards in Week 8. He injured his back during the game, although it was deemed a bruise. He will likely play in Week 9, although he isn't a recommended fantasy option. The Buccaneers’ run defense is better than the numbers on the season show, and Darkwa is still sharing carries with Rashad Jennings, Andre Williams and Shane Vereen.
Chris Thompson, RB, Washington Redskins at New England Patriots
Probable – Back
The fact that Thompson is likely going to play isn't really relevant for him (most fantasy owners are not starting Thompson unless they are truly desperate), but rather for Matt Jones. Jones has done better - although not great - when Thompson has been out. His return demotes Jones to a RB3 in a matchup where the Redskins are going to be throwing the ball a ton.
Matt Forte, RB, Chicago Bears at San Diego Chargers (Monday, 8:30 p.m. ET)
Out – Knee
Forte injured his MCL in Week 8, although the severity is unknown. The Bears have said he is day-to-day, which implies that he may only miss one or two weeks. However, he has been ruled out for Week 9, and Jeremy Langford will be the workhorse back in a good matchup. Langford is a RB2 and should stay on rosters even once Forte returns (as Week 8 taught us the value of handcuffing your stud running back).
Carlos Hyde, RB, San Francisco 49ers at Atlanta Falcons (Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET)
Out – Foot
Hyde revealed he had a stress fracture in his foot, and fantasy owners could see that it did affect how he played in Week 7. He was out Week 8 and will also be out Week 9. The 49ers have a bye in Week 10, but it isn't a guarantee that Hyde returns after the bye. San Francisco signed Pierre Thomas and Shaun Draughn to its running back squad. Thomas, Kendall Gaskins and Draughn are likely all going to see carries this week. Between the offensive struggles of the 49ers and the three-headed mess, avoid all San Francisco running backs.
Mike Davis, RB, San Francisco 49ers at Atlanta Falcons (Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET)
Out – Hand
After getting 10 carries (for four yards) in Week 8 with Carlos Hyde out, Davis is now out indefinitely himself after injuring his hand and having surgery. Don't bother picking him up in any format.
— Written by Sarah Lewis, who is part of the Athlon Contributor network and lives, eats, and breathes fantasy football. She also writes for SoCalledFantasyExperts.com among other sites. Have a fantasy football question? Send it to her on Twitter @Sarah_Lewis32.