It’s a good news, bad news situation for fantasy owners as it relates to the injury report for Week 8. The good news it it’s short. The bad news is that’s because six teams are on bye, so any injuries make filling out a complete lineup that much more difficult.
Hopefully, the fact that there are only a handful of fantasy-relevant players listed below will make things a little easier for those owners already digging deep into their benches or the waiver wire. But the reality is this is one of the toughest weeks with the Cardinals, Giants, Jaguars, Packers, Rams and Titans all on bye. (And we get to do this again next week with six more teams on bye.)
Besides those on bye, players already ruled out for Week 8 include Andrew Luck, Sam Bradford, Kenny Golladay, Tyler Boyd, Charles Clay and Dan Bailey. C.J. Prosise is doubtful for Week 8 and fantasy owners shouldn’t count on him either. If you do have a player considered questionable be sure to check the inactive report before plugging him into your lineup.
Teams on bye: Arizona, Green Bay, Jacksonville, Los Angeles Rams, New York Giants, Tennessee
Note: All times are ET and all games are on Sunday, Oct. 29 unless otherwise noted.
Jameis Winston (shoulder), QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Carolina Panthers, 1 p.m.
It has since been revealed that Winston may have re-injured his throwing shoulder in Week 7. He didn't throw in practice on Wednesday or Thursday, but did on Friday. All signs point to him playing in Week 8, so fantasy owners should start him with confidence. The Panthers, over the past five weeks, have allowed opposing quarterbacks to throw for at least 220 yards and two touchdowns with the exception of Mitchell Trubisky last week. Winston should throw for more than 200 yards with a couple of touchdowns as well.
Melvin Gordon (foot), RB, Los Angeles Chargers at New England Patriots, 1 p.m.
Gordon has been listed as questionable for the past few weeks and has played each week. While his numbers were down last week, it was a result of the matchup (vs. Denver) rather than any injury. He's clearly not 100 percent, but he won't be for probably the rest of the season. The matchup against New England is a great one, as the Patriots struggled on defense. They allow the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing running backs. Continue to start Gordon as a RB1.
Emmanuel Sanders (ankle), WR, Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs, 8:30 p.m. (Mon.)
After missing practice all week, it is highly unlikely that Sanders plays on Monday night. Fantasy owners should not plan on having him in their lineups for Week 8. The Broncos have already had their bye week, so the team needs to make sure Sanders is healthy before sending him back on the field. Their offense has struggled in recent weeks, not scoring more than 16 points in the past four games. The Broncos didn't score at all against the Chargers in Week 7 and certainly could use Sanders, but that's not going to happen this week.
Golden Tate (shoulder), WR, Detroit Lions vs. Pittsburgh Steelers, 8:30 p.m.
After leaving Week 6 with a shoulder injury (later determined to be a sprained AC joint), Tate did return to practice this week. All initial reports had Tate missing Week 8, so his return would be earlier than expected. It seems like Tate is truly questionable for Week 8, which is going to be tough for fantasy owners as the Lions play Sunday night. Even if Tate is active, he may be limited given the shoulder injury. The safe bet for fantasy owners is to keep him on the bench.
Stefon Diggs (groin), WR, Minnesota Vikings at Cleveland Browns, 9:30 a.m. (London)
Diggs not only made the trip to London, he also put in full practices on Thursday and Friday. He's missed the last two weeks but may be ready to return. The matchup against the Browns is a great one, but he does still have to deal with Case Keenum as his quarterback. Prior to last week, the Browns had given up a touchdown to an opposing wide receiver every week of the season (except Week 1, but Antonio Brown had 182 yards). Diggs is a WR2 this week.
Danny Amendola (knee), WR, New England Patriots vs. Los Angeles Chargers, 1 p.m.
Amendola missed practice on Wednesday with a hyperextended knee, an injury he suffered in Week 7. He returned to limited practice on Thursday and Friday and has said he will play on Sunday. While players are typically overly optimistic, it does seem that Amendola will suit up for Week 8. He has a good matchup, but he's also had three receptions in the past two games and only one touchdown on the year. He's a low WR3 for Week 8.
Marquise Goodwin (back), WR, San Francisco 49ers at Philadelphia Eagles, 1 p.m.
In Week 5, Goodwin broke out with 116 yards. He returned to earth in Week 6, with his usual 2/26/0 stat line, and then in Week 7 he had four receptions for 80 yards. He's been dealing with a back injury and shouldn't be considered a fantasy option in standard leagues for Week 8. The Eagles have given up plenty of fantasy points to opposing wide receivers, but Pierre Garcon is the receiver to start in this game, not Goodwin. In deeper leagues, Goodwin is a low WR3.
Graham Gano (knee), K, Carolina Panthers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 1 p.m.
For some reason, a number of kickers have made their way onto the injury report this year. Gano is questionable and did not practice on Friday. In addition, the Panthers have added another kicker (Roberto Aguayo) to the roster. All of these signs point to fantasy owners dropping Gano and grabbing another kicker. Kickers are expendable in fantasy; no sense risking a zero at the kicker position (by means of the kicker not playing... unlike Adam Vinatieri owners last week).
— 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.