Week 8: Game Time Decisions - Injury Updates
In this article we profile players that are struggling to get into uniform for the coming week. Week seven was a very destructive week for fantasy owners as many high profile players suffered significant injuries. Wide receiver Reggie Wayne and quarterback Sam Bradford are done for the season. Running back Doug Martin, tight end Jermichael Finley, and quarterback Jay Cutler have yet to be ruled out for the year but will all likely miss significant time.
Vick suffered a hamstring injury in the week five win over the Giants and has been sidelined for the past two games. Nick Foles excelled against Tampa in week six and fell on his face in the 17-3 loss to the Cowboys in week six. Foles suffered a concussion and rookie Matt Barkely floundered mightily tossing three interceptions. Vick practiced in full on Wednesday and is expected to start this week in a very favorable matchup against a Giants defense allowing the sixth most fantasy points per game to signal callers. The 33 year-old quarterback is averaging 237 yards passing and 61 yards rushing through five games this season and should remain a lower end QB1 for the remainder of the season in first year head coach Chip Kelly's fast paced system.
Jackson suffered a hamstring injury during his week two reunion with St Louis and has been sidelined since. He was able to complete a limited practice Wednesday and is expected to return to the field this week against a stout Arizona defense. In his Falcon debut, Jackson impressed rushing 11 times for 77 yards while adding five catches for 45 yards in a loss to the Saints. Temper your expectations this week as the 30 year old running back will be running behind a weak offensive line against a Cardinal defense allowing the fifth fewest points to running backs – 73 yards per game on the ground and just two touchdowns to rushers. The window to sell high on Jacquizz Rodgers is closing quickly (led the team with nine targets in week seven). Rodgers should remain a decent PPR weapon with the injury riddled Falcon receiving corps but, shopping him to an unsuspecting owner is highly advisable as he'll likely see less than 10 touches per game with S-Jax back in the fold.
Murray missed nine games during his first two seasons and suffered a sprained MCL suffered in week six that sidelined him for the week seven win in Philadelphia, Rookie Joseph Randle filled in admirably rushing 19 times for 65 yards while adding three catches for 28 yards. Murray was able to complete a limited practice on Wednesday and took first-team reps, leaving hope that he'll return for this week's matchup with Detroit. The Lion defense is allowing the 12th most fantasy PPG to opposing running backs. If Murray is forced to miss his second straight game, Joseph Randle would start, but remains a lower end RB2 at best with Lance Dunbar (hamstring) due back and Phillip Tanner potentially stealing another touchdown (scored on a one yard TD in week seven). Through six games, Murray was averaging an impressive 72 yards per game on the ground with three touchdowns. He also has added PPR value since he's totaled 24 catches for 164 yards.
Amendola suffered a concussion during the week six win over New Orleans and was forced to miss the week seven loss to the Jets. He returned to Wednesday's practice and appears likely to suit up for the meeting with Miami. A groin injury suffered in week one cost him three straight games. The oft injured 27 year-old played just one game in 2011, missed five games last season, has never topped 700 yards in a season and has just seven career touchdowns. Tom Brady could very well have a full arsenal of weapons following the return of the Gronk last week. Julian Edelman and rookies Kenbrell Thompkins / Aaron Dobson might see less targets this week, making them all dicey WR3 plays in a difficult matchup. The Dolphin defense - led by free agent signed Brent Grimes - has been solid, allowing the third fewest fantasy PPG to wide receivers. Miami has yielded just 150 yards to the position and have yet to allow a touchdown to a receiver.
Offseason hip surgery has sidelined Harvin, but he's returned to practice and there are rumors that he'll make his Seahawk debut on Monday night against a struggling St Louis defense – allowing the eighth most fantasy PPG to wide receivers. Starting Harvin in week eight would require fantasy owners to have a backup plan (possibly Doug Baldwin or Austin Pettis) as he could be a game time decision and will likely be on a snap count. The former Viking signed a six year $67 million contract this offseason and is a must add if he's still sitting on your waiver wire. In four seasons in Minnesota, Harvin missed 10 games but was a dynamic option when in uniform. In 2011, Harvin played a full 16 games (only time in his career) and hauled in 87 passes for 967 yards and six touchdowns. He also added 51 carries for 342 yards. He should provide solid borderline WR2 numbers (especially in PPR leagues), but the injury risk and fact that Seattle is one of the more run focused offenses in the league will limit Harvin's fantasy upside.