Fantasy Football: Top 5 injuries to keep an eye on for Week 9
By Julian Jimenez
Injuries are part of Fantasy Football, unfortunately. Make sure to adjust your lineups accordingly heading into Week 9 action.
Sep 18, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Kansas City Chiefs running back Charcandrick West (35) runs with the ball during the second quarter against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Considering the nature of the sport, fantasy football owners suffer their own sort of internal non-physical injuries—for the most part. Any freak injury to any of your players can and probably will decimate your entire team.
Related Story: Fantasy Football: Top 10 Sit ‘Em Picks heading into Week 9
However, the good news is, not to sound like we’re cheering for someone’s injury to happen, but with one man’s opportunity gone, another’s presents itself.
With Week 8 in the books, fantasy owners everywhere are absolutely dismantled or pleased with their performances from the past week. As always, Week 9 should promise to be another good one as we get ready to put last week behind us and prepare for the upcoming one.
Without further ado, here’s an injury report heading into Week 9 fantasy football with the top five injuries to keep an eye on.
Next: 5. This Cheesehead could miss a second straight game
Nov 30, 2014; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb (18) catches a pass during the second half against the New England Patriots at Lambeau Field. The Packers won 26-21. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
5. Wide Receiver Randall Cobb – Green Bay Packers
According to the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel, Randall Cobb is “hopeful” to be available for his Sunday’s tilt against the Indianapolis Colts. Cobb has been out since Week 7 when he faced the Chicago Bears’ defense on a Thursday night.
The 26-year old wideout easily had his best of the season then. He had 11 catches for 95 yards and scored a touchdown. He was also implemented in Green Bay’s rushing attack by racking up 21 yards on five carries. It was a great sign to see him get this much workload—especially on a short week.
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However, it was during that same game that he suffered a hamstring injury and has been dealing with it since. It’s a real shame because it appeared that he was just getting hot at the right time for many owners—especially the ones that were patient with the Pro Bowler.
We’re no doctors, but hamstring injuries are always a nuisance and linger for an extended period of time. As of now, he hasn’t been officially ruled out, but he also hasn’t been cleared to play. It looks like it will come down to a game-time decision.
Hopefully, he can get out there and be a factor. He’s arguably the second best option behind Jordy Nelson in that offense. He’ll also get the benefit of facing a vulnerable pass defense that currently ranks 30th in the league, and has allowed 14 receiving touchdowns through seven games.
Next: 4. This safety-net Titan could miss Week 9's tilt
Oct 2, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Tennessee Titans tight end Delanie Walker (82) attempts to make a reception as Houston Texans cornerback A.J. Bouye (21) defends during the third quarter at NRG Stadium. The Texans won 27-20. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
4. Tight End Delanie Walker – Tennessee Titans
Music City Miracles, of SB Nation, reports that the veteran tight end will be game-time decision entering Sunday’s matchup against the San Diego Chargers. The 32-year old suffered a groin injury this past week during practice.
It’s discouraging to see any player on the injury report list during the middle of the week. Let alone a 32-year old. He’s become a real safety net for young quarterback Marcus Mariota. Through eight games he’s caught for 405 yards on 16 catches and has scored three touchdowns. He’s proven this season and in the past that when healthy, he can be a top tight end in fantasy.
Nonetheless, if Walker were to miss Sunday’s game, look for Jace Amaro to get the start in place of Walker. Although with the way Pro Bowl running back DeMarco Murray, and fellow rookie Derrick Henry, have been running as of late, the Titans might opt to run more this week.
Next: 3. Keep an eye on this Buccaneer
Aug 26, 2016; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans (13) celebrates after he scored a touchdown against the Cleveland Browns during the first half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
3. Wide Receiver Mike Evans – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
What a game! Eleven catches for 150 yards and two touchdowns sounds like the work of a star-studded running back in fantasy. However, these numbers are by the third-year receiver Mike Evans in Thursday night’s loss against the Atlanta Falcons.
He alone probably might win a lot of owners’ leagues this week, so that’s the good news. The bad news is that while he still made an effort to tough it out and play a full game, he was forced to leave earlier than expected because of a massive hit by a Falcons’ safety Keanu Neal.
The hit landed the 23-year old on concussion protocol and was unable to return to the game. While again he had a great game, owners will want to pay close attention to this situation. It was a loud and big hit. It was admirable to see the young star take the hit and eat it. However, you have to figure that it did cause a good amount of damage considering how things played out.
He’ll get the liberty of having 10 days before their next game, but depending on the severity of the hit and injury at this point, who knows it’ll cause him to miss time. On a side note, quarterback Jameis Winston was also forced to leave the game early due to a knee injury during a two-point conversion attempt. If Winston were to miss any time, you have to figure this might negatively affect Evans. We’ll see what happens.
Next: 2. The second-year receiver was limited all week in practice
2. Wide Receiver Amari Cooper – Oakland Raiders
Coming off arguably the best game of his young career, the second-year wideout torched the Tampa Bay Buccaneers‘ secondary. He lit up the scoreboard for 173 yards and a touchdown on 12 catches. He and fellow teammate Derek Carr were on the same page and meshed better than spaghetti and meatballs.
However, he suffered a back injury in practice that’s limited him all week. It’s encouraging to see him out there in minimal practices, but it’s a bit worrisome that he’s still listed as questionable heading into Week 9.
They will welcome their divisional foe, the Denver Broncos, to the Black Hole in Oakland—on prime time no less. Both teams are currently 6-2 and this game figures to be a dandy. Owners will want to see what happens this morning. Since it’s a night game, news about his availability may not be reported until the afternoon. That is something that owners should think about when setting their lineups tomorrow. Hopefully, we hear news sooner rather than later.
Next: 1. The Chiefs just can't catch a break this season
Nov 22, 2015; San Diego, CA, USA; Kansas City Chiefs running back Spencer Ware (32) runs as San Diego Chargers free safety Eric Weddle (32) and strong safety Jimmy Wilson (27) defend during the fourth quarter at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
1. Running Back Spencer Ware – Kansas City Chiefs
In what has been a roller coaster of a ride, to say the least, the Kansas City Chiefs running back situation has certainly frustrated fans, the team staff, and of course fantasy owners. Luckily for their sake, they’ve had the fortune to carry three capable tailbacks to get the job done.
Starting with Pro Bowl-running back Jamaal Charles, he’s been a non-factor this season—mainly because he could still be recovering from major knee surgery last offseason. Charles injury opened the door for the next man on the chart, Spencer Ware.
Ware has been really good for the Chiefs and owners who took a late flier on him. He got off to a great start in Week 1 rushing for 70 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries. He also, more notably, caught for 129 yards on seven catches. He of course hasn’t had a similar game like that, but he’s come close and has been reliable for the most part in fantasy.
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He suffered a concussion during Week 8’s tilt against the Indianapolis Colts. He was forced to leave the game in its early stages having only rushed seven times. It’s unfortunate that this happened obviously as Ware was ranked amongst the top 15 running backs in fantasy. Now the next man in line is Charcandrick West. With Ware officially out for Sunday’s game, West figures to see the majority of carries. It’s still important to note that Charles and Ware, while injured, could return sooner than expected.