It’s only Saturday, but now is the perfect time to start putting the finishing touches on your week 8 fantasy football lineup. Remember that the weekend is a two-day fantasy lineup race, however, as game-day calls can mess up roles and performances for more than just the listed injured players.
We’re rolling on with our weekly take on injuries, role changes, and hot/cold fantasy matchups. Hit the goods below for some analysis and advice on some sticky situations, and feel free to comment or hit me up on twitter @NFLSoupKevin for some personal/specific help this week.
And here we go:
Blaine Gabbert, QB, Jacksonville Jaguars (Shoulder)
Not that you’re using Gabbert with confidence in fantasy leagues, but it does look like his torn labrum in his non-throwing shoulder won’t prevent him from playing this week. But that doesn’t mean you should use him.
Jake Locker, QB, Tennessee Titans (Shoulder)
Locker is out again this week, giving at least one more start to Matt Hasselbeck. Ol’ baldy hasn’t been killing it statistically, but he hasn’t been bad, either. He’s not the worst fill-in passer against a shaky Colts defense this week.
Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars (Foot)
MJD is out this week and possibly a lot longer with a bum foot. Rashad Jennings got 28 total touches in his absence last week, and the Jags will surely try to repeat that number this week against the Packers. He’s a low-end RB2 with a tough road matchup.
Trent Richardson, RB, Cleveland Browns (Ribs)
T-Rich got benched last week due to sore ribs and ineffectiveness, but word on the Pat Shurmur trail is that he looks “much better” than last week, and is expected to play. Use him if you absolutely need him, but I’d be looking for healthier options with the Browns facing a tough Chargers run D.
DeMarco Murray, RB, Dallas Cowboys (Ankle)
Murray will miss another week, which likely means Felix Jones gets the start again. Jones has been having health issues himself (huge shocker there), but would be a suitable RB2 if he’s fully ready for another start.
Ahmad Bradshaw, RB, New York Giants (Foot)
Bradshaw is having foot problems. Again. Call Rex Ryan and stop the press. I feel like I’ve heard all of this before. That said, he should be fine to face the Cowboys this week, and really the guy just keeps getting the job done. But with that said, I think selling him high would be a solid move.
Felix Jones, RB, Dallas Cowboys (Knee)
Jones is a bit shaky for this week, but all signs do point to him starting for the injured DeMarco Murray. Be sure to stay on top of his status, and if for some reason he doesn’t go, Phillip Tanner makes for a solid spot-fill.
Rashard Mendenhall, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers (Achilles)
Mendy is out this week as the Steelers will play it safe with his sore Achilles. Isaac Redman is also iffy, which should mean for another quality workload for Jonathan Dwyer.
Greg Jennings, WR, Green Bay Packers (Groin)
Jennings is scheduled to have surgery on his annoying groin and is out for several more weeks. Keep playing those Packers receivers.
Calvin Johnson, WR, Detroit Lions (Knee)
Johnson being on the injury report is almost always a formality. It’s extremely doubtful that he’s in any real danger of missing week eight. Just check in before you finalize your roster to be sure, though.
Jordy Nelson, WR, Green Bay Packers (Hamstring)
Last word on Nelson is that he will remain a game-time call on Sunday. It looks like his hamstring still isn’t 100% after tweaking it a bit earlier this week. Green Bay probably wants to see him in pre-game warm-ups, so you’ll have to play this one down to the wire. Randall Cobb and James Jones could have a field day if he sits.
Pierre Garcon, WR, Washington Redskins (Foot)
Garcon is out again this week, but the good news is he’s at least doing all he can to put off surgery. Santana Moss and Leonard Hankerson will continue to benefit the most from his absence.
Danny Amendola, WR, St. Louis Rams (Clavicle)
Amendola is already practicing again and honest to God has a chance at facing the Patriots this week. It’s crazy, but true. I still wouldn’t trust him in his first game, back, though.
Jimmy Graham, TE, New Orleans Saints (Ankle)
Graham missed last week and is once again scheduled to be a game-time call. He’s much more likely to suit up this week, but the Saints play when it’s past my bed-time on Sunday (no, not really), so you’ll have to make a decision on him before you want to.
Aaron Hernandez, TE, New England Patriots (Ankle)
Jonathan Stewart, RB, Carolina Panthers
The Panthers are falling apart as we speak basically, but on top of dumping their GM the night of the prom, they’re also making a last ditch effort to completely change up their offense. Not so sure it will produce fireworks against the Bears, but traveling word suggests Stewart is the new feature back. At the very worst, that means he’ll get a good amount of touches. Consider him a low-end RB2 with some upside this week, and steer clear of DeAngelo Williams if you can.
Redskins Wide Receivers
So, Pierre Garcon can’t be trusted, but can any other Washington receivers? Not consistently, no, but I’m betting the ‘Skins will take to the air more than they run it against the Steelers this week – simply out of necessity. The guy with the ppr value here will be Leonard Hankerson, but I like Santana Moss more as the big play threat. I know, I find saying that sentence out loud a little funny, too.
The Monster Matchup
The Versus Birthus
Oh, snap, I just added a new section to my super fantasticome (that’s fantastic and awesome, married at last) fantasy advice column. Yes, that just happened, and I’m taking some of the toughest matchups on your fantasy lineups and deciding who to play. Naturally, for the 939 matchups I don’t cover, feel free to ask me below or on Twitter.
Cam Newton, QB, Carolina Panthers vs. Matthew Stafford, QB, Detroit Lions
I know Fig Newton is facing the daunting Bears, but I trust his versatility more than Stafford and his matchup with the Seahawks. Both appear to be poor plays this week, but at least Newton offers some upside.
Alex Green, RB, Green Bay Packers vs. Rashad Jennings, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars
Both guys are touches machines right now. MJD is out and Jennings is the man in Jax right now, which means both Green and Jennings are real candidates for 20+ touches. I prefer Jennings, however, as he’s more apt to actually do something with his role.
James Jones, WR, Green Bay Packers vs. Randall Cobb, WR, Green Bay Packers
Jones is the guy scoring touchdowns, but Cobb scores a bit too and seems to have a more defined role: aka, get that dude the ball. I think Cobb carries more potential and if (or even if not) Jordy Nelson hits the shelf this week, I think Cobb has a chance to really blow up. And Jones’ run of scores has to end sooner or later, right?
Jacob Tamme, TE, Denver Broncos vs. Joel Dreessen, TE, Denver Broncos
Two Broncos tight ends, and I’m not sure one really has to be the loser here – especially with Denver facing a terrible Saints defense. Tamme is your man for ppr leagues and Dreessen is much more likely to score. Not sure it gets much easier than that.
That does it for the week 8 last second decisions column. Hit me up below or on Twitter for further fantasy advice, and good luck this week!