The NFL is back for Week 8, and we’ll pick up after a fairly quiet defensive affair on Thursday Night Football to open the week. The Vikings edged out Washington behind another monster performance from Dalvin Cook. Stefon Diggs had a strong game in spite of a less than stellar outing from Kirk Cousins.
We’re continuing with another lopsided week of football. We get nine games in the 1:00 hour, and then three in the 4:05/4:25 slot. This week’s byes include the Baltimore Ravens and Dallas Cowboys. That removes some big names from the picture, including quarterbacks Lamar Jackson and Dak Prescott, running backs Ezekiel Elliott and Mark Ingram, wide receiver Amari Cooper, and tight end Mark Andrews.
There are plenty of notable names on the injury reports and lineups will be dependent on 11:30 a.m. inactives. We get Drew Brees back while Matt Ryan has been ruled out with a sprained ankle. If you’re trying to figure out your fantasy football lineups, this information is critical to getting the right players in the right spots. If you’ve got key players in the Sunday Night Football or Monday Night Football slots, you’re looking for any grain of information that will help you make the decision early rather than waiting until it’s too late tonight or tomorrow night.
We’re all figuring out last minute roster decisions, and that means not only who is not playing this week, but who is playing but might not be the best start in your Week 8 fantasy football lineup. We’ll provide updates on injuries, key start/sit decisions, and more leading up to kickoffs.
Davante Adams inactive for SNF
The Packers will be without wide receiver Davante Adams for at least one more week. He was declared inactive for Week 8 Sunday Night Football. Adam Schefter reported earlier in the day that the hope is Adams can return for Week 9. Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Geronimo Allison are both active and were not on the team’s final injury report. It bodes well for their chances of reclaiming more work from Jake Kumerow and Allen Lazard
Tyrell Williams, Josh Jacobs are ACTIVE
The Raiders welcome back Williams who missed the team’s last two games (over three weeks) with plantar fasciitis. His return could cut into Darren Waller’s target-load, but given the potential shootout in Houston, there’s still plenty of fantasy value for both pass catchers.
Meanwhile, Jacobs was a question mark with a shoulder injury, but is active. He’ll get plenty of work in this one.
Rex Burkhead is ACTIVE
The Patriots announced their Week 8 inactives, and running back Rex Burkhead is active for the first time in a month. Burkhead has been dealing with a foot injury but is finally healthy enough to play. He will likely cut into both Sony Michel and James White’s fantasy potential. Michel is the standard league option while White is the PPR option. Burkhead will cut into White’s targets, and potentially cut into Michel’s carry total. He might be worked in slowly, but if he’s good to go, this three-headed monster becomes a little more difficult for fantasy football owners.
Marquise Goodwin inactive for 49ers, Emmanuel Sanders to debut
The 49ers have deactivated Marquise Goodwin due to a personal matter. In the meantime, they welcome Emmanuel Sanders to town to make his debut following a trade from the Broncos. Sanders immediately becomes the 49ers best receiver, boosting depth at one of their weakest positions. He faces a tough test right out of the gate against a solid Panthers defense. The 49ers ground game has struggled a bit since Kyle Juszczyk got hurt, so we could see Jimmy Garoppolo targeting Sanders early and often in Week 8.
Rex Burkhead expected to play in Week 8
The Patriots expect to have running back Rex Burkhead active for Week 8 against the Cleveland Browns, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter. He has missed three games with a foot injury. If active, he cuts into James White in the passing game and Sony Michel in the ground game. All three are solid starts against a shaky Browns team, but ceilings lower a bit.
Keenan Allen ACTIVE but on limited snap count
Allen missed some practice this week with a hamstring injury, but will play in Week 8 in spite of a questionable tag. Chargers reporter Eric Williams is reporting that Allen will likely be on a limited snap count vs. the Bears. If you have healthier fantasy football options this week you should use them. Allen is still a big play threat, but it sounds like one wrong move could end his day earlier than we might like.
Week 8 inactive reports
WR Christian Kirk
WR Keenan Allen
TE Jack Doyle
WR Dede Westbrook
TE Noah Fant
RB Rex Burkhead
RB Josh Jacobs
WR Tyrell Williams
QB Matt Ryan
RB Justin Jackson
RB David Johnson
WR DeSean Jackson
TE Chris Herndon
TE Delanie Walker
WR A.J. Green
WR Marquise Goodwin
Christian Kirk expected to play
The Cardinals will have Kirk back in the lineup against the Saints, according to Ian Rapoport. Kirk has missed three games with an ankle injury after opening the season as a solid target for Kyler Murray. The Saints defense is solid, but this could turn into a shootout for Arizona. Kirk is a PPR start, standard sit in Week 8 fantasy football.
Davante Adams to remain sidelined
The Packers will be without their leading pass catcher in Week 8 as he continues rehabbing a turf toe injury. Adam Schefter is reporting that he is not going to play, but the hope is that he returns in Week 9 against the Los Angeles Chargers. In his absence, Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Geronimo Allison are the names to watch. They have struggled with injuries in recent weeks, but both were removed from the final injury report. Jake Kumerow and Allen Lazard were getting a lot of opportunities, with those should go down with MVS and Allison mostly healthy again.
Drew Brees to play
It’s been a quick turnaround for Brees since tearing a ligament in his throwing thumb. He is set to return according to virtually every national news source. He replaces Teddy Bridgewater who helped lead the Saints to a five-game winning streak in Brees’ absence. Brees is an upgrade in the passing game, but it’s hard to see Michael Thomas performing much better with Brees instead of Bridgewater. Brees’ return would seem to upgrade more of the periphery weapons.
Matt Ryan ruled out
The Falcons QB was questionable heading into the weekend, but the team formally ruled him out on Saturday afternoon. Matt Schaub will start in his place. Schaub is a downgrade, although you’ll still start Julio Jones and Austin Hooper. Devonta Freeman is a solid start as well, but we’ll see what Schaub means for Calvin Ridley — particularly now that Mohamed Sanu is no longer on the team.
David Johnson will not play
The Cardinals running back struggled to get back to practice this week, and although he is listed as questionable, he will not play, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. In his absence, Chase Edmonds gets the start against the Saints and is a must-start in all fantasy leagues. Schefter is reporting Johnson will miss this game and Thursday’s game against the 49ers.
Josh Jacobs, Tyrell Williams expected to play
The Raiders will have some key weapons on the field as they face the high-flying Texans. Josh Jacobs was questionable with an shoulder injury and Tyrell Williams was questionable with a foot injury, but both are expected to play, according to NFL Network reporter Ian Rapoport. Williams missed last week’s game and their London game due to a foot injury.