There were more big injuries in Week 8. As always, injuries play a crucial role when it comes to constructing our fantasy lineups. Here’s the status of players with the most interest to the fantasy community after the second weekend of NFL games:
Ben Roethlisberger, QB Steelers – The Steelers expect Roethlisberger to start Sunday. He returned to practice on Monday which puts Big Ben on track to be under center against the Ravens just two weeks after meniscus surgery. If Roethlisberger isn’t ready, Landry Jones will get the nod versus Baltimore. Big Ben’s return would obviously be a big fantasy upgrade to the Steelers skill position players.
Alex Smith, QB Chiefs – Smith left Sunday’s game against the Colts on two separate occasions with a possible concussion. The Chiefs insist Smith doesn’t have a concussion but was held out against the Colts because he was put in the league’s protocol on two different occasions. Smith is expected to start on Sunday against the Jaguars. At least he should start considering the Chiefs don’t believe he suffered a concussion in the first place.
Jamaal Charles, RB Chiefs – Charles was inactive Sunday. He’s going to visit Dr. James Andrews to get his surgically repaired knee checked out. Charles remains out indefinitely and there’s a chance we don’t see him again this season. Fantasy owners shouldn’t depend on him.
Tevin Coleman, RB Falcons – Coleman missed Sunday’s game against the Packers with a hamstring injury. He’s considered week-to-week and unlikely to play Thursday night against the Buccaneers. Devonta Freeman will remain the lead back with Terron Ward seeing 8-10 touches as well.
Matt Jones, RB Redskins – Jones missed Sunday’s game against the Bengals with a knee injury. He’ll have the bye week to get healthy. If Jones still isn’t ready to play in Week 10, Rob Kelley will once again be the workhorse with Chris Thompson handling the passing back duties.
LeSean McCoy, RB Bills – McCoy was inactive on Sunday with a hamstring injury. The Bills are hoping the week off will give McCoy enough time to rest his hamstring and he’ll be able to return against the Seahawks. If not, Mike Gillislee will get the start again. Gillislee ran for 85 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries (7.1 YPC) against the Patriots Sunday.
Jerick McKinnon, RB Vikings – McKinnon missed Monday night’s game against the Bears with an ankle injury. He’s listed as week-to-week. If McKinnon isn’t ready to play against the Lions, Matt Asiata will handle most of the touches.
DeMarco Murray, RB Titans – Murray injured his toe against the Jaguars last Thursday. He left the game for a while but did return. Murray had an MRI but it came back negative. His practice reps will be monitored this week. Murray is expected to play against the Chargers. If Murray re-injures his toe, Derrick Henry becomes a weekly RB1 in the Titans offense.
Jacquizz Rodgers, RB Buccaneers – Rodgers suffered a sprained foot late in Sunday’s loss to the Raiders. He was seen in a walking boot and isn’t likely to play Thursday night. A committee of Antone Smith, Peyton Barber and Mike James will fight for snaps in the Buccaneers backfield.
Spencer Ware, RB Chiefs – Ware suffered a concussion Sunday against the Colts. He’s now in the league’s concussion protocol. If Ware doesn’t get cleared by Sunday, Charcandrick West will start against the lowly Jaguars rush defense. West will be a high-end RB2 in that matchup.
Travis Benjamin, WR Chargers – Benjamin has been dealing with a PCL injury that’s limited him in practice. He’s going for a second opinion on the injury. Already down Keenan Allen and Danny Woodhead for the season, the Chargers can’t afford to lose Benjamin as well for a significant amount of time.
Randall Cobb, WR Packers – Cobb missed Sunday’s game against the Lions with a hamstring injury. He should be considered questionable for this week’s matchup with the Colts. If both Cobb and Ty Montgomery are out again, Davante Adams will dominate targets for the third week in a row.
Ty Montgomery, WR Packers – Montgomery missed Sunday’s game against the Falcons due to an illness related to his sickle cell trait. Montgomery hopes to return this week but it’s far from a given. Fantasy owners should have another option ready to go in case Montgomery is out another week.
Jacob Tamme, TE Falcons – Tamme left Sunday’s game against the Packers with a shoulder injury. Falcons coach Dan Quinn said he doesn’t believe the injury is serious but Tamme will miss Thursday night’s game versus the Buccaneers. Rookie Austin Hooper will make his first career start.