NFL News & Analysis

Fantasy Football: Injury notes, actives/inactives for Week 9

Detroit Lions running back D'Andre Swift runs the ball against the Washington Commanders during the first half at Ford Field, Sept. 18, 2022. Nfl Washington Commanders At Detroit Lions

• Colts RB Jonathan Taylor out: Head coach Frank Reich says this is a week for Deon Jackson to be the guy, as the Colts aren’t sure if Zack Moss is ready to make a contribution.

• A murky Lions backfield: Even if active, D'Andre Swift can’t be trusted as a top-36 option at the position with a touch floor close to zero. Jamaal Williams is a touchdown-dependent RB2 who should have plenty of chances to find the end zone.

• Only a matter of time: The Bucs offense’s constant group of banged-up pass-catchers has forced TB12 to focus most of his attention on Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. Don’t be surprised if both boom in a meaningful way if/when this passing attack finally caches its stride. 


QB | RB | WR | TE

Quarterback

Player Team Injury Wed Thu Fri Game Status
Aaron Rodgers GB Right Thumb LP LP LP (-)
Derek Carr LV Back FP FP FP (-)
Matt Ryan IND Right Shoulder DNP DNP DNP Out
Ryan Tannehill TEN Ankle LP DNP LP Q
Tom Brady TB Rest (-) DNP FP (-)

Titans QB Ryan Tannehill (ankle, questionable): Wasn’t exactly on the fantasy grid before the injury, but now Tanne is especially risky to trust in any fantasy format. If sidelined, Malik Willis’ uneven debut and impossible Sunday night spot in Arrowhead makes him more of a low-floor QB2 as opposed to someone who should be in single-QB lineups. The shifty dual-threat talent has the sort of rushing upside to be a far better fantasy option than real-life signal-called early in his career, but remember the Titans were more than willing to just give the ball to Derrick Henry nearly every play last week.

Expert Injury Analysis: Tannehill sandwiched a DNP with limited sessions. I am optimistic he will suit up and play in Week 9. 

Packers QB Aaron Rodgers (right thumb, not listed): This issue was clearly bothering Rodgers in Week 7 and perhaps played a role in the Packers choosing to run a lateral play instead of a hail mary on the game’s final snap against the Commanders. Still, the issue shouldn't impact Rodgers’ play-to-play volume; a matchup with the Lions’ league-worst scoring defense is about as good a get-right spot as this offense could hope for.

Expert Injury Analysis: I have no concerns about Rodgers' health. 

Running back

Player Team Injury Wed Thu Fri Game Status
Austin Ekeler LAC Abdomen (-) LP FP (-)
Cam Akers LAR Personal DNP FP FP (-)
Chuba Hubbard CAR Ankle LP LP DNP Out
D'Andre Swift DET Ankle / Shoulder DNP LP LP Q
Damien Harris NE Illness DNP DNP LP Out
Darrel Williams ARZ Hip DNP (-) (-) (-)
Derrick Henry TEN Not Injury Related-Rest LP DNP FP (-)
J.D. McKissic WAS Neck DNP DNP (-) (-)
James Conner ARZ Ribs LP LP LP Q
Jeff Wilson MIA Not Injury Related – Vet Rest LP (-) (-) (-)
Jerick McKinnon KC Shoulder FP FP FP (-)
Jonathan Taylor IND Ankle DNP DNP DNP Out
Pierre Strong NE Hamstring (-) LP LP Q
Raheem Mostert MIA Not Injury Related – Vet Rest LP (-) (-) (-)
Samaje Perine CIN Finger FP FP FP (-)
Taiwan Jones BUF Knee DNP FP FP (-)
Zack Moss IND Not Injury Related – Travel DNP FP FP Out

Colts RB Jonathan Taylor (ankle, out): Head coach Frank Reich says this is a week for Deon Jackson to be the guy, as the Colts aren’t sure if Zack Moss is ready to make a contribution. Jackson posted back-to-back productive performances in Weeks 5 and 6 with Taylor and Nyheim Hines out of the picture, racking up a combined 39 carries and targets with plenty solid snap rates of 58% and 67%. These performances did come in a more pass-happy offense with Matt Ryan under center, though Jackson does project as someone who should see 15-plus touches against a Patriots defense that ranks just 23rd in PPR points allowed per game to opposing running backs. J

ackson deserves mid-tier RB2 treatment alongside guys like D’Onta Foreman, Eno Benjamin and Antonio Gibson. I lean toward the Colts' spot starter over the latter two backs, but I have him behind Foreman.

Expert Injury Analysis: Taylor is going to miss another game after aggravating his ankle in the Colts' matchup against the Commanders.

Falcons RB Cordarrelle Patterson (knee, IR): C-Patt was activated from injured reserve this week. All Patterson did in three healthy games was post PPR RB5, RB52 and RB6 finishes as the Falcons’ bell-cow back. It’s not a given that Patterson returns to his same effectiveness post-injury, just look at last season’s ankle-induced second-half drop-off. That said, he suddenly finds himself inside an offense with far more scoring upside than anticipated. This remains the NFL’s most run-heavy offense since the Rex Ryan-led 2009 Jets. Patterson will immediately be back in the top-15 conversation once healthy enough to return to full action. If sidelined again, Tyler Allgeier and (to a slightly lesser extent) Caleb Huntley can be fired up as viable volume-induced FLEX options against the league’s second-worst defense in PPR points allowed per game to opposing backfields.

Ravens RB Gus Edwards (hamstring): Head coach John Harbaugh said the injury is minor and dubbed Edwards as questionable. It’s plenty possible that fantasy managers don’t know who is available until Monday evening. I would rank Edwards in low-end RB2 territory with the assurance of full health — he’s this low to dissuade fantasy managers from risking that over similar options playing on Sunday. Kenyan Drake would receive a nice 10-plus-spot bump if Gus is ultimately ruled out. Even then, he wouldn’t be a must-start commodity inside an offense always willing to keep multiple backfield parties plenty involved.

Expert Injury Analysis: Edwards suffered a hamstring injury in Week 8, and with the Ravens having a Week 10 bye, I do not expect him to play in Week 9.

Panthers RB Chuba Hubbard (ankle, out): Credit to D’Onta Foreman for last week’s three-touchdown explosion as well as for being the best example of a running back recovering from an Achilles injury in a meaningful way. Still, last week’s 34-point explosion marked the first time all year that this offense eclipsed even 24 points in a game. A more negative game script certainly seems to be on the way, given the Panthers’ status as 7.5-point underdogs to the Bengals. Foreman deserves mid-tier RB2 consideration ahead of guys like Devin Singletary and David Montgomery, who don’t seem to carry the same sort of 20-touch upside that the Panthers are happy to provide to their lead back.

Expert Injury Analysis: Hubbard will miss his second game in a row, but I do expect him to return in Week 10. 

Titans RB Derrick Henry (foot, not listed): Unfortunately, Henry can’t play against the Texans every week, but the Chiefs have allowed 100 total yards and/or a touchdown to him in each of their past four meetings. The biggest issue Sunday night could be the Chiefs building a big lead and game-scripting Henry off the field. But even then, Henry has a higher floor than in past years, thanks to his enhanced pass-game usage. Continue to fire up Henry as a weekly top-five option at the position, regardless of the matchup.

Lions RB D’Andre Swift (ankle/shoulder, questionable): First, head coach Dan Campbell said, “We probably gave Swift one too many carries. He’s not back so maybe give another one of those carries to Jamaal.” Next, Campbell said the plan is to get Swift in the game vs. the Packers and “See where he’s at.” Not exactly the most ringing endorsements, especially with Swift himself noting that he can’t promise he’ll be at 100 percent this year. Even if active, Swift can’t be trusted as a top-36 option at the position with a touch floor close to zero. Jamaal Williams is a touchdown-dependent RB2 who should have plenty of chances to find the end zone. Craig Reynolds and Justin Jackson take most of Swift’s pass-down work when he’s sidelined.

Expert Injury Analysis: Swift will play for the second week in a row, and I believe he will increase his volume compared to last week. He will get healthier and look better as the weeks pass. 

Chargers RB Austin Ekeler (abdomen, not listed): It appears Ekeler’s mid-week addition to the report was merely precautionary. On pace to catch an asinine 129 passes, Ekeler has the most fantasy-friendly workload in the entire game and should continue to flourish against a Falcons defense that had zero answers for D’Onta Foreman on the ground last week.

Expert Injury Analysis: No concerns about Ekeler's performance being hindered by his abdomen. 

Cardinals RB James Conner (ribs, questionable), Darrel Williams (hip, IR): Conner has once again been dubbed a game-time decision. If out, expect Eno Benjamin to again see 15-plus touches and around 70% of the snaps with only Keaontay Ingram also healthy in this backfield. He’d be a quality DFS tournament option, considering how much of the projected ownership is already focused on running backs in the $6,000 range. If in, Conner himself becomes a low-end RB2, tjough limited snaps could be on the table.

Expert Injury Analysis: Conner is a true game-time decision. He has practiced in a limited fashion all week, but he did the same last week and sat out. It doesn't make sense for him to keep missing games unless there is something else to his injury. I am optimistic he plays this week, but if not, I don't see how he doesn't play next week. 

Commanders RB J.D. McKissic (neck, out): Antonio Gibson got the “start” last week, seemingly because he’s been the best running back on this team all season. This is particularly true as a receiver: Gibson has caught 29-of-35 targets for 228 yards and a pair of touchdowns this season, posting elite marks in yards per route run (2.05, No. 3 among 38 qualified backs) and PFF receiving grade (88.1, No. 2) along the way. While Gibson is still expected to cede at least half of the backfield’s carries to Brian Robinson, he’s suddenly in the RB2 mix thanks to the pass-down work on the table. I would start Gibson ahead of guys like Eno Benjamin and Devin Singletary this week, although more clear lead backs like Raheem Mostert and D’Onta Foreman still get the nod from me.

Expert Injury Analysis: McKissic will miss the game with a neck injury. Neck injuries are tricky: it could respond quickly or take significant time. 

Rams RB Cam Akers (personal, not listed) Kyren Williams (foot, IR): Head coach Sean McVay said the team is still working through whether Akers will play Sunday. A similar sentiment has been floated about Williams. Ultimately, nobody in this backfield should be expected to play a featured role inside of this bottom-five offense. I’ll continue to answer the heavy majority of start/sit questions involving a Rams running back with “the other guy.”

Patriots RB Damien Harris (illness, questionable), Pierre Strong (hamstring, questionable): While Harris is certainly still a part of this backfield after being used as little more than a pure backup in Week 7, Rhamondre Stevenson is still managing to lead the way in total carries and (far more importantly) passing-game usage. Fire up Stevenson as a top-12 option at the position, regardless of whether Harris is able to suit up. He’ll be pushing for top-five status should Harris be sidelined. If active, Harris is a touchdown-dependent RB3 in an offense that hasn’t made a habit of racking up fantasy-friendly scoring opportunities all season long.

Expert Injury Analysis: I am not optimistic Harris plays in Week 9 due to his illness. 

Saints RB Mark Ingram (knee): Dealing with a Grade 2 MCL sprain and is expected to miss a few more weeks. Ingram’s absence will continue to help Alvin Kamara rack up big games. Nobody has more expected PPR points per game than Kamara this season — overall RB1 upside is here on a weekly basis. Ingram’s absence could also produce more short-yardage opportunities for Taysom Hill, who racked up a season-high 11 touches last week.

Expert Injury Analysis: Ingram will not play in Week 9, and I expect him to miss three to four weeks due to a Grade 2 MCL sprain. 

Wide receiver

Player Team Injury Wed Thu Fri Game Status
Adam Thielen MIN Knee FP FP FP (-)
Allen Lazard GB Shoulder LP LP LP Q
Christian Watson GB Concussion DNP LP LP Q
Cooper Kupp LAR Ankle DNP LP FP (-)
Corey Davis NYJ Knee DNP DNP DNP Out
Davante Adams LV Illness LP FP FP (-)
DeAndre Carter LAC Illness (-) (-) LP Q
DeVante Parker NE Knee DNP DNP DNP Out
DK Metcalf SEA Knee LP FP FP (-)
Ja'Marr Chase CIN Hip DNP DNP DNP Out
Jahan Dotson WAS Hamstring DNP DNP (-) (-)
Jalen Nailor MIN Illness DNP DNP FP Out
Jamal Agnew JAX Knee LP LP LP Q
Jaylen Waddle MIA Shoulder FP FP FP (-)
Josh Palmer LAC Concussion FP FP FP (-)
Josh Reynolds DET Back LP DNP DNP Out
Julio Jones TB Knee DNP FP FP (-)
Keenan Allen LAC Hamstring DNP DNP DNP Out
Mack Hollins LV Heel LP LP LP (-)
Marquise Goodwin SEA Groin DNP DNP DNP Out
Matthew Slater NE Hamstring LP (-) (-) (-)
Mecole Hardman KC Heel FP FP FP (-)
Mike Evans TB Ankle/Rest LP LP DNP (-)
Mike Williams LAC Ankle DNP DNP DNP Out
Penny Hart SEA Hamstring LP LP LP Q
Rashard Higgins CAR Illness (-) DNP DNP Out
River Cracraft MIA Not Injury Related – Illness DNP DNP DNP Out
Russell Gage TB Hamstring DNP DNP DNP Out
Stanley Morgan CIN Hamstring LP LP FP (-)
Tyler Lockett SEA Hamstring/Ribs LP FP FP (-)
Van Jefferson LAR Knee LP LP LP Q

Rams WR Cooper Kupp (ankle, not listed), Van Jefferson (knee, questionable): Kupp continues to be quite literally the only consistent bright spot on a Rams offense that ranks bottom-five in yards and points. Continue to fire up Kupp as his weekly upside WR1 self, while nobody else other than Tyler Higbee (to an extent) is a recommended start this week. The Buccaneers have allowed the 12th fewest PPR points per game to opposing wide receivers and rank fourth in PFF coverage grade. This probably isn’t the spot to expect Matthew Stafford and company to get right in a meaningful way.

Expert Injury Analysis: Kupp escaped the dreaded high-ankle sprain because his foot did not stay planted. I expect to see the same old Kupp in Week 9. I am optimistic Van Jefferson makes his season debut in Week 9, too.

Ravens WR Rashod Bateman (foot, IR): The only fantasy viable wide receiver in Baltimore is Devin Duvernay. Even then, he’s failed to catch a touchdown since Week 3 and hasn’t gained even 55 receiving yards in a game this season. Duvernay is a viable low-end WR3 with six teams on bye this week, but this Ravens passing game hasn’t had too much available meat on the bone in recent weeks. Overall, Lamar Jackson and company have produced fewer than 225 passing yards in all but one game this season.

Expert Injury Analysis: Bateman will miss the rest of the season, as he is now scheduled to undergo surgery. 

Saints WR Michael Thomas (foot/toe, IR), Jarvis Landry (ankle): Thomas will miss the remainder of the season, while Landry looks close to returning to action for the first time since Week 4. Landry isn’t a bad bench stash in the hopes that he’s fully healthy, but for this week, Chris Olave remains the only recommended start from this group. Olave’s PPR WR42 finish in Week 8 marked the first time that he finished outside the position’s top-18 highest scorers since Week 2. Don’t be surprised if Olave flirts with an upper-end outcome against a Ravens secondary that has been dreadful against the deep ball this season.

Expert Injury Analysis: Thomas will likely miss the rest of the season as he is undergoing surgery for a dislocated toe. Landry has practiced in a limited fashion all week and is trending in the right direction. I am optimistic he plays in Week 9. 

Bengals WR Ja’Marr Chase (hip, out): Chase is expected to miss four to six weeks. While Mike Thomas takes his place in three-WR sets, expect Joe Burrow to concentrate his target volume on Tee Higgins, Tyler Boyd and Hayden Hurst instead of pretending Thomas is Chase. Higgins is an every-week WR1, while Boyd and (to a slightly lesser extent) Hurst get serious boosts inside of a passing attack that has been cooking with gas recently. Boyd is a legit top-20 option this week and someone I would start ahead of guys like Michael Pittman and JuJu Smith-Schuster, among others.

Expert Injury Analysis: Chase will miss the second week of his four-to-six-week timeline. 

Buccaneers WR Mike Evans (ankle, not listed), Julio Jones (knee, not listed), Russell Gage (hamstring, out): Jones ran a route on a good-not-great 56% of Tom Brady’s dropbacks last week. Meanwhile, Chris Godwin has the second-most targets of any wide receiver since returning to action in Week 4, and Evans is tied for third right behind him. The offense’s constant group of banged-up pass-catchers has forced TB12 to focus most of his attention on Evans and Godwin. Don’t be surprised if both boom in a meaningful way if/when this passing attack finally caches its stride. 

Helping matters for Evans is the fact that Rams CB Jalen Ramsey hasn’t been asked to track a specific receiver all game this season despite regularly doing so in the past. This has included matchups with clear-cut No. 1 receivers seemingly deserving of the treatment, including Stefon Diggs, CeeDee Lamb and D.J. Moore. While Evans has been a constant shadow target of Ramsey over the years, the Rams didn’t assign this matchup in Week 3 last season. They did in the NFC Championship game, but I lean toward the former scenario playing out here due to the aforementioned point that Ramsey hasn’t been asked to shadow anybody so far this season.

Expert Injury Analysis: No concerns about Evans or Jones. Gage is likely dealing with a Grade 1 hamstring strain, and return-to-play is typically one to three weeks. 

Chargers WR Keenan Allen (hamstring, out), Mike Wiliams (ankle, out), Josh Palmer (concussion, not listed), DeAndre Carter (illness, questionable): Palmer is the only recommended start in this wide receiver room. Even then, don’t get carried away, as he’s benefited from Allen being sidelined virtually all season already and has traded three solid finishes as the PPR WR31, WR25 and WR22 with three complete duds as the WR87, WR79 and WR74. Still, the Falcons’ banged-up secondary has allowed more PPR points per game to the position than anybody. Palmer is a volume-based upside WR3 with the sort of matchup that Justin Herbert *should* be able to exploit. DeAndre Carter and Michael Bandy are WR4 types who make for better low-priced DFS darts than FLEX plays.

Expert Injury Analysis: Allen continues to deal with his hamstring injury and is ruled out yet again. At this point, the Chargers need to be cautious and make sure he is 100% before he practices, or he will keep aggravating the injury. I would not be shocked to see him miss next week, too. Williams will miss multiple weeks with a high-ankle sprain, and typical return-to-play timeline is four to six weeks. 

Raiders WR Davante Adams (illness, not listed), Mack Hollins (heel, not listed): Extremely negative game script seemed to be a bigger issue in Adams running a route on just 65% of Derek Carr’s dropbacks last week, but his back-to-back full practices to end the week also seem to reflect that he’s far closer to 100% this time around. Adams’ combination of elite volume and talent makes him a weekly top-10 option in fantasy land, regardless of whichever mere mortal is assigned to slowing him down, while Hollins is a low-key solid FLEX option for WR-needy teams dealing with bye-armageddon thanks to his every-down role and expected shadow matchup against Tre Herndon, PFF’s 87th-graded corner out of 122 qualified defensive backs.

Expert Injury Analysis: No limitations for Adams or Hollins in Week 9. 

Jets WR Corey Davis (knee, out): Absence leaves Garrett Wilson, Denzel Mims and Braxton Berrios as the expected starters in three-WR sets, although Jeff Smith and Elijah Moore figure to mix in a bit, as well. None are recommended starts inside a passing game fully expected to be suffocated by Von Miller and company this week.

Expert Injury Analysis: Davis will miss another week with his knee injury, but I believe he is close to returning. I am optimistic he plays in Week 10. 

Bears WR Chase Claypool (trade): Head coach Matt Eberflus said that Claypool will play between 10 and 35 snaps. Even if Claypool gets closer to the latter number, the bigger problem with expecting any sort of fantasy-relevant upside is simple: This offense doesn’t want to throw the ball. Credit to Justin Fields for ripping off four consecutive top-12 fantasy finishes. He still hasn’t reached even 210 passing yards in a game this season. Darnell Mooney is easily the Bears’ No. 1 pass-game option with 44 targets, a mark that would rank fourth on the Steelers this season and nearly tied for fifth with George Pickens. Only Titans wide receivers have collectively had fewer expected PPR points than the Bears. Mooney and Claypool are good real-life wide receivers with horrific fantasy football volume, making both non-recommended starts even in a winnable matchup against Xavien Howard and company.

Seahawks WR Tyler Lockett (hamstring/ribs, not listed), D.K. Metcalf (knee, not listed), Marquise Goodwin (groin, out): Lockett continues to play through the pain, while Metcalf also looked like his usual dominant self last week despite being a game-time decision. Both are set up well against PFF’s second-worst defense in terms of team coverage grade. Lockett and Metcalf are both top-15 options at the position inside of a potential shootout. The Seahawks-Cardinals’ game total of 49 points is the third-highest mark in Week 9.

Expert Injury Analysis: No limitations for Lockett or Metcalf in Week 9. Goodwin is dealing with a groin strain, Grade 1 return-to-play timeline is typically two to three weeks. 

Packers WR Allen Lazard (shoulder, questionable), Christian Watson (concussion, questionable): With Lazard sidelined and Watson out for all but six plays, the Packers rolled with Romeo Doubs and Sammy Watkins as their two primary receivers last week. Amari Rodgers and Samori Toure also figure to continue to mix in. The return of either Lazard or Watson would lower Doubs’ projection a tad, although the mouth-watering matchup against the Lions’ 32nd-ranked scoring defense would still keep the rookie wide receiver on the WR3 map. He’ll be ranked awfully close to Lazard if both are healthy and expected to play their usual full-time roles.

Expert Injury Analysis: I am optimistic Lazard returns from his shoulder injury in Week 9. Watson has been progressing through the five-step protocol but not getting a full practice on Friday usually would mean that he won't be able to play.

Commanders WR Jahan Dotson (hamstring, out): Expect Taylor Heinicke to continue to focus most of his attention on Terry McLaurin and Curtis Samuel. The former receiver is coming off back-to-back big games, though Samuel could be the one due for a target boom considering fellow low-aDOT competition J.D. McKissic (neck, out) is also sidelined.

Expert Injury Analysis: Dotson continues to deal with a hamstring injury and likely is a week or two away. 

Lions WR Josh Reynolds (back, doubtful): Look for the Lions to lean on multiple parties alongside Amon-Ra St. Brown and Kalif Raymond, who are both cemented as full-time receivers ahead of the Lions-Packers’ potential shootout. Obviously, the Sun God is a top-10 fantasy receiver and should be in fantasy lineups of all shapes and sizes. Raymond also projects as a low-key solid FLEX option — he’s posted 3-28-0, 5-45-0, 5-75-0 and 3-76-0 receiving lines over the past four weeks while playing at least half of the offense’s snaps for the first time all season.

Expert Injury Analysis: Reynolds is dealing with a back issue, and I am pessimistic he plays in Week 9. 

Chiefs WR Kadarius Toney (phantom hamstring, not listed): Coach Andy Reid would only say, “We’ll try to work him in. He picks things up fairly easily.” For now, JuJu Smith-Schuster and Marques Valdes-Scantling remain the clear-cut top-two fantasy receivers. Toney’s presence is a far bigger obstacle for Mecole Hardman and Skyy Moore. The whole group is set up well on Sunday night football against a Titans defense that has allowed the sixth-most PPR points per game to opposing wide receivers.

Patriots WR DeVante Parker (knee, out): The absence locks Tyquan Thornton and Kendrick Bourne into three-WR sets alongside Jakobi Meyers, who is quietly the WR13 in PPR points per game this season. Meyers is a target hog in an offense with fewer places to go with the ball than ever. The overall offensive upside at hand isn’t great, yet Meyers has found the end zone three times in his last four games. Still not sold? Ace Colts CB Stephon Gilmore has made a habit of tracking the opposition’s No. 1 receiver all season, although he’s only spent three total snaps in the slot. This defense ranks just 27th in contested target rate against slot wide receivers — fire up Meyers as the legit WR2 he’s been for most of 2022.

Expert Injury Analysis: Parker's knee injury has cost him Week 9, and he could miss the next week or two. 

Jaguars WR Jamal Agnew (knee, questionable): Only a part-time gadget player in this offense who isn’t a realistic fantasy option due to volume concerns.

Expert Injury Analysis: N/A

Tight end

Player Team Injury Wed Thu Fri Game Status
Brock Wright DET Concussion Protocol DNP LP FP Q
C.J. Uzomah NYJ Shoulder LP LP FP (-)
Cameron Brate TB Neck LP LP LP Out
Cole Turner WAS Concussion LP FP (-) (-)
Darren Waller LV Hamstring LP LP LP Out
Donald Parham LAC Hamstring FP DNP DNP Out
Durham Smythe MIA Hamstring LP LP LP (-)
Jody Fortson KC Quad / Illness DNP DNP DNP Out
Logan Thomas WAS Calf LP LP (-) (-)
Marcedes Lewis GB NIR – Vet Rest (-) DNP FP (-)
Noah Fant SEA Hamstring LP LP FP (-)
Stephen Sullivan CAR Illness DNP DNP DNP D
Tanner Conner MIA Knee LP LP LP Q

Ravens TE Mark Andrews (knee, shoulder): Coach John Harbaugh did say Andrews’ shoulder injury is not a “major thing,” although the team’s Week 10 bye could perhaps lead to them being extra cautious.

Fantasy managers need to be careful here, considering the Ravens face off against the Saints on Monday night football. And Likely will be a legit top-five option at the position should Andrews miss time. The only tight ends I would confidently start ahead of him are Travis Kelce, Dallas Goedert, Zach Ertz and probably Kyle Pitts.

From PFF’s post-preseason breakdown on Likely, who earned the position’s highest PFF preseason grade (92.2):

“Isaiah Likely had a dream preseason, making the kind of impact where it is immediately clear his general draft evaluation was well off the mark. The focus for Likely was on his blocking deficiencies, but it should have been on just how good and polished he is at every aspect of receiving. Likely caught all 12 passes thrown his way including four contested targets. He averaged almost six yards after the catch and broke seven tackles with the ball in his hands. Likely still may not be the best blocker in the world, but he can be an impactful secondary pass-catching option within the Ravens' offense.”

The reality that Rashod Bateman (foot) is already sidelined means that Likely should be considered the favorite to lead this offense in targets should Andrews be ruled out. Credit to the Saints for allowing the second-fewest PPR points per game to opposing tight ends this season, but Likely’s combination of elite volume and promising talent is enough to outweigh the tough matchup.

Expert Injury Analysis: Andrews is dealing with multiple injuries, and the Ravens have a Week 10 bye. It is in their best long-term interest to sit Andrews in Week 9. 

Raiders TE Darren Waller (hamstring, questionable): Managed to practice in a limited fashion all week. If active, Waller’s talent and weekly potential for big volume will make it hard to rank him outside of the position’s top-five options despite his uneven start to the season. If out, Foster Moreau figures to again play a near-every-down role and work as a touchdown-dependent TE2.

Expert Injury Analysis: Waller was limited last week as well, so it is hard to know what it means. If he doesn't make it back this week, I expect him back in Week 10. 

Jets TE C.J. Uzomah (shoulder, not listed): Uzomah doesn’t have more than two targets in a game all season and hasn’t prohibited Tyler Conklin from keeping on keeping on as the offense’s clear-cut No. 1 pass-game option at the position. Continue to fire up Conklin as a touchdown-dependent TE2 inside of an offense not expected to score many touchdowns this week. Only the Titans and Texans are implied to score fewer points than the Jets in Week 9.

Expert Injury Analysis: No concerns for Uzomah in Week 9. 

Saints TE Adam Trautman (ankle): Taysom Hill could be forced to play more than ever if both Trautman and Mark Ingram (knee) are ultimately ruled out. Hill has a higher ceiling than most “tight ends” thanks to his goal-line wizardry, but note that the Saints play on Monday night so fantasy managers might not get much of a chance to fully know who will be active. Hill is a top-eight option at the position this week, although I’d still prefer guys like Gerald Everett or Isaiah Likely (if Mark Andrews is out).

Expert Injury Analysis: Trautman was a DNP all week but a limited participant on Friday. Saturday is important for his Monday night availability. 

Lions TE Brock Wright (concussion protocol, questionable): Expected to work as the Lions’ full-time tight end with T.J. Hockenson now playing for the Vikings. Still, a committee is plenty possible, and even a full-time role might not produce much volume, considering Wright has only been targeted six times in 181 snaps this season. There are better mid-tier TE2 options like Cade Otton and Foster Moreau (if Darren Waller is out).

Expert Injury Analysis: Wright was a full participant on Friday, which shows that he is progressing through the five-step protocol well. I am optimistic Wright plays in Week 9.

Seahawks TE Noah Fant (hamstring, not listed): Fant has just one game with more than five targets anyway and is always a risk of losing significant reps to Will Dissly and Colby Parkinson. Even at 100%, Fant wouldn’t be more than a low-end TE2. Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf remain the only fantasy-viable pass-catchers inside of the Seahawks’ fourth-ranked scoring offense.

Expert Injury Analysis: I expect no limitations for Fant in Week 9. 

Buccaneers TE Cameron Brate (neck, out): Cade Otton will once again play a near full-time role. He’s posted elite 94%, 81% and 91% snap rates in his last three featured appearances, getting seven, five and five targets along the way. While Otton isn’t quite a top-12 option at the position, he’s a quality low-cost DFS play and someone TE-needy rosters can rely on and at least expect a full-time role.

Expert Injury Analysis: Brate is out again with a neck injury. Neck injuries are tricky — they can be a short-term or long-term problems. 

Commanders TE Logan Thomas (calf, not listed), Cole Turner (concussion, not listed): Faulty health makes Thomas a can’t-trust fantasy option despite his demonstrated ability to play a true every-snap role when asked. Expect Armani Rogers and John Bates to both stay plenty involved. I’d rather play someone like Cade Otton or Foster Moreau (if Darren Waller is out) than Thomas.

Expert Injury Analysis: No concerns about Thomas or Turner for Week 9. 

Chargers TE Donald Parham (hamstring, out): The Chargers will continue to rotate multiple tight ends, but it’s going to be tough for them not to feature Gerald Everett in the passing game with Keenan Allen (hamstring, out) and Mike Williams (ankle, out) also out of the picture. Everett is a legit top-eight option at the position this week ahead of guys like T.J. Hockenson, Robert Tonyan and Hayden Hurst.

Expert Injury Analysis: Parham aggravated his hamstring injury. I expect him to miss this week and next. 

Other

Bengals secondary: CB Chidobe Awuzie (knee, out), CB Mike Hilton (finger, out), CB Tre Flowers (hamstring, questionable) and CB Eli Apple (hamstring) will return. This leaves D.J. Moore to feast against the same group of backups that Amari Cooper just dusted to the tune of 5-131-1 on only seven targets. Moore is back in the position’s top-20 thanks to another solid matchup alongside truly fantastic expected volume.

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