Injuries are an unfortunate part of the game and their impact can destroy a well-constructed fantasy football roster in a hurry. Fortunately, unless you’re in a best-ball league, fantasy managers have the chance to hit the waiver wire and overcome untimely injuries.
Let’s break down the fantasy-relevant injuries ahead of Week 9 and how fantasy managers can forge ahead.
Week 9 NFL byes: Detroit Lions, Seattle Seahawks, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Washington Football Team
Derrick Henry (RB) Tennessee Titans – The biggest injury of the season, Henry is expected to miss the remainder of the regular season with a broken bone in his foot. Henry suffered the injury early in Week 8 and toughed through it but an MRI revealed surgery would be necessary and put the league’s best running back on the shelf indefinitely. Obviously a devastating blow, the Titans quickly signed Adrian Peterson to take some of the early-down work and Jeremy McNichols is now a legitimate RB3/flex option in PPR formats.
Christian McCaffrey (RB) Carolina Panthers – Out since hurting his hamstring back in Week 3, McCaffrey is eligible to come off of IR this week and Matt Rhule has expressed optimism that CMC will be able to suit up against the Patriots. More likely, they’ll err on the side of caution and bring back McCaffrey in Week 10 but we’ll update this situation later this week in Discord.
Dak Prescott (QB) Dallas Cowboys – As last week progressed, Prescott’s status became more cloudy until he was ultimately ruled out of the Cowboys’ Week 8 victory against Minnesota. Now woking on close to three full week’s of rest, Prescott is considered more likely to play in Week 9 but we’ll keep an eye on his health as his practice reps are ramped up later on this week.
Deebo Samuel (WR) San Francisco 49ers – Samuel had a calf injury in Chicago and is expected to be limited throughout the week in practice. As of now, the calf injury isn’t considered serious or anticipated to be an issue for Samuel’s Week 9 availability against the Cardinals.
Elijah Mitchell (RB) San Francisco 49ers – Samuel’s teammate Elijah Mitchell dinged his ribs in Week 8 and could also be limited in practice. The rib ailemnt shouldn’t keep Mitchell out Week 9, so expect a full workload against Arizona. The Niners also activated Jeff Wilson (knee) off IR and Wilson could be cleared to join the San Francisco backfield in the next three weeks.
Taysom Hill (QB) New Orleans Saints – Hill is still in the league’s concussion protocol but is tentatively expected to be ready this week. And the Saints will need him after Jameis Winston was lost for the remainder of the season with a torn ACL. Hill offers elite rushing upside, which makes him an awfully intriuiging weekly option once he’s cleared to return. Hopefully, that will be this week, otherwise, Trevor Siemian will get the starting nod.
Sterling Shepard (WR) New York Giants – After sitting out Week 7 with a hamstring injury, Shepared played into the second quarter Monday before suffering a non-contact quad injury. Shepard was quickly ruled out and is looking like he’ll miss at least one game. Even if he’s able to suit up, a hobbled Shepard won’t be a recommended fantasy option against the Raiders’ dynamic cornerback duo. Teammate Kadarius Toney also returned only to injure his thumb late. Toney was able to return to the game but we’ll monitor his status ahead of Week 9.
Dawson Knox (TE) Buffalo Bills – Out since breaking a bone in his hand Week 6, Knox is considered day-to-day and could start practicing in full this week. Once he’s cleared to play, Knox returns to TE1 status.
T.Y. Hilton (WR) Indianapolis Colts – The Colts host the Jets on Thursday, which puts Hilton’s status in serious doubt. Hilton missed Week 9 with a concussion, and six of the first eight weeks of the season with neck and quad injuries. He can no longer be counted on as anything other than a desperation play at this point, unless the Colts are playing the Texans, like they will again in Week 13.
Zach Wilson (QB) New York Jets – Wilson (knee) will return to practice this week after missing Week 8, but considering Mike White just completed over 82% of his passes and surpassed 400 passing yards, the Jets won’t rush the No. 2 overall pick back until he’s close to 100%. Expect White to nab his second start in Week 9, especially on a short rest week. WR Corey Davis (hip) is also looking questionable after missing last week.
Tyrod Taylor (QB) Houston Texans – Close to playing last week, Taylor ramp up practice reps this week in anticipation of facing the Dolphins. However, Houston has a bye in Week 10 so it might make more sense for the club to give Taylor another week off to be 100% as the Texans look to close out a lost season.
Jalen Reagor (WR) Philadelphia Eagles – Reagor, who has topped 50 yards just once all season, was carted off the field in Detroit and could miss some time. He’s only topped three targets in a game once since Week 3, so there’s little reason for redraft fantasy managers to hold onto Reagor at this point.
Allen Lazard (WR) Green Bay Packers – After sitting out Week 8 on the reserve/COVID list, Lazard had been activated and will be back in the lineup this week in Kansas City. No. 1 WR Davante Adams (reserve/COVID) should also return Week 9.
Tutu Atwell (WR) Los Angeles Rams – On the field for all of 10 offensive snaps this season, Atwell’s rookie campaign is over after suffering a serious shoulder injury in Houston. Atwell’s first season will end with zero targets and one fumble.
Chris Boswell (PK) Pittsburgh Steelers – Pittsburgh’s long-time kicker was hurt an a blatant late hit that should have drawn a flag on a fake field goal attempt. Boswell’s absence left the Steelers without a kicker last week and they signed Josh Lambo to fill in for a week or two. Lambo has been shaky, so view him as a risky, short-term bet.