By Matthew Walters

This weekly article serves to update you on the latest fantasy relevant injury news from around the NFL. I will break down injuries from last week, and give updates on players expected to return to action soon. No one wants to see a player go down, but it is the unfortunate nature of the game. Check out the “Next Man Up Injury Report” to find which players stand the most to gain from these injuries and make sure you’re in the know while surfing your league’s waiver wire!

Matthew Walters (@fantasyferret on twitter) filling in for Kyle Allen (@kallen_4)

Welcome to another week of the NFL and another week of wondering if the stud on your team will play or not! I am not the usual author of The Next Man Up series, that honor goes to the great Kyle Allen. My name is Matthew Walters, and I am happy to be bringing you the injury report this week. What makes me qualified to do so? Well for one, I sure do love fantasy football, but I work as an Athletic Trainer for my real job. If you do not know what an athletic trainer is, think of it as a sports medicine specialist. These are the guys and/or gals you see running out on the field on Sundays to take care of the injured players. While there is a whole lot more to the job than that, that is the easiest way to describe it. Without further adieu, away we go with the Next Man Up. 

*This list excludes players on their bye week, on the COVID list, and players currently on IR that are not eligible to return this week.*

Quarterbacks:

Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints

Right Shoulder, QUESTIONABLE

Practice Status: Wednesday- LP, Thursday- LP, Friday- LP

Next Man Up: Drew Brees popped up on the injury report this week for his right shoulder. He logged a limited practice all week. Brees is not on the official report for the game and looks like he will be suiting up, and it seems that the Saints just wanted to give the old QB a little rest this week.. However, if old man Brees is unable to go, look for Famous Jameis Winston to get out there and chuck the ball around for the saints.

Gardner Minshew, Jacksonville Jaguars

Thumb, OUT

Practice Status: Wednesday- DNP, Thursday- DNP, Friday- DNP

Next Man Up: Jake Luton will get the Start for the Jaguars again this weekend. He did alright in his first outing, but I do not expect him to repeat himself this weekend against Green Bay. If you are having to play Luton out of necessity this Sunday, then I am sorry. 

Running Backs:

Matt Breida, Miami Dolphins

Hamstring, QUESTIONABLE

Practice Status: Wednesday- LP, Thursday- LP, Friday- LP

Next Man Up: If Breida cannot go on Sunday, it looks like Jordan “the inactive unless you need a 1 yard TD” Howard and undrafted rookie Salvon Ahmed should get the work. It’s possible Lynn Bowden finally starts seeing some work in the NFL but I wouldn’t bet on it. It is probably best to just avoid this backfield altogether this weekend.

Chris Carson, Seattle Seahawks

Midfoot Sprain, QUESTIONABLE

Practice Status: Wednesday- DNP, Thursday- DNP, Friday- DNP

Carlos Hyde, Seattle Seahawks

Hamstring, QUESTIONABLE

Practice Status: Wednesday- DNP, Thursday- DNP, Friday- LP

Next Man Up: Chris Carson and Carlos Hyde missed last week and Deejay Dallas decided to be an alright fill in once again. He was running back 14 on the week in Half PPR. Although he only scored 9.9 fantasy points in the outing. If both Carson and Hyde miss again, which seems likely at this point, it may very well be Dallas again getting the majority of the work, but Travis Homer is returning this week which could put a damper on any Deejay Dallas work.

Kenyan Drake, Arizona Cardinals

Ankle, QUESTIONABLE

Practice Status: Wednesday- LP, Thursday- LP, Friday- LP 

Next man up: I know nobody really wants to play Kenyan Drake right now even if he is healthy. But hey, he is the starting running back for one of the most explosive offenses in the NFL. If Drake cannot go once again, look for Chase Edmonds to be the lead back for Arizona. (Although last game it seemed like Kyler Murray just decided to be the running back as well.)

Devonta Freeman, New York Giants

Ankle, QUESTIONABLE

Practice Status: Wednesday- LP, Thursday- LP, Friday- DNP

Next man up: Freeman is looking like he is not going to be ready to go this week. Not only has he been a limited participant all week, he also “aggravated” his injured ankle during Thursday’s practice as a limited participant and then logged a did not participate on Friday. This does not bode well for Freeman’s chances of suiting up for the game. Wayne Gallman has been fairly serviceable while Freeman has been out and you can certainly do worse at the running back position than playing him. He will at least get the workload and quite possibly stumble his way into the endzone a time or two. 

Damien Harris, New England Patriots

Ankle/Chest, QUESTIONABLE

Practice Status: Wednesday- LP, Thursday- LP, Friday- LP

Next man up: Harris has been a limited participant this week with a chest and ankle injury. Should he not be able to go on Sunday there is honestly no telling who the starting RB will be for the Patriots. Although my heart and most of my brain says they will just use Cam Newton as their RB and sprinkle in a little Rex Burkhead and James White

Mark Ingram, Baltimore Ravens

High Ankle Sprain, QUESTIONABLE

Practice Status: Wednesday- LP, Thursday- DNP, Friday- FP

Next Man Up: With Mark Ingram a full participant practice session on Friday it seems likely that he will be playing. If he ultimately ruled out, look for J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards to continue splitting the role of running back for the team. Even if Ingram is back, the three of them will all most likely get some work this Sunday.

Justin Jackson, Los Angeles Rams

Knee, OUT

Practice Status: Wednesday- DNP, Thursday- DNP, Friday- DNP

Next Man Up: Jackson has already been ruled out with a knee injury for this weekend’s game. This means that rookie sensation Joshua Kelley (yes, that was sarcasm) and Troymaine Pope will fill in as the running back for the team. Pope is questionable himself this weekend but logged full participant every practice this week, and I expect him to play. In reality, I do not feel great starting either RB but Pope has definitely looked like the better back although with very limited reps. 

David Johnson, Houston Texans

Concussion, OUT

Practice Status: Wednesday- DNP, Thursday- DNP, Friday- DNP

Next Man Up: Don’t worry, we will still be getting a D Johnson as the starting running back for the Houston Texans this week. Only difference is that his first name is Duke. Duke looks to be a popular DFS play this weekend even though I will be fading him. In redraft, there are definitely worse plays you could make. Yea, I’m looking at you Joshua Kelley. I would try to make start many others first, but if you are in a pinch this weekend, at least you know Duke Johnson will be getting the work. 

Christian McCaffrey, Carolina Panthers

AC joint Sprain, Shoulder, OUT

Practice Status: Wednesday- DNP, Thursday- DNP, Friday- DNP

Next Man Up: Welcome back to your starting role Mike Davis! Hopefully you held on to Davis even after McCaffrey returned. Unless, you were a giant dummy like myself. Davis will be getting the lion’s share of the work once again for Carolina until McCaffrey is able to return again. 

Joe Mixon, Cincinnati Bengals

Foot, Doubtful

Practice Status: Wednesday- DNP, Thursday- DNP, Friday- DNP

Next Man Up: Another week of not participating for Mixon means this doubtful tag is going to be an out tag come Sunday. Gio Bernard will fill in as the starting running back for the Bengals again. If you are brave enough to play him against the Steelers defense, then by all means go ahead. I, for one, will be fading Bernard this weekend. 

David Montgomery, Chicago Bears

Concussion, QUESTIONABLE

Practice Status: Thursday- DNP, Friday- DNP

Next Man Up: If the game was Sunday, I’d be almost certain that Montgomery would not be playing. With the game being Monday, there is still a chance. However, I believe the chance is slim that Montgomery plays. Look for Corderalle Patterson and Ryan Nall to take over the roll of running back for the Bears this week. I’d look elsewhere for my running back help this week than relying on either of those two. 

Wide Receivers:

Kenny Golladay, Detroit Lions\

Hip, OUT

Practice Status: Wednesday- DNP, Thursday- DNP, Friday- DNP

Next Man Up: Kenny Golladay will be sitting this one out on  Sunday once again. He is clearly the best receiver on the team. With him out, you could take a shot on Marvin Jones this week or in deep leagues maybe even getting weird with it and playing Quintez Cephus. Washington defense is pretty underrated this year, and it may just be smartest to avoid the receivers for Detroit in this game altogether. 

N’Keal Harry, New England Patriots

Concussion, QUESTIONABLE

Practice Status: Wednesday- LP, Thursday- LP, Friday- LP

Next Man Up: Let’s be real here. Whether Harry suits up or not, we are all going to play Jakobi Meyers instead. We should probably just keep this one as simple as that. 

Allen Robinson, Chicago Bears

Knee, QUESTIONABLE

Practice Status: Thursday- LP, Friday- LP

Next Man Up: It feels like Allen Robinson is on track to play this week after logging two days of limited practice. With the game being the Monday night game, I would be sure to have a pivot off of him in case he is ruled out late. I would look for rookie Darnell Mooney to pick up the slack if Robinson is ultimately ruled out this week. Mooney has looked fairly good so far in his rookie year and if he becomes the number one target for the bears against the Vikings poor defense then he could be in for a monster week. 

Deebo Samuel, San Francisco 49ers

Hamstring, OUT

Practice Status: Wednesday- DNP, Thursday- DNP, Friday- DNP

Next Man Up: Brandon Aiyuk season is upon us. While playing the rookie may not be ideal against a pretty darn good Saints defense, the 49ers will have to go somewhere with the ball and they should be feeding their first round pick early and often this game. 

Laviska Shenault, Jacksonville Jaguars

Hamstring, OUT

Practice Status: Wednesday- LP, Thursday- LP, Friday- DNP

Next Man Up: One of my favorite rookie receivers this year has been ruled out this weekend. The good news is that DJ Chark will be active and looks to have gotten back to form last week. Keep playing Chark if you got him. That seems like the smart move this week. 

Tight Ends:

T.J. Hockenson, Detroit Lions

Toe, QUESTIONABLE

Practice Status: Wednesday- , Thursday- DNP, Friday- LP

Next Man Up: It seems like Hockenson will inevitably suit up for this one, but this is something to monitor on Sunday. If Hockenson is ruled out, Jesse James should slide into the starting role for Detroit and could see a healthy amount of targets with Golladay already being ruled out for this one. 

Irv Smith, Minnesota Vikings

Groin, QUESTIONABLE

Practice Status: Thursday- DNP, Friday- DNP

Next Man Up: The Vikings are optimistic that Irv Smith will play in their Monday night game. However, I am not. So far this week, Smith has logged two no participation days. If he manages to log a limited participation on Saturday then there is a shot he plays. If Smith cannot go in this one, Kyle Rudolph should slide into the role that he has played throughout his career and be a decent start at tight end if you need one. 

Robert Tonyan, Green Bay Packers

Ankle, QUESTIONABLE

Practice Status: Thursday- LP, Friday- DNP

Next Man Up: It always scares me not only when a player pops up on the injury report in the middle of the week, but also goes from limited to not participating. Tonyan does not look on track to play in this one to me although it should be monitored going forward. If he does not play, Sternberger and Mercedes Lewis should split tight end duties. If we are being honest with ourselves though, this will most likely be the Davante Adams and Aaron Jones show this Sunday. 

Remember, injury status is a moving target and the majority of these situations are liable to change between now and game time this weekend. Keep an eye on your roster, and monitor the official injury reports closely as the week comes to an end. When in doubt, play the healthy player, and remember, the best ability is availability! That concludes the week 8 injury report, if you have any questions or comments, please reach out to me via Twitter: @fantasyferret. Good luck this week!

Matthew Walters
Ride or Dynasty
Twitter: @fantasyferret