We’re officially past the halfway point of most fantasy football seasons. The playoffs are drawing nearer, and there are just eight more weeks until a champion is crowned in most leagues. With Week 9 on the horizon, injuries are having a big impact. Big-name receivers Mike Evans, Tyreek Hill, and A.J. Green all suffered injuries in Week 8, while 49ers RB Matt Breida continues to play through an ankle injury — and leave games early with a limp. These injuries could have an impact on this week’s rankings and waiver wire strategy — and, of course, start ’em, sit ’em decisions — especially with the loaded six-team bye weeks coming up, so fantasy owners need the latest updates.
We’ll always be here with the latest news on all these injuries and more that are sure to pop up throughout the week. You can also follow us on Twitter @SN_Fantasy for more fantasy football advice and updates.
Week 9 Rankings:
Quarterback | Running Back | Wide Receiver | Tight End | D/ST | Kicker
Mike Evans injury update
Evans suffered a knee injury late in the Buccaneers loss to the Bengals, and at a first glance, it looked as though it could have been bad. However, Evans did end up returning to the game shortly after suffering the injury, so it appears that he will be okay moving forward.
The Buccaneers don’t have a bye week for the rest of the season, so if the knee injury poses any problem for Evans moving forward, the Bucs may have to choose to sit him out a week to get fully healthy. Thankfully, the team has a lot of receiving weapons on the squad, and it’s likely that Chris Godwin and DeSean Jackson would be able to hold down the fort in the event that Evans misses time. Right now, it’s not looking like that will be necessary.
We’ll still keep an eye on Evans in the upcoming week, as his practice status will let us know exactly how serious the injury might be. But for now, there doesn’t appear to be any concern that he will miss time and as a result, he will remain in our WR rankings for Week 9.
MORE WEEK 9: Waiver wire pickups | Rankings | DFS advice
Is Tyreek Hill playing in Week 9?
Hill suffered a groin strain in the Chiefs victory over the Broncos last week, according to Chiefs head coach Andy Reid. Groin strains can often keep players out for a couple of weeks, and considering that Hill is a speed-based receiver, it may be difficult for him to get back on the field for Week 9 against the Browns.
If Hill misses any time, the next man up at receiver for the Chiefs would be Chris Conley. Sammy Watkins, who performed well last week and scored twice, would be the No. 1 receiver for the Chiefs while Conley would start across from him. Because of Patrick Mahomes’ top-level passing ability, Conley could garner consideration as a starter in a solid matchup with the Browns. He could be worth adding depending on Hill’s overall status.
We’ll be watching Hill closely in practice this week, but considering that the Chiefs are 7-1 and have a favorable matchup against the Browns, it wouldn’t surprise us if he sat out. We’ll have more updates on Hill later in the week.
A.J. Green injury update
Green suffered an injury late against the Buccaneers on the team’s game winning drive. He appeared to injure his foot, and officially, Green is dealing with a toe injury. According to Joe Danneman of Fox19, Green jammed his toe but is expected to be fine. This is obviously good news, but toe injuries can linger a bit, so it definitely bears monitoring in the coming weeks.
Green and the Bengals are on bye this week, so fantasy owners will just have to keep an eye on him to make sure that he is able to get on the field for Week 10. But in terms of immediate impact, Green was already going to be unavailable in Week 9 with the Bengals off, so this injury won’t impact fantasy football rankings just yet.
Matt Breida injury news
Breida continues to surprise his fantasy owners by toughing through an ankle injury that has hampered him for the better part of the last few weeks. Against the Cardinals on Sunday, Breida led the team in carries with 16. The rest of the team’s RBs combined for 10. However, Breida appeared to aggravate his ankle injury once again at the end of the contest, and limped to the sideline (according to ESPN’s Nick Wagoner). That could keep him out for Week 9 against the Raiders.
The 49ers are on a short week and will play on Thursday night. That may make it very difficult for Breida to get healthy and get on the field . And at this point, it would probably be best for him to rest his ailing ankle and take advantage of what would amount to an extra bye week for him. With the 49ers (1-7) well out of playoff contention, there’s no need for him to risk further injury.
If Breida does sit out, Raheem Mostert and Alfred Morris will likely handle most of the lead back duties. It’s impossible to know which would would see a lion’s share of the carries — Kyle Shanahan likes to rotate his backs, much like his father did — but our money would be on Mostert since his skill set is similar to Breida’s. Either way, both Mostert and Morris should be owned this week and are among our top waiver wire pickups for Week 9.
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