There are a lot of big-name running backs on the shelf right now across the NFL. These injuries have had a major impact on fantasy football rankings and waiver wire strategy throughout the year. Right now, Dalvin Cook, Melvin Gordon, and Leonard Fournette are all dealing with hamstring injuries. Meanwhile, Sony Michel is in the process of returning from a knee injury that originally looked like a long-term issue, but he may be back soon. Royce Freeman is also banged up and likely “questionable” for this week. These injuries will have a big impact on Week 9 start ’em, sit ’em decisions, especially with six-team byes now upon us.
We’ll keep you updated on all the latest injury news to help you dominate your fantasy league. 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
Is Sony Michel playing in Week 9?
When Michel went down with a knee injury in Week 7, it looked bad. He was carted off, and many assumed the issue was serious. However, it turned out not to be the case, and Michel was considered to be week-to-week. Surprisingly, he practiced for the Patriots on Saturday before ultimately being ruled out for their Monday-night game against the Bills.
Michel may not quite be ready to return, but the fact that he was able to get on the practice field on Saturday was definitely a good sign. If he continues to improve and is able to return to action in practice this week, he will at least have a chance to play against the Packers this week. That said, it still may be a bit of a quick turnaround and with the Patriots’ Week 11 bye coming up, they may be wary of rushing back their first-round pick.
As long as Michel is out, James White will continue to serve as the team’s top back and will be an RB1 most weeks. Behind him, the picture is a bit less clear. Kenjon Barner was expected to be the backup on Monday night, but the Patriots opted to use WR Cordarrelle Patterson as runner instead. Until Michel returns, it will be hard to trust any Patriots RB not named White, and that is reflected in our RB rankings this week.
MORE WEEK 9: Waiver wire pickups | Rankings | DFS advice
Dalvin Cook injury update
According to ESPN Vikings reporter Courtney Cronin, Cook is going to be held out through the Vikings’ Week 10 bye. This is hardly a surprise at this point. Cook has been dealing with a hamstring injury for a majority of the season and recently suffered a setback while preparing to play against the Cardinals. Following that, Minnesota elected to play it cautious and hold him out until he’s closer to 100 percent.
In Cook’s stead, Latavius Murray has served as the lead back and has done a very good job, totaling four TDs in his past three games. He will be a borderline RB1 in a favorable matchup with a porous Lions run defense. However, Murray’s value could drop back down to handcuff status if Cook can return in Week 11, so make sure you have a solid backup plan for him after this week.
Melvin Gordon injury news
Gordon missed the Chargers’ Week 7 game against the Titans after suffering a hamstring injury late in the week in the lead-up to the team’s London game. Following a bye week, Gordon should be well rested and should have a chance to return to action, provided that his hamstring can hold up.
Gordon’s status will need to be watched closely in practice. At this point in time, the team hasn’t given much of an update on his injury, but that will certainly change in the coming days.
In the event that Gordon isn’t ready to return from his hamstring issue, Austin Ekeler would get a bump in the rankings. For now, we’re assuming that the time off did enough to help Gordon get healthy, so we have him in the top-five of our Week 9 RB rankings. We’ll update that if anything changes.
WEEK 9 PPR RANKINGS: Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end
Leonard Fournette injury update
Fournette is likely to return to the Jaguars after their Week 9 bye, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. This is great news for Fournette owners who have been waiting for the star to return basically since he left midway through the team’s first game of the season.
At this point in time, it’s unclear exactly what Fournette’s role will be in the backfield. He will eventually take over as the lead back, but given the injury he has dealt with this year, the Jaguars may ease him back into action. That could mean a frustrating split involving Fournette, Carlos Hyde, and T.J. Yeldon could take place over the course of the next couple weeks. Even still, we won’t have to worry about that this week as the Jaguars are on bye in Week 9. This is just something to keep an eye on moving forward.
Is Royce Freeman playing in Week 9?
Freeman missed last week’s contest dealing with a high-ankle sprain. He had been considered day-to-day with the injury, but it may take him a bit longer to return than initially anticipated.
With Phillip Lindsay now the leader of the Broncos backfield, Freeman doesn’t carry a lot of fantasy value. When healthy, he’s merely a TD-dependent option and top handcuff. He can be stashed on the bench, but don’t look to start him any time soon — especially with his ankle injury bothering him.
Source: Read Full Article