Week 9: Game Time Decisions - Injury Updates
In this article we profile players that are struggling to get into uniform for the coming week. Week eight was not nearly as destructive as the prior week, but those that started Mike Vick would disagree. He's been ruled out for Week nine after reinjuring his hamstring. Nick Foles has been cleared from his concussion and will draw the start in Oakland. A few lower profile wide receivers suffered season ending injuries this past week as Seattle's Sidney Rice (ACL) and Tampa's Mike Williams (hamstring) will be in street clothes for the rest of the year. On a positive note, Andre Brown (Giants) and Shane Vereen (Patriots) appear to be nearing a return to their respective lineups and should be added from waiver wires if available.
Murray suffered a sprained MCL suffered in Week 6 and has missed the past two games. Owner Jerry Jones stated that Murray could have played against Detroit, so fantasy owners should prepare to get him into lineups for a favorable matchup with a struggling Minnesota defense. He returned to practice on Wednesday and looks to be in line to start in Week 9. Rookie Joseph Randle struggled in the Week 8loss as he rushed 14 times for just 26 yards and added three catches for 18 yards. The rookie impressed in his Week 7 debut, rushing 19 times for 65 yards while adding three catches for 28 yards -- but with Ma. Through six games, Murray was averaging an impressive 72 yards per game on the ground with three touchdowns. He also has added PPR value since he's totaled 24 catches for 164 yards. The Vikings defense is allowing the 2nd most fantasy PPG to opposing running backs.
The window to trade Deangelo Williams is quickly closing. Johnathan Stewart is expected to make his season debute this week and Williams is listed as questionable with a quad injury that kept him out of Wednesday's practice. Mike Tolbert and Cam Newton have been stealing goal line touches, limiting Williams to a lower tier RB2. On the season, the 30-year-old running back is averaging 68 yards per game on the ground with just one touchdown. He hasn't been much a PPR asset either as Williams has just 13 catches for 121 yards through the first seven games of the season. In Week 9, the Panthers face a mediocre Atlanta run defense that is allowing 102 yards per game to running backs. The crowded Carolina backfield is likely one to avoid unless your roster is ravaged by injuries or in need of bye week replacements.
Foster is dealing with a hamstring injury that forced him to miss Wednesday's practice and head coach Gary Kubiak stated that both he and Ben Tate (broken ribs) will be game time decisions for the Week 9 meeting with Indianapolis. The Colts defense is allowing the eighth fewest fantasy PPG to running backs (86 yards per game). The 27-year-old Foster has an up and down 5th NFL season as he's averaging 77 yards per game on the ground with two touchdowns. He's only topped 100 yards in two of the seven Texans games and many believe his excessive workload is catching up with him (300+ carries in two of the past three years). Foster has been a fantasy force the past three seasons (47 total touchdowns), but for now he remains barely on the RB1 radar due to the injury and declining stat lines.
The rookie from Vanderbilt has been the lone bright spot for a floundering Rams offense. He suffered a sprained ankle (thankfully not of the high ankle variety) late in the Monday night loss to Seattle. He missed Wednesday's practice, leaving his status for the Week 9 meeting with Tennessee in some doubt. The Rams have yet to rush for a touchdown this season and Stacy scored their only touchdown from a running back on a Week 7 catch. He's averaging 58 yards per game and is coming off the first 100 yard performance of his career against the stout Seattle defense -- Stacy rushed for 134 yards on 26 carries in Monday night's 14-9 loss to the Seahawks. Daryl Richardson could reclaim his starting job if Stacy's ankle injury doesn't allow him to suit up against a Titan defense allowing the seventh most fantasy PPG to opposing running backs.
The 27-year-old receiver is battling a hip injury that kept him out of Wednesday's practice. Johnson said he expects to return to play in the Week 9 meeting with the undefeated Chiefs, but the daunting matchup, injury and pedestrian production make him nothing more than a WR3 at best. On the season, Johnson is averaging 55 yards per game with three touchdowns. He's been a model of consistency the past three seasons, hauling in between 76-82 catches with 1,000-1,100 yards receiving. Backup quarterback Thad Lewis is battling a rib injury and if he is unable to suit up this week all bets would be off for the passing game with Jeff Tuel or Matt Flynn under center. The Kansas City defense is allowing the 12th fewest fantasy PPG to opposing receivers. A potential meeting with Chiefs CB Brandon Flowers should make fantasy owners consider their options before penciling Stevie into their Week nine lineups.