Who's in and who's out of the early games in Week 8


Who's in and who's out of the early games in Week 8

Another week of limited afternoon games, so we'll have a pretty active morning checking the early actives and inactives. Included among the names we'll be watching for are Trent Richardson, Jordy Nelson @JordyRNelson, Donald Brown @Donaldb31, Danny Amendola @DannyAmendola and a few Patriots. Keep checking back on this post until the 1 p.m. Eastern kickoffs for the latest news on today's injured stars.

Players who have already been ruled out for Week 8 include Aaron Hernandez, Maurice Jones-Drew, DeMarco Murray, Rashard Mendenhall, Greg Jennings and Pierre Garcon. For a full rundown of injuried NFL'ers, click on the link below to the league's official injury report.


-- ESPN's Chris Mortensen reports that Rams wide receiver Danny Amendola will be inactive today against the Patriots. It's the smart choice as St. Louis is on bye this week, and they shouldn't want to rush him back after he suffered that unprecedented (at least in the NFL) collarbone dislocation. But if you haven't done so already, pick up Amendola for the home stretch.
-- Browns RB Trent Richardson is active for today's game against the Chargers. I own Richardson, and this has been a troubling situation for me to consider all week. There's no doubt that he has the talent to turn in a huge game, but I have no idea how much his ribs are still affecting him, and the visual of last week's benching because of those ribs is still fresh in my mind. Plus, the Chargers are pretty stout against the run, and I could see the Browns giving Richardson a slightly limited dose of carries, mixing in more Montario Hardesty. As it is, I'm probably going to go with Jonathan Dwyer instead of Richardson today, and I'll hope for the best.
-- Packers WR Jordy Nelson is inactive. His hamstring reportedly tightened up on him during Wednesday's practice, and this isn't a surprise after he didn't practice all week. Bump up Randall Cobb and James Jones even more against the poor Jaguars. Donald Driver now becomes the Packers' No. 3 WR.
-- Donald Brown is active for the Colts despite undergoing a knee scope two weeks ago. He has a brilliant matchup against the Titans, but he will not start. That will go to Vick Ballard instead. I think both guys, even with the favorable matchup, are just flex plays today.
-- Isaac Redman @ired33 is inactive for the Steelers today. That means Jonathan Dwyer will get a full workload today against the Redskins. Baron Batch and Chris Rainey will back him up.
-- Brandon Lloyd is active for the Patriots. He was listed as questionable due to a knee injury, but his status was never in doubt. He's a fine WR3 versus the Rams in London. Wes Welker and Rob Gronkowski are also active.
-- Jaguars WR Laurent Robinson is inactive. Cecil Shorts will get another start, but I wouldn't depend on any Jags receiver this week or most any week.
-- Jaguars QB Blaine Gabbert as expected. He has a torn labrum in his left, non-throwing shoulder, but that will be the least of his problems today in Green Bay.
-- Bears QB Jay Cutler is active after injuring his ribs last Monday night. He's fine. Use him if you need him.
-- Packers tight end Jermichael Finley is active. His snaps have been limited recently as he has fought through a shoulder injury, but he might see an uptick in targets with both Greg Jennings and Jordy Nelson out.
-- Joe McKnight is active for the Jets while Bilal Powell is inactive. Regardless, Shonn Greene will get the majority of the carries and might have a very tough go of it against Miami's run D. He's a low-end RB2.
-- Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch is active. He has rested a back injury in recent practice weeks, but he's been in full Beast Mode on the field. That won't change today.
-- A trio of Lions receivers -- Calvin Johnson, Brandon Pettigrew and Titus Young -- are all active. Calvin remains a must-start. Pettigrew is only an option in PPR leagues and not a good one as the Seahawks are very solid versus tight ends. They completely shut out Vernon Davis last week. Young is expected to step up now that Burleson is out for the rest of the season. He is a WR3 in PPR leagues, but I'd sit and wait to see what he does before deploying him in standard leagues.
-- Browns WR Mohamed Massaquoi is inactive, so Greg Little and Josh Gordon will start again for the Browns. I am a little worried about how the weather will impact Gordon's ability to catch another deep pass or two, but he's a solid WR3.
-- On a defensive note, linebacker London Fletcher is active, continuing his amazing consecutive games streak, which now stands at 231.
-- Braylon Edwards and Doug Baldwin are both inactive for the Seahawks. Edwards is a healthy scratch while Baldwin has a high ankle sprain. Sidney Rice is a decent WR3 option today, but I am not very high on him.
-- Chargers WR Eddie Royal is inactive due to a hamstring injury. You shouldn't have been starting him anyway.

Fantasy Analysis:

Hernandez was kept off the team flight to London because his ankle, which he injured back in Week 2, still isn't fully healed. Next week's bye should be a tremendous help, and he should be back at full strength in Week 10. With him out, the rest of the usual suspects in that Patriots passing game should get a few extra looks versus the Rams.
Maurice Jones-Drew doesn't have a Lisfranc sprain, but he'll miss at least a few games with his foot injury. Rashad Jennings steps in, and I love him, even today against the Packers. Because of his receiving ability -- and Blaine Gabbert's unwillingness to throw the ball down the field -- Jennings is always going to be a good bet for solid yardage totals.
We'll see if the Cowboys get Murray back next week, but I'm not holding my breath. Felix Jones and Phillip Tanner will hold down the fort while he's out. Jones is already nicked up, so he might very well split the carries today with Tanner against the Giants. Jones is the better play, but he's just a flex option for me. Tanner should be added in 12-tteam leagues given the uncertain health of the rest of this backfield.
Mendenhall is out for another game due to Achilles soreness, but reports have stated that he will play next week. For today, Jonathan Dwyer will get another start and is a high-end flex option as he'll probably get 15-20 touches. Isaac Redman might be active as well, but since he is running with two injured ankles, I doubt he gets much work.
With Jennings out, Randall Cobb and James Jones will once again pick up the slack. They are both good plays today versus the Jags, even more so since Jordy Nelson is inactive, too.
Garcon's season might be over as rest may not be enough for his foot injury to heal. Without him, the Redskins' pass-catching game is headed by Leonard Hankerson and Santana Moss. Both guys are desperate WR3 plays versus the Steelers.


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