We are now at the halfway point of the season (technically it is between Week 8 and 9 today), so it is time to get your team into that next gear and begin a push for your fantasy league’s playoffs. All GM’s have been battling injuries throughout the season, but Week 9 presents a unique dilemma because there are six teams on their byes this week. That severely limits the pool of potentially available players for you to start, so it is critical that you be aggressive and manage your roster carefully this week. So without further adieu, here is the next edition of the walking wounded.
A.J. Green (WR-CIN)
The good news is that A.J. Green is practicing on Wednesday which bodes well for his chances of playing this week against Jacksonville. However, fantasy GM’s still need to hold their breath and hope he doesn’t suffer any setbacks. Green’s return would be a huge boost for fantasy owners who have been left with a gaping hole on their rosters all season. Keep checking for updates on Green throughout the week, and if he avoids any setbacks then plan on starting him for Week 9.
Tony Romo (QB-DAL)
Tony Romo has arguably played the best football of his career this year, but he suffered quite a scare in Monday night’s surprising loss to Dallas. Romo sustained a back contusion on a vicious hit and left the game for a period of time. He did return at the end of regulation, but he is clearly still feeling the effects as he likely won’t practice all week. Romo will be a game-time decision, and with a tough opponent in Arizona this week you may be better suited going with your other quarterback for Week 9.
Robert Griffin III (QB-WAS)
Despite rampant speculation that Robert Griffin III would play on Monday night against the Cowboys, he sat on the sidelines as Colt McCoy led Washington to an overtime win. Griffin is practicing this week but the Redskins will likely be very cautious about rushing him back. After winning two games in a row with McCoy, it is very likely that Griffin will sit again this week and then have a bye week for additional time to heal and practice. Don’t count on him coming back for Week 9.
Giovani Bernard (RB-CIN)
Giovani Bernard suffered a hip injury which forced him out of last week’s game in the 4th quarter. He has not practiced through Wednesday which leaves his status for Week 9 up in the air. The Bengals don’t believe his injury is serious, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be cautious with him and keep him out. Check back later in the week for an update on his status.
Brian Quick (WR-STL)
Despite all of the issue with the Rams’ offense this year, Brian Quick emerged as a viable fantasy option compiling 21 receptions for 322 yards and three touchdowns over his first four games of the year. Despite slowing down recently, he was still worth putting in your lineup as a WR3 or Flex. However, Quick dislocated his shoulder and tore his rotator cuff last week and now needs season-ending surgery. He can be dropped in all redraft leagues.
Justin Forsett (RB-BAL)
Justin Forsett is dealing with a leg injury and hasn’t practiced this week since rushing for 68 yards against the Bengals on Sunday. He is Baltimore’s clear number one running back, but if he is unable to play or limited in his touches than look for Lorenzo Taliaferro to step up and see an increased workload. Bernard Pierce is still in the mix, but he has lost his spot and has very little fantasy value at this point.
Rashad Jennings (RB-NYG)
Rashad Jennings sprained his MCL several weeks ago and has just started running earlier this week. The Giants play on Monday night this week so it gives Jennings an extra day to try and get back. But the reality is that he won’t be ready and the Giants won’t want to force a return too soon and jeopardize his health for the rest of the year. Andre Williams will likely get the start again and then Jennings should be back by next week.
Reggie Wayne (WR-IND)
Reggie Wayne missed last week’s game against the Steelers but is hopeful to play on Monday night against the Giants. He is dealing with an elbow injury and could benefit from having the extra day of rest this week. If he does play, he will have a good matchup against a susceptible Giants defense that will be heavily focused on shutting down T.Y. Hilton.
Jordan Cameron (TE-CLE)
Jordan Cameron has been prone to suffering concussions, and sure enough he is dealing with another one right now. Cameron is going through the league’s protocol which places his status for Week 9 in jeopardy. Rather than wait and worry, plan on starting your other tight end this week or check the waiver wire and look into other alternatives.
DeAngelo Williams (RB-CAR)
After missing a month with an ankle injury, DeAngelo Williams is set to return on Thursday night against New Orleans. Williams is slated to start but will likely share time with Jonathan Stewart. There is no denying Williams speed, but he can never stay on the field long enough to be fantasy relevant. With six teams on a bye this week, Williams could be a sleeper waiver wire addition against a bad Saints’ defense.
Michael A. Stein, Esq. is the Chief Justice of Fantasy Judgment, the industry's premier dispute resolution service, and is also the co-host of the Fantasy Alarm podcast. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Facebook and Twitter (@FantasyJudgment),