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The Market Report: Week 8

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The Market Report: Week 8

The Market Report is your one-stop Monday shop for all the movement from a big weekend of NFL football.

These are the players who stood out for fantasy-relevant reasons — the good reasons, the bad reasons, and the in-between.

This column will be posted every Monday afternoon.

UPGRADES

Players about whom we’re feeling more optimistic based on recent play or news.

Quarterbacks

Tom Brady (TB) — We always engage in MVP discussions too early, but this year has been particularly fun to follow, with Russell Wilson trying to stake claim to his first ever MVP vote (not award, vote), Aaron Rodgers having a true “F.U.” season, and young guys like Josh Allen and Kyler Murray making progress. Meanwhile, Brady has entered the discussion the last numbers of weeks with just spectacular performances. In Week 7 against Vegas, Brady threw for 369 yards and 4 TD. He is the QB6 in total fantasy points, and since Week 3, only Murray, Patrick Mahomes, and Carson Wentz have more fantasy points than Brady. Oh, you might have heard that Touchdown Tom is getting a reinforcement named Antonio Brown. He’s doing all this with Mike Evans at less than 100%, and with Chris Godwin having missed some action. Brady’s far from cooked — he’s doing the cooking, quite frankly. The Bucs are arguably the NFC Super Bowl favorites. (Joe Dolan)

Carson Wentz (Phi) — Everything keeps crumbling down around Wentz this season — DeSean Jackson was the latest player to suffer a major injury in Week 7 — but his play continues to improve after a shaky start to his season. Wentz posted his best performance of the season against the Giants as he completed 25/43 passes for 359 yards, two TDs, and one INT. He also added his fifth rushing TD in his last six games, which has really lifted his fantasy production in recent weeks. Wentz now has 28+ FP in consecutive games and 22+ FP in four of his last five contests. The Eagles could get the likes of Dallas Goedert (ankle, IR) and Jalen Reagor (thumb, IR) back in the near future, and Wentz could use all the help he could get right now. Even if the Eagles are undermanned again this week, Wentz will be a QB1 option playing against a bad Cowboys defense. (Tom Brolley)

Justin Herbert (LAC) — It’s unbelievable how good this guy is. Off of the Chargers’ bye, Herbert picked up where he left off before it as the Rookie-of-the-Year favorite. Against the Jags, Herbert went 27/43 for 347 yards and 3 TD, while also adding 9/66/1 rushing. The rookie earned his first win, something he’s deserved for weeks, and he now has accounted for 8 TD with no turnovers in his last two games. He’s throwing TDs to guys you never heard of, too — Donald Parham, Jalen Guyton, and Virgil Green were on the receiving end of Week 7’s darts. Herbert has also been the league’s best deep-ball thrower this side of Russell Wilson, hitting on downfield plays each and every week. So what changed from the talented but projectable guy we saw at Oregon, the one many compared to Josh Allen when he came out of Wyoming? Well, our Greg Cosell points out that Herbert is indeed more accurate than he showed in college. But he’s also running a creative offense that is tailored to his strengths, something he didn’t have at Oregon. Credit Anthony Lynn, Shane Steichen, and QB coach Pep Hamilton with Herbert’s development. Mostly, credit Herbert for being coachable. He’s the QB4 in FPG over his last four games, and the overall QB1 over his last three. (JD)

Running Backs

James Robinson (Jax) — One running back in fantasy football has scored more points than Robinson — Alvin Kamara. That’s it. With Chris Thompson going on the COVID list, Robinson took even a bigger bell-cow share in Week 7 against the Chargers than he has already had this season, posting 22/119/1 rushing and 4/18/1 receiving on 6 targets while playing 90% of the snaps for Jacksonville, by far a season-high (he had only been above a 70% snap share once before, with 76% in Week 4). And the best news is Robinson did nothing to suggest he’ll lose that role going forward. Devine Ozigbo is off IR, but Robinson is the hammer in this backfield. (JD)

D’Andre Swift (Det) — The game wasn’t huge for Swift — following his Week 6 breakout, Swift posted just 9/27/1 and 4/21 receiving on 5 targets. But it’s the underlying positives that we’ll take away from the game. He led this backfield in snaps, and Adrian Peterson got stuffed in some short-yardage situations, while Swift converted a short TD. Meanwhile, Kerryon Johnson didn’t even receive a single touch in the game. We’re not sure coach Matt Patricia and OC Darrell Bevell really know what they’re doing, but Swift is making it hard to keep him off the field. He’s got RB2 appeal. (JD)

Antonio Gibson — Sure, everyone goes off against Dallas. Still, we need to give Gibson a slight upgrade coming off what was easily the best game of his career so far (20/128/1). Gibson frustratingly didn’t catch a pass, but Kyle Allen didn’t really have to do much because Washington got out to an early lead and their defense dominated. Even though Washington is going to continue splitting Gibson’s snaps with J.D. McKissic, Gibson has been incredible this season on his limited touches. Gibson has displayed the same level of elusiveness that we saw in a limited sample of work in college and ranks third among all RBs in missed tackles forced per touch per PFF. Washington is out on a bye in Week 8, but Gibson will catch three great matchups when they’re back in Week 9 (Giants), Week 10 (Lions), and Week 11 (Bengals). (Graham Barfield)

Chase Edmonds — Maybe the second half of the year will be Edmonds season? Despite looking like the better back all year long, HC Kliff Kingsbury has continued to go back to the well with Kenyan Drake. Now that Drake is battling an ankle injury that will cause him to miss time, we’ll finally see Edmonds unleashed for a game or two. Once again, Edmonds’ playmaking ability was on full display on SNF. He turned his five carries into 58 yards and caught all seven of his targets for 87 yards. Over the full season, Edmonds has 13 plays of 10+ yards while Drake has only 11. Keep in mind, Edmonds has just 55 touches while Drake has 126. Arizona is out on bye next week, but we’re hoping that the Cardinals do some self-scouting and make Edmonds their featured back regardless of Drake’s health. He’s earned it. If Edmonds is still somehow available in your league, unload the remainder of your FAAB budget to get him. (GB)

Wide Receivers

Davante Adams (GB) — It’s not like people are benching Adams, but wow. In an already spectacular career, Adams had a career-best day against the Texans in Week 7, posting 13/196/2 on 16 targets in a big win for the Packers. While Adams certainly benefited from top CB Bradley Roby (knee) leaving after just one snap with an injury, we’re not sure Deion Sanders could have slowed Adams down this week. He was targeted on an absurd 47% of QB Aaron Rodgers’ throws, and he caught 13 of the 14 passes that Rodgers completed to WRs (the other was a TD to Malik Taylor). Adams has a saucy matchup with the Vikings next week, and he is obviously healthy. (JD)

Diontae Johnson (Pit) — Diontae stepped back into the lineup in Week 7 and he went right back to being the go-to receiver in this offense even after missing all or most of the last three games because of back and head injuries. Johnson paced Pittsburgh’s passing attack with 15 targets (30.6% share), which he turned into 9/80/2 receiving against the Titans. Johnson now has double-digit targets and a 30% target share or better in each of his three full games, which he’s turned into two performances of 20+ FP. Unfortunately, Johnson is quickly getting labeled as injury-prone after he limped off late in the fourth quarter with a leg injury. He said after the game that he suffered an “ankle bruise” and that he’ll play against the Ravens this week. We’ll keep an eye on his injury status this week, but he’s locked in as a WR2 whenever he’s in the lineup. (TB)

A.J. Brown (Ten) — Brown has been the WR1 over the last three weeks since returning to the lineup in Week 5 after missing three weeks with a bone bruise in his knee. He nearly clawed the Titans back to a victory over the Steelers in Week 5, starting with his 73-yard, catch-and-run TD on one of the in-breaking routes that he excels at. He finished with 6/153/1 receiving on eight targets in their three-point loss to the Steelers, which gives him 21+ FP in three straight games. The Titans’ defense has been a bit of a disappointment through the first seven weeks of the season, which is going to help Brown push for WR1 status for the rest of the season since the Titans typically can’t just sit on a lead with Derrick Henry at running back. (TB)

Antonio Brown (TB) — AB lands in TB with TB12. Those who stashed him will be rewarded with Brown likely handling a big role with a QB in Tom Brady who is playing fantastic football right now, on a well-coached team that is willing to sell its soul for a Super Bowl. Brown very well could torch this locker room, but it’s more likely he’ll be a good soldier for eight games, try to get a ring, and attempt to re-establish himself as a high-end receiver. With Mike Evans struggling to produce through injuries, there could be enough targets here for Brown to be a WR2. But frankly, nothing would surprise us, from a WR1 finish to barely usable WR3. He hasn’t played football in over a calendar year, but he begins practicing this week. (JD)

Jarvis Landry (Cle) — Landry hasn’t looked completely healthy all season long after he needed off-season hip surgery, but Baker Mayfield and this passing attack is going to need him to step his performance with Odell Beckham (ACL) done for the season. Landry has yet to score a touchdown in 2020, he’s topped six targets just once, and he has 50+ receiving yards in just two of his seven games. OBJ left behind a 26% target share and a 40% air yards share through the first six weeks of the season, and Landry is by far the best bet to lead this passing attack going forward. Landry has been a WR4 through the first seven weeks of the season, but he has some hope to become a consistent WR3 the rest of the season with more targets likely to come his way. The Browns bye week is also in Week 9, and he looks like a player who could use a breather to get a little healthier for the stretch run. (TB)

A.J. Green (Cin) — Green has decided to start playing hard the last two weeks after he got raked over the coals for his lack of effort in Week 5. He’s posted his best games of the season over the last two weeks, combining for 15/178 receiving on 24 targets against the Colts and the Browns in Weeks 6-7. He had just 14/119 receiving on 34 targets in Weeks 1-5. Green has yet to find the end zone this season, but his play is definitely trending upward as he gets his legs back underneath and as he gets more accustomed to Joe Burrow. Green is averaging 8.3 targets per game and he’s finally playing well enough to take advantage of those looks. He’s back into the weekly WR3 range, including this week in a good matchup against the Titans. We’d still recommend selling Green high since he seems to have one foot out the door and because Tee Higgins is seemingly improving each week. (TB)

Tyler Lockett — After turning in two quiet performances in two great matchups in Week 4-5, Lockett came out of the bye and exploded against the Cardinals for one of the most ridiculous stat lines you’ll ever see. Lockett saw 20 targets from Russell Wilson and turned them into a monster 15/200/3. On a night where D.K. Metcalf was shut down, Wilson just kept peppering Lockett over and over again. And it kept working again and again. Better days are ahead for Metcalf — that’s obvious — but this is just another reminder of how high Lockett’s ceiling really is. Lockett and Wilson arguably have the best chemistry of any QB-WR duo in the NFL right now and are always capable of linking up for these types of performances. (GB)

Christian Kirk — The Cardinals passing offense centers around DeAndre Hopkins, but they’ve desperately needed a second target to step up. And over the last month, that guy has been Kirk. After a slow start and missing Week 3 with an injury, Kirk is the WR18 in fantasy over the Cardinals last four games after turning in yet another strong performance on SNF against the Seahawks (5/37/2). John Hansen was pumping up Kirk as a buy-low target for a few weeks and that window may still be slightly open with the Cardinals out on bye in Week 8. (GB)

Tight Ends

Rob Gronkowski (TB) — Gronk is a TE1, full stop. He’s reestablished his connection with QB Tom Brady, scoring TDs in each of the last two weeks. He posted 5/62/1 receiving on 8 targets against the Raiders, giving him 10/140/2 receiving on 16 targets over the last two games. On the TD against the Raiders, he absolutely “Mossed” CB Nevin Lawson, just jumping into the air and grabbing the ball over Lawson’s head. The only three TEs who have more targets than Gronk (25) over the last month are George Kittle, Travis Kelce, and Darren Waller, all of whom were drafted in the top five TEs. Gronk’s 18.6 YPR over that span — highest among TEs — is just vintage Gronk, doing things that other tight ends simply don’t. He’s getting targets, but most importantly, he looks like himself doing it. (JD)

Hayden Hurst (Atl) — Hurst mentioned this past week that he and QB Matt Ryan were starting to get on the same page, and the numbers are bearing it out. Hurst didn’t have a huge game in Week 7 against the Lions — 6/68 receiving on 7 targets. He has 23 targets over the past four games (6th among TEs), and he’s gone over 50 yards in three of his last four games. Again, the numbers aren’t massive, but Hurst is showing enough for Ryan to trust him right now, and with so many dart throws at the TE position, he’s worth starting most weeks. (JD)

Evan Engram (NYG) — Engram botched New York’s chance to put away the Eagles with a drop on a long pass, which was a sour note to finish on after he saw his best usage in weeks. He finished with 6/46 receiving on a team-best nine targets (30% share) in Week 9, which was his sixth time with fewer than 50 yards in seven games. The Giants did give him two carries, which he turned into three yards, and the passing game as a whole started to move in the right direction with Sterling Shepard back in the lineup. It hasn’t been pretty for Engram through two months after off-season Lisfranc surgery, but his production should improve if he at least maintains his 19% target share. He should get healthier as the season goes along and Jones should improve in the second half of the year against an easier schedule so Engram is starting to trend in the right direction. (TB)

DOWNGRADES

Players about whom we’re feeling less optimistic based on recent play or news.

Quarterbacks

Matthew Stafford (Det) — Make no mistake, Stafford played well in Week 7, going 25/36 for 340 yards and a TD, leading the Lions on an utterly improbable comeback in another heartbreaking loss for the Falcons. But it took the Lions being down in a desperation circumstance to even get Stafford to these numbers in a glorious matchup. This is all anecdotal, but Bevell seems to have no idea how to call a third-down play, or create a sequence to get a critical first down. The Lions were just 3/10 on third downs against the Falcons, with several spots where short-yardage Adrian Peterson runs hurt them, whether Peterson got stuffed on third downs or put them in third-and-long situations with unproductive early-down runs. The Lions have talent, and Stafford is playing pretty well. But this coaching staff is not getting the production out of him that it should. (JD)

Cam Newton — Cam turned in what might have been the worst game of his career on Sunday, looking lost in the 49ers 33-6 blowout. Cam was picked off three times on the day and ended up only completing nine passes for 98 yards. Newton’s first interception was egregious — he threw straight into double coverage — while his second was on an overthrown deep ball that was just a prayer at the end of the first half and his third was on a pass that was tipped up in the air by Julian Edelman. The Patriots ended up bringing Jarrett Stidham in garbage time because of Cam’s poor performance. After a hot start in Week 1-2 against two bad defenses (Miami and Seattle), Newton has struggled mightily as of late. Over his last three games, Cam has thrown just 1 touchdown to 6 interceptions and absorbed 7 sacks. His rushing upside is the only reason you can keep hope, but even then, it’s looking dire. Cam has to be flawless with the ball because the Patriots inarguably have a bottom-3 WR/TE corps. (GB)

Running Backs

Ezekiel Elliott — This is shaping up to be a lost season for the Cowboys and some of that is definitely no fault of Zeke. Obviously, losing Dak Prescott has proven to be poison for this entire offense and the Cowboys once elite offensive line has completely fallen apart in recent weeks. Not only was G Zack Martin (concussion) out this past week, their replacement for LT Tyron Smith in Brandon Knight had knee surgery and is on I.R. That said, this has easily been the worst we’ve seen Elliott play in his career. So far this year, he has just one carry that has gained 15 or more yards, he leads all RBs in fumbles (5), and is tied for the league lead in drops among RBs (4). After getting shut down this past week by Washington’s strong front-seven, the Cowboys face two more great defensive lines in Week 8 (Eagles) and Week 9 (Steelers) before getting a much-needed bye in Week 10. You’re never benching Elliott, but you can and should adjust your expectations for the remainder of the season. (GB)

Devonta Freeman (NYG) — Freeman left Week 7 early with an ankle injury, but the Giants appeared to give Wayne Gallman a chance to play even before his injury. The Giants decided to play Gallman with the starters on the opening drive of the second half before he gave way to Freeman on the second series. Freeman then got injured in pass protection on that series, which ended his day with 3/8 rushing without a catch against the Eagles. Gallman led the backfield the rest of the way, which he turned into 10/34/1 rushing and 5/20 receiving — Dion Lewis continues to be a major disappointment after he lost a fumble late in the second quarter. Freeman will have 10 days to get ready for a nasty Buccaneers defense in Week 8, but it appears that Gallman could have a more regular role next to Freeman going forward after a solid performance in Week 7. (TB)

Kenyan Drake — This has been a season to forget so far for Drake. Outside of destroying Dallas’ inept defense in Week 6, Drake has largely been held in check on the ground and hasn’t been involved at all in the Cardinals passing attack so far. Through seven games, Kalen Ballage (9) has more receptions than Drake (7). Now, Drake is dealing with torn ligaments in his ankle that will cause him to miss a few games. Before going down in the middle of the fourth quarter, Drake turned his 14 carries into a measly 34 yards and was drastically out-played by Edmonds once again. There is a good chance Drake loses his starting job out-right over the next month. (GB)

Devin Singletary — The Bills offense struggled on Sunday along with their run game. In fact, Josh Allen (11/61) led the team in rushing against the Jets while Singletary (8/29) and Zack Moss (7/47) split carries. Now that Moss is back healthy after missing a few games with a toe injury, the Bills backfield is seemingly headed towards a full-blown timeshare. Singletary marginally out-snapped Moss (40 to 35) and the duo split passing down work (Singletary: 19 routes run; Moss: 18). If you discount Moss’ first game back last week, Singletary has played on just 56% of Bills’ snaps in the three games Moss has been fully healthy for. Right now, both Singletary and Moss should be treated as low-calorie RB3 options with a limited path to touchdowns. There is a realistic chance that Moss straight up takes over the “1A” role at some point here, too. (GB)

James White — In what should have been good game-script for White this week, he ended up a distant third in snaps (19%) while Rex Burkhead (48%) and Damien Harris (40%) saw the majority of the work. Granted, White did miss two practices this past week on Wednesday and Thursday due to personal reasons, but with Cam Newton struggling badly, there is just no way you can play anyone from this Patriots backfield anytime soon. Keep in mind, Sony Michel is due back from I.R. shortly. Feel free to drop White at will. (GB)

Wide Receivers

Odell Beckham (Cle) — Beckham’s second season in Cleveland has come to an end after he tore his ACL in Cleveland’s Week 7 victory over the Bengals. His injury ironically came on another failed connection with Baker Mayfield, which has been the story of his disappointing first two seasons with the Browns. OBJ will be 28 years old next season, and he’ll be five years removed from his last dominant season with the Giants back in 2016. (TB)

Mike Evans (TB) — Evans had just 2/37 receiving on Sunday against the Raiders on 2 targets, and it’s clear there’s just something not clicking here for the star receiver despite QB Tom Brady playing MVP-level football. Is Evans dinged up? That seems likely — he’s had hamstring and ankle injuries this year. Coach Bruce Arians said on Monday that Evans probably shouldn’t have played in Week 5, and that he’s trying to get Evans the ball more. That is true — Evans also drew two big pass-interference penalties. But with Antonio Brown coming in to practice this week and guys like Scotty Miller and Rob Gronkowski putting up big numbers recently, where are the targets coming from? (JD)

Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb, and Michael Gallup — Well, we’ve quickly figured out Dak Prescott’s worth in Dallas. Andy Dalton was terrible back on MNF in Week 6 against the Cardinals and played poorly once again this week before he left the game with a concussion after a cheapshot from Jon Bostic. Dalton targeted Lamb five times this past week and connected zero times. He targeted Gallup once and didn’t connect. Amari Cooper (7/80) ended up coming through but his only highlight of the day came on a 32-yard reception from Dalton’s replacement Ben DiNucci on his first pass. Prescott’s loss combined with a struggling Cowboys offensive line drops Cooper from WR1 status, makes Lamb a boom-or-bust WR3, while Gallup is just bench fodder. Lamb and Gallup in particular will be impossible to trust next week if Dalton can’t clear the league’s protocol in time to play. (GB)

DJ Chark (Jax) — A week after Chark had just 45 receiving yards despite 14 targets, he caught just 1 of 7 targets for 26 yards against the Chargers in Week 7. That’s notable, because Chark made comments after the Week 6 loss to the Lions that insinuated QB Gardner Minshew was not hitting receivers when they were open. And then this week, coach Doug Marrone didn’t rule out potentially benching Minshew for a poor performance. That didn’t happen, but Chark surely isn’t happy with what went down statistically for him in Week 7. He’s been banged up (most recently an ankle injury), but is there trouble brewing in Duval? Chark is a volatile WR3 — the targets are there, the production isn’t. Hopefully, things get right over the Jags’ Week 8 bye. (JD)

Chase Claypool (Pit) — Diontae Johnson returned to the lineup and he immediately took back his #1 perimeter WR role from Claypool. The second-round pick had posted five touchdowns and 195 scrimmage yards combined in his last two games without Johnson in the lineup. In Week 7, Claypool saw just one target, which he turned into a two-yard loss against the Titans, even with Ben Roethlisberger attempting 49 passes (2% share). Claypool at least ran a route on 66% of Big Ben’s dropbacks (33 of 50), which dwarfed James Washington, who ran routes on just 24% of Roethlisberger’s dropbacks. Claypool was never going to continue his blistering pace from Weeks 5-6, but we now know he’s capable of cellar-floor performances when Diontae is in the lineup. Claypool’s boom performances are too enticing to bench as a WR3 most weeks, but you have to be willing to take the great performances potentially with a couple of stinkers. (TB)

Darius Slayton (NYG) — Sterling Shepard came off the injured reserve in Week 7 and he immediately stepped into the #1 WR role, pushing Slayton into more of a secondary role. The second-year WR managed just 2/23 receiving as he finished fourth in targets with just four looks (13.3% share) as he saw coverage from top CB Darius Slay. Slayton now has just 4/64/1 receiving on eight targets over the last two weeks, and he’s failed to reach double-digit FP in four of his seven games. Shepard’s presence in the lineup is going to make Slayton even more inconsistent going forward, leaving him as a boom-or-bust WR4 playing with a struggling sophomore QB. (TB)

Jerry Jeudy (Den) — Jeudy is playing like a rookie WR, which is a disappointment since it looked like he had a chance to be a breakout player after Courtland Sutton went down with an ACL injury in Week 2. Jeudy has caught exactly two passes in three straight games after seeing his fewest targets in a game (4) even with Drew Lock throwing it 40 times against the Chiefs in Week 7. His 10% target share is even more disappointing since he ran a route on 81.8% of Lock’s dropbacks against the Chiefs. Jeudy has now failed to reach double-digit FP since his Week 4 performance against the Jets. Lock has really struggled over the last two weeks since returning to the lineup so Jeudy is more of a WR4 for the time being until we see some signs of life from both Jeudy and his young QB, including this week against the Chargers. (TB)

Julian Edelman — Edelman is clearly playing at less than 100 percent, but the much more pressing concern for this Patriots offense right now is Cam Newton. Edelman and Newton just have not been on the same page over their last three games together. In the Pats’ loss to the 49ers, Edelman caught just one pass — a 13-yarder from Jarrett Stidham in mop-up duty on their final drive of the game. All told, Newton and Edelman have connected just four times (on 14 targets) over their last three games played together. Right now, Edelman is just a roster clogger at the bottom of your bench in 12- and 14-team leagues and is easily cuttable in shallow formats. (GB)

Tight Ends

Jonnu Smith (Ten) — The Titans removed Jonnu from the injury report at the end of last week after he picked up an ankle injury in their Week 6 game against the Texans. He didn’t look quite right playing through the ankle issue in Week 7 against the Steelers as he finished with just a nine-yard catch on four targets. Smith now has just 2/22 receiving on six targets in his last two games after opening the season with 11+ FP in each of his first four games. Smith should get healthier off of his ankle injury and he has a great spot for a bounce-back performance against a Bengals defense that got gashed for three TDs by Harrison Bryant and David Njoku in Week 7. Still, he’s moving back into the mid- to low-end TE1 territory now with both A.J. Brown and Corey Davis healthy and commanding the most looks in this passing attack. (TB)

{{Austin Hooper|TE|CLE}] (Cle) — Hooper unexpectedly showed up on Cleveland’s injury report late last week before it came out that he needed an appendectomy before their Week 7 showdown with the Bengals. The Browns have a showdown with the Raiders in Week 8 before their Week 9 bye so Hooper will likely make his return to the lineup in Week 10. Hooper will have a lot more competition for targets at the position when he does return to the lineup after rookie Harrison Bryant and David Njoku stepped up with three touchdowns against the Bengals in Week 7. Hooper can be dropped if you’re playing in 12-team formats or smaller this week and you may even want to pick up his replacement Bryant for this week’s showdown against the Raiders. (TB)

WATCH LIST

Players whom we’re not ready to upgrade or downgrade, but their situations demand monitoring based on recent play, injuries, or news.

Quarterbacks

None of note.

Running Backs

Christian McCaffrey and Mike Davis (Car) — It looks like Davis’ run as the team’s bell-cow back will continue for one last week, barring a setback for CMC. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that McCaffrey is a long shot to play this week on a short week against the Falcons on Thursday Night Football. Davis has come back to earth the last two weeks after reeling off three straight games with 22+ FP as the starter in Weeks 3-5. Davis has just 91 scrimmage yards and one touchdown with one fumble lost on 32 touches in tough matchups against the Bears and the Saints in Weeks 6-7. Davis will have one last chance to post RB1 production before CMC returns against a Falcons defense that he torched for 149/1 scrimmage against back in Week 5. (TB)

Aaron Jones (GB) — Jones (calf) seemed to think he would be able to play in Week 7 against the Texans, and he even traveled to Houston with the Packers, suggesting he was a true game-time decision. But the Pack opted to be cautious with their star and give the workload to Jamaal Williams, who came through in an easy win. The fact that Jones traveled to the game is a good sign, and it’s possible the Packers just wanted him healthy for a matchup with the hated Vikings in Week 8. Keep an eye on his status this week, but it’s looking good for him at this stage. (JD)

Ronald Jones (TB) — This guy is just a nightmare to handicap. RoJo ran for 100 yards in three straight games headed into Week 7. Then, Leonard Fournette returns from an ankle injury and thoroughly outplays him. RoJo still got it done for fantasy because he got a 1-yard TD run, but he posted just 13/34/1 rushing and 1/2 receiving on 2 targets (he, again, dropped a pass). He played 31 snaps to Fournette’s 40, and the key for Fournette was he was the Bucs’ primary third-down and receiving back (11/50 rushing and 6/47 receiving on 7 targets). RoJo has run hard this year and has developed into a quality sustainer and grinder, but he has atrocious hands and the Bucs simply don’t trust him on third downs. He may be a TD-dependent RB2 if Fournette manages to stay healthy. (JD)

Chris Carson — After leaving the Seahawks wild SNF showdown against the Cardinals early with a foot sprain, Carson’s Week 8 status is up in the air. The Seahawks ominously called Carson “week to week” on Monday. Carson left the game after just 15 snaps and didn’t return even though he was seen on the sidelines in the second half. Carlos Hyde ended up dominating the Seahawks backfield in Carson’s absence, turning his 18 touches into 76 yards and a score. If Carson misses next week’s game against the 49ers, Hyde will be a strong RB2 start. (GB)

Joe Mixon and Giovani Bernard (Cin) — We found out before Sunday’s action that Mixon is considered week-to-week with his foot injury. With the Bengals on bye in Week 9, there’s a great chance that the organization holds Mixon out this week against the Titans if he isn’t at 100%. The Bengals have just one win through seven weeks and the team just handed Mixon a four-year contract before the season so they’re not going to rush Mixon back to the field with the team building to the future. The Bengals also don’t have to rush him back since they have one of the league’s better backup options in Bernard, who pulled his best Mixon imitation in Week 7. Gio posted 13/37 rushing (2.8 YPC) while adding 5/59/1 receiving in Cincinnati’s loss to the Browns. Bernard will once again be a low-end RB1 option this week against the Titans after seeing 76% of the snaps last week. (TB)

Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Le’Veon Bell (KC) — The Chiefs scored 43 points while running just 51 plays and netting just 286 yards against the Broncos. Needless to say, it’s tough to draw any conclusions about this Chiefs’ offense from their Week 7 performance, especially with this revamped backfield that now features Bell in addition to CEH. The rookie Edwards-Helaire led the backfield with 8/46/1 rushing and 1/17 receiving on four targets while playing 53% of snaps — he did drop a difficult catch for a would-be second touchdown. Meanwhile, Bell saw a healthy 33% snap share which he turned into 6/39 rushing without a target against the Broncos. We might not get many answers about how this backfield will shake out once again this week because the Chiefs will play in another lopsided affair against the Jets this week. The Chiefs opened as 21-point favorites over New York, which makes them the eighth-biggest favorite of all time. CEH is more of a high-end RB2 for now as the team’s lead back while Bell is a high-end flex option as the change-of-pace back in this potent offense. (TB)

Melvin Gordon and Phillip Lindsay (Den) — The entire Broncos offense had a game to forget in Week 7 as they managed just 16 points in a 27-point beatdown at the hands of the Chiefs. Lindsay was spearheading the offense with 9/71 rushing before he suffered a concussion toward the end of the first half. Gordon struggled throughout Week 7 as he lost a fumble in the first quarter before losing another fumble when he butchered a flea-flicker with Drew Lock. Gordon punched in a three-yard touchdown late in their blowout loss, but Lindsay still out-rushed him (79 to 68) despite seeing eight fewer carries (9 to 17). Gordon would be a bell-cow back against the Chargers this week if Lindsay can’t play, and he needs to start generating some positive momentum after a rough two weeks on and off the field. Lindsay is going to start seeing more opportunities than Gordon if Gordon continues to make mistakes. (TB)

Josh Jacobs (LV) — Jacobs had a bad game against the Bucs — 10/17 rushing and 3/14 receiving on 4 targets. But everyone has bad games against the Bucs — Aaron Jones ran for just 15 yards in Week 6. However, he played just 49% of the offensive snaps, including no snaps on third downs. Considered with the fact that the Raiders evidently looked into signing Le’Veon Bell, it could be concerning for Jacobs’ role overall. Still, Jacobs had at least 19 opportunities in every other game this year, and this was the biggest nightmare of a matchup any RB can face. He has the Giants — a better run defense than you might think — this week. (JD)

Joshua Kelley and Justin Jackson (LAC) — After Jackson led the way in snaps in the backfield in Week 5, prior to the Chargers’ bye, it may have been Jackson’s knee injury that prompted Anthony Lynn to move from Justin to Kelley predominantly in Week 7 — Jackson played 38% of the snaps to Kelley’s 47% against the Jags. Neither guy did much on the ground, however, as the Chargers just decided to throw all day. Kelley had 12 carries for 29 yards, and Jackson had 5/12. Meanwhile, five other Chargers tallied a rushing attempt. Both guys came through as OK flex plays because of receiving work: Kelley had 5/24 on 5 targets and Jackson had 5/43 on 6 targets. Jackson continues to look like the more explosive player, but this will obviously be a rotation here. (JD)

Jerick McKinnon — Without Raheem Mostert (knee), the 49ers backfield was down to McKinnon, UDFA Ja’Mycal Hasty and Jeff Wilson in Week 8. Of course, it was Wilson who went off for a massive game (17/112/3) the week after he was out with a calf injury. Hasty ended up getting 10 touches and looked good again, but the big surprise was McKinnon’s lack of involvement. McKinnon got just 3 carries on the day and turned them into -1 yard. Apparently, HC Kyle Shanahan planned to take it easy on McKinnon coming into the game. In his post-game press conference, Shanahan said, “the plan was to rest McKinnon a little bit with how much he's gotten the last few weeks. We were going to go with Hasty or Wilson depending on their health. Wilson showed in practice he was healthy enough to go. Once he got cleared it was a pretty easy decision." While this past week was frustrating for anyone who played McKinnon, you can’t drop him out of rage. Wilson sustained a high ankle sprain against the Patriots and the 49ers are considering putting him on I.R. It’ll likely be McKinnon and Hasty splitting touches in Week 9 when the 49ers take on the Seahawks. (GB)

Wide Receivers

Michael Thomas (NO) — You’ve done a great job of drafting and managing the waiver wire if you’re still in the thick of things in your league after drafting Thomas in the first round this summer. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on Sunday that Thomas could miss Week, as well, as he deals with his minor hamstring strain. Thomas hasn’t taken the field since he suffered his high-ankle injury in the season opener. He was set to play in Week 5 before he faced team discipline for getting into a fight with Chauncey Gardner-Johnson. There’s a chance Thomas is having bigger issues with Sean Payton and the organization behind closed doors, but there’s likely little you can do about it now through a fantasy trade with Thomas’ value bottoming out. We’ll monitor Thomas’ status this week to see if he can actually play in a tough matchup against the Bears, but be prepared to go another week without your top fantasy WR. (TB)

Jamison Crowder — After popping up on the injury report mid-week with a groin injury, Crowder missed Week 7 and his status for the Jets Week 8 game against the Chiefs is up in the air. This is now the third game Crowder has missed this season after he was out in Week 2-3 with a pulled hamstring. When healthy, Crowder has dominated the Jets targets — commanding at least 10 passing looks in his four full games. This past week, rookie Denzel Mims made his rookie debut and co-led the team in targets (7) with Braxton Berrios. (GB)

Deebo Samuel — Injuries suck. After working his way back after an offseason foot fracture, Samuel pulled his hamstring in the 49ers blowout win over the Patriots. His day ended with 5 catches for 65 yards. This setback is especially frustrating because Samuel looked like he hasn’t lost any explosiveness or speed whatsoever coming off of major foot surgery this summer. We’ll know more later this week, but for now, plan on not having Samuel for Week 8. (GB)

Tight Ends

None of note.

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