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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
David Dorey

Tunnel Vision – Injuries, free agents and Sunday stars


Quarterbacks Pass-Rush TD
 Sam Howell 397-11 4
 Josh Allen 324-41 3
 Dak Prescott 304-19 4
 Jalen Hurts 319-6 3
 Joe Burrow 283-43 3
Running Backs Yards TD
Christian McCaffrey 12-54
Gus Edwards 19-80
Alvin Kamara 17-59
Travis Etienne 24-79
Austin Ekeler 15-29
Wide Receivers Yards TD
CeeDee Lamb 12-158 2
DeAndre Hopkins 4-128 3
A.J. Brown 8-130 2
Tyreek Hill 8-112 1
Ja’Marr Chase 10-100 1
Tight Ends Yards TD
Trey McBride 10-95 1
George Kittle 9-149 0
Taysom Hill 9-63
T.J. Hockenson 6-88 1
Evan Engram 10-88 0
Placekickers XP FG
Brandon McManus 0 4
Brandon Aubrey 5 2
Younghoe Koo 2 3
Cameron Dicker 3 3
Jake Elliott 5 1
Defense Sack – TO TD
Broncos 3-5 0
Cowboys 2-1 1
Jaguars 3-2 0
Vikings 4-1 0
Steelers 3-3 0

Bumps, Bruises and Bowouts

QB Matt Stafford -Thumb
QB Kirk Cousins – Achilles
QB Tyrod Taylor – Ribs
QB Kenny Pickett – Ribs
QB Desmond Ridder – Benched
QB Patrick Mahomes – Flu
RB Damien Williams – Foot
RB Travis Etienne – Ankle
WR DeVante Parker – Head
WR Kendrick Bourne – Knee
WR Drake London – Groin
WR Curtis Samuel – Toe
TE Darren Waller – Hamstring

Chasing Ambulances

QB Matt Stafford – He was already playing through a hip injury and left the Cowboys matchup when his thumb hit a helmet. He remained sidelined with a taped thumb after they examined it in the locker room but the Rams would not make a statement about it and Stafford did not talk to the press. Brett Rypien is the only other quarterback currently on their roster. Stetson Bennett is on the reserve/non-football illness list but the Rams have not disclosed exactly why. If Stafford misses any time, Cooper Kupp and Puka Nacua will likely suffer a decline.

QB Kirk Cousins – He suffered what is feared to be a season-ending Achilles injury. For a team already missing Justin Jefferson, this is catastrophic. The only healthy quarterback on the team is the rookie Jaren Hall. Sean Mannion is on the practice squad and Nick Mullens is on injured reserve. At 3-4, do they give up and make do with what they have or do they try to acquire or trade for someone? The worst part is that Cousins likely takes the Minnesota passing game with him, impacting Jordan Addison, T.J. Hockenson, and Jefferson when he returns.

QB Tyrod Taylor – The Giants quarterback suffered a rib injury and was brought to a local hospital. He was already replacing Daniel Jones who is out with a neck injury. The Giants are down to Tommy DeVito who entered the game and completed 2-of-7 passes for a net loss of one yard. The expectation is that the Giants will bring in free-agent quarterbacks though the shelves are rather bare. The Giants cannot afford to have yet another step downward in their passing offense.

QB Kenny Pickett – The Steelers quarterback left with a rib injury and the immediate concern is how quickly he will heal since the Steelers host the Titans on Thursday. Mitchell Trubisky will take the start if Pickett cannot play. More should be known  on Monday.

QB Desmond Ridder – Was evaluated for a concussion and did not return to the loss to the Titans. HC Arthur Smith said that Ridder was held out for health reasons and not as a benching. Taylor Heinicke took over and completed 12-of-21 for 175 yards and a touchdown. Barring new information, Ridder remains the starter and will play if healthy. Practices will indicate if Ridder or Heinicke are most likely to start against the Vikings this week.

RB Travis Etienne – He left with an ankle injury but later returned and scored a 56-yard touchdown on a catch. He is fine.

WR Kendrick Bourne – The Patriots’ No. 1 receiver was injured in the fourth quarter, holding his right knee in obvious pain. He was able to walk to the medical tent and was ruled out of the game. He is due to have an MRI on Monday and the hope is that it is just a sprained MCL.  DeVante Parker was hit helmet-to-helmet as well and is expected to be diagnosed with a concussion. That would be serious since he missed games due to a concussion in 2022. JuJu Smith-Schuster has been a disappointment since joining the Pats and had his own health issues. But he received more playing time after Bourne left and caught a three-yard touchdown on his only reception.

WR Drake London – The Falcons star wideout left the game and was looked at by the trainers. After visiting the medical tent, he was ruled out with a groin injury. London claimed that he was fine after the game, but he’ll be evaluated Monday and his status will be clearer later in the week. If he is out for the Vikings matchup this week,  Kyle Pitts, Jonnu Smith, Mack Hollins, and Van Jefferson would have to take up the slack but London is the difference-maker out of all receivers.

TE Darren Waller – Suffered a hamstring strain and left the game. His status will be updated later this week, but the Giants’ problems at quarterback are an equally troublesome development for Waller’s fantasy value.

Free Agents, Flops and Other Notables

New starting quarterbacks – The worst injury situation appears to be Kirk Cousins and the situation they are in if he cannot play as expected. The Vikings are likely to bring in veteran quarterbacks who will carry some fantasy value, but watch what moves they make in the early week. The NFL trade deadline is Tuesday, so we’ll know quickly if they acquire any notable replacement.

QB Will Levis (TEN) – The 2.02 pick by the Titans in the NFL draft was the fourth quarterback selected. Levis took his first NFL start and threw for 238 yards and four touchdowns – three on deep passes to DeAndre Hopkins. Ryan Tannehill only totaled two touchdowns after six games. Levis has to be the ongoing starter. He became the third quarterback in NFL history to throw for four touchdowns in their first start.

RB Emari Demercado (ARI) – The Cardinals have turned to Demercado as the full-time back with 20 carries for 78 yards versus the Ravens on Sunday. He also caught one pass for one year. James Conner remains out for at least two more weeks and it could be longer since the Cardinals have not been very forthcoming about Conner’s prognosis.

TE Trey McBride (ARI) – The Cardinals placed Zach Ertz onto injured reserve and that left second-year McBride as the primary tight end. He responded well, leading all fantasy tight ends with ten catches for 95 yards and a score against the Ravens. McBride was drafted last year in the second round and this was the sort of development they were hoping to see.

TE Taysom Hill (NO) – The Swiss Army knife of the Saints already scored last week on five rushes for 18 yards and gained 50 yards as a receiver. Against the  Colts, Hill ran for 63 yards and two touchdowns on nine rushes and caught a 14-yard pass. He’s always been inconsistent, but that’s two straight fantasy-relevant performances. He has been shifted to being a quarterback on some depth charts but remains a tight end on many.

RB Miles Sanders (CAR) – He missed Week 6 with a shoulder injury but had a bye to help him heal. He was removed from the injury report and was expected to resume his role as the starter, along with Chuba Hubbard. But Sanders only carried twice for no yards, and Hubbard ran 15 times for 28 yards.  Sanders is far too risky to merit a fantasy start until he can prove to be healthy and a part of the game plan.

WR Demario Douglas (NE) – The Patriots rookie hasn’t scored and topped out in Week 7 with four catches for 54 yards. Against the Dolphins, he ended with five receptions for 25 yards but it was notable because his seven targets were three more than any other Patriot receiver. And Kendrick Bourne and DeVante Parker both were injured last week.

RB Gus Edwards (BAL) – He’s been consistent with around 50 yards in most games and scored only in Week 2. But these last two games, Edwards has his best performances of the year. In Week 7, he ran in a score, rushed for 64 yards and caught an 80-yard pass. For Week 8, he produced a career-best three touchdowns on his 19 rushes for 80 yards and caught two passes for 14 yards.  Jackson dialed back his role as a rusher for these last two weeks and Edwards has feasted.

WR Tyreek Hill (MIA) – He currently has 1,014 receiving yards and is the first player to do that in their first eight games in the last 62 years of NFL history. He is on pace to gain 2,154 yards on the season.

Germany Alert! – The NFL returns to Europe this week with their first-ever game in Germany. The notable part is that they are showcasing the NFL by playing the Dolphins and Chiefs. That means there are a lot of fantasy team owners who need to get up well before 9:30 AM EST (6:30 AM EST) and check their lineups or risk missing an inactive.

Huddle player of the week

Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

CeeDee Lamb (DAL)  –  The Cowboys No. 1 receiver already gained 117 yards last week, and he upped that mark against the Rams when he caught 12 passes for a career-best 158 yards and two touchdowns. After a three-week lull in production, Lamb is turning in big stats for multiple weeks and just led the NFL in fantasy points.


Drama 101 – Somebody has to laugh, somebody has to  cry

Comedy Yards TDs Tragedy Yards TDs
QB Sam Howell 397-11 4 QB Patrick Mahomes 241-20 0
RB Javonte Williams 27-85
1 RB Isiah Pacheco 8-40
RB Rachaad White 9-39
0 RB Kenneth Walker 8-66
WR DeAndre Hopkins 4-128 3 WR Cooper Kupp 4-21 0
WR Jahan Dotson 8-108 1 WR Zay Flowers 5-19 0
WR Rashid Shaheen 3-153 1 WR Puka Nacua 3-43 0
TE Trey McBride 10-95 1 TE Dallas Goedert 4-36 0
PK Brandon McManus 0   XP   4 FG PK Ka’imi Fairbairn  1  XP
Huddle Fantasy Points = 206 Huddle Fantasy Points = 52

Now get back to work…

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