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Del Pilar's Digest: Fantasyland injury report

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Recent posts by William Del Pilar

Around Fantasyland: Tight ends

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Around Fantasyland: Quarterbacks

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Posted Oct. 24, 2011 @ 2:41 p.m. ET
By William Del Pilar

Week Eight brings the following teams on byes: Falcons, Bears, Packers, Jets, Raiders, Buccaneers. That means you lose RBs Michael Turner and Matt Forte, WRs Greg Jennings, Plaxico Burress and Darrius Heyward-Bey and TE Jermichael Finley.

Injury report entering Week Eight

Quarterbacks                           

Lions QB Matthew Stafford (knee, ankle) will have an MRI done on his knee and ankle after injuring it toward the end of the game in Week Seven. He's feeling positive, which is a great sign, but reports say he was in a walking boot after the game. It was precautionary, but let's see what the MRI shows before speculating. If he is out for any time, the skill positions take a slight hit with Shaun Hill at the helm. 

Rams QB Sam Bradford (ankle) did not play and the team will reevaluate his status. Contrary to what we're hearing, high ankle sprains take a while to heal. Until he practices, he has no fantasy value. Even then, he has been playing so bad, he's not roster-worthy right now. 

Redskins QB Rex Grossman (illness) was in the locker room for most of the game sick with pneumonia but could have played if starter John Beck suffered an injury. Beck did not impress, throwing for 279 yards and one TD with one interception.

Seahawks QB Tarvaris Jackson (pectoral) was inactive and QB Charlie Whitehurst started but was unimpressive. There's a chance that Jackson could return in Week Eight. There's no question he's the team's starter but still a No. 2 fantasy quarterback at best and should be on the waiver wire.

Running backs

Broncos RB Willis McGahee (broken hand) might be able to play next week depending on the break and how the cast affects him on handoffs and receptions. If he can't go, Lance Ball and Knowshon Moreno will share the load with Moreno starting.

Browns RB Peyton Hillis (hamstring) did not play and Montario Hardesty (33-95-0) took over as the starter with 35 touches. Hillis did not practice this week, so look for that to be the first step in deciding if he will play next week. Hardesty does warrant a waiver-wire pickup and would be a matchup play.

Bucs RB Earnest Graham has a torn Achilles tendon and is out for the season. Only time will tell but LeGarrette Blount (knee) has a strained MCL and Kregg Lumpkin (8-15-0 rushing, 6-37-0 receiving with eight targets) is not the answer. The team is on a bye and probably will bring in veteran depth or promote someone from the practice squad if Blount isn't ready.

Cardinals RB Beanie Wells (knee) has a sprained knee and you can look for him to rest it throughout the week to try to get him ready for Week Eight. In his absence, Alfonso Smith (5-17-1) probably would handle the load unless the team brings in a veteran. That's always possible.

Chargers RB Ryan Mathews struggled in Week Seven (13-39-0 rushing, 4-26-0 receiving with five targets) and was in and out of the lineup with a thumb injury. Look for updates this week, but with a history of nagging injuries he will play through it. For him to be effective he needs to be as close to 100 percent as possible. If he misses any time, which is unlikely here, Mike Tolbert would take over primary duties.

Colts RB Joseph Addai aggravated his hamstring and we'll have to wait for updates throughout the week to find out his status for Week Eight. If he plays and is healthy, he is a flex back, bye-week or injury fill-in. Delone Carter (10-89-1) and Donald Brown (9-47-0) shared responsibilities when he went out.

Cowboys RB Felix Jones (ankle, shoulder) did not play and is still out for another couple of weeks. Look for DeMarco Murray (25-253-1) to handle the load in his absence after a great Week Seven performance. If Murray continues playing well, Jones might not have a starting job to come back to.

Cowboys RB Tashard Choice (shoulder) left in the third quarter with a paltry 2-8-0, but no one noticed with DeMarco Murray (25-253-1) emerging. There's now talk that Phillip Tanner (6-34-1) might be the new No. 2 back. This week will tell us what the depth chart looks like but it would not be shocking to me to see the Cowboys release Choice. I'm purely speculating, but it seems as if the team has no confidence in him, nor does it want him around.

Giants RB Brandon Jacobs (knee) had the bye week to try to get healthy enough to play. Look for updates throughout the week but until he practices, he has no value. He insists that he will be back this week and I believe him, but let's see him practice.

Jets LaDainian Tomlinson (illness) got sick Sunday morning and did not play in the second half. He will be back in Week Eight but is no longer a fantasy threat after producing 5-14-0 rushing and 3-37-0 receiving with four targets. That's 2.8 yards per carry. He has no fantasy value right now.

Lions RB Jahvid Best (concussion) did not play in Week Seven and his status for Week Eight is up in the air. Maurice Morris (9-50-0) and Keiland Williams (9-44-0) carried the load in the loss against the Falcons. Look for a repeat in Week Eight if Best can't go.

Raiders RB Darren McFadden (foot) sprained his foot early in the game and did not return. Look for an update this week but Michael Bush (17-99-0 rushing, 2-12-0 receiving with three targets) handled the heavy load after McFadden left and will continue to do so. Bush warrants a pickup because the team will lean on its backs with the poor quarterback play from Kyle Boller and Carson Palmer, who combined for six interceptions.

Redskins RB Tim Hightower (knee) has a torn ACL, leaving Ryan Torain (2-minus-5-0) as the starter. Torain has been a complete bust since his breakout Week Four game (19-135-1) and has a two-game total of 12-17-0. He'll be the one likely to shoulder the load, with Roy Helu backing him. Helu is a watch-list player, as he's averaging only 4.5 attempts for 21.8 yards and zero TDs.

Saints RB Mark Ingram has a bruised right heel and, while X-rays came back negative, we won't know bad it is until he starts practicing. If he misses any time, look for Pierre Thomas and Darren Sproles to take his touches. Ingram was playing well before getting hurt, with 14-91-0 rushing, 1-6-0 receiving.

Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch (back) suffered back spasms during warm-ups and did not play. He should be fine but monitor updates during the week to make sure he's good to go this weekend, as this has been an ongoing issue according to the team. Justin Forsett (8-23-0) and Leon Washington (7-39-0) carried the load in his absence.

Wide receivers

49ers WR Braylon Edwards (knee) will try to come back this week if possible according to head coach Jim Harbaugh. Look for updates this week.

Bears WR Earl Bennett (chest) did not play this week despite returning to practice and will have the Week Eight bye to rest before returning in Week Nine. He has no fantasy value.

Browns WR Mohamed Massaquoi (concussion) will have to go through the typical battery of tests before he can play this week. Look for Joshua Cribbs to start opposite Greg Little if Massaquoi (1-15-0 with two targets) can't go this week. Outside of Little and the tight ends, you don't need to own any Browns receivers.

Bucs WR Sammie Stroughter (foot) returned to practice but did not play in Week Seven and has the bye week to get healthy.

Falcons WR Julio Jones (hamstring) did not play in Week Seven and has the bye week to try to get healthy.

Rams WR Mark Clayton (knee) is still on the PUP list but has a chance to return soon, as the team has two more weeks before it has to activate him.

Redskins WR Santana Moss suffered a broken bone in his left hand and looks as if he will miss 5-7 weeks. It's a huge blow for a struggling passing attack but I would look toward Anthony Armstrong (1-9-0 with four targets) and Jabar Gaffney (4-68-0 with eight targets) to help carry the load. Don't be shocked if the numbers for TE Fred Davis (6-80-1 with eight targets) increase as well.

Steelers WR Hines Ward (3-21-0) sprained his ankle and his Week Eight status is unknown. Look for updates but Ward's having an average year at best with 5.6 targets for 3.7 receptions, 36.9 yards and 0.3 TDs per game. He has no fantasy value outside of being a matchup play. 

Texans WR Andre Johnson (hamstring) did not play in Week Seven and might not play in Week Eight. If he can't go, Jacoby Jones (2-27-0 with four targets) and Kevin Walter (3-35-0 with four targets) once again will be the starters. As you can see, they are nowhere near as effective as Johnson.

Titans WR Damien Williams (headaches) got the wind knocked out of him and then had headaches after that. Despite being the starter opposite Nate Washington, Williams has minimal fantasy value with a season average of 4.8 targets for two catches, 19.8 yards and 0.4 TDs per game.

Vikings WR Percy Harvin aggravated his ribs but he has been dealing with this injury for a few weeks. It finally got to the point that it took him out in the third quarter after amassing only five utilizations for 23 yards and zero TDs. Harvin's a matchup play at this point but we hope new QB Christian Ponder realizes he's the team's most talented receiver and tries to get him involved.

Tight ends

Browns TE Benjamin Watson (concussion) left a game in which he had a great matchup after totaling only 1-5-0 on four targets. Look for updates during the week.

Cardinals TE Todd Heap (hamstring) did not play with rookie TE Rob Housler (2-28-0 with six targets) seeing a bump in targets. Housler has no fantasy value right now. Look for updates on Heap later this week.

Raiders TE Kevin Boss (concussion) left the game and did not return, look for an update later in the week but it won't be surprising if he doesn't play.

Seahawks TE Zach Miller (concussion) did not play, and right now he has no fantasy value anyway.

Texans TE James Casey (pectoral) did not play and has had only one good game. He has no fantasy value, even when he returns. 

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