When Derrick Henry left Sunday's game with a foot injury in the first half, I was definitely concerned. Sure, he seems superhuman, but you had to have that thought in the back of your head: "Is this where his workload catches up to him?" Of course, after seeing him return to the game against the Colts, playing 74% of the snaps and log 28 carries, I assumed it wasn't much to be concerned about. If the Titans weren't worried, why should I be?
As we learned Monday morning, the Titans are concerned that Henry may have suffered a broken foot, with a Jones fracture feared. That's an especially tough injury to come back from, carrying with it a minimum eight-week recovery timeline, putting Henry's regular season in real doubt. He's having an MRI on the injury as we await an official diagnosis, but as of Monday afternoon, things don't sound good.
It's impossible to know how much his role in the first seven games -- 27.3 carries and 2.9 targets per game -- might have played in the injury, but at the very least, giving Henry the kind of workload he got Sunday after the injury looks like a mistake. One that could prove costly.
No team relies on their lead running back more than the Titans, and they really don't have any kind of viable replacement for him; 2020 third-round pick Darrynton Evans was placed on season-ending IR with a knee injury this week, with Jeremy McNichols and Dontrell Hilliard the only other backs on the roster. Clearly, they're going to need to add someone.
Who will that someone be? They are reportedly going to be bringing in Adrian Peterson for a workout, which makes sense from a stylistic standpoint, if nothing else. Peterson has remained more productive than anyone had any right to expect into his mid-30s, rushing for 2,544 yards on 4.1 per attempt in his age-33 through 35 seasons. But it might be too much to expect a 36-year-old to be a lead back, and he certainly wouldn't get Henry's workload.
The best options would likely come from the trade market, with Marlon Mack standing out as the most high-profile player rumored to be available. However, it would be more exciting if it were someone like Ronald Jones, who might actually be a borderline No. 1 RB in this offense. Hopefully they take a bigger swing to try to replace Henry than just bringing in Peterson or some other practice squad guy, but we'll have to wait to see what they do. If you need a replacement for Henry in your lineup, Boston Scott seems like he is probably the best option at RB right now, as I wrote in my early look at the Week 9 waiver wire column Sunday night.
Want more fallout from the Henry injury and advice on what to do if your roster revolved around him? We've got you covered with an emergency Fantasy Football Today podcast complete with possible replacements and more:
Henry is obviously the biggest news coming out of Sunday's games, but that's not everything. So, we'll continue today's newsletter with the early waiver-wire targets column from Sunday evening and Heath Cummings' breakdown of the top storylines from Week 8, including some buy-low and sell-high targets for this week. I'll have my full rankings for Week 9 and Jamey Eisenberg's full waiver-wire priority list for tomorrow's newsletter, and if you have any waiver-wire or trade questions, make sure you send them my way with the subject line #AskFFT to Chris.Towers@ViacomCBS.com.-- and then my
Here are the biggest winners from Sunday's action,, including winners and losers, one big takeaway, and one more thing to know for each game as well.
These players come out of Week 8 looking better than they did coming in.
- Justin Fields. He didn't really throw the ball all that well -- though he wasn't terrible -- and ended up with 27 Fantasy points. That's the power of what his kind of rushing skills can do. If the Bears are ready to commit to using him regularly in the running game, Fields has top-12 potential. I'm not ready to just rank him as a top-12 QB for Week 9 against the Steelers, but if he has another big game going into the bye, it might be time to have that discussion.
- Michael Carter. And that would be good news for Carter, who has 17 catches for 162 yards over the past two games, largely from White. Carter also had his best game as a rusher in this one and has been over a 70% target share in consecutive games. He's looking like a top-20 Fantasy RB right now.
- DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. Both had huge games. Metcalf thanks to his red zone dominance, as he caught all six passes thrown his way for just 43 yards but with two impressive touchdown catches. Lockett, on the other hand, had 12 catches for 142 yards on 13 targets for his massive game. It's still hard to trust this passing game with Smith at QB, but the good news is, Russell Wilson may be back from his finger injury when the team returns from the bye in Week 10 against the Packers. You might have a bye-low window on them; or it may have just passed.
It's hard to feel better about these players coming out of Week 8 than you did coming in.
- Antonio Gibson. Sunday's game was basically the worst-case scenario for Gibson that didn't feature him getting hurt. He played just 31% of the snaps, and while J.D. McKissic did see a larger-than-normal role, Gibson's loss of playing time mostly came from the increased role of rookie Jaret Patterson, who actually led the team with 46 yards on 11 carries in this one. The worst part is, Gibson actually logged his first full practice in weeks Friday and was taken off the injury report for Week 8. I don't quite know what to make of that, especially because Patterson was a factor beginning in the first quarter. Is this now a three-headed backfield? For Gibson, who doesn't catch many passes, that might potentially crater his value. I'm going to need to see a good explanation for this one from Ron Rivera.
- Kenneth Gainwell. You might think you are disappointed by Gainwell having just 27 rushing yards, but if you didn't watch this one, you really don't know the half of it. He did end up leading the Eagles in rush attempts, but he had just one in the first three quarters and had played just six of 48 snaps to that point as well, behind both Boston Scott (27) and Jordan Howard (15). I don't know what the explanation for that is, but there's no way you can trust Gainwell as a starter in Week 9 against the Chargers.
- Laviska Shenault. It's hard to say you should drop Shenault knowing how talented he is, but the Jaguars just don't seem to have faith in him like the Fantasy football community does. They've consistently treated him like the No. 3 wide receiver even since DJ Chark's injury, and on Sunday he had fewer targets (four) than Dan Arnold (10), Carlos Hyde (eight), Jamal Agnew (12), and Marvin Jones (seven). I just don't know when you're going to be able to trust Shenault.
Every week, Heath Cummings takes a look at the biggest storylines in Fantasy to try and separate fact from fiction for you. Here are this week's narratives and some of Heath's thoughts:
- Michael Carter will be the second-best rookie RB in PPR rest of season: "Believe it. So many of the rookies we're counting on right now, we really don't know if we can count on rest of season. Chuba Hubbard and Khalil Herbert have starters coming back for their jobs at some point, and Javonte Williams still hasn't been able to wrestle the job away from Melvin Gordon. In fact, we don't have much reason to believe he will in the near future."
- Pat Freiermuth is a top-12 TE rest of season: "Don't believe it. I don't think it's that hard to find 12 tight ends you like more than Freiermuth. Travis Kelce, Darren Waller, Mark Andrews, George Kittle, Dalton Schultz, T.J. Hockenson, Kyle Pitts, and Dallas Goedert all seem like easy choices. I'd also take Noah Fant, Mike Gesicki and Dawson Knox when he returns. Logan Thomas shouldn't be too far away and it's hard for me to separate Freiermuth from Dan Arnold, Tyler Higbee, and a handful of other tight ends."
- Sit all your Jaguars until James Robinson returns: "Believe it. Normally, we'd be rushing to the waiver wire to add Carlos Hyde, Robinson's replacement. And Hyde did have six catches in Week 8 after Robinson left. he also had two catches on the season coming into the week. But Hyde has also been far less efficient with his touches than Robinson and the Jaguars play Buffalo in Week 9, which makes the idea of starting Hyde even more disturbing. And if you aren't starting him I'm not sure why you're using your FAAB to pick him up."
- DeVanter Parker, WR, MIA 51%
- Brandon Aiyuk, WR, SF 48%
- Boston Scott, RB, PHI 49%
- Justin Fields, QB, CHI 31%
- Pat Freiermuth, TE, PIT 18%