Week 9: Start 'Em & Sit 'Em | Lineup Cheat Sheet
Need help dealing with an injury situation for Week 9? We're going to list the most impactful scenarios here as the injury reports pile up. In each one, we'll give you some options to consider if you'd rather play it safe and go a different direction. Keep checking back.
Status: Questionable; considered a game-time decision
We could be looking at the second week in a row without Cobb, who continues to be hampered by a hamstring injury. Despite practicing on a limited basis all week, Cobb sounded pessimistic this week about his chances, focusing on being healthy for the playoff run instead of being ready to play against the Colts according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Fantasy owners should plan on being without Cobb, who's availability won't officially be known until roughly 3 p.m. ET on Sunday because the Packers play late in the afternoon. Potential replacements who could still be found on waivers include Tyreek Hill, Kendall Wright, Brian Quick, Kenny Stills, Dontrelle Inman, Terrance Williams, Adam Thielen and Marquise Goodwin.
Status: Not on injury report
Montgomery's status is brighter than Cobb's -- he's not even on the injury report.
"Ty's doing good," coach Mike McCarthy said Friday. "This is more of just really getting in tune exactly with where he needs to be. Just being cautious. But yeah, he looks great."
Expect Montgomery to play on Sunday versus the Colts and their declining defense.
Limited in practice all week, McCoy says he feels good and said he has starting cutting in practice. Coach Rex Ryan agreed with the sentiment, saying Friday that McCoy "looks full-go to me" and that "I'm thinking he's going" to play. Fantasy owners should expect a tough matchup for McCoy against the Seahawks incredibly stiff run defense. Owners should also carry either Mike Gillislee or Seahawks third-down back C.J. Prosise as insurance in case Ryan decides not to play McCoy before their Week 10 bye.
Walker popped up on the Thursday practice report with a groin ailment. On Friday, he didn't practice. Typically that suggests a player hurt himself in practice and runs the risk of missing the upcoming game. Coach Mike Mularkey said no decision will be made until before the game at San Diego, meaning his status won't officially be known until around 3 p.m. ET on Sunday. Fantasy owners who are relying on Walker should carry a second tight end to spot start in case Walker is inactive -- such options available on waivers include Lance Kendricks, Virgil Green, Clive Walford, Dwayne Allen, Richard Rodgers and Charles Clay.
Hyde's a question mark for Week 9 with a sprained shoulder. He practiced all week but wore a non-contact jersey. The San Jose Mercury-News believes he needs to be cleared medically before getting back on the field. Hyde is a must-start if he's active, but we won't know that for sure until about 3 p.m. ET on Sunday. If you're counting on Hyde, having a replacement is important. DuJuan Harris would be the best handcuff on the 49ers and C.J. Prosise and DeAndre Washington are last-ditch options among rushers available on waivers and playing after the early Sunday games.
Remember when Roethlisberger was supposed to be out as many as six weeks? Me either. Big Ben practiced on a limited basis but all signs point to him playing on Sunday at Baltimore. In the past this matchup was bad for Roethlisberger but in Week 9 he'll see a Ravens team that's still a little beat up defensively, especially when it comes to their pass rush. Roethlisberger is a worthy starter provided he's healthy.
McKinnon practiced on Thursday and Friday after missing last Monday's game at Chicago with an ankle problem. It's great that McKinnon is coming back, but the Vikings offense is in a free fall. Pat Shurmur takes over as offensive coordinator after Norv Turner resigned this week, and the O-line is punchless. It's not like the Lions run defense is dominant but even it should find a way to slow down the Vikings' run game. McKinnon won't get every carry as he'll share with Matt Asiata, making him a high-risk, high-reward Fantasy running back.
The concussion Ware suffered last week will keep him on the bench this week as the Chiefs play the Jaguars. Charcandrick West will be tasked with replacing him in the lineup -- he'll get a heck of an opportunity after coach Andy Reid said Friday that West is "going to get most of (the touches)." Jacksonville's run defense isn't the worst in the league, but with six rushing touchdowns allowed to backs in its last four games, West has a shot at a huge Week 9.
The Cowboys listed Bryant as questionable even though all signs point to him suiting up on Sunday. He's playing the Browns -- what more do you need to know? The big story involving Dez this week was about how many pairs of shoes he allegedly has, not his troublesome knee or back.
It seems like the Raiders are taking it easy with their star receiver, listing him as limited in practice all week. There's no serious concern about Cooper missing the game against the Broncos, but there is concern about how he'll fare given just how dangerous this Denver defense is. It is worth noting cornerback Aqib Talib won't play, but it might not matter for Cooper since he could draw shut-down coverage artist Chris Harris. Be careful starting Cooper in Week 9.
After practicing in full on Friday, it looks like the Ravens have a real chance of getting their wily veteran receiver back. It wouldn't be the best matchup for him since the Steelers have allowed just three touchdowns to receivers all season, but he'd still be a candidate for at least six receptions (maybe eight). His return would give Fantasy owners a potential No. 3 receiver, and it would also hurt the potential for Mike Wallace to have a big game.
Status: Both are Questionable
Maybe two days ago it looked like neither receiver had a chance to play. But despite being listed as questionable, the expectation is that both will take on the Titans. Both practiced in full on Friday. Benjamin is a major concern -- he has a PCL injury that seems very likely to slow him down. Williams' knee injury isn't as well known, nor is Williams known for his amazing speed, so he seems like the more reliable Fantasy option.
Henry didn't practice all week as a knee injury got the best of him. His absence should continue to thrust Antonio Gates into a big-time role with the Chargers ... which, to be honest, Gates has been used to for the past 10-plus years. Expect him to have some favorable chances to pick up yardage and touchdowns (and teach Henry a thing or two while he's sidelined).