This week, the esteemed ex-girlfriend of the guy who convinced us that “Neon” is the hardest song to play on guitar released an album. People say it’s good. I wouldn’t know, what with my ears ruined by Norwegian black metal. But are you here to learn about a drone on a drop-tuned C string or are you here to learn about D’Andre Swift? Probably the latter. ENYWHEY. Just like Taylor Swift released an album this week, our good friend and fantasy football savior D’Andre Swift has been released from the injured list. Just in time for our 1-6 team to be saved! Hooray!
Now, let’s join and commiserate about how we lost Ja’Marr Chase.
Here are the players that are OUT at the time of writing:
Week 8 Injuries and Roster Report
Matt Ryan and Sam Ehlinger: Usually when a player makes oodles of money, there’s this unspoken rule that the football club needs to play that massive contract through thick or thin. Management can never admit a poor decision! The Colts decided this week that they were going to learn from failure and bench Matt Ryan for the rest of the year. Long story short, Ryan makes a ton of money, and if he played some more snaps, he triggered conditions in his contract that paid him even more money. The Colts decided to throw Ryan to the wind and A) bench their most expensive player, and B) deny one of the longest-tenured QBs in the league his guaranteed money. How’s that for ageism? If you were riding the explosive Ryan streamer train, drop him. There’s a non-zero chance that Ryan gets traded before the deadline, but where does he end up starting? Who knows, and fantasy players probably don’t care. Super senior rookie Sam Ehlinger takes over at QB for Ryan, which spells impending doom for Michael Pittman and Parris Campbell. You want a stress test? Try your top fantasy wideout playing with a 6th-round draft pick. Yeesh. Jonathan Taylor probably picks up some more carries, while Nyheim Hines and Deon Jackson benefit from the short passing game. Your fantasy team, though? Hope you made an NFT of it so it holds at least some value when it collapses.
James Robinson: Y’all probably heard that the “injury” Robinson suffered in week 7 was just the pain of fantasy managers discovering that JRob was getting traded. The good news: he ended up on the Jets. The bad news: he ended up on the Jets. JRob is a nebulous start for Week 8 because he doesn’t fully know the Jets’ complicated and sophisticated playbook yet, so I’d keep him at a FLEX level for now. Michael Carter, who will split reps with JRob, will be a FLEX for week 8 and likely a waiver wire darling afterward.
Amon-Ra St. Brown: Left last week’s game due to concussion protocols but has a likely indication that he can play in Week 8. Start.
Van Jefferson: Stop what you’re doing right now, load your fantasy app, and add Van Jefferson. Oh yeah, come back! No, don’t look at that Viagra ad. Yes, look at this blurb. We good now? Speaking of Viagra, V.J. was a WR3/FLEX in 2021 while spending much of the year as an afterthought or utility player on the Rams. He had off-season knee surgery that delayed him in training camp and the Rams gave him some extra time to recover. More like, extra time for Allen Robinson to sink his own ship, amirite? Temper expectations for Jefferson this week, but his upside is a fantasy WR2 for the rest of season. The Rams just got off of BYE, so you’ve got, what, 9-10 games of a vaguely startable WR in a conceptually good offense? Everything in moderation, including your fantasy outcomes.
Cam Akers: Speaking of moderate outcomes, Akers continues to be on the trade block. Remember when the 49ers got McCaffrey? Remember when the Jets got JRob? There’s gotta be something that the clubs aren’t mentioning publicly that’s keeping Akers on the bench in LA and not on the field for another team. What’s the best possible outcome for Akers here? Timeshare? 2022 looks increasingly dim for Akers, and I won’t hate you if you drop him for bench depth this week.
Ryan Tannehill: Questionable for Sunday due to an ankle injury, and very questionable due to his inefficacy as an NFL quarterback. Tannehill brought me an industry championship two years ago, but his prowess with, you know, throwing the ball more than 10 feet has dropped precipitously since then. Tannehill is the QB24 on the year, which is pretty amazing given that so many QBs have been injured or played half-time. Put another way — among the cohort of QBs who have played every eligible game, Tanny is one of the worst. Let’s put it another another way: Kenny Pickett, the rookie on the derelict Steelers who has played in 4 games, is QB23. So, better than Tanny. Yeesh. ENYWHEY. Should Tannehill miss time, we’ll see rookie Malik Willis do his thing, and that could be exciting. For more Willis hype, check out Keelin’s off-season profile of the rookie QB.
Chuba Hubbard: Out with an ankle injury, which means D’Onta Foreman getting even more sweet, sweet ball-carrying action in week 8. Foreman destroyed the Bucs last week, and you’re starting him faster than your lawn mower in week 8.
Ja’Marr Chase: Thick thighs save lives and Chase is dealing with some lower body issues at this time. Please respect his privacy while he shakes his hips loose. Tyler Boyd is still available in 20% of leagues, and he’s the obvious fill-in if you’re Chasing WR. If Boyd is gone, you can snag Zay Jones, Jakobi Meyers, or basically any other warm body. That’s what’s fun about football!
DK Metcalf: Moving around well enough that you probably don’t need to find a replacement.
Mac Jones: Despite dealing with numbness in his toes, Jones is supposed to take the QB1 role this Sunday, leaving strangely useful backup Bailey Zappe on the bench. In week 7, Jones left the game and Zappe immediately started chucking the ball downfield in ways that set the internet on fire. Hope y’all got one of those QB2s who actually has a starting job!
Tom Brady: Heartbroken. After the Bucs lost to the Ravens, Tom and Gisele announced their divorce. Maybe this will be like Albert Pujols’ 2022, when the senior Señor abandoned his wife and put on a resurgent display of power. Or maybe Gisele’s Brazilian supermodel witch powers will turn against Tom, and he should look for extracted teeth under his pillow.
Drop your questions below, and I’ll see you on Monday for the wrap up! Have a good weekend, everybody!