Read ESPN’s Fantasy Football Daily Notes every weekday to stay up to date with the news you need to know and get a head start on the fantasy football content coming to ESPN.com today and tomorrow appear on the ESPN Fantasy app.
The news: Star-Telegram’s Clarence Hill reported that Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott has been diagnosed with an MCL sprain and is unlikely to play in this week’s game against the Bears.
What it means in fantasy: Elliott will have more time to heal from this injury as the Cowboys have a Week 9 bye. Tony Pollard is a very capable backup running back for Dallas. In his seven regular-season games, Pollard has conceded 15 or more touches throughout his career, averaging 107.6 yards per game. Pollard can be considered a high-end RB1 in his Week 8 matchup with the Bears defense, which has conceded the fourth most rushing yards per game this season.
The news: Broncos QB Russell Wilson declared himself “ready to roll” for Sunday’s game against the Jaguars in London.
What it means in fantasy: Wilson said he’s feeling “good” and “ready to rock” after completing a limited workout on Wednesday. He has a hamstring injury and a partial muscle tear near his right shoulder. This season, Wilson has averaged just 14.7 fantasy points per game. If he’s active, he’ll be hard to trust against the Jets. For fantasy managers it would be better to start Daniel Jones, Justin Fields or Jimmy Garoppolo.
go deeper: The Broncos haven’t managed to go below 16 points six times this season. Additionally, Denver ranks last in red zone offense, last in goal-to-go situations, and 30th in third place.
The news: RB D’Andre Swift and WR Amon-Ra St. Brown are likely to return for the Lions’ Week 8 game against the Dolphins.
What it means in fantasy: Swift, who has been struggling with shoulder and ankle injuries, was in full training Wednesday. It should be close to 100 percent. While Swift should be ready to play against the Dolphins, Jamaal Williams is likely to remain a fixture in the Lions backfield given the former’s injury history. St. Brown was limited in practice as he works through the concussion log he entered during the game due to his instability after being hit. He’ll likely get clearance for a cheap matchup against the Dolphins.
go deeper: The Dolphins’ defense allows their opponents the seventh most finishes (24.4) and ninth most passes (255.1) per game.
The news: Cardinals RBs James Conner and Darrel Williams returned to practice Wednesday.
What it means in fantasy: Williams missed the last two games with a knee injury but trained on Wednesday. James Conner, the team’s running back, who is suffering from rib injuries, returned to practice on Wednesday and indicated that the position group is almost at full strength. Against the Vikings, Conner will likely lead the Committee of Cardinals, but he could leave some touches to Williams and Benjamin.
The news: Raiders TE Darren Waller trained on Wednesday.
What it means in fantasy: Waller has been out of the lineup for several weeks as he sustained a hamstring injury in Week 5 against the Chiefs. After the Week 7 reunion, Waller did not practice leading up to the Texans’ game. He moved well in pre-game warm-ups but was inactive. He didn’t see the hamstring injury as a long-term one. Once Waller returns, the Raiders need to get him running. This season, Waller has 16 receptions for 175 yards and a touchdown after signing an overtime before the start of the season. Because soft tissue injuries can be difficult, Waller’s status remains uncertain this week.
The news: Bears head coach Matt Eberflus mentioned that RB Khalil Herbert will remain active in the Chicago backfield.
What it means in fantasy: David Montgomery and Khalil Herbert were actively involved in the Bears backfield against the Patriots on Monday night. Montgomery played 56.3% of the snaps and ran 15 times for 62 yards and a touchdown. Herbert had 13 touches, 87 yards and a touchdown on 40.8% of snaps. With Herbert firmly on the Flex radar, Montgomery looks like little more than a low-end RB2.
The news: Panthers RB Chuba Hubbard did not practice on Wednesday.
What it means in fantasy: Hubbard finished Sunday’s game with 11 touches and 73 yards and a touchdown against the Buccaneers, but sustained an ankle injury late in the game. If Hubbard is unable to play this week, D’Onta Foreman can be considered the low-end RB2 for a Panthers offense that ranks last in the league for total yards per game (271.9). It’s still available in 46.7% of ESPN leagues.
The news: Jets head coach Robert Saleh said the Jets will take it easy with RB James Robinson.
What it means in fantasy: Saleh believes Robinson will complement Michael Carter well. Robinson will need time to learn the Jets’ offense, so this approach makes sense. New York has a Week 10 reunion. For the next two weeks, Carter can be considered RB2. It’s reasonable to expect Robinson to get 10-12 touches against the Patriots this week.
The news: Saints WRs Michael Thomas and Jarvis Landry stayed out of practice Wednesday.
What it means in fantasy: Thomas has four straight games with a foot injury while Landry has missed the last three with an ankle injury. If they stay out until Sunday’s game against the Raiders, rookie Chris Olave will once again be able to carry a heavy load in the passing game. He’s firmly on the WR2 radar this week against the Raiders. Though quarterback Jameis Winston was in full practice Wednesday, the Saints will remain with Andy Dalton as a starter.
go deeper: Olave has scored at least 15 fantasy points in four consecutive games. He averages 10 goals per game. Olave leads all rookies with 11 receptions from 15 yards or more.
The news: Packers WR Allen Lazard did not practice Wednesday.
What it means in fantasy: A shoulder injury forced Lazard to pull out of the Packers’ Week 8 game against the Commanders after three quarters. If Lazard’s shoulder doesn’t heal this week, Green Bay could be without its top two receivers Sunday night. Randall Cobb is on injured reserve with an ankle injury. There should be plenty of goals for Romeo Doubs and Amari Rodgers when Lazard is inactive.
The news: Titans QB Ryan Tannehill did not practice on Wednesday.
What it means in fantasy: Tannehill sprained his ankle against the Colts on Sunday. He was spotted wearing hiking boots after the game, but not after Wednesday’s training session. Malik Willis received exercise reps on Wednesday. Should Tannehill drop out, the rookie is preparing for his first career start. Willis is available in 99.4% of ESPN leagues.
The news: Seahawks WR DK Metcalf did not practice Wednesday due to a patellar tendon injury.
What it means in fantasy: Although Metcalf participated in the Seahawks walkthrough, he is expected to miss the week eight game against the Seahawks. From a fantasy football perspective, Marquise Goodwin, who caught two touchdown passes in Week 7 after Metcalf left the field, is worth considering in deeper formats. Metcalf has averaged 7.4 goals per game this season. Goodwin is available in 97.5% of leagues.
The news: Cowboys WR Noah Brown did not train Wednesday due to a foot injury.
What it means in fantasy: Brown surprisingly led the Cowboys with seven goals against the Lions last week. CeeDee Lamb, Michael Gallup and Dalton Schultz wouldn’t have to share as many goals if Brown is ruled out. Over the course of the season, Brown has thrown a high percentage of offensive snaps and has five games with 50 or more receiving yards.
The news: Chargers WR Mike Williams will be out for at least four weeks.
What it means in fantasy: Williams can also be placed on injured reserve. Four of the Chargers’ top five receivers have been injured this season. Keenan Allen returned from a hamstring injury against the Seahawks, Joshua Palmer missed the Seattle game with a concussion and sustained multiple lower body injuries, Jalen Guyton torn his cruciate ligament and Williams is now dealing with a high ankle sprain. The Chargers say goodbye this week. Without Williams, Josh Palmer and DeAndre Carter will have bigger roles.
The news: Rams RB Kyrien Williams was due to return from injured reserve on Wednesday.
What it means in fantasy: Williams has been out since the start of the season with an ankle injury. The move coincides with Darrell Henderson Jr.’s absence from Wednesday’s practice due to illness. There’s a good chance the Rams will trade Cam Akers in the near future, allowing Williams to get some touches in the backfield. Akers remains absent from the team for personal reasons. Williams is still available in 90.4% of ESPN leagues. The Rams meet the 49ers on Sunday.
The news: Texans head coach Lovie Smith said WR Nico Collins has no season-ending injury.
What it means in fantasy: Struggling with a groin injury, Collins is heavily doubtful in Week 8 against the Titans. Smith has not provided a timeline for Collins’ return. With Collins out, Phillip Dorsett and Chris Moore would have some fantasy appeal in deeper formats. Additionally, there are trade rumors that teams are actively trying to acquire top receiver Brandin Cooks from the Texans, which could eventually catapult Collins to the top spot.
Today on ESPN.com/Fantasy and on the ESPN Fantasy App
Field Yates Fantasy Field Pass for Week 8: What to expect from Etienne Jr., McCaffrey, Pittman Jr. in Week 8
Mike Clay’s TNF Playbook: Buccaneers vs Ravens
Tristan H. Cockcroft’s positional matchup card
Matt Bowen’s Fantasy Movie Room: Week 8 Upgrades and Downgrades
Al Zeidenfeld’s DFS best buys for week 8
• Fantasy Focus Podcast (10:00 AM ET)
Mike Clay’s Playbook: predictions and analysis for every game
Eric Karabell’s Hot Seat for Week 8
• Fantasy Improv by Daniel-Dopp and Liz Loza: the lighter side of fantasy
• Fantasy Focus Podcast (10:00 AM ET)
In case you missed it:
Mike Clay’s Shadow Report: Analyzing matchups between wide receivers and defensive backs
Seth Walder’s Next Gen Stat Perk: Mismatches to exploit
DFS cheat sheet for DraftKings and FanDuel
• Rankings for individual defensive player leagues
• Fantasy Focus Podcast: Field Yates, Daniel Dopp and Liz Loza discuss current injuries, disappointing players who may recover, expectations for players in new situations like CMC & James Robinson, QBs streaming in Week 8 and answer yours social issues! Listen | watch