It’s already been a tough week for some key pass-catchers, as Julio Jones (hamstring), Antonio Brown (ankle), Corey Davis (hip), and Kenny Golladay (knee) have been ruled out, and Sterling Shepard (hamstring) and Kadarius Toney (ankle) are “questionable” for Monday night. Heading into Sunday’s action, several more key pass-catchers are “questionable”, including Rob Gronkowski, T.Y. Hilton, Jonnu Smith, DeVante Parker, and Odell Beckham Jr. All are likely on the Week 8 start ’em, sit ’em bubble in fantasy football leagues, so we’re here with the latest injury updates to help with your final lineup decisions.
For the latest on ailing RBs Austin Ekeler, Alex Collins, D’Andre Swift, and Jamaal Williams, go here; for an update on Dak Prescott, go here; for the latest on Kadarius Toney, click here; for more on Sterling Shepard, go here; for the Week 8 weather report, click here. For all the latest fantasy news, follow us on Twitter @SN_Fantasy.
Is Rob Gronkowski playing Week 8?
UPDATE: NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported Sunday morning that there is “optimism” that Gronkowski plays in Week 8.
After missing the past four games, Gronk got in a week’s worth of limited practices and is expected to suit up on Sunday against the Saints.
Assuming he’s active, Gronk is a must-start given the state of the TE position. He posted at least four catches in each of his first three games, scoring four times and averaging just over 60 yards/game. If he’s a surprise scratch, O.J. Howard and Cameron Brate would split the TE snaps, but it’s tough to trust either in season-long fantasy leagues.
Is T.Y. Hilton playing Week 8?
UPDATE: NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported Sunday morning that there is “optimism” Hilton plays in Week 8.
UPDATE 2: Hilton is officially ACTIVE.
Hilton (quad) made his season debut in Week 6 before missing Week 7. He ramped up his practice activity all week, eventually getting in a full session on Friday. Despite being “questionable” for Week 8’s game against Tennessee, he’s clearly trending in the right direction and seems likely to play.
Michael Pittman Jr. has emerged as Indy’s top wide receiver, but Hilton caught all four of his targets for 80 yards in his lone game this year, which shows he’s far from an afterthought. Against Tennessee’s porous pass defense, he looks like a solid WR3. If he’s out, Zach Pascal should see additional targets and have flex upside.
Is Odell Beckham Jr. playing Week 8?
UPDATE: NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported Sunday morning that Beckham is expected to play.
UPDATE 2: Beckham is officially ACTIVE.
Beckham (shoulder) was limited in practice all week, but after playing in Week 7 despite failing to practice all week, it’s likely OBJ is more “probable” than “questionable” for Week 8’s game against Pittsburgh.
It’s been a lackluster season so far for Beckham, and whether that’s because of injury or something else, it’s clear fantasy owners can’t trust him as anything more than a flex. We know there’s always big-play upside here, but with Jarvis Landry and Nick Chubb also healthy, OBJ is merely a complementary piece in a run-heavy offense. The Steelers present a good matchup on paper, but we still view OBJ as a mediocre flex.
Is DeVante Parker playing Week 8?
UPDATE: NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported Sunday morning that Parker is expected to play.
UPDATE 2: Parker is officially ACTIVE.
After missing the past three games, Parker (shoulder, hamstring) is “questionable” for Week 8’s game against the Bills. He’s reportedly “on track” to return, which is obviously good news for the Dolphins’ passing game.
Parker had at least four catches and seven targets in every game this year, but against Buffalo’s top-tier defense, Parker is little more than a PPR flex. If he’s out once again, look for Mack Hollins to get additional targets. The primary impact in fantasy leagues would be an increase in looks for Jaylen Waddle and Mike Gesicki.
Is Jonnu Smith playing Week 8?
Smith (shoulder) exited last week’s game early, but he managed to get in limited practices all week and is “questionable” for Sunday’s game against the Chargers.
It’s always tough to tell who’s actually in danger of missing games for the Pats, so fantasy owners will have to wait this one out until the late afternoon. Given the highly favorable matchup and Smith’s TD upside, at least a few fantasy owners will have him penciled into their starting lineups. That’s risky, but if you do, have a backup option from the late-afternoon/prime-time games ready to go. Dan Arnold (@ Seahawks), Tyler Conklin (vs. Cowboys), and Evan Engram (@ Chiefs) are your best, widely available options.