Free Agency and Injury report week 8 2019

By Kyle Dvorchak
Kyle Dvorchak The fantasy football season is officially halfway complete. The season has been dominated by a handful of bell-cow backs and most of the usual suspects at wide receiver. What waiver-wire gems rising players did the mid-point bring us this week?

Receivers Shine with Brandin Cooks Sidelined

Brandin Cooks suffered a concussion early versus the Bengals and was unable to return. This is his second concussion this season and his sixth since entering the NFL. Given his history of head injuries, Cooks may be sidelined for multiple weeks while he moves through concussion protocol.

In his absence, Cooper Kupp gave London a fireworks display, posting a 7-220-1 stat line. Josh Reynolds stepped up as the No. 3 receiver for LA and went for 73 yards on three catches while hitting paydirt once.

Reynolds is the biggest beneficiary of this injury. He is the only other receiver that the Ram have utilized primarily as a deep-threat this season. He and Cooks have 13.8 and 14 average depths of target respectively. No other receiver has an aDOT over 8.2. Reynolds is a great add off the wire this week.

Dede Westbrook Aggravates His Neck/Shoulder Injury

The Jaguars made Dede Westbrook active this week despite his lingering injuries. The shoulder and neck issues that were ailing him before Sunday flared up and forced him to miss a large portion of the game.

D.J. Chark and Westbrook had been battling for the No. 1 role in Jacknsvolle in the past few weeks and Chark can now lay claim to that title in the short-term. Chark was targeted 12 times and reeled in six for 79 and a score. He's a must-start if Westbrook misses any time.

Chris Conley got the bulk of the work opposite Chark. He was targeted seven times but was more efficient than Chark, going for 103 yards.

The Jags play the Texans next week and if the total ends up being high, Conely may get enough volume to be a viable starter in Week 9.

Tevin Coleman Explosion

Tevin Coleman had one of the best performances of the day, scoring four times and hitting 100 yards on the ground. Matt Breida missed some time in this game with an ankle injury but Coleman wasn't the workhorse of San Francisco even in his absence. Coleman saw 10 carries to Mostert's eight.

It was easy for San Francisco to rotate in Mostert in a game that was well out of hand. It was also easy for them to rest Breida, who said he sat the second half in order to get right for their Thursday game versus the Cardinals.

If Breida is active, he and Coleman are both startable players because of the incredible efficiency every running back in the 49ers' stable has produced.

Miles Sanders' Breakout Comes to an Abrupt End

Miles Sanders put up 118 yards and a score in the best fantasy performance of his debut season before leaving the game with a shoulder injury. He did not return but X-Rays came back negative so the team expecting him to return this week.

If Sanders can't suit up next week versus the Bears, Jordan Howard is a very easy start in the RB2 range. He saw 23 carries and caught one pass in Week 8.

Boston Scott took over as his backup but he isn't likely to get all of Sanders' already limited volume. He's a fine speculative add in deeper leagues but doesn't project to have enough of a role to start in Week 9.

Cardinals Running Back Woes Continue

The Cardinals signed veteran backs Zach Zenner and Alfred Morris this week in anticipation of David Johnson being unable to play. Even with Johnson and their other backup, D.J. Foster, out, Arizona only took Chase Edmonds and Zenner to the Superdome. Edmonds left with a hamstring injury and did not return.

Since the game, the Cardinals have placed D.J. Foster on IR and Edmonds outlook for Thursday has become doubtful. Arizona is expecting him to miss multiple weeks.

To patch over these injuries, the Cardinals traded for veteran back Kenyan Drake.

Drake joins the team on a short week as they face the 49ers on Thursday. However, given their lack of depth at the position, Drake is in line for a major workload.

Zach Zenner will serve as the primary backup and may get some extra work as their only active back with saps played for the team.

Joe Flacco Out...Does it Matter?
The short answer to this question is no. Joe Flacco's yards per attempt (7.0), touchdown rate (2.3%), and QB Rating (85.1) all rank in the bottom-five for qualified passers. He has been a dead weight on this offense and the switch to Brandon Allen is likely a lateral move.

The Broncos may opt run the ball more as Allen gets acclimated to the professional game-he has yet to through a pass in the NFL-which would be a small boost to Royce Freeman and Phillip Lindsay's value.

Pittsburgh Running Thin at Tailback

Pittsburgh entered Monday night without Jaylen Samuels who is coming off knee surgery. They left without James Conner ad Benny Snell Jr.

Snell left midway through the game due to a knee injury and Samuels was taken out after Pittsburgh's second-to-last offensive. He appeared to suffer a shoulder injury on the play and was visibly in pain.

Trey Edmunds was the final healthy back on the roster when the clock hit zero. Pittsburgh will likely be in the market fora free agent veteran if they expect multiple backs to miss their Week 9 matchup versus the Colts. Edmunds is a solid waiver wire add this week until the team makes a move at running back.