Here is another guide for fantasy football.
Injuries are a part of every sport, and in week eight several teams experienced injuries that could cost them their season. These injuries also could have major fantasy football implications for the remainder of the season.
Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell was diagnosed with a torn MCL and will miss the remainder of the 2015 NFL season. Bell was ranked by ESPN.com as the top fantasy running back of 2015. So far this season, Bell put up 83 total fantasy points, which was eighth best among NFL running backs.
Keenan Allen, the San Diego Chargers top wide receiver, will also miss the rest of the season after he was diagnosed with a lacerated kidney. Allen, who is ranked as the seventh best fantasy receiver, was in the midst of a great season as he had caught 67 passes for 725 yards and four touchdowns. The 2-6 Chargers now have the task of trying to find players to fill the role Allen played in their offense this season.
Another notable injury that could impact fantasy football is Baltimore Ravens receiver Steve Smith Sr. who tore his Achilles tendon Sunday. Smith was one of the few bright spots of an underachieving 2-6 Ravens team. Through eight games, Smith was ranked as the eleventh best fantasy receiver as he has put up 82 points in his time on the field.
Here are three players that performed well in week eight:
Quarterback Drew Brees – New Orleans: Brees, who has not looked like himself for the majority of the season, returned to rare form Sunday against the New York Giants. Brees picked apart the Giants' defense for 505 passing yards and seven touchdown passes. Brees’ performance was good for 44 fantasy points, which is the most scored by any player so far this season. The next opponent for Brees and the Saints is the Tennessee Titans, who are 1-6 and just fired their head coach. Look for Brees to have another solid week against the NFL’s worst team.
Wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. – New York Giants: Beckham once again showed the world Sunday he will be a force in the NFL for a long time to come. In the 52-49 loss Sunday to the Saints, Beckham recorded 31 fantasy points as he caught eight passes for 130 yards and three touchdowns. The Giants' next game is against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who have given up 17 passing touchdowns already this season. Beckham could be in for another productive fantasy week in week nine.
Running back Todd Gurley – St. Louis: After missing the first three games of the season, the first-year back Gurley has wasted little time introducing himself to opposing defenses in the NFL. Gurley has played in five games and has rushed for more than 100 yards in four of those games. In those four games, Gurley has racked up 83 fantasy points, which is eleventh best for running backs this season. The Rams will face the seventh best defense when they travel Sunday to Minnesota and face the Vikings, but Gurley seems to be on a hot-streak and should definitely be started if you have him on your fantasy team.
Keeping with the injuries mentioned earlier, here are a few players that are available in many leagues and could help your fantasy team for week nine and beyond:
Running back DeAngelo Williams – Pittsburgh: With the injury to Bell, Williams will now receive the bulk of the carries for the Steelers offense. Williams rushed for 204 yards and three scores in the first two games when Bell was suspended. If you are in need for an upgrade at running back then Williams would be your number one option. He is owned in just 28.4 percent of leagues on ESPN.com, but expect that number to rise quickly.
Wide receiver Stevie Johnson – San Diego: Johnson will now step into the role as the Chargers No. 1 wide receiver with the absence of Allen in the offense. Through the eight Chargers games this season, Johnson has caught 24 passes for 283 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers has passed for the most yards this season, so it is very likely Johnson will receive multiple targets per game — benefiting fantasy owners. Owned in just 28.6 percent of leagues on ESPN, Johnson will be a popular waiver pickup going into week nine.
Wide receiver Kamar Aiken – Baltimore: Losing Smith for the season now thrusts Aiken in the No. 1 receiver position for Baltimore. So far this season, Aiken has caught 25 passes for 333 yards and two touchdowns. Aiken, who is owned in only 20.6 percent of ESPN leagues, could help your fantasy team if you are in need of a wide receiver. However, Aiken is on a bye this week so keep that in mind if you select him off the waiver wire.
** Note: all point totals and percentages listed in this article are based off of the totals found on ESPN.com.