There are always injury surprises on Thursday that make fantasy football owners apprehensive about the future. This week, Julian Edelman (knee) has been declared out for an unknown amount of time while A.J. Brown once again missed a Thursday practice for the Titans. The injuries to these pass catchers will be key in the start ’em, sit ’em decisions and could have a big impact on our Week 8 WR rankings as well.
For news on Chris Carson, Miles Sanders, and Tevin Coleman, go here; for the latest on banged-up pass-catchers Michael Thomas, Allen Robinson, Dallas Goedert, and more, click here. For more on RBs Aaron Jones, Mark Ingram, and Joe Mixon, go here. For more fantasy injury updates and news, follow us on Twitter @SN_Fantasy.
Is A.J. Brown playing Week 8?
For the second consecutive week, A.J. Brown was a surprise absence at Thursday’s practice for the Titans. Titans.com’s Jim Wyatt noted that Brown, along with several other Titans, wasn’t on the field for Tennessee.
Considering that this happened last week and Brown played and played well, fantasy owners shouldn’t be too worried about what’s going on. That said, Brown will need to be watched closely in case he has had a setback in the balky knee that has troubled him since the first game of the NFL season.
If Brown is still out on Friday, that will be bad news for his chances of playing against the Bengals. If Brown can’t suit up, then Corey Davis, Adam Humphries, and TE Jonnu Smith will handle most of the work over the middle of the field against Cincinnati. Davis would be a WR2, Humphries a WR3 in PPR, and Smith would be a potential top-five play at TE.
Julian Edelman injury update
On Thursday, ESPN’s Adam Schefter confirmed that Julian Edelman had a “precautionary standard knee procedure” and that the Patriots receiver would miss “some time” with the injury. The timetable for Edelman’s potential return is unknown, but he is expected to be out in Week 8 at the least and should return before the end of the season.
Edelman isn’t the only Patriots WR banged up. N’Keal Harry is dealing with a concussion and may be out Week 8 against the Bills. If that’s the case, then the Patriots will only have Damiere Byrd, Gunner Olszewski, Jakobi Meyers, and Matthew Slater healthy among the six wide-outs on their roster (along with potentially Isaiah Zuber from the practice squad). Byrd could maybe be a speculative flex play, but it’s probably best to stay away from Patriots WRs as long as Edelman and Harry are out, though Harry could be a nice pickup now as a pre-Week 9 waiver wire stash.
The Patriots’ lack of receiving weapons will also negatively impact Cam Newton, who has struggled in recent weeks anyway. Newton posted negative fantasy points last week, and while he can still make plays with his legs, he’s nothing more than a middling streaming option because of the offense he is currently playing in.