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2021 Fantasy Football: Week 9 Inactives

Over halfway through the fantasy football season now; superstar injuries continue to taint season-long outlooks and winners are those who grind through the bad fortune and overcome adversity. This is where it starts. Welcome back to the “Fantasy Football Hospital” so to speak—the Week 9 inactives list.

This series will continue to be live every Saturday morning, meaning that if brand new statuses appear later in the weekend, they are not covered here. You can also follow me on Twitter (@AhaanRungta) for more regular fantasy football discussions, including comments on injury-riddled fantasy rosters. If a game does not appear on this list, that means there is currently no current injury threat in the realm of fantasy relevance.

More fantasy football fun for Week 9: Waiver Wire | FAAB Guide | Start & Sit | Loves & Hates | Stock Watch | Sleepers & Streamers | D/ST Streamers

Week 9 NFL Inactives

Las Vegas Raiders vs. New York Giants

QUESTIONABLE: WR John Ross, NYG (quadriceps) / WR Kenny Golladay, NYG (knee)
OUT: RB Saquon Barkley, NYG (ankle) / WR Sterling Shepard, NYG (quadriceps) / WR Dante Pettis, NYG (shoulder)

While the Raiders have had multiple issues off the field, particularly this week, that have included roster cuts, the fantasy-relevant members of their roster are full-gos. Derek Carr is prepared to lead a pass-catching unit of Darren Waller, Hunter Renfrow, and deep threats Bryan Edwards and Zay Jones. We also have a rare occasion of the Kenyan DrakeJosh Jacobs backfield duo being fully healthy entering Week 9.

You cannot say nearly the same about the Giants. Just about every member of the roster has some sort of injury designation and in the case of some fantasy stars, they are already ruled out for Week 9. Saquon Barkley initially tacked on a COVID-19 fear but it was later revealed that the positive test result was false. However, he wasn’t able to resolve the ankle issue that held him out of previous matchups. Similarly, Sterling Shepard was able to start Week 8’s Monday Night Football game but will miss Week 9 due to a quadricep issue. The Giants have a bye and both Barkley and Shepard will aim to return Week 11 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Meanwhile, Kenny Golladay participated in team drills during Thursday’s practice but remains banged up and questionable for Week 9. 

Atlanta Falcons vs. New Orleans Saints

OUT: WR Calvin Ridley, ATL (personal)
OUT: QB Jameis Winston, NO (knee) / WR Michael Thomas, NO (ankle)

Minutes before his Week 8 matchup against the Panthers, Calvin Ridley, who had already taken a game off due to personal reasons, announced that he needs some time away from football.

Ridley has been placed on the reserve/non-football injury list and will be out at least three weeks. It is possible he will return to NFL action as soon as he is eligible to return so fantasy football owners should not drop the star wideout from any leagues. We wish Ridley all the best and hope he takes all the time he needs to be prepared to get back to racking up fantasy points on the field. 

As for New Orleans, they had an announcement from a star wideout themselves, this time a season-ending one.

The former NFL Offensive Player of the Player Michael Thomas can be dropped from all fantasy redraft leagues. Additionally, the Saints offense is getting a new look as Jameis Winston’s torn ACL will end his season as well. Neither Thomas nor Winston will be named in this inactives list for the rest of the season.

Trevor Siemian has been named the Week 9 starter under center for New Orleans. Luckily for him, his top offensive weapons are all healthy against a Falcons defense that is capable of giving up yardage. 

Buffalo Bills vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

QUESTIONABLE: WR Cole Beasley, BUF (ribs)
QUESTIONABLE: RB James Robinson, JAX (heel)
OUT: TE Dawson Knox, BUF (hand)

While a Week 7 bye certainly helped Dawson Knox play catchup and get a quick surgery, he will still miss another week to nurse the injured hand. Additionally, slot receiver Cole Beasley was limited in practice Friday, but that was an upwards trend as he missed practice the two days prior. This suggests that Beasley is trending upwards to playing in a Week 9 matchup against the atrocious Jaguars secondary.

On the other side, the poor get poorer as fantasy stud running back James Robinson practiced in limited fashion on Friday and could be a game-time decision for this Week 9 matchup against a tough Buffalo Bills defense. If Robinson cannot suit up, Carlos Hyde is likely next in line to take the starting role in the backfield. 

Cleveland Browns vs. Cincinnati Bengals

QUESTIONABLE: WR Donovan Peoples-Jones, CLE (groin) / TE Harrison Bryant, CLE (thigh)
QUESTIONABLE: RB Chris Evans, CIN (hamstring)
OUT: WR Odell Beckham Jr., CLE (team + shoulder)

While the Bengals’ fantasy-relevant core remains relatively healthy and fresh, looking for a bounceback after an embarrassing loss to Mike White’s Jets, the Browns are in shambles. They have decided to part ways with 3-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and the wide receiver that would be next in line, Donovan Peoples-Jones, is dealing with a groin disturbance that kept him limited in every practice this week. With Peoples-Jones banged up and Beckham out the door, Jarvis Landry becomes one of the most intriguing plays of the week at wide receiver, as indicated by my Week 9 Loves & Hates.

The Browns also roster Anthony Schwartz and Rashard Higgins at the wide receiver position and Austin Hooper, David Njoku, and an injury-riddled Harrison Bryant at tight end. Bryant did not practice on Friday and is likely fantasy-irrelevant even in deep leagues.

New England Patriots vs. Carolina Panthers

QUESTIONABLE: WR N’Keal Harry, NE (knee) / TE Jonnu Smith, NE (shoulder)
QUESTIONABLE: QB Sam Darnold, CAR (concussion) / RB Christian McCaffrey, CAR (hamstring)

While the Patriots continue to list a plethora of players on the injury report, the fantasy core seems to be safe headed into this potentially-thrilling Week 9 matchup. The essentially-irrelevant N’Keal Harry seems to have picked up a knee injury during practice this week and Jonnu Smith has again made his weekly appearance on this list. Even if Smith suits up, however, he isn’t a strong play at the tight end position. The Panthers rank #6 in pass DVOA as a defense this season and Hunter Henry has been the tight end that has been living up to the red zone production the Patriots had hoped for when inking his contract.

As for the Panthers, they provide the much more pivotal injury report in this game. The unanimous redraft #1 overall pick Christian McCaffrey might be back for his first NFL action since Week 3. Carolina has until 4:00 PM today to activate the superstar from the injured reserve. Notably however, even if he is good to go, he might be a lock to put up big fantasy numbers, as he will be on a snap count. 

Quarterback Sam Darnold faces an unfortunate situation—whether or not he plays or is magically made the starter, he shouldn’t be in your fantasy lineup. Darnold continues to deal with a concussion and a shoulder injury and in most leagues, he remains an option to stream at quarterback for when he is healthy again. 

Denver Broncos vs. Dallas Cowboys

QUESTIONABLE: WR CeeDee Lamb, DAL (ankle) / WR Amari Cooper, DAL (hamstring) / WR Michael Gallup, DAL (calf)

The good news? Dak Prescott, after missing Week 8’s Sunday Night Football thriller, was a full participant in practice this week and is a full-go to start Week 9. The bad news? All his pass-catching weapons deal with some sort of an injury. Sophomore stud CeeDee Lamb was seen practicing on Friday and is expected to play. Veteran accelerator Amari Cooper was limited in practice but is also expected to play. Twenty-five-year-old athlete Michael Gallup has been dealing with a calf injury acquired during Week 1 that has kept him off the field ever since; he is still being evaluated and while he could be activated Week 9, there is no guarantee he will be actively involved in the Dallas offense. Gallup should be stashed in fantasy leagues with any considerable depth but shouldn’t be trusted to start Week 9 even if he suits up.

Minnesota Vikings vs. Baltimore Ravens

QUESTIONABLE: WR Rashod Bateman, BAL (groin) / WR Sammy Watkins, BAL (thigh)
DOUBTFUL: RB Latavius Murray, BAL (ankle)

The Ravens cannot stay off the inactives list this season; this time, Latavius Murray represents the backfield with an uncertain status due to an injury he has been nursing for multiple weeks. In his absence, Devonta Freeman, Le’Veon Bell, and Ty’Son Williams continue to comprise the Baltimore backfield committee to complement the elite rushing capability of quarterback Lamar Jackson.

Additionally, Jackson’s wideouts are banged up as well. Sammy Watkins, who has been injured since Week 5 due to a hamstring concern, remains a day-to-day decision and should not be trusted even if he suits up Week 9. The rookie Rashod Bateman, who semi-broke-out for 80 receiving yards Week 7 before a Week 8 bye, now has a slight groin issue that head coach John Harbaugh did not seem overly stressed about. Bateman is currently expected to play Sunday and against the mediocre Minnesota pass defense, he is a good start in deeper leagues, barring any news of a snap count.

Houston Texans vs. Miami Dolphins

IN: QB Tyrod Taylor, HOU (hamstring)
QUESTIONABLE: QB Tua Tagovailoa, MIA (finger/ribs)
OUT: WR DeVante Parker, MIA (shoulder)

He’s back! In his one full start this season, the Texans went 1-0 to begin the season. Ever since Tyrod Taylor has been out with a hamstring issue, but he comes back with a chance to immediately win a ballgame again as he is set to replace Davis Mills as the man under center for Houston. Taylor and the Texans face a troubled Dolphins team, whose quarterback is also not fully healthy.

Tua Tagovailoa experienced swelling on his throwing hand and is no lock to start against the weak Texans defense, although he is currently expected to fight the pain and play Week 9. While running back Malcolm Brown and offseason acquisition Will Fuller V remain out on the injured reserve, wide receiver DeVante Parker will join them. Miami placed Parker on the injured reserve on Friday due to an additional setback to his hamstring recuperation. Parker is next eligible to return to the field Week 12 against the Panthers.

Los Angeles Chargers vs. Philadelphia Eagles

OUT: RB Justin Jackson, LAC (quadriceps)

While Mile Sanders remains on injured reserve for the Eagles, the injury report for this game is otherwise quite clean for the fantasy game. Backup running back Justin Jackson is a no-go for the Chargers due to a quadriceps issue. However, Jackson was not stealing significant work from fantasy star Austin Ekeler, who remains an RB1 play against the Eagles in Week 9.

Green Bay Packers vs. Kansas City Chiefs

IN: WR Davante Adams, GB (COVID-19) / WR Allen Lazard, GB (COVID-19)
QUESTIONABLE: WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling, GB (hamstring)
OUT: QB Aaron Rodgers, GB (COVID-19)

Talk about relevance to the fantasy game, gambling game, and pick ‘em action—one of the best quarterbacks in football has stirred news outlets about his recent reactions and comments about his stint on the COVID-19 list, now only a few days old. Regardless, all we do know at the moment is he is out Week 9 against a Chiefs team that could have easily been taken advantage of. In Aaron Rodgers’ absence, Jordan Love will get his first start in the NFL.

Meanwhile, there is some other movement in the Packers offense as superstar Davante Adams and potential target magnet Allen Lazard are both expected to be good to go Week 9, while Marquez Valdes-Scantling is still a tease at this point. The Chiefs rank bottom 4 in the NFL in both rush DVOA and pass DVOA as a defense. Offense can still be created for Green Bay if Love can step up and make some accurate throws.

Arizona Cardinals vs. San Francisco 49ers

IN: TE George Kittle, SF (calf) / K Robbie Gould, SF (groin)
QUESTIONABLE: QB Kyler Murray, ARI (ankle) / WR DeAndre Hopkins, ARI (hamstring)
OUT: WR A.J. Green, ARI (COVID-19)

Superstars on this list—we love to see George Kittle making a return to the field for the first time since Week 4 at the tight end position. However, we hate to see the uncertainty surrounding Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins, both of whom are currently deemed as game-time decisions. They are scheduled to play at 4:25 PM Eastern Time so fantasy owners must place a backup plan if they own either Arizona star, just in case they do not suit up. It is noteworthy that the Cardinals are 7-1 but are nowhere near safe for the division lead as the Rams are also up in their necks at 7-1.

Meanwhile, kicker Robbie Gould is back and Joey Slye was therefore cut. Additionally, wide receiver A.J. Green is on the COVID-19 list after a positive test for the virus. Tight end Demetrius Harris joined him on that list but I would hope that particular news does not affect your fantasy roster.

Tennessee Titans vs. Los Angeles Rams

QUESTIONABLE: WR Robert Woods, LAR (foot)
OUT: RB Derrick Henry, TEN (foot)

Perhaps the biggest news of the week on this subject, the most dominant fantasy player of the year so far, Derrick Henry, is out of action until at least Week 15. Henry will be dearly missed by NFL fans enjoying his pure athletic dominance and fantasy owners feeding off his efficient production and ability to drop 3-touchdown games at will. 

That’s not it for the Titans as A.J. Brown, the new focal point of their offense, did not practice on Friday due to a knee issue and is a situation worth monitoring. In light of the Henry news, the Titans signed and promoted veteran running back Adrian Peterson to the active roster. Youngster Jeremy McNichols also appears out of the Titans backfield and the role split between Peterson and McNichols is a read fantasy owners cannot be certain about quite yet. 

As for the Rams, they have so far dodged major fantasy-impacting news but Robert Woods was limited in some parts of practice this week. Regardless, he is expected to play on Sunday. Woods has given up a lot of work to the #1 overall fantasy wide receiver Cooper Kupp this season but he is still a top 20 player at the position and should be trusted against the porous Tennessee pass defense if he is on the field for Sunday Night Football

Chicago Bears vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

QUESTIONABLE: RB Damien Williams, CHI (knee) / WR Darnell Mooney, CHI (groin)
QUESTIONABLE: QB Ben Roethlisberger, PIT (pectoral + shoulder + hip) / TE Eric Ebron, PIT (hamstring)

Two icky offensive situations, two icky injury reports. On the Chicago side, as running back David Montgomery remains on the injured reserve, backup Damien Williams is trending towards a no-show for Week 9 but it seems that rookie Khalil Herbert took over Williams’ job anyway so Herbert is simply a stronger start, granted against the tough rushing defense of the Steelers. Darnell Mooney made a recent appearance on the injury report as his practice on Friday was limited. His participation currently means that he is expected to play Monday but if his designation does not evaporate before Sunday games, it is worth coming up with a backup plan if Mooney was going to be a start for you.

On the Pittsburgh side, veteran quarterback Ben Roethlisberger continues dealing with the usual injuries that have kept him on injury reports recently, although he has now picked up designations on more body parts. While Roethlisberger is usually not a strong fantasy start these days anyway, he is an even bigger fade with these health issues. Tight end Eric Ebron was also limited in practice on Friday but Pittsburgh rookie Pat Freiermuth has impressed recently anyway at the tight end position, with 11 receptions on 14 targets on the last two games.

Check out our Week 9 Rankings: QB | RB | WR | TE | Kicker | D/ST | PPR | Flex

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