Washington Commanders WR Curtis Samuel has been an injury concern all week for fantasy football managers due to a foot issue. Heading into Sunday morning, is he set to suit up this week, or will fantasy managers be without him? Let’s take a look at whether Samuel will be playing in Week 8 and who might be fantasy options to consider in his absence.
Is Curtis Samuel Going To Play in Week 8?
Early on Sunday morning, we have no confirmation whether Samuel will be playing in Week 8 or not. The Commanders did not give us a firm indication on Friday, and NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that Samuel will be a game-time decision. Rapoport added that there is optimism around Samuel’s status, but we will need to wait for official confirmation of his status at 11:30 a.m. ET.
It was somewhat odd that head coach Ron Rivera was not asked about Samuel by the media on Friday. It created the illusion Samuel’s practice schedule this week was more about management than major injury. The WR missed Wednesday before logging limited sessions on Thursday and Friday.
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This all makes for a tricky situation for fantasy managers on Sunday. The positive news is that this is an early kickoff, so we will have confirmation with plenty of time to make adjustments. Samuel has two touchdowns in his last three games and has averaged just under seven targets per game in the last four.
If Samuel Is Out, Fantasy Replacements Include Chris Rodriguez, Jahan Dotson, and Brandon Powell
Samuel enters Week 8 tied for second on the team in targets with 39. He is by no means a consistent fantasy option but has become an intriguing Flex option in deeper formats. If he is out, fantasy managers will need to pin down a replacement for Week 8, with a couple of other Commanders players providing a potential solution.
The person tied with Samuel for targets is fellow WR Jahan Dotson. However, while Samuel has turned his targets into 31 receptions, 310 yards, and two touchdowns, Dotson has just 22 receptions for 183 yards and a touchdown. If Samuel is out, Dotson has a chance to pick up a higher target share, which could volume him into fantasy relevance this week.
Another option to consider if Samuel misses time is RB Chris Rodriguez, who saw an expanded role last week. Rodriguez touched the ball seven times last week, gaining 31 yards. That role could further expand if Samuel is out. However, against a dominant Philadelphia Eagles defensive line, caution should be exercised.
Away from the Commanders, Vikings WR Brandon Powell is an intriguing option to consider. With Justin Jefferson hurt and ruled out, Powell has seen a much-expanded role in the past few weeks. In the past three games, Powell has 15 targets, 11 receptions, and 127 receiving yards. He is still the WR3 in Minnesota, but is available in the majority of leagues as an emergency option.
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