Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) -
Week 7 saw an inordinate amount of serious injuries to major fantasy players, and Week 8 has numerous top talents on a bye, but three big names also are returning to the field.
Here's what fantasy owners can expect from them:
Steven Jackson, running back, Atlanta Falcons - The Falcons haven't been able to run the football with any effectiveness in Jackson's four-game absence, though Jacquizz Rodgers has scored four touchdowns in the last two games. Jackson, who has been sidelined with a hamstring injury, will likely split snaps with Rodgers against the Arizona Cardinals to avoid a setback. The Cardinals have allowed the sixth least fantasy points to opposing running backs this season, though the two touchdowns they have given up came in the last two games. I'd prefer Jackson over Rodgers -- he'll get the goal line carries -- but Rodgers isn't a bad deep-league flex option given Arizona has allowed nearly six receptions and 46.7 receiving yards per game to running backs.
Projection - Jackson: 57 rushing yards, 12 receiving yards, one touchdown; Rodgers: 13 rushing yards, 51 receiving yards, zero touchdowns.
Danny Amendola, wide receiver, New England Patriots - Amendola has passed all concussion tests, meaning that for the first time this season New England will have both Rob Gronkowski and Amendola on the field at the same time in Week 8. Tom Brady has looked awful this season, and not just because of a lack of consistency with his young wideouts. He has simply missed a lot of throws he usually makes and owns a career-low 55.4 percent completion rate. Gronkowski saw 17 targets in his season debut last Sunday, but Brady otherwise spread the ball around, targeting Julian Edelman and Aaron Dobson seven times apiece and Kenbrell Thompkins and Austin Collie five times each. In Week 6 against the Saints, Edelman saw 11 targets to Amendola's four, but six of those came after Amendola suffered his concussion late in the third quarter. Amendola should see roughly 10 targets Sunday and is a high-end WR3.
Projection - Amendola: eight receptions, 81 yards, zero touchdowns
Michael Vick, quarterback, Philadelphia Eagles - After sitting out two straight games with a hamstring strain, Vick will return to action Sunday against the New York Giants, the team he suffered the injury against in Week 5. Vick only completed 6-of-14 passes for 105 yards while rushing for 79 yards on seven carries in that game and hasn't scored multiple touchdowns in a game since Week 2. However, Vick sprinted 100 yards at full speed Friday and came away with no setbacks, so fantasy owners can expect him to run without limitations Sunday. Given that he'll be handling the ball most often, Vick has a higher risk of re- injury than Jackson or Amendola, but with Andrew Luck and Philip Rivers on a bye, Vick must be considered a top-10 quarterback option against a subpar Giants defense.
Projection - 221 passing yards, one passing touchdown, zero interceptions, 32 rushing yards, one rushing touchdown.