Fantasy Injury Updates: Is Andy Dalton playing in Week 8?

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Andy Dalton was struggling through his second start with the Cowboys when he exited the game after a brutal-looking injury. Dalton took a blow to the head from Washington linebacker Jon Bostic and exited soon after. Ahead of Week 8, Dalton’s status will be critical for the Cowboys and also for the fantasy owners of any Cowboys players.

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WEEK 8 STANDARD RANKINGS: 
Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | D/ST | Kicker

Is Andy Dalton playing in Week 8?

Dalton has entered the league’s concussion protocol, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, and his status ahead of the Cowboys’ Week 8 clash with the Eagles is now in question.

Head injuries are, by nature, difficult to predict. That said, it’s safe to assume that Dalton won’t be in action this week barring an unexpectedly quick return from the injury.

With Dalton out, rookie Ben DiNucci is the presumed starter for the Cowboys. The seventh-round pick out of James Madison went two-for-three for 39 yards in relief of Dalton on Sunday and would get a chance to start against what has been a porous Eagles defense. DiNucci will become a low-end QB2 option for two-QB and Superflex leagues, but he won’t be on the radar for any owners in standard league setups.

WEEK 8 PPR RANKINGS: 
Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | D/ST | Kicker

If DiNucci does start, the Cowboys skill position weapons will be downgraded more than they already were with Dalton in over Dak Prescott. Against Washington, Amari Cooper was the only productive receiver for Dallas, as he caught seven passes for 80 yards. Neither CeeDee Lamb nor Michael Gallup had a single catch in the game, so it may be hard to trust them against the Eagles. Cooper can still be trusted thanks to his volume while Lamb and Gallup can still be flex plays because of their ceilings. However, the quarterback situation will give them lower floors.

Meanwhile, Ezekiel Elliott should be able to shoulder more touches for Dallas, but it’s unclear if that will turn into production or if the Eagles will sell out to stop him. He is still an RB1 because of his talent level, but there are more questions surrounding him than befor,e including his fumbling issues, the rookie QB set to start, and the banged-up offensive line he is running behind.

We’ll keep an eye on Dalton to see if he can return, but if he can’t, his absence will have a ripple effect. And if this concussion keeps him out long-term, perhaps the Cowboys could consider adding one of these quarterbacks to provide some stability and veteran presence at the position.

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