Predicting Jimmy Graham's Fantasy Stats in Week 8 vs. Bills

Kenny DeJohnAnalyst IIIOctober 27, 2013

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 06: Jimmy Graham #80 of the New Orleans Saints breaks away from Chris Conte #47 of the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on October 6, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. The Saints defeated the Bears 26-18. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

With CBS Sports' Dan Dierdorf claiming that New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham will play in Week 8 against the Buffalo Bills, via CBSSports.com's Josh Katzowitz, fantasy owners should rush to get him active before lineups are locked prior to the start of games.

Jay Glazer of Fox Sports tweets that Graham is a game-time decision for Week 8 because he has a plantar fascia injury. The ligament is partially torn, but it would have required a full tear to keep him out of action.

Regardless, it's clear that Graham is hurting and likely won't be 100 percent healthy for the remainder of the season. This, needless to say, is a huge blow to both the Saints and fantasy owners.

Katzowitz cites Glazer in saying that Graham will likely be on a "pitch count" for Week 8, meaning that he won't be on the field for every single offensive snap. That doesn't mean he won't be targeted when on the field, though.

Sep 30, 2013; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham (80) fights off Miami Dolphins strong safety Chris Clemons (30) on his way to scoring a touchdown in the third quarter at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Crystal LoGi

Despite the injury and inevitable pain that he's in, Graham is arguably the team's top receiving option and one of the top tight ends in the NFL. As long as he's active, he has the potential to produce for fantasy owners.

It may not come in the form of big-time yardage, but Graham is always a threat to put up points. He's Drew Brees' biggest target and has the hands to bring in anything in his vicinity.

Owners in PPR leagues probably won't see too much of a drop-off in his production given the "pitch count" he's on. The injury to his foot will likely make him a bit slower after the catch because of the pain, so he could presumably lose a few yards per game. However, against Buffalo's 21st-ranked passing defense, Graham should still have a good game and always has upside for a breakout.

This week will be for owners to gauge just how much the injury is hampering him. Despite the questions, I'd keep him active.

Prediction: Six catches for 50 yards and a touchdown