Thu Sep 12 8:14am ET
By JEFF PAUR
Sr Fantasy Writer
There already were some major injuries in Week 1, knocking some pretty prominent players out of fantasy lineups. This shouldn’t come as a great surprise. The key for fantasy teams is trying to navigate those injuries. It is never an easy thing to do. Having quality depth and working the waiver wire are two keys to getting through injuries. Hopefully, you are able to get through any injuries this season. Here is the latest from around the league. . . . .
Tyreek Hill, WR, Chiefs. Hill was injured during the opener and is going to miss some time. He is expected to miss four to six weeks with a sternoclavicular joint injury. He is not going to get placed on Injured Reserve, which is a positive. But while Hill is out, rookie Mecole Hardman should get plenty of chances to fill the role of Hill in the Chiefs offense.
Quincy Enunwa, WR, Jets. Enunwa injured his neck once again and will miss the rest of the season This is his second serious neck injury, so you have to wonder if his career is over. Neck injuries are nothing to mess with.
Albert Wilson, WR, Dolphins. Wilson aggravated his calf injury during the opener and played just a handful of snaps. He is out of practice to start the week and is likely to miss this week’s game. The Dolphins are likely going to make sure he is back to full strength before putting him back in your lineup.
Trey Burton, TE, Bears. Burton missed the opener because of a groin injury and remains iffy to play this week. He is trending towards being a game-time decision. We might just avoid him this week until he gets through a full game healthy.
Greg Olsen, TE, Panthers. Olsen is battling a back injury and is yet to practice this week. The Panthers have a short week with a Thursday game, so Olsen isn’t a sure thing to play. Consider him a game-time decision. Ian Thomas starts for the Panthers if Olsen is unable to play.
Hunter Henry, TE, Chargers. The injury bug has hit Henry once again. He suffered a tibia plateau fracture to his left knee. Henry is expected to be sidelined for four to six weeks because of the injury. Virgil Green and Sean Culkin are likely to split the tight end duties for the Chargers while Henry is out.
Sterling Shepard, WR, Giants. Shepard is in the concussion protocol but is already on the field practicing some, which is a good sign. He has a decent chance to play this week, but will need to be cleared before the week is out. Keep an eye on the notes for the latest but things look pretty good for him right now.
A.J. Green, WR, Bengals. Green is out of his walking book and ran some in practice this week. He said he is pain free, which is good to hear. Green likely misses another week or two of action, though. The good news is he is trending the right way towards a return. Tyler Boyd and John Ross will continue to start while Green is out of the lineup.
Joe Mixon, RB, Bengals. Mixon sprained his ankle in last week’s game and had to leave the game. He did not suffer a serious sprain, though, and has a chance to play this week. Consider him questionable and a game-time decision. If he misses the game this week, expect him back in the lineup Week 3.
Jordan Reed, TE, Redskins. Reed remains in the concussion protocol. He remains uncertain to play this week. We should have a better idea of his status before the week is out, but things don’t look great for him at the moment. Get other options ready. Vernon Davis starts for the Redskins if Reed misses another game.
Keke Coutee, WR, Texans. Coutee was unable to play in the opener because of a sprained ankle. He is already practicing this week and seems a good bet to return to action. It isn’t certain the role he’ll play with Kenny Stills on board and scoring last week. Coutee will either be No. 3 or 4 on the depth chart for the Texans at receiver.
Derrius Guice, RB, Redskins. Guice suffered another injury, spraining his knee last week. The only positive is he didn’t suffer a season-ending injury. He is dealing with a sprain and might just miss a few weeks. Adrian Peterson should be active and starting for the Redskins with Guice out.
Tevin Coleman, RB, 49ers. Coleman sprained his ankle last week and couldn’t return to action. He is dealing with a pretty significant sprain and likely will miss at least a few weeks. Matt Breida starts with Raheem Mostert also getting work as the top backup with Coleman injured.
Mike Williams, WR, Chargers. Williams injured his knee in Week 1 and couldn't return to action. The Chargers aren’t revealing much about the injury, but head coach Anthony Lynn indicated the injury was somewhat serious. This is not a good sign for Williams being able to play this week. Get ready to use other options. Travis Benjamin should take his spot in the starting lineup for the Chargers.
Tyler Lockett, WR, Seahawks. Lockett is dealing with some sort of back injury and didn’t practice Wednesday. We aren’t sure if this was just a precaution, so keep an eye on the player notes for the latest. Lockett likely will be ready for the game, but make sure he gets in some practice before the week is out.
Michael Badgley, K, Chargers. Badgley was scratched from last week’s game because of a groin injury. He remains limited in practice because of a groin injury. He is looking questionable to play once again. Ty Long will kick for the Chargers if Badgley is out once again. We would just go with other options.
Jeff Paur is a two-time finalist for FSWA Fantasy Football Writer of the Year and won the FSWA award for Best Fantasy Football Article on the Web in 2011. He also was the most accurate expert in 2012, winning the FSTA Fantasy Football Accuracy Award. If you have any questions for Jeff, email him at email@example.com. Follow Jeff on Twitter @jeffpaur.
Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Brandin Cooks didn't get anything going in the loss to the 49ers on Sunday, finishing with three catches for only 18 yards. To Cooks' credit, the entire team fell victim to the smothering 49ers Defense, and while it was good to see him back in the lineup after suffering a concussion in Week 5, it was a disappointing performance, to say the least. The veteran will look to get back on track against the struggling Falcons in Week 7.
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel (quad) suffered a quad injury late in the Week 6 game against the Los Angeles Rams. Samuel had just three grabs on five targets for 18 yards prior to exiting. The rookie played in 60 percent of snaps on Sunday, which has been his normal range, so the severity of the ailment is unknown. With wideout Dante Pettis starting to dominate snap share and the Niners leaning heavily on their running game, Samuel is fading as a fantasy factor. Hell be a bye week WR5 filler in Week 7 against the Washington Redskins.
Coming off a bye week, Miami Dolphins running back Kenyan Drake seemed finally set up for success in Week 6, with the Dolphins facing a Washington Redskins Defense that was allowing over 400 yards of offense per game. However, Drake only set his owners up for another dud, rushing 10 times for forty yards in a 17-16 Miami loss, and failing once again to score for the first time in 2019. He was slightly more valuable in PPR leagues - catching six balls for 30 yards - but was also out-gained by backup Mark Walton totaling 75 yards on 11 touches. Drake may have been drafted as an RB3, but he isn't giving his owners any reason to start him going forward, particularly facing a tough Buffalo defense in Week 7, and seemingly in a partial timeshare with Walton.
Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff played miserably in the loss to the 49ers, finishing with just 78 yards on 13-for-24 passing, and while he didn't throw an interception in this one, he did fumble twice on the day. The 24-year-old had a day to forget for sure, and though Goff has an abundance of weapons on the offensive side of the ball, he continues to struggle. The good news for Goff, however, is that he has a chance to turn things around in Week 7 against the struggling Falcons. Goff should continue to be started in deeper formats, especially if Todd Gurley (thigh) is back in the lineup.
Pittsburgh Steelers kicker Chris Boswell made his only field goal attempt and all three extra points in Sunday's 24-17 win over the Chargers. Boswell hasn't missed a kick in 23 attempts this season, which makes him an extremely reliable fantasy option. However, on bye in Week 7, Boswell can be dropped this week. You can pick him back, up as a streamer, for a Week 8 contest with the Miami Dolphins, where he should have plenty of opportunities to continue his solid start.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Cameron Brate scored his second touchdown of the year during a division battle against the Panthers Defense overseas in London, England. Jameis Winston did spread the ball around a bit more during this contest but still looked for Mike Evans or Chris Godwin on nearly every drop back. Brate caught two of his four targets for 47 yards, and Winston's only touchdown pass of the day. This is encouraging, but he is still a touchdown-dependent player on a talent-heavy team. The Bucs are on a bye Week 7 and will return Week 8 to face the Titans Defense in Tennessee. Brate is a TE2 for that matchup and can be used in an emergency.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end O.J. Howard finally made an exciting play during the Bucs Week 6 loss to the Carolina Panthers. Since the start of the season, Howard has been relegated to nothing more than a blocking tight end. However, during a 30-yard reception and near touchdown against the Panthers Defense, you can still recognize the immense talent he possesses. Howard finished the day with two receptions for 35 yards. He is unfortunately still an afterthought in this offense, which makes him a TE2 with upside when the Bucs face the Tennessee Titans in Week 8, after their bye.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Chris Godwin continues to dominate the NFL. Jameis Winston force-fed Mike Evans all day with 17 total targets during the Week 6 London game against the Panthers Defense; however, Godwin was the more efficient receiver, finishing with 10 receptions on 12 targets for 151 yards. He did not catch a touchdown for the first time in three games, but it has been a career year so far for Godwin, nonetheless. Week 7, the Bucs are on a bye, but Godwin will be a low-end WR1 when he returns to face the Titans Defense in Week 8.
Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Diontae Johnson hauled in both of his targets for just 14 yards in Sunday's 24-17 win over the Chargers. The rookie had 14 receptions over his previous three contests, but this one was definitely disappointing. However, it's important to note that quarterback Devlin Hodges heavily favored check-downs to James Conner in his first career start. As the Steelers go on bye in Week 7, it will be important to pay attention to who is starting at quarterback for the team's Week 8 game against the Miami Dolphins.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans was a target-hog versus the Panthers Defense, receiving a total of 17 looks from Jameis Winston. He did drop a ton of catchable balls but still ended with nine receptions for 96 yards. After his three-target, zero-catch performance last week, this was an over-correction on the Bucs part to get Evans more involved. The Bucs essentially have two No. 1 wide receivers, with Evans and Chris Godwin, who both can take over a game at any time. The Bucs don't play again until Week 8 after their bye against the Titans Defense.
Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Vance McDonald caught his sole target for just five yards in Sunday's 24-17 win over the Chargers. McDonald and the rest of the Steelers' pass-catchers got phased out of the offense, thanks to a 21-0 lead before halftime. This was one of the 29-year-old's worst games since the Steelers traded for him in 2017. It's important to note that Nick Vannett logged 37 snaps to McDonald's 39 in the contest, so the team clearly will look to utilize two-TE sets. Pittsburgh is on bye in Week 7 before welcoming the Dolphins in Week 8, however, McDonald is nearing drop status, unless he sees an uptick in usage once Mason Rudolph (concussion) returns.
The Pittsburgh Steelers Defense held the LA Chargers to just 17 points, while also scoring a touchdown on a fumble, and intercepting two passes in their 24-17 win on Sunday. Rookie Devin Bush was a man on a mission in Week 6, returning a recovered fumble for the team's first score before intercepting a Philip Rivers pass on the very next drive. After trailing 24-0, the Chargers were able to make it closer by scoring two touchdowns in fourth-quarter garbage time. Its worth noting that Stephon Tuitt (pectoral) left in the first quarter and did not return. With a bye in week 7, this surging defense should be considered the top streaming defense in Week 8 when they welcome the Miami Dolphins for Monday Night Football.
Pittsburgh Steelers running back James Conner took 16 carries for 41 yards and a score, while also catching seven passes for 78 yards and another score in Sunday's 24-17 win over the LA Chargers. The third-year back was the offensive MVP in Week 6, but was again dependent on scoring touchdowns. It's also important to note that Benny Snell Jr. rushed for 75 yards on 17 carries. It's possible that was all up to game script, but to see the rookie outperform Conner on the ground might make you raise your eyebrow. The Steelers are on bye in Week 7, before hosting the Dolphins for Monday Night Football in Week 8, where Conner can be viewed as a low-end RB1 in what should be a positive game script.
Pittsburgh Steelers Running back Benny Snell Jr. took 17 carries for 75 yards in Sunday's 24-17 win over the Chargers. This was the largest workload to date for the rookie from Kentucky. While his usage was likely game script dependent, it was interesting to see him out-rush James Conner who totaled just 41 yards, but did score a touchdown. Snell Jr. is still just a stash candidate for the event of a Conner injury, but keep in mind that Jaylen Samuels will be returning in a little over a month. Pittsburgh is on bye for Week 7, so you might be able to scoop up Snell for cheap.
Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster caught just one of his four targets for seven yards in Sunday's win over the Chargers. Considering Devlin Hodges was starting at quarterback and with Pittsburgh getting out to an early 14-0 lead, the gameplan quickly shifted towards the run game. However, this is two clunkers in the last three games for Smith-Schuster, and he's quickly becoming a touchdown-dependent fantasy option. While the team is on bye in Week 7, a matchup with Miami the following week would be a good game for the USC product to bounce back.
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Devlin Hodges finished 15 of 20 for just 132 yards with a touchdown and an interception in Sunday's win over the Chargers. The Steelers jumped out to an early 14-0 lead, thanks to two takeaways by the defense. The big advantage allowed the offense to emphasize the run with James Conner and Benny Snell Jr. However, the Samford product threw for his first NFL touchdown in the second quarter on a dump-off to Conner. With the Steelers on bye in Week 7, there is a strong likelihood that Mason Rudolph will be ready to go for a Week 8 matchup with the Miami Dolphins.
Michael Thomas hauled in 8 catches for 89 yards on 12 targets in Sunday's 13-6 win against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Jalen Ramsey wasn't active in Week 6, and Thomas went to work exposing the Jags secondary. Teddy Bridgewater didn't take many deep shots, and when he did, they mainly fell in Ted Ginn Jr.'s direction, which kept Thomas's ceiling capped. Thomas's stranglehold over New Orleans' target share won't be changing anytime soon, so expect him to continue dominating in the weeks to come.
Los Angeles Rams RB Todd Gurley (quadriceps) has a chance to return in Week 7, and the team hasn't ruled him out. However, the injury is on the same leg as his troublesome knee, which doesn't allow for a lot of stability.
Fantasy Spin: The Atlanta Falcons have been good against the run, and Gurley would be a high-end RB2 if he's fit to go. Malcolm Brown would be a flex option in either event.
Dallas Cowboys WR Amari Cooper (thigh) was diagnosed with a thigh bruise, which can be painful, but isn't considered serious.
Fantasy Spin: Cooper was knocked out of the game after just one catch for three yards. He'll have a superb matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles, and he'll return to WR1 status.
Atlanta Falcons WR Mohamed Sanu caught three of his four targets for 29 scoreless yards in Week 6 versus the Arizona Cardinals.
Fantasy Spin: Sanu had established himself a nice fantasy WR3 floor over the previous three weeks, so owners counting on him for another five or six catches and about 60 yards came away disappointed. Making matters worse is Matt Ryan threw for 356 yards. Nevertheless, Sanu makes for a decent floor play in the flex in Week 7 against the Los Angeles Rams.