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.
Philadelphia Eagles running back Jordan Howard might only play a fantasy relevant role in Week 8 if he is able to score a touchdown. Howard and the Eagles travel to Buffalo to take on a tough Bills Defense. While Howard has handled almost all early-down and goal line work lately, he has not put together many yards and is a complete non-factor in the passing game. He's looking at another game that could possibly be similar to his 50-yard performance in Week 7. Howard is a risky RB3 with a concerning floor this week.
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz could have a hard time in Week 8 on the road against the Buffalo Bills. The Eagles offense looked like a mess in Week 7 against the Cowboys, with Wentz throwing for just 191 yards on 16 completed passes. The Bills Defense poses another threat to Wentz and the whole Philly offense. With DeSean Jackson (abdomen) still not a sure thing to suit up, it looks like a week to fade every fantasy-relevant Eagle a bit. Wentz is more of a high-end QB2 this week.
Detroit Lions running back Kerryon Johnson (knee) underwent a procedure on Tuesday morning and will miss at least eight weeks while on injured reserve. After many had hoped that the 22-year-old would be in store for a breakout season, Johnson disappointed by compiling just 308 yards and three total touchdowns while averaging a subpar 3.3 yards per carry throughout six games. With his season potentially over, Ty Johnson and J.D. McKissic will take over, with Johnson potentially getting the bulk of the carries on the ground and McKissic being involved catching passes out of the backfield. How exactly the time will be split is unknown at the moment in addition to the team also rumored to make a deal before the trade deadline.
The Washington Redskins Defense will head to Minnesota on Thursday night to take on a Vikings team that has averaged 36 points a game over the last three weeks. Minnesota's recent offensive success directly coincides with its newly established willingness to air the ball out from the arm of Kirk Cousins, who has averaged 325 yards per game and thrown 10 total touchdowns in this span. Adding fuel to the grease fire that is Washington's fantasy outlook for Week 8, the Vikings also have a running back by the name of Dalvin Cook who just so happens to lead the NFL in rushing yards per game at 103.6. Even with Adam Thielen in danger of missing this game for the Vikings, there is no conceivable reason to deploy the Redskins defense in fantasy lineups this week.
Washington Redskins tight end Jeremy Sprinkle will presumably start for the fourth consecutive week on Thursday night against the Vikings, but that starting role has yet to yield any positive fantasy results. Vernon Davis has missed Washington's last three games, a time frame in which Sprinkle has caught a total of six passes for 54 yards. Even a visit to the endzone can't necessarily save him from a usage rate that low. The Vikings are allowing double-digit PPR production on average to tight ends, but the last thing you want to do is needlessly roll the dice on a risky Thursday night player and have it go up in flames. Whether Davis (who is currently listed as doubtful) unexpectedly suits up or not, there are safer and more proven options at tight end than Sprinkle for Week 8.
Washington Redskins wide receiver Paul Richardson has a relatively favorable matchup on his hands Thursday, but has done nothing this season to convince fantasy owners he can capitalize. The Vikings are allowing an average of 15 receptions and 159 yards per game to opposing receivers, along with 11 total touchdowns. Richardson hasn't caught a pass for two straight weeks, and Terry McLaurin is a productive target vacuum in Washington's offense, so the reliability scale tips in the latter's direction. As much as the Redskins would probably like to involve someone other than McLaurin and diversify their attack, Richardson simply cannot be trusted as a fantasy play in any format based on his output to this point in the season.
Washington Redskins wide receiver Trey Quinn has totaled seven catches for 56 yards in his last three games. His only double-digit PPR outing came all the way back in Week 1 when he happened to score a garbage-time touchdown. With a short week to prepare for Thursday night's game and a Redskins offense that hasn't looked any good for pretty much the entire season, Quinn's outlook remains grim even against a Vikings Defense that has been somewhat friendly to wide receivers. If he miraculously has a productive night against Minnesota after catching three or fewer passes in four consecutive weeks, it unfortunately needs to happen on the waiver wire.
Washington Redskins wide receiver Terry McLaurin should be in line for a ton of targets in Thursday night's game at Minnesota, making him the only reasonably safe fantasy option among his teammates. The Vikings have allowed the most receptions to wide receivers of any team in the league, for 1,116 total yards and a league-high 11 touchdowns. McLaurin's well-established rapport with Case Keenum through the first half of the season suggests he should be the pass-catcher tasked with exploiting Minnesota's secondary. Game flow figures to work in his favor as well, as the Vikings could reasonably be expected to jump out to an early lead. McLaurin's volume keeps him in flex territory for WR-needy fantasy teams.
Washington Redskins quarterback Case Keenum will look to bounce back from Sunday's 9-0 loss in which he threw for under 100 yards, but a date with Minnesota doesn't provide him with much more fantasy appeal. This should be interpreted more as a lack of faith in Washington's offense than a vote of confidence in the Vikings' relatively exploitable pass defense, but the point remains. The Redskins are averaging 12.9 points per game on offense, and they could be without both of Adrian Peterson and Chris Thompson in the backfield. The hope here from a fantasy perspective is that Minnesota's suddenly explosive offense puts the Redskins up against a massive early deficit, thus forcing Keenum to air it out. Even if the Thursday night game unfolds as such, fantasy owners would be putting a ton of misguided faith in pass-catchers like Paul Richardson and Trey Quinn by starting Keenum in fantasy lineups. The reward does not outweigh the risk.
Washington Redskins running back Wendell Smallwood might be the starter by default in Thursday night's game at Minnesota. Adrian Peterson is questionable with a high ankle sprain, while Chris Thompson continues to nurse a toe injury that held him out of last week's contest. Considering the short week, it wouldn't be surprising to see the Redskins err on the side of caution regarding Peterson and Thompson. They don't have much to play for, and it wouldn't be worth risking further injury to either if one or both are not at 100% health. If Smallwood does have the backfield to himself, volume doesn't outweigh the unfavorable matchup. The Vikings are giving up 3.8 yards per carry to opposing backs, and have surrendered just one rushing touchdown to the position. Smallwood will have to turn in his fantasy value in the receiving game, which is not worth banking on. He is best avoided unless you find yourself in desperate need of a PPR flex.
Houston Texans CB Phillip Gaines (ankle) was placed on the Reserve/Injury list Tuesday, Oct. 22.
New York Giants LB Keion Adams (knee) was released from the Reserve/Injured list Monday, Oct. 21.
Baltimore Ravens LB Pernell McPhee (triceps) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Tuesday, Oct. 22.
Chicago Bears DE Jonathan Harris was released Tuesday, Oct. 22; the move cleared a spot for the signing of DL Brent Urban.
Cleveland Browns RB Elijah McGuire was released from the practice squad Tuesday, Oct. 22.
Atlanta Falcons WR Calvin Ridley was listed as the No. 2 receiver on the version of the Falcons' depth chart released following the trade of WR Mohamed Sanu Tuesday, Oct. 22.
Fantasy Spin: Ridley was already Atlanta's second-most productive receiver behind Julio Jones, but he stands to gain at least a few extra targets per game without much depth behind the top two wideouts for the Falcons.
Detroit Lions RB Kerryon Johnson (knee) was placed on Reserve/Injured list Tuesday, Oct. 22.
Houston Texans RB Duke Johnson out-snapped RB Carlos Hyde 39-to-26 in the Week 7 matchup against the Indianapolis Colts Sunday, Oct. 20.
Fantasy Spin: Johnson received a total of nine touches and racked up 56 yards. It was his first start of the season but Carlos Hyde still had more carries. Johnson has the higher ceiling in PPR formats, but Hyde is the safer option in standard leagues.
New York Giants WR Sterling Shepard (concussion) said Tuesday, Oct. 22, he's confident he'll return to the field soon. 'Oh, I'll be back out on the field,' Shepard said. 'It's just whether it's gonna be this week or next week.'
Fantasy Spin: Shepard has been limited to four games this season, but he has been able to rack up 25 receptions on 34 targets for 267 yards and a touchdown. The more experience QB Daniel Jones acquires while Shepard is out of the lineup will only boost the receiver's production upon his eventual return. He's a solid buy-low candidate.
Free-agent DE Kasim Edebali (Eagles) signed an undisclosed contract with the Oakland Raiders Tuesday, Oct. 22.