Thu Sep 10 10:15am ET
By JEFF PAUR
Sr Fantasy Writer
The first week of the season is finally here. We get to see some real NFL football for the first time in a long time. Unfortunately, there are some players already battling injury. This list seems a little bigger than usual for the first week of the season. Maybe it has to do with the strange offseason and lack of preseason games. Who knows? Either way, there is a chance you have some players dealing with injury this week. As always, keep an eye on the player notes for the latest information but here is what we know right now. . . . .
Amari Cooper, WR, Cowboys. Cooper has been slowed in camp in recent weeks because of a hamstring injury, but is back practicing in full this week. He should be ready to go for Week 1. His injury isn’t a big concern right now.
Mike Evans, WR, Bucs. Evans was out of practice Wednesday because of a hamstring injury. He is being considered day-to-day and likely a game-time decision for Week 1. The Bucs also play in the afternoon Sunday, making Evans a tricky play for fantasy teams. If Evans were to miss, Scotty Miller might get more targets in the Bucs passing game.
DeVante Parker, WR, Dolphins. Parker has been limited in practice because of a hamstring injury. He is trending the right way, though, and seems to be good to go for Week 1. Unless he has a setback later in the week, expect Parker in the lineup and getting near his usual workload at receiver.
Brandin Cooks, WR, Texans. Cooks has been limited at practice because of a quad injury. He is questionable for the Thursday night game and a game-time decision. The good news is Cooks plays Thursday, so you have plenty of time to find a replacement if he were not able to play. Kenny Stills would move into the starting lineup if Cooks is out.
Sony Michel, RB, Patriots. There was concern Michel would not be ready for the start of the season because of offseason foot surgery. But that is a thing of the past. Michel has been back practicing the last two weeks and should be ready to go for Week 1. The Patriots might limit him some in the game, though, because he hasn’t had a ton of work this offseason. He probably won’t get his usual workload, giving James White and Rex Burkhead a little more work for the Patriots.
Alshon Jeffery, WR, Eagles. Jeffery is out of practice because of a foot injury. Reports are he is expected to miss the first few weeks of the regular season before returning. So don’t expect him to be ready for Week 1. Get other options ready for the first few weeks of the season.
Mike Williams, WR, Chargers. Williams is practicing some this week. He is trying to recover from a shoulder injury. There is a shot he is ready to play Week 1. It was not expected for him to be ready this soon, but he is progressing a little quicker than expected. He is likely a game-time decision.
Deebo Samuel, WR, 49ers. Samuel is another receiver progressing a little quicker than first thought. He is returning from a Jones’ fracture. He was not able to practice Wednesday but could get in some work before the week is out. Keep an eye on the practice notes for the latest. Samuel has an outside shot to return this week but seems on track to at least suit up in Week 2.
Brandon Aiyuk, WR, 49ers. Aiyuk has been slowed by a hamstring injury the last few weeks. He is not practicing yet this week and is in real danger of missing the opener. And even if he plays, the rookie is likely playing a limited role until he is 100 percent. For now, it is better to avoid using Aiyuk until he is playing a full workload.
Miles Sanders, RB, Eagles. Sanders has been limited in practice this week because of a hamstring injury. He is likely to play this week but could get a few less touches since he isn’t quite 100 percent. Sanders remains a solid fantasy play despite a few less carries.
Jalen Reagor, WR, Eagles. Reagor has been limited in practice this week, getting back on the field a little sooner than expected from his shoulder injury. But even with that said, he is expected to miss the first few weeks of action. It would be a surprise to see him active for the Eagles opener.
Devine Ozigbo, RB, Jaguars. Ozigbo was expected to play a big role early in the season but injured his hamstring and has been out of practice. The Jaguars already placed him on Injured Reserve, meaning he could miss the rest of the season. James Robinson should start for the Jaguars with Chris Thompson serving as the third-down back. If Ozigbo ever gets healthy, though, he could work his way back into the mix for carries.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Jeff on Twitter @jeffpaur.
Five Sleepers: Week 7
After coming down with a calf strain at practice on Friday, Aaron Jones is now expected to miss the Week 7 game against the Texans. This is a tough one for fantasy football managers, as Jones has been a reliable RB1 all season long and may be difficult to replace in fantasy lineups on short notice. Fourth-year running back Jamaal Williams is now expected to act as the lead RB, but rookie AJ Dillon will be in the mix as well and should see more touches than usual. Dexter Williams was added to the Packers active roster on Saturday as well for additional running back depth. Consider Williams a plug-and-play RB2/FLEX option, while Dillon looks more like an RB3/RB4 flier for deeper leagues. Both are also intriguing lower-cost options for DFS lineups, depending on the contest format.
Green Bay Packers RB Aaron Jones (calf) isn't expected to play Sunday, Oct. 25, and the team is planning on him not playing, according to sources Saturday, Oct. 24.
Fantasy Spin: It's a big blow for fantasy managers. Packers RBs Jamaal Williams, AJ Dillon and Dexter Williams should all play roles with Dillon being the most appealing for fantasy purposes.
Dallas Cowboys DB Rashard Robinson (undisclosed) was placed on the practice squad injured list Saturday, Oct. 24.
Cincinnati Bengals DT Mike Daniels was activated from the Reserve/Injured list Saturday, Oct. 24. DB Winston Rose was also promoted from the practice squad to the active roster.
Atlanta Falcons DE Austin Edwards and LB Edmond Robinson were added to the active roster from the practice squad Saturday, Oct. 24, as COVID-19 replacements.
San Francisco 49ers RB Tevin Coleman (knee) has an 'outside chance' of returning in Week 8, according to head coach Kyle Shanahan Saturday, Oct. 24.
Fantasy Spin: Coleman should be stashed now wherever available with RB Raheem Mostert going on the Reserve/Injured list Saturday.
Updating a previous story, Los Angeles Rams TE Tyler Higbee (hand) is officially listed as questionable for the game Monday, Oct. 26, against the Chicago Bears after getting in a limited practice Saturday, Oct. 24.
Los Angeles Rams DL Michael Brockers (non-injury) and CB Troy Hill (non-injury) didn't practice Saturday, Oct. 24, but don't carry injury designations for Week 7. DL Aaron Donald (non-injury) and OL Andrew Whitworth (non-injury) practiced in full and don't carry injury designations.
Los Angeles Rams TE Tyler Higbee (hand) is hopeful to play Monday, Oct. 26, according to head coach Sean McVay Saturday, Oct. 24.
Fantasy Spin: Higbee had a season-high 56 yards with three catches on four targets in Week 6. He's a low-tier TE1 when on the field.
Los Angeles Rams WR Robert Woods (groin) was a limited participant at practice Saturday, Oct. 24, but doesn't carry an injury designation into the Week 7 game against the Chicago Bears Monday, Oct. 26.
Fantasy Spin: Woods will be a somewhat risky WR3 play in what's projected as a low-scoring game against the Bears.
Kansas City Chiefs DE Alex Okafor (hamstring) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Saturday, Oct. 24.
Jacksonville Jaguars RB Chris Thompson was placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list Saturday, Oct. 24.
Updating previous stories, San Francisco 49ers RB Raheem Mostert (ankle) was officially placed on the Reserve/Injured list Saturday, Oct. 24. S Johnathan Cyprien and S Jared Mayden were activated from the team's practice squad. WR Jauan Jennings (undisclosed) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list.
Tennessee Titans DB Dane Cruikshank was activated from the Reserve/Injured list to the active roster Saturday, Oct. 24. OL David Quessenberry and LB Daren Bates were elevated from the practice squad to the active roster.
Denver Broncos CB A.J. Bouye, DE Dre'Mont Jones and DE DeMarcus Walker were activated from the Reserve/Injured list to the active roster Saturday, Oct. 24. CB De'Vante Bausby was released in a corresponding move. Free-agent DL Sylvester Williams (Broncos) was re-signed to the practice squad. RB Jeremy Cox and LB Nigel Bradham will be elevated from the practice squad to the game-day roster for Sunday, Oct. 25.
Las Vegas Raiders DE David Irving and CB Dylan Mabin were activated from the practice squad Saturday, Oct. 24.
Pittsburgh Steelers RB Trey Edmunds and LB Jayrone Elliott were elevated from the practice squad to the active roster Saturday, Oct. 24.
Jacksonville Jaguars RB Devine Ozigbo (hamstring) was activated from the Reserve/Injured list Saturday, Oct. 24. S Doug Middleton and TE Eric Saubert were elevated from the practice squad to the active roster.