Fantasy Football: Week 4 Injury Report
Injuries are an unfortunate part of football. It's one thing we hate having occur to not only the players we roster but within the game itself. With that said, this does create opportunities for teammates, opening up potential pickups in season-long leagues while also producing value plays in daily fantasy football.
Using the practice report, we can glean a lot of information based on who's available and what coaches are saying from press conferences. This knowledge can allow us to make emergency plans to pivot or change our lineups come Sunday morning when inactives are announced.
Based on this week's practice reports, here are a few quick-hitters to give you a leg up on lineup decisions as crunch time approaches for Sunday lineup lock.
Marcus Mariota (elbow) practiced in full this week after coming in relief for Blaine Gabbert last week, and is expected to make the start. Owner's should have caution with starting him as he may not be 100% despite the practice designation.
Jay Ajayi (back) will be active for the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday when they play the Tennessee Titans. Despite playing in only two games this season, Ajayi is eighth in red zone carries within the 5-yard line.
Jimmy Graham (knee) was limited in practice this week but is expected to play. Fantasy owners who drafted Graham for touchdown upside have little to show for it thus far. Graham has recorded only one red zone target to start the season, but should see additional chances come Sunday against the Buffalo Bills who are 9.5-point underdogs.
Will Fuller (hamstring) was limited for most of the week but was taken off the injury report on Friday. Fuller has been off to a hot start this season, placing within the top-six of the last two weeks in Receiving Net Expected Points. We will touch on his upside after analyzing his teammate DeAndre Hopkins.
Doug Baldwin (knee) will play against the Arizona Cardinals this week. Baldwin has historically played in the slot, so he shouldn't line up against All-Pro Patrick Peterson, but this may force teammate Tyler Lockett to play on the perimeter where his target ceiling will be questionable. Lockett was top 10 in Receiving NEP last week with Baldwin sidelined.
A.J. Green (groin) left last week's game against the Carolina Panthers, allowing for teammate Tyler Boyd to burst onto the fantasy scene. Green will be good to go this week, and he will be needed against the Atlanta Falcons in what projects to be a high scoring game. The Vegas total for the game opened at 48 and is now at 53 on the FanDuel Sportsbook.
Leonard Fournette (hamstring) has been trending upwards this week, practicing in full on Friday. The Jacksonville Jaguars have him officially listed as questionable, but expectations are that he will play. Fournette is a projected RB1 despite the New York Jets sneakily being a top-three overall defense by numberFire's metrics.
Rob Gronkowski was limited in practice with an ankle injury this week but should be able to play on Sunday. The Vegas totals do not seem as concerned about the New England Patriots' early season woes, as they are projected to have the fifth-highest team total on Sunday at 27.5 points.
As mentioned earlier, DeAndre Hopkins is officially questionable with a variety of injuries (thumb, ankle, hamstring) against the Indianapolis Colts. If Hopkins can't play, Fuller projects as an easy WR1, as he already holds 29% of the team's target share and is really the only true threat for the Texans. Fuller will be underpriced at $7,600 on FanDuel if this scenario plays out or Hopkins plays in limited fashion.
LeSean McCoy is officially listed as questionable heading into Week 4 and had limited practice. McCoy practiced Friday with a non-contact jersey, suggesting that he is more likely to be unavailable. Chris Ivory saw 81% of the team's offensive snaps and had 23 touches last week, but with that volume he posted a -4.07 Rushing NEP, third-worst for Week 3.
Marlon Mack was limited throughout the week and is officially questionable to play. Mack has been in and out of the lineup this season due to injuries, but the Indianapolis Colts remain as one of the few three-headed committees in the league that fantasy players should stay away from.
Keenan Allen (knee, tooth) returned to practice on Friday and is questionable to play against the San Francisco 49ers. Allen has been quiet since Week 1, but should be able to have success this week as the San Francisco 49ers are bottom-five in Adjusted Defensive Passing NEP per play.
Golden Tate was a surprise addition to the injury report today with a hip injury, and the Detroit Lions have labeled him as questionable. In 2016, when Tate was sidelined for a large stretch of the season, Theo Riddick was the biggest beneficiary for fantasy, increasing his target share from 10% to 17%, per The Quant Edge.
Josh Gordon (hamstring) has been limited in practice this week, and whether he will be active will be determined on game day. The Patriots could use Gordon's services after scoring just 20 and 10 points in the last two weeks.
Alshon Jeffery (shoulder) was a full participant on Wednesday for the first time this season but was sidelined the past two days due to an illness. Barring the shoulder injury, we could see Jeffrey make his season debut if he has recovered from his illness come Sunday.
Chris Carson (hip) is questionable for the Seattle Seahawks this weekend after rushing for over 30 times against the Dallas Cowboys this past weekend. Carson should be available and game flow concerns should be minimal as the Seahawks are projected to win against the Arizona Cardinals.
Corey Clement (quad) has been a limited participant in practice. Darren Sproles has already been ruled out and we mentioned Ajayi is available to play. If Clement were to miss, Wendell Smallwood should conceivably absorb most of the backup running back touches for the Philadelphia Eagles. Smallwood had 35% of the teams snaps last week in a timeshare with Clement.
Randall Cobb (hamstring) was a surprise downgrade on Friday's injury report for the Green Bay Packers. Despite the Packers being hampered by injuries, they still project to win without Cobb and have a 68.2% win probability per numberFire game projections.
Devonta Freeman (knee) practiced this week but had a non-contact jersey on and is not ready this week, but this suggests he's getting closer to playing. Once again, Tevin Coleman is firmly placed as an RB2 -- our projections suggest that he will have 14 touches against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Charles Clay is fighting two injuries (shoulder, hip) and has been ruled out. Jason Croom (37% snap share in Week 3) is Clay's direct backup, but streaming either Vance McDonald or Benjamin Watson, both available in 65% of ESPN leagues, would provide a safer floor -- that is if owners have held onto Clay at this point in the season.
Anthony Miller (shoulder) was ruled out this week after suffering his injury during the Arizona Cardinals game. Taylor Gabriel should absorb additional targets and makes for an interesting GPP play ($5,000) given his snap count (74% in Week 3) and target share (21% and 29% last two weeks).
The Chicago Bears will be without their starting cornerback Prince Amukamara (hamstring) against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and may be forced to start an undrafted free agent in his stead. This is positive news for Mike Evans, who has been off to a hot start this season, having at least 20% of the team's target share every week and 30% of the team's air yards.
Sean Lee (hamstring) is ruled out, which historically has not been promising for the Dallas Cowboys defense. In the 6 games since 2016 with Lee inactive, opposing offenses have posted 29.3 points per game, 4.5 rush yards per carry, and 7.2 yards per attempt. In the 27 games games with Lee, the Cowboys defense normally allows 18.3 points per game, 3.83 yards per carry, and 6.2 yards per attempt, a stark difference. Matthew Stafford and the Detroit Lions should be able to feast on Sunday.
Evan Engram (knee) and Cody Latimer (knee) are out this week. This is wheels up for Sterling Shepard as Eli Manning's target tree is narrower. Shepard is $6,200 on FanDuel and gets the worst-ranked pass defense in the New Orleans Saints.
Shepherd's teammate, Eli Apple is also out for a second straight week. If fantasy players were on Will Fuller last week, who posted a 5-catch, 101-yard line with a touchdown against Apple's backup, they should fire up Ted Ginn Jr. with confidence this week. Ginn has a healthy 30% share of the New Orleans Saints' air yards this season.
Joe Mixon (knee) missed a second straight week of practice and is out for the game against the Atlanta Falcons. This places Giovani Bernard as a fringe RB1 this week and he has a juicy matchup against the Falcons. As it has been all season, pass-catching running backs have high floors against a thin Atlanta defense that's already given up 36 catches to opposing backfields.
Jack Doyle (hip) is ruled out again this week for the Indianapolis Colts. Eric Ebron will take most of the tight end duties for a second straight week. For those looking to play GPPs in DFS this weekend, Ebron ($5,500) is a nice bounce back candidate after burning many DFS players despite seeing 88% of the teams snaps and capturing a 28% target share.
As mentioned earlier, Darren Sproles (hamstring) has not practiced all week and will miss the game against the Tennessee Titans. If Clement clears his questionable status, then he should be the receiving back for the Philadelphia Eagles on passing downs. Clement posted a 66.7% and 80% Receiving Success Rate when Sproles has missed.
Cornerback Richard Sherman is ruled out and Safety Jaquiski Tartt is doubtful for the San Francisco 49ers. This does not help a 49ers pass defense missing their best cover corner, but this could help Mike Williams start his breakout season. If Keenan Allen misses, Williams becomes a nice sleeper with his increasing playing time (54% in Week 1 to 67% in Week 3) and usage (19% share of team air yards in Week 1 to 47% in Week 3).
As is with all injuries, each individual situation is fluid. Make sure to keep tabs throughout the weekend and keep up with our numberFire player news feed for up-to-date reports prior to kickoff. Good luck this week!
Gabriel Garrido is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Gabriel Garrido also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username guhreedoe28. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his/her personal views, he/she may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his/her personal account. The views expressed in his/her articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.