Relatively speaking, it was an easy week for fantasy owners as the NFL’s fourth week wrapped up without too many impact injuries. Through the first three weeks, it seemed like this season was headed for disaster, but as players are getting more work in and putting the short pre-season behind them, fantasy owners should be able to breathe a little easier. That being said, there are still some significant bumps and bruises to keep tabs on, and for some, it might be time to get that waiver trigger finger working. Here’s what went down…
The biggest injury comes out of Houston where all-pro wide receiver Andre Johnson went down with a hamstring injury and was forced out of Sunday’s game against Pittsburgh. Originally, it was feared to be a knee injury, but coach Gary Kubiak confirmed that it was, in fact, the hamstring. And while that’s definitely better news, Johnson could still miss a few weeks with the injury. Kubiak said that the team would seek multiple opinions and the Texans have not put a timetable on how long Johnson could be out, citing it could be a few days or perhaps even a few weeks. We all know how delicate the hamstring injury can be, so they certainly don’t want to rush him back before he’s ready. Wait to hear more on the injury, but for now, you should prepare to be without him for a few weeks to be on the safe side. Jacoby Jones should make for a decent waiver pick up, and if Kevin Walter is somehow still available, grab him too!
Another injury to come out of that game was to Steelers RB Rashard Mendenhall who also injured his hamstring. However, after initial inflammatory reports, word is that Mendenhall’s injury isn’t as serious as originally believed. He is going to be re-evaluated all week long, so you’ll have constant updates on his current condition, but it would probably be wise to pick up Isaac Redman just in case.
No one is more thankful for the upcoming bye week than Washington’s Tim Hightower who apparently was injured early on against the Rams on Sunday. Hightower hurt his shoulder on the third play of the game, had to come out, and is already being listed as questionable for Week 6. The timing of the injury couldn’t be worse, but the bye week could help the situation. Redskins coach Mike Shanahan had already put Hightower on notice that he wasn’t happy with the RB’s stamina and when Ryan Torain entered the game and rushed for 135 yards and a touchdown, it definitely opened a door. There was already speculation that Roy Helu would start poaching carries, but now throw Torain into the mix and Hightower’s fantasy value is taking a significant hit.
The Panthers could lose Jeremy Shockey in Week 5 as he is currently recovering from a concussion he received at the hands of the Bears’ defense. Shockey is still considered the #2 tight end behind Greg Olsen, but could have served as a potential bye week replacement. We’ll keep you posted throughout the week.
Seattle’s Mike Williams will also have to endure the NFL’s new concussion protocol after he was forced from the game Sunday after being injured while blocking on a Marshawn Lynch touchdown run. Williams will go through the barrage of tests required and we’ll know more about his status as the week progresses. Coach Pete Carroll expressed concern about Williams’ ability to play in Week 5 which would be a shame considering the favorable match up against the Giants banged up secondary.
The Patriots may be without running back Danny Woodhead this week after he was forced from Sunday’s contest against the Raiders with a sprained ankle. The injury appeared to be worse, but has been downplayed over the last day and a half. He is being listed as questionable and there is a strong chance that he misses the game completely, but we’ll make that determination after we see how he is at practice this week.
And finally, not that anyone noticed what with the return of Arian Foster and the injury to Andre Johnson, but Ben Tate was forced to leave the game on Sunday after injuring his groin. He’s listed as questionable, but with Foster back in action, Tate’s role and fantasy value are on the serious decline now.
Check back on Friday when we update after the full week of practices….
Howard Bender has been covering fantasy sports for over 10 years on a variety of websites. You can follow him on Twitter at @rotobuzzguy or for questions, thoughts or comments you can email him at email@example.com.
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