It was a rough weekend for quarterbacks as we saw several go down with injuries. The pattern continues on a weekly basis where fantasy GMs are constantly juggling rosters and compensating for injuries to impact players at critical positions. So without further ado, here is the next edition of the fantasy football walking wounded.
Cam Newton (QB-CAR)
Fantasy GMs had a collective heart attack after Cam Newton sustained a concussion on a two-point conversion during Carolina’s loss to Atlanta on Sunday. We won’t know more about his status until later in the week, but his ability to play next Sunday is in jeopardy. Newton would have a great matchup in Week 5 against Tampa Bay, so fantasy GMs are hoping that Cam can dab his way through the concussion protocol and back onto the field. Newton’s stats have not exactly set the world on fire yet, but he is still clearly an elite fantasy quarterback and a must-start under any circumstances.
Carson Palmer (QB-ARZ)
It has been a struggle for the Cardinals through four weeks and adding injury to insult is the fact that Carson Palmer sustained a concussion in the 4th quarter of Arizona’s loss to the Rams. Palmer has struggled mightily all season and is now going through the concussion protocol. Arizona has a quick turnaround this week as they face San Francisco in the Thursday night game. Because of the short week, it is highly unlikely that Palmer will be cleared to be play. Drew Stanton would get the start in Palmer’s place which further devalues the already disappointing Arizona wide receivers Michael Floyd and John Brown.
Eric Decker (WR-NYJ)
Decker was diagnosed with a partially torn rotator cuff and missed the Jets’ game against Seattle this past weekend. His official status right now is week-to-week but it is highly likely he will miss Week 5 and could even end up on Injured Reserve which would sideline him for eight weeks. This is a tough loss for fantasy GMs who relied on Decker being a WR2 in what appeared to be a prolific Jets offense. Unfortunately, the Jets have sputtered the past couple weeks and Decker’s absence will certainly make it more difficult to turn things around. Quincy Enunwa would step in to take Decker’s place but do not expect similar statistical production.
Sammy Watkins (WR-BUF)
Watkins has missed the past couple weeks with a foot injury but it is more serious than initially suspected because the Bills have placed him on injured reserve. This means that Watkins cannot return until Week 12 which places him in fantasy limbo. Roster spots are valuable so he would occupy a bench or IR slot for two months, but the chance he could return right before the fantasy playoffs make it somewhat appealing to stash him. However, you have to get to the playoffs first so make your current roster composition the priority and be prepared to drop him if necessary.
Tony Romo (QB-DAL)
The Cowboys are targeting Week 8 for Tony Romo to return from his back injury. This would be right after the Cowboys’ bye week and at the mid-season mark, so it remains to be seen whether Romo would be inserted back into the starting lineup or not. Dak Prescott has led Dallas to three wins through the first four weeks, but statistically he is not doing fantasy GMs any favors. If Dallas stumbles over the next few weeks then the chances of Romo reclaiming his job will increase.
Trevor Siemian (QB-DEN)
Siemian sustained an AC joint sprain in his left shoulder during Denver’s win against Tampa Bay this past week. He will undergo an MRI to determine the extent of the damage so we will know more during the week. However, it is highly likely that he will miss at least next week’s game against Atlanta which would have been a very favorable matchup. Paxton Lynch would get the start in Week 5 if Siemian is unable to play and he is worth taking a shot on simply because the Falcons’ defense has been awful.
Thomas Rawls (RB-SEA)
Seattle has announced that Thomas Rawls will miss the rest of October as he continues dealing with a leg injury. This adds a little bit of temporary clarity on the Seahawks’ backfield situation so you can confidently play Christine Michael as a RB2 or Flex knowing that he is the primary ball carrier behind Russell Wilson. Rawls is only worth stashing in deep leagues if you have bench slots.
Antonio Gates (TE-SD)
Gates is an old man at this point in his career so a hamstring injury is even more debilitating than normal. He missed the Chargers’ game against New Orleans this past week which is unfortunate since it would have been a great matchup for Gates against a terrible defense. His status for Week 5 is just as grim so do not expect to him play much if he is even declared active against Oakland.
Dwayne Washington (RB-DET)
Washington was taken out of Sunday’s game against the Bears with an ankle injury after getting his foot pinned underneath him. He was expected to have an expanded role in Detroit’s offense after Ameer Abdullah went down, so the timing of the injury was even more disappointing for fantasy GMs. While the Lions are hopeful that Washington will be able to suit up, they have signed Mike James to add some depth at running back to the roster. Monitor this situation throughout the week.
Michael A. Stein, Esq. is the Chief Justice of Fantasy Judgment, the industry's premier dispute resolution service, and is also the co-host of the Fantasy Alarm podcast. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Facebook and Twitter (@FantasyJudgment),