Fantasy GMs got their week started off with a bang after a top running back went down with an injury on the opening drive of the Thursday night game. This is par for the course as we all must navigate the brutal reality of injuries decimating rosters on a frequent basis. GMs will have some critical decisions to make for Week 4 with so many impact players dealing with a variety of injuries which could keep them on the sidelines. So, without further ado, let’s delve into the next edition of the fantasy football emergency room.
Ty Montgomery (RB-GB) – Bad news for fantasy GMs as Montgomery suffered broken ribs during the Packers’ opening drive against the Bears on Thursday night. He is expected to miss at least a couple weeks depending on how severe the pain is and if he can play wearing extra protection. Montgomery has been on the field for almost all of Green Bay’s snaps and has been very productive scoring touchdowns and catching passes out of the backfield. Rookies Jamaal Williams and Aaron Jones should share in the backfield duties while Montgomery is out. With these unknown commodities running the ball, expect Aaron Rodgers to throw the ball even more than normal which bodes well for all of Green Bay’s receivers.
J.J. Nelson (WR-ARZ) – Nelson continues to deal with a hamstring injury which has limited him in practice the past two weeks. He did play on Monday night against Dallas but did not have a single catch after collecting ten receptions and two touchdowns over the first two weeks. The concern is that if he does play on Sunday against the 49ers he could be relegated to a decoy role so he is a risky proposition from a fantasy perspective.
Benjamin Watson (TE-BAL) – With all the injuries to tight ends, Watson was a popular waiver wire acquisition last week when he caught three passes including his first touchdown of the season. However, he has missed two consecutive days of practice this week with an injury. His status for this week’s game is in jeopardy if he cannot get back on the practice field on Friday. If he does play he is a sneaky TE2 option against the Steelers in what could be a high scoring affair.
Melvin Gordon (RB-LAC) – Gordon remained limited in practice on Thursday due to his bone bruise in his knee which limited his availability in the Chargers’ loss to Kansas City this past week. Despite this limitation, the Chargers fully expect Gordon to be ready to go this coming week against the Eagles. He is a stud RB1 and should be in your lineup without any hesitation. Don’t be concerned about his workload in practice because if healthy he will be heavily both rushing and receiving the ball.
DeAndre Hopkins (WR-HOU) – Hopkins is coming off a down 2016 season but has already been targeted 37 times thus far which leads the league. He is currently dealing with a knee injury which forced him to practice in a limited capacity on Thursday. The injury does not appear to be too serious so his status for Sunday’s game against Tennessee is not in doubt. He is a viable WR1 with 21 catches for 204 yards and one touchdown through three games.
Carlos Hyde (RB-SF) – Hyde has been limited in practice this week with a hip injury but is expected to be on the field against Arizona this weekend. The 49ers don’t have much to offer on offense despite their explosion against the Rams last week. Hyde has been a workhorse thus far with 49 rushes for 253 yards and a couple touchdowns so he is still a solid RB1 option despite the hip injury,
Martavis Bryant (WR-PIT) – Bryant has been dealing with an illness and has missed practice the past couple days. He has only seven catches for 135 yards and one touchdown thus far which is far less than was expected of him heading into drafts. Pittsburgh will face the Ravens in a matchup between two bitter rivals who typically have crazy games, so Bryant could be in for a big game. Don’t worry about his status for Sunday because he should be recovered from his illness by then.
Doug Baldwin (WR-SEA) – Baldwin did not practice on Thursday as he continues to deal with a groin injury he sustained last week against Tennessee. Seattle believes that Baldwin will play this Sunday night against the Colts but whether he gets in any practice before game time is anyone’s guess. Baldwin is always a solid fantasy option but could be a risky choice if he isn’t 100% against a team that the Seahawks should beat regardless of whether he plays or not.
Kelvin Benjamin (WR-CAR) – Good news for Kelvin Benjamin as he practiced in full on Thursday giving optimism for his status this weekend against New England. Benjamin suffered a knee injury last week which forced him out of the game early against New Orleans which casted doubt as to his status for Week 4. However, the Panthers have indicated that he will play this week assuming he does not suffer any setbacks over the next couple days. Carolina’s offense has been atrocious all season but this could be the week they break out against a New England defense which has allowed more passing yards than any other team in the league thus far. Put Benjamin in your lineup and hope Carolina can exploit the matchup.
Corey Davis (WR-TEN) – Titans rookie Corey Davis has been ruled out for the second consecutive week as he continues to suffer from a hamstring injury. Hamstring injuries can linger and require sufficient rest before having a comfort level that the issue is in the past. Tennessee does have plenty of other weapons so they can afford to be conservative with Davis. Look for Eric Decker and Rishard Matthews to continue seeing most of the targets from Marcus Mariota.
Sammy Watkins (WR-LAR) – Watkins was a full participant in practice on Thursday meaning he should be out of the woods from his concussion he sustained last week. He is coming off of a big game against San Francisco and has moved back into the low-end WR2/high-end WR3 conversation in most fantasy leagues. Watkins will be going up against a banged up Dallas secondary so he could be in line for another big performance in Week 4.
Tyler Eifert (TE-CIN) – As sure as the sun rises in the east, Tyler Eifert is on the injury report. The Bengals tight end is still suffering from a back injury and it has been reported that he will miss multiple weeks. Eifert does not need surgery but he is in line for another extended absence which has rendered him a strong candidate to be dropped in fantasy leagues. He has an extensive injury history and this recurring back issue does not seem to be going away. Tyler Kroft will continue to play in his place but he is not a viable replacement on fantasy rosters.
Kenny Golladay (WR-DET) – Lions rookie Kenny Golladay burst onto the scene with two touchdowns in Week 1 but has disappeared over the past couple weeks. Now he is dealing with a hamstring injury which kept him out of practice on Thursday after being limited on Wednesday. That trend is heading in the wrong direction and now his status for Week 4 is up in the air. Look for T.J. Jones to take his place if Golladay is not able to play.
Sean Lee (LB-DAL) – Lee is one of the best linebackers in the NFL but he is frequently injured which has inhibited his fantasy value in IDP leagues. He has never played all 16 games in a season in his first seven years in the league. Currently, Lee is dealing with a hamstring injury which he sustained on Monday night against Arizona and he missed practice on Wednesday. His status for Week 4 is in jeopardy so check back over the weekend for further updates.
Sam Bradford (QB-MIN) – Bradford has missed the past couple weeks with a knee injury and has been officially ruled out for Week 4. The Vikings must feel a little more comfortable with this decision after Case Keenum’s performance last week against Tampa Bay. Bradford’s status for Week 5 has not been determined yet but the hope is that one more week off will be sufficient for him to return by then.
Danny Amendola (WR-NE) – Amendola is another frequent visitor to the injury report as this is already his second appearance in the first few weeks of the season. He returned last week from a concussion only to sustain a knee injury which limited him in practice on Thursday. Amendola had a big game in Week 1 before getting injured but he has been surpassed on the depth chart by Chris Hogan who is now number two behind Brandin Cooks. Amendola is only a viable fantasy option in very deep leagues if he is able to play on Sunday.
Orleans Darkwa (RB-NYG) – The Giants running game is an utter disaster and will be even worse if Darkwa is unable to play on Sunday against Tampa Bay. He missed two days of practice in a row due to a back injury so his status for Week 4 is very much in jeopardy. Paul Perkins has been ineffective so the Giants could give Wayne Gallman an opportunity to run the ball as well.
Michael A. Stein, Esq. is the Chief Justice of Fantasy Judgment, the industry's premier dispute resolution service, and co-host of the Fantasy Alarm Podcast. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Facebook and Twitter (@FantasyJudgment)