There are some big-name players dealing with injuries this week that lead to big fantasy implications. Here is the list of all the fantasy-relevant injuries, as well as my advice for week 4.
Christian McCaffrey (Carolina Panthers)- McCaffrey will miss this week, and most likely another week or two after that, with a hamstring injury. Chuba Hubbard will take the lead back role this week against the Cowboys and should be a fine flex play with RB 2 upside.
Julio Jones (Tennessee Titans)- Jones will miss this week with a hamstring injury. I would say that AJ Brown will have a good week in Jones’ absence, but if you look at the next player on this list, you can clearly tell that he won’t. There are no replacement WRs for the Titans that I feel comfortable starting this week.
AJ Brown (Tennessee Titans)- Just like his fellow teammate, Brown will miss this week with a hamstring injury. Like I stated before, no replacement WRs for the Titans are start-worthy.
Sterling Shepard (New York Giants)- Shepard will miss this week with a hamstring injury. Darius Slayton will also be out this week leaving plenty of opportunity for Kenny Golladay. Golladay should be a solid flex option this week and if he doesn’t perform well, then we might need to have a serious discussion about Golladay’s fantasy value.
Lamar Jackson (Baltimore Ravens)- Jackson missed Wednesday and Thursday’s practice with a back problem but returned on Friday with a full practice. I would say that Jackson will most likely play this week against Denver but make sure to have a backup ready just in case there are any setbacks before his game in the late-afternoon window.
Andy Dalton (Chicago Bears)- Dalton will be a game-time decision this Sunday. There aren’t many fantasy implications here because no matter who the QB is for the Bears, the only players you should start are Allen Robinson and David Montgomery.
Carson Wentz (Indianapolis Colts)- Wentz is questionable with the ankle injuries that he suffered in week 2. You should not start Wentz anyway and this doesn’t have too much of an effect on the rest of the team as Michael Pittman is the only WR that you should start, and he is heavily targeted no matter who the QB is.
Dalvin Cook (Minnesota Vikings)- Cook is dealing with an ankle injury that kept him out of last week’s game. A full week of limited practices all but confirms that he will play in some capacity this Sunday. Luckily, Cook plays in the early window and owners should know 90 minutes before game time if he is declared out. Cook should be a solid start even if he is limited.
Antonio Gibson (Washington Football Team)- Gibson is questionable with a shin injury but Head Coach Ron Rivera stated that he is “pretty confident” that Gibson will play but wants to see how he feels on Sunday before making the final decision. This makes it seem like Gibson will play unless any setbacks occur. Gibson plays in the early window so we should know 90 minutes before game time. Gibson should have a good game if he does play, and I have him as an RB 1 this week.
Josh Jacobs (Las Vegas Raiders)- After not practicing at all before week 3, Jacobs at least had limited practices on Thursday and Friday. This is a step in the right direction but I am not comfortable starting Jacobs this week, even if he has an extra day to heal as he plays Monday night. Peyton Barber and Kenyon Drake should have value once again if Jacobs is out once again, but I don’t want to risk it with any of these guys this week. Bench all Raiders RBs until next week.
Elijah Mitchell (San Francisco 49ers)- Mitchell is questionable this week with a shoulder injury. He missed the last game and will most likely be limited this week if he does play. Given that he isn’t the clear lead back on this team, I will not be starting him this week as there isn’t a guarantee of carries.
Melvin Gordon (Denver Broncos)- Gordon is dealing with a rib and lower leg injury making him questionable for this week’s matchup against the Ravens. Gordon did have multiple limited practices this week making him more probable than anything but he is still labeled as questionable. Gordon should be a flex play as it is a difficult matchup and some carries might be given to Javonte Williams as Gordon will be dealing with injuries. Both Williams and Gordon are flex options for this week.
Darnell Mooney (Chicago Bears)- Mooney is questionable this week against the Lions with a groin injury. As much as I like Mooney’s potential and this matchup, I don’t have enough confidence in the Bears’ passing game to start Mooney or any other Bears WR besides Allen Robinson.
Chase Claypool (Pittsburgh Steelers)- Claypool missed Friday’s practice with a hamstring injury and is listed as questionable. Given that he was downgraded to DNP (did not practice) on Friday, I would list him as doubtful instead of questionable and I would pass on Claypool for this week.
George Kittle (San Francisco 49ers)- Kittle is questionable with a calf injury for this week. Head Coach Kyle Shanahan stated that they will have a “good idea” on Saturday involving Kittle’s availability. If Kittle is out, we could see an increase of targets to players like Brandon Aiyuk, similar to what happened last year.
Rob Gronkowski (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)- Gronk is doubtful for this week with a rib injury that he suffered last week against the Rams. It is time to look for a replacement TE for this week and I would recommend players like Jared Cook, Dawson Knox, and Mike Gesicki who might be available on waivers.
Jonathan Taylor (Indianapolis Colts)- Taylor is dealing with a knee injury but practiced in a limited fashion all week. He will most likely play this week against Miami and should be a low-end RB 1. Nyheim Hines should be a good option this week as Taylor might have less involvement in this game due to the injury.
Darrel Henderson (Los Angeles Rams)- Head Coach Sean McVay stated that he anticipates Henderson to play this week after missing last week with a rib injury. I do believe that Henderson will play this week but I think it will be in a limited fashion creating an ugly backfield split with Sony Michel. I would not start either of them this week.
Tyler Lockett (Seattle Seahawks)- Lockett was dealing with a hip injury that held him out of Thursday’s practice, but returned to practice on Friday. Lockett is expected to play and should be an obvious start for his matchup against the 49ers.
Keenan Allen (Los Angeles Chargers)- Allen has had limited practices this week as he is dealing with an ankle injury. Allen probably would have played if the game was on Sunday, but he doesn’t play until Monday night giving him plenty of time to heal before game time. Allen should be a solid WR 2 this week.
Will Fuller (Miami Dolphins)- Fuller is expected to play this week after being questionable with a chest and elbow injury. It is not the injuries that concern me, it is his usage. I did not see anything last week that made me want to even think about putting Fuller in my starting lineup for week 4. Fuller should be on your bench until proven otherwise.
Dionte Johnson (Pittsburgh Steelers)- Johnson was taken off of the injury report which is great news considering he missed the last game due to a knee injury. Johnson should be a good WR 3 but has a difficult matchup against the Packers.
Juju Smith-Schuster (Pittsburgh Steelers)- Juju was also taken off of the injury report and will play this week against the Packers. He should be a decent flex this week.
Curtis Samuel (Washington Football Team)- Head Coach Ron Rivera stated that Samuel Will play this week after being taken off of the IR earlier in the week. Samuel shouldn’t be in your starting lineup, but he is someone to keep an eye on to see his involvement in this offense.