I’ve reached the final evolution of this column I think. From now on, these wounded warriors will be listed alphabetically and for each of them I’ll be giving you my take on whether or not they’ll play and whether or not you should start him in your line-up.
Let me know what you think of this format and if there are any changes you’d like me to make. And as always, drop a comment in the comment section below and follow me on Twitter: @Kerry_Klug!
Jay Ajayi, RB, Back: Eagles head coach Doug Pederson came out early saying that Ajayi is expected to play Sunday. He didn’t practice Wednesday and instead just did some light jogging around the field. If he does play, he’ll be facing a Titans team that is one of 4 teams that have yet to allow a rushing TD this season. My take: Will play, bench him.
Keenan Allen, WR, Knee: Allen was taken out at a few points in the game on Sunday, but I think this is just a precautionary missed practice on Wednesday. He’ll face off against the 49ers who have allowed 2 receiving TDs to wide receivers in their last 2 games. My take: Will play, start him.
Doug Baldwin, WR, Knee-MCL: Baldwin’s reemergence at Seahawks practice had a lot of people paying attention on Wednesday afternoon. He’s only practicing in a limited capacity, however, and I don’t think he’ll play in week 4. My take: Won’t play.
Giovani Bernard, RB, Thigh: Bernard was limited in practice on Wednesday, but I think he’ll be starting again this weekend without Joe Mixon. I think Bernard is in for a nice game especially if Andy Dalton gets him involved in the passing games since the Falcons have allowed the second most receiving yards to RBs this season. My take: Will play, start him.
Matt Breida, RB, Knee: Breida hyperextended his knee in his week 3 game, but did finish out that game. The 49ers have the luxury of being able to rest Breida a little in week 4 and letting Alfred Morris shoulder the load for one week. My take: Will play, bench him.
Rex Burkhead, RB, Chest: Placed on IR, won’t see him for at least 7 games. My take: Drop him.
Chris Carson, RB, Hip: Carson was removed from the Seahawks win over the Cowboys in week 3 and it seems like he’s still nursing that injury a bit. In week 4 I think we’ll see Carson playing and dominating against an Arizona Cardinals defense that has allowed the second most rushing yards, most rushing TDs and 4th most receiving yards to opposing RBs. My take: Will play, start him.
Charles Clay, TE, Shoulder: Clay hasn’t done much of anything so far this season, but since 26.1% of you still own him in ESPN leagues — I’m forced to waste ink on him. My take: Will play, bench him.
Dalvin Cook, RB, Hamstring: If this was a Sunday or Monday game I’d be less worried, but a Thursday night game following two limited practices? My take: Won’t play.
Eric Ebron, TE, Shoulder: Speak of the devil and he shall appear! I’m less worried about Ebron than Doyle. His opponent, the Texans, have allowed 9.9 fantasy points per game to TEs. My take: Will play, start him.
Evan Engram, TE, Knee-MCL: Early reports are that Engram will miss 2-4 weeks. Even if he makes the optimistic end of that timeline — he’s out for this week. My take: Won’t play.
Leonard Fournette, RB, Hamstring: He’s been limited in practices, but all signs are pointing to a Leonard Fournette return on Sunday. The Browns running backs ran all over the Jets D last week for 113 yards and 2 TDs. My take: Will play, start him.
Devonta Freeman, RB, Knee: It’s seemingly like everyone in Atlanta is saying Freeman is “trending in the right direction.” I admire their optimism, but when you have a back-up like Tevin Coleman you have the luxury of playing it safe. Freeman didn’t practice on Wednesday and all the upward trending don’t mean a thing for this week. My take: Won’t play.
Will Fuller, WR, Hamstring: Fuller dropped a hundo and a TD with this same designation in week 3 so I’m expecting more of the same this week. My take: Will play, start him.
Ted Ginn, WR, Knee
Ginn was questionable last week and played. He caught 3 passes for 12 yards. My take: He plays.
Josh Gordon, WR, Hamstring: Gordon was still limited in Wednesday’s practice due to his hamstring, but he’s had a week to learn the Belichick Bible and is an intriguing play for week 4. The Pats have a conference rivalry game against the Dolphins in week 4. My take: Will play, bench him.
Marquise Goodwin, WR, Quadriceps: He played in his first game of 2018 last week and caught a TD pass. Even without Jimmy Garppolo, I think back-up CJ Beathard will be leaning on Goodwin to provide some stability in this 49ers offense. My take: Will play, start him.
Jimmy Graham, TE, Knee: This isn’t the Jimmy Graham of old — this is the old Jimmy Graham. He’s had okay games the past two weeks — but has yet to catch a TD pass from Aaron Rodgers. The Bills have allowed 213 receiving yards to TEs so far this season — but only 1 TD. I’m thinking that becomes 2 this weekend. My take: Will play, start him.
AJ Green, WR, Pelvis: Bengals coach Marvin Lewis (wait — what?! This guy is still their coach?! Why did I feel like he was fired 10 years ago??) said that AJ’s groin is fine (boundaries!) I think Green will play in week 4 and snag him a TD against a Falcons secondary that has allowed 5 TDs to WRs in the past two weeks. My take: Will play, start him.
Rob Gronkowski, TE, Ankle: Oh I’m sure he’s fine. With Gronk as oft-injured as he is is probably just getting a day of R&R. My take: Will play, start him.
DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Thumb/Ankle/Hamstring: Hopkins is collecting ALL the injuries this week. Week 3 saw the same designation and injuries and I told him to start him anyway. That’s not changing this week. My take: Will play, start him.
Alshon Jeffery, WR, Shoulder: After missing the first three weeks, I’m thinking we finally see Jeffery playing for the Eagles. He was a full participant on Wednesday and is cleared for contact. The risk here is how many plays Alshon participates in. My take: Will play, don’t start.
Julio Jones, WR, Calf: Second verse, same as the first. Julio didn’t practice last week and still went for 96 yards. The Bengals have allowed a WR TD in all 3 games so far — make it 4 come this weekend. My take: Will play, start him.
Alvin Kamara, RB, Knee: Not a chance he misses this game. The Giants have allowed three receiving TDs to RBs so far this year and I think they’ll allow 2 more in week 4. My take: Will play, start him.
Marshawn Lynch, RB, Shoulder: Every week he’s labeled as injured, every week he plays. Lynch has a rushing TD in all three games this season and the Browns have allowed two rushing TDs in two of their three games this season. I’m thinking Lynch keeps his TD streak alive. My take: Will play, start him.
Marlon Mack, RB, Hamstring: Mack was limited in practices this week which is better than the 0 practicing he did last week. Even if Mack does play, I think he’ll still share time with Jordan Wilkins and Nyheim Hines this week. My take: Will play, bench him.
LeSean McCoy, RB, Ribs: McCoy is telling everyone that he’s playing on Sunday — and who am I to say otherwise? The question is — should you be playing him? The Packers allowed Adrian Peterson to run all over them in week 3 for 120 yards and 2 TDs. So if their weakness is 30+ year old RBs — McCoy could be in luck. My take: Will play, start him.
Aaron Rodgers, QB, Knee-MCL: Rest, rest, rest, and rest some more. I think the Packers are going to play it cautiously with their franchise player and he won’t smell the grass until Sunday morning. My take: Will play, start him.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE, Core injury: He’s been injured every week and still played, however, since week 1 the Jets have allowed 2, 8 and 5 fantasy points to opposing TEs. My take: Will play, bench him.
JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, Abdomen: It’s too early to prognosticate on this one unfortunately, but I think you’ll have a helluva time trying to keep JuJu off the field in week 4. The Ravens allowed 3 receiving TDs to AJ Green and 1 to Tyler Boyd in their week 2 match-up and I could see Antonio Brown and JuJu doing something similar this week. My take: Will play, start him.
T.J. Yeldon, RB, Ankle: Fournette should be back for week 4. Because of this, even if he was healthy I wouldn’t recommend starting him. My take: Will play, bench him.