We should all consider Week 4 a success. We escaped the quarter-season mark with nary a single catastrophic injury. I’m sure I just jinxed us, but in the NFL, if you can play out an entire week’s worth of games and keep your fantasy roster away from the IR, you, my friends, have won at life itself. Of course, there were a few injuries (Cecil Shorts, Teddy Bridgewater, Niles Paul), but not enough to warrant a rant over. So this week, we will discuss some previously injured players, who returned to the field or have made notable progress in their recoveries.
Arian Foster, Texans: After a one-week absence, Foster (hamstring) returned to the Texans lineup on Sunday. He provided very little in the run game, carrying the ball eight times for just six yards, but he did enough through the air (7 catches, 55 yards) to earn 12.5 fantasy points. Though he had no setbacks, Foster maintains that he is still not 100 percent healthy. The Texans don’t have a bye until Week 10, so owners may have to deal with the uncertainty of his weekly availability until then. For now, all owners can do is wait, because trading him would only mean you were selling low. Alfred Blue continues to remain one of the elite handcuffs in fantasy football. Though he didn’t make much of his opportunities on Sunday (9 carries, 9 yards), he ran well vs. the Giants in the previous week (13 carries, 78 yards). If you are a Foster owner, Blue is a must-own player.
Jamaal Charles, Chiefs: Any questions about the durability of Jamaal Charles’ ankle were put to rest after Monday night’s electric performance. He sat out the previous week, but Charles made up for lost time with a three-touchdown night. He briefly left the game in the third quarter, but thankfully it was only due to cramping. Knile Davis was supposed to revert back to a complete handcuff role, but he actually out-gained Charles on the ground, 107-92. While the outlying stats would show a timeshare in KC, the circumstances of the game played a big part in Davis’ overall usage. A few things to consider here are that Charles was coming off an injury and had to miss a series while getting IV fluids in the locker room. The game was also out of hand in the first half, allowing Davis to receive some garbage time handoffs. Do I see 17 touches for Davis every week? Probably not. The duo looked dynamic, but a completely healthy Charles should keep Davis within the 10-13 touch range on a weekly basis. Unless you’re a Charles owner, Davis continues to remain a huge sell-high candidate following two 100-yard performances.
Rob Gronkowski, Patriots: The Patriots looked abysmal Monday night, failing to execute on both offense and defense. Tom Brady is regressing right before our very eyes, but following this week’s tough matchup vs. the Bengals, the Patriots have four fantasy-friendly games leading up to their bye. Their opponents in those weeks — the Bills, Jets, Bears, and Broncos — are all in the bottom 15 in points allowed to QBs, with the latter three all falling within the bottom five. After what could possibly be deemed the worst game of his 15-year career, Brady will undoubtedly turn to Gronkowski as his security blanket, like he has so much in the past. Working his way back from ACL surgery, Gronkowski hasn’t looked 100 percent, and he almost assuredly isn’t, but his snap counts have been trending upwards, playing in 44 percent, 41 percent, 58 percent and 62 percent of the Pats’ offensive plays through the first four weeks of the season. He carried three Chiefs on his back during his touchdown catch-and-run on Monday night, hopefully a sign that he is getting closer to full strength. Though the total fantasy points haven’t been there, his touchdowns (3) have. With his playing time on the rise, now would be the right moment to buy low on Rob Gronkowski.
Follow SethDaSportsMan on Twitter at, you guessed it, @SethDaSportsMan, for quality fantasy sports advice and the deepest veneration of all things Nicolas Cage