Last week I may have said something like “the worst part is we don’t know how these injuries will affect the players’ performances”. Then Chris Ivory was active without receiving a carry, which is to say there was no performance to affect. Ouch. But on the plus side, hey, he could have re-injured himself had he played, right? In a way it feels like the fantasy football season hasn’t truly begun until something like this happens. Because it happens. Every. Year. This week we need to discuss the injury situations for newly injured players such as: Ben Roethlisberger, Davante Adams (newly re-injured), Sammy Watkins, Jonathan Stewart, Crockett Gillmore and others. We’ll revisit some other players situations with notes on players (finally) nearing their returns. And if you are wondering about the order, the first section is by biggest affect to least affect on fantasy teams, “On The Mend” is by team.
Ben Rothelisberger (knee) has suffered a MCL sprain (aka tear, as in, all sprains are tears) and a bone bruise of his knee. It turns out a bone bruise is actually a type of fracture and is possibly the more concerning of the two injuries:
— David J. Chao, MD (@ProFootballDoc) September 28, 2015
Mike (Michael? I don’t actually know) Vick will take over as the Steelers starting QB for the next 4-6 weeks with their upcoming schedule being BAL, @SD, ARI, @KC, CIN, OAK. Perhaps Ben will be back in time for the Cincinnati game. Until then, you’ll keep starting Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell and hoping for the best. There’s no way you’re benching them, right? Martavis Bryant is nearing a return but without his starting QB I imagine he’ll stay on the bench in most leagues, as will Heath Miller and, well, anyone else not named Brown or Bell.
— Jason Wilde (@jasonjwilde) September 30, 2015
Davante Adams (ankle) aggravated his injury on Monday and that’s kind of a big deal, because it matters as much for James Jones’ owners as it does for Adams’ owners. James Jones has been outproducing Adams despite a small share of the targets (remarkably, Jones only had seven targets going into Monday night) but with Adams out he had a huge Monday night game and this injury will probably set him up as the no doubt WR2 for the Packers. And I think that makes him a no doubt WR2 for fantasy even when Adams returns (borderline WR1 while Adams is out?). Assuming Adams can return quickly he can possibly work himself back to being a fantasy WR3/Flex type play. I haven’t heard word on how much time he will miss, probably about two games.
Sammy Watkins‘ (calf) injury helped lead to season high targets for Percy Harvin (8) and Charles Clay (7) last week. Your other options would have to be pretty good for you to keep them on the bench if Watkins misses time, which looks quite likely. Maybe he’ll miss next week as well, I don’t have enough information to do more than just hazard a guess.
Jonathan Stewart (leg) missed practice with a tibia injury and I’m really not sure what to make of it, I haven’t heard any details, there’s a chance that the lack of information here means it’s minor. Fozzy Whitaker looks like his handcuff except that Cameron Artis-Payne got three carries late in the game, perhaps after Stewart was hurt? I don’t have the details on that one, it’s speculation, see the comments section for an update.
Crockett Gillmore (calf) is a player that was on people’s radar and was creeping up in the ownership levels in 12 team leagues, but he’s suffered a calf injury and won’t play Thursday against the Steelers. Expect Maxx Williams to be more heavily involved in Gillmore’s absence, so now Williams, a 2nd round rookie, needs to be on your radar. I expect Gillmore to jump back ahead of Williams upon his return to health. You could probably get away with dropping Gillmore for this week but if you do you may want to pick him back up early next week.
Previously Injured Players:
LeSean McCoy (hamstring) and DeMarco Murray are linked due to reasons known to everyone, that reason being that Murray plays for McCoy’s old team. Now they are also linked in the 2015 NFL season for having both suffered hamstring injuries and in “The Injury Report” because I failed to discuss them last week, and that was a mistake. It was partly because of how many other situations there were to discuss and partly because I sort of just assumed both guys would be fine. Well, McCoy did actually play so I guess I’m off the hook for that one. However it looks like he won’t play this week and frankly, I should have been discussing Karlos Williams after week one. He’s a player I really like, yet if McCoy is going to return to health I think we need to temper our expectations for Williams. Realize that the Bills offense has produced twelve offensive touchdowns which is third best behind only New England (14) and Arizona (13). Major regression alert. On the other hand, the twenty five carries their collective RBs are averaging through three games is sustainable. The bottom line is Williams needs to be (and by now probably is) owned everywhere.
DeMarco Murray… Ryan Mathews.. ugh. I told a DeMarco Murray (hamstring) owner last week that Ryan Mathews could be dropped (for Isaiah Crowell). That’s some bad advice as it turned out. Well, it’s actually not quite as bad as it looks, but it’s pretty bad. While some reversion to a normal running offense was to be expected, I think their real rushing offense will be something between what happened in weeks 2 and week 3. Well, I guess that might be obvious. Considering what we’ve seen so far, I’m not sure if they will average much more than 100 or so rushing yards per game and remember there is an approximate 50-35-15 split on those yards between Murray-Mathews-Sproles. I’m pretty sure Murray will play this week. But he’s going to be very hard to trust as it could be an even split between Murray and Mathews this week, with Darren Sproles there to do his thing as well.
On The Mend (players nearing a return): Andre Ellington (knee) should be back but Chris Johnson is going to severely cut into his work load as Bruce Arians has stated that Johnson will get 15-20 touches per game. While I’m sure what this really means is that he will get 15-20 touches when things are going fabulously for the Cardinals, that’s still saying something. And Johnson might really be a whole lot better than he has been the last four or so years. View this in the context that, in my opinion, he’s been one of the worst RBs in the league the last four or so years. I’m expecting Alshon Jeffery (calf) to suit up for the Bears and if his owners are lucky Cutler will be back as well but I wouldn’t count on it. Speaking again of bad advice *AHEM* last week I said something like “Chris Polk is the only Arian Foster (groin) handcuff you that’s worth owning”. Then Alfred Blue went off. Foster is still iffy for this week and I have to assume they will turn to Blue again this week.
(…continued…) Julius Thomas (finger) “has not been cleared yet” according to a report on profootballtalk.com. I think we’ll see him next week. Lamar Miller (ankle) played last week and is not on this week’s injury report. Drew Brees (shoulder) is already on the upswing. I hope to see Chris Ivory (quadriceps, active but no carries last week) back but Bilal Powell needs to stay owned for now. He needs to stay owned in PPR leagues all year. DeSean Jackson (hamstring) missed his second game last week and he’s iffy for this week. I think his return will have a positive effect for the rushing attack and a slightly negative impact on Pierre Garcon and Jordan Reed. Ladarius Green (concussion) could play and is probably worth considering for a start this week. Reggie Bush (calf) participated in full on Wednesday so I see no reason he won’t suit up. I’d consider grabbing him in 14+ team PPR leagues, otherwise I’d make him prove himself by at least getting a few touches first. His teammate Vernon Davis (knee) did not practice after leaving Sunday’s game with his injury. Tight end Garrett Celek will be the primary beneficiary if Davis misses time, with Anquan Boldin and Torrey Smith likely to see a slight bump in targets.
Setbacks: Devante Adams had a setback worthy of a whole paragraph, see above. Breshad Perriman (knee) might have been active last week but he re-aggravated his injury during pregame warmups. Now his timetable is officially “????” as far as I can tell.
The Practice Report for Wednesday September 30, 2015
Here are the practice reports for Week 4 of the NFL season. These are the same reports that each team is required to give the league after every day of practice. Teams that play Thursday have a full injury report with the “Out/Doubtful/Questionable/Probable” designations due by Wednesday. Teams that play Sunday (or Saturday) only have a practice report due Wednesday and teams that play Monday have nothing at all due by Wednesday.
Tevin Coleman – RB – No Participation
Devonta Freeman – RB – Limited Participation
Devin Hester – WR – Limited Participation
Julio Jones – WR – No Participation
Jacob Tamme – TE – No Participation
Marquise Goodwin – WR – Limited Participation
Percy Harvin – WR – No Participation
LeSean McCoy – RB – No Participation
Tyrod Taylor – QB – Full Participation
Sammy Watkins – WR – No Participation
No Practice Information Reported (Monday night game)
Green Bay Packers
Davante Adams – WR – No Participation
Randall Cobb – WR – Full Participation
Eddie Lacy – RB – Full Participation
Andrew Quarless – TE – No Participation
Aaron Ripkowski – RB – Full Participation
Dwayne Allen – TE – No Participation
Andre Johnson – WR – No Participation
Andrew Luck – QB – Limited Participation
Josh Robinson – RB – Limited Participation
Tyler Varga – RB – No Participation
New England Patriots
No Practice Information Reported (bye week)
New York Jets
Jeff Cumberland – TE – No Participation
Eric Decker – WR – No Participation
Chris Ivory – RB – Limited Participation
Chris Owusu – WR – No Participation
Devin Smith – WR – Full Participation
No Practice Information Reported (Monday night game)
No Practice Information Reported (bye week)
I’m happy to comment on situation I missed or to elaborate on anything you want. Comment below!
Lance is worth a follow on Twitter, @RotoLance.