Training Room: Fantasy Football Injury Updates – Week 4

Just like that, we are already a month into the season. It felt like it was just yesterday when we were buried in draft prep and Tweets about who to pick in what round. All fantasy owners should be reevaluating rosters, making trade offers, and staying one move ahead of their league mates. This is the motivation behind this piece, let’s look at the injuries around the league and debate what moves to make, where should owners stay put, and just have some fun talking fantasy football. A quick disclaimer, there may be a few other players in this piece beyond the skill positions. Why you ask? It is important to stay looped in on all situations across the league. Read on to see why.

Ricardo Allen, CB, ATL – Allen was placed on IR on Tuesday after suffering a torn Achilles during week 3 loss to the New Orleans Saints. This is important for fantasy owners because the Falcons defense continues to be decimated by injury. The Falcons have to be thinking of making trades to fill the holes in their defense and save their season. Until this occurs anyone playing this depleted unit should be in for a big fantasy day. Up next for the Atlanta Falcons are the Cincinnati Bengals. Barring any large signings, expect big things for Andy Dalton and company come Sunday.

A.J. Green, WR, CIN –  Green injured his groin during Sunday’s loss to the Panthers, but all signs point to A.J. Green playing week 4 against the Atlanta Falcons. If he is unable to play, owners should look to Tyler Boyd first and then John Ross for a Green replacement. Green will do everything in his power to play Sunday in front of his University of Georgia friends and family. Expect a big game if he suits up.

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Devonta Freeman, RB, ATL – Coach Dan Quinn indicated on Wednesday that Devonta Freeman is trending the right direction as he makes his way back from injury. Hopefully, all Freeman owners were able to grab Tevin Coleman or Ito Smith as a fill-in for their squads. Hands off playing Freeman, even when he returns. Due to his history of injuries, it would be nice to see if he has anything left in the tank or if the tides have shifted in Tevin Coleman’s favor.

Greg Olsen, TE, CAR – Reports coming out of Carolina is that Greg Olsen is well ahead of the curve and is recovering very well from his foot injury. The Panthers are on a Bye this week, and he would not have been ready to play, but Olsen remains a nice stash candidate for fantasy owners. The tight end market has been very strange this year, so if Olsen can provide stability at the position consider picking him up.

Anthony Miller, WR, CHI – Anthony Miller dislocated his left shoulder during Sundays win over the Arizona Cardinals. Even though he is considered day-to-day, owners should be very careful playing Miller. It was reported that this injury could reoccur again during a game or when he comes into contact with defenders. Unless you are in a deep league or dynasty league, Miller owners should consider dropping him and looking to the waiver wire.

Sean Lee, LB, DAL – Lee has been a dominant force for the Dallas defense, but the poor guy just can’t stay healthy. Leighton Vander Esch will fill in for Sean Lee in the short term and he did perform well in his last game recording nine tackles. Until Lee returns, any running attack going up against the Cowboys is one to utilize even with Vander Esch on the field. Owners that have stayed loyal to Kerryon Johnson might be in for a nice payday come Sunday.

KeKe Coutee, WR, HOU – Deep sleeper time! KeKe Coutee has been working his way back from a hamstring injury and might make his NFL-debut week 4 against the Colts. Owners should proceed with caution as he might need time to acclimate to live NFL play, but this could be huge for the Texans. Deshaun Watson was much improved with Will Fuller back in the lineup, and with the addition of Coutee, Houston could begin to really take off. Deep league or dynasty league pickup only and a boost to Watson owners as well.

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Dalvin Cook, RB, MIN – Cook practiced on Tuesday and this is welcome news for his owners and anyone that is a fan of the Vikings. Minnesota had a terrible outing week 3 against the Bills and having Cook back, even if it is in a limited fashion, will help this team against the high powered L.A. Rams. If Cook doesn’t play Thursday, Latavius Murray is next man up again … ugh. Hands off the Minnesota backfield if things are trending that way for Thursday.

Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, SF – It was confirmed on Monday that Garoppolo will undergo season-ending surgery for a torn ACL in his left knee. At this time the injury is believed to be contained to just the ACL, but surgery could show additional issues. Owners in deeper leagues can still rely on Matt Breida and Marquise Goodwin for the short term as the team turns to C.J. Beathard at QB. Garoppolo owners could turn to Baker Mayfield, Ryan Tannehill, or Andy Dalton to fill the QB void.

Matt Breida, RB, SF – Breida was seen working on the sideline during Wednesday’s team practice. After last week’s game, Breida was diagnosed with a hyper-extended knee. There is speculation that if he plays, Breida will be limited in his action on the field. He is still worth holding or even trading for on the cheap. During last season when C.J. Beathard was at QB for the 49ers, Beathard targeted Carlos Hyde a lot out the backfield. Breida will still have value, but for this week, owners might want to hold him out on the bench. Look to see if Alfred Morris is available on waivers just in case.

Marcus Mariota, QB, TEN – Mariota is planning to return to the starting lineup this Sunday and is reportedly feeling much better about his injured elbow. This is fantastic news for any owner that invested in Corey Davis and other Titans play-makers. If you are hurting for wide receiver depth on your squad take a peak to see if Corey Davis was dropped and consider picking him up.

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Adrian Peterson, RB, WAS – AP sprained his ankle at some point during Week 4 win over the Green Bay Packers. If a player is going to get hurt, getting hurt right before the team bye is just about the best time for it to happen. All signs are pointing to Peterson being ready for Week 5 so owners do not need to panic. In fact, if this is a sign of things to come, consider selling high on Peterson.

Rex Burkhead, RB, NE – Rex Burkhead was placed on injured reserve on Wednesday due to a neck injury he sustained during the teams week 3 loss to the Lions. Rex was just cleared to return action after being diagnosed with a concussion earlier in the season. It is possible for Rex to return from IR as soon as week 12 when the Patriots take on the New York Jets. This might be time for rookie running back Sony Michel to take on the majority of the work for the Patriots offense. James White should also see an uptick in production. Both players are worth adding and possibly starting moving forward.

Until next time,

Your friendly neighborhood fantasy football injury writer.

@whenpigskinfly

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AHL

Writer Fantasy Football Desk at Sports Talk Line
Lucky Husband, Fantasy Football wannabe expert, and travels for food. Colts fan, NFL fan, fan of life. Been playing Fantasy Football for 15 years.