Teams may want to start investing in high-grade bubble wrap after another week of terrible injuries around the NFL.
Baltimore Ravens @ Jacksonville Jaguars (Wembley Stadium, London)
When the Ravens take the field for their first unique away game at London’s Wembley Stadium, they will be without one of the best guards in football, Marshal Yanda. Yanda broke his ankle after being rolled on in Week 2, and he is out for the remainder of the season. Recently re-signed nose tackle Brandon Williams will miss the match with a foot injury, and he did not fly with the team to London. Tight end Maxx Williams is out as well. Starting running back Terrance West is questionable with a soft tissue injury, and his touches will likely be limited if he does play. Fortunately, outside linebacker Za’Darius Smith returned to practice this week, giving them a boost in pressure.
Jacksonville, the “home” team, is banged up, too. Cornerback Jalen Ramsey and wide receiver Jaelen Strong both missed practice on Thursday, while starting safety Tashaun Gipson and starting center Brandon Linder were limited. Offensive lineman Cam Robinson appeared as a limited participant on Thursday as well. QB Blake Bortles and wide receiver Allen Hurns both practiced at full strength.
Fantasy Impact: Running back Javorius (Buck) Allen was a hot waiver wire commodity this week due to Terrance West’s injury, and he is the back to start out of the two. Even without Brandon Williams, the Ravens defense should have a solid game, so start them and bench Bortles.
Denver Broncos @ Buffalo Bills
Denver is one of the last unbeaten teams in the league, but that does not mean they are the healthiest. An eye-popping 11 players appeared on the first report of the week, including Von Miller and Demaryius Thomas. Both were full participants on Thursday, though, so they should be fine for Sunday. Rookie offensive lineman Garett Bolles returned to practice as well on Thursday, albeit in limited fashion; his status is unclear. Another limited participant was corner Bradley Roby, but he appears on track to play.
The Bills are not without injuries either, the most concerning being Marcell Dareus and Jerel Worthy. Dareus started the first two games of the season for Buffalo but has missed the last two practices due to an ankle injury. On the other hand, Worthy has not practiced since suffering a concussion in the fourth preseason game. His extended absence is growing increasingly concerning. Defensive end Shaq Lawson and safety Colt Anderson were limited on Thursday along with offensive tackle Cordy Glenn.
Fantasy Impact: The Broncos have looked pretty sharp under the direction of QB Trevor Siemian, but that could be affected if Bolles is unable to play. However, given the injuries throughout Buffalo’s defense, wide receivers Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders should both put up good numbers.
New Orleans Saints @ Carolina Panthers
The 0-2 Saints are in desperate need of a win, but it will not come easily this week. Although corner Sterling Moore returned to practice Thursday after missing Wednesday with a chest injury, fellow corner Marshon Lattimore was still out with a head injury. Starting right tackle Zach Strief missed practice, too, with an knee ailment.
Meanwhile, the Panthers placed tight end Greg Olsen on IR with a foot injury that will force him to miss eight weeks. Center Ryan Kalil’s status is in doubt with a neck injury that held him out of Week 2, and linebacker Jeremy Cash missed practice Thursday after being limited on Wednesday. Wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin was a full participant on Thursday after resting from rib and knee injuries.
Fantasy Impact: Carolina has looked downtrodden on offense this season, and the loss of Greg Olsen is another major setback. However, going against a banged up Saints secondary, receivers Kelvin Benjamin and Devin Funchess could start to find their footing. Many experts are predicting a big day for running back Jonathan Stewart, too. As for the Saints, the only reliable starter is Drew Brees.
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Chicago Bears
Steelers defensive end Stephon Tuitt, who missed just one game following what appeared to be a season-ending biceps injury, looks primed for a return this week. Additionally, after making his season debut in Week 2, linebacker Bud Dupree is good to go, having not suffered any setbacks from his shoulder issue. The same cannot be said, however, for linebacker T.J. Watt, who missed Thursday with a groin injury. Tackle Marcus Gilbert was a non-participant, too, suffering from a hamstring injury as well as an illness. Tight end Jesse James was limited with an ankle problem.
In the Windy City, the 0-2 Bears are finally getting healthy as receiver Markus Wheaton, corner Prince Amukamara, and guard Kyle Long all appear ready to play against Pittsburgh. Still, running back Jordan Howard and receiver Kendall Wright were both limited, and their statuses merit monitoring.
Fantasy Impact: Even though they are getting healthy, the Bears will have their hands full with the visiting Steelers. Pittsburgh’s defense is going to make life miserable for Mike Glennon, making his receivers (Wheaton and Wright) less viable. The same is true for running backs Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen who are better left on the bench in this one. It goes without saying that Le’Veon Bell and Ben Roethlisberger are must starts this week.
Atlanta Falcons @ Detroit Lions
The good news in Atlanta is that they do not have many players on the injury list. The bad news is that one of their top guys, Vic Beasley, is among those few injuries. After suffering a hamstring injury in Week 2, Beasley is expected to miss at least a month. Atlanta has ruled out outside linebacker Courtney Upshaw and tackle Ryan Schraeder as well.
For Detroit, the biggest concerns are with linebacker Jarrad Davis, center Travis Swanson, and safety Tavon Wilson, all of whom missed Friday’s practice. Davis has already logged 15 tackles, one sack, and a fumble recovery in his rookie season, but he has yet to clear concussion protocol and is doubtful. Swanson is dealing with an ankle injury while Wilson is working through a shoulder ailment.
Fantasy Impact: Both the Falcons and Lions are dealing with a few serious injuries that could plague them on Sunday. If Wilson misses this game, expect Matt Ryan to try to pick apart Miles Killebrew, giving Julio Jones a bump in value. Without Beasley and Upshaw in his face, Matthew Stafford should also find more success, making Golden Tate a decent play this week.
Cleveland Browns @ Indianapolis Colts
Cleveland has already ruled out linebacker Jamie Collins who suffered a concussion in Week 2, and number one overall pick Myles Garrett is doubtful. The Browns were forced to place their top wideout, Corey Coleman, on IR with a broken hand, while fellow receiver Sammie Coates has not practiced all week because of a hamstring injury. Other than those serious issues, Cleveland has nothing to worry about.
The Colts’ injury report looks like every player on the 53-man roster is dealing with some type of ailment. Thus far, QB Andrew Luck, corner Quincy Wilson, running back Marlon Mack, center Ryan Kelly, linebacker Anthony Walker, and receiver Chester Rogers have all been ruled out for this matchup. Top corner Vontae Davis returned to practice in a limited capacity, and his status is questionable.
Fantasy Impact: This is going to be an ugly game between two downtrodden teams, where neither group has any particularly flashy fantasy studs. However, this could be the week that Isaiah Crowell breaks out against a pitiful Colts defense.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Minnesota Vikings
Minnesota QB Sam Bradford is officially day-to-day with a knee injury, and his absence versus the Steelers was palpable. At this point, he will not play against the visiting Bucs, immediately downgrading the value of all the Vikings receivers. No other Vikes appeared on Friday’s injury list.
Tampa Bay ruled out starting middle linebacker Kwon Alexander, and they may be without starting defensive tackle Chris Baker who is dealing with an illness. Otherwise, Brent Grimes is expected to play, and the Bucs are pretty healthy, too.
Fantasy Impact: Dalvin Cook is a decent flex play this week with Kwon Alexander out in the middle of Tampa Bay’s defense. He is especially valuable given Minnesota’s need to pound the rock on the ground in the absence of Sam Bradford. Stefon Diggs should see plenty of targets from Case Keenum, but there are probably better receiving options out there.
Houston Texans @ New England Patriots
Okay, so the Patriots looked out-of-sorts in Week 1, but then they proved they were still the Patriots with a slaughter in Week 2. Now, they appear to be getting healthy fast ahead of a date with the Houston Texans. Rex Burkhead has not practiced this week due to a rib injury, but running backs are a dime a dozen in New England. Right tackle Marcus Cannon is doubtful, too, but it seems the Pats are always equipped to overcome. That is especially true since Rob Gronkowski, Danny Amendola, and Dont’a Hightower all returned to practice this week.
Houston is getting healthier, too, as Johnathan Joseph and J.J. Watt are both expected to play after limited practice participation. Tight end Stephen Anderson is trending upward as well, as he continues to recover from a concussion. Unfortunately, corner Kevin Johnson will be sidelined four to six weeks with a sprained MCL, and wide receiver Will Fuller has been ruled out with an ongoing shoulder injury.
Fantasy Outlook: If you have Tom Brady, play him. Sure, J.J. Watt might get to him a couple times, but if Amendola and Gronk are both in the lineup, he is a lock as a QB1. Of course, if Gronk plays, he should be starting in all leagues, too.
Miami Dolphins @ New York Jets
Dolphins receiver Jarvis Landry is dealing with a knee injury, as is running back Jay Ajayi, although they are both on track to play. Miami’s backup running back, Damien Williams, was a non-participant Wednesday with a rib injury, but he was back in a limited role on Thursday. On player to keep a close eye on is receiver DeVante Parker who missed Thursday’s practice with an ankle issue. Rey Maualuga’s status is very much up-in-the-air as he continues to rehab a hamstring injury.
The Jets are dealing with a ton of injuries, including two tight ends, Jordan Leggett and Eric Tomlinson. Tomlinson has been ruled out, while Leggett is doubtful, so Austin Seferian-Jenkins will have to carry the load on his own. Starting right guard Brian Winters will also miss this week, and starting safety Rontez Miles is doubtful.
Fantasy Outlook: Truthfully, given the injuries to Ajayi, Landry, and Parker, there are few players on either of these teams worthy of a starting spot on your fantasy team.
New York Giants @ Philadelphia Eagles
If Odell Beckham Jr. really returned from his ankle injury last week, then we must have missed him. In all seriousness, OBJ was clearly not 100% healthy in his four-catch, 36-yard season debut, and the Giants’ offensive success lays squarely on his shoulders. New York ruled out right tackle Bobby Hart and linebackers B.J. Goodson and T.J. Thomas, but corner Janoris Jenkins is officially considered questionable.
In Philly, the big question this week is who will show up in the secondary. Safeties Jaylen Watkins and Corey Graham were both ruled out already, while Rodney McLeod is a game-time decision. Wide receiver Torrey Smith is dealing with an illness, and he is considered questionable.
Fantasy Impact: If there was ever a week when Odell Beckham and Brandon Marshall should be successful, it is this week. Philadelphia is at the point of having to play special teamers and emergency backups in their secondary, and it is not a good sign. On the flip side, Carson Wentz will be facing a solid Giants secondary, and this may be the week where he falters from a stellar start.
Seattle Seahawks @ Tennessee Titans
Seattle has a slew of injuries to report, though none of them would be deemed critical. Tight end Jimmy Graham is considered questionable with an ankle injury, so his status is worth watching. Otherwise, wideout Doug Baldwin was MIA for personal reasons, and the only Seahawk to officially be ruled out is Neiko Thorpe.
The Titans are sure to miss safety Johnathan Cyprien who was ruled out due to a hamstring ailment. Rookie Corey Davis is also out because of a hamstring, but the Titans feel comfortable leaning on Eric Decker and Rishard Matthews in his place. Running back DeMarco Murray is considered questionable, but he looks to be more of a game-time decision.
Fantasy Impact: Doug Baldwin is a WR1 in most, if not all, leagues, and his status should not be in doubt this week. Definitely keep an eye on Graham, however, as well as DeMarco Murray. Even if Murray is able to start, he will likely concede carries to Derrick Henry.
Cincinnati Bengals @ Green Bay Packers
Bad news for the Bengals as they had to rule out prolific tight end Tyler Eifert due to a back injury. Rookie wide receiver John Ross will remain sidelined with an illness, as will starting right guard Trey Hopkins who has a knee injury. Defensive end Michael Johnson and safety Derron Smith are both questionable.
Green Bay is dealing with some nasty injuries of their own, including receivers Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson, and tackle David Bakhtiari. Basically everyone on Green Bay’s injury report is doubtful: Cobb, Bakhtiari, Kentrell Brice, Mike Daniels, Davon House, Nick Perry, and Jake Ryan are all less than likely to play. On the bright side, Nelson along with tackle Brian Bulaga are questionable.
Fantasy Impact: If Nelson can play, he is going to be heavily relied upon given Cobb’s likely absence. Aaron Rodgers is going against a tough Bengals front seven, so if Bakhtiari and Bulaga are out or limited in any fashion, it could be a long day for ARod. A.J. Green should look like a stud this week against a banged up Packers secondary.
Kansas City Chiefs @ Los Angeles Chargers
Aside from linebacker Justin Houston battling an illness, the Chiefs are in good shape. Houston’s status does not seem to be in question since he practiced Friday.
As for the Chiefs, Melvin Gordon is questionable with a knee issue, while Jason Verrett will miss his second straight game also with a knee injury.
Fantasy Impact: The Chiefs are on a roll this year, and the absence of Verett is good news for Alex Smith. Running back Kareem Hunt came back down to earth last week, but he’s still a great start in this matchup. Philip Rivers will thank his lucky stars if Houston cannot play.
Oakland Raiders @ Washington Redskins
Like their division rival Chiefs, Oakland is looking fantastic so far this year. Amari Cooper was limited, as was corner Sean Smith, but they should both be good to go on Sunday.
The host Redskins have far more injury word to deal with this week. Tight end Jordan Reed has been limited by Rob and shoulder injuries, and his status is leaning towards doubtful. Josh Norman, Mason Foster, Rob Kelley, and Montae Nicholson are all listed as questionable but expected to play.
Fantasy Impact: Reed is a top tight end when healthy, but he appears on the injury report more often than not. It is probably best to go another route this week, especially since this is the Sunday night game. Cooper and Michael Crabtree are must-starts, and Derek Carr is a solid choice. Leave Kelley on the bench.
Dallas Cowboys @ Arizona Cardinals
America’s team has a bunch of injuries on the defensive side of the ball, including three corners. Nolan Carroll is out, Chidobe Awuzie is doubtful, and Orlando Scandrick is questionable. Anthony Hitchens is still out, but Stephen Paea is expected to start.
Cardinals safety Deone Buccanon could make his season debut this week, although he is considered questionable. It is unlikely that tackle D.J. Humphries and wide receiver John Brown will play, but tight end Jermaine Gresham and linebacker Karlos Dansby should both be available.
Fantasy Impact: J.J. Nelson is an excellent waiver selection with Brown sidelined, especially since Arizona is a pass-heavy offense. He should have even more success against a thin Dallas secondary.