Believe it or not, the NFL season is almost a quarter of the way complete. Maybe you have been fortunate to begin your fantasy season 3-0, or maybe you are behind the 8-ball after a slow start. Either way, forgetting to remove an injured player from your lineup could prove costly.
New Orleans Saints @ Miami Dolphins
When the Saints go marching into Wembley Stadium to take on the Dolphins, they will feature a mostly healthy squad. John Kuhn and David Parry both landed on IR, and Adrian Peterson missed practice Thursday with a knee tweak, but AP immediately returned to work on Friday. Zach Streif, Terron Armstead, Marshon Lattimore, and Sterling Moore all practiced in some capacity, so they could all be ready for Sunday.
Miami is also healthy for the most part, with a number of players who were limited in practice but expected to play. Keep an eye on Kenny Stills’ hand injury, as he is a boom or bust flex option depending on his availability.
Fantasy Impact: New Orleans is getting healthier on defense while the Dolphins receivers are a bit banged up, so it might be wise to look elsewhere for production. On the ground, Jay Ajayi is worthy of a RB1 slot, but AP cannot be trusted to produce.
Buffalo Bills @ Atlanta Falcons
Jerel Worthy finally got back to practice this week following a concussion, and tackle Cordy Glenn was the only Bills player to miss Thursday’s practice. As a full participant all week, running back LeSean McCoy does not appear in any danger of missing this game with a wrist injury.
The Falcons are far less fortunate on the injury front as safety Ricardo Allen and tackle Ryan Schraeder are both still in concussion protocol and are likely to miss Sunday’s game. Vic Beasley is also out, and linebacker Courtney Upshaw is highly doubtful. Wide receiver Julio Jones is a player to watch as he has been limited by a lower back injury.
Fantasy Impact: Julio Jones has yet to have a true breakout game this season, and a healthy Bills defense could hold him in check again this week, particularly if his back bothers him. LeSean McCoy should get plenty of touches, especially with some cracks in Atlanta’s defense.
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Baltimore Ravens
Having a healthy team is a major key to winning in the best rivalry in football, and the Steelers seem to have an edge. Stephon Tuitt, who surprisingly remained out in Week 3, appears on track to play this week along with rookie T.J. Watt. However, wide receiver Martavis Bryant is dealing with an illness, so his status bears monitoring.
Baltimore lost more than just the game against the Jaguars, as yet another defensive lineman was seriously injured. Fourth-year defensive end Brent Urban suffered a Lisfranc foot sprain that will sideline him for the remainder of the year. Nose tackle Brandon Williams is out with a foot injury, and tight end Ben Watson is highly questionable with a calf issue. Fellow tight end Maxx Williams also missed Wednesday and Thursday with an ankle injury.
Fantasy Impact: Le’Veon Bell will have every chance to explode this week as the Ravens have suddenly become thin in their front seven. Running back Alex Collins is a potential flex play, as he is inching his way to a starting role in Baltimore’s offense, but stay far away from any and all Ravens receivers.
Cincinnati Bengals @ Cleveland Browns
The Bengals are dealing with numerous injuries, none more serious than tight end Tyler Eifert. Eifert is dealing with a back injury, and he is expected to miss multiple weeks. Wide receiver John Ross and linebacker Jordan Evans will also be out this week, while safety Derron Smith is doubtful.
Cleveland has some significant injuries of their own, as Jamie Collins is still not practicing due to a concussion. Myles Garrett was a limited participant in Thursday’s practice, but his status is still very much up in the air. Defensive lineman Danny Shelton is doubtful, too, with a calf injury.
Fantasy Impact: A.J. Green should see plenty of targets with Eifert sidelined, but he will also draw more double-coverage without Eifert’s receiving threat occupying defenders. Cincy running backs should have a good day, but it is always a risk playing a back who operates from a committee.
LA Rams @ Dallas Cowboys
Things did not look good early on for wide receiver Sammy Watkins, but he was a full participant following a concussion. Fellow receiver Tavon Young, who is also dealing with a concussion, was a full participant as well. In fact, the only Rams player who did not practice in some capacity on Thursday was safety Lamarcus Joyner.
Dallas is in good shape, too, with Sean Lee and Stephen Paea being the only players who did not practice Thursday. Consider Lee doubtful, though he claims to have played with worse injuries in the past. Paea is likely fine, but his knee issue involves close monitoring and significant rest during the week.
Fantasy Impact: Quarterback Jared Goff has developed serious chemistry with Watkins, and both are looking more and more valuable in fantasy land. If Sean Lee is out (and even if he plays) running back Todd Gurley should have a solid output this week. Injuries are mostly a non-factor in this game, so focus more on player match-ups.
Tennessee Titans @ Houston Texans
Running back DeMarco Murray was a full participant this week coming off a hamstring injury, and he looked fantastic last week even after missing practice. Tight end Delanie Walker was a full participant, too, but wideout Corey Davis and safety Johnathan Cyprien will both miss this match with hamstring ailments.
Will Fuller returned to practice for the Texans, and he is expected to be ready to roll this week. Also returning was guard Jeff Allen, who missed the last two games due to an ankle injury. At this point, Kevin Johnson is the only Texan who appears to be dealing with a lengthy issue.
Fantasy Impact: The Texans have a solid defense, so despite his full participation, Murray may not be your best option this week. Fuller is a great waiver wire pick-up, and the kind of player you should watch for a couple games before inserting into your lineup.
Detroit Lions @ Minnesota Vikings
The Lions do not have any major injuries to report at this time. Only Kenny Golladay and Dwayne Washington missed Thursday’s practice, and neither are solid starts regardless.
Minnesota is healthy too, with one glaring exception: Sam Bradford. Bradford has about the worst luck in the league when it comes to knee issues, and he will again be sidelined this week. Case Keenum has looked uneven in his stead, although he put on a clinic against the Buccaneers.
Fantasy Impact: Stefon Diggs tore it up against Tampa Bay, and another week of working with Keenum could not hurt. With Golladay possibly sidelined, look for Golden Tate to put up WR1 number.
Carolina Panthers @ New England Patriots
Five players have already been ruled out for the Panthers: Ryan Kalil, Daryl Worley, Jeremy Cash, Daeshon Hall, and Curtis Samuel. Fortunately, it appears receiver Kelvin Benjamin will be ready to play following a scare with his surgically repaired knee. Thomas Davis and Cam Newton are also good to go.
New England listed about half of their team as limited participants at various points during the week, but only Rex Burkhead appears to be doubtful. Marcus Cannon and Dont’a Hightower are both considered questionable, however, so keep an eye on them.
Fantasy Impact: For a moment there, it looked like Devin Funchess was going to be thrust into the WR1 role for Carolina, but Benjamin’s return eased that concern. With Greg Olsen out due to a broken foot, Benjamin will see a boatload of targets. PLAY TOM BRADY.
Jacksonville Jaguars @ New York Jets
For the Jacksonville Jaguars, the injury report looks much the same from last week. Wide receiver Jaelen Strong and linebacker Lerentee McCray have both been ruled out, and Tashaun Gipson is questionable.
Gang Green will be without Matt Forte and Jordan Leggett who both have knee injuries; Forte is also dealing with turf toe. Defensive tackle Muhammed Wilkerson is officially questionable with a shoulder ailment.
Fantasy Impact: Jacksonville looked especially impressive in London last week against what was believed to be a vaunted Ravens defense. With the same lineup this week, they could look even better against the seemingly lowly Jets. Bilal Powell could have a chance to get going this week with Matt Forte out, but he has not performed well thus far.
San Francisco 49ers @ Arizona Cardinals
Reuben Foster and Eric Reid were both ruled out with concussions, leaving the 49ers thin defensively. In addition, defensive end Pita Taumoeoenu appeared on Thursday’s report with an ankle injury, and he is doubtful to play. Fortunately, safety Jaquiski Tartt and linebacker Brock Coyle both appear okay after being injured in Week 3. Interestingly, Carlos Hyde is being called a game-time decision with a hip injury, so keep an eye on him.
For the Cards, guards Mike Iupati and Alex Boone are both out, and tackle D.J. Humphries is questionable. Numerous other players were limited including John Brown, Jermaine Gresham, and Chandler Jones.
Fantasy Impact: Carlos Hyde has been a surprisingly impressive back thus far, so his absence would be detrimental in many leagues. Handcuff him with Matt Breida if you have room on your bench. Given the shaky offensive line for Arizona, this is probably not the best week to start Carson Palmer.
Philadelphia Eagles @ LA Chargers
Darren Sproles got hit with a double whammy, breaking his arm and tearing his ACL in last Sunday’s win over the Giants. Defensive tackle Fletcher Cox is out this week with a calf injury, and fellow DT Destiny Vaeao was ruled out with a wrist injury. Starting cornerback Ronald Darby, backup safety Corey Graham, and reserve safety/corner Jaylen Watkins round out the list of Eagles who have already been ruled out for Sunday.
Thus far, only rookie receiver Mike Williams has been deemed unable to play for LA, while Melvin Gordon is considered questionable. All-in-all, the Chargers are healthy.
Fantasy Impact: With Sproles out for the year, the Eagles will turn to LeGarrette Blount, Wendell Smallwood and Corey Clement to pound the rock on the ground. Blount will likely get the bulk of the goal line touches. Look for the Chargers to air it out against a thin Philly secondary, making Philip Rivers a good start this week.
New York Giants @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Linebacker Jonathan Casillas is in danger of missing this game with ankle and wrist injuries, which would leave a big hole in Big Blue’s defense. Olivier Vernon is listed as questionable with an ankle injury, and he will likely do all he can to tough it out this week. Running back Orleans Darkwa was limited with a back injury, but he is expected to play. Shane Vereen is also expected to play.
Tampa Bay’s defense has been hit hard this week with injuries, including Kwon Alexander who has already been ruled out. Lavonte David and T.J. Ward are doubtful, while Robert Ayers, Noah Spence, Gerald McCoy, and Brent Grimes are questionable.
Fantasy Impact: Odell Beckham, Jr. has to be salivating at this injury report. After looking halfway decent against the Eagles, this could be the week where the Giants click on all cylinders.
Oakland Raiders @ Denver Broncos
Neither of these teams have any major injuries to report, so this should be an evenly matched game.
Fantasy Impact: The Raiders had a rough outing against the Redskins last week, and it only gets worse against Denver. With Bradley Roby back in the fold for Denver, Derek Carr may not be the best option at QB this week.
Indianapolis Colts @ Seattle Seahawks
If horseshoes are supposed to be lucky, Indy missed the memo. They have already ruled out six players for Sunday night. Andrew Luck’s shoulder injury continues to linger, and it seems he will not be back until November. Ryan Kelly, Quincy Wilson, Marlon Mack, Anthony Walker, and Chester Rogers are the other missing Colts. On the bright side, Vontae Davis is expected back this week.
In frustrating news to fantasy owners everywhere, the Seahawks declared that they will not make a decision on Doug Baldwin till Sunday. Running back C.J. Procise is doubtful, while Neiko Thorpe is questionable. Safety Earl Thomas is expected to play despite missing multiple practices.
Fantasy Impact: With Jacoby Brissett under center, wide receiver T.Y. Hilton has actually performed well. That trend should continue if Thomas is unable to play. If you can, handcuff Baldwin with Tyler Lockett in case he is a late scratch.
Washington Redskins @ Kansas City Chiefs
Neither team had any significant injuries to report at the time of this posting.