Week 1 NFL Injury Update
Each week in this column, we will go over the NFL’s injuries that could affect fantasy football. Now, I play in IDP leagues, some of you might as well, but we will be focusing on injuries to offensive players, not defensive ones. So, Von Miller is a huge NFL injury, but for 95% of fantasy leagues, it doesn’t mean much unless your QB is playing against the Broncos defense. As an aside, more of you should be playing in IDP leagues.
David Montgomery suffered a groin injury that was expected to sideline him 2-4 weeks about two weeks ago. He is practicing and will start Sunday versus Detroit. Still, although it’s good news that Montgomery looks to be healthy and will start, he is still no more than an RB2 this week and a low-end one at that. He may be limited somewhat, and Tarik Cohen should still catch be the main pass-catching back. I prefer Cohen to Montgomery this week as the latter is likely to be touchdown dependent on having a good fantasy day.
Amari Cooper has been dealing with some sort of hamstring injury for the past 7-10 days. Earlier this week, it looked like he might even be in danger of missing the game Sunday night. Those fears have been laid to rest as Cooper practiced in full Thursday, and he will start Sunday. Those of you who are worried about what kind of performance Cooper will do with Jalen Ramsey at cornerback for the Rams. Well, Ramsey might be the best cover corner in the game, but generally, he doesn’t travel. So, he’s not likely to follow Cooper across the field, plus, it’s not like Michael Gallup, who Ramsey would cover when Cooper is on the opposite side is some slouch.
Melvin Gordon injured his ribs during training camp, and there was some worry about his status coming into the game, but he’s good to go. That’s the good news. The bad is that the matchup is far from great, and Phillip Lindsay has had a strong camp and will steal some touches from Gordon. The worse news is that Courtland Sutton suffered a shoulder injury in practice Thursday and is questionable at best to play Monday night. If you are planning on starting Sutton, please make sure to have another viable option available should he be a late inactive. I don’t have Sutton in any leagues, but if I did, and I had another player on my bench who was close to his value, I would sit Sutton this week.
Rookie D’Andre Swift has been dealing with an undisclosed injury, which may be one reason the team signed Adrian Peterson. This runningback situation may be a mess in the early season until Swift proves he is the best back. It will be hard to trust any of them at this point as they are all expected to play; it’s just a matter of who touches the ball the most and who the goal line back is. Kenny Golladay is a problem this week. He is not practicing Friday again due to a hamstring injury. The bottom line is Golladay is trending in the wrong direction. We will know for sure Sunday morning at 11:30 a.m. if he is going to play, but even if he does, it will be a big risk to insert him into your lineup. Danny Amendola is also dealing with a hamstring injury. The Lions may run the ball a ton Sunday, but when Matthew Stafford puts the ball in the air, Marvin Jones may be the main recipient of those targets.
Trey Burton is on IR with a calf injury. His injury doesn’t mean much except that it does raise Jack Doyle a couple of places in our rankings. Doyle is a low-end TE1 this week.
This team is a mess at running back. They released Leonard Fournette, Ryquell Armstead is on COVID IL, and now Devine Ozigbo is on the IR with a hamstring injury. You don’t want to start any RB on Jacksonville this week anyway as they go up against a tough Indy defense. However, I might give some love to Chris Thompson in PPR leagues as 3+ receptions out of the backfield should be coming his way.
Los Angeles Chargers
Mike Williams is considered to be a game-time decision with a shoulder injury. I may like the matchup, but I’ll keep him on my bench this week unless desperate. The Chargers are likely to be run-heavy anyway with Tyrod Taylor at the helm.
Las Vegas Raiders
Tyrell Williams was placed on IR with a torn labrum, but no one was truly worried about him anyway.
Los Angeles Rams
This is yet another team with a mess at running back. Rookie Cam Akers has yet to distinguish himself and Darrell Henderson is dealing with a hamstring injury that will leave him to being a game-time decision Sunday night. Malcolm Brown is listed at the starter, but I’d pass on everyone here if possible.
The Dolphins passing game is all banged up but should be able to go Sunday. DeVante Parker is dealing with a hamstring injury but did practice. Preston Williams who suffered a torn ACL last season is also practicing and Mike Gesicki deals with a glute injury. They should all play Sunday. Perhaps you want to wait on Williams to see what he looks like, but I don’t mind him as a flex play against a depleted New England defense.
New England Patriots
Damien Harris was placed on IR with a finger injury, but he wasn’t going to save your fantasy team anyway, and neither is Sony Michel who is now the no-doubt starter. Michel was dealing with a foot injury all offseason and may not be in the greatest shape to start the season, but if you’re weak at running back, I can see a start here. Julian Edelman has a knee injury but will go Sunday and can start him if you normally would.
New York Giants
Golden Tate is dealing with a hamstring injury but is practicing and good to go Monday, although, versus a tough Steeler’s defense, you may want to look for better options.
Where do we start with the Eagles? Miles Sanders suffered a hamstring injury a couple of weeks ago, and he will play Sunday but has been limited in practice. You’re starting him unless you have a much better running back corps than the rest of us. As for the wide receivers, Alshon Jeffery is dealing with a foot injury and hasn’t practiced. Jalen Reagor has been considered week to week with a shoulder injury but seems to have made an impressive recovery. None of this matters as the Washington Football Team may have issues on offense, but the defense is legit. All but Sanders sit for me.
Diontae Johnson suffered a foot injury in practice this week and is now questionable to play Monday. This is too bad because we love his matchup against a porous Giants’ secondary. As always with someone playing Monday, make sure you have a viable alternative should you decide to risk his status.
San Francisco 49ers
At one point this offseason it looked like Deebo Samuel might not be able to play until November, now he has a shot at Week 1. He didn’t practice Wednesday and Thursday. I’ll advise the wait and see approach first. WR is deep, you should have someone else on your roster that will be more reliable this week. Brandon Aiyuk has a hamstring injury, but even if healthy, I wouldn’t be starting him.
Phillip Dorsett and Will Dissly (Achilles) are both expected to play Sunday for Seattle, but I hope they aren’t expected to play for you.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Fantasy owners started to shriek Wednesday when head coach Bruce Arians told us that Mike Evans is dealing with a hamstring injury that might take him right up to game-time about whether or not he plays Sunday. Evans did miss the last three games of last season due to the injury so be careful here and make sure you have a replacement ready as this is a late afternoon game Sunday. Evans did practice Friday so that is a positive sign that he will indeed start Sunday. Yes, if Evans starts for the Bucs, he starts for me.