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Terry McLaurin
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Last Minute Decisions

Injury Report: Week 4

by John Daigle
Updated On: September 29, 2019, 1:03 am ET

Week 4 of the fantasy football season is finally here, and the Rotoworld crew has everything you need to leave the weekend with a win. Patrick Daugherty answers your lineup questions with his Week 4 Rankings, Nick Mensio tells you who to start and who to fade in Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em, Ian Hartitz dives into which receivers are destined for production in his WR/CB Matchups Analysis, Hayden Winks breaks down every matchup in his Fantasy Forecast Column, and I give leans to Week 4's most explosive performances in my Player Props Column.

I'm also here to shed some light on the most important injury situations facing fantasy owners heading into the weekend. The sister resource to this column is the Rotoworld News Page, which will have every single inactive and all the late-breaking news up to kickoff and beyond. I'll also join Josh Norris and a rotating member of the crew every Sunday morning at noon ET on the Rotoworld Fantasy Football Show to answer all of your pressing start/sit decisions.

 Editor's Note: Drafting is only half the battle. Dominate all season long with our Season Pass! Use our NEW Start/Sit Tool, Trade Analyzer, Consensus Rankings, Projections and more on your way to a championship! Click here for more!

 


Early Games

Titans @ Falcons

*Delanie Walker (old) was cleared following a full practice on Friday.

*Ito Smith (concussion) was encouragingly upgraded in every practice throughout the week and is confidently slated to backup Devonta Freeman. The question fantasy players will have answered is whether the former’s involvement plummets Freeman’s snap rate back to the mid-50 percent range or if his 90 percent mark from Week 3 sticks. Odds are it’s the first.

 

Browns @ Ravens

*Although Cleveland may get RT Chris Hubbard (foot, questionable) back for this divisional bout, starting corners Denzel Ward (hamstring) and Greedy Williams (hamstring), as well as S Morgan Burnett (quad), were again absent from practice throughout the week and slapped with ‘Q’ tags despite leaning towards doubtful. 

*Mark Andrews (foot, probable) got in fewer practice reps this week than he did prior to Week 3 and reportedly didn’t do any running during Friday’s portion open to the media. Having said that, he’s still expected to play and “be 100 percent” according to the plan Baltimore’s trainers laid out. The Browns are tied for the fourth-fewest receptions (8) allowed to opposing tight ends, but Andrews should be viewed as a cross-your-fingers TE1 in this offense. Jimmy Smith (knee) remains out, but No. 2 CB Marlon Humphrey (hip, probable) will likely suit up.

 

Patriots @ Bills

*The Patriots are up to their old tricks again, listing seven individuals as ‘questionable’ after a week’s worth of limited participation. Rex Burkhead (foot) and Julian Edelman (chest) are names worth monitoring, but history tells us they’ll play. 

*Devin Singletary (hamstring, questionable) mustered back-to-back practices (albeit limited) on Thursday and Friday and is considered a true game-time call. Frank Gore played 61 percent of Buffalo’s offensive snaps the last time these two shared the field in Week 2, so temper expectations if Singletary does get ruled active.

 

Chiefs @ Lions

*LeSean McCoy (ankle) was fully cleared while Damien Williams (knee, out) is set to miss his second straight game. With this being an indoor contest that’s projected to shoot over its allotted 54.5 total, Darrel Williams has sneaky RB3/FLEX value as McCoy’s backup. Patrick Mahomes faced the fewest total pressures (4) in Week 3 despite missing LT Eric Fisher (core, out), making even the slightest concern over the signal-caller’s performance under duress overblown...especially on turf

*Matthew Stafford (hip) was downgraded upon tweaking his hip on Friday but it’s reportedly “not expected to impact his availability against KC.” More pressing news would be seeing top corner Darius Slay (hamstring, questionable) sidelined rather than getting tasked in shutting down any of Sammy Watkins, Demarcus Robinson, or Mecole Hardman. Danny Amendola (chest, questionable) is trending towards sitting this one out after being an absentee all week, but his replacement — something named “Tom Kennedy” — wouldn’t be worth rostering, let alone watching.

 

Panthers @ Texans

*Houston’s swiss cheese o-line has unsurprisingly allowed the highest pressure rate (50.9%) on the year, but it may not matter if Kawann Short (shoulder, questionable) sits. Donte Jackson’s (groin, questionable) injury is also a sneaky one to monitor as he’s the pick to cover Will Fuller with James Bradberry draped on DeAndre Hopkins. Fuller would ultimately face either backup Ross Cockrell or ex-Bucs castoff Javien Elliott if Bradberry’s ruled out.

*Laremy Tunsil (ankle, toe) was cleared after participating in two full practices to close the week.

 

Raiders @ Colts

*Burly LT Trent Brown (ankle) was upgraded to probable on Friday. 

*When asked if he’d play, T.Y. Hilton (quad, doubtful) responded, ”You’ll find out Sunday.” Hilton toughed through a high-ankle sprain to lead the league in receiving from Week 10 onward last year, but an early re-aggravation, plus this being a first-quarter out of division matchup, increases the chances he sits. Darren Waller should easily continue having field days over the middle of the field with defensive stalwarts Darius Leonard (concussion) and S Malik Hooker (knee) also out.

 

Chargers @ Dolphins

*It’s possible Melvin Gordon handles a few carries upon returning from holdout, but Austin Ekeler should be considered the No. 1 or No. 2 overall player on the weekend with Justin Jackson (calf, out) spotted in a walking boot Friday. Gordon can be glossed over in season-long but sprinkled in on FanDuel, where his salary ($4,500) is the stone minimum. Troymaine Pope (5’9/205) isn’t a threat for first-half touches despite possibly being one of only two backs available behind Ekeler. Without Mike Williams (back, out) and Travis Benjamin (quad, doubtful), Dontrelle Inman is projected to soak up No. 2 reps behind Keenan Allen. One of Andrew Luck’s favorite checkdown targets as recently as last season, Inman spiked three touchdowns over Indy’s final four games (playoffs included), hauling in at least four balls in all of them. He and TE Sean Culkin have dark horse touchdown potential with Virgil Green (groin) also sidelined.

*Dolphins could be without both starting safeties Reshad Jones (ankle, questionable) and Bobby McCain (hamstring, questionable), as well as LB Trent Harris (foot, questionable) and starting LT Jesse Davis (elbow, questionable). Not that it matters even if they do play...

 

Redskins @ Giants

*Terry McLaurin (hamstring, questionable) reportedly experienced a “minor” hamstring pull mid-week and was held out of practice for precautionary reasons. There are still obvious concerns of his health in this one, but if he plays, you’re starting him as the matchup is entirely too good against a Giants squad that’s allowed the most fantasy points per game to opposing wideouts. Paul Richardson would receive a bump to WR3 status if McLaurin’s surprisingly ruled out, while Trey Quinn would stick as a floor play with a minimal ceiling. Don’t expect any daylight for Adrian Peterson without starting C Chase Roullier (knee, out) and OG Brandon Scherff (ankle, questionable).

*Wayne Gallman’s schedule gets tougher in the next few weeks, but there’s no reason to fret Washington’s No. 25 rush defense DVOA. He’ll handle the lion’s share of touches as a flawless plug-and-play RB2 with only UDFA rookie Jon Hilliman available behind him.

 

Afternoon Games

Seahawks @ Cardinals

*Rashaad Penny’s (hamstring) technically questionable, but an upgrade to full participation on Friday would indicate he’s playing. Chris Carson’s still the squeaky wheel coach Pete Carroll’s looking to grease to get back on track following his fourth fumble of the season against the Saints.

*Damiere Byrd (hamstring, out) had quietly run the third-most routes for the Cardinals to this point, leaving ample opportunity for both KeeSean Johnson and Trent Sherfield to take his place. Sherfield will reportedly start, but rookie Andy Isabella isn’t the worst deep league stash as a flier to to steal this gig as early as Sunday (barring a healthy scratch). If you were timid in rostering/playing Byrd, approach is the same with Sherfield.

 

Buccaneers @ Rams

*Chris Godwin (hip) squeezed in a limited session on Friday but ultimately remains a true game-time call. SPARQ standout and 4.49 40-speedster Justin Watson (6’2/215) would play in the event Godwin’s declared inactive. Still, Los Angeles’ defense was put on the streaming radar by end of week given RT Demar Dotson’s (calf, questionable) pending status. 

*Tyler Higbee is back for this one, so temper your infatuation with Gerald Everett

 

Vikings @ Bears

*Dalvin Cook will be full steam ahead without RG Josh Kline (concussion, out) against Chicago.

*No. 2 WR Taylor Gabriel (concussion) was ruled out, which should only allow for more targets to Allen Robinson as opposed to Riley Ridley or Javon Wims coming off the bench and prospering. Game script could leave Robinson top-10 in targets on Monday morning since the impactful losses of DTs Bilal Nichols (hand, out) and Akiem Hicks (knee, questionable) projects the Bears to be in an uphill battle from the start against Minnesota’s run-first attack.

 

Jaguars @ Broncos

*Jalen Ramsay (back) is truly questionable following the birth of his child. Courtland Sutton’s matchup gets cushier if the star corner’s out, but keep in mind Joe Flacco’s 0:4 TD:INT ratio (and 4.1 YPA) in his past two games against the Jags. 

*Questionable statuses for Derek Wolfe (ankle) and Kareem Jackson (hamstring) make Gardner Minshew an intriguing deep league streamer. Dede Westbrook would be the bet to flourish if Minshew succeeds here as D.J. Chark is tasked in taking on (and likely failing against) shutdown corner Chris Harris on the outside.

 

Sunday Night

Cowboys @ Saints

*Even with Tavon Austin (concussion) back in Dallas’ lineup, Devin Smith sticks as a WR3/FLEX. The results weren’t there in Week 3, but Smith did quietly receive elite on-field usage in leading the Cowboys in snaps and routes run.

*Sheldon Rankins (hamstring, questionable) was limited throughout the week.

 

Monday Night

Bengals @ Steelers

*Starting LT Cordy Glenn (concussion) finally got in limited reps to close the week but remains in the league’s protocol. 

*Fantasy players unfortunately can’t afford to wait until Monday evening on Vance McDonald’s (shoulder, doubtful) decision. If Will Dissly was claimed, best bet is to nab Sean Culkin and hope he touches pay dirt in an extremely friendly matchup against Miami.

 

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John Daigle

John Daigle is an Emmy and FSWA award winner who has been covering the NFL and fantasy football for over a decade, working with NBC Sports EDGE for almost four years. He enjoys watching golf and Jon Moxley, not necessarily in that order. You can follow him on Twitter @notJDaigle.