Week 4 of the NFL season featured some insane receiving lines– from Tyreek Hill (11-186-3) to Cordarrelle Patterson (5-82-3; somehow had 20% ownership on FD – you read that correctly) and a couple of other high-profile receivers in DJ Moore and Terry McLaurin scoring multiple touchdowns and generating over 100 receiving yards. Unfortunately, it’s the NFL, which means we don’t leave the week unscathed from an injury perspective. Let’s get to these big injuries right away.
Joe Mixon – Day-to-Day (Ankle Sprain)
The best news for Mixon is that from the looks of it, he avoided a high ankle sprain/a significant injury. As a result, a trip to the IR looks very unlikely. Still, Mixon is dealing with a low-grade ankle sprain, which is enough to sideline him for at least one game. The running back depth chart behind Mixon is Samaje Perine as the early downs back and Chris Evans as the third down back. With the Cincinnati Bengals trailing late in the game last week, Perine came in for an injured Mixon and didn’t leave the field. It’s entirely possible that the Bengals start to throw the ball a bit more if Mixon isn’t around, especially with the Green Bay Packers coming to town in Week 5. Even if that’s the case, Perine wasn’t priced correctly ahead of the Mixon news as he’s priced at the bare minimum on DK. He’ll project as a great value that will assuredly come with plenty of ownership IF Mixon is ruled out.
David Montgomery – Questionable (Knee Injury)
Like Mixon – the Montgomery news aren’t all bad. In fact, he seems to have avoided an ACL injury or any sort of injury that would end his season. The Chicago Bears won’t update his status until after Wednesday’s practice, but Montgomery seems questionable at best at this point. After all, he was in a lot of pain and had to exit a game in which he didn’t return. Damien Williams is the next man up and while he sustained a thigh bruise as well, he’s not expected to miss time. Williams does have the ability to play on third downs, so if Montgomery is indeed ruled out for this week, the former could play the majority of the game with Khalil Herbert backing him up and giving him a breather when needed. Williams’ price did jump up to $5,600 on DK, but it didn’t surpass $6k on FD ($5,800). The potential for an every down role will make him a viable play in DFS at these price tags as long as Montgomery is out of the picture. UPDATE: David Montgomery has a knee sprain that will keep him OUT for 4-5 weeks. Damien Williams will be the primary back in this offense.
DJ Chark – OUT (Fractured Ankle)
Chark suffered a fractured ankle in Week 4 and that injury will sideline him for the rest of the season. Chark had been used primarily as a downfield threat, posting a 16.3 aDOT this season. He leaves behind a market share of targets in the 17-19% range for an offense that will be playing from behind quite often this season. I’d expect primary options Marvin Jones (22.8% market share of targets) and Laviska Shenault Jr. (19.8% market share of targets) to pick up some of the targets that Chark is leaving behind, and perhaps newly acquired Dan Arnold (TE) can pick up some more playing time and targets along the way. Running back James Robinson has already seen multiple games with 6 targets and without Chark around, it’s possible he’s more involved in the passing game as well.
Logan Thomas – Week-to-Week (Hamstring Injury)
Thomas picked up an injury in the first quarter against the Falcons in Week 4 and never returned. Ricky Seals-Jones ended up with a massive 92.5% snap share and 4 targets. He’s not a great talent and his production has never been great but a $2,900 price tag on DK and potential for huge playing time is enough to consider him as a punt option as long as Thomas is ruled out.
Here is a list of other fantasy relevant players that carry a questionable or doubtful designation to play on Sunday’s main slate this week (keep in mind this article is written on Monday, so this list will certainly change as practice reports start to come in):
Christian McCaffrey (CAR) (Week 6 looks way more realistic for a return date but hasn’t been ruled out for Week 5 yet)
Rob Gronkowski (TB) (Expected to miss this week; looks like he’ll be back in Week 6)
A.J. Brown (TEN) and Julio Jones (TEN)
Chase Claypool (PIT)
Sterling Shepard (NYG) and Darius Slayton (NYG)
Tee Higgins (CIN) (expected to be available for Week 5)
Will Fuller (MIA) (already ruled out for Week 5; Fuller is officially listed as week-to-week due to a broken finger)
Elijah Mitchell (SF)
Carlos Hyde (JAX) (James Robinson saw an every down role in Week 4 without Hyde around to vulture playing time)
Jimmy Garoppolo (SF) (It seemed like Garoppolo knew he’d miss at least some time after his press conference; Trey Lance is likely going to be more relevant than Garoppolo for DFS because he can run the ball)
Teddy Bridgewater (DEN) (concussion protocol; if he’s out this week, Drew Lock will start)
Andy Dalton (CHI) (Coach Matt Nagy mentioned that Dalton will start if healthy in Week 5; he remains questionable due to a knee injury he picked up in Week 2)