Fantasy Injury Updates: Julio Jones, Davante Adams, Michael Thomas, more affect Week 4 start ’em, sit ’em decisions

Injuries have taken their toll across the NFL already in this young season, but the receiver position may be the most banged up of all at this point in the year. Julio Jones, Michael Thomas, Davante Adams, and Chris Godwin were four of the projected top-six fantasy football WRs, but they have all missed time with a variety of injuries. Add to the mix Alshon Jeffery, Deebo Samuel, DJ Chark, and others, and wide receiver looks much thinner than many hoped. These injuries will have a massive impact on our Week 4 WR rankings and start ’em, sit ’em decisions, as owners may have to look for some waiver-wire replacements depending on how these notable names are progressing in their respective recoveries from injury.

For all the latest fantasy injury news and updates, check back here and on Twitter @SN_Fantasy. 

WEEK 4 STANDARD RANKINGS:
Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight End | D/ST | Kicker

Is Julio Jones playing Monday night?

There are a lot of questions about the status of Julio Jones ahead of the Falcons’ Monday night clash with the Packers. Jones missed the team’s Week 3 game with a hamstring injury, but it wasn’t considered to be major. The team will play it safe with Jones, but they’ll also do what they can to get him back on the field.

It would behoove the Falcons to get him back on the field with Russell Gage (concussion) also hurting. If both can’t play, Olamide Zaccheaus will be the No. 2 receiver in Atlanta. That’s not ideal for the Falcons in a matchup where Calvin Ridley could see a lot of the Packers’ stud cornerback Jaire Alexander.

WEEK 4 PPR RANKINGS:
Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight End | D/ST | Kicker

Davante Adams injury update

Adams (hamstring) is in a similar boat to that of Jones. He missed Week 3 with a hamstring has a Monday night game this week. As such, there hasn’t been an update on his practice status so far, but one should be incoming on Thursday.

Because Adams and the Packers play on Monday night, they will release their first practice report of the week on Thursday. That will shine a light on Adams’ balky hamstring and tell fantasy owners whether he will play in Week 4. But given that he was close to playing last week despite being designated as doubtful, that should be a good sign for his potential availability.

If Adams doesn’t progress as expected, Allen Lazard and Marquez Valdes-Scantling would be must-starts in most formats against an awful Falcons defense and secondary. With Adams in, they fall in the WR3 category in our WR rankings, but Lazard would probably be a top-20 play at the very least if Adams is out.

Is Michael Thomas playing in Week 4?

Thomas was drafted as the No. 1 fantasy receiver in almost every fantasy league and format, but he has missed the past two weeks dealing with an ankle injury suffered in Week 1 against the Bucs. ESPN’s Adam Schefter had confirmed earlier in the week that Thomas was eying a Week 4 return and now, it looks like that may come to fruition.

According to Saints.com’s Nick Underhill, Thomas returned to Saints practice on Wednesday and was “moving well.” That would seemingly indicate that Thomas should have a chance to play in a favorable Week 4 matchup against the Lions.

Thomas’ return would likely diminish the value of Emmanuel Sanders and Jared Cook in the passing game ever so slightly, as there won’t be as many targets to go around. That said, both weapons may see less attention with Thomas on the field, so they may not be impacted all that negatively. Alvin Kamara may catch a couple fewer passes as well, but he’ll still be an RB1 in all formats even if his receiving touches decrease.

WEEK 4 FANTASY: Sleepers | Busts | Start ’em, sit ’em

Chris Godwin injury update

Godwin (hamstring) miss practice on Wednesday and isn’t expected to play in Week 4. In fact, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport is reporting that the talented receiver could miss the next two weeks, so he may be out of action for a couple of games or more if his injury doesn’t progress as well as the team hopes.

With Godwin out, Scotty Miller will be the No. 2 receiver for the Bucs provided that he’s healthy (he missed practice on Wednesday with hip and groin injuries), while Rob Gronkowski could get more targets at tight end. 

WEEK 4 DFS TOURNAMENT LINEUPS: FanDuel | DraftKings | Yahoo

Is Alshon Jeffery playing in Week 4?

Jeffery (foot) has yet to play for the Eagles this season after offseason surgery sidelined him for much of the offseason. On Wednesday, Jeffery did return to the practice field for the first time and operated in a limited capacity, according to the team’s official Twitter account. That doesn’t mean that he will return in Week 4, but it’s a good sign that he’s not too far away from returning.

Jeffery’s status in Thursday’s practice will be critical. So long as he doesn’t suffer a downgrade, he should have a chance to return to the field in Weeks 4 or 5. Savvy fantasy owners should look to scoop him up if he’s available on the waiver wire, as the Eagles are very much in need of receiving help.

With DeSean Jackson (hamstring) questionable and Dallas Goedert (ankle) and Jalen Reagor (thumb) on IR, Jeffery would instantly become one of the Eagles’ top receivers. He, Greg Ward, and Zach Ertz would all be fantasy viable and Jeffery could emerge as a bigger TD threat with Goedert absent. It will be interesting to see when Jeffery can get fully healthy, but his return to practice should indicate that he will be back on the field soon.

WEEK 4 DFS CASH LINEUPS: FanDuel | DraftKings | Yahoo

DJ Chark injury update

Chark (chest/back) missed the Jaguars’ Thursday night game against the Dolphins on a short week, but his injury wasn’t thought to be too serious. According to the Jaguars’ official website, Chark did return to practice on Wednesday in a limited basis. That should bode well for his chances of playing against the Bengals, especially considering that Chark may have been able to play last week had the Jaguars not had such a quick turnaround.

In the event that Chark doesn’t progress as the team hopes, Keelan Cole and Laviska Shenault will continue to be Gardner Minshew’s top receivers. The outlook of both is better with Chark in the fold though, as Chark can help stretch defenses and open up the short-to-intermediate game for Cole and Shenault.

Is Deebo Samuel playing in Week 4?

As excited as Samuel’s fantasy owners may be to have him back, he is expected to start practicing this week but according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, he is “likely” to return against the Dolphins in Week 5.

For one more week without Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk and Kendrick Bourne will continue on as the top receivers for the 49ers while George Kittle will (hopefully) return to the tight end position to provide the 49ers with more weapons. If Samuel does return in Week 5, he’ll be a fringe-WR2 against a solid Miami secondary.

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