Across the NFL, there are quite a few wide receivers dealing with injuries. Some of the most notable players include Julio Jones, Michael Thomas, Davante Adams, A.J. Brown, and DJ Chark, all of whom were drafted in the first four rounds of fantasy football drafts. That’s only the tip of the iceberg for WR injuries, as Jamison Crowder, Christian Kirk, Deebo Samuel, Alshon Jeffery, Henry Ruggs, and Breshad Perriman all have questions about their statuses heading into Week 4. The potential absences of these key players will certainly impact our Week 4 WR rankings and could necessitate owners hitting the waiver wire to find potential backups/replacements if these players can’t return to action.
For news about injuries to Jimmy Garoppolo, Tyrod Taylor, and George Kittle, click here. For the latest on RBs James White, Cam Akers, Raheem Mostert, Phillip Lindsay, and Zack Moss, click here. For all the latest fantasy injury news and updates, check back here and on Twitter @SN_Fantasy.
Julio Jones injury update
Jones (hamstring) was absent all week for the Falcons ahead of their game against the Bears. On game day, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport declared his outlook of playing ” a little bleak” and Jones did, in fact, miss the contest.
Moving forward, Jones’ status is unclear. His injury wasn’t thought to be major, and the team may have just been sitting him out to make sure he heals up and can get back on the field in short order. His practice status will be key this week, but Atlanta does have incentive to play him with Russell Gage (concussion) also questionable this week.
If Jones doesn’t play and Gage is out, Olamide Zaccheaus would suddenly be the No. 2 WR in the Falcons’ offense. He would have some flex appeal, and owners of Jones and/or Gage may want to scoop him off the waiver wire, as fantasy owners may not know the status of the two Falcons receivers until just before kickoff against the Packers on Monday night.
Michael Thomas injury update
Thomas (ankle) missed the past two weeks for the Saints after suffering an ankle injury late in their win over the Bucs in Week 1. Now, it looks like Thomas will soon be returning to action soon.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Thomas is eying a Week 4 return from his ankle injury. If he doesn’t suffer any setbacks, that will give him a chance to play in a favorable matchup against a banged-up Lions secondary.
Thomas’ return would be a boon for the Saints, as their receivers have struggled to do damage with him out. It had mostly been Alvin Kamara and the team’s running backs carrying the load, but with Thomas back, the field will be more open for Drew Brees and the strong Saints offense to make plays. Thomas will obviously be a WR1, while Brees and Emmanuel Sanders should see an uptick in production, as well, as the presence of Thomas will help them both.
Is Davante Adams playing in Week 4?
The Packers gave Adams (hamstring) right up until game time on Sunday night to decide if he would be active against the Saints. He had been listed as doubtful, and while he missed the game, it seemed that he was close to being ready to take the field.
Adams didn’t practice at all before Week 4’s game, so his status throughout the week will be something to watch. If he can get in a limited session at the least on Wednesday, that should indicate that he is progressing well and will have a chance to play the Packers’ Monday Night Football game against the Falcons.
If Adams suffers any sort of setback or fails to progress in his return, 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 if Adams is out.
A.J. Brown injury update
Brown (knee) is having trouble recovering from a bone bruise that has kept him out since the Titans’ opener against the Broncos. While the Titans WR coach stated that Brown could return in Week 3 or Week 4, it’s notable that Brown didn’t practice at all last week. So, he may be a bit further off from returning than his fantasy owners hope.
Also, it’s worth noting that the Titans have had to shut down their facility because of several positive COVID-19 tests, per ESPN’s Dianna Russini. That situation is still very fluid, but if Brown can’t get into the facility to rehab his knee or practice, it seems likely that he will be out of commission in Week 4.
As long as Brown is out, WR Corey Davis and TE Jonnu Smith will be the leaders of the Tennessee receiving attack. Their Week 4 matchup against the Steelers may look tough on paper, but top receiving weapons have been able to beat the Steelers this year. Of course, the state of the minor outbreak in the Titans’ facility will bear watching, as that could have an impact on the status of this game. We’ll keep an eye on that moving forward.
DJ Chark injury news
Chark (chest/back) was a surprise inactive for the Jaguars on Thursday night against the Dolphins, and his absence was part of the reason the Jaguars struggled to throw the ball on Sunday. The good news for Jacksonville is that it appears Chark will be returning to action in Week 4.
According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, Chark was “trending upward” heading into Thursday night’s game against the Dolphins. Though the team ultimately held him out, it was likely just a precautionary measure to be sure he didn’t further aggravate his injury on a short week. But with this much time to recover, he should be good to go against the Bengals and will be a solid WR2.
Is Jamison Crowder playing in Week 4?
Crowder (hamstring) has missed the last two weeks and was declared “doubtful” by Adam Gase very early in the lead-up to Week 3. Now on a short week, it’s hard to imagine that he’ll be able to play barring a surprise improvement. Once he does return, he’ll be a PPR threat considering how often the Jets play from behind, but soft-tissue injuries tend to linger.
The Jets WRs are banged up, as Crowder, Breshad Perriman, and Denzel Mims are all dealing with injuries right now, so it could be another good week to play Braxton Berrios as a DFS sleeper in Showdown/Single-Game lineups. He’s not a recommended play in most fantasy formats, however.