NFL Fantasy: Injury news and notes for Week 4

A quick search for facts, observations, and opinions that might affect how you play your NFL fantasy team in Week 4.​

This week the NFL plays in London again with the Miami Dolphins hosting the New Orleans Saints. Be sure to adjust your lineups early if you have players on your roster from those teams. You never know what will happen in the overseas games. They always seem to provide a surprise like Marcedes Lewis’ three touchdowns or total domination of the top-rated fantasy defense.

One player motivated to have a great game is Jay Ajayi who is London born. He might not be at full strength, however, as he sat out practice Wednesday to rest a sore ankle. There is no suspicion he will miss the game though.

Kareem Hunt is pretty good!

Kareem Hunt is on pace for 300 touches in his rookie season. After three games, he is averaging 8.53 yards per carry, the highest mark after three games since 1953 when the legendary Jim Brown averaged 8.58. At some point, he will have to be held back. Coach Andy Reid says he is not concerned about Hunt’s workload, but a rookie with 300 carries seems insane. I am stashing Charcandrick West at the first sign of trouble in Kansas City.

CJ Anderson ceding to Jamaal Charles?

Jamaal Charles out-gained CJ Anderson Sunday in Buffalo. Some fans were quick to point out that Charles got more handoffs than Anderson and wonder if there is a changing of the guard or at least, a more equitable time share coming up. Reality is that Anderson was on the field for 69% of the snaps, close to the previous two games. When Charles enters, he is more likely to be used in his limited (28%) time on the field. Buffalo was set on stopping Anderson and he still averaged 4.4. yards per carry.

Charles is contributing nicely in his relief role, but unless Anderson falters significantly, there is probably no change in roles forthcoming. Look for a bounce-back game from Anderson this week.

Andre Ellington to head committee?

As expected, Chris Johnson started at running back for Arizona Monday night and received the bulk of the rushing work. He was not very effective though, averaging only 1.4 yards per carry. Andre Ellington was in for obvious passing situations and was targeted eight times. He also rushed five times for 22 yards. He wound up on the field for more snaps than Johnson, too, even before the Cardinals fell behind by two scores.

Chris Johnson was cut in preseason because of low production. Andre Ellington was going to be the centerpiece of the Bruce Arians’ offense just a few seasons ago. Ellington is a worthy PPR pickup now. He may be worth a stash in standard leagues in case he becomes the every down back in the desert.

Andrew Luck… more than a shoulder?

Indianapolis reports that Andrew Luck will not practice this week, contrary to reports from earlier in the week. There has been no setback, just a change in plans, according to a press release. Luck also reportedly sought advice from another quarterback who had the same surgery as far as how that passer handled his return to the field.

I am not sure what to make of this. Does it show a distrust of the Colts’ training staff or management? After all, the team let Luck, a mobile quarterback, get sacked 41 times and ultimately injured last season. Then they decided they didn’t need to do anything to improve their pass protection in the offseason. Or does it indicate that Luck is dealing with issues a little above his injured shoulder?

Sam Bradford – a definite maybe for Sunday

Minnesota said Sam Bradford would not practice Wednesday with his sore knee. They still believe there is a possibility he can play Sunday, saying they are doing “everything they can” to make that happen.

Randall Cobb says he’s in

Although no official word is in from the Green Bay Packers, Randall Cobb says he is on track to play Thursday night against the Bears. Whether he is limited or not will determine the impact on Davante Adams NFL fantasy value. Also, if you are among the many who picked up Geronimo Allison this week, hold off putting him in your Week 4 lineup.

Sitting Tom Brady? Rob Gronkowski?

If you are concerned about playing any of the Patriots this week because their top-ranked offense is going against the top-ranked defense of Carolina… don’t be. Brady is 6-0 lifetime when playing top-ranked defenses at home after Week 3. He has 12 touchdown passes and four interceptions in those games.

Rob Gronkowski is no longer listed on the Patriots’ injury report.

Adam Thielen better than Stefon Diggs?

Did you know Minnesota’s Adam Thielen has more receiving yards through three games than Stefon Diggs? It’s a fact. They are #2 and #3 in the league with 299 and 293 yards, respectively. In NFL fantasy, a fumble by Thielen and four touchdowns by Diggs is why their fantasy scores are a mile apart. Still, with 99 yards per game, there has to be a touchdown or two in Thielen’s future. I’d play either one of them.

Amari Cooper’s year?

If Amari Cooper wants to break out and finally stop people from wondering if they should have picked up Michael Crabtree, it would help if he held onto more passes. Cooper leads the league with six drops. He is coming off a nightmare in Washington last week and now has to face the top-ranked Denver Broncos. It might be a good week to leave him on your bench.

Matt Forte off the Jets’ committee?

Matt Forte missed practice with a toe injury and has been described as “week-to-week” by the Jets. No announcement has been made, but he is not likely to play Sunday. The Jets signed Travaris Cadet to reinforce the position. I am assuming Cadet will not join the rushing rotation with Bilal Powell and Elijah McGuire Sunday. With this year’s Jets, you can never be sure about anything, though.

Doug Baldwin, CJ Prosise DNP

Doug Baldwin is listed as day-to-day with a groin injury. He told reporters he plans to play Sunday, but his status will have to be watched. CJ Prosise has what coach Pete Carroll called a “significant” ankle issue that will keep him out of Sunday’s game.

Kelvin Benjamin not practicing either

Kelvin Benjamin got great news when an MRI showed no structural damage to his previously repaired left knee. He still missed practice today and is not a lock to play on Sunday. We’ll have to see what happens later in the week. Russell Shepard and Curtis Samuel could pick up extra targets behind Devin Funchess if Benjamin sits out.

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Pat Opperman

Pat recently retired from real life to watch sports and write. Look for references to games and events from ancient times as memories of an earlier Age of Sport tend to pop into his head.