As we begin to think ahead to Week 4, the fantasy football injury report is a good place to start in terms of planning ahead. Let’s take a look at who is carrying injuries out of this week’s action and what it means for fantasy managers going forward.
Fantasy football injury report heading into Week 4
David Montgomery, RB | CHI (Ankle/Knee)
David Montgomery was the first fantasy football player to be taken out of Sunday’s games and not come back. Montgomery was rolled up on by a Houston Texans defender. He was able to leave the field under his own power but was quickly tagged as doubtful with knee and ankle injuries.
There has been no definitive diagnosis at this point. However, there was discussion following the injury that there could be either a high ankle sprain, an MCL sprain, or both. If either of those is the diagnosis, then Montgomery is potentially looking at between two and six weeks on the sideline.
Unless we hear that Montgomery has avoided serious injury, Khalil Herbert becomes a popular waiver wire name. He rushed for over 150 yards in Montgomery’s absence in Week 3, so he definitely put himself in the shop window. Montgomery’s diagnosis on Monday or Tuesday will dictate if you should use your top waiver priority or how much FAAB to spend. However, right now, Herbert is the priority pickup on waivers for Week 4.
Dalvin Cook, RB | MIN (Shoulder)
Dalvin Cook left the game against the Detroit Lions in the second half. On the play, Cook ran into his own offensive lineman and fumbled. He then left the game with a shoulder injury that was later revealed to be a dislocated shoulder. Cook was quickly ruled out for the remainder of the game, with Alexander Mattison taking over.
After the game, Minnesota Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell described the injury as day-to-day. He also revealed that Cook had told him he would be able to play next week in London. The expectation is that Cook will wear a brace that will allow him to play and should help protect the shoulder. Yet, that brace could restrict Cook’s range of motion, which will likely have its biggest impact when it comes to pass catching.
While the news that Cook should be able to play next week dents Mattison’s fantasy value, there is still reason to target him on waivers. This injury for Cook does have a chance of reoccurrence, and in that instance, it could lead to him missing more time. Therefore, Mattison makes a smart move as a stash this week. His short-term outlook is not as high as Herbert’s, but that doesn’t mean you should avoid him altogether.
D’Andre Swift, RB | DET (Shoulder)
On Monday, it was reported that D’Andre Swift had suffered a shoulder sprain during the Lions’ Week 3 game. According to the report, he will not require surgery but could miss time. Swift missed four games in 2021 with a shoulder injury.
If Swift’s absence, Jamaal Williams should continue to be the lead back, and Craig Reynolds should mix in. Williams becomes must start in all leagues if Swift is out, and Reynolds becomes a deeper league flex option, but we will need to see how the roles split out in Week 4 to now exactly what size leagues he should be started in.
Mac Jones, QB | NE (Ankle)
At the end of the New England Patriots Week 3 game against the Baltimore Ravens, Mac Jones was carried to the locker room after being taken down awkwardly late in the game. The initial pictures looked extremely concerning for Jones and the Patriots.
The early positive news was that Jones’ X-rays were at least negative. However, further assessment revealed that Jones has a high-ankle sprain. With Jones set to miss time, Brian Hoyer is expected to start. Hoyer has limited fantasy value outside of 16-team Superflex leagues where every QB is usually started.
Additionally, the loss of Jones will likely have a knock-on effect on the Patriots’ receivers. Jones has not been the most dynamic passer in his career, so the downgrade is not as great as it might be for other QBs. However, after seeing him get into a groove with Jakobi Meyers and DeVante Parker in the last two weeks, this is a real shame.
Michael Thomas, WR | NO (Toe)
Jarvis Landry, WR | NO (Ankle)
Tre’Quan Smith, WR | NO (Concussion)
The situation with Thomas towards the end of the Saints’ Week 3 game was interesting. He was in and out of the medical tent before ultimately heading to the locker room early. After the game, head coach Dennis Allen informed reporters that the Saints decided not to take a further risk with Thomas returning to the game. We will need to watch his status this week.
Things with Landry’s ankle injury appear a little worse. He was initially taken to the locker room with the injury. Landry was then announced as questionable to return before later being downgraded to doubtful. The downgrade is the concern here because that likely means the longer the medical staff looked it, the worse they realised it was. If this was a coaches decision they could easily have just left him as questionable and then not had him return.
The injury to Smith was initially viewed as a shoulder injury but was later diagnosed as a concussion. He will now enter the protocol this week and is a player to monitor. Smith took over from Landry in the slot when the latter was injured. Therefore, if Landry is ruled out Smith could be a player to target. However, the concussion might also mean he slides under the radar on waivers this week.
Chris Olave appears to be the player who sees the biggest fantasy boost here. He was already leading the trio in targets before their respective injuries. If Thomas and/or Landry miss time he has a great chance to see double-digit targets on a weekly basis. If Thomas is also set to miss time, then Marquez Callaway was the next man up on the outside this week.