With waivers having cleared this morning, fantasy football managers are now looking to set up their lineups before Thursday Night Football and Week 9. Unfortunately, we still have question marks surrounding some big named wide receivers such as Michael Thomas, Calvin Ridley, and Chris Godwin. While we wait for an official WR injury report and updates to help guide our Week 9 fantasy waiver wire and start/sit decisions, let’s get caught up on who we need to keep an eye on.
Keep in mind, we will continue to update this article as more and more information becomes available.
Fantasy WR Injury Report & Updates: Is Michael Thomas going to play in Week 9?
Update: NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports that “Saints WR Michael Thomas (ankle/hamstring) had a good and active week of practice and barring a setback, should be good to go tonight.”
The New Orleans Saints play on Sunday Night Football this week, giving both wide receivers Emmanuel Sanders and Michael Thomas better chances of playing in Week 9. Michael Thomas practiced on a limited basis before the Saints Week 8 overtime win over the Chicago Bears. He was ultimately ruled out.
The Saints are going to need all the help they can get against this Buccaneers defense. The Buccaneers are one game ahead of the Saints in the NFC South standings, but New Orleans has the upper hand after having won their first matchup this year. New Orleans has been scoring 29.4 points per game (seventh in the NFL) with 385.9 total yards (10th), and this has been with Thomas mostly out of the lineup. However, the Buccaneers’ defense has been one of the best in the league thus far.
If Thomas continues to miss time, Emmanuel Sanders would be the top receiving option for the Saints while Jared Cook and Alvin Kamara would also continue to see an increase in targets. Sanders is trending to return this week after missing the last couple of games. When Sanders last played in Week 5, he caught a career-high 12 passes (on 14 targets) for 122 yards.
Is Chris Godwin going to play in Week 9?
Update: NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports that “Bucs Coach Bruce Arians has said WR Chris Godwin (broken finger) is expected to be on the field” in today’s game against the New Orleans Saints.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, doctors initially feared Godwin would miss four-to-six weeks. Fortunately, after undergoing surgery, he now has a chance to play in Week 9 against the New Orleans Saints.
Godwin was at the team’s walkthrough on Wednesday, but had a cast on his injured hand, per The Athletic’s Greg Auman. Head coach Bruce Arians went on to say, “We won’t know until Friday if he can catch a ball.”
Godwin’s season has been a frustrating one after his breakout season last year. He missed Week 2 with a concussion and was then sidelined in Week 4-5 by a hamstring injury. He then broke his finger in Week 7. Godwin’s health issues might have been one of the reasons that contributed to Tampa Bay taking a risk on bringing in Antonio Brown.
Entering Week 9, Godwin has just 279 receiving yards and two scores in four games. If Godwin does make his return, he will now be fighting for targets from a resurgent Rob Gronkowski, as well as Mike Evans, and now Brown. Even if he does return, using him in fantasy might be dangerous with all of these weapons for Tom Brady.
Fantasy WR Injury Report & Updates: Will Calvin Ridley play in Week 9?
Update: According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Calvin Ridley will be inactive in Week 9.
In Week 8 of the season, Atlanta Falcons WR Calvin Ridley suffered a foot sprain in their Thursday Night Football victory over the Carolina Panthers. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that the team was hoping to get him back “shortly” from that injury; it’s unclear when he may actually return.
Moving forward, it doesn’t look good for Ridley playing in Week 9. The breakout WR missed the team’s first practice this week and missed Thursday as well. We are continuing to monitor the situation Friday to see if he is able to register at least one limited practice.
So far, in 2020, Ridley has been impressive. In eight games, he has 43 receptions, 657 yards, and six touchdowns. In a standard league, he is averaging 13.1 fantasy points per game.
If Calvin Ridley is in fact out, WR3 Russell Gage could see an increase in targets. However, what is more likely is that Matt Ryan focuses on Julio Jones and peppering him with targets. Expect a huge fantasy day for Jones if Ridley is out.
Will Jamison Crowder play in Week 9?
Jamison Crowder has missed the Jets’ past two games while dealing with a groin injury. He was listed as doubtful last week, and according to the Jets injury report, he only logged a limited practice on Thursday before being downgraded Friday.
Luckily the New York Jets play Monday night against the New England Patriots. That could give Crowder an extra day to rest.
With Crowder being out, rookie WR Denzel Mims has started to present himself as a potential WR1 in this Jets offense. Now, that might not be worth much considering the Jets have one of the worst statistical offenses in the NFL. However, Mims doesn’t seem to have all that much competition right now.
Even if Crowder is active, I wouldn’t play him or Mims against this Patriots secondary. One player I will look at is Stephon Gilmore. If he plays, he would be put on whichever receiver is considered WR1. As one of the best shutdown corners in the league, Sam Darnold and this Jets offense might struggle.