Is Jameis Winston playing Sunday vs. the Vikings?

Is Jameis Winston playing in Week 4 when the Saints face the Vikings in London, and how should fantasy managers handle him this week?

New Orleans Saints QB Jameis Winston has battled several injury concerns over the past few weeks. After gutting through pain to play in Week 3, Winston didn’t practice at all ahead of New Orleans’ Week 4 matchup with the Minnesota Vikings. Is Winston playing this week, or will backup QB Andy Dalton have to step in?

Is Jameis Winston playing Sunday?

Winston was officially listed as doubtful on New Orleans’ Week 4 injury report following Friday’s practice due to back and ankle injuries. He was downgraded to out on Saturday, and Dalton will start against Minnesota.

It’s unclear exactly how long Winston is going to be out, but given that there was some initial hope that he had a chance to play against Minnesota, it stands to reason that he has a shot of returning in Week 5. Winston has been dealing with an ankle issue since training camp, and he’s played through four fractures in his back over the past two weeks.

How does Winston’s injury impact fantasy football?

Though the Saints will be turning to their backup quarterback, Winston’s absence isn’t a massive downgrade when it comes to the fantasy football status of New Orleans’ playmakers. Dalton is about as capable a backup quarterback as you’re going to find, so Jarvis Landry, Chris Olave, and Alvin Kamara hold similar value as they would have if Winston were playing.

Obviously, offenses generally produce most efficiently when the starter is in, but Dalton’s presence under center shouldn’t drastically alter your projections for New Orleans’ skill position players.

As for the quarterback position itself, if you were counting on Winston as your starting quarterback, you’ve probably picked up a backup option already. Dalton is a fine play as a QB2 in Superflex leagues against a Vikings defense that has been among the league’s worst against the pass. If you’re in a deep 1QB league and are desperate for a streamer this week, you could do worse than Dalton as a last-resort option.

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