Week 4 of the NFL season is here, and the Rotoworld crew has everything you need to cash in a winning week. Top-ten FantasyPros ranker Patrick Daugherty answers your lineup questions with his Week 4 Rankings, Nick Mensio tells you who to start and who to fade in Start’ Em or Sit ‘Em, and Evan Silva breaks down every matchup in his award-winning Matchups Column.
As for me, I am here to shed some light on the most important injury situations facing fantasy owners heading into the weekend. The sister resource to this column is the Rotoworld News Page, which will have every single inactive and all the late-breaking news up to kickoff and beyond. I also occasionally tweet about football @RMSummerlin.
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Jets @ Dolphins
* Branden Albert (hamstring) is listed as doubtful. Ryan Tannehill was only sacked twice last week against the Bills, but Buffalo managed to hit him 10 times with Albert sidelined. Jordan Cameron (groin) is listed as questionable for the second week in a row, but he played last week and saw eight targets. He can be safely used as a low-end TE1. Jonas Gray (calf) is questionable after practicing on a limited basis on Friday, and Dion Sims (concussion) is out.
* Both Chris Ivory (quad) and Darrelle Revis (hamstring) are listed as probable after practicing in full on Friday. Eric Decker (knee) was able to get in limited practices on Thursday and Friday. He is expected to be a game-time decision. Decker would be a solid WR3 against the Dolphins, who have given up the 11th most points to opposing wide receivers this season. Willie Colon (knee), Jeff Cumberland (concussion), Chris Owusu (knee) and Darrin Walls (hamstring) are out.
Texans @ Falcons
* Both Devonta Freeman (toe) and Julio Jones (toe/hamstring) got in full practices on Friday and are listed as probable. Tevin Coleman (ribs) began running on the side this week, but he will miss at least another game. Devin Hester (toe) got in his first practice work of the season this week, but he will miss his fourth-straight game. Ricardo Allen (knee) and Jacob Tamme (concussion) are out.
* Arian Foster (questionable, groin) said after Friday’s practice he has a “chance” to play this week. The Houston Chronicle's John McClain believes the Texans will let Foster decide if he is ready to play. Foster said he practiced in full this week despite the injury report’s limited designations and said his doctor told him “the best rehab is actually getting out there and playing.” It sounds like Foster is leaning towards playing, and he would be a high-end RB1 against a Falcons’ defense which gave up four touchdowns on the ground last week. Duane Brown (hand) is listed as questionable but fully expected to play. Lonnie Ballentine (knee), Akeem Dent (hamstring) and Jonathan Grimes (knee) are out.
Jaguars @ Colts
* Colts coach Chuck Pagano said Friday he is “absolutely” confident Andrew Luck (questionable, shoulder) will play this week. If he were “absolutely” confident the Colts would not have signed Josh Johnson on Friday, but it would be very surprising if Luck did not give it a go. Dwayne Allen (questionable, ankle) told reporters he is “not quite there” despite practicing on a limited basis Thursday and Friday. He is a game-time decision, but he will be limited even if he suits up. Greg Toler (neck) and Tyler Varga (concussion) are out.
* Allen Hurns (thigh) got in a full practice on Friday and is listed as probable. He is a decent GPP play with Allen Robinson expected to receive a lot of attention from Vontae Davis. Julius Thomas (hand) got in limited practices this week but is out at least another game. Denard Robinson (knee), Sen’Derrick Marks (knee), Brandon Linder (shoulder) and Marqise Lee (hamstring) are also out. Sergio Brown (calf) is doubtful.
Raiders @ Bears
* Alshon Jeffery (hamstring) is listed as questionable on the injury report, but ESPN’s Jeff Dickerson reported he is not expected to play. With Jeffery out again, Martellus Bennett should dominate targets in an exceptional matchup against the Raiders. Even if Jay Cutler (questionable, hamstring) does not play, Bennett is worth starting in redraft and a look in DFS. Jermon Bushrod (concussion/shoulder) has been ruled out, which may be a good reason to keep Cutler out another week. Alan Ball (groin), Ego Ferguson (knee), Pat O’Donnell (knee), Jeremiah Ratliff (ankle) and Will Sutton (elbow) are all questionable.
* Charles Woodson (shoulder) is listed as questionable, but he has played through the injury the last two weeks. Ben Heeney (hamstring) and Taiwan Jones (foot) are also questionable. Benson Mayowa (knee), Keith McGill (foot) and C.J. Wilson (calf) have been ruled out.
Eagles @ Redskins
* ESPN’s Britt McHenry reported DeSean Jackson (out, hamstring) is “not even close” to returning. Jordan Reed and Pierre Garcon will continue to dominate targets while Jackson is sidelined. DeAngelo Hall (toe) and Perry Riley Jr. (calf) are also out. Chris Culliver (knee), Kedric Golston (hand) and Josh LeRibeus (calf) are questionable.
* DeMarco Murray (hamstring) got in full practices on Thursday and Friday and is a good bet to play despite his questionable tag. Mychal Kendricks (questionable, hamstring) also should return after getting in three full practices. Chris Maragos and Jason Peters are questionable with quad injuries. Kiko Alonso (knee) is out this week, but an exam by Dr. James Andrews revealed his surgically-repaired ACL is still intact. He is expected to miss a month, but there was concern his season was finished. Taylor Hart (shoulder) and Cedric Thornton (hand) are out.
Giants @ Bills
* LeSean McCoy (hamstring) and Sammy Watkins (calf) have been ruled out. Karlos Williams is an RB2 with big upside against the Giants, and Percy Harvin (probable, hip) is a WR3 and interesting DFS play. Marquise Goodwin (ribs), John Miller (groin), and Aaron Williams (neck) are also out.
* Victor Cruz (calf) suffered a setback in Wednesday’s practice and is out indefinitely. Cruz reportedly had a platelet-rich plasma injection into his injured calf, which could take several weeks to have any effect. Without a true slot receiver replacement on the roster, the Giants could use Shane Vereen more in the passing game. Daniel Fells (ankle) and Ereck Flowers (ankle) are questionable. Robert Ayers (hamstring), Markus Kuhn (knee) and Jerome Cunningham (knee) are out.
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Panthers @ Bucs
* Doug Martin suffered a knee injury in Wednesday’s practice and is listed as questionable on the injury report. Martin got in a limited practice on Friday and claimed the knee was “fine,” but mid-week injuries are always concerning. He should play, but he is more of an RB3 as an injured and game-script dependent option. Gerald McCoy (shoulder), Donovan Smith (knee), Major Wright (abdomen), Russell Shepard (hamstring) and George Johnson (neck) are all questionable. Austin Seferian-Jenkins (shoulder) will be out another couple weeks.
* Jonathan Stewart (leg) was not at practice on Wednesday and Thursday, but he got in a full practice on Friday and is listed as probable. Luke Kuechly (concussion) will be out for the third game in a row. Jerricho Cotchery (ankle), Amini Silatolu (ankle) and Daryl Williams (knee) are also out.
Chiefs @ Bengals
* Adam Jones (elbow) is listed as questionable, but he got in full practices on Thursday and Friday. Marcus Hardison (knee) is also questionable. George Iloka (ankle) is out.
* Albert Wilson (shoulder) is questionable after getting in limited practices all week. He should play.
Browns @ Chargers
* The Chargers will be without the entire left side of their offensive line Week 4. King Dunlap (concussion) and Orlando Franklin (ankle) are out while Chris Watt (groin) is doubtful and D.J. Fluker (ankle/chest) is questionable. Despite a great matchup against the Browns’ soft run defense, it will be difficult to trust Melvin Gordon in DFS cash games this week. Ladarius Green practiced in full on Friday, but the questionable tag suggests he has at least one more hurdle to clear in the concussion protocol. Jahleel Addae (ankle) and Jason Verrett (foot) are questionable. Jacoby Jones (ankle), Craig Mager (hamstring) and Tourek Williams (foot) are out.
* Josh McCown (probable, throwing hand) got in full practices all week and will start. Shaun Draughn (back) and Tashaun Gipson (groin) are questionable. Craig Robertson (ankle), Scott Solomon (ankle), Robert Turbin (ankle), K’Waun Williams (concussion) and Desmond Bryant (shoulder) are out.
Vikings @ Broncos
* Ty Sambrailo (shoulder) is out. Ryan Harris will move to left tackle with sophomore Michael Schofield taking over on the right side. James Casey (knee) and Todd Davis (ankle) are questionable.
* Charles Johnson (ribs) is out and Jarius Wright (hand) is extremely questionable after missing practice Wednesday and Thursday. Mike Wallace should see a big bump in targets this week, and Cordarrelle Patterson should have an actual role in the offense. Prepare to be disappointed. Audie Cole (ankle) is questionable, but he got in a full practice Friday. Justin Trattou (foot), Andrew Sendejo (knee) and Jabari Price (shoulder) are out.
Packers @ 49ers
* Vernon Davis (knee) did not practice on Friday and is doubtful. Garrett Celek should see more targets against the Packers. Reggie Bush (calf) is probable after practicing in full all week. With the 49ers as eight-point underdogs, Bush could see a lot of snaps in the second half.
* Both Randall Cobb (shoulder) and Eddie Lacy (ankle) practiced in full all week and are probable. Davante Adams (ankle) is questionable, but it would be surprising if he played after missing practice all week. Ty Montgomery should see the majority of the snaps in three-wide sets. Morgan Burnett (calf) is questionable. Demetri Goodson (hamstring) and Jake Ryan (hamstring) are doubtful, and Bryan Bulaga (knee) is out.
Rams @ Cardinals
* Andre Ellington (questionable, knee) is expected to play, but he could see limited touches behind Chris Johnson. He is a very risky play this week. John Brown (shoulder) and Mike Iupati (knee) are probable. J.J. Nelson (shoulder) is out.
* Brian Quick will make his season debut against the Cardinals. He is too risky to use this week, but he can be added off the wire in 12-team leagues. Quick is easily the best receiver on the Rams’ roster. Todd Gurley is expected to have a bigger workload after playing just 14 snaps last week. Chase Reynolds (knee) is doubtful. Eugene Sims (knee) and Maurice Alexander (groin) are out.
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Cowboys @ Saints
* Jason Witten (probable, ankle/knee) practiced in full all week. Ronald Leary (groin) and Jeremy Mincey (concussion) are expected to return to the lineup this week. Randy Gregory (ankle) and Dez Bryant (foot) are out until at least Week 7.
* Drew Brees (throwing shoulder) is fully expected to play after getting in limited work all week. He will be a low-end QB1 against the Cowboys’ beatable secondary, and his return helps the fantasy value of Brandin Cooks (probable, ankle), Mark Ingram and C.J. Spiller. Keenan Lewis (hip) is also probable. Jahri Evans (knee) is out.
Lions @ Seahawks
* Marshawn Lynch (hamstring) did not practice again on Friday and is expected to be a game-time decision. Thomas Rawls will get the majority of the carries if Lynch is forced to sit. Unless Rawls is available, it will be very risky to place Lynch in starting lineups Sunday morning.
* Joique Bell (ankle) did not practice on Thursday and Friday and is unlikely to play on Monday night. The Lions should be giving more carries to Ameer Abdullah anyway, but this injury could force the issue. Brandon Pettigrew (hamstring) looks set to miss his third-straight game after missing Thursday and Friday. Eric Ebron has played 93 percent of the offensive snaps with Pettigrew sidelined. DeAndre Levy (hip) could return this week after getting in limited practices Thursday and Friday.