The 2017 season is flying by as most teams have played a quarter of their games so far. Byes will start this week with the Falcons, Broncos, Saints and Redskins all getting some time to recover. The Falcons and Broncos will head into the bye with a comfortable record of 3-1 while the Saints and Redskins are 2-2. Having an early bye is usually most helpful for teams either struggling or injured. The Redskins are a team who may benefit the most out of this group due to the injuries of banged-up pass-catchers Jordan Reed and Jamison Crowder. While they both played in the game on Monday night, they were on the injury report the two previous weeks.
Monday Night Football
The Redskins started Monday Night Football off hot, racking up 10 points on their first two possessions but only scoring 10 the rest of the game in their 29-20 loss to the Chiefs.
The Chiefs absolutely dominated time of possession, 37:09 to 22:51, having the ball for nearly a quarter of the game longer than the Redskins. This led to Kirk Cousins only throwing for 205 yards on 24 attempts. He had a chance to score what could have been the game-winning touchdown with a minute left, but WR Josh Doctson couldn’t hang on. Jordan Reed was active but only played on 14-of-50 snaps, weakening the Redskins' receiving options significantly.
On the other side of the ball, Alex Smith passed for 293 yards and a touchdown while rushing for 56 yards and a touchdown. Smith was pressured early and often, forcing him to exit the pocket and oftentimes scramble. Travis Kelce destroyed the Redskins defense for 7-111-1 in a prime matchup. Kelce was physically dominant and got open with ease. Kareem Hunt posted his fourth-consecutive game with over 100 yards from scrimmage. While he didn’t score a touchdown, he consistently gashed the Redskins for consistent gains on the ground. The Chiefs offense looks to have been extremely underrated coming into this season. Now onto the headlines.
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Vikings RB Dalvin Cook tore his ACL in Week 4 against the Lions and will miss the remainder of the season. After rushing for 354 yards and two touchdowns through 3.5 games, Cook’s injury is another big hit to the Vikings offense. With Bradford’s return unknown and the Cook out for the season, the Vikings may struggle going forward. Many people will rush to the waiver wire this week and grab Latavius Murray despite him saying his ankle not being 100 percent yet from offseason surgery. While he will probably be the early-down back, Jerick McKinnon figures to play a much bigger role in the passing game now. I’m not willing to blow my waiver budget on either McKinnon or Murray, but Murray is the preferred add.
ESPN's Adam Schefter reports the Bears will start Mitchell Trubisky in Week 5 against the Vikings. It’s surprising this change didn’t happen earlier as ex-starter Mike Glennon has been awful this season. The Vikings have a strong defense but with Case Keenum potentially quarterbacking the offense, the Bears have a solid chance to win at Soldier Field in his Trubisky’s first career start. The Bears will likely run the ball early and often with Howard and Cohen, trying to limit Trubisky as much as possible. He likely won’t be fantasy relevant on a run-first team with the worst receiving corps in the league. He should remain on the waiver wire in leagues that start one QB.
Coach Jack Del Rio said Derek Carr has a transverse process fracture in his back and will be out 2-6 weeks. Carr’s injury looked pretty bad, with commentator Tony Romo mentioning how painful back injuries like that can be. Carr’s injury will make a huge impact on the fantasy values of all Raiders. Both Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree are now questionable fantasy starts for the next few weeks with E.J. Manuel the starting quarterback. On the contrary, between Coopers poor start to the season and Carr’s injury, now may be a good time to buy-low on Cooper if owners are willing to trade him at a discount.
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Jordan Matthews needs thumb surgery and is out "at least a month." This leaves rookie Zay Jones as Buffalo’s top wideout. Matthews was just starting to build chemistry with Tyrod Taylor. … Julio Jones (hip flexor) is not expected to miss any games. The Falcons have a bye in Week 5, giving Julio plenty of time to heal. This is good news for the Falcons' passing attack. … Odell Beckham is "all right" after suffering both finger and ankle injuries Week 4 against the Bucs. ESPN’s Adam Schefter posted a picture that would suggest otherwise, but Odell seems confident he will be okay. … Bucs RB Doug Martin has completed his four-game suspension. Despite coach Dirk Koetter being non-committal on Martin’s status for Thursday, he will likely be active. … Vikings WR Michael Floyd has completed his four-game suspension. Floyd has a chance to usurp Laquon Treadwell as the No. 3 receiver, but is unlikely to produce much in that role. … Texans RB Tyler Ervin tore his patellar tendon Week 4 and is done for the season. Ervin will try to return by training camp next year. … Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said Sam Bradford (knee) has a chance to play Week 5 against the Bears. Zimmer has said the same thing the last two week and he wasn’t particularly close to playing. His status will be one to monitor as the week continues. … Colts C Deyshawn Bond suffered a torn quad Week 4 against the Seahawks. Bond has been filling in for starting center Ryan Kelly, who now coincidentally should return this week after practicing last week. … Cowboys DL David Irving has completed his four-game suspension. This is an upgrade for a pass-rushing unit that has already been doing a good job this season. …Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said he expects C.J. Prosise (ankle) to return Week 5. Carroll said he would be “shocked” if he didn’t. Prosise will likely be the pass-catching back in week 5. … ESPN's Vaughn McClure reports Mohamed Sanu (hamstring) will miss 2-to-3 weeks. The Falcons have a bye this week meaning he could only miss one game. … Seahawks coach Pete Carroll seemed to hint Thomas Rawls will be the lead back with Chris Carson (ankle) sidelined. Rawls will likely carry the ball on early downs with Prosise as the pass-catching back. This backfield will likely be difficult to predict. … The Titans consider Marcus Mariota (hamstring) day to day. Mularkey also said he will be preparing both Mariota and backup Matt Cassel to start. The Titans better hope Mariota is good to go in Week 5. … Corey Davis (hamstring) will not return in Week 5. This isn’t a good sign for his return, meaning he will be questionable at best for Week 6. … Ravens DT Brandon Williams (foot) has no timeline for a return. Williams is a vital part of the Ravens' run defense and allowed 144 yards last week to Le’Veon Bell. They won’t be a defense to avoid in fantasy if Williams is out. … Seahawks placed RB Chris Carson (leg) on injured reserve. Carson is believed to have fractured his leg in addition to a high ankle sprain. A combination of Prosise and Rawls is likely to carry the Seattle backfield.