Week 4 of the fantasy football season is here, and the Rotoworld crew has everything you need leave the weekend with a win. 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 the original and best 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.
Dolphins vs. Saints
*Jay Ajayi (knee) and Kenny Stills (hand) are listed as questionable, but both got in full practices Friday and should be ready to go. Ajayi had a rough Week 3 against the Jets, but he is right back in the RB1 mix in a great matchup. The Saints have given up the second-most deep passes this season, so Stills may be a better bet than usual. Kiko Alonso (shoulder), LB Rey Maualuga (hamstring), CB Alterraun Verner (hamstring), WR Jakeem Grant (ankle), OG Isaac Asiata (ankle), LB Chase Allen (neck), and LS John Denney (hamstring) are also questionable. Grant and Allen were the only ones in that group limited on Friday. DT Jordan Phillips (ankle) is doubtful while OT Eric Smith (knee) is out.
*Adrian Peterson missed practice Thursday with what was reported as a tweaked knee, but he was back on the field Friday and not even listed on the final report. He will play, but he is not a fantasy option right now. Willie Snead would be a fantasy option in a great spot if he is active, but he was added to the injury report as questionable with a hamstring injury on Friday. Late-week additions are always a red flag, and he might have had a limited role regardless of his health coming off a three-game suspension. He should be left on the bench this week even if he is active. In better news, RT Zach Strief (knee, questionable) looks set to return after getting in a full practice Friday while LT Terron Armstead (shoulder, questionable) seems to have a shot. CB Sterling Moore (chest) is also questionable while LB Ben Heeney (knee) is out.
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Panthers @ Patriots
*Neither Cam Newton (shoulder) nor Kelvin Benjamin (knee) was listed on the final injury report, meaning the Panthers’ passing attack will be near full strength for a great matchup against the Patriots. Of course, Newton has not played well enough this year to go all in on either. The Panthers will be without C Ryan Kalil (neck), CB Daryl Worley (shoulder), WR Curtis Samuel (back), DE Daeshon Hall (knee), and LB Jeremy Cash (calf).
*Rex Burkhead (ribs, doubtful) will sit again despite getting in a limited practice, but LB Dont’a Hightower (knee, questionable) is expected to play after missing the last two games. It is a big boost to a defense which has struggled early in the season. RT Marcus Cannon (ankle, concussion), CB Eric Rowe (groin), and ST Matthew Slater (hamstring) are also questionable. Danny Amendola (knee) and CB Stephon Gilmore (groin) are good to go.
Rams @ Cowboys
*Despite suffering concussions in last week’s Thursday night win, both Sammy Watkins and Tavon Austin will play against the Cowboys. Coming off an explosion, Watkins is an upside WR3 in a good matchup. Austin, as always, is not on the fantasy radar. C John Sullivan (hip) and S Cody Davis (quad) are questionable while S Lamarcus Joyner (hamstring) is out.
*Dallas did not rule out LB Sean Lee (hamstring, questionable), but he looks likely to sit after missing the entire week of practice. LG Chaz Green also looks in danger of missing after sitting out Friday's practice with a hip injury. He is officially listed as questionable. CB Nolan Carroll (concussion), CB Chidobe Awuzie (hamstring), LB Anthony Hitchens (knee), S Kavon Frazier (knee), and DT Stephen Paea (knee) are also questionable. All of them were limited on Friday.
Bills @ Falcons
*LT Cordy Glenn (foot, ankle) remains out, and it is worth wondering if he will be shut down. He has been dealing with foot and ankle issues since the spring. DE Shaq Lawson was added to the injury report with a groin issue on Thursday and did not practice Friday. He is officially questionable. In better news, Marcell Dareus (ankle) is set to return.
*Julio Jones (back) was limited all week, but he was not listed on the final report. He will be a high-end WR1 despite what looks like a tough matchup on paper. Vic Beasley (hamstring) resumed running this week, but he remains out along with RT Ryan Schraeder (concussion), FS Ricardo Allen (concussion), DE Courtney Upshaw (ankle, knee), and RB Terron Ward (neck, shoulder).
Lions @ Vikings
*Kenny Golladay (hamstring) was listed as questionable, but he will almost certainly sit after missing Thursday and Friday. It is a boost to Marvin Jones’ value, but he will likely be shadowed by shutdown corner Xavier Rhodes. Dwayne Washington (quad) and G Zac Kerin (knee) will also sit. Ezekiel Ansah (knee), LB Jarrad Davis (concussion), S Don Carey (knee), C Travis Swanson (ankle), and S Tavon Wilson (shoulder) are questionable. Davis should play, which will be a much-needed boost to the Lions’ run defense.
*Sam Bradford (knee) was ruled out on Thursday, suggesting he was never even close to suiting up this week. He is at best questionable for Week 5. Case Keenum will once again get the start, but Pro Football Talk reports Teddy Bridgewater (knee, PUP) will be healthy enough to return when first eligible in Week 7. This situation could get murky if Bradford is not able to get back on the field soon. OT Rashod Hill (knee) is questionable.
Titans @ Texans
*Delanie Walker (hamstring) and DeMarco Murray (hamstring) were left off the final injury report. Both are must-starts despite less than ideal matchups and a timeshare in Murray’s case. DE Jurrell Casey (groin) is a concern after being added to the report as questionable on Friday. He was only able to get in a limited practice. Corey Davis (hamstring) and S Johnathan Cyprien (hamstring) remain out. Rishard Matthews is a great bet this week with Davis still sidelined.
*Will Fuller (collarbone) will make his season debut while Alfred Blue (ankle) and RG Jeff Allen (ankle) are also set to return. Houston will be without CB Kevin Johnson (knee) and C/G Greg Mancz (knee). CB Marcus Burley (knee) is questionable.
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Jags @ Jets
*Jalen Ramsey (ankle) sat out Wednesday’s practice, but he was a full participant the rest of the week and left off the final report. S Tashaun Gipson (knee, questionable) was added to the injury report with a knee issue on Friday, and LB Donald Payne (hamstring) was also listed as questionable. Jaelen Strong (hamstring) and OLB Lerentee McCray (knee) are out.
*Matt Forte (knee, toe) is out, leaving Bilal Powell and Elijah McGuire to handle the backfield work. Forte’s absence is obviously a big boost to Powell’s value, but he has not been very good this season while McGuire could get a surprising share of the work. Powell may end up disappointing and is likely to be over-owned in DFS. TE Jordan Leggett (knee), LB Josh Martin (ankle), and OT Brandon Shell (shoulder) will also sit. Muhammad Wilkerson’s (shoulder) only practice this week was a limited session on Friday, but he should play through a questionable tag.
Bengals @ Browns
*This is a good opportunity for the Bengals to build on their offensive success from last week, but they will have to do it without Tyler Eifert (back) and John Ross (knee). Neither looks particularly close to getting back on the field. LB Jordan Evans (hamstring) is also out while S Derron Smith (ankle) is doubtful. OG Trey Hopkins (knee) is questionable.
*Despite missing practice snaps this week, Kenny Britt (knee), Isaiah Crowell (shoulder), and Duke Johnson (shoulder) were left off the final injury report. Myles Garrett (ankle) was able to practice for the first time since the week leading up to the season opener on Thursday, but he is not expected to play despite a questionable tag. He does look likely to make his debut Week 5. Sammie Coates (hamstring), NT Danny Shelton (calf), and TE Randall Telfer (knee) are also questionable. Shelton did not practice Friday after picking up an injury on Thursday, suggesting he is unlikely to play. That would be a big boost for Joe Mixon. Jamie Collins (concussion) remains out.
Steelers @ Ravens
*Both DE Stephon Tuitt (biceps) and OLB T.J. Watt (groin) will return after being left off the final report. Martavis Bryant (illness) and Jesse James (shoulder) are also good to go. S Sean Davis (ankle), LG Ramon Foster (thumb), RT Marcus Gilbert (hamstring), OLB James Harrison (illness), and S Mike Mitchell (hamstring) are questionable.
*After being surprisingly shredded by the Jaguars, Baltimore’s defense will once again be without DT Brandon Williams this week. It is a big boost for Le'Veon Bell and really the entire offense. Maxx Williams (ankle) and CB Jaylen Hill (thigh) will also sit. Ben Watson (calf) is questionable, but he should play after getting in a full practice Friday.
Giants @ Bucs
*Shane Vereen (calf) and Orleans Darkwa (back) both sat out Wednesday and Thursday, but they were able to return to limited sessions on Friday. Vereen will play after being left off the final report while Darkwa is questionable. Olivier Vernon (ankle), C Brett Jones (hip), and LB Jonathan Casillas (ankle, wrist) are also questionable. MLB B.J. Goodson (shin) and CB Janoris Jenkins (ankle) were not listed on the final report.
*The Bucs’ defense remains banged up, with LB Kwon Alexander (hamstring), LB Lavonte David (ankle), and S T.J. Ward (hip) set to sit while DE Robert Ayers (knee), CB Brent Grimes (shoulder), DT Gerald McCoy (ankle), and DE Noah Spence (shoulder) are questionable. Eli Manning is quietly in a good spot. RG J.R. Sweezy (back) is questionable, but OC Todd Monken said he will play.
Eagles @ Chargers
*Philly’s defense is hurting just as bad as Tampa’s, with DT Fletcher Cox (calf), CB Ronald Darby (ankle), S Corey Graham (hamstring), DT Destiny Vaeao (wrist), and S Jaylen Watkins (hamstring) all set to sit. LB Jordan Hicks (ankle) and S Rodney McLeod (hamstring) look likely to play through questionable tags, but this is still a good matchup for Philip Rivers and the rest of the passing attack.
*Upgraded to full on Friday, there is little doubt Melvin Gordon (knee, questionable) will play. Even in a tough matchup, he is a locked-in RB1 because of his touchdown upside. RT Joe Barksdale (foot) should also play despite a questionable tag. TE Sean McGrath (foot) and LB Hayes Pullard (knee) round out the questionable list. Mike Williams (back) will not make his debut against the Eagles, but he will have a good shot next week.
49ers @ Cardinals
*Kyle Shanahan called Carlos Hyde (hip, questionable) a game-time decision after a limited week of practice, but there has never appeared to be any real concern about him playing. The safe money is on Hyde suiting up, but hopefully we get word on Sunday morning. LB Brock Coyle (concussion), FB Kyle Juszczyk (concussion), S Jaquiski Tartt (concussion), and DE Pita Taumoepenu (ankle) are also questionable. LB Reuben Foster (ankle) and S Eric Reid (knee) are out.
*In something of a surprise, John Brown (quad, questionable) is expected to play this week. It is likely his snaps are limited, but it is still a downgrade for J.J. Nelson (hamstring, questionable) and Jaron Brown. Mike Iupati (elbow) was placed on injured reserve Friday, and fill-in LG Alex Boone (chest) is out. Even though LT D.J. Humphries (knee, questionable) looks likely to return, Arizona’s offensive line remains a big concern. DT Robert Nkemdiche (calf) is out, but ILB Deone Bucannon (ankle) is expected to make his season debut.
Raiders @ Broncos
*Michael Crabtree (chest, questionable) did not look to be in doubt after getting in limited practices on Wednesday and Thursday, but he is legitimately questionable after sitting out Friday’s session. Facing a terrible matchup anyway, owners may want to find a better option. CB Gareon Conley (shin) and S Keith McGill (foot) are also questionable.
Update: Michael Crabtree (chest) has been downgraded to doubtful for Week 4.
*The Broncos are fairly healthy aside from Paxton Lynch, who remains sidelined with a shoulder injury. WR Cody Latimer (knee) is questionable.
Colts @ Seahawks
*Andrew Luck (shoulder) did not practice again this week, and he will be joined on the sidelines by C Ryan Kelly (foot), Marlon Mack (shoulder), WR Chester Rogers (hamstring), LB Anthony Walker (hamstring), and CB Quincy Wilson (knee). In better news, Jack Doyle (foot) was not listed on the final report, and CB Vontae Davis (groin) looks set to make his season debut. S Matthias Farley (quad) and CB Chris Milton (hamstring) are questionable.
*C.J. Prosise (ankle) is listed as doubtful, but there is not any indication he will suit up. Chris Carson could be a three-down back in a pretty good spot. He is a solid RB2. Doug Baldwin (groin, questionable) is shaping up as a game-time decision after getting some practice reps Friday. He likely will play, but owners may want a backup plan. CB Neiko Thorpe (ankle) is also questionable. Jimmy Graham (ankle) was not listed on the final report.
Redskins @ Chiefs
*Jordan Reed (various) and Rob Kelley (ribs) are getting in limited practices this week, but they did the same last week before ultimately sitting out. Both should tentatively be expected to play, but owners should have backup plans ready. Vernon Davis and Samaje Perine (hand, likely to play) are still available in a lot of leagues.