The Market Report: Week 4

season

We hope you're enjoying this old content for FREE. You can view more current content marked with a FREE banner, but you'll have to sign up in order to access our other articles and content!

The Market Report: Week 4

The Market Report is your one-stop Monday shop for all the movement from a big weekend of NFL football.

These are the players who stood out for fantasy-relevant reasons — the good reasons, the bad reasons, and the in-between.

This column will be posted every Monday afternoon.

UPGRADES

Players about whom we’re feeling more optimistic based on recent play or news.

Quarterbacks

Aaron Rodgers (GB) — While Russell Wilson and Josh Allen are getting the obvious early MVP buzz, Rodgers wanted to make sure his hat was firmly in the ring with a spectacular Sunday night performance in primetime. Rodgers went 21/32 for 283 yards and 3 TD in a win over the Saints. He’s thrown multiple TD passes with no interceptions in three straight games to start the campaign, the first time he’s done that over any stretch since Weeks 9 through 11 in 2018. Rodgers’ 9 TD passes without a pick in a three-game stretch with multiple TD passes in each game is the most he’s had since Weeks 1-3 in 2015. And remember, he’s done this without the services of Davante Adams for the last game and a half (Adams missed Sunday night with a hamstring injury). Rodgers is showing exceptional confidence in his young receivers (especially Allen Lazard), he’s showing confidence in the offense, and he’s perhaps showing his middle finger directly to GM Brian Gutekunst for drafting Jordan Love in the first round in April. Whatever’s motivating Rodgers, it’s fun to watch. We were skeptical, but he’s a slam-dunk QB1 now. (Joe Dolan)

Dak Prescott (Dal) — Even in a game where Dak and the Cowboys didn’t have their A-game, this offense still went off. Russell Wilson cooked once again and forced Prescott to air it out 57 times and Dak ended up going for a monster 472 yards and 3 TDs. He also added 6/26 on the ground. This was Prescott’s second-straight game of 450+ yards and he now leads the league in yards by over 100 yards. With all of their injuries across the board defensively, the Cowboys are going to find themselves in shootouts all year long. Now they have three straight home games against the Browns, Giants, and Cardinals over their next three games. (Graham Barfield)

Tom Brady (TB) — TB12 had his first Brady-like performance in the pewter and orange as he threw for three touchdowns without an interception against the Broncos in Week 3. Brady had thrown for three TDs and three INTs through the first two weeks of the season, and all three of his touchdown passes came inside the 10-yard line in Denver. Unfortunately, Brady could be without Chris Godwin once again after the fourth-year receiver injured his hamstring in Week 3, but at least Brady and HC Bruce Arian went out of their way to start getting Rob Gronkowski involved with seven targets — he had just four targets through the first two weeks. Brady is averaging a promising 36.3 pass attempts per game in the early going so he’s going to have a chance to put up high-end QB2 production if he can keep his YPA and his TD rate trending in the right direction after he averaged 6.6 YPA with an ugly 3.9% TD rate in his final year in New England. (Tom Brolley)

Deshaun Watson (Hou) — Watson and the Texans faced an absolute gauntlet of games to open the season, with matchups against the Chiefs, the Ravens, and the Steelers in September. He threw for multiple TDs for the first time in Week 3 but he ran for just five yards in a loss to Pittsburgh in Week 3 — he finished with 264/2 passing with an INT. Watson does need to pick up the pace a bit in the rushing department as he’s on pace to finish with a career-low rushing number as he’s averaging just 16.7 rushing yards per game through three weeks. He’s a player to target in a trade this week if his owner is unsatisfied with his performance through September. Watson has matchups looming against the Vikings and the Jaguars at home to get his fantasy season back on track after a serviceable first three weeks. (TB)

Running Backs

Alvin Kamara (NO) — This is certainly not a hot take given what happened to Saquon Barkley and Christian McCaffrey in Week 2, but Kamara is the overall RB1 in our rest-of-season rankings. What makes Kamara so lethal for fantasy is that he doesn’t need to even run the ball to be elite. Hell, we’d almost prefer he didn’t. Kamara carried just 6 times for 58 yards against the Packers on Sunday night, but he added a ridiculous 13/139/2 receiving on 14 targets, setting career highs in receiving yards and TDs (he has had a 15-catch game). Kamara has scored twice in every game so far this year after having just 6 TD total in 2019 (coincidentally, he also had 2 TD in each game he scored in last year). That gives Kamara nine straight games with multiple touchdowns when he’s scored a TD at all — he also did it in the final three games of the 2018 campaign. The most important thing for Kamara is that he’s healthy, and even when WR Michael Thomas returns, he’ll be Drew Brees’ second-favorite receiver. Kamara’s 31 targets are tied with Allen Robinson for 5th in the NFL among all players. (JD)

James Conner (Pit) — It’s been a wild ride for Conner owners in the early going, but he’s now posted consecutive 20+ FP performances after getting benched in the season opener against the Giants. He had his best game yet with stud RG David DeCastro back in the lineup for Week 3 as Conner posted 18/109 rushing and 4/40 receiving on five targets against the Texans. Conner played on 66% of the snaps but it should be noted that the Steelers worked fourth-round pick Anthony McFarland into the mix as a change-of-pace option for the first time this season. McFarland performed well (6/42 rushing) and he could bite off a bigger role going forward, but it’s yet to be seen if that will come at the expense of Conner or at the expense of backups Benny Snell and Jaylen Samuels. As long as he keeps performing like he has the last two weeks, Conner figures to sit around 70% of the snaps and around 18-20 opportunities per game, which has him in the low-end RB1 territory. (TB)

Dalvin Cook (Min) — The Vikings are a sinking ship this season, which could be a negative for Cook in his contract negotiations with Minnesota if the franchise goes into rebuild mode this off-season. Cook, though, has been one of the few bright spots for Minnesota this season and he could earn himself a nice contract in free agency based on his strong start to the season. He posted a career-high 181 rushing yards against the Titans in Week 3 and he scored his fourth touchdown of the season, which has helped him to 17+ FP in each week. Cook is off to an extremely slow start as a receiver with just 5/24 receiving on nine targets through the first three games. For now, HC Mike Zimmer refuses to open up his offense despite the struggles of his defense, which is good news for Cook as he heads into a matchup against a Texans defense that just allowed 24.9 FP to James Conner. (TB)

David Montgomery (Chi) — Montgomery didn’t have a great game against Atlanta — he posted just 14/45 rushing and 2/9 receiving as the Bears had to throw the ball to mount their furious comeback. But he’s obviously going to get a ton of work going forward the remainder of the season with Tarik Cohen tearing his ACL in the Bears’ win. Montgomery is a better receiver than you might think, and he’s going to have an opportunity to show it. He could flirt with low-end RB1 numbers for the rest of 2020, and QB Nick Foles raises the floor and ceiling of this offense. (JD)

James Robinson (Jax) — Robinson, an undrafted rookie out of Illinois State, had his coming-out party on national TV against the Dolphins on Thursday Night Football. He hung 30+ FP against the Dolphins in Week 3, posting an impressive 11/46/2 rushing and a promising 6/83 receiving out of the backfield. He did play on just 45% of the snaps since the Jaguars were playing from behind most of the night, but the Jags fed him the rock on 57% of his snaps (17 of 30). Robinson isn’t a particularly explosive athlete with the ball in his hands, but he’s slippery enough to break some tackles to pick up extra yardage. Most promising, he finished two goal-line carries for touchdowns and he’s shown some serious chops as a receiver and as a pass blocker. Devine Ozigbo (hamstring, IR) could be back for Week 4, but Robinson has earned enough trust from Jay Gruden and company to keep him in the RB2 conversation for the foreseeable future. (TB)

Mike Davis (Car) — In his first start with Christian McCaffrey (ankle) out, Davis was used as a true bell-cow back. The Panthers immediately inserted Davis into the CMC role, letting him play on 76% of the team’s snaps en route to a 13/46 (rushing) and 8/45/1 (receiving) day against the Chargers. The Panthers used Curtis Samuel some at running back -- it only resulted in seven yards on 4 carries -- while Reggie Bonnafon only played two snaps. For as long as CMC is out, Davis will be a low-end RB1 in fantasy with this level of usage. (GB)

Austin Ekeler (LAC) — Are we good now? After catching just one pass in the opener, Ekeler has tallied 15 receptions over his last two games with Justin Herbert under center. In seven career games without Melvin Gordon, Ekeler has seen 18, 24, 16, 23, 20, 20, and 23 touches and averaged 21.3 fantasy points per game. Ekeler has now finished as a top-20 scoring RB in 6-of-7 games without Gordon and four of those 7 performances have been top-5 at the position. That’s not too bad. Joshua Kelley will continue to have a role and get 10-1 touches per game, but make no mistake: Ekeler is the clear lead back here. Especially now that Herbert is the starter, Ekeler is a locked-in PPR RB1. (GB)

Darrell Henderson (LAR) — Over the last two weeks, Henderson has taken advantage of the Rams banged-up backfield. With Cam Akers (ribs) out last week and Malcolm Brown (finger) potentially limited, Henderson went off for 20/114/1 against the Bills. Henderson and Brown actually played the same amount of snaps (34 apiece) but Henderson was the focal point of the backfield, getting 23 opportunities (attempts + targets) to Brown’s 7. His strong Week 3 marks Henderson’s second-straight game with over 120 scrimmage yards after he went for 12/81/1 (rushing) and 2/40 (receiving) in Week 2. This backfield still isn’t clear just yet -- we’ll see if Akers can suit up this coming week -- but Henderson has obviously done enough to get the start and bulk of the carries in Week 4 against the Giants. That alone is worth an upgrade. (GB)

Devonta Freeman (NYG) — This is perhaps the least enthusiastic “upgrade” in the history of this article given Freeman carried just 5 times for 10 yards against the 49ers in his Giants debut, but he played 29% of the snaps after being with the team for less than a week. Meanwhile, neither Wayne Gallman nor Dion Lewis did anything to assert themselves. It’s likely this backfield is a mess with Saquon Barkley done for the season, but Freeman’s usage in Week 3 was overall encouraging, even if the production wasn’t there. He should still be held in fantasy leagues. (JD)

Wide Receivers

Allen Robinson (Chi) — One of the major reasons we pushed Robinson so hard this year is because we knew it was inevitable that Nick Foles would eventually take over. And while Foles eventually wears out his welcome, he’s clearly capable of playing at a higher level than Mitchell Trubisky, and potentially for a solid stretch. Against the pathetic Falcons (which obviously needs to be noted), ARob posted 10/123/1 receiving on 13 targets. His TD was a 37-yarder on which he broke several tackles on his way to the house, and he was the intended receiver on Foles’ lone interception in the comeback — you can make the argument Robinson should have caught the ball and not let the defender rip it out. While ARob won’t have the pleasure of facing the hapless Falcons every week, he also won’t have the displeasure of having Trubisky chuck knuckleballs at him. He’s firmly on the WR1 radar with Foles in there. (JD)

Kenny Golladay (Det) — The Lions finally played at full strength for the first time in Week 3 with their star WR Golladay seeing his first action of the season. He immediately saw a team-best seven targets (22.6% share), which he turned into 6/57/1 receiving with his score coming on a 15-yard pass against the Cardinals. Golladay played on a promising 73% of the snaps, which should be on the rise going forward since he didn’t suffer any setbacks in Week 3. He’ll get a tougher matchup against Marshon Lattimore and company this week before the team’s Week 5 bye, but Golladay is once again safe to play every week as a high-end WR2 for now. (TB)

DeVante Parker (Mia) — Parker is clearly laboring through a hamstring injury, but he still managed to post serviceable fantasy production with five catches in each of the last two games. He led the Dolphins with 5/69 receiving, catching all five of his targets (25% share) from an efficient Ryan Fitzpatrick in their Week 3 victory over the Jaguars. Parker will have 10 days to rest and recover so we may finally see him close to 100% against an extremely beatable Seahawks secondary. Preston Williams and Mike Gesicki have been inconsistent options in the first month of the season so there’s a chance Parker could develop into the clear top option in this passing attack once he’s completely healthy. (TB)

Keenan Allen (LAC) — Not only has Justin Herbert helped unlock Austin Ekeler in the passing game, he has displayed excellent chemistry with Keenan Allen so far. After a solid 7/96 performance in Week 2 when Herbert was called up for the last second start in place of the injured Tyrod Taylor, Allen just pasted the Panthers for 13/132/1 on a ridiculous 19 targets. Over the last two weeks, Allen has commanded a whopping 37% of the Chargers' targets and 45% of Herbert’s air yards. With Mike Williams (hamstring) banged up again, Allen should continue to command a huge role. (GB)

Michael Gallup (Dal) — He lives! After a slow start (3/60 and 2/58 in Week 1-2), Gallup exploded for 6/138/1 against the Seahawks. It was just a matter of time before Gallup had a blow-up game in fantasy and he took advantage of what is a bottom-3 secondary. Gallup made his day on a 43-yard TD from Prescott where Gallup roasted CB Tre Flowers on a go route and made a fantastic over the shoulder catch. Gallup was drafted as a WR3 in most leagues and, even though this offense has a ton of weapons, he’s going to end the year as a high-ceiling WR2 capable of massive spiked weeks like the one we just saw. The Cowboys injuries on defense are going to force the offense into shootouts all year. (GB)

Tight Ends

Noah Fant (Den) — The Broncos’ season is quickly death-spiraling with Courtland Sutton and Von Miller both done for the season, and they just lost DT Jurrell Casey for the year with a biceps tear. The offense was stuck in the mud in Week 3 without Drew Lock (shoulder) in the lineup, but at least it looks like Fant has the chance to emerge as the #1 receiver for the rest of the season. He finished with a team-best 10 targets (25.6% target share) for 5/46 receiving against the Buccaneers with Jeff Driskel and Brett Rypien at quarterback. Fant certainly needs Lock to return sooner rather than later, but he’s going to have the chance to see heavy targets in the final three months of the season. Denver’s defense is going to struggle to slow down opposing teams, which means Fant and Jeudy should see plenty of targets going forward. (TB)

DOWNGRADES

Players about whom we’re feeling less optimistic based on recent play or news.

Running Backs

Joe Mixon (Cin) — In an ugly Week 3 game against Philly, Mixon carried 17 times for 49 yards while adding 2/16 receiving on 3 targets. He played 72% of the Bengals’ offensive snaps to just 25% for Gio Bernard, but the offensive line is such a problem here. Mixon didn’t have many holes to run through all day, and the line also yielded 8 sacks of Joe Burrow to the Eagles. It’s unfortunately the same problem we had a year ago, and Mixon isn’t getting the work in the passing game to make up for it despite the high snap share (72% was his highest of the year, previously 59% in Week 1). (JD)

D’Andre Swift (Det) — The Lions apparently used the 35th overall pick on Swift this spring to solidify their #3 RB spot behind Adrian Peterson and Kerryon Johnson. Swift didn’t even see a single carry and he finished with just a 19-yard catch on two targets in Detroit’s Week 3 victory over the Cardinals. Swift played on just 9% of the team’s snaps in their Week 3 victory over the Saints while Adrian Peterson led the backfield with a 60% share and 22 carries (3.4 YPC) while Kerryon Johnson saw a 30% share and three carries. HC Matt Patricia and OC Darrell Bevell have relegated Swift to just passing-down situations so the talented rookie should be left on benches until he actually sees some sort of early-down role. The Lions (and the Packers) have the earliest bye in the league this year in Week 5. The hope for Swift owners is that the coaching staff has a come-to-Jesus moment over their bye week when it comes to Swift’s usage, but don’t bank on it when it comes to the Lions franchise. (TB)

Leonard Fournette and Ronald Jones (TB) — It looked like we might get some clarity in this Buccaneers backfield after Fournette dominated the Panthers in their Week 2 victory. However, RoJo went back to leading this backfield in snap share (51% to 37%) and in opportunities (17 to 9) in Week 3, but neither back reached even 10+ FP against the Broncos. LeSean McCoy is also still around stealing passing game work so this backfield is completely splintered at the moment. We still prefer Fournette over Jones for the rest of the season, but neither player is an exceptional talent. You’re simply rolling the dice if you’re starting either player at this point until someone distances themselves from the pack, which may never happen. (TB)

Tarik Cohen (Chi) — The Bears will have to place Cohen on IR with a torn ACL suffered in Sunday’s win over the Falcons. We’re happy for Cohen that he got his money before the injury, but this will be a long road back for him. David Montgomery will need to handle significantly more work in Cohen’s absence. (JD)

Cam Akers (LAR) — After a sluggish start in Week 1 (14 carries, 29 yards, 2.8 YPC) and injuring his ribs on his third carry of Week 2, Akers is falling behind quickly in this Rams backfield. Darrell Henderson has finally played up to his talent level over the last two weeks -- he’s cleared 120 scrimmage yards in each game -- while Malcolm Brown should continue to have a role. This has been about as bad of a start for Akers as you could imagine. Hopefully, Akers can get healthy and start competing for snaps again soon, but this is about as easy of a “downgrade” that we’ve made all season. (GB)

Wide Receivers

Odell Beckham and Jarvis Landry (Cle) — Through three games, Beckham and Landry have combined for 35 targets (22 Beckham, 13 Landry). That isn’t even enough to rank them first among WRs — Keenan Allen and DeAndre Hopkins (37) have more, while Amari Cooper and Calvin Ridley (35) would be tied. Putting their production together in a PPR (56.8 FP) would rank them just 6th among all WRs. Of course, you can’t put their production together in most leagues! One of the biggest problems is the Browns just aren’t throwing the ball — among QBs who have started three games this year, only Kirk Cousins (78) has thrown fewer passes than Baker Mayfield (85). This is especially problematic for a volume-based receiver like Landry, who hasn’t seen more than 6 targets in a single game in 2020 (he had more than 6 targets 13 times in 2019). Right now, Beckham is a WR3 and Landry is bench fodder. (JD)

A.J. Brown (Ten) — We anticipated Brown missing through at least Week 3 when we heard that he suffered a knee bruise coming out of their Week 1 victory, but his timeline for recovery may now leak into the first couple weeks of October. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Sept. 27 that Brown is nursing a “pretty significant knee bruise,” which hasn’t responded to treatment in the way the Titans had hoped. It sounds like Ryan Tannehill and company could be without Brown for their big showdown with the Steelers this week in a battle of unbeaten AFC squads. Corey Davis and Jonnu Smith will continue to do the heavy lifting for Tannehill while Brown is out of the lineup. (TB)

AJ Green (Cin) — It’s been a rough go of it for Green so far this year. Green posted just 5/36 receiving on 6 targets against the Eagles in Week 3, raising his season totals to 13/116 on 28 targets. He did have a battle with top CB Darius Slay, a battle he mostly lost, but this is now three unproductive games for Green coming off of two serious injuries. The good news is he’s managed to stay relatively healthy so far this season. The bad news is that if he is healthy, this isn’t a good sign for his future — the Bengals benched John Ross on Sunday, and gave an extended look to rookie WR Tee Higgins, who posted 5/40/2 receiving on 9 targets. Will Higgins earn more trust from QB Joe Burrow, who clearly favors slot man Tyler Boyd. (JD)

DeSean Jackson (Phi) — The Eagles are broken from the top down, and yet another year of relying on Jackson to be something they must have has backfired. DJax left Sunday’s brutal tie with the Bengals with a hamstring injury. The injury is minor and coach Doug Pederson said on Monday that he could even play in Week 4 against San Francisco, but what’s obvious here is the Eagles will play it cautiously with DJax any time an ailment creeps up. Hamstring injuries are no good for speed receivers, and you basically have to cross your fingers that Jackson isn’t removed from any game in which he plays. Here’s the biggest factor, though — we knew injury problems would pop up with DeSean. It was inevitable. What we didn’t anticipate is how broken this offense would be, from a coaching, QB, and roster perspective. That’s removed the spike games from the equation so far. We’d be willing to live with DeSean’s injury woes if the spike games would happen. So far, he’s averaging 6.1 yards per target, which would be by far the worst number of his career. (JD)

Mike Williams (LAC) — This has been a year to forget for Williams so far. After injuring his shoulder in training camp and missing valuable practice time, Williams came away from Week 3 with a strained hamstring after catching one pass for 17 yards. With Keenan Allen and Justin Herbert showing a veteran connection over the last two weeks, Williams has been the No. 4 target in this passing attack behind Allen, Austin Ekeler, and Hunter Henry. Now dealing with another injury, Williams is droppable in 10- or 12-team leagues with shallow benches. (GB)

Tight Ends

Dallas Goedert (Phi) — Goedert’s been Philly’s most dangerous passing game weapon so far this year, so it stands to reason his anticipated multi-week absence with an ankle injury (confirmed by coach Doug Pederson on Monday) will be a big blow to an offense that has looked broken for all but one half of the 2020 season so far. Expect Zach Ertz to contend for 10-plus targets each week in Goedert’s absence. (JD)

WATCH LIST

Players whom we’re not ready to upgrade or downgrade, but their situations demand monitoring based on recent play, injuries, or news.

Running Backs

David Johnson (Hou) — Remember when Johnson looked spry against the Chiefs in the season opener? Well, if you haven’t watched the Texans since then, Johnson has morphed back into the same back he was in Arizona over the last two seasons. DJ posted just 13/23 rushing and 2/23 receiving on three targets against the Steelers in Week 3, but he salvaged his fantasy day with a two-yard TD run. He also saw 96% of the snaps but his stranglehold on this backfield could come to an end this week with Duke Johnson (ankle) likely to return this week after getting limited practices in before Week 3. The only reason we didn’t downgrade DJ this week is because his schedule is finally going to lighten up with matchups against the Vikings and the Jaguars looming the next two weeks. Johnson should hold onto a sizable role to be in the RB2 conversation, but we shouldn’t expect to see the same back that everyone saw in the season opener going forward. (TB)

Kenyan Drake (Ari) — Drake has looked fine through the first three weeks of the season, but he’s failed to break off many long runs or to be a factor in the passing attack through September. His long run of the season went for 16 yards against the Football Team in Week 2, a mark that he topped in five of his eight games with the Cardinals last season. He’s also topped out at 2.9 FP in a game as a receiver after scoring 4+ FP as a receiver in six of his eight games with the Cardinals in 2019. It also doesn’t help that Kyler Murray is giving Drake the Cam Newton treatment with the franchise QB scoring four rushing TDs in the first three weeks of the season. Kyler scored four rushing touchdowns all of last season as a rookie. Drake is still sitting in the top-10 at the position with 67.8% snap share — Chase Edmonds has a 33.8% share — so we’re going to give him one more chance to bust out. We’ll officially panic if he can’t come through in the mother of all spots this week against a Panthers defense that’s allowed by far the most fantasy production to RBs since 2019. (TB)

Antonio Gibson (Was) — We’re not panicking with Gibson because he’s come through decently well for fantasy the last two weeks, but his snaps do need to be watched. After being up and over 60% in Week 2, Gibson was down to 40% in Week 3, with JD McKissic handling 52.3% of the action with the Team playing from behind. Gibson — with 9/49/1 rushing and 3/11 receiving on 3 targets — has looked by far like the Team’s best runner, so there’s no reason to think his snaps will dip significantly below this threshold, but at this level of usage, he’s simply a FLEX play. (JD)

Malcolm Brown (LAR) — Perhaps it was his recent finger injury or something else, but Brown barely saw the ball at all this past week against the Bills. Instead, it was the Darrell Henderson show. Brown only managed 19 yards on his 7 carries while Henderson ripped the Bills to shreds for 20/114/1. With Henderson playing well and Cam Akers (ribs) likely back soon, Brown’s role is a bit up in the air. Brown looked much better than Akers did in Week 1 but Henderson has out-played them both over the last two weeks. Brown will be tough to trust next week even in a choice matchup against the Giants. (GB)

Devin Singletary and Zack Moss (Buf) — With Moss (toe) out of the lineup, Singletary played nearly every snap as the Bills bell-cow back in Week 3. Singletary got unlucky and should have scored at least one touchdown as the Bills moved the ball at will against the Rams, but still ended up with 16.1 fantasy points after going for 13/71 (rushing) and 4/50 (receiving). Singletary played on 89% of the Bills snaps this past week after being the slight lead over Moss in Week 1-2 and can be trusted as a high-end RB2 next week against the Raiders if Moss misses again. (GB)

Raheem Mostert and Jerick McKinnon (SF) — Mostert missed the 49ers’ Week 3 thumping of the Giants with a knee injury, while McKinnon handled 17 touches, gaining 77 yards and scoring a TD. However, only one of McKinnon’s touches came in the fourth quarter, as he left the action with a rib injury and Jeff Wilson took over, scoring two times himself. Both Mostert and McKinnon’s status must be watched this week headed into a matchup with Philadelphia, because Tevin Coleman (knee) is definitely out, and Wilson could be a high-end streaming option if Mostert and/or McKinnon are out or limited. (JD)

Chris Carson (Sea) — Thankfully, it looks like Carson avoided major injury after Cowboys DT Trysten Hill rolled over and twisted Carson’s leg after a tackle in the fourth-quarter. It was clearly a dirty play and Hill deserves to be suspended. Carson came away with just a sprain and might be able to suit up in Week 4 against Miami. Before the injury, Carson was having another good game (77 scrimmage yards on 17 touches). If Carson can’t go next week, Carlos Hyde will be a RB2/FLEX play. (GB)

Wide Receivers

Davante Adams (GB) — Adams (hamstring) made some progress throughout the week but couldn’t play through it, and the Packers chose to be cautious and held him out in Week 3. Adams was listed as “doubtful,” so there’s still a pretty good chance his status for Week 4 is in question. We’ll have to follow his progress throughout the week, but the play of Aaron Rodgers and especially WR Allen Lazard has been impressive enough to get the Packers to 3-0, so the Packers don’t have to rush Adams back if they don’t want to. (JD)

Michael Thomas (NO) — Thomas (high ankle) is aiming to be back in the lineup in Week 4, our friend Adam Schefter reported over the weekend. Thomas apparently has wanted to play each of the last two weeks, but the Saints were cautious. However, back-to-back losses for New Orleans might change the equation here. We’ll watch Thomas’ status all week. (JD)

Julio Jones and Russell Gage (Atl) — Julio missed the Falcons’ disastrous Week 3 loss to the Bears with a hamstring injury that was clearly bothering him in Week 2. Meanwhile, Gage couldn’t take advantage of the increased opportunity because he left the action with a concussion. The Falcons’ disastrous defense has meant they’ve had to throw the ball a ton, but two of their top three WRs now are up in the air for Week 4. (JD)

Adam Thielen (Min) — Thielen went from looking like the potential WR1 for fantasy after he posted 6/110/2 receiving in Week 1 to looking like he could be in a battle for the Vikings’ WR1 spot with just 6/60/1 receiving the last two weeks. Justin Jefferson looked like the team’s top receiver in their loss to the Titans as the rookie WR went nuts for 7/175/1 receiving in Week 3. Mike Zimmer would be wise to open up his offense a little more since the Vikings don’t have the same defense that they’ve had throughout his tenure, but that is unlikely to happen. We thought Thielen had the potential to absolutely dominate targets in this passing attack this season, and he still might. However, Jefferson has a chance to be a major thorn for Thielen in this low-volume passing attack if the rookie continues to command targets going forward. (TB)

Diontae Johnson (Pit) — Johnson took a big hit to the head on a carry in the second quarter in Week 3 against the Texans, and he never returned to the game. We’re likely to see Johnson in the concussion protocol this week before Pittsburgh’s big showdown with the Titans in a battle of undefeated AFC teams. Diontae will be questionable, at best, to play this week so have an alternative option ready to go this week if Johnson can’t play. Chase Claypool played ahead of James Washington in Week 3 after seeing a team-high 76% of the snaps, and he’s best suited to take over as the X receiver if Johnson is unable to play this week. (TB)

Chris Godwin (TB) — Godwin’s season is off to a less than desirable start after the fourth-year WR picked up a hamstring injury against the Broncos, which came a week after he missed their Week 2 contest because of a concussion. It’s notable that Godwin missed the final two games of last season to a hamstring injury. Godwin will be in a race to be ready for Week 4 against the Chargers, and his owners should add some insurance this week — potentially in the form of Tampa’s #3 WR Scotty Miller — in case he’s unable to play. (TB)

D.J. Chark (Jax) — Chark got bit by the Jaguars playing just four days after their Week 2 contest as he couldn’t quite get healthy enough to play through a chest injury against the Dolphins. NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported last Thursday that he was trending upward before they eventually ruled him out so he should be close to 100% for a juicy matchup against the Bengals. Gardner Minshew desperately needed Chark last week after Chris Conley made three critical errors that cost the Jaguars any chance of winning against the Dolphins. (TB)

T.Y. Hilton (Ind) — Through three games, a total of 67 wide receivers have scored more fantasy points than Hilton. With yet another QB change and now that he’s nearly 31-years-old, it’s fair to wonder whether or not the days of T.Y. being a usable fantasy option are over. The only thing keeping him on the radar are injuries to the Colts’ receiver corps. Parris Campbell (knee) might miss the majority of the season and now Michael Pittman could miss time after tweaking his ankle in Week 3. (GB)

Henry Ruggs (LVR) — After a slow start to the season (4/59 in Week 1-2), Ruggs missed this past week with knee and hamstring injuries. The knee injury wasn’t anything new -- he hurt it in the opener -- but Ruggs apparently picked up the hammy strain in practice this week. That’s not good. Ruggs was “limited” on Thursday heading into the Raiders game against the Patriots and did not practice at all on Friday. For a player who relies on his speed and explosiveness to win, Ruggs picking up knee and hamstring injuries to start his season is an ominous sign. Hopefully, he can recover quickly and suit back up for Week 4 against the Bills.(GB)

Tight Ends

George Kittle (SF) — Kittle missed his second straight game with his knee sprain in Week 3, and it certainly appears that the 49ers made a prudent decision. They beat the hapless Giants easily with their B-team, and Kittle got another week to recover while not playing on the MetLife turf that claimed so many of his teammates the week previous. It sounded like he was close to being able to go, so at this point, we’re cautiously optimistic he’ll be able to play in Week 4 against Philadelphia. But he still must be monitored this week. (JD)

Darren Waller (LVR) — After destroying the Saints for 12/105/1 on MNF, Waller came crashing back down to earth, catching just two passes (on 4 targets) for 9 yards against the Patriots. HC Bill Belichick didn’t assign Stephon Gillmore to shadow Waller, instead using full team effort to slow down the Raiders best receiver. Waller saw coverage from multiple Patriot defenders as New England blended man and zone coverage to confuse Derek Carr. It clearly worked. This is likely just a bump in the road for Waller, though, and he’ll look to bounce back next week against the Bills. (GB)

Recent Articles