Dynasty Injury Report: Week Four

Bruce Matson

With week four in the books, like always, we have some injuries we must analyze for fantasy football purposes. Some will require us to make a roster move and others will entice us to trade for a player.

Injuries are an important aspect of fantasy football because they can immediately shift the competitive balance of a league. All it takes is a few injuries to prevent a championship-caliber dynasty team from reaching the playoffs.

QUARTERBACK

Sam Darnold, NYJ

Darnold sprained the AC joint in his throwing shoulder. His status for Sunday’s game against the Arizona Cardinals is up in the air. The coaching staff will take a long hard look at his ability to throw in practice to determine if he will be able to play. If not, the ever-elite Joe Flacco will be waiting in the wings to take snaps under center.

This is a lost season in Darnold’s career. I believe it’s in the best interest of most dynasty gamers that Darnold sits out until he’s completely healthy. We don’t want him to experience any long-term setbacks, especially since it’s an injury that he can return to full health from with some extra rest.

RUNNING BACK

Austin Ekeler, LAC

Ekeler was carted off the field after a gruesome hamstring injury on Sunday. The reports came back on Monday morning stating that he will be out four to six weeks with a serious hamstring injury along with a hyperextended knee.

It depends on his dynasty managers whether he becomes valued at a discount in dynasty. If he’s out of the lineup for just four weeks, then he will back in time to help provide a playoff push in fantasy. If he’s out for six weeks or even longer, then win-now owners will be more inclined to pivot away from him for a productive asset.

A lot of fantasy aficionados are going to lean on Joshua Kelley during Ekeler’s absence. Despite the fumbles, he has looked good when running the football. Kelley has the potential to break out if given a sizeable workload.

Don’t forget about Justin Jackson. He’s been a replacement-level player throughout his career. However, when given enough touches, he could provide enough production to be usable in fantasy.

Nick Chubb, CLE

Browns’ running back Chubb went down with a devasting injury. He suffered an MCL sprain and is expected to miss about six weeks. The good thing is this is not a season-ending injury. The bad news is he’s going to missing a fair chunk of the season. Fantasy managers will not be able to use him.

Chubb’s fantasy value was influx going into week four. He was either being overvalued or undervalued by fantasy football practitioners. The injury doesn’t help matters. This could be an opportunity to buy Chubb at a discount since he will be out of lineups and win-now fantasy teams will need a replacement to make a push for the playoffs.

Kareem Hunt is the name in flashing lights as Chubb’s replacement. The Browns also worked D’Ernest Johnson and Dontrell Hilliard into the mix. Hunt should be the lead dog with a firm grip on the passing role with the other two filling in when needed.

Sony Michel, NE

The Patriots placed Michel on injured reserve with a quad injury. He’s not expected to be out for the rest of the season, but he will be out of our fantasy lineups for a few weeks. The injury should not impact his long-term fantasy value.

Damien Harris hit the 100-yard mark in his absence against the Kansas City Chiefs. This will provide Harris a small sample of time to prove he is capable of being productive while handling a heavy workload.

WIDE RECEIVER

Julio Jones, ATL

Jones reaggravated his hamstring injury while playing the Green Bay Packers on Monday night. There’s a good chance he’s not going to be able to suit up for his week five contest against the Carolina Panthers. It’s hard to tell how long this injury will impact Jones’ ability to play at a high level. Even when he comes back on the field there’s still a chance, he could suffer another setback.

Win-now teams might want to think about buying Jones if he’s currently being discounted by his current fantasy manager. Even with a soft start to the season, he could develop into a league winner down the stretch.

TIGHT END

OJ Howard, TB

Howard tore his Achilles and is done for the season. He should be moved to the injured reserved as long as there is still room available. This is a devastating injury for Howard because it looked like he was building a rapport with Tom Brady and was becoming a key focal point of the offense. We should expect to see his dynasty value take a significant dip since this is a very traumatic injury from a fantasy football standpoint.

Noah Fant, DEN

Fant was carted off with an ankle injury during the Broncos’ Thursday night game against the Jets. After getting his leg examined, reports came back stating that his ankle injury was minor, and he should be back on the field soon. Fantasy gamers should breathe a sigh of relief. The injury didn’t look too promising, to begin with. Hopefully, we can see him catching passes sooner than later.

bruce matson
Latest posts by Bruce Matson (see all)