Week 4 brought about injuries to several prominent fantasy football stars, including one that could be season-ending injury for Dalvin Cook. The various injuries could leave NFL teams as well as fantasy players scrambling, especially as byes begin to hit next week. Here’s who has gone down on Sunday (this story will be updated if more injuries occur or additional information becomes available).
It didn’t look good at all for Cook, who left the game with a left knee injury and did not return. The injury was non-contact as Cook prepared to cut and initial reports are he suffered a near complete ACL tear, but he hopes an MRI will show otherwise.
Viewer discretion is advised:
Dalvin Cook's injury did not look good at all pic.twitter.com/xCqYNW7PhB
— Isaac (@WorldofIsaac) October 1, 2017
Latavius Murray and Jerick McKinnon immediately become intriguing adds. Murray more fits the early-down mold, but McKinnon is an outstanding receiving back and can absolutely be effective in PPR formats. Cook has been fantastic so far this year, and this is obviously a huge loss for any team that has him. The Vikings weren’t able to do much without Cook either as they fell to the Lions 14-7.
Jones’ slow start to the season took a turn for the worse when he left with a hip injury against the Bills and did not return. The superstar receiver is yet to visit the end zone this year, and his injury issues seem to have returned. The severity and length of the injury is TBD. Meanwhile, his fellow wide receiver Mohamed Sanu also left and didn’t return following a hamstring issue. As previously mentioned with Mariota, hamstring injuries are tough to predict.
What this does set up, though, is the possibility of some of Matt Ryan’s other targets becoming attractive options. That includes a boost in stock for running back Tevin Coleman, who had a big Sunday, and wide receivers Justin Hardy and Taylor Gabriel.
Without Jones and Sanu, the Falcons were unable to rally in the final minute against the Bills, who pulled off a 23-17 upset win on the road.
Mariota was on his way to a big fantasy day before leaving with a hamstring injury. He was ruled out for the game shortly thereafter and Matt Cassel took over as the Titans were blown out by the Texans, 57-14. Mariota had a couple of rushing touchdowns before the rout was on — as well as a couple of interceptions — before exiting.
Obviously this is a huge blow for the Titans offense as well as any fantasy player who owns the talented dual threat. Hamstrings can be very tricky injuries, and the severity remains a relative unknown. Regardless, it’ll be important to add a second quarterback if you don’t have one. Mariota broke his leg at the end of last year and had knee issues the year before. He will undergo an MRI on Monday, per Adam Schefter.
It will also have an impact on the other fantasy relevant Titans. The receivers will drop in value if Mariota misses time, while Tennessee will lean heavily on the legs of DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry.
Carr also left with a back injury on Sunday after a nasty hit against the Broncos. E.J. Manuel finished out the game for Oakland, which lost 16-10. If Carr misses significant time, there’s a laundry list of those affected, led by both Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree. Crabtree missed Sunday’s game while Cooper struggled with drops, recording just two catches for 9 yards. In the short while that Manuel was in, he did look Jared Cook’s way several times, though, and Cook is owned in just 55 percent of leagues.
In the backfield, Marshawn Lynch’s value goes up if Carr is out. Lynch got just nine carries for 12 yards on Sunday against a tough Denver defense, but with Carr out, Oakland will have to go to the ground game more often, and that means more opportunities for Beast Mode.
If you’re in need of a Mariota/Carr fill in or a bye week replacement, Deshaun Watson is a must add. The rookie had four passing touchdowns and a rushing score against the Titans. He also threw for 283 yards and rushed for 24 more. He’s available in over 70 percent of Yahoo leagues.
In the Sunday Night Football game, injury issues continued. Carson, who finally cleared up what was a very murky Seattle backfield picture, was carted off with an air cast on his lower left leg. Pete Carroll called the ankle injury significant after the game. Carson, a rookie, looked to be another gem found by the Seahawks front office, but this certainly puts a dent in those developments.
As for the fantasy impact, Seattle will turn to Eddie Lacy — yes, that Eddie Lacy — Thomas Rawls, who a healthy scratch Sunday night, and C.J. Prosise who missed the game due to injury. J.D. McKissic could also be a name to keep an eye on, especially after he scored twice late Sunday. It may be a few weeks before anyone takes the lead back role in Seattle, and it could also end up being a by-committee approach. Lacy and Rawls could get early down work, but Prosise and McKissic provide much more as receivers.