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Fantasy Football Injury Report: A Calvin Johnson Crisis Averted?

Adam Pfeifer breaks down the fantasy football implications of the NFL’s latest injury report

Calvin Johnson

People are healing.

After Week 2 and the fantasy Armageddon, most of our fantasy stars are getting healthier for you. Of course, right when a handful of guys are returning, we’ll be losing more, as six teams are on a bye this week (ARI, CIN, CLE, DEN, SEA, STL). I mean, if you survived the injury onslaught, you can handle a few bye weeks, right?

Let’s head to the medical center, shall we?

Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions (ankle)

Crisis averted.

After missing Wednesday and Thursday’s practices with an ankle injury, Megatron returned to the field during Friday’s session, almost guaranteeing his status for Sunday’s contest against the Jets atrocious secondary. Usually when a player can get out there on Friday, they have a terrific chance at playing, and the injury never appeared to be to serious anyway. Calvin should be the number one ranked wideout against a Jets secondary that is coughing up the fourth-most fantasy points per game to wideouts, surrendering 1.7 receiving scores per game (second-most) and the fourth-most touchdowns through the air. Don’t sleep on Golden Tate, either. Opposing number two receivers have torched New York thus far. In Week 1, both Rod Streater and James Jones found the end zone, while Randall Cobb had a handful of touchdowns against the, in Week 2. And last week, Alshon Jeffery had over 100 receiving yards.

DeAngelo Williams, Carolina Panthers (thigh)

Last week, although Williams was listed as questionable, the Panthers expected him to play. He didn’t, but watched his other two running backs go down with injury. Mike Tolbert will be out until Week 13 and Jonathan Stewart appears to be out this week with a serious leg sprain. That opens the door for Williams to see the bulk of the work this week against the Ravens. Williams practiced in full all week and is officially listed as probable for Sunday. He’ll be backed up by Darrin Reaves and Fozzy Whittaker.

Roddy White, Atlanta Falcons (hamstring)

After missing Week 3’s contest where Atlanta clearly needed his services, Roddy White appears to be on track to return this week in Minnesota. Coach Mike Smith stated that White will “absolutely” start against the Vikings, so the hamstring must be a thing of the past for the Falcons wideout. It’s not the dream matchup we’ve grown used to seeing from Minnesota, as Mike Zimmer has his group playing some tough defense, but Roddy should still be a WR2, at the least.

Eric Decker, New York Jets (hamstring)

Another wide receiver, another hamstring injury.

Despite not practicing all last week, Decker suited up for Monday night’s contest against the Bears, but you could clearly tell he wasn’t 100 percent. He didn’t come close to playing as many snaps as he normally would, and eventually had to exit the game early. He played just 12 snaps. Still, Decker states he’s planning on playing in Week 4 against the Lions. “I’m planning on getting out there,” Decker said. “I can’t promise anything. Obviously, I’m leaning on the positive side that I’m definitely going to be out there.” (via New York Post). That doesn’t offer a whole lot of clarity, and it would be wise to consider him a game-time call. If he were to miss this game, Jeremy Kerley would look to build off his impressive Week 3. Decker is a risk, though, because he could play just a handful of snaps and leave early again, or serve as a decoy.

Jake Locker, Tennessee Titans (wrist)

The Titans have apparently been encouraged by Locker’s progress at Friday’s practice, but he was only limited during the session. He’s looking like a game-time decision against the Colts, and if he were unable to go, the Titans would likely turn to Charlie Whitehurst to lead the offense, an obvious downgrade for all Tennessee fantasy options.

Jamaal Charles, Kansas City Chiefs (ankle)

After being limited during Thursday and Friday’s practices, Charles may be another game-time call that could tease fantasy owners for hours. However, head coach Andy Reid already stated that he expects his star running back to be out there for the game, but, of course it’s a Monday night contest, generating a ton of risk. I mean, unless you own Knile Davis, there are no other options to back Charles up with if you decide to risk rolling him out there. It will be crucial to see if Charles practices Saturday and Sunday, but his status definitely looks better than it did this time last week.

Doug Martin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (knee)

Martin says that he is 100 percent and anxious to get out there against a banged up Steelers defensive unit that is missing three starters. It looks like he’ll get the start, but despite fumbling three times this year, Bobby Rainey will still see significant work, too. The matchup is relatively favorable, as the Steelers are surrendering nearly 130 rushing yards per game and will be without speedy linebacker, Ryan Shazier, as well as Jarvis Jones.

 

 

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