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Sit Start Injury Report Sunday Morning Week 3 2021
By KC Joyner
Every fantasy manager knows that injuries can have a huge impact on a fantasy team's performance.
That makes properly navigating each week's injury report a must. To assist in this effort, this weekly article series will analyze the fantasy football impact of the Friday and Saturday injury reports.
The injured players are noted by player position and then their injury status. Out means the player has been ruled out of this week's contest. Doubtful means the player is very unlikely to start. Questionable indicates the player might start. Start likelihood is increased if a player has participated in practices that week, so practice participation levels are frequently noted in these posts.
Let's look at the Week 3 injury report. The initial edition of this article is generated following the league's Friday injury report. It is then updated on Saturday night with any injury changes that have been posted since the Friday update.
Arizona at Jacksonville
WR DeAndre Hopkins: Questionable
CB Byron Murphy: Questionable
CB Marco Wilson: Questionable
Hopkins did not practice all week so there is a very good chance that he will miss this game. If he does, Rondale Moore, A.J. Green, and Christian Kirk will all be in line to get additional targets and increased fantasy value. Murphy and Wilson are two of the Cardinals top three cornerbacks and they were both limited in the Friday practice. If this duo is ruled out it increases the value of every Jacksonville wide receiver as well as Trevor Lawrence.
CB C.J. Henderson: Questionable
CB Tre Herndon: Questionable
Henderson and Herndon are two of the Jaguars top three cornerbacks and both were limited in the Friday practice. Their loss could offset a lot of the potential fantasy impact to Kyler Murray if DeAndre Hopkins is out and would also obviously raise the fantasy values of Moore, Green, and Kirk.
Atlanta at New York Giants
WR Russell Gage: Out
CB A.J. Terrell: Out
Olamide Zaccheaus will take Gage's place in the lineup again but there isn't enough value here to warrant a starter's role. Terrell was slated to cover Darius Slayton. T.J. Green is next man up on the Falcons cornerback depth chart and his coverage history suggests Slayton has much more upside than he did before the injury.
New York injuries
TE Evan Engram: Questionable
WR Kenny Golladay: Questionable
Engram was able to practice on a limited basis all week, but even if he can play this week, he will be a desperation play in fantasy at best. Golladay's hip injury has hindered his production this year and limited practices all week indicate that ailment may not be improving to the point that fantasy managers can trust him in lineups.
Baltimore at Detroit
T Ronnie Stanley: Out
DE Derek Wolfe: Out
WR Marquise Brown: Questionable
QB Lamar Jackson: Questionable
LB Pernell McPhee: Questionable
CB Jimmy Smith: Questionable
CB Tavon Young: Questionable
There is a lot to go over here, so we'll break it down by sections.
Let's start with the players that are most likely to play. Jackson, Smith, and Young all practiced fully on Friday, so they are apt to be in the lineup this week.
McPhee did not practice on Friday, so he is fairly certain to join Wolfe on the gameday inactive list. Baltimore will also be missing NT Brandon Williams, DT Justin Madubuike, and edge rushers Justin Houston and Jaylon Ferguson, who were all placed on the COVID-19 list on Friday. Their absence is a huge boost for Detroit's offense and raises the value of Jared Goff, D'Andre Swift, and T.J. Hockenson to a tier or so above their usual level.
Brown was upgraded from no practice on Wednesday and Thursday to a limited practice on Friday, so he is trending towards playing.
The loss of Stanley doesn't help the Ravens rushing attack, but Baltimore has arguably the best offensive line coach in the league in Joe D'Alessandris and thus should be able to absorb this loss without much of a drop-off in production.
LB Jamie Collins: Out
DE Michael Brockers: Questionable
LB Trey Flowers: Questionable
LB Romeo Okwara: Questionable
WR Kalif Raymond: Questionable
DE Kevin Strong: Questionable
RB D'Andre Swift: Questionable
Detroit is equally beset with injuries, so let's break them down by section as well.
The Lions might have the worst defense in the league when healthy, so losing Collins (who is out due to a personal matter) and Flowers, who missed all three practices this week, is a big blow to their linebacking corps, as both are starters in that group. Add in Brockers and Okwara, two starters who were able to put in limited practices all week, and the Ravens will be facing an injury-depleted defense. That means Lamar Jackson, Ty'Son Williams and Latavius Murray should all be able to reach their respective upside potentials in this contest. This should also be a breakout game for Mark Andrews, who has posted only eight receptions for 77 yards and no touchdowns so far this year.
Raymond has seen only six targets this season, so his value is negligible regardless of his injury status.
Swift has been limited in practice all week, but he's played through injury to post a double-digit scrimmage play volume in two straight contests, so he should still garner low-end RB2/flex value.
Chicago at Cleveland
QB Andy Dalton: Out
S Tashaun Gipson: Doubtful
DT Eddie Goldman: Out
WR Marquise Goodwin: Questionable
DT Akiem Hicks: Questionable
S Eddie Jackson: Questionable
WR Darnell Mooney: Questionable
DE Bilal Nichols: Questionable
Justin Fields will be starting in Dalton's place. Gipson and Goldman both missed Friday's practice and are likely to be inactive for this contest. Gipson's absence is part of why the Bears have posted some of the worst coverage metrics in the NFL this year, so look for Cleveland to target this weakness.
Hicks, Jackson, and Nichols all put in full practices on Friday and are likely to start.
Goodwin also put in a full practice on Thursday and Friday and thus is trending towards starting, but he's still a sit candidate in nearly every league.
Mooney racked up six catches on eight targets last Sunday and thus is a solid flex play if he is able to play, but limited practices all week means that fantasy managers will need to keep an eye on the inactives list this Sunday morning before committing him to lineups.
Saturday night update: Goldman is now listed as out.
T Christopher Hubbard: Out
LB Sione Takitaki: Out
C J.C. Tretter: Questionable
T Jedrick Wills: Questionable
Wills and Tretter are starting offensive linemen for the Browns who were able to move from missing practice on Wednesday and Thursday to putting in a limited practice on Friday. Cleveland cannot afford to be without them, as Hubbard, the Browns swing tackle, is already listed as out. If all three miss this contest, it will be a notable hit to the fantasy values of Nick Chubb, Kareem Hunt, and Baker Mayfield.
On the plus side, Odell Beckham, Jr. is not listed on this week's injury report and thus is slated to make his first start of the 2021 season.
Cincinnati at Pittsburgh
WR Tee Higgins: Doubtful
CB Trae Waynes: Out
Higgins missed practice on Wednesday and Thursday, but he did put in a limited practice on Friday and thus may be more likely to start than most players with a doubtful designation would be. If Higgins is out, it will raise the value of Ja'Marr Chase and Tyler Boyd.
Eli Apple was a coverage liability in past years, but he has played quite well in 2021 and thus would not be an upgrade for the Steelers if Waynes ends up missing his third straight game.
Saturday night update: Waynes is now listed as out.
LB Alex Highsmith: Out
WR Diontae Johnson: Out
LB T.J. Watt: Questionable
Johnson's fantasy owners are rightfully upset that he was injured on a meaningless last play of the game against the Raiders. JuJu Smith-Schuster and Chase Claypool will likely divide his targets between them and thus get a decent rankings upgrade.
Highsmith and Watt are two of the Steelers best pass rushers, so Joe Burrow's value will move up some if Watt ends up missing this contest.
Saturday night update: Watt has now been ruled out of this game.
Green Bay at San Francisco
Green Bay injuries
T Elgton Jenkins: Out
Jenkins is the Packers left tackle, so Aaron Rodgers' fantasy grades take a bit of a hit due to facing the 49ers pass rush with a backup at the most crucial pass blocking position.
San Francisco injuries
RB JaMycal Hasty: Out
RB Elijah Mitchell: Doubtful
DE Arik Armstead: Questionable
DT Javon Kinlaw: Questionable
CB Emmanuel Moseley: Questionable
The 49ers running back rotation continues, as Hasty is out and Mitchell is doubtful. The potential saving grace for Mitchell is that he did move from not practicing early in the week to posting a limited practice on Friday. Having noted this, with Trey Sermon now clear of the concussion protocol, Mitchell isn't likely to be the lead back in this offense even if he is able to overcome the doubtful start status.
Saturday night update: The 49ers added Kerryon Johnson to their roster on Saturday, a move that indicates they think Mitchell will not play.
Indianapolis at Tennessee
T Braden Smith: Out
QB Carson Wentz: Questionable
Wentz surprisingly was able to put in a limited practice on Friday and thus is tracking towards being able to start. This good news notwithstanding, Wentz's injury status makes him a sit candidate in most leagues, especially since Smith, the Colts starting right tackle, is out for this contest.
TE Anthony Firkser: Out
LB Bud Dupree: Questionable
Dupree's absence would hurt the Titans D/ST in what might otherwise be a favorable matchup if the Colts end up having to sit Wentz due to the ankles injuries.
Los Angeles Chargers at Kansas City
Los Angeles injuries
CB Chris Harris: Out
LB Joey Bosa: Questionable
As if Patrick Mahomes, Tyreek Hill, and Travis Kelce needed any help, the Chargers could be without two of their best defensive players this week, as Harris has already been ruled out and Bosa missed all three practices with foot and ankle injuries.
Kansas City injuries
DE Frank Clark: Doubtful
DE Chris Jones: Questionable
CB Charvarius Ward: Questionable
Clark missed practice all week and will almost certainly be out for this contest. Jones had limited practices and could end up playing. Ward was a late week addition to the injury list, as he missed Friday's practice with a quadricep injury. That could shake up the Chiefs secondary and would make Mike Williams and Keenan Allen even stronger start candidates than they already are.
Miami at Las Vegas
The Miami offense was one of the worst in the league this year with Tagovailoa in the lineup, but that platoon will now have to rely on Jacoby Brissett against a powerhouse Raiders pass rush. Every Dolphins fantasy prospect should be considered for bench duty due to this potential mismatch.
Las Vegas injuries
RB Josh Jacobs: Doubtful
The Raiders had made it clear that they had concerns about Jacobs' durability, and we now see those worries were justified, as Jacobs missed every practice this week with an ankle injury. Kenyan Drake will take over his role and has low-end RB2/flex value.
New Orleans at New England
New Orleans injuries
C Erik McCoy: Out
Having only one offensive lineman out might not seem like a big deal but missing a starting center in a matchup against a Bill Belichick defense could be a major hindrance. Alvin Kamara is still a RB2 candidate at worst, but his upside may be capped. Every other Saints fantasy prospect is better suited for bench duty in this incredibly tough matchup.
New England injuries
T Trent Brown: Questionable
S Adrian Phillips: Questionable
Neither of these injuries has major value, as the Patriots have solid offensive line and safety depth and should be able to replace both players without missing much of a beat.
New York Jets at Denver
New York injuries
RB Tevin Coleman: Out
WR Jamison Crowder: Doubtful
Coleman had already been relegated to third-string status based on last week's offensive snap volumes, so his absence doesn't change the fantasy dynamic for Michael Carter or Ty Johnson. The same can be said for Crowder, as he has missed the first two games of the year and is likely to miss this one as well.
G Graham Glasgow: Questionable
DT Mike Purcell: Questionable
These are negligible injuries that don't impact fantasy value very much.
Seattle at Minnesota
WR Dee Eskridge: Out
RB Rashaad Penny: Out
T Brandon Shell: Out
Eskridge and Penny have tallied a combination of three rushes/receptions between them this year, so their absence has zero fantasy impact.
LB Anthony Barr: Out
T Christian Darrisaw: Out
RB Dalvin Cook: Questionable
Cook did not practice at all this week, but most signs still point towards him being able to play this week. If Cook is out,