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Next Man Up: Regular Season Week 5

Week 4 was carnage across the NFL. @ReflipeWThenuz helps break down all the injury news and the next men up for you squads.

Each week players across the NFL suffer injuries. This weekly article will explore the injuries that affect your dynasty squads. We will briefly discuss the injured players and the players who stand to benefit or suffer as a result. To make them easier to follow, we will break down the injuries by division. Week 4 was a particularly brutal week with major injuries across the league. Without further ado, let us examine the Regular Season Week 4 injuries and the next men up.

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AFC East:

Miami quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was knocked from his team’s Thursday Night Football game with a brutal concussion. As you can see in the clip above, this injury was not for the faint-hearted. Tua had his head, and neck slammed onto the turf. There has been much debate about whether Tua suffered a concussion the previous Sunday. All parties involved have stuck to the same story: his previous injury was to his back and ankle.

This particular concussion has the look of a multi-week absence. The Dolphins will turn to Teddy Bridgewater to fill his role until Tua’s return. Teddy is a stable backup option that will not tank your Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle shares. However, he will be a downgrade, and the Dolphins players will likely see a slight downtick in their numbers. Keep an eye out for news about Tua’s status, as concussions can be tricky to return from.

Buffalo lost wide receivers Isiah McKenzie and Jameson Crowder to injuries in the team’s Week 4 victory over the Ravens. McKenzie suffered a concussion while Crowder was carted off the field in an air-cast after an ugly ankle injury. These injuries leave Buffalo thin at the position behind Stefon Diggs and Gabe Davis. Look for the team to increase the playing time of rookie Khalil Shakir as well as journeyman Jake Kumerow. Neither option is an enticing fantasy play. Although, Shakir is an intriguing dynasty stash and should provide a decent preview of the type of player he can be with Josh Allen in this system. The most likely outcome of these two injuries is that Diggs, Davis, and tight end Dawson Knox will soak up additional looks in the passing game.

New England quarterback Brian Hoyer was forced from his team’s Week 4 loss with a concussion. The grizzled veteran was filling in for an injured Mac Jones, who was convalescing with a severe high-ankle sprain. The Patriots were forced to turn to rookie fourth-round pick Bailey Zappe. The former Western Kentucky product acquitted himself decently in a tough spot against the Green Bay Packers in Lambeau Field. With Mac set to miss at least another game, if not more, and the uncertain nature of Hoyer’s status in the concussion protocol, Zappe could be forced into a start or two over the next couple of weeks. Take due notice thereof and govern yourself accordingly.

New England tight end Jonnu Smith suffered a right ankle injury during his team’s Week 4 loss. In typical Patriots fashion, there has been little information about the nature of this injury. However, following the early season release of former third-round picks Dalton Keene and Devin Asiasi, New England is thin at the position behind starter Hunter Henry. Bill Belichick will be forced to turn to Lil’Jordan Humphrey and potentially practice squad tight end Matt Sokol for bodies behind Henry.

AFC South:

Tennessee wide receiver Treylon Burks was carted off the field with a foot injury during his team’s Week 4 victory. Team officials later reported that the talented rookie was dealing with a case of turf toe. While this is far from a major injury, these types of ailments do tend to linger throughout the season. Burks could miss some time to get him fully healthy. If he does miss game action, the Titans will turn to Kyle Philips and Cody Hollister to play alongside Robert Woods and Nick Westbrook-Ikhine. From a fantasy standpoint, Robert Woods will be the primary beneficiary as he will further solidify his position as the no.1 target in the passing game.

Indianapolis running back Jonathan Taylor suffered a dreaded high ankle sprain in his team’s loss to the Titans. The All-Pro running back has been off to a slow start on the season, and this ailment will not help matters. Early indications are that this injury is not on the extreme end of sprains. He may even play through the ailment. That said, Indianapolis has a quick turnaround with a Thursday Night game on tap against Denver. If Taylor does miss a game or two, look for the Colts to lean on Nyheim Hines. We may also see some Deon Jackson on early downs and short-yardage situations. Indianapolis would almost certainly lean heavily on Matt Ryan and the passing game leading to a nice opportunity for Hines and the other Colts pass catchers.

AFC North:

Baltimore Running Back Justice Hill went down with a non-contact leg injury in his team’s Week 4 loss to Buffalo. Initially, this had the look of a season-ending knee injury. As it turns out, that is not the case. Team officials reported that the talented runner had suffered a hamstring injury. It looked fairly serious, so I would expect him to miss at least a week or two. This will clear the runway for JK Dobbins to once again handle the lion’s share of the workload. The Ravens will rely on Kenyon Drake and Mike Davis behind Dobbins until injury issues clear up. It is also possible the team could activate Gus Edwards from the PUP list, likely forcing one of Davis or Drake off the gameday roster. Dobbins should be in your lineups moving forward. 

AFC West:

Denver running back Javonte Williams was knocked from his team’s Week 4 loss with a serious leg injury. The worst came true when team officials confirmed Monday that the talented sophomore had suffered a season-ending knee injury. The MRI revealed that Williams had not only torn his ACL but also his LCL and Posterolateral Corner. This is the worst-case scenario for Williams and his dynasty owners. It will be a long road back for the former North Carolina star.

The Broncos will turn to veteran running back Melvin Gordon in his place. The team will also employ talented rusher Mike Boone and veteran Latavius Murray, who they signed off of the New Orleans practice squad. This could potentially turn into a messy committee. However, I would place my chips on Melvin Gordon having one final productive season in Denver before moving on in free agency next off-season. I believe you can realistically expect RB2 numbers from Melvin down the stretch.

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NFC East:

New York quarterback Daniel Jones suffered an ankle injury in his team’s Week 4 victory over Chicago. Jones suffered the injury when Chicago rookie safety Jaquan Brisker sacked him late in the game. To complicate matters, backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor was knocked from the game with a brutal concussion in his relief. This forced the Giants to put Jones back into the game. Things looked desperate enough at one point that running back Saquon Barkley took snaps in the wildcat. Jones will likely be alright moving forward but pay attention to the Giants as the week progresses. If they add a quarterback in free agency or pull-up practice squad quarterback Davis Webb, it could mean things are more serious than initially thought.

Washington wide receiver Jahan Dotson sustained a hamstring injury in his team’s Week 4 loss. Dotson has flashed big-time upside in the Commander’s offense. Head coach Ron Rivera suggested that the former Penn State star could miss a week or two as he recovers. In his absence, the team will employ Cam Simms and Dyami Brown alongside starters Terry McLaurin and Curtis Samuel. Look for Terry and Curtis to pick up additional looks in the passing game, along with tight end Logan Thomas.

New York wide receiver Kenny Golladay sustained a knee injury in his team’s Week 4 victory. This injury adds to the insult and frustration of Golladay and his dynasty owners, who have been highly disappointed with his output since heading to New York in free agency. Team officials suggest he is likely to miss some time. His absence will change little for the Giants, who weren’t playing him despite multiple injuries to the receiving room. At this point, it seems only a potential trade will revitalize Golladay and his dynasty outlook. The Giants will be looking for the potential return of Kadarius Toney and rookie WanDale Robinson to play alongside current starters Richie James and David Sills. As it stands, Saquon Barkley is the only Giants player you want to play in fantasy.

NFC South:

Atlanta running back Cordarrelle Patterson exited his team’s Week 4 victory with a knee injury. The offensive weapon turned running back has been the engine that has driven the Falcon’s offense over the past two years. The exact nature of the injury is still undisclosed, but it is serious enough that Atlanta placed him on IR. The Falcons will turn to a combination of rookie Tyler Allgeier and Caleb Huntley in his absence. Neither player will likely return the RB2 numbers Patterson was giving his managers. However, one or both may produce flex-type numbers for your fantasy teams.

Carolina wide receiver Laviska Shenault Jr. re-aggravated his hamstring injury in his team’s Week 4 loss. The former University of Colorado star has been familiarizing himself with the Panthers system after a late trade sent him from Jacksonville. The Panthers are having a hard time sustaining starters DJ Moore and Robbie Anderson. Shenault should be well off the fantasy radar. His absence could mean some additional snaps for sophomore Terrace Marshall.

New Orleans running back Mark Ingram suffered an undisclosed injury during his team’s Week 4 loss in London. He was in and out of the lineup before eventually finishing the game. Starter Alvin Kamara was already dealing with an injury. The Broncos signed Latavius Murray from the Saints practice squad. The Saints running back room is looking empty. Keep an eye out for news on Ingram and a potential injury as the week progresses. Kamara will likely be back next week, but if both he and Ingram were to miss time, look for the Saints to turn to Dwayne Washington.

Tampa Bay tight end Cameron Brate suffered a concussion in his team’s Week 4 contest. Tampa has had a rough go of it to start the year. Their wide receivers are beginning to get healthy, but the loss of Brate will leave a hole in the lineup. If he cannot pass the league protocols, the Buccaneers will turn to rookie Cade Otton. Despite being a nice dynasty stash, Otton would not be a recommended fantasy play.

NFC North:

The NFC North escaped Week 4 without any in-game fantasy-relevant injuries. 

NFC West:

The NFC West emerged from Week 4 without any fantasy-relevant injuries. 

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