Updates On Michael Thomas, Chris Godwin, And More


It has been a busy week on the WR injury report, and fantasy football managers have plenty of names to sweat about in Week 1. With practice now in the books for all the teams playing Sunday and NFL injury reports rolling in for the weekend, let’s examine the fantasy impact of the latest news. Which WRs remain on the fantasy injury report for Week 1, and what should managers do about those decisions?

Official game status: Doubtful

Allen Lazard heads into the weekend with the dreaded “doubtful” tag. Rarely does a player listed as doubtful suit up on Sunday, so now we are thinking about who might benefit from that playing time. Listed behind Lazard on the Packers’ depth chart is Romeo Doubs. Either he or fellow rookie Christian Watson should be expected to see a large portion of Lazard’s snaps in three WR sets.

Elsewhere, this boosts the value of both Sammy Watkins and Randall Cobb. The two veterans should have Aaron Rodgers’ trust and be on the field plenty on Sunday. However, we could be in for a messy situation this week as we work out the pecking order for targets in Green Bay. Hopefully, Lazard can get back next week because he has been heralded as the clear number one option entering the season.

Chris Godwin, TB | Knee

Official game status: Questionable

It has been a mixed week for Chris Godwin. He was a full participant Wednesday and Friday and had the day off on Thursday. He enters the weekend as a game-time decision for Sunday, putting fantasy managers in a tough spot. If Godwin’s status is unknown until 90 minutes before kickoff, managers will have limited options if he is ultimately inactive.

That uncertainty, combined with the potential for Godwin to be on a limited snap count, makes him a player to seriously consider sitting if you have to make this decision Sunday morning. However, if you have the likes of Julio Jones, Russell Gage, or Jalen Tolbert on your roster, you can push this decision until the kickoff of Sunday Night Football. The promising sign in all of this is that Godwin should be back at full speed in the next couple of weeks.

Diontae Johnson, PIT | Shoulder

Official game status: Cleared

After logging limited practices Wednesday and Thursday with a shoulder injury (and cramps on Thursday), Diontae Johnson was a full participant at practice Friday. He now carries no injury designation into Week 1.

With players carrying an injury into the weekend, there is always a concern about reaggravating it during warmups or early in the contest. But barring anything unforeseen, Johnson is a solid starter as a WR2 option this week against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Drake London, ATL | Knee

Official game status: Questionable

One of the knocks on Drake London coming into the season was health, and he has certainly not changed that narrative early in his NFL career. London has been unable to shake off a preseason knee injury and is now questionable for Week 1.

Regardless of whether he suits up, there are alarm bells ringing here. This is a tough matchup, and London could very well be limited in terms of snaps. Unless you are out of other options at WR, London is likely a player to sit on Sunday regardless of his game-time status. This does open up the intriguing potential that one of Olamide Zaccheaus or Bryan Edwards sees extensive volume. The problem is figuring out which one that will be.

Jakobi Meyers, NE | Knee

Official game status: Questionable

Jakobi Meyers being listed as questionable is somewhat frustrating because he was the “safest” New England Patriots WR entering this season. In most 12- or even 14-team leagues, he likely wasn’t being started this week. However, in the deepest formats, having a player like Meyers as questionable on Sunday can create some tough lineup decisions.

If Meyers is out, it is tough to know who would play his role in the offense. DeVante Parker is listed behind him on the depth chart, but they are very different players. Hybrid RB/WR Ty Montgomery could be interesting option in deeper leagues if Meyers is ruled out. Montgomery has a similar skill set, but he is questionable with a knee injury of his own.

Jaylen Waddle, MIA | Quad

Official game status: Cleared

After worrying fantasy managers at the back end of the preseason and into Week 1, Jaylen Waddle is not a player to be concerned about after all. Waddle returned to practice in a full capacity Thursday and carries no gameday status into the weekend. He should be a solid WR2 option against the Patriots even if his role is a little uncertain after the acquisition of Tyreek Hill.

K.J. Hamler, DEN | Knee/Hip

Official game status: Not set

K.J. Hamler does not play until Monday Night Football, so we do not have a full injury update for him in Week 1 at the time of this writing. Chances are Hamler is not on your radar to start given the uncertainty surrounding his role. However, if you’re in a deep league, he may very well be given that Tim Patrick is out for the season.

He was limited through Thursday and Friday, so his Saturday designation is crucial. If he is questionable or worse, then he is a player you should not consider. If he is ruled out, there is not a clear replacement on Denver’s roster worth targeting. As of now, we do not know what the Broncos’ WR3 role will yield in terms of targets, so Hamler would be a speculative start at best if cleared.

Michael Gallup, DAL | Knee

Official game status: Out

It is no major surprise that Michael Gallup is ruled out for Week 1 as he continues his return from a knee injury. The fact he is not on IR or PUP suggests we should expect his return in the next couple of weeks.

Until then, Jalen Tolbert has a fantastic opportunity as the potential WR2 and the third pass catcher in this offense. The Cowboys kept a plethora of receivers on their final roster, making it tough to know exactly who we might see in 3WR sets. One player whose value could see a boost with Gallup out is Tony Pollard. The Cowboys’ RB did some work out of the slot during camp and could line up out wide at times this season.

Michael Thomas, NO | Hamstring

Official game status: Questionable

He wouldn’t be Michael Thomas if the star WR was not questionable heading into Week 1. After battling injury issues for the past two years, Thomas is back in that position again, this time with a hamstring injury. He managed to get in three limited practices and carries a questionable designation into the weekend.

The positive news is that we will know at 11:30 a.m. ET on Sunday whether he will be playing. That will allow fantasy managers to adjust lineups and make key decisions. If he is active, Thomas is a fringe WR2 in PPR and a flex play in non-PPR. The concerns largely revolve around what his role will look like in the offense and whether he can play a full game without his injury flaring up. If he is out, Jarvis Landry and Chris Olave become safer options against the Atlanta Falcons.

Russell Gage, TB | Hamstring

Official game status: Questionable

What a rollercoaster of an offseason for Russell Gage. He was recruited to Tampa Bay by Tom Brady and assumed to be the WR2 to open the season by many. Then Julio Jones arrived and Chris Godwin got on track to potentially be ready for Week 1. Suddenly, Gage is looking at not even having a starting role this week.

Gage is not a player I am risking this week. I’ll happily stash him, for now, in case his role is bigger than currently expected. But with Gage being an injury question mark with an undefined role, playing him on Sunday Night Football is not a risk worth taking. If Gage and Godwin can’t go, Jones could be a throwback fantasy darling this week.

Sterling Shepard, NYG | Achilles

Official game status: Cleared

Sterling Shepard is back and ready to take the field for the New York Giants. There is a crowded WR depth chart on the blue side of New York, but Shepard’s role in the offense is somewhat unique. It would not be a surprise to see him start for the Giants, but he is a low-upside fantasy option even then.

In deeper leagues, he could be a solid floor option most weeks. However, in Week 1, there is every chance we see him limited in terms of snap count as he comes off a really tough injury to bounce back from.



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