The Week 9 WR injury report has some big names when it comes to fantasy football relevance, which will have a lot of managers concerned. Let’s take a look at the latest updates from around the NFL and see what injuries to the likes of Keenan Allen, Cooper Kupp, Ja’Marr Chase, Davante Adams, Mike Evans, Allen Lazard, and more mean for fantasy managers this week.
WR Injury Report Heading into Week 9
Please note that practice status listings are as follows: DNP – did not participate, LP – limited participant, FP – full participant.
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Keenan Allen, LAC | Hamstring (DNP)
The hope was that coming out of the bye week, Allen would be able to practice normally ahead of Week 9. Allen was able to suit up in Week 7 against the Seattle Seahawks, which was viewed as a good sign. However, Allen is absent from practice once again with a hamstring injury.
When he spoke to the media, Los Angeles Chargers head coach Brandon Staley denied that Allen had suffered a setback, saying the team was being careful. Staley told reporters that the injury “hasn’t responded the way [they’d] hoped.”
Jeff Miller of the Los Angeles Times reported that Allen himself said the injury worsened last week during rehab. He added that Allen would not speculate on how long he might be out this time. Allen later elaborated that the injury occurred while he was running during the bye week, but they do not believe it to be a re-strain.
We will now need to keep an eye on Allen’s status throughout the week. Staley told reporters that he was unsure if Allen will be ready to suit up. If Allen is absent, then the Chargers look set to enter Sunday with a starting duo of Josh Palmer and DeAndre Carter, with Michael Bandy likely playing as the third receiver. Palmer and Carter could both have intriguing 14-team fantasy value if Allen is out.
Cooper Kupp, LAR | Ankle (DNP)
After Cooper Kupp was seen limping from the field in the Los Angeles Rams’ Week 8 loss to the San Francisco 49ers, it is not a huge surprise that he was a non-participant in practice Wednesday. In head coach Sean McVay’s media availability, he told reporters that Kupp is “feeling good” and participated in the walkthrough.
That would indicate that, barring a setback, Kupp is on track to play Sunday, as he suffered no structural damage. There does not seem to be a huge amount of concern that Kupp will miss the game, but injury issues can change quickly in the NFL, so this does bear watching.
If Kupp plays, he is in fantasy lineups as usual unless we hear that he will be on a limited snap count. If he is out, then Allen Robinson, Van Jefferson, and Ben Skowronek all have additional value. Robinson could end up being the WR1 and would be a 12-team Flex option.
Ja’Marr Chase, CIN | Hip (DNP)
The Cincinnati Bengals chose not to place Chase on IR last week as he deals with a hip injury that could keep him out for up to four to six weeks. After playing on Monday Night Football, the Bengals put out a projected injury report, and Chase was unsurprisingly listed as a non-participant.
It seems unlikely that Chase will be able to work back to a point where he could play in Week 9. With the Bengals on a bye in Week 10, it wouldn’t make sense to rush him back when he can have extended rest over the next two weeks.
With Chase most likely out, Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd are the top two fantasy options in this offense. Both are intriguing starts in 12-team leagues, despite the offensive struggles last week. Meanwhile, Mike Thomas and Trenton Irwin split snaps as the WR3 in Week 8. Irwin saw the most targets, but neither has a significant fantasy value if Chase is out.
Davante Adams, LV | Illness (LP)
After dealing with an illness all last week, Adams remained on the injury report as a limited participant Wednesday. If the illness is still causing Adams to be limited, it likely explains why he might not have been at 100% on Sunday.
There should not be too much concern at this stage. If we still see Adams limited by the end of the week, that would be cause for alarm.
Mike Evans, TB | Ankle (LP)
It was somewhat of a surprise to see Mike Evans listed as limited with an ankle injury on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers injury report in Week 9. The fact he was limited and that there was no real focus on it from the beat reporters would suggest it is nothing too serious.
We will continue to monitor the issue through the next couple of days, but it seems likely Evans will either be cleared or, at worst, questionable heading into the weekend.
Allen Lazard, GB | Shoulder (LP)
It was good to see Allen Lazard listed as limited on the Green Bay Packers injury report. He missed last week’s game with a shoulder injury that he picked up back in Week 7. Opening the week as “limited” is a promising sign.
In his media availability, head coach Matt LaFleur did not have an update beyond saying that Lazard would practice. We will need to keep an eye on his status throughout the week, but Lazard is trending toward being at least questionable, if not fully cleared, heading into the weekend (barring a setback).
His end-of-week designation will somewhat determine how much we can trust him. If he is fully cleared, he should have a full workload and be a starting option in fantasy. However, if he is questionable, he could be limited on game day and be someone you only look to in 14-team leagues and deeper.
If Lazard is out, Romeo Doubs and Sammy Watkins should be the starters. Doubs is the only one with intriguing fantasy value, but as a 14-team Flex option.
Mike Williams, LAC | Ankle (DNP)
Unsurprisingly, Mike Williams was absent from practice after suffering a nasty-looking ankle injury late in the Los Angeles Chargers Week 7 game. The injury was thought to be a multi-week situation. Therefore, it is likely we will not see Williams in Week 9.
As mentioned above, Palmer, Carter, and Bandy figure to be the main three receivers for the Colts, assuming Allen cannot go. If Allen and Williams are absent, Palmer and Carter carry the most value for fantasy managers.
Christian Watson, GB | Concussion (DNP)
It doesn’t feel like Cristian Watson can catch a break this year. After battling through his hamstring issues to return in Week 8, he suffered a concussion early in the game. Watson remains in the concussion protocol and is a 50-50 proposition as to whether he plays this week. We will need to see how he works through the protocol this week.
Jahan Dotson, WAS | Hamstring (DNP)
The frustration continues for Jahan Dotson, as he deals with the hamstring issue he re-aggravated during practice a couple of weeks back. Dotson has now missed four games and could be on track to miss a fifth in Week 9.
If he can work his way back to practice, he has a chance to play, but it would be a long shot at this point. In his absence, the passing offense has largely been centered around Terry McLaurin, Curtis Samuel, and the RBs. Dyami Brown looks set to return this week and could take back the role he had success in immediately following Dotson’s initial injury. It is tough to trust Brown as anything more than a 16-team boom-bust play.
Josh Reynolds, DET | Back (LP)
This back issue is the third injury we have seen Josh Reynolds listed with this year. He has already worked through both knee and ankle issues, not missing any time so far. Starting the week limited is a good sign that, barring any setback, he should be good to play.
However, we have seen Reynolds struggle to find consistency this season. Over the past two weeks, he has just three receptions for 22 yards on eight targets. It is tough to trust him as a starting option, especially with Kalif Raymond having seen 22 targets in the past four games and posting back-to-back 75-plus yard games.
Van Jefferson, LAR | Hamstring (LP)
McVay did not elaborate on Jefferson beyond saying he would be limited in practice. We will need to see how the week progresses before determining whether this is just easing Jefferson back from IR or something more serious.
Jefferson split snaps as the WR3 with Skowronek last week, but, again, that could just be a way for the team to ease him in. Right now, his fantasy value is hard to gauge, but we should get a better idea as the week goes on. Unless Kupp misses the game, Jefferson would enter this week with very limited fantasy value.
Julio Jones, TB | Knee (DNP)
Julio Jones is back on the injury report as a non-participant with his knee issue. Hopefully, we will see him practice during the week. However, unless Evans or Chris Godwin end up missing the game, Jones’ ceiling in fantasy is capped. He is a touchdown-dependent option until we see otherwise.
Russell Gage, TB | Hamstring (DNP)
Russell Gage remained absent from practice in Week 9 with his hamstring issue. Unless he can get back on the practice field Thursday, it seems unlikely we will see him this week. Even if he does play, his value is limited while playing behind Evans and Godwin, who are the clear top-two receiving options right now.
Corey Davis, NYJ | Knee (DNP)
Corey Davis remained absent from practice for the New York Jets. Before practice, head coach Robert Saleh described Davis as day-to-day and said he was “on the fence” in terms of being available Sunday.
If Davis is a game-time decision Sunday, it would be hard to trust him in fantasy lineups. Meanwhile, if he is out, then Garrett Wilson is an intriguing 12-team Flex option as the team’s likely WR1.
Mack Hollins, LV | Heel (LP)
Mack Hollins remains on the Raiders’ injury report with his heel issue. Given that he has played through the injury over the last two weeks, it seems unlikely he misses time this week. He remains a fringe fantasy option in 14-team leagues, with his inconsistent usage making him a tough option to trust.
DeVante Parker, NE | Knee (DNP)
There was some talk early in the week that DeVante Parker could be back for Week 9. However, with the New England Patriots on a bye in Week 10, it is likely we see them play it cautiously with Parker this week. Even if he is active, he’ll be tough to trust in fantasy.
If Parker is out, Kendrick Bourne could be the biggest winner as the WR3 in terms of snaps. However, in that role last week, he saw just one target. The only player you can consistently consider as fantasy-relevant among the Patriots’ wide receivers is Jakobi Meyers.
Tyler Lockett, SEA | Hamstring/Ribs (LP)
Tyler Lockett was listed as a limited participant on Wednesday. Entering last week hobbled by two injuries, it appears that both ailments have followed him into Week 9. Despite being nicked up, Lockett recorded five receptions on eight targets for 63 yards and a touchdown in last week’s win over the New York Giants.
His limited participation is a good sign that he’ll be able to suit up again this week, and he remains a viable starting option catching passes from a still-red-hot Geno Smith.
DK Metcalf, SEA | Knee (LP)
DK Metcalf surprisingly managed to take the field last week despite suffering what, at one point, seemed to be a serious knee injury in Week 7. Not only did he play, but Metcalf was heavily involved, catching six passes on 10 targets for 55 yards and a touchdown.
Presuming he’s able to lace up the cleats in Week 9, Metcalf should be fired up as a starting wideout in most league sizes, especially against an Arizona Cardinals defense that ranks among the bottom third in passing yards allowed per game this season.