Week 1 of the NFL season begins shortly, but fantasy drafts are still taking place. Here is PFN’s latest fantasy football injury report.
Week 1 of the NFL season officially begins tomorrow, but fantasy football drafts are still taking place until kickoff. As managers look to get their teams in order, make start/sit decisions, and lock in their lineups, injuries become a huge factor. Our latest fantasy football injury report looks at some big-name wide receivers and tight ends that still have concerns heading into the start of the season, like Michael Thomas, Jaylen Waddle, and CeeDee Lamb.
In a last-minute addition to the fantasy football injury report, San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle could potentially miss Week 1 due to a groin injury. According to ESPN’s Nick Wagoner, Kittle went down Monday, Sept. 7, during practice. When the team took to the field today, Kittle was nowhere to be found.
“Was hoping he’d be good today,” 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan told reporters during Wednesday’s news conference. “Did a little on Monday and not feeling good today. So we’ll have to see; [he’s] day-by-day.”
Kittle has been a reliable TE1 in fantasy for a while now, and that was not expected to change with QB Trey Lance taking over the reins from Jimmy Garoppolo. However, with a day-to-day designation, there is a chance Lance could be without his top option come Sunday against the Chicago Bears.
PFN’s fantasy team has a top-six designation on Kittle, barring any sort of major injury. This doesn’t seem to be major, but it will be something to monitor as managers continue their fantasy draft.
“It’s hard to envision any outcome outside of a major injury where Kittle doesn’t land in the top six TEs. He’ll continue to benefit from an offense that must feature him and constantly works to get him into space. Lance can execute the passing game enough to get Kittle near his career averages.”
Make sure to check out PFN’s full fantasy outlook on Kittle for the 2022 NFL season.
The New Orleans Saints offense might be getting their biggest weapon back for the start of the NFL season. Per Jeff Duncan of The Times-Picayune and NOLA.com, Thomas was present at the Saints’ closed walk-through on Monday. While that is a positive sign, head coach Dennis Allen was less committal when it comes to Thomas’ availability for their Week 1 matchup against their NFC South rival Atlanta Falcons: “We’ll see, but he’s progressing.”
It has been an up-and-down couple of years for Thomas. After a 2019 campaign where he led the league with 149 catches and 1,725 yards, Thomas played only seven games with five starts in 2020 and recorded 40 catches for 438 yards. He missed all of the 2021 season due to an ankle injury. In the offseason, it was actually a hamstring issue that caused him to miss time throughout training camp.
Based on Thomas’ current average draft position (ADP), PFN’s fantasy team sees value in the Saints WR.
“At WR23, Thomas is already someone I have no issue drafting as my WR2/3. As the WR32 in the seventh round, that’s stealing.”
Make sure to check out Thomas’ full fantasy outlook to help you decide whether or not to draft him.
The Miami Dolphins offense is going to look a little bit different this season, thanks to the addition of Tyreek Hill. Although Hill has dominated the headlines in the offseason, breakout WR Jaylen Waddle has also seen a fair share of discussion due to a lingering soft tissue injury.
According to Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson, Waddle practiced today, and first-year head coach Mike McDaniel said that Waddle will be fine for Sunday. Waddle was also seen at the practice without a leg sleeve, which he has worn for most of the offseason.
If Waddle is 100% healthy, what does that mean for his fantasy value? According to PFN’s fantasy team, we might not be able to expect the same sort of production from the Miami WR as we saw last season. After catching 104 passes for 1,015 yards and six scores, Waddle was a true WR1.
“Hill will surely bite into his opportunities, but Waddle will also take from his teammate. These are two highly-efficient red-zone stars, which is perfect for Tua to improve his numbers and create a healthy ecosystem. That all being said, if there’s someone to fade on this offense, it’s Waddle.
Miami also has Cedrick Wilson Jr. and Mike Gesicki as players who can usurp some of Waddle’s best targets. Because of this muddied dynamic of an offense that added a significant number of pieces in one offseason, the player to be concerned about in regards to upside and consistency each week is Waddle.”
Make sure to check out our full fantasy outlook on Waddle for the 2022 NFL season.
Earlier in the offseason, CeeDee Lamb suffered a foot laceration. After not playing during the preseason, there was some concern that he might miss time. However, he has since said the injury is “clown stuff,” and that he will be fine to play. It looks like he will not miss any regular-season action, which is a good thing, considering the Cowboys will already be without Michael Gallup and James Washington in their Sunday Night Football matchup against the Buccaneers.
As long as Lamb stays healthy, PFN’s fantasy team is quite bullish on the Cowboys WR.
“When drafting Lamb, you’re paying for a mid WR1 who has never put up WR1 numbers. Given that Lamb is our consensus WR7, we’re willing to pay the price. Lamb is on the offense that led the NFL in touchdowns last season. He’s playing with a top-10 quarterback and has decreased target competition. My money is on a true breakout campaign for Lamb in 2022.”
Make sure to check out our full fantasy outlook on Lamb to see what you can expect in 2022.
Ryan Gosling is the Chief Platforms Officer for Pro Football Network. Follow him on Twitter: @ryangoslingPFN.
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