Fantasy Injury Updates: Latest news on Chris Godwin, Isaiah McKenzie, Van Jefferson, more impacting fantasy rankings, Week 1 start 'em, sit 'em decisions – Sporting News

  • September 10, 2022

You might still have a fantasy football draft or two left to complete, but for most fantasy owners, it’s on to Week 1. Either way, injury updates are the name of the game, and with a stud like Chris Godwin and potential sleepers like Isaiah McKenzie, Van Jefferson, and Sterling Shepard all dinged up, it’s important to know the latest news before clicking “draft” or locking in your start ’em, sit ’em decisions.
Below, we’ll give you the latest news on these players and break down how their injuries could potentially affect their fantasy outlooks heading into the season. 
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Despite practicing on Monday without a brace on his knee, Godwin said Tuesday his availability for Sunday night’s game against Dallas will “come down to feel.” He also added that no one knows yet if he’ll play.
The timing of the game makes this a tough situation for fantasy owners. If you want to hold out for Godwin, you need to have someone from the prime-time games ready to sub in. If you don’t have someone already on your roster, then guys like Russell Gage, Jalen Tolbert, or K.J. Hamler are your best bets on the waiver wire. Gage and Julio Jones would likely benefit the most among Tampa’s receivers from Godwin’s absence, with both becoming decent flex options. At this point, even if Godwin plays, he might be limited, so you’re probably better off just planning to keep him on your bench. Fortunately for his season-long outlook, he shouldn’t be limited for too long.
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McKenzie (groin) was a full participant in practice on Monday and Tuesday, and Bills’ coach Sean McDermott said Tuesday he expected McKenzie to be “ready to go” on Thursday night against the Rams.
Buffalo’s expected No. 3 receiver was getting some late sleeper buzz before his groin injury slightly dimmed his season outlook. Now healthy, McKenzie is an intriguing bench WR in deep leagues, as anyone involved in Buffalo’s high-powered attack could have value. If he has a setback, Jamison Crowder would see the bulk of the snaps in his place, but as it stands, look for McKenzie to be a potential breakout option and DFS single-game steal.
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Jefferson, who underwent a knee procedure at the start of training camp, missed practice on Monday and Tuesday and is almost assuredly out for Week 1.
It’s likely Ben Skowronek will get most of the snaps in Jefferson’s place, but he’s not someone who can be trusted in fantasy leagues. If anything, this benefits Allen Robinson II the most. Jefferson remains a viable sleeper candidate heading into 2022, but obviously his draft stock takes a bit of a hit. Fortunately, Draft Sharks’ exclusive Injury Predictor tool tabs Jefferson as a “low-risk” player, and he should be back on the field relatively early in the season. Once healthy, Jefferson has WR3 upside in L.A.’s potent offense.
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Shepard tore an Achilles last December, but he’s reportedly ready to play in Week 1 against the Titans.
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The Giants’ receiving corps can best be described as “crowded” heading into Week 1, with Shepard, Kenny Golladay, Kadarius Toney, and Wan’Dale Robinson all healthy and ready to go. It many ways, it’s tough to trust any of them, especially in a neutral matchup. Shepard has always been a solid possession receiver, but until we see how healthy he looks and how the revamped Giants’ offensive scheme divvies up targets, he’s best left on waiver wires.