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During week 7 we saw many injuries pop-up through the weekend, affecting the RB, WR, and QB positions. Top players like Kerryon Johnson, Patrick Mahomes, Will Fuller, and Josh Gordon all suffered injuries that will keep them sidelined for the next few weeks at least. Times like these is when having depth on your team is critical to success. Injuries like these can have a trickle-down effect benefitting otherwise unowned players. In this article you will read about the players, their injuries, and players likely to step up in their absence. This article will be written for a 12-person 0.5 PPR format leagues. All statistics can be found on our website at https://www.lineups.com/nfl.
Minnesota Vikings vs Washington Redskins
WR Adam Thielen
Adam Thielen has been a big part of Minnesota’s offense. Leading all other receiving options in touchdowns and is just behind Stefon Diggs for both targets and catches this season. Losing Thielen is a big hit but, Minnesota’s offense has weapons everywhere. Stefon Diggs is leading this Vikings’ passing game with 30 catches for 562 yards and 4 touchdowns on the season so far. Diggs will be the receiver to benefit the most from Thielen’s injury. Olabisi “Bisi” Johnson stepped up after Thielen’s injury, seeing 71% of the snaps during week 7 after seeing just 28% the week before. Bisi Johnson caught 4 of 8 targets for 40 yards and a touchdown. Bisi Johnson is available in 98.7% of ESPN leagues, Johnson is worth picking up in deeper leagues if you are in need of another receiver.
Other players that are expected to be elevated from this injury are the Vikings’ tight-ends Kyle Rudolph and rookie Irv Smith Jr. Both Kyle Rudolph and Irv Smith Jr. saw a season high of 6 targets. Rudolph saw more of the field at 75% of snaps compared to Smith’s season high of 56% of snaps. Out of these two, Rudolph is the one worth picking up at this time. A trustworthy veteran presence is exactly what Cousins’ needs to keep this passing game afloat.
Arizona Cardinals vs New Orleans Saints
RB David Johnson
David Johnson did not practice on Wednesday, this in combination with the Cardinals signing running-backs Zach Zenner and Alfred Morris it does not look promising that Johnson will be returning this week. Johnson suited up to in week 7 to feel it out, within a few snaps he knew he was not healthy and exited the game. The Cardinals signing the two running-backs after Sunday makes me more worrisome about the status of David Johnsons’ injury. If Johnson is not healthy for Sunday’s game, Edmonds is the only notable fantasy beneficiary in this offense.
New England Patriots vs Cleveland Browns
WR Josh Gordon
The Patriots placed Josh Gordon on IR after Wednesday’s practice, ending yet another season early for Josh Gordon. Gordon’s knee injury stems from the interception Tom Brady threw during the Giants game during week 6. The Patriots newly acquired receiver Mohamed Sanu should be the one to step up and fill Gordon’s absence eventually but, Sanu was just traded and won’t be ready to play for a week or two. Sanu is still available in 42.2% of ESPN leagues. Julian Edelman and James White will be the immediate beneficiaries from Gordon’s injury until Sanu is brought up to speed.
Houston Texans vs Oakland Raiders
WR Will Fuller
Fuller exited week 7 with a hamstring injury. In his absence, former Dolphins receiver Kenny Stills saw 94% of the offensive snaps in week 7. Stills is the player to pick-up if you want a piece of this Houston offense, available in 65.6% of ESPN leagues. Stills stepped in and caught 4 out of 5 targets for 104 yards against the Colts. DeAndre Hopkins should be excited too; he also saw an increase in targets during week 7 after the Fuller injury. Seeing his second highest target share of the season at 35%. Facing the Oakland Raiders this week who rank 29th against opposing fantasy receivers, Stills is a great pick-up if you are in need of another wide receiver. Unfortunately, the absence of Fuller did not affect either of the Texans tight-ends last week, both seeing just 6% of the targets each from Watson. Neither are worth rostering unless you are desperate and are hoping for touchdown upside from one of them.
Detroit Lions vs New York Giants
RB Kerryon Johnson
Johnson suffered a knee injury during the week 7 matchup against the Minnesota Vikings. Johnson was placed on IR by the Detroit Lions and is expected to miss at least a few weeks of the season. In Johnson’s absence backup Ty Johnson and JD McKissic both saw carries after Kerryon Johnson’s injury. Ty Johnson saw 64% of the snaps while JD McKissic saw 25% of the snaps. Ty Johnson saw more carries and receptions but was less efficient than McKissic. The Lions seem to prefer Ty Johnson, he should be your priority running-back pick-up if Chase Edmonds is not available on your waiver wire.
Green Bay Packers vs Kansas City Chiefs
QB Patrick Mahomes
The former NFL MVP exited his matchup against the Denver Broncos with a knee injury. Mahomes got an MRI which came back with hopeful results, the Chiefs are expecting Mahomes to be able to return within a month. Backup Matt Moore stepped into the game against the Denver Broncos and threw 19 passes, completing only 10, for 117 yards and a touchdown with 0 interceptions. Moore will be a fine game-manager for the Chiefs but is only worth to pick up in deeper leagues or 2-QB leagues. Expect the Chiefs to lean more on the running game with LeSean McCoy and Damien Williams against Green Bay. The Chiefs ran the ball a season-high of 25 times against the Broncos, splitting carries between McCoy (12) and Williams (9). The Packers are ranked 29th against opposing fantasy running-backs. Opportunity for McCoy to explode this week is there and should be capitalized on, McCoy is a RB2 running-back this week.
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