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September 02, 2018

Fantasy football injuries: The latest on Adam Thielen, Jerick McKinnon, Marlon Mack and more

Also updates on Alshon Jeffery, Carson Wentz, Evan Engram, Jermaine Kerse and other key players.

Many fantasy football drafts are in the books, and a week of injury news and waiver moves lies ahead for those working on their sit/start/pick up strategies. Other leagues are waiting for the last minute before drafting as the season approaches this coming weekend. Either way, the following 12 players have injuries that will no doubt largely impact Week 1. Here's the latest on some key skill players:

Adam Thielen, WR, Vikings

Much has been pontificated about the emerging Minnesota wideout's leg, reportedly injured last week, but the latest reports that the leg is "good," and that he is walking fine are reassuring to fantasy owners. He is expected to play a lot in the slot this year, making him a good bet for a high number of targets in PPR leagues. But his health in Week 1 is in doubt and is something to pay close attention to as the week progresses.

Josh Gordon, WR, Browns

Gordon, who finally made his much anticipated return to Cleveland, has a hamstring injury — a minor one — and will not be a full participant in practice early this week. It's worth keeping an eye on as the injury and his shortened preseason may influence his value (or if he even suits up) in Week 1.

Jerick McKinnon, RB, 49ers

As Ian Rapoport reported Saturday, the newly acquired top running back in San Francisco will miss the season with a torn ACL. This immediately makes Matt Brieda worth drafting or picking up, and Alfred Morris also worth keeping an eye on.

D'Onta Foreman, RB, Texans

The No. 2 running back in Houston will start the season on the PUP list, making him no better than a very late round pick for leagues yet to draft or a potential drop if you've already drafted him. As per NFL's rules, Foreman will not be eligible to play for the first six weeks of the season. After a strong preseason (paired with Foreman's Achilles), Alfred Blue will be the next man up.

Marlon Mack, RB, Colts

The status of the presumed starting running back in Indy will "come down to the wire" the Colts' official website said this weekend. What does that mean for fantasy players? Well, it means a gamble on Nyheim Hines or Jordan Wilkins could be worth a late round pick or waiver pick up. One of the two may develop into a serviceable player if given enough reps.

Rex Burkhead, Sony Michael, RB, Patriots

The aforementioned pair of backs are nursing knee injuries and will be close calls to play in Week 1. While the Pats seem optimistic about each being able to play there is no concrete information to support their being healthy next week. James White and Jeremy Hill are the other two RB on the 53-man roster.

Evan Engram, TE, Giants

Reports say that Engram has improved as he recovers from a concussion and is expected to be full go in Week 1.

Jermaine Kerse, WR, Jets

Kerse has an abdomen injury and seems less and less likely to play in the Jets' season opener. This increases the value of Terrelle Pryor, a good waiver pick up if available.

Jay Ajayi, RB, Carson Wentz, QB, Alshon Jeffery, WR, Eagles

This trio of Eagles fantasy stars have different storylines surrounding them as their opener against the Falcons approaches. Ajayi, who was out for a little with an undisclosed injury, will play in Week 1 reports say. Wentz, who was said to be unready to start in Week 1 by Ian Rapoport, may still have an outside chance of starting based on Doug Pederson's criticism of the report Sunday. And Alshon Jeffery, who avoided the PUP list, will probably miss a week or two before he starts his season as he recovers from shoulder surgery.

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