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September 27, 2021

Fantasy football injuries: The latest on Christian McCaffrey, Dalvin Cook, A.J. Brown and more

It was only a matter of time before the biggest names in fantasy football started showing up on injury reports and vastly swinging the fortunes of those previously satisfied with their fantasy drafts.

After Week 3, there are questions about some of the top picks in the your draft from a few weeks ago, and an ever increasing importance on your bench depth and your waiver wire decisions.

We'll get into those things later this week, but right now, let's look at some updates on recent injuries to fantasy relevant players:

Christian McCaffrey, RB, Panthers

After getting hurt on Thursday night, there isn't much news on McCaffrey. He has at least a Grade 1 hamstring strain, and possibly Grade 2. He is expected to miss three or four games — and his backup Chubba Hubbard is obviously the starting option for fantasy owners.

Dalvin Cook, RB, Vikings

If you paid attention pregame Sunday and saw Cook was a somewhat surprising scratch — and filled in with your handcuff Alexander Mattison — good for you. But if you are a Cook owner and got screwed, we feel for you. Cook sprained his ankle last week and while the Vikings held out hope that he might be able to play, he missed too much practice and was inactive in Week 3. Keep a close eye on his practice availability as the week progresses to see if he is back in Week 4.

A.J. Brown, WR, Titans

The big receiver left in the first quarter Sunday with a hamstring injury and did not return. Nick Westbrook-Ikhine filled in for Brown and had four catches for 53 yards and a touchdown, leading the way for Tennessee. If Brown misses time, this could be a sleeper (though perhaps touchdown dependent) replacement on your roster.

Juju Smith-Schuster, WR, Steelers

The Steelers fan favorite was knocked out of Sunday afternoons contest with a rib injury, on the same day that teammate Diontae Johnson was out with a knee injury. If the pair miss Week 3, Chase Claypool and James Washington could post some big numbers next week.

Sterling Shepard, Darius Slayton, WR, Giants

The Giants got particularly unlucky Sunday as both Shepard and Slayton exited their Week 3 loss with hamstring injuries. Kadarius Toney and C.J. Board were the top two recipients of of snaps — with Kenny Golladay also dealing with his own hip injury. 

Darrell Henderson Jr., RB, Rams

Henderson missed Sunday's Week 3 win over the Bucs, with Sony Michel starting in his stead as he recovers from a rib injury. This is likely not to vanish over the coming week and Michel may start again. 

Marquez Valdes-Scantling, WR, Packers

MVS was forced out of Sunday Night Football with a hamstring injury. He did not return and will be a player in need of monitoring as next week's games get closer.

Tee Higgins, WR, Bengals

The talented Cincinnati wideout sat out Week 3 with a shoulder injury that isn't expected to nag him long term. Even so, keep an eye on him as Week 4 approaches.

K.J. Hamler, WR, Broncos

The speedy wideout left the Broncos third straight win over the Jets with a left knee injury. His status will become more clear as the week progresses.

Elijah Moore, WR, Jets

New York's top rookie wideout left Sunday's loss with a concussion and will be in the protocol this week. For those who drafted him hoping he would be a sleeper producer, the disappointment could continue to next week.

James White, RB, Patriots

The Pats' running back injured his hip in a Week 3 loss and if he misses time it means more touches for Damien Harris and company.

Justin Fields, QB, Bears

Things just keep getting worse and worse in Chicago. With their opening day starter Andy Dalton out for at least a few games with an injured knee, Fields left Sunday's loss and underwent an X-ray for his throwing hand. The prognosis was negative and he should be good to go next week.

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