Fantasy Injury Updates: Mike Evans, Cooper Kupp, Stefon Diggs, more affecting Week 9 WR rankings
The receivers across the NFL are starting to get banged up. Mike Evans suffered a knee injury on Sunday, while Cooper Kupp is trying to return from one. Stefon Diggs has also surfaced on the injury report after suffering a rib injury against the Saints. Meanwhile, Allen Robinson and Keke Coutee are both trying to avoid multi-week absences in their respective recoveries. These injuries might cause us to update our Week 9 WR rankings and could create some unexpected start ’em, sit ’em decisions for fantasy football owners, especially with so many teams on bye.
As more injury news from around the league comes in, we’ll provide updates and keep you posted on all the latest developments. You can also follow us on Twitter @SN_Fantasy for more fantasy advice and updates. For Thursday night updates on Matt Breida, go here. For the latest on C.J. Beathard, click here.
Week 9 Rankings:
Quarterback | Running Back | Wide Receiver | Tight End | D/ST | Kicker
Is Mike Evans playing Week 9?
Evans suffered a knee injury late in the Bucs’ comeback attempt against the Bengals last week. It wasn’t exactly clear at the time what the extent of the injury might be, but Evans missed practice on Wednesday, according to Greg Auman of The Athletic. That will make his status going forward this week critical to watch, as he is starting to look truly questionable for Sunday’s game.
In the event that Evans can’t suit up because of the injury, DeSean Jackson and Chris Godwin would immediately move up in our WR rankings. The Panthers secondary hasn’t been great this year, and the Buccaneers figure to throw the ball frequently against them given their lack of a running game. Jackson would be the big-play threat, and he has great chemistry with Ryan Fitzpatrick, while Godwin would be more of a possession guy/TD threat (he had a score in each of Fitzpatrick’s first three starts of the season).
It’s also possible that O.J. Howard and Cameron Brate could see more action if Evans is out. The Panthers are the worst team in the league against TEs, allowing the most fantasy points per game, so they could end up being TD threats and seeing more targets if Evans is out. No matter what, the Bucs passing game can be trusted, even if Evans can’t get on the field for Week 9. The matchup is just too good and the team has a lot of offensive weapons.
MORE WEEK 9: Waiver wire pickups | How You’ll Lose | Preview Podcast
Is Cooper Kupp playing Week 9?
Earlier in the week, it was reported by Vincent Bonsignore of The Athletic that Sean McVay said Kupp had a “good chance” of playing against the Saints. It’s looking like that prediction may come into fruition.
Kupp was able to return to practice on Wednesday, albeit in a limited fashion. If he continues to practice without suffering any setbacks, that may mean he’ll be ready to return in Week 9. Of course, it would be nice to see him upgraded to full participant at some point before Sunday, but for now, things are still trending in the right direction for Kupp. He’s a high-end WR2/WR1 in this favorable matchup.
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Stefon Diggs injury update
Diggs popped up on the injury report this week with a rib injury, and he sat out of practice on Wednesday, according to the Vikings’ official Twitter. Diggs suffered the injury in the team’s Week 8 loss to the Saints, but it didn’t impact his ability to stay on the field.
It’s possible that this could just be a maintenance day for Diggs, but his practice status on Thursday will enlighten us a lot more. If he can get back on the field in a limited capacity, that will quell concerns over his availability for this week’s matchup against the Lions.
If Diggs can’t suit up because of the rib injury, it’s likely that Laquon Treadwell and Aldrick Robinson would receive more snaps. Neither would be a particularly appealing fantasy option, but there’s a chance that Treadwell could catch a TD. So, he might see a bump in our WR rankings if Diggs can’t see the field. Still, it seems more likely that the Vikings will rely on Adam Thielen and Kyle Rudolph as their top targets, so they would continue to be top fantasy options.
WEEK 9 PPR RANKINGS: Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end
Allen Robinson injury news
After missing last week’s contest with a groin injury, Robinson was held out of practice on Wednesday with the same issue. Unless something changes in the near future, it looks like Robinson may be forced to miss his Week 9 contest with the Bills, as well.
If Robinson is out, Taylor Gabriel and Anthony Miller will be the top options in the Bears receiving corps, but they’re still WR3/FLEX plays (at best). Tight end Trey Burton and RB Tarik Cohen will also see some targets, but Cohen is the better bet to be productive of that duo, as the Bills have been good against TEs this year.
MORE WEEK 9 DFS: Values | Stacks | Lineup Builder
Is Keke Coutee playing in Week 9?
Coutee was limited in practice on Wednesday as he continues to return from a hamstring injury that has hampered him for most of the season. Considering that he had a mini-bye to return from the injury, getting in a limited practice early in the week seems like a good sign.
Though the acquisition of Demaryius Thomas put a damper on Coutee’s overall value, there’s still a good chance that if he’s on the field, he will see a solid target share. He was trending toward being the team’s No. 2 receiver even with Will Fuller in the lineup, as he is a great slot/possession guy. If Coutee plays, he can be trusted as a low-end WR3/FLEX because of his high volume of targets.
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