Fantasy Football: Will Fuller, Greg Olsen headline the Week 1 injury report
It's a refreshingly light injury report for Week 1, but there's still plenty Fantasy players need to know about. Find out all the latest here.
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The first full Sunday of NFL regular-season action each year brings about a sense of optimism and renewal for all 32 teams that's can't quite be replicated at any other point in the season. The same goes for the countless Fantasy squads that have been painstakingly constructed by savvy general managers throughout the summer.
Key injuries are one of the quickest ways that sunshine turns to rain in the Fantasy realm, however, so we'll endeavor to provide you the latest information each Sunday morning on who's suiting up and who's sitting for that week's games. With that said, let's jump right into an encouragingly light Week 1 injury report and get the season started:
- The Buccaneers' Jameis Winston will miss the first three games of the regular season while serving a suspension, leaving Ryan Fitzpatrick at the controls of Tampa's offense. Fitzpatrick proved serviceable as a starter for a three-game stretch last season while Winston tended to a shoulder injury, leading the team to a 2-1 record over that span while generating a 3:1 TD:INT and throwing for 745 yards in those contests. While the veteran is competent, he's certainly a few notches below Winston at this point in their respective careers, downgrading the outlook of the Bucs' pass catchers to a certain degree.
- The biggest story of the week is naturally the Steelers' Le'Veon Bell, who's yet to report to the team after a summer-long holdout and will be missing Week 1 of the regular season at a minimum as well. The star running back's absence will give second-year man James Conner the reins of the Pittsburgh in Sunday's season opener versus the Browns, with Jaylen Samuels and veteran Steven Ridley around to help take on some of the workload, as well. In addition to the big bump Conner's Fantasy projection enjoys, Antonio Brown — who's generated some prolific performances in Bell's absence before — and fellow receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster should see plenty of extra work.
- The Saints' Mark Ingram and the Packers' Aaron Jones begin their respective seasons away from their teams due to suspensions. In New Orleans, the company line has been that Ingram's four-game absence to open 2018 won't automatically equate to an inordinate boost in workload for star second-year back Alvin Kamara, although heading into Sunday's opener against the Buccaneers, Mike Gillislee and Jonathan Williams — the latter just activated from the practice squad — are the only other early-down alternatives for New Orleans. Meanwhile, in Green Bay, Jamaal Williams will presumably have a chance to serve as a true bell-cow back for the two-game period that Jones will have to sit, but he'll see his touches take a hit upon the latter's Week 3 return.
- The Raiders' Marshawn Lynch (groin) was limited again in Saturday's practice, but he was removed from the final injury report anyhow for Monday night's season opener against the Rams. The news is much different for teammate DeAndre Washington (knee), who is officially ruled out for the contest. Doug Martin and Jalen Richard will handle backup reps behind Lynch.
- The Patriots' Sony Michel (knee) heads into Sunday's season-opening tussle with the Texans carrying a questionable tag after practicing in limited fashion all week, but it does not sound as if he is expected to play in Week 1. If he's unable to suit up, New England still has a cast of thousands at running back to turn to, including Rex Burkhead, James White and new arrival Jeremy Hill.
- After dealing with a hamstring injury for almost the entirety of preseason, the Colts' Marlon Mack looks headed for a game-time decision against the Bengals in Sunday's Week 1 showdown. Even if he is activated, don't expect a full workload as Mack missed nearly a month with the injury before returning to practice in recent days. This might be a situation to avoid in Week 1.
- The Texans' Will Fuller (hamstring) is questionable for Sunday's potential season-opening shootout versus the Patriots. As per early Sunday morning reports, he's not expected to play, although he'll likely test out his hamstring in pregame warmups before making a final decision. DeAndre Hopkins, Bruce Ellington and Ryan Griffin would all be beneficiaries of a Fuller absence to some degree. It is also worth noting that Fuller's position mate Sammie Coates shares the same injury and designation.
- The Jets' Jermaine Kearse (abdomen) is questionable for Monday night's season-opening tilt versus the Lions. With ArDarius Stewart (suspension) also unavailable from the Jets' receiving corps, rookie Sam Darnold could be faced with a thin group of pass catchers in his first NFL start.
- The Dolphins' DeVante Parker (finger) is doubtful for Sunday's season opener against the Titans after just having returned to practice this week and isn't expected to play as per early Sunday morning reports.
- The Panthers' Greg Olsen was a Saturday addition to the injury report, earning a questionable tag due to a back injury. Details have been scarce and there hadn't been a previous indication of a back injury for the veteran, but as of late Saturday night reports, Olsen is still expected to suit up for Sunday's 4:25pm ET kickoff.
- The Steelers' Vance McDonald (foot) is officially out for Sunday's season-opening battle versus the Browns, leaving Jesse James to serve as Pittsburgh's front-line tight end to open the season against the Browns.
- The Cardinals' Jermaine Gresham (Achilles) is questionable for Sunday afternoon's opener versus the Redskins after having been activated from the PUP list last weekend and putting in limited practices this week.
- The Ravens' Hayden Hurst (foot) is out for multiple games to open the season, leaving Nick Boyle and Maxx Williams to handle Baltimore's tight end reps.
KEY DEFENSIVE PLAYERS
- The Vikings' Xavier Rhodes (hamstring) is officially questionable to face the 49ers, but with full practices Thursday and Friday, he's expected to play.
- The Buccaneers' Brent Grimes is officially out against the Saints with a groin injury he picked up during the practice week. Given the struggles the Bucs' secondary endured last season with Grimes in the lineup, his absence bumps up the outlook for the Saints passing game even further.
- The Seahawks' Earl Thomas, who held out throughout training camp and preseason, is expected to be active for Sunday's opener against the Broncos.
- The Chiefs' Eric Berry (heel) is listed as doubtful to face the Chargers.
- Starting Cowboys free safety Xavier Woods (hamstring) has been ruled out for Sunday's season opener against the Panthers, upping the Fantasy prospects of the Carolina passing game in the process.
- The Chargers' Joey Bosa (foot) has officially been ruled out for Sunday's season opener against the Chiefs after having been seen in a walking boot at Friday's practice.
- The Buccaneers' Vita Vea (calf) is out against the Saints on Sunday, delaying the first-round pick's NFL debut until at least Week 2.
- The Giants' Olivier Vernon (ankle) is out for Sunday's opener against the Jaguars.
- The Cardinals' Markus Golden (knee) is out against the Redskins, as he's still recovering from last season's ACL tear.
- The 49ers' Malcolm Smith (hamstring) is doubtful to face the Vikings in Sunday's regular-season opener after practicing in limited fashion all week.
- The Jets' Avery Williamson (undisclosed) is questionable to face the Lions in Monday night's season opener.
- The Packers' Oren Burks (shoulder), slated for a starting middle linebacker role, is questionable to face off with the Bears in Sunday night's season-opening divisional tussle.
- The Rams' Mark Barron (ankle) is questionable for Monday night's tilt against the Raiders.
- The Seahawks' K.J. Wright (knee) is out for Sunday's opener versus the Broncos.
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