Fantasy Football Week 1 WR Preview: Monitoring injuries to Mike Evans, Courtland Sutton, and Diontae Johnson – CBS Sports

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Week One Fantasy WR Starts
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As of about 4 PM EST on Thursday afternoon, the injury situation is looking as muddled as ever at wide receiver Nevermind Brandin Cooks‘ quad — we’ll know what’s going on with him soon enough and you probably shouldn’t trust him even if he’s active. Injured players in Thursday night games are easy to handle compared with those playing on Monday Night Football. And that’s exactly where we are with Courtland Sutton and Diontae Johnson.

Sutton injured his shoulder during practice and is having an MRI taken, and as of this writing that’s just about the only information we have. He’s projected below as a top-20 wide receiver, but with a late Monday start time, we’re going to need more news and fast. If you have the roster spot (and Sutton’s status remains in question) the easiest thing to do is to add Tim Patrick and wait it out. At the very least, move Sutton into your flex if you can so you have more options for replacing him Sunday if he isn’t trending in the right direction.

Johnson is a different animal, because he wasn’t projected near as high anyway. Unless he’s a full participant on Friday or Saturday with his foot injury, I’d make other plans. If you’re in a league deep enough where you really want to wait it out then Patrick, James Washington and Chase Claypool are the top options to stash on your bench. 

It’s also worth noting that Mike Evans missed a second straight day of practice on Thursday with a hamstring injury. He doesn’t play on Monday night, but he does have a late Sunday start time. If he’s active, you start him, but have a backup plan just in case, because this isn’t trending in the right direction. Also, if Evans does miss Week 1 I’d sit Tom Brady for Derek Carr, Jimmy Garoppolo, or Tyrod Taylor.

Week 1 WR Preview

The following players are not being projected to play Week 1 at this time. Here’s what it means:

WR Preview

Numbers to Know

  • 3Tyler Lockett was the No. 3 receiver in Fantasy before he suffered a Week 10 injury against the 49ers.
  • 16.4 — The Chiefs gave up the second-fewest Fantasy points per game to opposing receivers in 2019. That’s something to keep in mind regard Brandin Cooks and Will Fuller on Thursday.
  • 11.6Michael Thomas averaged 11.6 targets per game in his record-breaking 2019. It will be interesting how Emmanuel Sanders affects that number in Week 1.
  • 20Davante Adams is the only wide receiver other than Michael Thomas to average 20 PPR points per game since the start of 2018.
  • 15.6Calvin Ridley averaged 15.6 PPR points per game in six games without Mohamed Sanu last year.
  • 6 — D.J. Moore has scored just six touchdowns in 31 career games. For him to become an elite Fantasy receiver, the touchdown rate must improve.
  • 15.1Stefon Diggs‘ average depth of target in 2019, a massive increase over his 2018 number. How Buffalo deploys Diggs in 2020 will be key to determining what type of Fantasy receiver he is.
  • 1809 — Mike Evans’ air yards in 2019. I expect that number to go down, but we’ll see if Tom Brady proves me wrong.
  • 255Terry McLaurin had 255 yards and two touchdowns in two games against the Eagles last year. Those were his two biggest yardage totals of the season.
  • 25.8%Jamison Crowder saw more than 25% of the targets from Sam Darnold last year, including 27 in two games against the Bills.

WR Preview

Matchups that matter

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Waiver Wire Targets

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Heath’s Projections

Who should you start and sit this week? And which surprising quarterback could lead you to victory? Visit SportsLine now to get Week 1 rankings for every position, plus see which QB is going to come out of nowhere to crack the top 10, all from the model that out-performed experts big time last season.