Fantasy football is oftentimes a war of attrition. You can have one of the world’s premier drafts, but if a number of your players ultimately get injured, you’re likely going to flounder in obscurity instead of basking in championship glory.
Heading into Week 4 of the 2016 NFL preseason, there are multiple players dealing with nagging ailments that must be monitored as we rapidly approach the new campaign. With that in mind, here’s a look at five players to keep an eye on.
John Brown out with headache days after returning from concussion https://t.co/mzvBH5wET6— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) August 24, 2016
John Brown, WR – Arizona Cardinals
John Brown had a breakout campaign in 2015, tallying 65 receptions for 1,003 yards and seven TDs for the Arizona Cardinals. More of the same was expected from the speedster in 2016, but he’s now being monitored for a concussion and didn’t play in Week 3 of the preseason against the Houston Texans.
Brown experienced headaches last week but returned to practice on Thursday, which led many to believe he’d be able to give it a go. It’s likely that head coach Bruce Arians was simply taking precautionary measures, as John’s availability for Week 1 of the regular season hasn’t been rumored to be in question.
Brown should still be targeted in all fantasy football settings, but remember to monitor the situation and act accordingly.
Julio Jones, WR – Atlanta Falcons
Julio Jones injured his ankle during Week 3 of the preseason against the Miami Dolphins, and according to Vaughn McClure of ESPN, he was consequently held out of practice by the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday.
Falcons head coach Dan Quinn told reporters the following.
“I think he definitely wanted to go back in,” Quinn said of Jones. “And just for me, it was a coach’s decision where I said, ‘OK, you’re done.’ He definitely wanted to go. He was loose and ready to go.”
“He did not participate in anything today, and we’ll see if he’s able to do something tomorrow,” Quinn said Sunday following practice.
This sounds minor, but it’s worth monitoring just in case.
Dez Bryant, WR – Dallas Cowboys
According to Josh Alper of NBC Sports, Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant is making excellent progress after suffering a concussion last week.
“Bryant suffered a concussion in practice last week and wasn’t on the field when Romo broke a bone in his back during Thursday’s game in Seattle. Bryant probably won’t play in the fourth preseason game either, but chances are good that he’ll be in the lineup against the Giants in Week One after a Sunday return to practice.”
At this point, Bryant appears to be a go in Week 1, but you should keep an eye out for further developments.
Eric Ebron, TE – Detroit Lions
Eric Ebron (ankle) was held out of Detroit’s Week 3 showdown with the Baltimore Ravens, and according to CBS Sports via RotoWire, isn’t expected to play in the Lions preseason finale on Friday against the Buffalo Bills.
“Ebron practiced Tuesday for the first time since early August, but he was then held out both Wednesday and Thursday. It’s unclear if he suffered a setback, but if so, his Week 1 status may now be in danger. The 23-year-old tight end hasn’t played in any preseason games and probably won’t be ready for Thursday’s exhibition finale against the Bills.”
When Ebron first suffered the injury earlier this month, many were scared that he’d be lost for the season. Although that definitely isn’t the case, his status for Week 1 is undoubtedly in question.
49ers RB Carlos Hyde suffered a concussion on Friday. Seems likely he won’t play this Thursday https://t.co/2iRlneE9QU— Niners Nation (@NinersNation) August 27, 2016
Carlos Hyde, RB – San Francisco 49ers
It’s been a rough week for the San Francisco 49ers. Not only is quarterback Colin Kaepernick mired in controversy after refusing to stand for the national anthem, but their starting running back, Carlos Hyde, suffered a concussion against the Green Bay Packers on Friday.
According to Matt Barrows of The Sacramento Bee, Hyde will likely be held out in Week 4 against the San Diego Chargers.
“He is unlikely to play in Thursday’s preseason finale against the Chargers. The 49ers’ first regular-season game is Sept. 12. Hyde’s top backup, Shaun Draughn, has not played in the last two preseason games after taking a hit to the ribs during a scrimmage with the Broncos. His injury is not considered long term.”
Hyde was plagued by injuries in 2015 as well, thus it wouldn’t shock me if he misses a few weeks to start the season.
[Photo by Bill Pennington/Getty Images]