Archived: Fantasy Football Injury Update: Calvin Ridley, Cooper Kupp, And More
October 16, 2018
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October 16, 2018
Cooper Kupp once again finds himself on the injury report, this time after suffering a knee injury in the Rams’ road win over the Broncos. Amari Cooper got knocked out in London during the Raiders loss to the Seahawks. A couple of Falcons pass-catchers, Calvin Ridley and Mohamed Sanu, left their win over the Buccaneers after suffering injuries. And Quincy Enunwa got banged up, as well. Our Week 7 WR rankings will certainly be impacted by these key injuries, and the potential absences of these players plus a plethora of byes will make waiver wire strategy critical to fantasy football success more than ever.
According to reports, Ridley’s MRI came back “pretty clean” and the rookie receiver is dealing with a bone bruise. That may limit him in practice and ultimately could make him questionable for this week, so this injury bears watching.
Ridley left the Falcons-Buccaneers game early on after suffering an ankle injury. He didn’t return to action in the Falcons win, but things are reportedly looking good for him.
Ridley is going to have an MRI of his ankle done on Monday, but Rapoport said that the fact that Ridley was walking on his ankle was “a good sign it’s not serious.” There’s always a chance that injuries can be worse than they initially appear, but if the MRI confirms that things check out for Ridley, he should at least stand a chance of playing on Monday night against the Giants.
If Ridley has suffered some sort of sprain that will keep him out for a game or two, the Falcons will likely turn more to Justin Hardy in their offensive sets. Mohamed Sanu will be the No. 2 receiver (if healthy, more on that later) while Hardy would likely man the slot. Because of the Falcons’ high-flying offense, Hardy could be worth an add on the waiver wire — depending, of course, on the health of Ridley. This will be something to watch as Monday morning rolls forward.
Kupp went down in the first half of the Rams’ win over the Broncos, and the initial prognosis didn’t look good. Kupp was carted off the field after bending backwards on a horse-collar tackle, and it looked like it could have been a season-ending injury at the time. However, Kupp miraculously returned to the game in the second half, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that his injury is a non-issue.
Upon returning, Kupp played just a few snaps before determining that he wouldn’t be able to go for the rest of the game. And according to ESPN’s Lindsey Thiry, Kupp will undergo further testing on his knee to determine the extent of the injury. Those tests will provide more clarity about Kupp’s Week 7 status, which is fairly uncertain at the moment.
If Kupp misses any time, Brandin Cooks and Robert Woods would likely see more of a target share from Jared Goff while second-year man Josh Reynolds mixes in more as the third receiver. Given the solid matchup with the 49ers in Week 7, Reynolds is a player that could sneak into FLEX territory if Kupp is out. For now, we’ll wait and see what happens, and we do have Kupp in our WR rankings for Week 7.
Cooper was knocked out of the Raiders London game after taking a helmet-to-helmet hit from Seahawks safety Brad McDougald. Cooper sustained a concussion, per NFL Network’s James Palmer, and that kept him out for the rest of the game. He ended up with no catches in the contest.
Normally, a concussion makes any player’s status for their next game questionable, but Cooper and the Raiders are on bye in Week 7. That gives him two weeks to heal before he returns to action, so that should hopefully give him a chance to get back on the field in short order. Of course, there are also a lot of trade rumors swirling around regarding Cooper at the moment, so it’s a bit unclear whether or not he will be on the Raiders following the bye — though at the moment, we would wager the Raiders aren’t going to trade him.
In the event that Cooper is out longer than expected with the concussion or if the team does move him, that would give a minor stock boost to Jared Cook and Jordy Nelson, as they would handle a bulk of the pass-catching duties for the Raiders. And normally, Seth Roberts would step up into a bigger role in the receiving corps, but he too suffered a concussion.
So, if both Roberts and Cooper miss time, that could open the door for Martavis Bryant to take a bigger role in the offense. But ask yourself this: Do you really want to trust Bryant as an option in fantasy? Probably not, but if he’s the Raiders’ No. 2 option in Week 8 against the Colts, he may be worth playing. At least keep an eye on him during the bye if neither Raiders receiver progresses much in concussion protocol.
Sanu exited the Falcons-Bucs game after suffering a hip injury in the third quarter, per ESPN’s Vaughn McClure. Sanu had been dealing with a hip injury in practice all week, and he appears to have re-aggravated that.
Given that Sanu has already been dealing with the hip injury, this is a bad sign that he aggravated it once again. The severity of the issue is currently unknown, but the Falcons will surely be watching Sanu closely ahead of the team’s Monday night game against the Giants.
If Sanu has to miss time, the aforementioned Justin Hardy would have a chance to play even more than normal and would become the de facto No. 2 receiver across from Julio Jones. Russell Gage and Marvin Hall would also help to fill the void, but it’s more likely that extra targets would go to TE Austin Hooper instead. Sanu’s status bears watching, as his absence could have a big impact on the Falcons’ offensive game plan in Week 7 — especially if both he and Ridley are out.
Enunwa suffered an ankle injury in the first half of the Jets-Colts game and he didn’t return to action. Per Pro Football Talk’s Josh Alper, Jets head coach Todd Bowles said that Enunwa was in a walking boot and would get more tests done after the game.
Obviously, this doesn’t paint a good picture regarding Enunwa’s Week 7 availability. If he can’t go, then the Jets will rely more on Robby Anderson and Jermaine Kearse to carry their receiving game while Terrelle Pryor may get more red zone opportunities. Kearse could end up being a solid waiver wire pickup this week after a nine-catch, 94-yard outing against the Colts. It appears that he may be the favorite target of Sam Darnold, but realistically, any of this trio of receivers could emerge as the top option in any given week.