Fantasy Injury Updates: Miles Sanders, David Montgomery, D’Andre Swift, more impact drafts, Week 1 rankings

Week 1 of the NFL season is finally here, and that means it’s time for fantasy football owners to really start worrying about injuries. Now it’s not just about drafting for the whole season — it’s about making your Week 1 start ’em, sit ’em decisions. So, if you have Miles Sanders, David Montgomery, D’Andre Swift, Deebo Samuel or Mike Williams, there’s some cause for concern. Fortunately, we have the latest injury updates and news to try and make the most informed start-sit decisions. 

For the latest fantasy injury news and updates, check back here and on Twitter @SN_Fantasy. 

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Miles Sanders injury update

Reports coming out of Eagles camp have been a bit light on Sanders (hamstring) despite the proclamation Aug. 19 that he was “week-to-week.” About 12 days later, reports indicated he was doing “shadow drills.” The Eagles decided to keep only three running backs on their roster after cut day, though, which suggests Sanders should be ready to go for Week 1 against Washington. Early practice reports this week should give us the best hint of Sanders’ status.

Philadelphia also kept Boston Scott and Corey Clement on the 53-man roster. Scott would be the intriguing RB2 target if Sanders missed Week 1, especially in PPR formats, while Clement would be a less certain flex play. As long as Sanders gets some work at practice this week, it’s safe to call him an RB2 for Week 1.

WEEK 1 STANDARD RANKINGS:
Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | D/ST | Kicker

Is David Montgomery playing Week 1?

NFL Network reported Aug. 27 that Montgomery (groin) would miss two-to-four weeks. The front end of that timeline would get Montgomery back just in time to play the Lions on Sunday. Reports indicate Montgomery (groin) was at Chicago’s practice Sunday, but it was closed to the media, so participation is unknown.

Like with Sanders, maybe we can read into cut day — the Bears released Artavis Scott, who would’ve played a backup role to Ryan Nall if Montgomery missed the opener. If Montgomery practices this week, you can slot him in as an RB2 against the Lions. If Montgomery is out, this backfield could be a wasteland spread between Nall, Tarik Cohen, and Cordarrelle Patterson. Only Cohen would be a semi-safe play if Montgomery is out, and even then, primarily in PPR leagues.

WEEK 1 PPR RANKINGS:
Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | D/ST | Kicker

D’Andre Swift injury news

The biggest hit to Swift’s value might be the signing of Adrian Peterson. Swift missed a week of camp because of a leg injury in August but returned in a limited basis by the end of the month, and no reports have emerged to suggest the rookie from Georgia has regressed. Instead of a two-headed backfield with Kerryon Johnson and Swift, it’s now a three-headed “monster” with AP, too.

Because Swift was dinged up during camp, if Peterson is active Week 1 against the Bears, it’s probably best to sit all your Detroit RBs until we see how this plays out. Even if AP sits while acclimating to his new team, Swift is a risky flex play against a solid Chicago defense while in a timeshare.

Will Deebo Samuel play Week 1?

Samuel (foot) was removed from the Non-Football Injury list on Saturday. All of San Francisco’s optimistic chatter earlier in training camp about Samuel’s Week 1 status was backed up by that move — now we’ll see if Samuel practices in full at any point this week.

A snap count could be in play for Samuel come Sunday’s matchup with the Cardinals, but against a leaky defense, a big-play receiver like Samuel could still be a worthwhile fantasy play. He’s more in the WR3/flex range, though, until we can count on his health and full participation.

When will Mike Williams be back?

The Athletic reported Saturday that the Chargers are “preparing for the possibility to playing a majority of September without” Williams, who’s dealing with an AC join injury. The Chargers also kept six receivers on cut day, which suggests Williams’ Week 1 availability might be in doubt, at least.

Behind Keenan Allen, Hunter Henry and Austin Ekeler, the likeliest heavy-snap-getters for L.A. in Week 1 are young WRs Jalen Guyton and Joe Reed. Neither is worth a play in season-long leagues, but both are usable DFS punt plays — Guyton for his size-and-speed combo and Reed for his receiving/rushing/returning combination of skills.

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