Fantasy Injury Updates: Latest news on Rob Gronkowski, A.J. Brown, Julio Jones, more affecting Week 5 start ’em, sit ’em calls

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Rob Gronkowski, A.J. Brown, Julio Jones, Tee Higgins, Chase, Claypool, and Sterling Shepard headline a significant group of pass-catchers who are banged up and missed last week’s games (and the week before in the case of Higgins). A flurry of injures can devastate fantasy football teams and affect Week 5 waiver pickups, rankings, and start ’em, sit ’em decisions. We’ll dive into the latest news on each guy and look toward Week 5 in our fantasy injury updates.

For the latest on banged-up QBs Jimmy Garoppolo and Teddy Bridgewater, click here; for updates on RBs David Montgomery, Joe Mixon, and Tony Jones Jr., go here; for news on ailing pass-catchers Logan Thomas, Will Fuller, and DJ Chark, click here; for more on Christian McCaffrey and Elijah Mitchell, go here. For all the latest fantasy news, follow us on Twitter @SN_Fantasy.

WEEK 5 WAIVERS: Top pickups

Rob Gronkowski injury update

Gronk missed his “revenge game” in Week 4, so we can assume his injury is worse than we originally thought. He reportedly has four cracked ribs and a punctured lung. Obviously, this could be an injury that holds him out for another game or two. Leading up to his injury, he’d been a top-five tight end, and while we expect Cameron Brate to be somewhat serviceable, he shouldn’t be viewed as anything more than a deep-league option this week against Miami. That said, bye weeks come into play next week, so when some tight ends are unavailable, Brate might have to be counted on eventually.

We have Brate ranked as the TE21 in standard leagues and TE19 in PPR this week.

WEEK 5 STANDARD RANKINGS:
Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | D/ST | Kicker

A.J. Brown injury update

Not much has changed for Brown, who missed Week 4 because of a hamstring injury. We’ll have to continue to monitor his situation, but he obviously has a better chance to play this week than he did last week. Hamstrings can be tricky, so it’s best just to play it by ear. If he is inactive and Julio Jones (see below) is active, Jones has the chance to be a WR1 this week. The same goes for Brown if he’s active and Jones is inactive. That said, against Jacksonville, they could both put up monster numbers together. Either way, both guys are worth the risk if they’re on the field Sunday. We’ll dive into more Titans pass-catchers below.

If Brown plays, he is our WR10 in standard and WR14 in PPR.

WEEK 5 PPR RANKINGS:
Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | D/ST | Kicker

Julio Jones injury update

Similar to Brown, Jones’ status hasn’t changed much. He’s nursing a leg injury and will likely be questionable for Week 5. So again, play this one by ear. If both receivers are out, it’s tough to love any of the pass-catching options, but the matchup with Jacksonville is a temping time to play one of them. In Week 4, the target pecking order went RB Jeremy McNichols (12), Josh Reynolds (9), Nick Westbrook-Ikhine (8), Chester Rodgers (6). It looks like Reynold would be the guy to play here, and it’s worth noting McNichols has sneaky deep-league PPR value if Brown and Jones are out.

If Jones plays, he’s our WR11 in standard and PPR leagues.

Tee Higgins injury update

Higgins (shoulder) has missed the past two weeks of action but is expected to practice this week. The Packers’ defense is awful in the secondary, so this is a great matchup for him to return to. He has a ton of target competition with Ja’Marr Chase, Tyler Boyd, and C.J. Uzomah, but this could be a high-scoring game with Aaron Rodgers on the other side of the ball. With Joe Mixon (ankle) banged up, it’s safe to project Cincinnati to rely on its air attack.

Higgins feels like a safe start in Week 5 and he’s our WR34 in standard and WR33 in PPR. He might be the third option in this passing attack in some games, but the volume should be there in this contest.

Chase Claypool injury update

Claypool (hamstring) was somewhat of a surprising scratch heading into Week 4 (@ Green Bay) and will likely be questionable for Week 5 (vs. Denver). This Steelers passing offense led is unimpressive and stagnant. Right now, Najee Harris and Diontae Johnson look like the only players on that team you can trust in fantasy. That said, it’s safe to keep Claypool on the bench even if he plays, especially against a stellar Denver defense.

He is our WR52 in standard leagues and WR54 in PPR.

Sterling Shepard injury update

Shepard is yet another guy dealing with a pesky hamstring injury along with teammate Darius Slayton. Not to sound like a broken record, but they’ll likely be questionable for Week 5. In their Week 4 absences, Kenny Golladay and Kadarius Toney finally showed up and combined for 192 receiving yards on 12 catches. Needless to say, those are the top two options in the passing game if Shepard and Slayton can’t play against Dallas. Dallas’ defense has been better, but this game will either be a high-scoring shootout, or the Giants will get plenty of garbage-time opportunities — both beneficial for fantasy WRs.

If Shepard plays, he returns to a fringe WR2, coming in at WR25 in PPR leagues and WR29 in standard.



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