Christian McCaffrey and Jonathan Taylor miss practice. What does it mean for fantasy football?

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The NFL’s Wednesday practice report can be a rough day for fantasy managers, as there are usually several surprising injury updates.

This week’s report was even more brutal than usual, especially at the running back position with star players such as Christian McCaffrey and Jonathan Taylor out with injuries that were unknown prior to Wednesday.

Let’s take a look at the players who missed practice and how fantasy managers should prepare for Week 4 in case the injuries persist.

New Orleans Saints linebacker Pete Werner (20) tries to tackle Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey (22) during an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 25, 2022, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Jacob Kupferman)

Christian McCaffrey, Panthers RB (quad injury)

McCaffrey’s suffered multiple lower leg injuries in recent seasons, so seeing his name pop on the injury report with that type of injury is alarming. While McCaffrey’s been healthy so far and could’ve just had a veterans day off, the fact that he’s missed so many games recently makes Panthers backup running back D’Onta Foreman worth adding off the waiver wire in case McCaffrey ends up out.

Jonathan Taylor, Colts RB (toe)

This one came as a shock since Taylor’s had a clean bill of health since entering the league, but it doesn’t appear to be much to worry about considering it was reported to be merely soreness and that he should be “ready to roll” for Sunday. Start Taylor with confidence in Week 4 against a soft Titans defense unless he’d miss practice again later in the week.

Dalvin Cook, Vikings RB (shoulder)

Cook left last week’s contest early after re-injuring the shoulder that’s bothered him for several seasons, putting his Week 4 status very much in doubt. Keep an eye on the Friday practice report, but the early indication is that Cook will sit out since he missed time last season with a similar injury, making Vikings backup running back Alexander Mattison a must-start.

D’Andre Swift, Lions RB (ankle)

It’s all but certain that Swift will be out this week given that Lions head coach Dan Campbell indicated that he’ll likely miss the next two weeks and return after the Week 6 bye. Backup running back Jamaal Williams is worth starting as long as Swift is out.

David Montgomery, Bears RB (knee, ankle)

Montgomery is also trending toward being out for Week 4, as he left early in Week 3 and is dealing with multiple injuries. Backup Khalil Herbert was great in his absence, so there’s no need for the Bears to rush Montgomery back, and Herbert profiles as a strong fantasy option this week against the Giants.

Amon-Ra St. Brown, Lions WR (ankle)

The Lions are getting hit hard with injuries, especially on offense with their top two skill players in Swift and St. Brown missing practice. While St. Brown has a better chance of suiting up than Swift, he’s taking a “day-by-day” approach and appears highly questionable for Sunday unless he can get back on the practice field later in the week.

Hunter Renfrow, Raiders WR (concussion)

Renfrow missed last week due to a concussion, and while he could still return this week, missing practice wasn’t a good sign. He could end up practicing Friday and be cleared for game day, but don’t be shocked if he misses another week considering how tricky concussions are.

Spencer ‘the Guru’ Urquhart (@spencertheguru) has been a fantasy football analyst since 2014, founding a community of over 6,000 followers on Instagram

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