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NFL injury report: Latest news on Amari Cooper, Chris Godwin and other fantasy stars

Week 2 of the NFL season is right around the corner and with teams releasing their final injury reporters before Sunday’s games, there is plenty of news that will shape fantasy football lineups.

Heading into another week of NFL action, injuries are piling up on the offensive side. Specifically, top receivers like Amari Cooper, Chris Godwin and Michael Thomas are all dealing with significant issues heading into Week 2. Unfortunately, they are just a few of the stars in jeopardy of being inactive this week.

With the NFL’s Week 2 injury reports coming out, let’s take a look at the latest news around the league.

NFL injury news: Cowboys’ Amari Cooper (ankle) expected to play in Week 2

While the Dallas Cowboys came up short in Week 1, it wasn’t for lack of effort on Cooper’s part. He hauled in 10-of-14 targets for 81 receiving yards, despite being covered by shutdown cornerback Jalen Ramsey. Things looked promising heading into Week 2, until he popped up on the injury report with an ankle injury.

On Friday, head coach Mike McCarthy told reporters that Cooper made it through a mock game and is expected to play on Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons. If Dallas wants to avoid an 0-2 start, it will be crucial to pepper Cooper with targets.

Week 2 wide receiver rankings: Amari Cooper a top-10 play vs. Falcons

It’s difficult to imagine a better situation for Cooper, as long as he is healthy. Atlanta’s secondary allowed the Seattle Seahawks to score 38 points in Week 1 with 322 receiving yards and four touchdowns through the air.

After facing a top cornerback to open the season, Cooper will draw coverage from rookie cornerback A.J. Terrell in this Week 2 matchup. We could easily be looking at a 100-plus yard, one-touchdown performance for one of the NFL’s top receivers.

Jets injury report: New York rules out Jamison Crowder for Sunday’s game

New York’s receiving corps has been ravaged by injuries this year and it’s only getting worse. Crowder, who dealt with a tight hamstring in training camp, aggravated the injury this week. Now, per ESPN New York, Sam Darnold’s No. 1 receiver will miss Week 2 against the San Francisco 49ers.

Fantasy impact of Jamison Crowder’s injury

The Jets looked flat in an ugly Week 1 loss to the Buffalo Bills, but Crowder was the lone bright spot. Coming off a 115-yard performance, New York must now find a way to replace the go-to weapon in the passing attack.

Unfortunately, even with Richard Sherman sidelined, the fantasy options aren’t especially appealing. We do like Chris Hernon as a top-10 play at tight end in Week 2, but his upside is limited by this offense and Darnold’s inconsistency. Breshad Perriman is a bargain option in DFS, but fantasy owners shouldn’t take the gamble in season-long leagues.

Latest news on Michael Thomas’ ankle injury

When the New Orleans Saints diagnosed Thomas with a high-ankle sprain, playing on Monday Night Football against the Las Vegas Raiders seemed impossible. In fact, there was a real possibility the Saints could have placed their All-Pro receiver on injured reserve for three weeks.

Yet, there’s somehow still a chance Thomas plays in Week 2. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, he felt “fantastic” at practice on Wednesday and the Saints are surprised by his progress. While it would still be a surprise if he plays, being inactive for Week 2 isn’t the foregone conclusion we once believed.

Should fantasy football players start Michael Thomas?

We’ll likely have a clearer picture of Thomas’ status for Week 2 on Saturday, but there’s a chance he is a game-time decision. If that happens, it will put fantasy players in the difficult situation of having few options to start if Thomas is ruled out.

Ultimately, there’s still a high probability the NFL’s top receiver doesn’t play this week. Even if he is active, the high-ankle sprain would greatly limit his abilities and he might only be a decoy in Week 2. Emmanuel Sanders, Jared Cook and Alvin Kamara would all receive a boost in value this week if Thomas is inactive.

NFL injury report: Chris Godwin remains in concussion protocol

Not only did the Tampa Bay Buccaneers come out of Week 1 with a loss, but they also had concerns for Chris Godwin’s availability for Week 2. The All-Pro receiver took a blow near his head in the fourth quarter and was placed in the concussion protocol this week.

The good news is he is improving. Godwin was spotted at the team’s facility on Friday with coaches expecting him to increase his activity. However, he is still in the protocol and head coach Bruce Arians considers him doubtful for Sunday’s game against the Carolina Panthers.

Fantasy impact if Chris Godwin is ruled out for Week 2

Godwin is running out of time to pass the league’s concussion tests, making it increasingly likely he is ruled out before Sunday’s game. If he is unable to play, it opens up plenty of opportunities for his teammates.

Carolina’s secondary allowed 34 points to the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 1, getting roasted by an inexperienced receiving corps. That spells trouble in Week 2 against Mike Evans, who is improving after playing through a hamstring injury last Sunday.

Evans is a top-10 fantasy receiver for Week 2 and offers the upside to finish top-five in production on Sunday. He’s not the only one who will benefit if Godwin is sidelined. Scotty Miller, who caught five passes for 73 yards in Week 1, is quickly becoming a favorite of Tom Brady. If Godwin is inactive, Miller becomes a great DFS play and could be a solid FLEX option in season-long leagues.

Latest news on Lions WR Kenny Golladay’s hamstring injury

After already missing Week 1 with a hamstring injury, it doesn’t loom promising for Golladay heading into Week 2. He missed practice Wednesday and Thursday, adding to the doubt surrounding his availability.

Before Friday’s practice, Matt Patricia indicated Golladay would be very limited in the team’s final preparation for Week 2. Heading into a critical matchup against the Green Bay Packers, Golladay will likely be questionable for Sunday’s game.

Fantasy impact if Kenny Golladay is inactive vs. Packers

In most weeks, Marvin Jones Jr. would be a top-25 option by stepping in as Matthew Stafford’s No. 1 receiver. Unfortunately, this is not a favorable draw for the veteran receiver, despite his talents.

Green Bay will likely put cornerback Jaire Alexander, who is emerging as an elite player, on Jones. As a result, that greatly limits the 30-year-old’s upside. When Jones faced Alexander in 2019, he was held to 17 receiving yards on only two catches.

Instead, fantasy owners should turn their focus to receiver Danny Amendola and tight end T.J. Hockenson. Amendola finished with 81 receiving yards in Week 1 and is a safe bet for at least five catches and 50 receiving yards. Meanwhile, Hockenson is a top-12 play at tight end this week.

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