Time is running out for injury updates before 2021 fantasy football drafts, but we’ve got you covered with the latest news on Kenny Golladay, Brandon Aiyuk, and Curtis Samuel. As of today, all figure to be active in Week 1 of the regular season, but be sure to keep checking back for their latest statuses. This trio features a boom-or-bust candidate (Golladay), a projected year-two breakout (Aiyuk), and a player who carries a lot of unknowns in a new offense (Samuel). They’re all intriguing in their own way and definitely causing some furious revisions to rankings, sleeper lists, and cheat sheets.
Before diving into those, get an updated look at Michael Thomas’ fantasy value here. For a take on whether you should draft Deshaun Watson, go here. We also have help for those wondering if they should draft Saquon Barkley in the first round (click here). For position battle news, click here. For all the latest fantasy news, follow us on Twitter @SN_Fantasy
DOMINATE YOUR DRAFT: Ultimate 2021 Cheat Sheet
Kenny Golladay Injury Update
Golladay (hamstring) is finally back at practice after an extended absence, but even he said he’ll probably start slow. That’s a weird comment to come straight from a player, but how can we expect anything different? He should be ready for Week 1 vs. Denver, but he’s probably going to make a ton of sit ’em lists in the initial week of the regular season. While the upside is obviously there for Golladay, he’s among the top players we highlighted in our injury risks article.
We’ll take Golladay’s word that he’ll be ready for the opener, and we ranked him at WR42 in standard leagues for Week 1. Not only is he banged up, but the Broncos’ defense will likely make Daniel Jones see ghosts. If he doesn’t play in Week 1, expect more work for Sterling Shepard, Darius Slayton, and perhaps Kadarius Toney.
As far as the big-picture rankings go, Golladay is our No. 22 WR in standard leagues and WR28 in PPR, though he’s going much lower than that in most drafts. If he miraculously returns to full health, he could be well inside the WR2 range this season.
Brandon Aiyuk Injury Update
49ers players and injuries go together like peanut butter and jelly. Aiyuk is expected to have a breakout season, but a hamstring injury could complicate his Week 1 production. He missed the 49ers preseason finale and has been out for nearly a week of practice. It’s not time to panic, though; San Francisco is likely just being cautious with their year-two wideout. Still, be sure to monitor his situation moving forward. He could be in for a huge week at Detroit. If he suffers any setbacks, Deebo Samuel and George Kittle obviously should see more targets, with Mohamed Sanu and possibly Jalen Hurd seeing some more action.
Update 9/6: Aiyuk was back at practice Monday, and reportedly looked good and ready to roll for the 49ers’ season opener.
Curtis Samuel Injury Update
Samuel’s groin injury has left fantasy drafters uncertain about his Week 1 availability. However, Ron Rivera provided us with some good news recently, as Samuel is expected to practice on Monday. In his absence, he’s still been doing conditioning work and drills on the side, so that shouldn’t cause too much concern. Samuel has the potential to be a nice fantasy asset as a security blanket for Ryan Fitzpatrick, but he may be low on the totem pole with Terry McLaurin, Antonio Gibson, JD McKissic, and Logan Thomas sharing the offense. We can expect to see fewer gadget plays with all the talent WFT possesses.
Adam Humphries and Dyami Brown are the next two WRs in line if Samuel did miss any time.
Update 9/6: Samuel returned to practice Monday, and Ron Rivera said it would be ‘all or nothing’ for Samuel come Sunday. That said, if he’s in the lineup, we should expect him to be ranked as if he wasn’t dealing with any ailments.
Samuel is our WR53 in standard and WR48 in PPR leagues.