Gameday Injury Expectations: Week 3

Breaking down the fantasy expectations of today's injured players and gametime decisions, including Marshawn Lynch, Eddie Lacy, Chris Ivory, DeMarco Murray, Eric Decker, Davante Adams, and others

NOTE: This column is a living document and will be updated throughout the morning. Major changes to the content will be in red. Check back often for additions as gameday inactives are announced and lineup / depth chart changes are reported. I'll also be immediately retweeting any breaking news with quick bits of analysis, so make sure you're following me at (@JeneBramel) and checking my timeline on Twitter on Sunday mornings.

Here's an excerpt of what I led with last week:

This is the fifth year I've published an injury expectations column on Sunday morning. From top to bottom, this is the first time I feel stuck in the middle on every player on this list. In weeks like this, you just have to accept you'll be on the wrong side of a decision now and then. Some of these injured players are going to play at much less than full strength and find a way to be statistically productive. But it's likely to be one target that swings the day in their favor. Everyone on today's list has a very low floor.

This week, I'm not conflicted on as many players. But I've never tracked so many quarterbacks and skill position players who were limited in practice. There were nearly 60 on my list to monitor. Oh, and there's Marshawn Lynch.

Before we get to Lynch, I believe you can use the following offensive players as you normally would today: Carlos Hyde, C.J. Anderson, C.J. Spiller, Justin Forsett, LeSean McCoy, Matt Forte, Todd Gurley (expect 10-14 touches), DeAndre Hopkins, Mike Evans, Randall Cobb, T.Y. Hilton, Brandin Cooks, Delanie Walker and Jason Witten.

marshawn lynch | calf | questionable | late sun start

Lynch doesn't miss many games, even when he's considered a game time decision. But it's been very difficult to read this situation.

Lynch was added to the injury report on Wednesday with a calf injury and didn't practice. A limited practice on Thursday had everyone assuming Lynch's Wednesday DNP was a veteran rest day rather than a key day of treatment for the calf strain. The DNP on Friday and persistent reports Lynch will be a game time decision today put everyone back on high alert. On Saturday, ProFootballTalk, a major media outlet I never trust, posted a report saying a source close to the situation was "cautiously optimistic" Lynch would play.

I don't like the Friday DNP here. It's hard to read that as anything other than the Thursday conditioning work didn't go as well as hoped and Lynch was being aggressively treated on Friday rather than practicing. The cautious Saturday suggests the team put him through a light workout yesterday and saw enough not to rule him out.

Fantasy expectation: I think the Seahawks know they won't know Lynch's status until this morning. In a power running back with a calf injury, that cannot be seen as a vote of confidence. There's a risk of an in-game setback and there's a risk of Lynch sitting earlier than expected if the Seahawks get ahead of Chicago early. If this were anyone other than Lynch, I'd recommend looking at other options. But Lynch falls in the Jimmy Graham / Julio Jones category of high upside despite a lower than usual workload. It's a boom-bust play with a very low floor, but one I'd live with if Lynch is active.

730 ET: Ian Rapoport tweets Lynch will play today. The risk of an in-game aggravation and heavier than usual rotation are high, but it's hard to bench Lynch in this matchup. I'd start Lynch and hope you're on the right side of variance.

eddie lacy | ankle | questionable | monday night

The Packers are going to give Lacy every chance to prove he's ready to play. The extra day of rest and treatment may be enough to get Lacy healthy enough to be a trustworthy part of the Green Bay game plan on Monday night. But there's no clear path through the coachspeak here. McCarthy didn't paint a rosy picture on Monday, saying Lacy would get treatment and try to practice by late week. This weekend, McCarthy was more "hopeful." Lacy told the media on Friday, "If I wake up and don't feel like I went backwards, then rehab is definitely going to make it feel better for game time." That's a player who's all but admitting he won't be 100% if he plays.

Fantasy expectation: Lacy could make the active roster Monday night but he's not likely to see his usual workload. How much less is uncertain. If you can hedge with a Monday night swap of James Starks, you can be comfortable with Lacy in your lineup. Otherwise, you need to be comfortable with a zero if you play him this week.

chris ivory | quad | questionable | early sun start

Ivory had one less day of rehab and recovery this week after a Monday night quad strain. He was said to still be very sore by midweek and managed only a limited Friday practice. Manish Mehta tweeted late Saturday night that Ivory believes he'll be ready to go but will have to prove his health to the team before the game. It's another messy game time decision and no guarantee he passes the team's test.

Fantasy expectation: If this game was in Philadelphia, I'd likely argue Ivory had little chance to be active. But Ivory had the benefit of the home training room on Saturday rather than a travel day. That could be enough to push him to the active roster but still may not be enough to get him close to his usual workload. A risk of in-game aggravation or the team limiting his role in the game plan due to lack of practice time would have me leery of using him today.

730 AM: Both Adam Schefter and Ian Rapport have sources telling them Ivory is expected to play unless he struggles during pregame warmups.

demarco murray | hamstring | questionable | early sun start

Murray's mid-week hamstring tweak was severe enough to warrant evaluation by MRI. It was surprising to see Chip Kelly and the Eagles clear Murray for a full Friday practice, even if it was just a walkthrough. The Eagles listed Murray questionable, which says they wanted to see how he responded on Saturday.

Fantasy expectation: The Jets have a solid defense playing at home and the Eagles have rotated their backfield heavily and not run the ball successfully. There were good reasons to avoid Murray before the midweek hamstring strain. Look elsewhere today.

1130 ET: Murray is inactive today. The need for MRI evaluation and questionable tag were more indicative of Eagles concern than the "full" Friday practice.

eric decker | knee | questionable | early sun start

Decker told reporters very early this week he wouldn't return to play until his knee felt fully ready. He didn't practice this week. Decker isn't a known follower of the Roddy Rule (i.e. if he doesn't practice by the end of the week he won't play) but his early week comments suggest he'll play by the same book.

Fantasy expectation: I don't believe Decker will play today. If he does, you can use him as you normally would despite a lower than usual floor.

davante adams | ankle | questionable | monday night

Adams' midweek comments were more optimistic than Lacy's and I think Adams is on the probable side of questionable. The extra day or recovery and treatment will likely prove critically important here.

Fantasy expectation: Inconsistently targeted with a lower leg injury that limited his practice time this week, Adams is a high variance WR3 at best this week.

lamar miller | ankle | questionable | late sun start

Miller was active and played through an ankle injury with a similar line of practice participation late last season. I'm not convinced he'll play effectively this week, however. The late afternoon start also puts us in an information crunch.

Fantasy expectation: Miller's usage has been more erratic than expected and he's not shown an ability to play through in-game injuries (ankle and AC sprains last year, ankle sprain last week). There's too much risk to use him as more than a flex play if he's active today.

jordan cameron | groin | questionable | late sun start

Cameron's chances of starting steadily increased as the week progressed. But he's still considered a game time decision. Groin injuries are among the toughest to play through effectively for route runners and the usual risk of an aggravation fits here.

Fantasy expectation: Avoid Cameron unless you've no other options.

Best of luck in your fantasy games this weekend. I'll be back on Monday morning to review all the Week 3 injuries in the Injury Rounds column. Follow me on Twitter @JeneBramel for breaking news and analysis during the games today.

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