Chris Godwin, George Kittle, NFL Injury Statuses and Fantasy Impact for Week 1

Joe TanseySeptember 9, 2022

Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Two NFC teams may be without some of their most productive pass-catchers in Week 1 of the NFL season.

Chris Godwin is listed as a game-time decision for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Sunday night clash with the Dallas Cowboys. The timing of Tampa Bay's opener makes it difficult for fantasy football players to figure out what they should do with Godwin in Week 1.

There is a clearer picture when it comes to George Kittle's availability. The San Francisco 49ers tight end is trending toward being on the sidelines Sunday.

San Francisco has one or two other playmakers who could be relied upon in fantasy football, but the ideal move to replace Kittle will come from a player on the waiver wire.

Below is a look at all of the significant injuries affecting top fantasy football players ahead of Sunday's Week 1 games.

Week 1 Injury Updates

  • Chris Godwin, WR, TB (game-time decision, ankle), per NFL Network's Mike Garafolo.
  • George Kittle, TE, SF (questionable, groin), per ESPN's Nick Wagoner.
  • Michael Gallup, WR, DAL (out, knee), per Garafolo.
  • Christian McCaffrey, RB, CAR (off injury list, shin), per ESPN's Field Yates.
  • Diontae Johnson, WR, PIT (off injury list, shoulder), per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.
  • Allen Lazard, WR, GB (doubtful, knee), per Rapoport.
  • JK Dobbins, RB, BAL (questionable, knee), per Rapoport.
  • Logan Thomas, TE, WSH (questionable, knee), per NFL.com.
  • Michael Thomas, WR, NO (questionable, hamstring), per NFL.com.
  • Jakobi Meyers, WR, NE (questionable, knee), per ESPN.com's Mike Reiss.
  • Miles Sanders, RB, PHI (full participant in practice, hamstring), per NFL.com.
  • Zach Ertz, TE, ARI (questionable, calf), per team injury update.
  • Rondale Moore, WR, ARI (out, hamstring), per team injury update.
  • Tre'Quan Smith, WR, NO (out, shoulder), per NFL.com.

Chris Godwin Participates in Friday Practice; Not in Clear Yet

Tampa Bay received a bit of positive news on the Godwin injury front Friday.

Godwin was on the field for practice ahead of Sunday night's clash with the Dallas Cowboys, but as NFL Network's Mike Garafolo pointed out, the wide receiver was in a designated noncontact jersey.

"He was a full participant in practice. That's the good news. The bad news is he's still wearing the noncontact jersey and that [head coach] Todd Bowles said he is going to be a game-time decision," Garafolo said in a segment on NFL Network.

The update on Godwin could put fantasy football managers in a bind because Tampa Bay plays in the Sunday night matchup.

You could hold out hope that Godwin plays and puts up decent numbers. You may choose to start the other wide receivers on your roster, or pick up one of the players beneath him on the depth chart.

Russell Gage, who is listed as questionable, and Julio Jones would be the two expected waiver-wire targets if you take the latter approach. Cameron Brate may be useful at tight end if red-zone targets go in his direction with Godwin out.

The smartest approach might be to keep Godwin on the bench in case he does not play and your roster does not get screwed by a late inactive listing.

But there are some fantasy players who are willing to take risks, and if that is the case, someone else from the Buccaneers offense should be in your waiver-wire queue before Sunday night so that a decision can be made within minutes of the inactive list coming out.

George Kittle Not at San Francisco's Friday Practice

According to Matt Barrows of The Athletic, Kittle was not present for the opening part of the San Francisco 49ers' practice on Friday.

Kittle has been dealing with a groin injury and that could cost him being on the field for Week 1's battle with the Chicago Bears.

Kittle's likely absence affects a few facets of the San Francisco offense. First, it takes away some of quarterback Trey Lance's value.

Deebo Samuel is already rostered in most leagues, so you can't pivot to him, but fantasy players with Samuel on their roster should rejoice a bit more because of the Kittle news.

Brandon Aiyuk is the likely replacement for Kittle in terms of usage in the passing game. Aiyuk could be used across the middle in spots where Kittle would catch the ball or in spots where Samuel is double-covered.

Tyler Kroft is listed as Kittle's backup, but he has never been a high-volume player. He is not a like-for-like replacement for Kittle, but he could be added in the chance that he becomes a go-to guy in the red zone for Lance.

As of Friday afternoon, Albert Okwuegbunam, Austin Hooper and Irv Smith Jr. were among the most added tight ends according to Yahoo's transaction trends.

Okwuegbunam is intriguing because he is the top tight end in Russell Wilson's Denver offense. Hooper will have the same role in Tennessee. Smith could be used in the red zone, but he is fighting for targets with Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen.

Gerald Everett could be a name worth considering as a Kittle replacement. He had four touchdown catches in Seattle last season and will be the top tight end for the Los Angeles Chargers. Most importantly, he is only rostered in 22 percent of Yahoo fantasy football leagues.


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