Dalvin Cook, DeAndre Hopkins, NFL Injury Statuses and Fantasy Impact for Week 3

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistSeptember 24, 2021

Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (33) runs the ball against the Arizona Cardinals during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press

Two of the most popular players in fantasy football are on the injury report ahead of Sunday's Week 3 games.

Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook and Arizona Cardinals wide receiver De'Andre Hopkins are both dealing with injuries that may affect their statuses for Sunday. 

Cook has been dealing with an ankle injury and is questionable for his team's clash with the Seattle Seahawks. 

Hopkins is listed as a game-time decision against the Jacksonville Jaguars because of a rib injury. 

Cook and Hopkins are the highest-profile players on the Week 3 injury report. Below is a list of the rest of the major injuries affecting teams going into Week 3. 


Dalvin Cook Questionable For Seattle Clash

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, Cook is officially listed as questionable. 

Adam Schefter @AdamSchefter

Vikings listing RB Dalvin Cook as questionable for Sunday’s game vs. Seahawks.

Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer noted on Friday that Cook is "doing much better" after he did not practice on Wednesday and Thursday, per ESPN.com's Courtney Cronin.

Courtney Cronin @CourtneyRCronin

Mike Zimmer said Dalvin Cook is "doing much better" and got some work in today after being DNP Wed/Thurs. Asked if he thinks RB is a position where a player can sit out a week and still be ready for a game, Zimmer said, "If you're asking about Dalvin, I think Dalvin can."

If Cook plays, he should have a favorable matchup in front of him against a Seattle defense that allowed 325 rushing yards in the first two weeks. 

Seattle let 4.6 yards per attempt and conceded three rushing touchdowns to the Indianapolis Colts and Tennessee Titans. 

If Cook is ruled out, the immediate reaction would be to pick up Alexander Mattison, but he might already be rostered in some fantasy football leagues. 

Mattison has four carries and two receptions so far this season, so he should be fresh to handle more of the workload in Week 3. 

Cook is usually one of the first players locked into fantasy lineups each week. If he plays on Sunday, he should remain as one of your starting running backs. 

However, it is never a bad thing to have a contingency plan or two in place just in case the decision comes down on Sunday morning that he is unavailable. 


DeAndre Hopkins Dealing With Rib Injury

You can apply the last sentence above about Cook to Hopkins' Week 3 status as well. 

If Hopkins is playing, you should expect him to be one of the focal points of the Arizona offense. 

A.J. Green believed Hopkins was fine when he talked to reporters on Thursday, per ArizonaSports.com's Tyler Drake: 

Tyler Drake @Tdrake4sports

A.J. Green on DeAndre Hopkins and his rib issue: “Hop don’t miss games. He’ll be fine.”

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport echoed that sentiment when breaking down Hopkins' injury issues on Friday.

Ian Rapoport @RapSheet

From NFL Now: #AZCardinals WR DeAndre Hopkins (ribs) is a game-time decision, though he always seems to find his way onto the field. Meanwhile, #Browns WR Odell Beckham Jr is officially off the injury report and good to go. https://t.co/f9xqSqsZqt

"DeAndre Hopkins always plays," Rapoport said. "I mean, that's one thing his teammates came out clearly and said yesterday. Nobody doubts him ever because he always wills himself on the field seemingly no matter what his deal is. I would also not rule him out just yet. At least Hop has a chance to get out there." 

The difference between Week 3 and any other game is that the Cardinals probably do not need Hopkins to beat the Jaguars.

Kyler Murray developed strong chemistry early on with rookie Rondale Moore. He also has Green and Christian Kirk to work with in the passing game. 

Moore has been a popular waiver-wire target over the last two weeks, so the Sunday play could be to pick up Green or Kirk if Hopkins is unable to play. 

Hopkins could also play on Sunday, but then the Cardinals could shut him down in the second half if they possess a large lead. 

In either circumstance, it would be wise to have an eye on the other Cardinals wideouts in the case Hopkins does not play as big of a role as he typically does.