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Fantasy Football Week 4 Injury Updates: Jamaal Charles, Dez Bryant, Alshon Jeffery, Marvin Jones

Jamaal Charles

Jamaal Charles

Week 4 has fantasy owners dealing with the first byes (Green Bay, Philadelphia) and a handful of players that are shaping up to be game-time decisions. The injury report is full, especially for tight ends this week. A few key players have already been ruled out, including Sammy Watkins (put on IR), Jonathan Stewart, Eric Decker, Donte Moncrief, Eli Rogers and Charcandrick West.

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There also are a few players that are listed as Doubtful, meaning they have a 25 percent chance of playing, but most likely won’t see any game action Sunday. That group includes: Jeremy Langford, Jay Cutler, Antonio Gates, Kenneth Dixon and Ka'Deem Carey.

The list below covers running backs and wide receivers that are listed as Questionable. Some of these will end up playing, but the decision for others may not be made until right before kickoff. Also be sure to check out the quarterbacks and tight ends before setting your lineup.

Positional Rankings: QB I RB I WR I TE I DST I K I Flex

Teams on bye: Green Bay, Philadelphia

Note: All times ET and games on Sunday unless otherwise noted

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Dez Bryant (knee), WR, Dallas Cowboys at San Francisco 49ers, (4:25 p.m.)

Because the Cowboys listed him as questionable, he appears here, but there is no way he's playing Sunday afternoon. He didn't practice on Friday and while there were conflicting reports on if he was playing or not in Week 4, he should not be in fantasy lineups. Even if, for some reason, the Cowboys list him as active, do not start Bryant. He has a hairline fracture in his knee, and while the team maintains it is a pain tolerance issue, it would likely benefit Bryant to sit the week out.

Jamaal Charles (knee), RB, Kansas City Chiefs at Pittsburgh Steelers (8:30 p.m.)

It finally appears that Charles will make his long-awaited season debut. He is listed as questionable, but multiple reports have said that Charles will play against the Steelers. He’s still not 100 percent in his recovery from a torn ACL, but he was able to practice every day in a limited capacity. The dilemma for fantasy owners is how much will Charles play. Whether he’s on a snap count doesn’t really matter, as Spencer Ware will get the bulk of the carries and has show he can make plays as a receiver too. The good news for Charles is that fellow back Charcandrick West has been ruled out with an ankle injury so that’s one less mouth to feed. The bottom line is it’s not an easy decision for those who own Charles. It’s hard to trust a player coming off injury in their first game back (see: Rob Gronkowski, Week 3). The safest bet is to keep Charles on fantasy benches for one more week. It's a late game, and this way even if he does end up as inactive, fantasy owners don't have to scramble to find another option.

Alshon Jeffery (hamstring, knee), WR, Chicago Bears vs. Detroit Lions, (1 p.m.)

Another week, another week of Jeffery on the injury report. He put in limited practices all week and is on track to play. He's likely going to be on the injury report every week of the season, but as long as he puts in some kind of practice, he should play. Jeffery has yet to find the end zone this season and he hasn't had more than five receptions. However, the Lions pose a great matchup for him, and he is a WR1.

Marvin Jones (hamstring), WR, Detroit Lions at Chicago Bears (1 p.m. ET)

After showing up on the injury report on Thursday with a hamstring pull, Jones was able to put in a full practice on Friday. He'll play against the Bears and is a WR1 in PPR leagues and a high WR2 in standard leagues. He just put up a 205-yard, two-touchdown game in Week 3, and while he likely won't repeat that, he is still a solid bet for targets and receptions against a struggling Bears defense that has given up three touchdowns to opposing wide receivers so far this season.

Willie Snead (toe), WR, New Orleans Saints at San Diego Chargers, (4:25 p.m.)

After missing Week 3, it seemed that Snead would be on track to play in Week 4. He was able to put in limited practices this week, which usually indicate that a player will be on the field for the game. However, receivers dealing with toe injuries are tough to predict. Snead may be headed for the dreaded game-time decision, which is slightly complicated by the later afternoon start time. If he is active, he's a WR3 between the matchup and the injury. Fantasy owners can pencil Snead into a flex spot, but don't expect Week 1 numbers. Michael Thomas will be a WR3 if Snead is out.

Rashad Jennings (thumb), RB, New York Giants at Minnesota Vikings (Monday, 8:30 p.m.)

All signs are pointing to Jennings being a game-time decision, which is tough for fantasy owners. However, it's a tough matchup against the Vikings, who have not allowed a 100-yard rusher yet this season. (Eddie Lacy has the most rushing yards against the Vikings with 50). Jennings will be playing with a brace, assuming he does play, which may hinder his grip and how he can be used in the game plan. Fantasy owners should sit him, regardless of his status. Between the injury, the Monday night game, and the matchup, there are better options. Orleans Darkwa is a RB3 even if Jennings is out.

— Written by Sarah Lewis, who is part of the Athlon Contributor network and lives, eats, and breathes fantasy football. She also writes for SoCalledFantasyExperts.com among other sites. Have a fantasy football question? Send it to her on Twitter @Sarah_Lewis32.