The injury to Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey is a major story heading into NFL Week 7. Will the star back return after missing the past four games? If so, how will that impact the fantasy football world heading into this week’s action? That’s the backdrop as we look at the NFL Week 7 injury report.

As for the Philadelphia Eagles, they are going to be without both Zach Ertz and Miles Sanders for Thursday’s game against the New York Giants. Those are two major blows within the fantasy football world.

Here, we give you the NFL Week 7 injury report and how it impacts star players from a fantasy perspective.

Updated: Oct 22, 4:20 PM EST

Related: NFL Week 7 schedule, predictions

New Orleans Saints injury report: Michael Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders ruled out for Week 7

Saints WR Michael Thomas against the Titans
Dec 22, 2019; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas (13) breaks the record for receptions in a season with this touchdown reception during the second half against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Thomas did not suit up in the Saints’ past four games prior to their Week 6 bye due to both an ankle issue and disciplinary action. On the verge of returning from a high-ankle sprain, the record-setting wide receiver could be on the verge of missing more time.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, both Michael Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders will miss Sunday’s game against the Panthers. Thomas’ absence is the result of a hamstring injury, which forced him to miss practice this week. Meanwhile, Sanders is headed to the reserve/COVID-19 list.

Fantasy football impact of Michael Thomas’ injury

In most weeks, Sanders would be the beneficiary from Thomas missing time. However, he will miss Sunday’s game because he doesn’t have enough time to receiver clearance for COVID-19. As a result, Tre’Quan Smith becomes a risky WR3 in fantasy and a great DFS target for bargain shopping. In addition, tight end Jared Cook will see more targets.

Obviously, No. 1 fantasy player Alvin Kamara becomes a tremendous option in PPR and daily leagues. The former NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year has put up 676 total yards and seven touchdowns in just five games this season.

Related: Top DraftKings Week 7 plays

Atlanta Falcons injury report: Julio Jones limited in practice with hamstring injury

Coming off a 137-yard, two-touchdown performance last week against the Vikings, Jones has one again found himself limited in practice this week. Jones missed practice on Wednesday and was a limited participant during Thursday’s session. Given how he performed in Week 7, it would be shocking if Jones doesn’t play Week 7 against the Detroit Lions.

Fantasy football impact of Julio Jones injury

We can assume for a second that Jones will be good to go. Of course, that’s if he didn’t suffer a set back during practice this week. Even then, he’s an obvious play in yearly leagues. You don’t sit a WR1 without having more concrete information.

From a daily perspective, it could be time to buy Calvin Ridley instead of Jones. He comes in cheaper than his teammate and has hauled in 14 passes for 197 yards over the past two games. Atlanta is also taking on a Lions defense that has yielded a 62% catch rate to receivers on the season.

NFL injury report: Bengals RB Joe Mixon ruled out for Week 7

After leaving Sunday’s game against the Indianapolis Colts with a foot injury, the Cincinnati Bengals hoped Mixon would be able to suit up for Week 7 against the Cleveland Browns. Unfortunately, heading into an AFC North battle, the Bengals will be without their top back.

Related: Fantasy football Week 7 rankings

After missing three consecutive practices, Mixon was ruled out for Sunday’s upcoming game. While he has demonstrated an ability to play through pain in the past, the foot injury proved to be too severe. In his absence, Giovani Bernard will become Cincinnati’s featured running back.

Bernard, who has a great history of thriving in the few games Mixon was sidelined, is an ideal RB2 this week in season-long fantasy leagues and the perfect value play at running back in DFS. He will likely see 15-plus touches in this game and it wouldn’t be a surprise if he found the end zone.

Related: NFL power rankings

San Francisco 49ers NFL injury report: Raheem Mostert placed on injured reserve

This electric back just can’t stay healthy. Mostert missed two games earlier this season with a knee injury. The former undrafted free agent from Purdue then returned back in Week 5 to put up 119 total yards on just 14 touches. After adding another 76 total yards in the first half of Sunday’s win over the Los Angeles Rams, Mostert exited with an ankle injury.

The 28-year-old back is now headed for short-term injured reserve and will miss at least the next three weeks. This is some big news around the fantasy football world given that Mostert is still a low-end RB2 in standard 12-team fantasy leagues despite missing substantial time this season.

Fantasy football impact of Raheem Mostert’s injury

Whoever is toting the ball in Kyle Shanahan’s offense becomes a relevant fantasy football option. Unfortunately, the 49ers are also dealing with injuries to Tevin Coleman and Jeff Wilson. That will force them to rely on injury-plagued free-agent signing Jerick McKinnon and undrafted rookie free agent Jamycal Hasty over the short term.

In particular, Hasty becomes an interesting daily fantasy play. He actually saw time over McKinnon late in last week’s game against the Rams and helped San Francisco blead the clock dry. He’s put up 55 total yards in 12 touches this season. As for McKinnon, the big-ticket free-agent signing from back in 2017 has been a top-end FLEX option in fantasy leagues. He’s put up 328 total yards and four touchdowns in six games. If you’re going to stream a 49ers running back Week 7 against a stout Patriots defense, McKinnon should be your guy.

Week 7 DraftKings: Who to start in Mostert’s place

It might be best to start buying into top-end running backs during fantasy football Week 7. On DraftKings, that includes taking a look at Green Bay Packers star Aaron Jones. Green Bay has to get back to the basics following last week’s humiliating loss to the Buccaneers. Jones is coming off a dreadful Week 6 performance that saw him tally 41 total yards on 13 touches. He’s now set to take on a Texans defense that has yielded the most fantasy points to running backs in DraftKings contests this season.

Another intriguing lower-cost option would be Los Angeles Chargers rookie fourth-round pick Joshua Kelley. He’s getting the bulk of the snaps with Austin Ekeler currently on injured reserve. Kelley has put up 292 yards in five games this season. He’s taking on a Jaguars defense that is giving up the third-most fantasy points in DraftKings contests and has yielded 4.6 yards per rush on the season.

Carolina Panthers NFL injury report: Christian McCaffrey questionable to go

Carolina Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey left Week 2 with an ankle injury
Sep 20, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA; Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey runs the ball against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the third quarter at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

UPDATE: Christian McCaffrey ruled OUT for Week 7

Panthers head coach Matt Rhule indicated following Week 6 that it’s too early to tell if McCaffrey can go Week 7 against the New Orleans Saints. The game’s best all-around running back has missed each of the past four outings with a high-ankle sprain.

Rhule’s comments seem to suggest that McCaffrey will be held out at least one more week, leading to the Panthers potentially boasting more decisions for fantasy football players to make.

Related: Top 100 NFL players of 2020

Fantasy football impact of Christian McCaffrey injury

Former San Francisco 49ers mid-round pick Mike Davis has played well in McCaffrey’s stead. He heads into Week 7 on pace for nearly 1,300 total yards and 10.6 touchdowns. This has Davis as the 16th-best fantasy football running back in PPR leagues.

Unfortunately, he’s set to take on a Saints defense that has yielded the fifth-fewest fantasy points to running backs on the season. Buyer beware after Davis tallied a mere 55 yards on 20 touches last week.

Week 7 DraftKings: Sit or start Mike Davis?

Leaning to sitting Davis for this NFC South matchup. Other players who are around the same price level on DraftKings have better matchups. We focused on Joshua Kelley above. He comes in as a cheaper alternative. Buffalo Bills running back Devin Singletary could also be a decent play against a bad Jets team. He’s struggled with consistency, but has a plus-level fantasy football matchup in Week 7.

Cleveland Browns NFL injury report: Baker Mayfield limited

Update: Baker Mayfield will officially start Week 7

It’s rather clear that Mayfield was slowed down by a rib injury in Week 6’s blowout loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. He threw two interceptions and was pulled in the third quarter with the game out of hand.

There’s little reason to believe the Browns will sit Mayfield against Cincinnati in Week 7. However, this certainly is something to watch from a fantasy football lens.

Fantasy football impact of Baker Mayfield’s injury

The struggling quarterback was sacked four times and hit a total of 12 times against Pittsburgh’s defensive onslaught this past Sunday. While the Bengals don’t boast anywhere near the type of pass-rush prowess as the Steelers, this has to be a concern heading into NFL Week 7.

Odell Beckham Jr. was frustrated after a horrible performance last week. He’s not a relevant play unless you’re relying on the embattled pass catcher as a true WR1. Jarvis Landry has also had his issues with consistency. The one takeaway here could be potentially inserting Kareem Hunt into your starting lineup. Cleveland needs to find more balance to mask its pass-protection issues. That seems to suggest 20-plus touches for Hunt.

Related: NFL Week 7 odds and point spreads

Week 7 DraftKings: How daily fantasy football is impacted by Mayfield injury

Mayfield has not been a relevant option in DraftKings fantasy contests this season. That won’t change against a surprisingly good Bengals defense come Week 7.

Rather, it’s all about looking for other bottom-end QB1 options should you go cheap at that position. The Atlanta Falcons are yielding the most fantasy football points to quarterbacks in DraftKings contests this season. They’re taking on Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford. He’s put up nearly 250 passing yards per game with nine touchdowns and four interceptions. Stafford could be a solid cheap play come Week 7.

Vincent Frank
Editor here at Sportsnaut. Contributor at Forbes. Previous bylines include Bleacher Report, Yahoo!, SB Nation. Heard on ESPN Radio and NBC Sports Radio. Northern California native living it up in Las Vegas. The Keto lifestyle. Traveler. Reader. TV watcher. Dog daddy. Sam Malone = greatest TV character ever. "Carpe diem. Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary," John Keating.