Fantasy Football: Week 5 Injury Report
Injuries are an unfortunate part of football. It's one thing we hate having occur to not only the players we roster but within the game itself. With that said, this does create opportunities for teammates, opening up potential pickups in season-long leagues while also producing value plays in daily fantasy football.
Using the practice report, we can glean a lot of information based on who's available and what coaches are saying from press conferences. This knowledge can allow us to make emergency plans to pivot or change our lineups come Sunday morning when inactives are announced.
Based on this week's practice reports, here are a few quick-hitters to give you a leg up on lineup decisions as crunch time approaches for Sunday lineup lock.
Devonta Freeman (knee) was removed from the injury report this week and will make the start in Pittsburgh. Last we saw Freeman was in Week 1 at Philadelphia, where he handled 56% of the snaps and had nine touches. The time off between games is long, and rust can be a concern, but Freeman should be playing in a high-scoring game based on a 58-point over/under.
Joe Mixon (knee) is making a return this week to the Cincinnati Bengals' lineup. Mixon is everything we look for in a bellcow back for DFS, as he's playing at home in a game in which the Bengals are projected to win with a healthy point total. Mixon handled 22 out of 24 running back touches when he last played in a full game. He will get all he can handle with teammate Giovani Bernard ruled out.
Cleveland Browns wide receivers Jarvis Landry and Antonio Callaway both were dealing with knee injuries this week but are cleared for Sunday. Landry is the undisputed WR1 in the offense, but head coach Hue Jackson mentioned earlier in the week that Callaway could see his snaps fall this week.
Curtis Samuel (heart) will make his debut for the Carolina Panthers this Sunday against the New York Giants. Samuel's fantasy potential is thin even for DFS platforms. Devin Funchess, Torrey Smith, and a split between rookie D.J. Moore and Jarius Wright, have been getting the majority of the snaps at wide receiver.
Chris Carson (hip) is expected to play this week after missing last week. Mike Davis' role will be relegated to backup status after having a season-high 25 carries last week against the Arizona Cardinals. Carson will have a tough matchup against the Los Angeles Rams as a 7.5-point home underdog in what could be poor game script.
Alex Collins (hamstring) was downgraded on Thursday but made his return on Friday. Collins has been shaky this year for fantasy owners, usage has not been there based on preseason forecasts and is now losing playing time and red zone usage to Javorius Allen. Collins was a sell candidate in this week's 15 Fantasy Football Transactions column.
The Packers might be scrambling Sunday morning with three potential inactives at wide receiver. Davante Adams (calf) will practice on Saturday and has the most promising outlook to play, but Geronimo Allison (concussion, hamstring) sounds like a game-time decision, and both are considered questionable. If Allison misses, rookie Marquez Valdes-Scantling should take his snaps, and if both miss that would put Equanimius St. Brown in the mix. There is also a possibility that Ty Montgomery, a wideout turned running back, becomes a move-able chess piece between wide receiver and running back spots so that the offense is not dependent on three rookies. Keep close attention on Sunday if you're playing DFS, as there will be value opening up if either of Adams or Allison miss.
Dalvin Cook was spotted on the sidelines this week, and it 's unclear whether he will play this week as he will be a game-time decision. For what it's worth, Cook was a DNP for the entire week so it's more likely that he will be out than in. Latavius Murray was the primary backup in Week 3 (handled 57% of snaps and had seven touches) and had the most snaps out of all the running backs in Week 4 when Cook re-injured himself. The Vikings have been less than desirable on the ground, ranking as the second-worst rushing offense by numberFire's rankings.
Sammy Watkins injured his hamstring in the Monday night bout against the Denver Broncos and is officially questionable after being limited for the week. Chris Conley, a regular player in the Kansas City Chiefs offense, could have an expanded role Sunday with Watkins out. Conley had his snap rate jump to 30% in Week 4, had a season-high in routes run (46 per Pro Football Focus) and targets (6), and is the minimum $4,500 on FanDuel.
Lamar Miller (chest) will be a game-time decision this week. Despite the bankable volume, Miller has been largely ineffective this season and could be considered a drop candidate. Alfred Blue has taken the backup snaps, but with D'Onta Foreman projected to return in two weeks, Blue holds little long-term value.
Will Fuller and rookie Keke Coutee are both dealing with hamstring injuries this week and officially questionable. It shouldn't have to be said that if you have Fuller you are starting him, but Coutee could get a bump if he is available and Fuller is not, but know that 15 targets is more likely to be an outlier than the norm. Coutee also holds long-term value as he saw plenty of targets last week with Fuller in the game last week. Coutee was one of J.J. Zachariason's add candidates.
Rookie Hayden Hurst (foot) is questionable to make his debut. Fellow rookie Mark Andrews, and veterans Nick Boyle and Maxx Williams have been holding down the position for the Baltimore Ravens, so it could be a messy situation entering the game on Sunday. If active, it will be worth monitoring snap rates and a target share given that Hurst was the Ravens' 2018 first-round pick.
Corey Clement is listed as questionable even after missing practice all week. Both he and Darren Sproles were out last week as well, which led to the Philadelphia Eagles rolling out a two-headed backfield with Jay Ajayi (51% snaps, 18 touches) and Wendell Smallwood (47% snaps, 8 touches).
Teammates Matt Breida (shoulder) and Marquise Goodwin (hamstring, quad) are both questionable after being limited in practice this week. Goodwin's outlook appears bleaker than Breida's, as he is a game-time decision. The San Francisco 49ers have little fantasy appeal with an implied total of only 21 points this week.
Randall Cobb (hamstring) was a DNP this week and ruled out early Friday morning. As mentioned earlier, the Packers could be without all three starting receivers, but Cobb is the only one officially out. Cobb also missed last week, which allowed rookie Valdes-Scantling to play 71% of the snaps but only saw 8% of the total targets and had a measly 9% of the team's air yards.
Leonard Fournette was ruled out early in the week, signifying that his hamstring injury might be worse than initially led on. This won't be the first time T.J. Yeldon will carry the load with Fournette's absence, Yeldon has averaged 8.5 rush attempts and 6 targets in the 2 games he started this season, so the volume will be there and matchup is prime against numberFire's worst ranked defense. He currently projects as numberFire's RB11.
As mentioned earlier, Giovani Bernard (knee) has been ruled out and will be out for the next few weeks, this should place rookie running back Mark Walton as Mixon's primary backup. Walton played 38% of the teams snaps last week against the Atlanta Falcons and saw seven touches, providing little fantasy value. If anything, this could be a boost to Joe Mixon's workload.
John Ross (groin) was downgraded on Thursday and Friday, and has now been ruled out. Ross was already on the decline in terms of playing time (59% to 48% to 25%) over the last three weeks, Alex Erickson ran 25 routes (per ProFootball Focus) on 49% of the snaps last week which should place Erickson in three wide receiver sets. With Tyler Eifert's absence for the year, Erickson could theoretically step into a role but its more probable that targets will funnel through A.J. Green, Tyler Boyd, and Joe Mixon this week.
Darren Sproles (hamstring) missed the whole week of practice and is ruled out. Sproles hasn't played since Week 1. If Corey Clement also misses, this should raise Ajayi's target floor, who saw 4 targets last week in the full game played without Sproles.
Evan Engram (knee) was ruled out for the 2nd straight week and will be out for a few more weeks. Until Engram can make his return, fantasy owners can rely on Sterling Shepard, who has had 24% of the teams target market share the past two weeks and can be played as a fringe WR3 or FLEX play, per our ranks.
There was some hope held out that Olivier Vernon (ankle) would be able to return this week, but unfortunately, he was out again on Friday. The New York Giants are in dire need of a pass rush, as they have five sacks in four games (three of which came in one game) and are 32nd in Football Outsiders' Adjusted Sack Rate. This is excellent news for Cam Newton, who is numberFire's QB1 this week despite being the fourth-highest priced quaterback on FanDuel ($8,400).
Josh Doctson (heel) has been a DNP through two practices with one Saturday practice remaining. Not many fantasy owners were looking to start Doctson this week, but for those that like to attack the shorter DFS slates Maurice Harris could start in his place and becomes and interesting GPP dart through in a potential shootout in New Orleans.
Ted Ginn Jr. (knee) is another player from the Monday Night game that has missed a second straight practice, with one remaining. We could see a mix of Cameron Meredith and Tre'Quan Smith fill his role if Ginn is out, but neither are viable fantasy starters in season-long formats.
Minnesota is missing two key starters in Trae Waynes (concussion) and Everson Griffen (non-injury), as both were ruled out Friday afternoon. Philadelphia Eagles receivers could have a field day here with rookie Mike Hughes allowing seven of eight targets and Mackensie Alexander allowing four of four caught in their respective coverage last week against the Los Angeles Rams (per Pro Football Focus).
New York Jets cornerback Trumaine Johnson (quad) was ruled out Friday. Through four games, the Jets have ranked third in pass defense, so Johnson's loss will be felt. Johnson normally is a perimeter corner, which should bode well for Demaryius Thomas, who has been quiet since his 6-63-1 stat line he posted in Week 1.
As is with all injuries, each individual situation is fluid. Make sure to keep tabs throughout the weekend and keep up with our numberFire player news feed for up-to-date reports prior to kickoff. Good luck this week!
Gabriel Garrido is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Gabriel Garrido also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username guhreedoe28. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his/her personal views, he/she may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his/her personal account. The views expressed in his/her articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.