What This Is:
*A no-nonsense quick-hitting analysis of fantasy-relevant player injuries that could impact performance on game day.
*A preview of the current week’s fantasy-relevant players with an injury through Thursday night.
What This Is Not:
*A comprehensive analysis of players who are on bye or currently on the I.R.
*A look ahead to injuries impacting fantasy football beyond Week 9.
For any questions related to this article such as “should I drop [player A] for [player B]?” please refer to the staff’s weekly projections. This is not the final version and will be continually updated through Sunday morning, so definitely bookmark this article.
The following general rules apply for big shake-ups on the weekend:
*Players who are downgraded from full or even partial practice to “Did Not Practice” on Friday or Saturday, for any medical reason, are a long shot to play. Typically you’ll see teams say these players are a “game time decision” which is code for “they ain’t playing”.
*Players who have a concussion have up until Saturday night/Sunday morning to clear the protocol.
*If no “final update” is available, the player has either been officially ruled out or no news is good news.
Teams on Bye
New York Giants
New York Jets
San Francisco 49ers
The following players have already been ruled out for Week 8 as of Friday evening so get them out of your lineup!
The following notable players practiced in full on Friday and are on track to play without limitations.
- Mike Davis
- Ezekiel Elliott
- Duke Johnson
- James Robinson
- Clyde Edwards-Helaire
- Alvin Kamara
- Noah Fant
- T.J. Hockenson
- Robert Tonyan
- Jack Doyle
- Darren Waller
- Tee Higgins
- Jarvis Landry
- Jerry Jeudy
- Marvin Jones Jr.
- Tre'Quan Smith
- Breshad Perriman
- Chris Godwin
- A.J. Brown
Joe Mixon - Foot
Early week confidence quickly diminished as Mixon didn’t practice Wednesday…then missed again Thursday. As I mentioned in the Discord chat for premium subscribers, the standard deviation from the average return to play time (36 days) is 26 days. That means when the dust clears, Mixon could end up missing 62 days or 2 months. If you’re on the bubble as a Mixon manager without Gio, batten down the hatches for the next two weeks.
Matthew Stafford - Thumb
The reports are that Stafford has torn ligaments in his throwing thumb. Yikes. Even though he finished the games and played well, there’s about a 49% chance he’s held out now that there are hard objective findings working against him. The good news is that this doesn’t seem to be an avulsion fracture, so it’s less serious. At the top of the ilst for which structure is involved is the ulnar collateral ligament- the same injury Drew Brees suffered in 2019. Now this seems to be a much, much more mild version, but could still be difficult to grip a ball even if he’s active. Here’s when I would utilize Stafford in a lineup: a large field GPP play. He showed he can power through this injury once already and if you’re trying to save money at the position and combine that with low ownership, he’s your guy. Yes, Jameis Winston played with a fractured thumb last year, but these are two very different injuries and the range of outcomes are much different. Cash players stay away as he’s a highly volatile option.
Teddy Bridgewater - MCL
The primary restriction when it comes to MCL sprains isn’t “mobility” it’s dynamic mobility. That’s why Matt Rhule said that Teddy will need to have side-to-side movement specifically as the MCL protects the knee from caving in and can be quite painful when cutting if injured. The inflammation phase (the most painful time period of an injury) is between 3-7 days depending on the resource you look at. That means he’s right on the cusp of being out of pain. The fact they took an MRI shows the symptoms are bad. Additionally, Rhule is extremely conservative as shown by sitting CMC for 69 years. Lastly, he specifically said on Thursday that Teddy was “extremely limited.” Obviously, all of that can change by Sunday, but considering Bridgewater’s mobility is largely his appeal as a fantasy asset, it makes me nervous to trust he’ll have his legs by Sunday even if he’s active. I personally don’t expect him to play as of now, but if he does I’m staying away and sleeping fine. I need to see it from him first.
Drew Lock - Ribs
Here’s an interesting quote from Vic Fangio regarding Lock’s status on Sunday:
"I think all options are on the table as it relates to that moving forward," Fangio said. "He could be the backup if we decide not to start him, or he could be inactive — either way."
It’s also worth noting Lock was sore on Friday morning after a partial practice on Thursday. This painful ribs injury isn’t going away any time soon. Of course we need to be careful trusting coach speak- especially Fangio- but I don’t get good vibes from this direction. Which of course makes the Dolphins defense an even more enticing option on Sunday.
Dalton should make his return this week against Minnesota and it’s worth pointing out for DFS’ers that Minnesota has allowed the 7th most passing touchdowns and 9th most passing yards this year. Check out Scott Barrett and Wes Huber’s work for a much deeper dive, but, ya know if you’re fishing.
Man, this guy can’t catch a break. He picked up a high ankle sprain in the early season, a second ankle sprain on the opposite leg last week, and now he’s got a ribs injury. Even if Fant goes, he’s so beat up and that offense is so bad, there’s virtually no way to trust him. Over the last four games, here are Fant’s receptions and yards: 3 for 38, 7 for 47, 3 for 45, 3 for 18. It’ll take an army of scientists, a team of lawyers, and slight bribery to convince me Fant’s poor production is just due to the offense. His health matters. Now, he’s playing through a ribs injury notorious for making it hard to even breathe let alone play in an NFL game. Fant is a guy I’m personally fading but looking to 2021, he may be an injury discount.
Mo Alie-Cox - Knee
This mystery knee ailment cost MAC another practice today after getting in two limited sessions this week. He’s a volatile streaming option if active, but there’s about a 50% chance he sits.
Calvin Ridley - Foot
I want to see it first. Not that I don’t trust the medical professionals, but it’s always difficult to trust players off a major injury. Make no mistake this was pretty significant. If I’m a GPP player, sure, I’m going crazy. I would be much more hesitant in cash games before he gets at least one week under his belt.
Davante Adams - Ankle
Oh boy. Adams was downgraded from a limited participant on Wednesday to a non-participant on Thursday. Analyzing the practice reports since 2019, Green Bay has placed 89 players on the practice report and 31% have ended up being inactive. Now, Adams practiced in full on Friday so most concern has dissipated but let’s make one thing clear just as a healthy exercise:
Any time Davante Lavell Adams is active on Sunday do not bench him. He’s in that tier of superstars you simply never bench. Period. The potential let down you may feel due to the volatility is not worth the possible 30 burger he could hang on any given team given the connection he has with Aaron Rodgers.
Allen Lazard - Core
Lazard should return to action this week if all goes well. He’s a game time decision but considering the average return to play time after a core muscle surgery is 58 days and considering Lazard is at Day 56, he has a chance.
TENTATIVE PROJECTED RETURN DATES:
Joe Mixon- November 29th- December 6th
Chris Carson- November 29th
Austin Ekeler- December 6th- December 13th
Christian McCaffrey- November 29th- December 13th
Kenny Golladay- TBD