This article will be updated as practice reports roll in throughout the weekend. For the most up to date injury data between updates, bookmark this link and check it periodically.
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.
The following players have already been ruled out 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.
Saquon - Knee - Questionable
It’s highly likely Barkley will be on the field Sunday. Don’t expect a massive workload right off the bat. Play the long game with Barkley and you’ll be glad you did in Week Three/Four and beyond.
Austin Ekeler - Knee - Questionable
This is a sticky situation. On one hand, there’s this report stating it’s nothing to worry about. On the other hand, any soft tissue injury that forces a player to sit out two days in a row isn’t nothing. About 33% of players who are LP on Friday end up sitting out for a game based on historical data, so there’s a non-zero chance he’s inactive altogether. Narrowing this down to skill players with a hamstring strain and limited practice on a Friday, it turns out about 55% end up being OUT on Sunday. The single LP he did register on Friday isn’t necessarily inspiring, but it at least gives him a chance to play. So what if he plays? Is he volatile?
Yes, there’s optimism he plays, but there’s more to it than that. Further increasing the volatility on Ekeler is the fact that from 2018 through 2019, eight skill players playing through a hamstring injury and ended up re-injuring it during a game. Below is a chart of half PPR finishes from fantasy relevant players active through a hamstring injury designation 2018 to 2019.
This could end up being nothing as he himself states workload management is a new emphasis for the Chargers. However, in that same interview he admitted that the hamstring hasn’t been the same since the injury last year. Given that massive tear and the context of what it means for hamstring strains being “tricky”, I’ll personally need to see him prove his durability. When setting lineups, don’t forget that with hamstring strains, the floor is literally a goose egg. Ekeler is maximally volatile in Week One. Ultimately it’s highly unlikely you can start anyone in Ekeler’s place in traditional leagues, but in more shallow leagues, I would consider it. In DFS, I’m fading him completely.
Josh Jacobs - Toe
Jacobs was limited twice this week in preparation for Monday’s game. It’s unlikely this is “nothing” as toe injuries can be nasty and linger. Start Jacobs with moderate confidence in volume until we see him do it without setbacks. If you’re considering him in DFS, temper that exposure. Unfortunately with Week One injuries, there’s very little to take away until game-action. His comments this week were also intriguing as he hinted at the idea of getting veteran rest days from the get-go. This is a situation to monitor throughout the first quarter of the season.
DK Metcalf - Calf
There’s no doubt Metcalf will be out there on Sunday. This calf strain, however, is new and led to a LP on Friday. It’s not enough to advise a fade but soft tissue strains can recur/worsen. The local reporters think this is precautionary. With a player of this tier, it’s not enough to fade him in any way.
Odell Beckham Jr. - Knee - Questionable
Beckham hasn’t taken contact in practice which isn’t ideal. Ideally, you’d prefer them take on contact and get in at least a drill or two. That’s not to say OBJ won’t play on Sunday, but given his three LP statuses in a row, it’s hard to be confident in how much he’ll play and/or how many routes he’ll run. The unknown makes him highly volatile in Week One.
Emmanuel Sanders - Foot - Questionable
Sanders is dealing with a foot issue and was LP all week. This feels more like a veteran-type issue though and his status isn’t likely to be in question. However, like with OBJ, his volume and projected targets could take a hit due to lack of integration into the game plan. Consider him moderately volatile.
TENTATIVE PROJECTED RETURN DATES:
Rashad Bateman - Week Five
Michael Gallup - Week Five
Michael Thomas - Week Seven
Curtis Samuel - Unknown