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 Friday night.
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.
Joe Burrow - Finger/Knee
Burrow was playing through considerable pain last week after injuring his finger early on. He even attempted using a glove which didn’t work out due to the pain. He was limited on Thursday in practice. The bottom line is Burrow will likely be fine but don’t be shocked if his accuracy is impacted - especially late in the game. Leverage Burrow where it makes sense but don’t anticipate a ceiling game from him this week.
Taysom Hill - Finger
Hill’s entire arm could fall off and he would likely still be a usable fantasy football QB. Start Hill with only a slight downgrade
Joe Mixon - Illness
Mixon will apparently try and play this week despite being out of practice all week with non-COVID related illness. Now, there’s no telling how severe this illness is or what it is. However, in a worst case scenario, Mixon sees virtually no work due to dehydration and/or fatigue. This is what happened just last week with Boston Scott. Now, the floor isn’t necessarily the most likely scenario and getting a whole week of rest doesn’t inherently mean he’s knocked out in bed with a bottle of Pedialyte. There’s a chance he’ll be up to play and do…okay. However, the right process says this isn’t a ceiling game for Mixon and exposure to him in cash should be calculated. Finally, there is some reason to be optimistic he’ll be okay according to Ben Baby.
Saquon Barkley - Ankle
Barkley was added back onto the injury report and it’s likely this is still nagging him. However, with his volume, it’s hard to fade him. Just be aware a Miles Sanders type re-injury is in the cards.
Chase Edmonds - Ankle
Edmonds was designated to return. He’ll likely fall into the group of skill players who see a 20% production dip in their first week back to action.
Tony Pollard - Foot
Pollard claims he tore his plantar fascia. If this is a complete rupture, there’s almost no way he plays. If this is a partial rupture, it’s extremely painful and there’s almost no way he’s productive. If Pollard is ultimately active and productive, I’m more than willing to take that L. He’s at a high risk to sit and highly volatile if active.
Jeff Wilson Jr - Knee
Wilson had an aggravation of his knee last week which could linger into this week as he’s reportedly taking the lead in this backfield. Start Wilson with cautious optimism that he’ll make it through without another exacerbation.
Keenan Allen and Mike Williams - COVID
The reports out of LA continue to be positive for Allen and Williams. As of Friday afternoon, it does seem like they’ll be available on Sunday as Williams has continued to test negative. What’s unknown if Allen has experienced symptoms and/or if he’ll be 100%. Either way, both of these guys are worth waiting on as long as possible. Continue to check the Injury Tracker and read up on the COVID protocol.
Amari Cooper - COVID
Last week the reports were that Amari Cooper was still struggling with a cough after having COVID. This is not great and it showed. The more concerning part is that there’s an outside chance he’s actually still not back to 100%. I have to see it from him personally to be sure. Hopefully he can kick the symptoms for good.
Julio Jones - Hamstring
Well, he’s back…again. He’s still at high risk to re-injure the hamstring that has bothered him since last year. However, the hope is this long rest and rehab will minimize the probabilities.
Allen Robinson II - Hamstring
A-Rob has disappointed fantasy managers all year long and is now returning from a hamstring strain that has kept him out several weeks. Re-injury is on the table for Robinson. He’s highly volatile in his return to action.
Davante Adams - Hamstring
Adams has been limited for two days in practice coming out of the bye week. That’s not great as re-injury is possible in his first week back. He’s moderately volatile in cash games this week.
JD McKissic - Concussion
McKissic will be moderately volatile in his return due to re-injury risk.
Kadarius Toney - Oblique/Groin
Toney will be a game time decision. This core muscle issue makes him highly volatile due to re-injury risk if he’s active. Use him sparingly.
TENTATIVE PROJECTED RETURN DATES:
The following dates are based primarily on updates directly from beat reporters or the team. When appropriate, historical data & clinical experience are used to refine these dates. They are educated guesses. Not set in stone.
Derrick Henry - Week 16-18
Henry returning before 10 weeks is the least likely scenario to happen
Kadarius Toney - Week 15/16
Michael Carter - Week 15/16
D’Andre Swift - Week 15/16
The silver lining is that Swift is considered “day-to-day” but that still implies the injury wasn’t nothing. The average return to play for an AC sprain is 10 days, but that would be cutting it close depending on the severity (grade) of the injury.. Realistic managers should expect this to go 2-3 weeks and give a sigh of relief if it’s only a one game absence.
Darren Waller - Week 15/16
Daniel Jones - ???
Deebo Samuel - Week 15/16
A.J. Brown - Week 15/16
Elijah Mitchell - Week 15/16
Elijah Moore - Week 15/16
Tevin Coleman - Week 15/16
Adam Thielen - Week Week 15/16
Damien Harris - Week 15/16