Fantasy News & Analysis

Fantasy Football: Injury notes, actives/inactives for Week 10

Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor (28) runs the ball while Washington Commanders linebacker David Mayo (51) defends in the second quarter at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports



QB | RB | WR | TE


Quarterback

  • Buffalo Bills QB Josh Allen (elbow, questionable): Considered “hour to hour” by head coach Sean McDermott, but it sure looks like Case Keenum is expected to start considering Allen couldn’t practice all week. Obviously, moving from Allen to Keenum would be a downgrade for the entire offense, but just realize the Bills don’t play football with the intention of ever running the ball regardless of who is under center. This was evident in Week 5, when Keenum relieved Allen in the second half of the Bills’ blowout victory against the Pittsburgh Steelers and proceeded to throw five passes in six snaps that didn’t include kneel downs. Reminder: The Bills were up 38-3 at this point. The Bills (70.1%) join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (70.2%) and Kansas City Chiefs (70.7%) as the NFL’s only three offenses throwing the ball on over 70% of their non-garbage time plays. It’d be fair to expect the efficiency involved to fall off without Allen’s (I hate this word but it’s kinda true) generational talents under center, but just realize there should still be plenty of targets on the table for Stefon Diggs and company.

Expert Injury Analysis: Allen strained his UCL during his rookie season in 2018, forcing him out of four games. With the Bills having Super Bowl aspirations, I do not see how they could allow Allen to suit up this week. I expect Allen to eventually be ruled out for Week 10.

  • Los Angeles Rams QB Matthew Stafford (concussion, questionable): Appears to have a shot at suiting up after getting in a limited practice on Friday. Note that Cooper Kupp wasn’t active in backup QB John Wolford’s lone start back in Week 17, 2021, but head coach Sean McVay still trusted the former undrafted free agent enough to throw the ball 38 times. Even without Stafford, Kupp will maintain volume-driven WR1 treatment in fantasy leagues of all shapes and sizes.

Expert Injury Analysis: Part of the five-step concussion protocol consists of a limited practice followed by a full contact practice. Stafford was a limited participant on Friday, which means it is unlikely he plays in Week 10. Coach McVay suggested the Rams can hold a practice in a way to satisfy the full contact requirement on Saturday. I have never heard of a team doing this, however, as Saturdays are usually walk-throughs.

  • Tennessee Titans QB Ryan Tannehill (ankle, questionable): Can’t be trusted as a reliable fantasy asset if active due to the run-first nature of this Derrick Henry-led offense. Tannehill’s return would be good news for the pass-catchers involved, but even then, Tennessee remains the league’s only team to not produce a top-24 PPR wide receiver in even one week this season. Malik Willis has the theoretical dual-threat ability to be great in fantasy, but just realize he doesn’t yet have the sort of volume to warrant exposure outside of two-QB/superflex formats.

Expert Injury Analysis: Tannehill sandwiched a full practice with two limited sessions. I am optimistic he returns from his ankle injury in Week 10.

  • Arizona Cardinals QB Kyler Murray (hamstring, questionable): Seems to be on the right side of questionable after getting in back-to-back limited practices to end the week. Still, head coach Kliff Kingsbury has labeled Murray a game-time decision. Fantasy managers need to have a backup option ready with the Cardinals playing in the late afternoon slot. It’s also fair to downgrade a potentially limited Murray a bit ahead of a far-from-ideal matchup with Aaron Donald and company.

Expert Injury Analysis: Murray was trending in the right direction to but ultimately will unlikely play in Week 10.

  • Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers (right thumb, not listed): This issue was clearly bothering Rodgers in Week 7 and perhaps played a role in the Packers choosing to run a lateral play instead of a Hail Mary on the game’s final snap against the Washington Commanders. Still, Rodgers’ thumb shouldn’t impact his play-to-play volume, as a matchup with the Dallas Cowboys’ league-best pass rush in pressure rate is far more concerning.

Expert Injury Analysis: No limitations for Rodgers in Week 10.

  • Indianapolis Colts QB Matt Ryan (right shoulder, not listed): He's available to start if interim head coach Jeff Saturday wishes to move on from Sam Ehlinger. This offense has totaled just 19 points and 232 team passing yards in eight quarters of action with Ehlinger under center.

Expert Injury Analysis: No concern for Ryan's injured shoulder. He will be healthy for his backup role in Week 10.

Running back

  • Colts RB Jonathan Taylor (ankle, not listed), Deon Jackson (knee, out): It’d be surprising to see Taylor see fewer than 20 touches if fully healthy, but just realize this isn’t the easiest matchup in the world. Overall, the Colts come in as PFF’s 31st-ranked offensive line and are facing a Las Vegas Raiders defense that has allowed the third-fewest yards before contact per carry this season. Start Taylor in fantasy lineups of most shapes and sizes, but just realize expectations shouldn’t be at a top-five level these days.

Expert Injury Analysis: Taylor will return from his ankle injury in Week 10. Jackson will miss Week 10 with his knee injury, but I do not expect it to be serious.

  • Packers RB Aaron Jones (ankle, not listed): Jones is good to go for Sunday despite practicing in a limited fashion all week. The matchup against Micah Parsons certainly isn’t ideal. Still, Jones had been steadily taking more and more of the backfield’s available opportunities before the injury, as he continues to warrant borderline RB1 consideration as essentially the only source of consistency inside of the league’s 27th-ranked scoring offense.

Expert Injury Analysis: I do not expect any limitations for Jones in Week 10 due to his ankle injury.

  • Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott (knee, questionable): Owner Jerry Jones has already confirmed that Zeke is expected to suit up Sunday against the Packers despite the questionable tag. Treat Zeke as a touchdown-dependent RB2 who looks to be on his way to finding the end zone as the primary goal-line back inside of an offense implied to score a respectable 24 points. Tony Pollard remains an overqualified backup that the Cowboys are quite fine with not overloading. Treat him as a low-end RB2 who is always capable of making the most out of his opportunities. Nobody has averaged more yards per carry than Pollard (6.3) among 47 running backs with at least 50 carries.

Expert Injury Analysis: Elliott has been a limited participant in practice all week but is unlikely to play in Week 10.

  • Detroit Lions RB D’Andre Swift (ankle/shoulder, not listed): He managed to practice in full on Friday and is good to go for Sunday’s matchup against the Chicago Bears. Head coach Dan Campbell’s latest comments: “We'll see what he looks like Wednesday and Thursday. And if he feels a little bit better than he did last week, then yeah, he’s going to get more of a load. I think it’s looking pretty encouraging.” The issue with buying too heavily into the potential usage bump is the reality that Swift practiced in full and wasn’t even given a questionable tag in Week 8 before falling into this limited usage. Any sort of expectation about his workload is going to be a bit of a guess for the time being, and the Lions are apparently comfortable having Justin Jackson help take over the passing-down work in the meantime. I’m continuing to stay away from Swift until there is on-field evidence that he’s back to seeing a workload that can even come close to double-digit touches per game. Meanwhile, Jamaal Williams is a touchdown-dependent RB2 who is set to have plenty of opportunities to do just that against a Bears’ front seven that was stripped of its best resources at the trade deadline.

Expert Injury Analysis: Swift is getting healthier by the week, and I expect role and volume to increase in Week 10.

  • Houston Texans RB Dameon Pierce (chest/shoulder, not listed): Pierce appears to be fine after getting in limited practices on Wednesday and Thursday before finishing the week with a full session. The Texans regularly yank Pierce off the field in favor of Rex Burkhead on passing downs, and the league’s 28th-ranked scoring offense understandably hasn’t produced a plethora of fantasy-friendly goal-line opportunities. Even then, head coach Lovie Smith has set his heart on feeding Pierce the rock, making him a weekly volume-based RB1. There haven’t been many (any?) bright spots from this organization in recent years, but Pierce’s fantasy excellence certainly qualifies.

Expert Injury Analysis: Pierce is dealing with minor chest/shoulder injuries but will play in Week 10.

Expert Injury Analysis: Ingram will miss another week with a Grade 2 MCL sprain. He is likely to miss at least the next two weeks.

  • Rams RB Kyren Williams (hand, IR), Malcolm Brown (hamstring, out): Maybe Williams does indeed take over this backfield, but that seems like a stretch in the rookie’s NFL debut. Ultimately, the Rams’ 29th-ranked scoring offense has produced just 547 rushing yards this season – the second-lowest mark in the league ahead of only the Buccaneers (546). Every other NFL offense has over 700 rushing yards through nine weeks of action. This is absolutely an unstable multi-back committee inside of a horrendous offense that ranks 30th in carries and 26th in targets to the position. Do everything in your power to keep anyone from this offense not named Cooper Kupp out of your starting fantasy lineup.

Expert Injury Analysis: Williams will make his return from his Week 1 high-ankle sprain. He had surgery and has missed the expected time. He should be ready to roll but is likely to be eased into the game volume-wise. Brown is likely dealing with a Grade 1 hamstring strain, return-to-play is typically one to three weeks.

  • Chiefs RB Jerick McKinnon (shoulder/knee/hamstring, questionable): McKinnon usually leads the Chiefs in snaps, so his potential absence would be great news for both Isiah Pacheco and Clyde Edwards-Helaire, who would be the favorite to assume most of McKinnon’s fantasy-friendly pass-down work. Still, there’s a chance that Ronald Jones could be elevated to the active roster and keep this committee at three.

Expert Injury Analysis: McKinnon was a late add to the injury report, which is never a good sign. He is likely a game-time decision, and I am pessimistic he will be ready to go for Week 10.

  • Commanders RB J.D. McKissic (neck): Tentatively fire up Antonio Gibson as a low-end RB2 should McKissic miss the Commanders’ Monday night matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles, but even then, he hardly needs to be started inside of the league’s 26th-ranked scoring offense. This is especially true as long as head coach Ron Rivera insists on keeping Brian Robinson equally involved in the backfield. The rookie is averaging the fewest yards per touch (3.2) among 47 running backs with at least 60 combined carries and receptions this season.

Expert Injury Analysis: McKissic was a DNP this week and could potentially miss Week 10.

Expert Injury Analysis: Mitchell will return from his knee injury in Week 10. I expect the 49ers to limit his volume and ease him back in.


Wide receiver

  • 49ers WR Deebo Samuel (hamstring not listed): Samuel practiced in full all week and is good to go for Sunday night’s matchup against the Chargers. The concern for Samuel in getting back to weekly WR1 goodness is his once obscene rushing production has largely been missing all season. Overall, Samuel posted 8-52-1 and 4-53-0 rushing lines in Weeks 1 and 2 but hasn’t scored a rushing touchdown or gained even 15 yards on the ground in a game since. Samuel has still put together plenty of productive performances despite the newfound lack of a rushing floor – kings stay kings after all – but I’ll be treating him as more of a top-15 option as opposed to a locked-in upside WR1 due to the reality that the 49ers haven’t exactly gone out of their way to force feed him the ball all season.

Expert Injury Analysis: I expect Samuel to have no limitations in his return from his hamstring injury.

  • Packers WR Romeo Doubs (ankle, out), Allen Lazard (shoulder, not listed), Sammy Watkins (knee, not listed), Amari Rodgers (quad, questionable), Christian Watson (concussion protocol, not listed): The Cowboys have only asked Trevon Diggs to shadow A.J. Brown this season. It’s possible they decide Lazard is worthy of the treatment considering all the injuries in the Green Bay wide receiver room, but it seems unlikely considering Diggs refrained from following Mike Evans, Ja’Marr Chase and Terry McLaurin earlier in the season. Fire up the only wide receiver that Aaron Rodgers has come close to fully trusting this season as a volume-induced top-20 option even if Micah Parsons and company could make life a living hell for Rodgers on more snaps than not this Sunday.

Expert Injury Analysis: Doubs is out with a high-ankle sprain, and the return-to-play timeline is typically four to six weeks. Rodgers was downgraded Friday with a hamstring injury, too, which is never a good sign. I am now concerned he will not be available for Week 10. Lazard, Watkins, and Watson will have no limitations in Week 10.

  • Minnesota Vikings WR Adam Thielen (ankle, not listed): He started the week off with a limited practice, but Thielen is good to go after finishing the week with back-to-back full sessions. Credit to Thielen for not having gone more than three non-injured games without scoring a touchdown since 2018, although he’ll have a tough continuing that streak against a Bills defense that has allowed just six receiving scores to opposing wide receivers this season – tied for the seventh-lowest mark in the league.

Expert Injury Analysis: I do not expect any limitations for Thielen in Week 10 due to his ankle injury.

  • Chargers WR Keenan Allen (hamstring, out), Mike Williams (ankle, out): Continue to fire up Josh Palmer as a legit WR2 while working as Justin Herbert’s No. 1 wide receiver. Palmer’s PPR WR10 finish in Week 9 marked the first time all season that he managed to crack the position’s top 20. This was his first full game with both Allen and Williams out of the picture, so it’d make sense if he at least starts flirting more with WR2 finishes as opposed to some of the true duds that he displayed in Week 1 (WR87), Week 4 (WR79) and Week 5 (WR74). The 49ers aren’t exactly a matchup to target, but just realize just about any wide receiver realistically looking at double-digit targets per game from Herbert is worthy of WR2 treatment in fantasy land.

Expert Injury Analysis: Allen will miss yet another week with a hamstring injury that has plagued him all year. He is getting closer to returning, but this may be an issue he deals with all season. Williams will miss another couple of weeks due to his high-ankle sprain.

Expert Injury Analysis: Hardman has been ruled out due to his abdomen injury, but it is not considered major. I do not expect him to miss more than a week or two.

  • Cardinals WR Rondale Moore (hand, not listed), Greg Dortch (groin, questionable): Moore’s lone duds this season coincide with the two games that he was forced to play on the outside when A.J. Green was sidelined and Robbie Anderson was still a Carolina Panther. Otherwise, the pint-sized playmaker has put up consistent PPR goodness from the friendly confines of the slot: Fire him up as a volume-based WR3 play with the upside for more.

Expert Injury Analysis: There will be no limitations for Moore in Week 10 due to his hand injury. Dortch was a late add to the injury report with a groin injury, which is concerning — the typical return-to-play timeline is two to three weeks.

  • Saints WR Jarvis Landry (ankle, not listed): Landry practiced in a limited fashion all week and is good to go for Sunday. He’s not a bad bench stash in the hopes that he’s fully healthy, but for this week, Chris Olave remains the only recommended start from this group. Olave’s PPR WR42 finish in Week 8 marks the only time that he’s finished outside the position’s top-24 highest scorers since Week 2. Don’t be surprised if Olave flirts with an upper-end outcome against the Steelers’ league-worst secondary in PPR points per game allowed to the position.

Expert Injury Analysis: Landry will make his return from his high-ankle sprain. He likely will have to be eased back in.

  • Buccaneers WR Mike Evans (ribs/ankle, not listed), WR Russell Gage (hamstring, out), Julio Jones (knee, not listed): Tom Brady and company are capable of balling out against even the league’s best defenses when everything is clicking. At some point, Chris Godwin and Evans’ status as the No. 2 and No. 3 target-getters in the entire NFL since Week 4 has to translate to more fantasy production. While I’ve softened on the top-15 treatment for Godwin a tad, both should continue to be shoved into starting fantasy lineups of most shapes and sizes. Jones isn’t anything more than a low-floor FLEX with Scotty Miller staying plenty involved.

Expert Injury Analysis: Gage will miss his third game in a row due to a hamstring strain. He is likely dealing with a Grade 1 hamstring strain, and the return-to-play timeline is typically one to three weeks. Evans and Jones will have no limitations in Week 10.

  • Raiders WR Hunter Renfrow (oblique, IR): Don’t expect any single receiver to take Renfrow’s full-time slot role, as the bigger benefit goes to Mack Hollins simply getting more looks from Derek Carr. Note that Hollins had already been working ahead of the Raiders’ slot maven for most of the season. Fire up Hollins as an underrated WR4 with the potential to break into the WR3 conversation inside of an offense without a clear No. 2 pass-game option behind Davante Adams.

Expert Injury Analysis: Renfrow has been placed on IR for his oblique injury and will miss at least the next four weeks.

  • Lions WR Josh Reynolds (back, out): Kalif Reymond and Tom Kennedy will flank Amon-Ra St. Brown in three-WR sets. Fire up ARSB as a top-10 wide receiver ahead of Sunday’s smash spot. Rookie Bears nickelback Kyler Gordon might have a bright future, but through nine weeks, he grades out as PFF’s 13th-worst cornerback in coverage among 126 qualified defensive backs.

Expert Injury Analysis: Reynolds will miss his second straight game with a back injury. Back injuries are debilitating and tough to play through. He could miss a couple more weeks.

  • Texans WR Brandin Cooks (wrist, questionable), Nico Collins (groin, questionable), Phillip Dorsett (ankle, not listed): It remains to be seen if Cooks will get his usual full-time role back in this offense after his falling out with the organization at the trade deadline, but if active, he should be able to win against PFF’s second-lowest graded secondary in PFF coverage grade. Collins is also at risk of being limited if active. Close start/sit questions involving any Texans pass-catcher should probably go to the other guy.

Expert Injury Analysis: If Cooks were to miss the game, it would not be due to injury but rather because of his drama with the team. I am optimistic Collins returns in Week 10 from his groin injury. I have no concerns about Dorsett's availability for Week 10.

  • Cowboys WR Noah Brown (foot, not listed): Brown had the Week 9 bye to get healthier. His presence is more of a detriment to Michael Gallup’s upside than someone who can be counted on as a realistic fantasy option. The Cowboys’ run-first offense has happily featured CeeDee Lamb and Dalton Schultz ahead of Brown and Gallup with Dak Prescott under center.

Expert Injury Analysis: I do not expect any limitations for Brown in Week 10 due to his foot injury.

  • Commanders WR Jahan Dotson (hamstring): Dotson looks on track to suit up for the first time since Week 4. The first-round pick scored four touchdowns in his first four career games, but just realize the Taylor Heinicke experience has produced 23, 17 and 17 points in three games, and the 29-year-old veteran hasn’t exactly made a habit of making good decisions with the football. Overall, Heinicke is PFF’s single-lowest graded quarterback among 38 qualified signal-callers due in a large part to a league-high 8.2% turnover-worthy play rate. Wait at least a week to confidently throw Dotson back into starting lineups against the Eagles’ top-ranked defense in EPA allowed per pass play.

Expert Injury Analysis: Dotson is trending in the right direction to return in Week 10 from his hamstring injury. The Commanders will likely limit his load and ease him back in.

  • Denver Broncos WR KJ Hamler (hamstring, out), Kendall Hinton (illness, questionable): Hinton or Montrell Washington will step in as the offense’s No. 3 receiver, but neither is expected to have a big enough role to warrant fantasy consideration outside of being a cheap DFS punt. The Broncos are averaging just 15.1 points per game this season – the third-lowest mark in the league.

Expert Injury Analysis: Hamler will likely miss the next week or two with a Grade 1 hamstring strain.

  • New York Giants WR Kenny Golladay (knee, questionable): Don’t expect a full-time role if active. Either way, Daniel Jones has thrown for six touchdowns the entire season. He’s yet to reach even 220 passing yards in a game. There isn’t enough meat on the bone to warrant re-draft exposure.

Expert Injury Analysis: Golladay is trending in the right direction to return from his knee injury.


Tight end

  • Cleveland Browns TE David Njoku (ankle, out): Njoku still isn’t quite healthy enough to suit up even after having a Week 9 bye to get right. Neither Harrison Bryant (42% route rate in Week 8) nor Pharaoh Brown (8%) had a fantasy-viable role with Njoku sidelined in their last game.

Expert Injury Analysis: Njoku is out in Week 10 but is closing in on returning. I expect him back in the next week or two.

  • Cowboys TE Dalton Schultz (knee, not listed): He is good to go after practicing in full all week. It’d make sense if Schultz has something close to a full-time role after having a Week 9 bye to heal up. I love betting the over on Schultz’s 31.5 receiving yardage prop, as the line seems far more based on his 33.8 receiving yards per game this season, not his three performances with Dak Prescott under center that produced 7-62-0, 5-49-0 and 6-74-0 receiving lines.

Expert Injury Analysis: I do not expect any limitations for Schultz in Week 10.

  • Raiders TE Darren Waller (hamstring, IR): He will miss at least the next four weeks. Foster Moreau plays a true every-down role with Waller sidelined. The backup tight end even ran a route on 87% of Derek Carr’s dropbacks last week. Moreau is a great TE2 option for needy rosters inside of an offense without a clear No. 2 pass-game option behind Davante Adams.

Expert Injury Analysis: Waller was placed on IR with the hamstring issue that has plagued him most of the season. He will miss at least the next four weeks.

  • Buccaneers TE Cameron Brate (neck, questionable): Brate practiced in full all week and seems to be on the right side of the questionable tag. His presence would immediately downgrade Cade Ottton to a low-end TE2. Foster Moreau is a better streaming option for TE-needy rosters.

Expert Injury Analysis: I am optimistic Brate returns from his neck injury in Week 10.

  • Colts TE Mo Alie-Cox (ankle, questionable), Jelani Woods (shoulder, out): Suddenly Kylen Granson could be looking at a near-every-down role, which is a rarity in this multi-TE offense. Of course, there’s no way of knowing exactly what interim head coach Jeff Saturday has planned in terms of pass-play rate. I would still prefer Robert Tonyan, Cole Kmet and Evan Engram over Granson even if the Colts are without both of their monster tight ends.

Expert Injury Analysis: Alie-Cox and Woods have been DNPs all week. Woods is already ruled out, and I do not expect Alie-Cox to play in Week 10.

  • Jacksonville Jaguars TE Evan Engram (back, not listed): Last week, the injury resulted in Engram running a route on just 55% of Trevor Lawrence’s dropbacks. He’s more of a borderline TE1 this week than someone who should be started with confidence due to the potential for a slightly lesser role than normal. Backup TE Dan Arnold is plenty capable of holding his own as a pass-catcher.

Expert Injury Analysis: I have no concerns about Engram for Week 10.

  • Giants TE Daniel Bellinger (eye, out): Backup TE Tanner Hudson ran a route on a robust 82% of Daniel Jones’ dropbacks in Week 8. The problem is that Jones has thrown for six touchdowns the entire season. He’s yet to reach even 220 passing yards in a game. Hudson is a decent enough DFS punt, but there isn’t enough meat on the bone to warrant re-draft exposure.

Expert Injury Analysis: Bellinger will miss another week with his freak eye injury.


Other

  • Steelers EDGE T.J. Watt (pectoral, IR): Watt is back and won’t be on a snap count. Don’t be surprised if the 2021 AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year drastically helps all parties involved in the Steelers’ 24th-ranked scoring defense.
  • Saints secondary: Still won’t get CB Marshon Lattimore (abdomen, out) and now S Marcus Maye (abdomen, questionable) could also be sidelined. This will be the first objectively good matchup that Kenny Pickett and company have faced this season.
  • Colts LB Shaquille Leonard (back/ankle, IR): Was added to the injury report on Thursday and the injured reserve on Friday. This is already a run defense that has given up 125-plus yards on the ground in four of the last six games. Without Leonard, this could turn into an enticing blowup spot for Josh Jacobs.
  • Packers defense: CB Eric Stokes (ankle/knee, out), CB Shemar Jean-Charles (ankle, out), LB De’Vondre Campbell (knee, out) and LB Krys Barnes (concussion, doubtful) will join LB Rashan Gary (ACL, IR) on the sideline ahead of their battle with the Cowboys. 
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