Injuries are an unfortunate reality in football, which means they are also something we have to deal with in fantasy football. Not even the most expertly drafted fantasy roster is immune to injuries. Every owner is going to have to surf the waiver wire for replacement production at some point this season – if your time hasn’t come yet, it will.
This fantasy football injury report will serve as your one-stop shop for injury updates, waiver wire ideas, and start-sit recommendations. Before I get into specific player analysis, let’s take a look at the Week 5 slate. Knowing when the games are being played is vital to making start-sit decisions for injured players. One of the most important rules in fantasy football: always put your non-early slate question-mark players in the flex. Doing this provides you the most options to replace that player in your lineup if he ends up being a late add to the inactive list before game time.
|Week 5 NFL slate|
|DEN @ NYJ||ATL @ PIT|
|GB @ DET||BAL @ CLV|
|NYG @ CAR||MIA @ CIN|
|TEN @ BUF||JAX @ KC|
|OAK @ LAC||LAR @ SEA|
|MIN @ PHI||ARZ @ SF|
|DAL @ HOU|
|WAS @ NO|
No injuries of concern
Obviously, we’re sitting Cobb here as he’s unavailable.
It’s encouraging that Allison hasn’t been ruled out yet, but he hasn’t cleared the concussion protocol as of Sunday morning. Allison has emerged as a downfield threat for the Packers, with receptions of over 20 yards in each of his past three games and over 64 yards total in each of those contests. If Allison does clear the protocol, he’s a must-start.
(UPDATE: Allison is inactive for the game Take him out of lineups.)
Adams participated in the Packers’ Saturday practice and is expected to play barring any setbacks prior to game-time. Ditto for Jones, who was also listed as questionable last week but played. I’d feel comfortable starting both players – particularly Jones, who has absolutely ravaged the Packers in recent years.
Rhett Ellison will fill in for Engram once more and is a legitimate streaming option Sunday based on his Week 4 usage. He saw five targets and ran 34 routes, which is plenty of opportunity if you’re desperate and the waiver wire is otherwise barren. I’d feel comfortable starting him and the bonus with Ellison as a streamer (versus other injury replacements) is that he becomes a multi-week fill-in option while you’re waiting on Engram to return.
Olsen practicing this week, which led to reports he could play. He’s officially ruled out, but the practice reports are encouraging. Some may recommend adding him as a stash, but dating back to 2017, he’s only exceeded 33 receiving yards in one out of eight games and the Panthers passing attack no longer resembles the one he left. Roster spots are too valuable in season-long and Olsen frankly hasn’t been right in quite some time. I’m taking a prove-it-first approach.
TE: Charles Clay (questionable, ankle)
Clay saw a season-high six targets last week against the Packers and turned them into eight PPR points. However, he’s a low-floor option against a Titans defense which hasn’t allowed a touchdown to a tight end yet this season. Not a great option today regardless of the injury – I’d look elsewhere.
No game-time decisions on fantasy-relevant players. Devonta Freeman returns, and you can start him with confidence in a game that projects to display plenty of offensive firepower.
RB: In case you missed it, Alex Collins was removed from the injury report and will play.
TE: Hayden Hurst (questionable, foot)
Hurst is a prime waiver wire target in general as he led Ravens tight ends in usage during the preseason and had a 5/47/1 receiving line prior to his injury. If he plays, he’s a viable streaming option against the Browns, although it’s fair to note that Cleveland is now more of a slightly above-average matchup for tight ends as opposed to being an auto-start situation like the past few seasons.
(UPDATE: Hurst is active Sunday. He's a high-risk streaming option.)
RB: Giovani Bernard (out, knee)
Unfortunately, the Bernard train didn’t make it very far down the tracks this season. Joe Mixon should return to his early-season bell-cow role against Miami. With Bernard reportedly out up to four weeks, try to trade him for a usable player. Stashing him is a luxury reserved for undefeated squads at this point.
WR: DeVante Parker (questionable, quad)
Albert Wilson is a decent flex option if Parker can’t go. He saw six targets last week with Parker out.
TE: Tyler Eifert (out, ankle)
I like C.J.Uzomah better than Tyler Kroft if you’re throwing darts at the Bengals offense. Uzomah ran more routes last week and had shown some fantasy upside in previous weeks even in his limited role. The Dolphins are above-average at defending tight ends in fantasy, but Uzomah would be a rest-of-season option and thus is worth an add even if you don’t plan to use him Sunday.
RB: Leonard Fournette (out, hamstring)
Start T.J. Yeldon with confidence against the Chiefs and view him as a RB2 in PPR for as long as Fournette is out. Corey Grant is worth a spot on your watch list (at minimum) as he’ll also see work. I would advocate trading Fournette to an owner who is willing to deal with the dead roster spot for the foreseeable future. Fournette was rushed back the first time and I expect the team to take extra precaution this time around before letting him return to action.
WR: Sammy Watkins (questionable, hamstring)
I am not comfortable starting Watkins in Week 5. Look to your bench for alternatives or consider adding Chris Conley as a same-team replacement if you don’t have another option you like. In 2018, any healthy Chiefs receiver seeing strong snap share is good bet, thanks to Patrick Mahomes.
(Watkins is active Sunday, but too risky to start unless you're stuck.)
WR: Travis Benjamin (out, foot)
You weren’t going to start Benjamin, but this is great news for Mike Williams owners. He should continue to see nearly 70 percent of snaps in Benjamin’s absence, making him an upside WR3 in the Chargers offense.
RB: Dalvin Cook (questionable, hamstring)
Cook's status isn't clear as of Sunday morning, but even if he goes he's likely to be limited. If he’s only a borderline starter on your squad then you should strongly consider sitting him. The Vikings line is a mess, though C Pat Elflein returns this week. Cook is a volume-dependent flex/RB2 play.
No injuries of concern
RB: Matt Breida (questionable, shoulder)
This tag is a formality. Breida carries a heavy load last week and should be in your lineups.
Fitzgerald encouragingly saw over a quarter of Cardinals targets last week. He played on this tag last week, so expect him to be out there today again. I’d sit Goodwin, a speed-based player recovering from multiple soft tissue injuries. He also adds late slate stress if you’re waiting for the updates and you’ll have fewer sub options as a result. Wait a week.
No injuries of concern
No injuries of concern