Fantasy Football: Week 6 injury roundup

2M7F4XB Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) plays against the Detroit Lions during an NFL football game in Detroit, Sunday, Dec. 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Major losses: Justin Jefferson, De’Von Achane, and Anthony Richardson have been major fantasy assets through the first 5 weeks, but all now face 4 weeks on injured reserve.

• Timely bye weeks: No team may have needed a bye week at a better time than the Steelers, who are set to return Diontae Johnson (hamstring) and Pat Freiermuth (hamstring) while T.J. Watt rehabs a finger injury.

• Dominate your fantasy league in 2023: For up-to-date fantasy draft rankings and projections, check out PFF’s fantasy rankings tool!

Estimated reading time: 8 minutes

Now in Week 6, the NFL season is truly starting to take its toll, producing the longest injury roundup of the season thus far with some massive names to boot. Justin Jefferson and De’Von Achane (among others) are set to miss significant chunks of time, likely sidetracking a lot of managers' successful seasons while recurring appearances from D.K. Metcalf and Tee Higgins produce tough questions to answer each week.

Without further ado, let’s have a look around the league at some of the biggest fantasy injury implications for this weekend.


Week 6 Byes:

WR:CB Matchup Chart

 

Justin Jefferson (hamstring), Minnesota Vikings (IR)

The current WR4, Jefferson was placed on injured reserve with a hamstring injury, sidelining him until week 10 at the earliest. Due to his early week 5 exit, Jordan Addison led the team with six catches for 64 yards and a touchdown. The rookie practiced in a limited fashion Wednesday, but his status for Week 6’s matchup in Chicago, which allows the second-most yards per passing attempt in the league (8.45) doesn’t appear to be in doubt. Addison’s expanded role provides WR2 upside while T.J. Hockenson (TE2) should continue to receive heavy usage.

Anthony Richardson (shoulder), Indianapolis Colts (IR)

Richardson was placed on injured reserve after a shoulder injury last weekend against the Tennessee Titans, forcing him to miss at least the next four weeks, although a sprained AC joint may require surgery and could take upwards of eight weeks to fully heal. In his absence, the Colts turn to Gardner Minshew, who is capable of keeping the offense moving and Michael Pittman Jr. fantasy relevant. Additionally, the reintegration of Jonathan Taylor with Zack Moss (current RB7) makes the run game scary.

De’Von Achane (ankle), Miami Dolphins (IR)

After setting the league on fire over the last few weeks, averaging over one fantasy point generated on every touch, the current RB3 has been placed on IR after suffering an ankle injury against the New York Giants. The Dolphins subsequently activated Jeff Wilson Jr. off injured reserve, who could prove a solid bye week FLEX play over the next few weeks, while Raheem Mostert (current RB2) remains a high-ceiling RB starter. If Wilson is still unable to go for Week 6, undrafted free agent Chris Brooks or Salvon Ahmed could factor in.

Khalil Herbert (ankle) and Roschon Johnson (concussion), Chicago Bears

Herbert went down with an awkward ankle injury in last Thursday’s win over Washington, knocking him out for Week 6 and likely beyond, although no move to injured reserve has been made as of yet. Likewise, rookie Roschon Johnson suffered a concussion and left the Thursday night matchup. He has not practiced, leaving his status in doubt as well. D’Onta Foreman will be active for the first time since Week 1 with Herbert out, and if Johnson were unable to go, he wohttps://www.pff.com/nfl/teams/baltimore-ravens/3uld receive the bulk of the RB work.

Amon-Ra St. Brown (abdomen), Sam LaPorta (calf) & Jahmyr Gibbs (hamstring), Detroit Lions

Gibbs did not practice Wednesday or Thursday while St. Brown was limited both days. Both missed Detroit’s week 5 win over the Carolina Panthers and will need to be monitored heading into the weekend, but there is little optimism around Gibbs for this weekend. LaPorta popped up on the injury report Thursday with a DNP due to a calf injury. There isn’t enough information about his injury at the moment, so keep an eye on the current TE1’s status come Sunday morning.

James Conner (knee), Arizona Cardinals (IR)

The Cardinals placed Conner on injured reserve with a knee injury, opening the door for Keaontay Ingram and Emari Demercado to dominate the RB snaps in the Arizona backfield. Demercado was a popular waiver wire addition after finishing as the RB20 with Conner exiting early and Ingram missing the game due to a neck injury. Ingram was limited Wednesday but is listed as RB1 on the Cardinals' depth chart. This is still a muddy situation that is not super encouraging for either Ingram or Demercado, although Demercado’s 76.8 pass-blocking grade should give him the edge for passing down work. 

Deshaun Watson (shoulder), Cleveland Browns

Watson missed the Browns’ week 4 matchup with the Baltimore Ravens, and even with the Week 5 bye to recover, it does not appear as though he will play Week 6 after logging DNPs on Wednesday and Thursday. In his stead, the Browns will turn to journeyman P.J. Walker over rookie Dorian Thompson-Robinson, providing a bit more ceiling for this offense, although the matchup with the San Francisco 49ers, who are holding opponents to under 270 total yards of offense and allowing just 5.35 yards per passing attempt, makes skill position players like Amari Cooper and Jerome Ford shaky starters.

Daniel Jones (neck), New York Giants

Jones was knocked out against the Dolphins due to a neck injury and has not practiced this week ahead of the Giants’ Monday night matchup with the Buffalo Bills, putting his status heavily in doubt. If you’re in a superflex or deeper league and need QB help with Jones potentially sidelined, Tyrod Taylor should already be on your roster, although a matchup with the Bills, who lead the league in interceptions and rank second in total QB knockdowns (potentially without Darren Waller and Saquon Barkley), does not inspire much confidence. 

Tank Dell (concussion), Houston Texans

The rookie WR suffered a concussion in Week 5 and has not practiced thus far this week as he works through concussion protocol, making him unlikely to suit up for Sunday’s matchup against the New Orleans Saints. Dell’s absence opens the door for Nico Collins (WR21) while Dalton Schultz is coming off season highs in targets, receptions and yards as well. 

Others to monitor

Miles Sanders (shoulder), Carolina Panthers

Sanders missed both Wednesday and Thursday’s practices due to a shoulder injury, opening the door for Chuba Hubbard to dominate the RB workload for the Panthers' Week 6 game in Miami if he were to be inactive. While the Panthers offense has struggled, the lack of backfield competition should provide enough volume to make Hubbard a FLEX play.

Mike Evans (hamstring), Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Evans did not participate in practice Wednesday and put in limited participation Thursday coming off the Buccaneers' bye week, leaving his status up in the air for Sunday’s matchup with Detroit. His practice status for Friday will likely be a big indicator of whether he goes Sunday, but keep an eye out Sunday morning regardless. 

Chris Olave (toe), New Orleans Saints

Olave reportedly played through a toe issue in Week 5, catching his first touchdown of the season despite just five targets on 30 routes run. He was limited in Wednesday’s practice but was not limited on Thursday, which is an encouraging sign for his Sunday status. If he is unable to go, Michael Thomas (19th in the NFL with 38 targets) and Rashid Shaheed should dominate the Saints' WR usage.  

Dalton Kincaid (concussion), Buffalo Bills

Kincaid practiced Wednesday and Thursday in some capacity as he works through concussion protocol ahead of the Bills Monday night matchup with the Giants. With an extra day, there is a solid chance he plays, but his usage has not been encouraging enough through the first five weeks to merit a weekly lineup lock, so looking elsewhere for TE help with his status up in the air is not a bad idea.

Tee Higgins (ribs), Cincinnati Bengals

Putting in limited practices on Wednesday and Thursday provided optimism he could return after missing last week's win. With Higgins sidelined, the Bengals offense had its best showing, emphasized by Ja’Marr Chase posting 15 catches for 192 yards and three TDs. If Higgins returns, he’s a confident WR2 play against a Seattle Seahawks defense that will have all eyes on Chase after his Week 5 outburst.   

DK Metcalf (ribs), Seattle Seahawks

Metcalf continues to fight a rib injury that has plagued him since Week 2, so he did not practice Wednesday. Despite this, the Seattle receiver has stated that the injury has not been a detriment to his play, indicating the lack of practice time may be more precautionary than anything. Keep an eye on inactives Sunday morning, but by all indications, Metcalf should be a solid WR2 play against an average Bengals secondary. 

Zay Jones (knee), Jacksonville Jaguars

Jones returned to the lineup in Week 5 and caught a touchdown but still remains day-to-day as he struggles with the same knee injury that forced him to miss Weeks 3 and 4. His status likely comes down to game time.

Davante Adams (shoulder), Las Vegas Raiders

Adams did not practice on Wednesday but was in doubt last week after shaky practice participation before playing Monday night against the Packers. Barring a setback to his recovery, expect him to go this Sunday against the Patriots.

Saquon Barkley (ankle) and Darren Waller (groin), New York Giants

Both were limited Thursday, providing optimism they will go Sunday night in Buffalo. Barkley remains a must-start if he is active while apprehension with Waller is warranted if comparable options are out there.

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