Fantasy News & Analysis

NFL Week 1 Injury Report

Nov 29, 2020; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Los Angeles Chargers running back Austin Ekeler (30) runs with the ball as Buffalo Bills cornerback Taron Johnson (24) defends during the first quarter at Bills Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

A player's injury status can have a significant effect on both real-life and fantasy football

Each week, PFF injury analyst Mario Pilato will comb through the official injury reports for each game and give updates and analysis for fantasy-relevant players. Injuries are fluid, so make sure to stay up to date by following @PFF_Mario on Twitter.

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Jacksonville Jaguars @ Houston Texans (+3)

Name Pos. Team Injury Fantasy Rank Proj. points Fri. Status
Travis Etienne RB JAX Foot N/A 0.0 IR

Mario’s take: Etienne suffered a Lisfranc injury on Aug. 23. He underwent surgery and will miss the 2021 season. The typical return-to-play timeline (RTP) is five to six months, so he should be ready for the start of the 2022 season.

The current over/under for this game is 45. PFF Greenline uses exclusive game and player data to make projections on NFL game spreads, moneyline, and over/under.


Los Angeles Chargers @ Washington Football Team (-2)

Name Position Team Injury Fantasy Rank Proj. points Fri. Status
Austin Ekeler RB LAC Hamstring RB7 11.8 LP
Curtis Samuel WR WAS Groin N/A 0.0 IR

Mario’s take: Ekeler sent fantasy players into a frenzy earlier this week when he recorded back-to-back DNPs (did not practice). I was never concerned about Ekeler missing Week 1 — he suffered a hamstring avulsion in October of 2020, which usually requires surgery and has an RTP of four to six months. Instead, Ekeler got platelet treatment and only missed six games. This shows he is a quick healer and that he knows how to take care of his body. The Chargers were just being cautious with their star running back this week. 

Fantasy Football Impact

Ekeler's hamstring injury has to push him down the  Week 1 fantasy football rankings, with concerns he doesn't see a full workload. He is the RB18 in PPR per PFF's fantasy projections, which assume a lighter workload for the stud running back in Week 1.

The current over/under for this game is 45. PFF Greenline uses exclusive game and player data to make projections on NFL game spreads, moneyline, and over/under.


Seattle Seahawks @ Indianapolis Colts (+3)

Name Position Team Injury Fantasy Rank Proj. points Fri. Status
Carson Wentz QB IND Foot QB29 15.7 FP
Parris Campbell WR IND Achilles WR67 7.6 FP
T.Y. Hilton WR IND Neck WR 0.0 IR
Sam Ehlinger QB IND Knee N/A 0.0 IR
Chris Carson RB SEA Neck RB15 11.6 FP
D'Wayne Eskridge WR SEA Toe WR82 7.8 FP
Rashaad Penny RB SEA Calf RB62 5.8 FP
Alex Collins RB SEA Foot RB79 2.2 FP
D.K. Metcalf WR SEA Calf WR8 16.2 LP

Mario’s take: Wentz is all systems go after having a small piece of bone removed from his foot. Wentz is not at risk of re-injury, but he might display a little lack of mobility as he works himself back.

Campbell has been dealing with a chronic Achilles injury. I expect him to play in Week 1, but it is concerning moving forward. This could very well be linked to last year's injury due to overcompensation.

Metcalf was a late addition to the injury report. He was labeled as a limited participant Friday with a calf injury. Late additions to the injury report are usually concerning, but I am not worried about Metcalf. He is good to go for Week 1.

The current over/under for this game is 48.5. PFF Greenline uses exclusive game and player data to make projections on NFL game spreads, moneyline, and over/under.


New York Jets @ Carolina Panthers (-3.5)

Name Position Team Injury Fantasy Rank Proj. points Fri. Status
Shi Smith WR CAR Shoulder WR130 1.7 Out
Keelan Cole WR NYJ Knee WR111 7.9 DNP

Mario’s take: Smith has been ruled out with a shoulder injury. It is not a serious injury and I expect him back in the next week or two.

Cole suffered an undisclosed knee injury during practice this week. Logging a DNP this late in the week is never a good sign. I am not optimistic about his ability to play in Week 1.

Fantasy Football Impact

Without Jamison Crowder, expect rookie slot wide receiver Elijah Moore to see an expanded role in the Jets passing game alongside Corey Davis. Moore becomes an even better play if Cole is ultimately ruled inactive. The rookie is a great way to save money in DFS for Week 1. Moore is WR50 in PFF's consensus fantasy football rankings.

The current over/under for this game is 45. PFF Greenline uses exclusive game and player data to make projections on NFL game spreads, moneyline, and over/under.


Minnesota Vikings @ Cincinnati Bengals (+3)

N/A

The current over/under for this game is 47. PFF Greenline uses exclusive game and player data to make projections on NFL game spreads, moneyline, and over/under.


Arizona Cardinals @ Tennessee Titans (-3)

Name Position Team Injury Fantasy Rank Proj. points Fri. Status
Darrell Daniels TE ARZ Toe TE 2.8 FP
A.J. Brown WR TEN Knee WR6 15.2 FP
Josh Reynolds WR TEN Foot WR91 7.2 LP
Darrynton Evans RB TEN Knee N/A 0.0 IR

Mario’s take: Brown freaked fantasy players out when he logged a DNP Wednesday, but it should be of zero concern. He will play in Week 1.

Evans was placed on IR for a knee injury and he will miss at least the next three weeks.

The current over/under for this game is 53.5. PFF Greenline uses exclusive game and player data to make projections on NFL game spreads, moneyline, and over/under.


San Francisco 49ers @ Detroit Lions (+8.5)

Name Position Team Injury Fantasy Rank Proj. points Fri. Status
D'Andre Swift RB DET Groin RB19 12.6 FP
T.J. Hockenson TE DET Shoulder TE6 11.0 FP
Brandon Aiyuk WR SF Hamstring WR23 13.1 FP
Trey Lance QB SF Finger QB34 2.9 LP
Jalen Hurd WR SF Knee N/A 0.0 IR

Mario’s take: Swift has been dealing with a groin injury all preseason. He will be ready to go Week 1, but the bigger concern is who is blocking for him. Starting left tackle Taylor Decker has been placed on IR after getting surgery on his finger and will miss at least the next three weeks.

Aiyuk suffered from a “slight” hamstring strain but has been able to practice in full. He will play in Week 1. There is concern he could reinjury the hamstring due to the 70% reoccurrence rate within the calendar year.

The current over/under for this game is 46. PFF Greenline uses exclusive game and player data to make projections on NFL game spreads, moneyline, and over/under.

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) look on prior to the game against the Buffalo Bills at Bills Stadium. Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Buffalo Bills (-6.5)

Name Position Team Injury Fantasy Rank Proj. points Fri. Status
Emmanuel Sanders WR BUF Foot WR65 8.6 LP
Isaiah McKenzie WR BUF Shoulder WR116 2.4 FP
James Washington WR PIT Finger WR101 6.0 LP

Mario’s take: Sanders has been practicing in a limited fashion all week. He is a true game-time decision, but I am optimistic he can give it a go.

Fantasy Football Impact

Move Cole Beasley and Gabriel Davis up the rankings without Sanders at  100%. Beasley and Davis both saw five targets from Josh Allen in the team's lone preseason game played together.

The current over/under for this game is 48. PFF Greenline uses exclusive game and player data to make projections on NFL game spreads, moneyline, and over/under.


Philadelphia Eagles @ Atlanta Falcons (-3.5)

Name Position Team Injury Fantasy Rank Proj. points Fri. Status
A.J. McCarron QB ATL ACL N/A 0.0 IR

Mario’s take: McCarron tore his ACL and underwent surgery. He will miss the 2021 season but should be ready for 2022.

The current over/under for this game is 49. PFF Greenline uses exclusive game and player data to make projections on NFL game spreads, moneyline, and over/under.


Cleveland Browns @ Kansas City Chiefs (-5.5)

Name Position Team Injury Fantasy Rank Proj. points Fri. Status
Odell Beckham Jr. WR CLV Knee WR26 11.9 LP
Chase McLaughlin K CLV Hamstring K26 8.4 FP
Rashard Higgins WR CLV Hamstring WR107 5.5 FP
Clyde Edwards-Helaire RB KC Ankle RB13 13.5 FP
Mecole Hardman WR KC Oblique WR54 10.0 FP

Mario’s take: Beckham was a limited participant all week. This is not shocking, considering he is coming back from an ACL tear. The star wideout has not participated in any contact all summer, so he is not in the same boat as Saquon Barkley. The superstar WR will test it pregame before the Browns make a decision. I expect OBJ to his return from injury in Week 1.

Edwards-Helaire was dealing with an ankle sprain suffered in the preseason. It was first rumored to be a medial or high-ankle sprain. He has avoided the dreaded injury and is good to go for Week 1.

Fantasy Football Impact

Start OBJ, who is WR26 in PFF's consensus PPR fantasy football rankings for Week 1.

The current over/under for this game is 54.5. PFF Greenline uses exclusive game and player data to make projections on NFL game spreads, moneyline, and over/under.


Green Bay Packers @ New Orleans Saints (+3.5)

Name Position Team Injury Fantasy Rank Proj. points Fri. Status
Tre'Quan Smith WR NO Hamstring WR77 0.0 IR

Mario’s take: Smith has been place on IR with a hamstring issue. He will miss at least the next three weeks. I believe Smith is suffering a Grade 2 strain — the RTP is three to six weeks.

Fantasy Football Impact

Marquez Callaway is projected to be the most-rostered wide receiver on the DFS slate, and that’s chalk I’ll buy into. Outside of Alvin Kamara, there is simply no competition for targets on the Saints offense without Smith, and Callaway has earned Jameis Winston‘s trust. Through two preseason games, Callaway was targeted on 50% of his routes run while generating a perfect passer rating when targeted.

Some might shy away because of a potential “shadow matchup” against Packers’ stud cornerback Jaire Alexander, but that’s not the case. Alexander hasn’t shadowed anyone since Week 7 of last season. Also, PFF’s WR/CB matchup chart projects Callaway to see more of Kevin King and Chandon Sullivan than Alexander.

The current over/under for this game is 49.5. PFF Greenline uses exclusive game and player data to make projections on NFL game spreads, moneyline, and over/under.


Denver Broncos @ New York Giants (+3)

Name Position Team Injury Fantasy Rank Proj. points Fri. Status
Courtland Sutton WR DEN Knee WR37 10.3 FP
Noah Fant TE DEN Knee TE8 8.5 FP
Albert Okwuegbunam TE DEN Knee TE47 3.2 FP
Saquon Barkley RB NYG Knee RB14 14.1 LP
Kenny Golladay WR NYG Hamstring WR41 10.7 LP
Kyle Rudolph TE NYG Foot TE31 8.2 LP
Kadarius Toney WR NYG Hamstring WR90 6.5 LP
Evan Engram TE NYG Calf TE37 0.0 Out
John Ross WR NYG Hamstring WR 0.0 IR

Mario’s take: Sutton tore his ACL early in the 2020 season. He has looked great in the preseason and will make his post-injury debut in Week 1.

Barkley suffered a torn ACL, partial meniscus tear and sprained MCL last season. There was concern he would miss Week 1 but he will play. However, the Giants do have three games in 14 days, which could have implications.

Golladay has been dealing with a hamstring issue for the majority of the preseason. He missed a major part of last season with a hamstring issue. There is a 70% reoccurrence rate in  the calendar year. I expect Golladay to play Week 1, but there is risk for reinjury.

Ross has been placed on IR with a Grade 2 hamstring strain. He will miss the next three to six weeks.

Fantasy Football Impact

Simply put, running backs need volume when trying to overcome surrounding variables like bad offensive lines and strong run defenses. Barkley faces both of those challenges in Week 1. Without any reassurance of a full three-down role coming back from his injury, he’s relegated to fantasy RB2 status.

The current over/under for this game is 41.5. PFF Greenline uses exclusive game and player data to make projections on NFL game spreads, moneyline, and over/under.


Miami Dolphins @ New England Patriots (-3.5)

Name Position Team Injury Fantasy Rank Proj. points Fri. Status
DeVante Parker WR MIA Shoulder WR51 12.4 FP
Preston Williams WR MIA Foot WR103 4.0 OUT
Albert Wilson WR MIA Quadricep WR95 2.7 FP
Salvon Ahmed RB MIA Back RB60 2.3 FP
Nelson Agholor WR NE Ankle WR63 9.3 LP
N'Keal Harry WR NE Shoulder WR 1.6 IR

Mario’s take: Williams has been working his way back from foot surgery. He started the preseason on the PUP list. He has been a limited participant all week. I am cautiously optimistic he gives it a go in Week 1.

The current over/under for this game is 43.5. PFF Greenline uses exclusive game and player data to make projections on NFL game spreads, moneyline, and over/under.


Chicago Bears @ Los Angeles Rams (-7.5)

Name Position Team Injury Fantasy Rank Proj. points Fri. Status
Darnell Mooney WR CHI Back WR57 9.2 FP
Damien Williams RB CHI Abdomen RB50 6.9 FP
Cam Akers RB LA Achilles N/A 0.0 IR

Mario’s take: Mooney has been dealing with a back injury, but I expect him to play in Week 1. 

The current over/under for this game is 46.5. PFF Greenline uses exclusive game and player data to make projections on NFL game spreads, moneyline, and over/under.


Baltimore Ravens @ Las Vegas Raiders (+4)

Name Position Team Injury Fantasy Rank Proj. points Fri. Status
Gus Edwards RB BLT Knee N/A 0.0 IR
J.K. Dobbins RB BLT Knee N/A 0.0 IR
Miles Boykin WR BLT Hamstring N/A 0.0 IR
Rashod Bateman WR BLT Groin N/A 0.0 IR
Josh Jacobs RB LV Toe RB24 11.3 LP

Mario’s take: Dobbins and Edwards tore their ACLs. They will miss the 2021 season but they will be ready for the 2022 season.

Boykin and Bateman have been placed on IR with a hamstring and groin injury, respectively. They will miss at least the first three weeks, but I expect them back shortly after.

Jacobs has been limited with a toe injury all week. The Raiders have brought in some backs to try out. I don’t have a ton of confidence in Jacobs' health being 100%, but I do believe he plays Monday night.

Fantasy Football Impact

Start Ty’Son Williams. Ravens beat reporter Jeff Zrebiec expects the team to give him every opportunity to be the team’s starting RB1, and that means we are going to see him receive serious volume in Week 1.

As the leader of the Baltimore backfield — even with the addition of late-addition of Latavius Murray —  Williams is going to see at least 15 touches, which is more than enough for him to inflict damage on the Las Vegas Raiders’ 26th-ranked defensive line.

Some might want to follow a wait-and-see approach, as Williams was nothing more than a complete afterthought behind two talented running backs in Baltimore. However, Williams was PFF’s fifth-highest-graded rusher in the preseason and 0% of his 25 rushing attempts went for negative or zero rushing yards. The kid has flashed talent and should have ample opportunity to absolutely smash this weekend.

The current over/under for this game is 50. PFF Greenline uses exclusive game and player data to make projections on NFL game spreads, moneyline, and over/under.

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