It’s week 6, and injuries are affecting teams (both fantasy and real teams) across the NFL now more than ever! We’ve got the inside scoop on who’s hurting and who’s healthy heading into the weekend with a little fantasy and betting advice sprinkled throughout.
Carson Wentz – biceps tendon strain – Wentz is playing on Thursday night, but that arm is going to be hurting. The Commanders are hoping that he can make it through the game and then have 10 days to rest and let that tendon heal. He comes with a Below Average HPF (Health Performance Factor – our metric to predict player performance).
Mac Jones – high ankle sprain – Jones hasn’t played since suffered a pretty severe looking high ankle sprain in week 3. Early on surgery was discussed, but his doctors decided that wasn’t necessary. High ankle sprains are tricky injuries that lead to significant instability. This injury is located in the syndesmosis, where the two lower leg bones meet just above the ankle joint. Ideally the Patriots will sit him for one more week, then he will have reached his Optimal Recovery Time and his risk of re-injury will drop significantly.
Russell Wilson – pectoral tear – Wilson is dealing with an injury similar to the one Dak Prescott battled early last season. It’s common in baseball players but not so much in the NFL. The pectoral is a large muscle that connects at the shoulder and runs down the back. Wilson was sent for a PRP injection following the week 5 Thursday night game as his pectoral is partially torn (aka a bad sprain). He’s going to play through it but it will hurt his performance, especially on deep balls.
Tua Tagovailoa – concussion – He is progressing through concussion protocol but won’t play in week 6. It’s the right decision given the severity of his concussion and the possibility of two head injuries within four days.
Dak Prescott – thumb surgery – Prescott is likely at least a week away from returning. I’m sticking with our initial 6-8 week return timeline. He has been throwing and says he is improving, but getting grip strength back just takes time. He isn’t ready yet to play and perform at a high level.
Jonathan Taylor – ankle sprain – Taylor was already battling a toe injury (likely a mild case of turf toe) when he sprained his ankle in week 4. With the Thursday night game in week 5 Taylor wasn’t able to go. He is on track to return this weekend but comes with a High Injury Risk and Below Average HPF. He remains a week away from his Optimal Recovery Time. Expect another underwhelming performance from the Colts offense, which are 3.5 point favorites over the Titans. Bet on Tennessee to cover.
Saquon Barkley – shoulder – Barkley landed hard on his shoulder last weekend but was able to return to the game. He has been limited at practice this week. Barkley should be able to play through what appeared to be an AC sprain. It’s a common injury for RBs, but one that is often more about pain management. start him with confidence.
James Conner – ribs – He was injured in week 5 and isn’t expected to play in week 6. Get him out of your lineups.
Michael Thomas – foot – Thomas missed week 5 but was expected to be ready to return this Sunday. That’s looking less and less likely after starting the week off with two DNPs. We don’t know exactly what the injury is, but it could be a mid foot sprain or case of turf toe. Both are troublesome injuries that have a tendency too linger. Thomas will continue to be a very risky fantasy option for the foreseeable future.
Cooper Kupp – foot
Julio Jones – PCL sprain – As expected, Jones is already proving that he just can’t stay health. He return last week but didn’t do much, and now he is in danger of missing more time. Jones isn’t a startable fantasy option, even if he’s active.
Keenan Allen – hamstring strain – We haven’t seen Allen on the first since week 1 when he injured his hamstring. He was approaching a return ahead of week 4 but aggravated it and hasn’t played since. Allen finally returned to practice again on Thursday and was limited. He could play this weekend, but I’d like to see them sit him one more week. Allen is proof that this injury is easy to aggravate. One more week would significantly boost his Injury Risk.
Chris Olave – concussion – Olave is progressing through concussion protocol and could be cleared ahead of week 6. If he is active he should be in starting lineups. He’s earned it, and we don’t see a significant dip in performance in the first game back from a concussion.
Tee Higgins – ankle – Higgins tried to tough out an ankle sprain in week 5 but didn’t last long. Now he is trending in the wrong direction for week 6. If active he’s a hard guy to sit, but he comes with a very low floor. The mechanism of injury was in line with a mild high ankle sprain, which is more concerning than the standard low ankle sprain.
Kyle Pitts – hamstring strain – Pitts missed week 5 with a hamstring injury, adding more disappointment to his season. He should be back this week after practicing on Thursday. Hamstring strains are highly recurrent, so his Injury Risk remains High.
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