John Daigle

Last Minute Decisions

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Injury Report: Week 6

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Week 6 of the fantasy football season is finally here, and the Rotoworld crew has everything you need leave the weekend with a win. Patrick Daugherty answers your lineup questions with his Week 6 Rankings, Nick Mensio tells you who to start and who to fade in Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em, and Evan Silva breaks down every matchup in his award-winning Matchups Column.


As for me, I am here to shed some light on the most important injury situations facing fantasy owners heading into the weekend. The sister resource to this column is the Rotoworld News Page, which will have every single inactive and all the late-breaking news up to kickoff and beyond. I also tweet about football (and wrestling) at @notJDaigle.


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Early Games


Colts @ Jets


*Starting LT Anthony Castonzo (hamstring) was removed from the injury report Friday and is expected to make his season debut. With Jack Doyle (hip) and T.Y. Hilton (chest, hamstring) out for another week, Eric Ebron will likely stay the team’s leading receiver. The issue is that Ebron, too, failed to practice on Wednesday and Thursday and is currently labeled questionable with numerous injuries. He’ll reportedly play, but it is slightly worrisome the Colts signed backup TE Mo Alie-Cox from their practice squad Friday. Ebron is still a top-shelf TE1 if active given the lack of depth at his position.


*Starting corners Buster Skrine (concussion, out) and Trumaine Johnson (quadricep, doubtful) are both likely out this week. More importantly, Isaiah Crowell (ankle, questionable) is shaping up to be a game-time decision. For what it's worth, ESPN New York's Rich Cimini expects Crowell to power through and play. Bilal Powell notably out-snapped (34-25) and out-carried (20-15) Crowell in Week 5 and was a strong RB3/FLEX option in Week 6, anyhow. If Crowell is ruled out, though, Powell is a virtual RB2-lock across all formats, season-long and DFS alike. Reminder that Jets third-string RB Elijah McGuire (foot) opened the season on injured reserve, leaving just preseason scat-back Trenton Cannon behind Powell. The latter would likely play every snap without Crowell.

Steelers @ Bengals


*Those you would ordinarily worry about — CB Joe Haden, C Maurkice Pouncey, Ben Roethlisberger, LB Vince Williams — were all removed from the Steelers’ injury report Friday. Only S Morgan Burnett (groin) and Darrius Heyward-Bey (ankle) are out for this one.


*Without Giovani Bernard (knee) for the second consecutive week, expect Joe Mixon to stay a workhorse. Even with fourth-round rookie Mark Walton and recent signee Thomas Rawls active behind him, Joe Mixon handled every running back carry on 47 (78%) snaps in his first game post knee surgery in Week 5. He’s now averaged 20 carries on 69.4% of the team’s snaps in three healthy games this season. It shouldn’t go unnoticed, either, that the Bengals will be without TE Tyler Kroft (foot, out) Sunday. Kroft has been the only tight end behind starter C.J. Uzomah to run a route since Tyler Eifert (ankle, injured reserve) initially went down, essentially locking Uzomah into an every-down role. He’s a strong TE1 this week for his inevitable usage alone. Note that John Ross (groin) is also questionable.


Chargers @ Browns


*Travis Benjamin (foot) and Joey Bosa (foot) are out again Sunday. Though it didn’t affect the team last week, the injuries to starting tackles Joe Barksdale (knee, questionable) and Russell Okung (groin, questionable) are worth monitoring, too. Unlike the Raiders, the Browns clearly have a stout group of edge rushers in former No. 1 overall pick Myles Garrett and Emmanuel Ogbah.


*Rookie Antonio Callaway’s snaps have progressively decreased (57 > 55) the past two weeks, but he could be moved back into a full-time role with both WR Rashard Higgins (knee) and backup WR Derrick Willies (shoulder) out Sunday. Callaway is a WR3/FLEX option for his pending usage alone. Duke Johnson could also (finally) be optimized in a pass-catching role, though there’s been no indication or proof of that happening. He’s a cross-your-fingers PPR FLEX play.


Bills @ Texans


*The Bills are healthy, and you can’t take that away from them.


*Rookie Keke Coutee (hamstring), Will Fuller (hamstring), TE Ryan Griffin (toe), and DeAndre Hopkins (foot) were all removed from the injury report Friday. They’ll play. Unfortunately, Deshaun Watson (chest) was slapped with the questionable tag following limited participation Friday. He’s still fully expected to play, though, and has sneakily thrown for 300-plus yards in four consecutive games. Start him with confidence if/when he’s declared active.


Bears @ Dolphins


*Rookie Anthony Miller (shoulder) was removed from the team’s injury report Friday and appears ready to return back to his starting slot role. He accumulated the third-most routes (69) for the Bears while healthy for the first three games, behind only Allen Robinson (118) and Taylor Gabriel (108). Josh Bellamy will move back to the bench. Fortunately for the Bears' passing game, it sounds as if Mitch Trubisky won’t have to deal with premier pass-rusher DE Cameron Wake (knee) in his six-score encore.


*WR Jakeem Grant (shoulder), DeVante Parker (quadricep), and Ryan Tannehill (right shoulder) all popped up as questionable on Friday. Grant had been involved heavily without Parker in the mix prior to last week (just 15 snaps), so it wouldn’t be shocking to see him sit this one out (or play at a limited capacity on special teams again). Albert Wilson is arguably a WR3 if both receivers are deemed inactive. Tannehill’s ‘questionable’ label is an odd one if only because he practiced in full on Thursday before being limited Friday. Expect him to play, but start the Bears defense everywhere if it’s surprisingly Brock Osweiler chucking grenades under center Sunday.


Cardinals @ Vikings


*It’s admittedly a terrible matchup on the ground, but David Johnson could be in line for a full day’s work if backup Chase Edmonds (back, questionable) is ruled out. DJ’s (finally) been treated as a true bellcow in the Cardinals’ last two games, anyhow, quietly handling 90.9% (40-of-44) of the team’s backfield carries on 92.9% of offensive snaps in that stint. Edmonds being ruled out would allow DJ to shore up that final seven percent of usage.


*Dalvin Cook (hamstring) was limited Wednesday, got in a full session on Thursday, then was downgraded to limited again on Friday. He didn’t do his owners any favors following Friday's practice, stating “going out there 80 percent, 70 percent, I’m not going to be able to help my team like that." It sounds as if he’ll only play if he’s 100 percent, making him an easy RB1 if active. Whether he’ll actually suit up, though, is a different story. Prepare accordingly.


Buccaneers @ Falcons


*Unfortunately for Cameron Brate owners, O.J. Howard (knee) miraculously got in a full practice Friday following the team’s bye week and is labeled as questionable. He’s fully expected to play, though he could potentially be limited. Expect a timeshare similar to the team’s first four games.


*Now dealing with a groin injury to go along with his ailing foot, Devonta Freeman will reportedly miss Week 6. Expect a timeshare between Tevin Coleman and fourth-round rookie Ito Smith similar to that of Week 4, in which Coleman played 40 snaps and handled 14 carries in Freeman’s usual role while ‘Judge’ Ito received seven carries in Coleman’s typical boom-bust No. 2 job. Coleman is a strong RB2 with Smith mixing-in as a deep-league FLEX play. The Falcons defense will somehow have to make do again without MLB Deion Jones (foot, injured reserve), FS Ricardo Neal (heel, injured reserve), SS Keanu Neal (knee, injured reserve), DE Derrick Shelby (groin, out), and DT Grady Jarrett (ankle, out), the latter who quietly ranked as Pro Football Focus' No. 8 interior defensive lineman out of 113 qualifiers through the first four games. The team has struggled to stop running backs in particular without that group, allowing the most receptions to that position on the year, but the Bucs don’t have a single standout back to exploit them with.


Seahawks @ Raiders


*Without Will Dissly (torn patella, injured reserve) last week, TE Nick Vannett (back, questionable) ran 13 routes on a season-high 50-of-60 (83%) snaps. If he’s unable to play Sunday, No. 3 Darren Daniels would have to fill-in as backup Ed Dickson (quad) is still out until he’s first eligible to return in Week 8.


*The Raiders struggled significantly to run the ball in Week 5 without LG Kelechi Osemele (knee), averaging just 3.15 YPC. They’ll have to make do without him again Sunday. Swingman Jon Feliciano will start in Osemele’s stead.


Panthers @ Redskins


*Greg Olsen (foot) is surprisingly questionable and will likely play just four short weeks after fracturing his foot. If active, he immediately joins the TE1 conversation given the landscape of the position. Rookie D.J. Moore will also return punts without WR Damiere Byrd (ankle, out).


*If you were still wondering whether this season has truly been an odd one for fantasy, look no further than Washington’s injury report. Nearly all skill players — Jamison Crowder (ankle), WR Josh Doctson (heel), Adrian Peterson (ankle, shoulder, knee), WR Paul Richardson (shoulder, knee), and Chris Thompson (rib, knee) — are injured except for Jordan Reed. Go figure. All but Doctson (game-time decision) should play, but keep WR Maurice Harris on standby just in case. Harris ran as many routes as Crowder (37) on 80% of the team’s snaps filling in for Doctson Monday night.


Afternoon Games


Rams @ Broncos


*Both Brandin Cooks (concussion) and Cooper Kupp (concussion) were removed from the team’s injury report, got in a full practice on Friday, and are expected to be cleared early Saturday. Start both with confidence.


*CB Adam Jones (thigh) has been a strong addition since signing in the preseason, allowing just 1-6 > 4-58 > 1-6 > 4-12 > 0-0 in coverage through the team’s first five games. He’s questionable for this potential shootout Sunday.


Jaguars @ Cowboys


*Leonard Fournette (hamstring) and Corey Grant (foot, injured reserve) are out, locking in T.J. Yeldon as the team’s only serviceable back. The Jaguars signed Jamaal Charles to backup Yeldon in the interim, but the 31-year-old hasn’t recorded a single carry since December 3 last year. Note that Yeldon played a season-high 77-of-83 (93%) snaps with just UDFA Brandon Wilds, who was waived in order to sign Charles, behind him once Grant exited Sunday. You’re starting Yeldon if you own him.


*CB Chidobe Awuzie (ankle), DT Maliek Collins (knee), DE Randy Gregory (knee), and DE DeMarcus Lawrence (shoulder) are all questionable for Sunday. Sean Lee (hamstring) is still out, too. No matter. The Cowboys’ methodical (grueling?) pace on offense has allowed the defense to keep off the field and permit just 241.6 passing yards per game. The team is also expected to get back elite pass-rusher David Irving against a Jags O-line that will quietly be missing starting LT Cam Robinson (torn ACL) and his backup Josh Wells (groin, out). Ereck Flowers, a disaster formerly of the Giants, was signed off the streets Friday and will likely be forced to start on Bortles’ blindside. In other words, Dallas’ defense makes for a sneaky streamer and cheap DFS punt even if they’re thin on Sunday.


Ravens @ Titans


*The Ravens could be thin at corner without Anthony Averett (hamstring) and potentially Brandon Carr (knee, questionable) and Tavon Young (hip, questionable). Fortunately, John Brown (undisclosed) was removed from the team’s injury report on Friday.


*Titans will again be without S Kenny Vaccaro (elbow) for the second consecutive week. LB Wesley Woodyard (shoulder) is also questionable, though it shouldn’t falter the team’s pass rush much if he’s out.


Sunday Night


Chiefs @ Patriots


*Not only will the Chiefs be short Eric Berry (heel) again, OLB Justin Houston (hamstring) is also listed as doubtful for this marquee matchup. Houston’s absence is a further downgrade to a team that’s been unable to efficiently rush the passer all the while getting diced for a league-high 5.8 YPC on the ground.


*The only positive for the Chiefs’ defense, though, is that all of Josh Gordon (hamstring), Rob Gronkowski (ankle), Chris Hogan (thigh), and rookie Sony Michel (knee) are questionable. It’s still early, but all should play. As long as he’s active, Michel should continue leading the Patriots’ backfield in early-down and goal-line work with James White leading the team in both targets and catches.


Monday Night


49ers @ Packers


*The 49ers haven't officially ruled Matt Breida (ankle, game-time decision) out, but it would be a shock if he played this week. Alfred Morris (season-high 18 carries Sunday) should handle a majority of the team’s early-down work with Kyle Juszczyk (6/75 on 31 routes) receiving consistent usage out of the backfield. Juszczyk has the higher floor given his pass-catching chops and is a viable PPR FLEX in Green Bay (assuming Breida is ruled out). Marquise Goodwin (hamstring, quad), however, practiced in full on Friday.


*Randall Cobb (hamstring) was limited on Thursday and worked off to the side with the rehab group Friday. Same goes for Geronimo Allison (hamstring). We’ll know more about both after Saturday’s practice.




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