Things continue to be suspiciously quiet on the injury front ever since the Week 2 catastrophe. That’s obviously something to be celebrated, but don’t get complacent. Don’t drop those high-level handcuffs because everyone is invincible now.
And if people in your league are dropping DeAngelo Williams, Alfred Morris and Devontae Booker, make sure you snatch them up. While we’re waiting for the next inevitable injury firebombing, let’s take a look at who’s okay, who might be okay, who’s going to miss some time and who you should target as a replacement.
Cody Kessler (CLE): undisclosed rib injury
I hope you’re skipping this section. If you’re not, that means Kessler has fantasy value for you, and that’s … unfortunate. I’ll just assume you’re a kind, empathetic person who cares about Kessler’s wellbeing. And you’re in luck!
Next up: Charlie Whitehurst
Whitehurst can drive any vehicle to its limit. Be that as it may, he is not a great fantasy option. Thankfully, we all get to avoid that consideration for at least another week.
Eddie Lacy (GB): undisclosed ankle injury
Lacy says he’s okay, but we all know better than to take players at their word when it comes to injuries. He left in the third quarter after gaining 84 total yards on 12 touches and didn’t return. Lacy may have suffered a dreaded high-ankle sprain, so keep an eye on his status this week.
Next up: James Starks
Starks has a brutal stat line this year, gaining just 42 yards on 24 attempts. But nobody else is getting carries in Green Bay and running backs with full workloads are hard to come by. If you’re counting on Lacy, have bye week problems or are similarly desperate, Starks should be a top waiver add this week.
Jeremy Hill (CIN): undisclosed chest injury
Well, this is going to sound familiar. Hill says he’s okay, but we all know better than to take players at their word when it comes to injuries. He played only 15 snaps in Dallas and left the field for good in the third quarter.
Next up: Giovani Bernard
No handcuffing here. Any missed time for Hill leads to a huge uptick in Bernard’s value, moving him from a fringe flex play to a decent RB2 against New England in Week 6.
Steve Smith (BAL): possible high ankle sprain
Smith was in the middle of the Comeback Player of the Year discussion before going down with another injury. He tried to keep playing, but couldn’t make it work. He could very well miss some time.
Those two will see more playing time with Mike Wallace probably seeing some more targets as well. Perriman would be the one to target on the waiver wire, seeing as Aiken has done absolutely nothing this year and Perriman at least came close to scoring the game-winning touchdown on Sunday.
We should also point out the Ravens have a new offensive coordinator, and it’s unclear how that’s going to affect everyone’s usage. Target Perriman as a shot in the dark but avoid this situation if possible.
Tyler Eifert (CIN): undisclosed back injury
Eifert says he’s never playing in the Pro Bowl again. It might be out of his hands if he can’t suit up for regular season games. He was supposed to be fully recovered from his ankle injury for the Dallas game, but a mysterious back issue has him back to week-to-week status.
Next up: C.J. Uzomah
Uzomah has been much more involved than Tyler Kroft, but that isn’t saying much. He’s averaging 37.4 yards per game and hasn’t scored a touchdown. Look elsewhere for now.
Carson Palmer (ARI)
Palmer is still in the concussion protocol. The Cardinals don’t play until Monday night, and he has gotten some extra rest from playing on Thursday night. Have a backup plan if you’re counting on him.
Doug Martin (TB) and Charles Sims (TB)
Both will sit Monday night, leaving Jacquizz Rodgers as the starter. The Tampa backfield should be back to full strength after the Week 6 bye. Sims was later moved to IR due to his knee issue.
Dez Bryant (DAL)
Bryant didn’t play again but was a game-time decision. He could return Week 6, but there’s also a decent chance the Cowboys rest him until after the Week 7 bye.
Eric Decker (NYJ)
The extent of Decker’s shoulder injury is still unknown. The Jets haven’t put him on injured reserve, but that’s about as positive as it gets.
Stefon Diggs (MIN)
Diggs was inactive, but he’s a good bet to return in Week 7 after Minnesota’s bye.