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Fantasy Football Injury Analysis: Dak Prescott, Tee Higgins, Keenan Allen (2022)

Dak Prescott

The NFL is back, and, unfortunately, so are injuries.

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Dak Prescott (QB – DAL)

Dak Prescott is now having surgery for a thumb injury on his throwing hand, with a reported six-eight week return timeline.

We’ve seen Drew Brees push that to closer to five-six weeks, but coming back that early means the hand is likely painful and weak, which may negatively affect production. Two-three weeks later, he should be close to pre-injury form.

Tee Higgins (WR – CIN)

Average concussion protocol takes seven-10 days, depending on severity, so players usually miss no time or one game. Stay tuned on this one. Following his practice report status as the week progresses will tell us much more about his playing status for Week 1.

When WRs return, they don’t generally see a dip in their performance, so look for Tee Higgins to go right back into your lineups.

Keenan Allen (WR – LAC)

A hamstring strain pulled Keenan Allen out of Week 1. The average timeline is three weeks, but they vary about a week on either side, depending on severity. MRI results haven’t been announced, but we’re hearing early reports say it’s likely a mild strain. We’d estimate his return as Week 3 for now.

The good news is that WRs return nearly to full form immediately. The bad is that there is a recurrence risk of about 20% to watch out for in the early weeks back.

JK Dobbins (RB – BAL)

As expected, there was no action for J.K. Dobbins in Week 1. I’d expect to start seeing him around Week 3 on a limited snap count. By midseason, not necessarily factoring in the Ravens’ running issues – you’re probably looking at a solid player with the SportsMedAnalytics algorithm projecting an 85% return of his peak explosiveness. The Ravens are probably not letting him run without a touch limit until about Week 6, at least.

George Kittle (TE – SF)

This injury just hit last Monday, and if the reports are accurate that it’s a grade two groin strain, we’re usually looking at about three weeks out. It sounds like he has an outside chance to play Week 2, but I’d estimate Week 3 as the more likely return date.

After this heals, George Kittle carries a 25% recurrence risk in the short term, but if he stays healthy, his production should bounce back to normal.

Rondale Moore (WR – ARI)

Rondale Moore was hit with a reportedly serious hamstring strain late last week. They’re saying they may let him start running as early as Wednesday, but if “serious” is an accurate descriptor, that usually means four-six weeks.

I suspect the public info is a little less than perfect here, and we’ll probably see Moore shooting for a Week 4 return. Recurrence rates in season hover around 20% once he does come back.

Chris Godwin (WR – TAM)

Chris Godwin just hustled back from the ACL, and he’s already got a hamstring strain. Really disaster was avoided because it’s much better than having any ACL re-injury. The average timeline is three weeks for WRs, but the hamstrings protect the ACL, so I’d really expect them to take this one slowly. I’d plan on seeing Godwin back somewhere around Week 5-6.

He should come right back to about 90% of where he was before yesterday, and his overall outlook for the season is still pretty favorable. SportsMedAnalytics projects him regaining nearly full pre-ACL productivity by the last month of the year.

Allen Lazard (WR – GB)

Allen Lazard missed three practices in a row last week with an ankle injury, and the Packers have been stingy with the details. If it’s a low ankle type, it usually means one-two weeks out and a quick return. High ankle generally is closer to three-four. If Lazard logs some meaningful practice time this week, we’re leaning towards a low ankle and estimating a return for Week 3.

James Robinson (RB – JAX)

James Robinson already had a big-time outlier for a solid performance eight months off of his Achilles. Early return from this injury doesn’t carry a high re-injury risk. The real limitation is usually explosiveness and production, which he showed in Week 1 look pretty good. Overall, probably safe to put him back in lineups going forward.

Najee Harris (RB – PIT)

The video looked brutal, but early reports said the injury was not serious for Najee Harris. But now we’re hearing that it could be a re-aggravation of the Lisfranc foot sprain that he dealt with this preseason.

The Steelers got an MRI, and it would be pretty clear on that test if they needed to shut him down. Most likely, we’ll see Najee play in Week 2. But if he does, he will carry elevated re-injury risk into the game. Production shouldn’t be drastically affected, so depending on his price tag, he may be a slight value in DFS for Week 2.

Mac Jones (QB – NE)

Mac Jones got negative X-rays, and Bill Belichick wouldn’t tell us much more than that. The most common issue here would be a muscle strain or ligament sprain. And in either case, most of these can be played through. Unless something changes, look for Jones to be out there in Week 2.

Zach Wilson (QB – NYJ)

Zach Wilson is now expected back around Week 4, which gives us some insight into the extent of his bone bruise. The meniscus tear is what he had surgery for, and it usually takes about four weeks for QBs to return from. That alone would’ve probably meant seeing him in Week 1 or 2, but severe bone bruises take closer to six-eight weeks, which helps explain the timeline. Now, as long as Wilson gets plenty of time to heal up, we’d expect him to jump right back to his pre-injury trajectory without significant recurrence risk. If you rush him, the bruise can flare up and cause the knee to swell, which helps explain the need for the slower approach right now.

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