Here we are again, back for another week. There are injury situations aplenty to monitor, and in the majority of situations there are more questions that answers. Of course more situations will pop up throughout the weekend, but what follows is a primer to set the stage for what we need be aware of as contingency plans should always be in place. 


Under normal circumstances, we shouldn’t be concerned with the fact that Colt McCoy was only a limited participant in practice as he would simply be the backup with no fantasy relevance. It’s not to say McCoy has been doing a great job in Kyler Murray’s absence, but it’s better than Chris Steveler as the alternative. The good news is that Murray practiced, albeit on a limited basis Thursday, and maybe this week we will get him back? Keep an eye on the news leading up to kickoff, and depending on your situation I would feel comfortable using Murray in a seasonal format but I’d keep my distance in DFS as we don’t know to what extent he can use his legs. 

Baker Mayfield really is just a mess. There is no need to mince words here as he is now dealing with three injuries; shoulder, foot, and now knee. Mayfield continues to tough it out and take the field, all signs point that continuing this week, but that doesn’t mean he warrants a place in your lineup; even in a favorable matchup against Detroit. 

Even though he didn’t do much of anything last week against Houston, eight of 13 passing for 158 yards, it’s still hard not to like Tua Tagovailoa as a sleeper option this week against the Jets as the matchup doesn’t get any better. He was listed as a full participant on Thursday in practice so it looks like we can move forward with him for this week if we so choose. 

It’s now a toe injury that is keeping Aaron Rodgers off the practice field, but all the indications we currently have is that he will still be ready to go on Sunday. Rodgers threw for 292 yards after his COVID layoff, although he failed to reach the end zone, and at this point he is good enough that he doesn’t need to practice during the week. 

The illness keeping Lamar Jackson out of practice so far this week isn’t COVID-19 related, so that is a good thing. After missing practice on Thursday, word was that he was getting better, so the hope is that he can practice on Friday although at this point his status for Sunday appears to be unchanged. 

Detroit already relies on the running game plenty, but that should only be heightened this week. Jared Goff didn’t practice for the second straight day on Thursday as he continues to deal with his oblique injury and he is unable to take the field, Tim Boyle will get to make his first career start. Either way, this is situation to avoid as Cleveland will be stacking the box regardless of who is under center. 

We know that the Jets are a mess on all fronts, so it’s likely a good thing that they are giving Zach Wilson another week to let his knee injury heal. The fact that they are starting Joe Flacco is a totally different story, but you didn’t come here for my Jets’ rants. 

Ben Roethlisberger doesn’t need to practice to play, that much is quite clear. But we still have to monitor his status to ensure that he is out of COVID-19 protocol and able to take the field this week. 

Running Back

In perhaps the easiest, and most pleasant news of the week, Christian McCaffrey’s name is not on the injury report as he goes back to being a top option. 

Nick Chubb still has two days, Friday and Saturday, to clear the COVID-19 protocols necessary for him to return to action on Sunday. At this point he is on track for that to happen and it’s clear that we can roll with him as an RB1 one if that is the case. If not, then it’s another week of D’Ernest Johnson. 

Alvin Kamara practiced, albeit limited, on Wednesday after missing last week’s game with a knee injury, so it wasn’t a good sign that he missed practice on Thursday. At this point, it’s unclear whether it was just for rest purposes or if there is something to be concerned about here for Sunday. We have to keep an eye on Kamara’s status leading up to game time on Sunday, but Mark Ingram has proven to be a capable replacement if that is the case. 

The Giants have an extra day prior to Monday’s game, but things are trending in the right direction for Saquon Barkley to make his return. Thursday was the first time Barkley practiced in over a month, so at this point we should proceed as if he will take the field on Monday and pick up where he left off in his limited action this season. Of course, things can change leading up to game time so it’s a good sign to have insurance. If it comes in the form of Devontae Booker, that is even better even though Booker was limited on Thursday with a hip injury as well, but he has proven to be up to the task. 

James Robinson appears to be on the way back to action this week as he practiced on a limited basis on Thursday. His replacement, Carlos Hyde, also joined him on a limited basis (he is dealing with a shoulder injury) and it appears that order will be restored to the Jacksonville backfield this week. 

Detroit continues to be taking things cautiously in practice with DeAndre Swift as he deals with a shoulder injury, but after 36 touches on Sunday, he deserves a little rest. The Lions will lean on Swift once again this week and he should prove to be up to the task as Detroit doesn’t have any semblance of a passing game. Jamaal Williams is back in practice this week, on a limited basis, and things are moving in the right direction for him to return this week after missing the last two games with a thigh injury. If not, then it will be more of Jermar Jefferson on Sunday as long as his ankle proves to be up to the task as he didn’t practice on Thursday. 

To say the Seattle running back situation is a mess would be an understatement. Alex Collins continues to fill in for Chris Carson who is out with a neck injury, but he is dealing with a groin injury. Collins should be fine to take the field this week, but his 20 carries for 85 yards over the last two weeks aren’t going to get it done either. Carson doesn’t appear ready to return as it’s been a week since he’s even seen a practice field. This is a situation I would try to avoid, if possible, but if Collins’ groin keeps him out of the lineup, then we are looking at Travis Homer and DeeJay Dallas

Another situation that has given fantasy managers stress this year is in San Francisco. We have been accustomed to seeing Elijah Mitchell on the injury report with his rib injury, but he is now dealing with a broken finger. At this point all signs do point to Mitchell being ready to go this week as he continues on a solid rookie season and he has proven that he can have success without practicing. JaMycal Hasty continues to be unable to practice, so Jeff Wilson is the name to keep an eye on as Trey Sermon has been a non-factor all year. 

Josh Jacobs is practicing this week, but as of Thursday it was still on a limited basis as he deals with a knee injury. To this point, there is nothing to suggest that it will keep Jacobs out of the lineup on Sunday. Should that change, Kenyan Drake will take on a larger role instead of merely being a complementary option as Jacobs has been a factor in the passing game along with being the lead rusher. Jalen Richard also returned to practice on Thursday, but I wouldn’t expect much from him this week from a fantasy perspective. 

This could be a copy and paste situation, but Antonio Gibson has been limited in practice once again as he works through his shin injury. Gibson has been averaging 17 touches per game this season and with six touchdowns, it has been a solid season for him to this point, and there is no reason not to expect that to continue. 

Prior to his ankle injury, Latavius Murray was having a solid season for Baltimore with his 10 carries per game and four touchdowns through six games. He is on track to return this week and we should keep our expectations in line here. 

Things are rightfully cloudy in Tennessee’s backfield now that they are without Derrick Henry, but at least with Jeremy McNichols on the track of missing Sunday’s game with a concussion, there are only two names we need to deal with; Adrian Peterson and D’Onta Foreman. Neither back has distinguished themselves too much, but Foreman as a little busier than Peterson last week so that is the direction, I would lean in. 

It’s a little late for Damien Williams to return to practice in full following his knee injury as he missed his chance with David Montgomery back in action and Khalil Herbert also ahead of him on the depth chart. 

Eno Benjamin will continue to work in a complementary role to John Conner with Chase Edmonds sidelined, but six carries for 22 yards like last week isn’t going to get it done. For deeper leagues though, Benjamin is next in line for the next few weeks and he is practicing on a limited basis this week so we don’t have to be concerned with his status. 

We know that the Chargers’ backfield belongs to Austin Ekeler, and then there is everyone else. That latter group will get a little more crowded this week as Justin Jackson is good to go as well. Roll with Ekeler as an RB1, and avoid everyone else. 

Wide Receiver

It’s more of the same for D.K. Metcalf as he followed up his missed practice on Wednesday by returning to action in full on Thursday. With 606 receiving yards and eight touchdowns so far this season, Metcalf continues to be a top option despite managing his foot injury. 

Across the field, it is concerning that we have yet to see DeAndre Hopkins return to practice as he continues to deal with a hamstring. At this point, and with Arizona on bye following this week’s game against Seattle, I’m not too confident in expecting him to return this week. That means another week of Christian Kirk and John Conner. Until we get clarity on who will be under center, I struggle to invest in much of Arizona’s passing offense. 

Seven touchdowns in nine games, and 100-plus yards in six of those games, makes a pretty good season for Deebo Samuel. He practiced in full on Thursday as he continues to manage a shin injury, but it hasn’t slowed him down yet and I wouldn’t expect it to start now. 

Darnell Mooney has been dealing with nagging injuries all season, so the fact that he has been limited at practice shouldn’t really come into play, and that trend continues this week. With 36 receptions for 450 yards and two touchdowns, Mooney has been solid, but this week it’s possible he is the number one receiver for Justin Fields. Part of Mooney’s uninspiring stat line this season can be blamed on the quarterback play in Chicago, but Fields has been improving as of late. With Allen Robinson not practicing this week as he works through a hamstring injury, it’s possible that Mooney is the number one receiver this week. Based on Robinson’s performance this season, it might be better for fantasy managers if we have clarity on his status and the decision is made for us. 

I would expect to see Jarvis Landry have more success this season, but Cleveland’s quarterback play also gets some blame here. Landry, despite missing practice on Wednesday and practicing on a limited basis Thursday, should be good to go again this week, but it’s hard to expect much from him (23 catches for 219 yards and no touchdowns). However, this could be the week Landry breaks out as Anthony Schwartz looks to be sidelined with a concussion and Donovan Peoples-Jones is dealing with a groin injury as neither practiced on Thursday. 

After he missed last week’s game with a toe injury, Chase Claypool is back in practice this week and things are trending towards him making his return. The caveat here though is to see who will be under center for Pittsburgh on Sunday although Claypool has value regardless. 

At this point, it looks like it will be another week until we see Antonio Brown take the field as he has yet to return to practice; although he did work on the side. Even if there is an outside chance that he does return, the fact that Tampa Bay doesn’t play until Monday doesn’t in your favor from a roster management standpoint. One area that does give us some clarity is the status of Chris Godwin. He was limited in practice each of the last two days with the same foot injury that almost kept him out of last week’s game before he caught seven passes for 57 yards. There’s no reason not to expect something similar, at least as far as workload, this week as Tampa Bay looks to make up for a lackluster effort last week. 

The good news for Rashod Bateman is that his absence from practice on Thursday is due to an illness, and while we have to monitor things, it doesn’t appear to be impacting his status for Sunday. While he has yet to find the end zone, Bateman has been impressive after his rookie season got off to a delayed start. With Marquise Brown missing practice both Wednesday and Thursday with a thigh injury, Bateman better be healthy as he might be busy if Brown is unable to the take the field. With Lamar Jackson also dealing with an illness, this is something to keep an eye on. 

We like to give good news, and there generally isn’t much of it in this space, but Terry McLaurin practiced in full on Thursday and will be good to go without issue on Sunday. It is even more critical as Curtis Samuel continues to not be ready to return to practice with his groin injury still being a problem. 

Marquez Valdes-Scantling hasn’t done much since his return and it’s also not a good sign that he missed practice on Thursday with a hip injury. That leaves Allen Lazard alongside Davante Adams but the former is dealing with a shoulder injury that puts his status for Sunday in real doubt. I would be prepared for Adams having quite the busy afternoon with Randall Cobb also playing a role. Perhaps the most important takeaway here is the fact that Adams practiced in full on Thursday. 

Cole Beasley continues to have low end PPR value, and with that being said, it is a good sign that he practiced on a limited basis on Thursday and he is slated to take the field Sunday without limitations from his rib injury. 

The Giants are likely the healthiest we have seen them all season, and at the wide receiver position, it appears that everyone but Sterling Sheppard will be back on Monday. 

Tight End

Concussions are never easy, but Dallas Goedert is at least moving in the right direction to take the field on Sunday. However, until he is officially cleared from the protocol, I would have alternate plans in place. 

Unfortunately for Washington, it appears Logan Thomas is still another week away as Ricky Seals-Jones isn’t in good shape either this week as he works through a hip injury. If things continue in the direction they are trending, then John Bates will be busier than normal this week. 

It took perhaps a little longer than expected, but Rob Gronkowski appears to be on the right track to return to action this week after dealing with injuries to his ribs, lung, and back. All tight ends are tricky, but the Tampa Bay offense has some recovering to do after struggling last week.

After missing practice with a groin injury on Wednesday and Thursday, things aren’t moving in the right direction for Gerald Everett to take the field on Sunday. Will Dissly has the most to gain if Everett is sidelined, but this is situation I wouldn’t give much credence too. 

With 17 receptions for 167 yards and two touchdowns this season, Jack Doyle hasn’t made much of a fantasy impact but we should note that he was held out of practice on Thursday with a knee injury after he practiced in full on Wednesday.