Coming off a very painful Week 4, fantast GMs are limping into Week 5 with lots of questions surrounding impact players. We started the week with Rob Gronkowski being ruled out of the Thursday night game, so that could be a foreboding omen of things to come. So, without further ado, let’s delve into the next edition of the fantasy football emergency room.
Rob Gronkowski (TE-NE) – Much to the chagrin of fantasy GMs, Gronkowski was ruled out of Thursday’s game against Tampa Bay. Many GM’s may not have gotten the notification until it was too late so this could have an impact on Week 5 game results. Gronkowski is a frequent member of the injury report, so GMs drafted him at their own risk knowing that he is likely not going to play in all 16 games. He is a must-start when healthy so hopefully the extended time off will help him be ready for Week 6.
Odell Beckham, Jr. (WR-NYG) – Beckham was limited in practice on Thursday as he deals with both a finger and ankle injury. He is intentionally being limited to preserve his health for Sunday’s game against the Chargers which should be a salivating matchup. The Giants clearly cannot run the ball so look for Eli Manning to have a barrage of passes all day and Beckham will once again be his primary target.
Jay Ajayi (RB-MIA) – Miami has been horrendous the past couple weeks getting shut out twice so Jay Ajayi has not produced like the first round pick he likely was during drafts. He has been limited to just 51 rushes for 184 yards and no touchdowns thus far making him a very frustrating fantasy option. He is too good not to start so you need to ride this out. He did not practice on Thursday due to a knee injury but his status for Sunday against Tennessee does not seem in doubt. Plug him in and hope for the best against a Titans defense which has been getting lit up.
Michael Crabtree (WR-OAK) – The Raiders are in despair now that Derek Carr is out for a couple weeks and this will have a direct impact on Crabtree’s fantasy value this week. He is looking to return from a chest injury and practiced in a full capacity on Thursday which is good news. He will have E.J. Manuel throwing passes to him this weekend which will likely put a damper on his production, but then again Oakland greatly struggled the past couple weeks with Carr in there. He is still a starting option but likely a WR3 at the most this week.
Ameer Abdullah (RB-DET) – Abdullah is coming off a solid game last week against the Vikings and has returned to fantasy relevance. He is dealing with an ankle injury but did practice in full capacity on Thursday which bodes well for his projected role this coming weekend. He has rushed the ball 66 times for 257 yards and a touchdown thus far and would only be a RB2 option if you choose to go in this direction.
Davante Adams (WR-GB) – It is almost a miracle that Adams is a possibility to play this week after the devastating hit he took last Thursday against the Bears. He was in the concussion protocol but was limited in practice on Thursday meaning he is heading in the right direction as far as whether he will play on Sunday. We may not know for sure until the weekend so monitor his status for further updates before making any final decisions on him.
Ty Montgomery (RB-GB) – Montgomery has been dealing with a rib injury since last week and has been limited in practice. This is a painful injury and one that requires sufficient time to heal so it is questionable at best that he will play against Dallas. Even if he does suit up, he will likely be given sufficient rest and won’t be involved in as many snaps as we have grown accustomed to through the first few weeks of the season.
Carlos Hyde (RB-SF) – The 49ers are one of the worst teams in the league but Carlos Hyde has been one of their only bright spots. He has 65 rushing attempts for 321 yards and two touchdowns making him a legitimate RB1 option each week. He has been limited in practice with a hip injury but that is just precautionary so you should confidently start him this week as he could be in store for a big game against a suspect Colts defense.
Wendell Smallwood (RB-PHI) – After Darren Sproles went down for the season, the Eagles were going to lean on Smallwood even more. He has rushed the ball 29 times for 113 yards and one touchdown thus far but was far outplayed by LeGarrette Blount last week. He has missed practice the past couple days which makes him doubtful for this weekend’s game against Arizona. The Eagles also have Corey Clement and Kenjon Barner in the backfield so Smallwood is a good candidate to sit this week.
Kenny Britt (WR-CLE) – Britt did not practice on Thursday due to a knee and groin injury and his status for this weekend is in serious jeopardy. He does have eight catches for 121 yards and a touchdown, and he is the most talented wide receiver on Cleveland’s active roster. However, the Browns are abysmal and Britt is not a good fantasy option even if he takes the field.
John Brown (WR-ARZ) – Brown has been dealing with a quadriceps injury and has struggled to recover quickly due to ongoing health issues. He was limited in practice on Thursday and even if he plays he will have a tough time competing for targets with Larry Fitzgerald and J.J. Nelson. He is not a good fantasy option until he proves he can stay healthy and be more productive than the seven catches he has for the season.
Jack Doyle (TE-IND) – Doyle was in the concussion protocol after last week’s game but has resumed practicing in a limited capacity. It looks like he will be good to go this weekend against the 49ers but he is a low end TE2 because the Colts offense is horrendous without Andrew Luck. Despite that, he does share a tie in the team lead for receptions so Jacoby Brissett does have to throw the ball to someone.
Tyler Kroft (TE-CIN) – Kroft has taken over as Cincinnati’s starting tight end in place of the oft-injured Tyler Eifert and is coming off the best game of his career when he caught two touchdowns last week. Kroft is dealing with both a neck and knee injury and has been limited in practice this week. He should still be fine to play this coming week so he is a viable streaming option if you need a fill-in due to your starter’s bye week or injury.
Michael A. Stein, Esq. is the Chief Justice of Fantasy Judgment, the industry's premier dispute resolution service, and co-host of the Fantasy Alarm Podcast. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Facebook and Twitter (@FantasyJudgment).