The fantasy football playoffs are only a few weeks away so GMs are scrambling to position themselves for the stretch run.  Injuries always wreak havoc on whatever strategy is employed, so the best thing you can do is build depth and target backups on the waiver wire.  Trading season is all but done in many leagues, so GMs will have to focus on the waiver wire to plug those holes.  So without any further adieu, let’s take a look at some of the walking wounded in the fantasy football emergency room.

George Kittle (TE-SF)

The tight end position has been volatile this year due to injuries and elite players underperforming.  George Kittle came into the season as one of the top options at the position and he has delivered solid, but not spectacular statistics with 46 catches for 541 yards and two touchdowns for the undefeated 49ers.  He had an MRI late last week after San Francisco’s win over Arizona on Thursday night due to an ankle and knee injury.  The 49ers do not seem overly concerned so it is nothing to worry about at this time from a fantasy perspective.  Kittle remains a must-start and one of the top tight end options in the league.

Adam Thielen (WR-MIN)

Thielen came back this past weekend after missing Week 9 but lasted just seven plays before being taken out of the game after re-aggravating his hamstring injury.  He came up lame during the first quarter against the Chiefs on Sunday.  This is very disconcerting for fantasy GMs who were hoping to get a big boost from Thielen’s return as the Vikings offense has been clicking for the past several weeks.  Thielen’s status is still up in the air for Week 10 but GMs should be prepared to be without him on Sunday night against Dallas.

Le’Veon Bell (RB-NYJ)

The dysfunction within the Jets organization continues as Le’Veon Bell underwent an MRI on Monday due to a knee injury.  Coach Adam Gase was apparently unaware of this until Bell did not show up for the team’s meetings on Monday.  We do not know the extent or severity of the injury just yet, but the Jets have signed Josh Adams for some additional depth.  Bell has had a pedestrian season thus far rushing for 415 yards and one touchdown along with 40 catches for 242 yards and one touchdown.  He will be a great fantasy option for Week 10 if he can play against the awful Giants defense.

Josh Jacobs (RB-OAK)

Raiders rookie running back Josh Jacobs has seemingly been injured all season but he has managed to play every game and be productive.  Despite his nagging injuries, including his shoulder, he is fully expected to play on Thursday night against the Chargers.  This will be a tough matchup for him as the Chargers are coming off a week when they completely shut down Aaron Rodgers and the Packers’ offense.  Jacobs has been stellar this season rushing for 740 yards and six touchdowns.  He is a must-start RB1 despite the difficult matchup with the Chargers defense.

T.Y. Hilton (WR-IND)

Hilton did not play on Sunday against Steelers after he missed practice at the end of the week with a calf injury.  That was not much of a surprise, but fantasy GMs also learned that this could be an extended absence of up to three to four weeks.  Hilton has dealt with injuries most of the season and has been limited to six games in which he has 32 catches for 360 yards and five touchdowns in only six games thus far.  Zach Pascal and Chester Rogers should see most of the targets from the wide receiver position until Hilton comes back.

Parris Campbell (WR-IND)

With T.Y. Hilton out, the Colts were expected to showcase rookie Parris Campbell on the outside.  He caught five passes for 53 yards against the Steelers but suffered a fractured hand that will require surgery.  Campbell is expected to miss several weeks but should be back before the end of the season.  His absence now will not be very helpful for GMs in redraft leagues, but Campbell does present a lot of upside for leagues that run through Week 17.

Brandin Cooks (WR-LAR)

The Rams may be without Brandin Cooks for the foreseeable future as the wide receiver continues dealing with the effects of another concussion.  The Rams seem unsure when he will be able to play but it appears all but certain that he will miss Week 10 against Pittsburgh.  Cooks has not produced like a WR1 thus far catching 27 passes for 402 yards and one touchdown.  Josh Reynolds will see additional playing time while Cooks is out making him a viable waiver wire target.

Sterling Shepard (WR-NYG)

The Giants are now concerned about the long-term health and well-being of wide receiver Sterling Shepard .  He has suffered two concussions this year and re-entered the league’s concussion protocol late last week.  He had returned to practice but began feeling symptoms again, so the Giants deactivated him for Monday night’s game against Dallas.  With the team going nowhere, there is a good chance the Giants place Shepard on injured reserve to clear up a roster spot.  Shepard can be dropped in all redraft leagues.

Jacoby Brissett (QB-IND)

Colts quarterback Jacoby Brissett was removed from Sunday’s game against the Steelers after suffering a sprained left MCL.  The good news is that the Colts have not ruled him out yet for next week’s game against Miami.  These type of injuries typically require some time off depending on the severity.  It would appear that this injury is not serious enough to warrant an extended absence.  If Brissett is held out, then Brian Hoyer would make the start against the Dolphins and could be a streaming QB2 option in two-quarterback leagues.

DeSean Jackson (WR-PHI)

Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson made his return this past week against the Bears after missing the past six games with an abdominal injury.  Unfortunately, the injury did not heal and he was forced out of the game.  Jackson will be having surgery to fix the issue and is expected to miss the remainder of the season.  He started off the year explosively in his return to Philadelphia, but now GMs can safely drop him and forget about him until 2020.

Preston Williams (WR-MIA)

There have been very few positive things to say about the Dolphins in 2019, but one of them was the emergence of rookie wide receiver Preston Williams.  However, he sustained a season-ending knee injury and is done for the year.  Williams caught fire the past couple weeks including catching two touchdowns in the team’s first win of the season over the Jets.  Williams finishes his rookie season with 32 catches for 428 yards and three touchdowns.

Delanie Walker (TE-TEN)

Titans tight end Delanie Walker has missed the past couple games with an ankle injury but he appears headed in the right direction.  Walker indicated that he wants to practice and is out of his walking boot.  Despite this progress, it is safe to assume he will not be available for Week 10.  This means that backup Jonnu Smith will continue to see a lot of action and remains a valuable fantasy option at the scarce tight end position.