Training Room: Fantasy Football Injury Updates – Week 5

Was it just me, or did it feel like every tight end last week got injured? Cheers to you if your rosters were able to survive another week of fantasy football carnage. Injuries are rough, but it just means more opportunity for fantasy owners if one knows where to look. As I mentioned earlier, the tight end market took a hit this week. If you are the owner of a Jared Cook or George Kittle, can you pair these players plus one more to make a Rob Gronkowski trade? It’s possible, just believe in yourself and be relentless towards the other owners in your league. With that, let’s get to the injuries.

Tyler Eifert, TE, CIN – Tyler Eifert just cannot catch a break. Just when it looked like he was picking up steam and looking like his old self, he left Week 4 with a horrible ankle injury and will miss the entire season. If you have an IR-spot, feel free to stash him, but in most cases, he can be dropped. The Bengals will turn to Tyler Kroft and C.J. Uzomah as their tight ends for the remainder of the season. Look elsewhere for tight end production but in a pinch, I would lean towards Kroft. This injury should help Tyler Boyd continue to break out at the wide receiver spot.

Will Dissly, TE, SEA – Will Dissly was another unfortunate loss in Week 4. Suffering a patella tendon injury Dissly will be replaced by Nick Vannett as the top tight end target for the Seahawks. Vannett is not a bad player to turn to in a pinch, but owners should want to see Seattle get back on track before investing more into this offense. With Doug Baldwin coming back from his knee injury Week 4, the Seahawks could lean more on their wide receivers. Owners should look elsewhere for tight end help.

Jack Doyle, TE, IND – Jack Doyle is still dealing with a hip injury and will not play Week 5 against the Patriots. Eric Ebron has been very involved over the last two games logging 10 catches for 73 yards and one score while starting in place of Jack Doyle. Even when Doyle comes back he will probably still play second fiddle to Ebron. With Doyle and T.Y. Hilton missing the Week 5 contest, Andrew Luck may focus his time and chemistry with other emerging wideouts like Ryan Grant, Chester Rodgers, and Zach Pascal. Lean on Ebron, he will get us through this tough time.

O.J. Howard, TE, TB – O.J. Howard was well on his way to a break out year when he got injured during the Week 4 contest to the Bears. Since the beginning of the season, there was a lot of talk about two players taking the next step for Tampa Bay, Howard was one and Chris Godwin was the other. He is expected to miss 2-to-4 weeks but should be rostered if possible especially if there are IR-spots open in your leagues. Cameron Brate is a respectable fill-in for Howard, but with the team on a bye during Week 5 it’s off to the waivers!

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Evan Engram, TE, NYG – Evan Engram is still dealing with a knee injury that he sustained during the Week 3 game against Houston. Originally he was slated to miss 2-to-4 weeks with the injury, but there is some talk that the Giants could hold him out until after their Week 9 bye. Rhett Ellison has been filling in for Engram and has accumulated six receptions for 62 yards and one TD. Roster Engram if you want, but look elsewhere for TE help. Typically this injury would help Sterling Shepard and it did in Week 4 with Shepard compiling 10 receptions for 77 yards and one score. Now, Shepard is dealing with a cyst removal from his lower back so fantasy owners will need to monitor his status too.

Hayden Hurst, TE, BAL – DEEP SLEEPER/DYNASTY ALERT!!! History would dictate that the Ravens and Joe Flacco love tossing it to the tight end, enter Hayden Hurst. Hurst is very close to returning from a foot injury and when he does he will have a legitimate chance to emerge as the Ravens top tight end target and possibly more. Hurst may not burst onto the scene right away once he returns, but he is cheap now and worth adding.

Leonard Fournette, RB, JAX – Here we go again. Hopefully, Fournette owners were able to obtain a backup plan via T.J. Yeldon or another reliable running back for this week and the foreseeable future. If Fournette owners can get anything in trade for him do it if you need to win now. Look for Yeldon and Corey Grant to carry the load for the Jaguars.

Geronimo Allison, WR, GB and Randall Cobb, WR, GB – Geronimo Allison is currently dealing with a concussion that he sustained during the Week 4 game against the Bills. If he misses this week the Green Bay receiving core is hurting for players. Marquez Valdes-Scantling is the next man up if Allison would miss any time. Randall Cobb has been dealing with a hamstring for more than a week and he is not close to returning. Even with the injury, Allison was trending to pass Cobb as the Packers number two WR. Again, Marquez Valdes-Scantling is the next man up if Cobb and Allison are out.

Will Fuller, WR, HOU – Will Fuller left the Week 4 game to the Colts with a hamstring injury. It was reported that Fuller could have returned, but with KeKe Coutee having a great debut game, the coaches might have elected to keep Fuller on the sidelines. As I said last week, pick up Coutee because what he did Sunday could continue especially if Fuller were to miss any time.

Ezekiel Elliott, RB, DAL – Ezekiel Elliott should be fine, but with all of the work, he is getting he is bound to get dinged up. Just a quick note, stash Rod Smith now. Rod Smith was productive with Elliott out last year and could fill that role again if Zek were to miss time.

Rob Gronkowski, TE, NE – Rob Gronkowski was a limited participant in Wednesday’s practice and is currently questionable for Thursday’s game versus the Colts. Owners should monitor his status, but it appears that he will play. With Julian Edelman returning this week, Gronk’s production might increase. For us non-Gronk owners, drop what you are doing (after you are done reading) and go make a trade offer for Gronk before Thursday’s game.

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Devonta Freeman, RB, ATL – It appears that Devonta Freeman is very close to returning to action from his knee injury. Tevin Coleman did not take full advantage of the extra playing time so Freeman should have a chance to get a majority of work out of the backfield if he plays. He is another buy-low trade candidate other owners should take advantage of now if in need of a running back.

Greg Olsen, TE, CAR – Reports are indicating the Greg Olsen is getting close to a return to the field. He was recently seen running sprints on the sideline, taking passes, and hitting the sled. Tread lightly if you still have him rostered or if Olsen is available on waivers. With the production scarcity at the position Olsen is worth adding if you have space, but given his injury track record, I would look for tight end production elsewhere. Ian Thomas has not been a factor since Olsen went down and nor will be a factor this year. If owners are bent on using pieces of this offense on their squads, focus these efforts on Christian McCaffrey, Cam Newton, and Devin Funchess.

Dalvin Cook, RB, MIN – Dalvin Cook was a non-participant in Wednesday’s practice and fantasy owners should make plans to cover his injury. If Cook plays it’s hard to bench him this week, or any week. Until we see some consistent play from Cook, without a pitch count, owners should place him on the bench. Latavius Murray is not the answer against Philly in Week 5. Look for Kirk Cousins to pass and pass a lot to his wide receiver group. As a Cook owner myself, I am playing Carlos Hyde and James Conner over Cook even if he plays.

Matt Breida, RB, SF – Matt Breida is still performing even though he is banged up with a knee and shoulder injury. Breida is still leading the team in touches out of the backfield and this should continue as long as he doesn’t sustain any more injuries. Alfred Morris would be next man up if Breida were to miss any time. The 49ers backfield is a bit messy, but volume is king. Check the matchup weekly, but Breida will turn in RB2/Flex numbers on a consistent basis in this offense.

Adrian Peterson, RB, WAS – SELL, SELL, SELL! Yes, Adrian Peterson has a great matchup this week, but AP was already seen in a walking boot and thus it might be time to sell if you can. It’s no secret that Washington’s running attack would take a hit if AP went down. Owners should look to sell these shares and invest a waiver wire talent while they still can.

Doug Baldwin, WR, SEA – Is Doug Baldwin back? The answer for right now is maybe. Please remember that this knee injury is one that he mentioned would need to be monitored and would be an issue for him all season. There is no denying the importance Baldwin has to this Seattle roster and to Russell Wilson. If you own him, I’d be willing to play him in deeper leagues and bench him for at least one more game in shallow leagues. Tyler Lockett would continue to benefit the most with Baldwin sidelined, but for now, let’s see how far we can get with Baldwin. If you can deal him for something respectable, I would highly consider it.

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Joe Mixon, RB, CIN – Joe Mixon is coming back, at least that is the current report. If it remains true, the timing couldn’t be more perfect for his fantasy owners. Mixon will be up against a Miami defense that just got railroaded by the Patriots. Let’s play Mixon if he is ready to go, but owners should watch for pregame reports and any other news on Mixon between now and Sunday. Giovani Bernard would be next man up if Mixon misses this Week 5 contest. Gio, if available, is an excellent fill-in for all teams, especially in PPR.

Marlon Mack, RB, IND – Marlon Mack is out again for the Week 5 match against the Patriots. Mack just can’t make the turn past a hamstring injury he sustained earlier in the year. Nyheim Hines would be the back that could benefit most from Mack’s continued absence. Additionally, Robert Turbin could make his season debut after he returned this week from suspension making this backfield more cluttered. Mack is probably widely available on waivers and should be added if owners have space. He and Hines are the best chances for the Colts backfield this year.

T.Y. Hilton, WR, IND – T.Y. Hilton is sitting out the Week 5 game against the Patriots with chest and hamstring injuries. Chester Rogers, Ryan Grant, and Zach Pascal will be next up for Andrew Luck and the Colts. Hilton owners should lean on Grant until Hilton returns.

Marquise Goodwin, WR, SF – Marquise Goodwin is not having a good start to the season. Goodwin was primed for a big season with Jimmy Garoppolo and a popular preseason draft pick. Goodwin was able to get back on the field after getting injured earlier in the year but is now dealing with hamstring and quad injuries. All owners need to look elsewhere for wide receiver production. Pierre Garcon and George Kittle have been benefiting the most since Garoppolo went down. Goodwin is droppable in most formats until he can get healthy and stay that way.

Until next time,

Your friendly neighborhood fantasy football injury writer


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Writer Fantasy Football Desk at Sports Talk Line
Lucky Husband, Fantasy Football wannabe expert, and travels for food. Colts fan, NFL fan, fan of life. Been playing Fantasy Football for 15 years.