Week 4 is in the books, and man, there were a lot of injuries. From concussions to ACL tears to hamstring injuries, there is much to cover in the week 5 fantasy football injury report. Below I will look at several new injuries and touch on a few older injuries with how I expect players to perform going forward. As always, check out our podcast on Spotify and Apple Podcasts, which gets released on Thursdays.
Week 5 Fantasy Football Injury Report: QBS
I discussed in the the week 4 fantasy football injury report about Tua’s “back injury” and how it seemed to be more of a concussion than anything else. Thursday night’s game against the Bengals revealed that Tua likely was dealing with an actual concussion from week 4. The “posturing” we saw during his injury this past week was undoubtedly scary. Still, luckily Tua was able to avoid life-threatening injuries and return home with the Dolphins that same night. This injury brought about so many questions, so we decided to create a special podcast episode dedicated to concussions and Tua’s injury. You can check it out here on Spotify and apple podcasts.
Tua has already been ruled out for week 5, meaning fantasy managers need to find a replacement for their teams. Tua’s concussion was obviously more severe than what may typically happen. This makes a return-to-play timeline foggy at best. One study from the NFL shows players return on average 19 days after a concussion, which would put Tua ready to go for week 7. However, with multiple head injuries in only 4 days, I would not be surprised if he requires a prolonged recovery period. This is simply a guess, but similar to what our friend TK mentioned on the podcast, I wouldn’t be surprised if Tua misses 3-4 weeks with his current concussion.
Wilson was reportedly “dinged up” and has some shoulder soreness. He was estimated as a limited participant in practice on Monday. We don’t have a lot of clarity here, but this does not sound like a significant injury heading into his Thursday night matchup against the Colts. We will have to monitor this injury before Thursday, but I expect him to play. With the loss of fellow teammate Javonte Williams to an ACL tear, I would expect increased rushing attempts and yardage from Russel Wilson, boosting his fantasy output. If you have been starting Wilson this far, I think you can continue to play him going forward.
Mac Jones/Brian Hoyer
Mac Jones continues to recover from a high ankle sprain he suffered in week 3. He was allegedly still trying to play up until Friday. Brian Hoyer got the start for New England. However, he was quickly ruled out with a concussion, and Bailey Zappe was forced to step up. According to our data, QBs miss an average of 1.9 games after a high ankle sprain. This implies that Jones will likely miss week 5.
From a fantasy football standpoint, this injury doesn’t impact managers much. Jones is not a must-start by any means, nor would be Hoyer or Zappe. If Zappe gets the start again in week 5, I will anticipate the Patriots to continue to run the ball a lot. In week 4, Damien Harris saw 18 rushing attempts, while Rhamondre Stevenson saw 14 rushing attempts. The patriots face Detroit in week 5, who was just carved up by Rashaad Penny for 151 yards and 2 touchdowns. Fire up the New England running backs in week 5.
Week 5 Fantasy Football Injury Report: RBs
Williams suffered a season-ending ACL tear in week 4. In the video, we can see his knee shift as he cuts from right to left and is tackled simultaneously. It was revealed after his MRI that Williams suffered an ACL tear andACL tear but also tore his LCL and posterior lateral corner (PLC). This injury sounds very similar to that of JK Dobbins, who recently returned from his 2021 knee injury.
The PLC of the knee is a complex junction of multiple tendons, ligaments, and structures that help to stabilize the knee. In recent years research on the PLC has improved, as it was once referred to as the “dark side of the knee” due to a lack of understanding of how it impacts knee function. For fantasy managers, all you need to know is, “how will he perform next year”? If you look at our injury page on ACL tears, you will see a significant decline in performance across the board for up to 6 games upon return from injury.
Now that Javonte Williams is out for the season with an ACL tear, Melvin Gordon should see a significant increase in his workload. He is currently dealing with a neck injury, but it does not sound too serious, as he was listed as limited in practice on Tuesday. The Broncos have said the plan is for Gordon to take on most of the snaps. Mike Boone should be mixed in here and there, but I wouldn’t expect much out of the newly added Latavius Murray on a short week. I will be firing him up for Thursday night against the Colts if you have Gordon on your roster.
Dobbins played 50% of the snaps in his second game back from injury. In his 13 rushes and 4 receptions, he posted 63 total yards and 2 touchdowns. Dobbins’ usage near the goal line and his increasing workload are excellent signs of his fantasy outlook going forward. After scoring 18 fantasy points in week 4, he is a viable flex starter going into week 5. Depending on his performance this week, he may soon be in a position to be an every-week starter.
Hill was looking great in week 4 before suffering a hamstring injury. It doesn’t sound like a severe injury right away, but I still expect him to miss 1-2 weeks. Our data on hamstring injuries shows that running backs miss an average of 2.2 games after the injury. The Ravens are also expecting Gus Edwards back from the PUP soon. This is unfortunate timing for Hill as he may have increased competition when he returns.
Going into week 4, Taylor was dealing with a turf toe injury, and in week 5, he was reported to suffer a high ankle sprain. Reports have detailed that imaging has come back negative. Taylor was seen in a walking boot as he did not participate in Tuesday’s practice. I know if Taylor has any shot of playing, he will likely try to tough it out for the game on Thursday. I doubt he will be able to suit up, and even if he does play, he certainly won’t be playing at 100%. I would certainly consider benching Taylor this week if you are lucky enough to have multiple RB options on your team.
Week 5 Fantasy Football Injury Report: WRs
Crowder suffered an ankle fracture on Sunday and is out indefinitely. He will likely be out for the season. Even if he does come back for the last few weeks of the season, I wouldn’t be looking to plug crowder into my lineup when the fantasy playoffs are starting. You can likely drop Crowder without any hesitation. Even in dynasty formats, if you need roster space and don’t have room on your IR, you can likely drop him for a waiver pickup.
McKenzie has been sneaky good the past 2 weeks and is an exciting add heading into week 5. If he can clear concussion protocol, he is worth consideration as a WR3/flex option with an upside. With Crowder being out indefinitely, this opens up the role for McKenzie in a high-powered Bills offense. If McKenzie cannot clear concussion protocol, Khalil Shakir makes for an exciting spot start, especially in DFS, as a cheap option with an upside.
Higgins reportedly suffered a minor ankle injury during the Thursday night matchup against the Dolphins. He will have a few extra days to recover and prepare for week 5, so I don’t anticipate this being an issue, assuming he does not suffer any setbacks in practice.
Bateman is dealing with a mid foot injury that held him to only 44% of snaps in week 4. Bateman has been playing 61-66% of snaps in previous weeks this season, so his foot injury certainly limited his usage. Even though the team is downplaying his injury, I would not be surprised to see Bateman sit out in week 5 or be on a low snap count. Unfortunately, the Ravens play on Sunday night, so unless he is ruled out before the game, managers will have to roll the dice with Bateman or have a backup plan. Devin Duvernay would be a solid option for managers looking to have a backup with a good chance of at least scoring a touchdown.
Burks will reportedly miss a few weeks after suffering a Turf Toe injury in week 4. The team stated he would not require surgery, which is excellent news. However, they are considering putting him on IR. Based on the information we have seen, he will miss a minimum of 2 weeks, likely closer to 4 weeks. With his injury and limited production in the first 4 weeks, you can drop him now and look elsewhere for players with upside. Burks may be a good “buy low” candidate in dynasty leagues, especially if the current manager is in a win-now atmosphere.
Week 5 Fantasy Football Injury Report: TEs
Smith suffered an ankle injury in week 4 against the Packers. New England’s only other healthy TE at the moment is Hunter Henry. Although Smith did not eat into much of Henry’s volume, he now has a clear path as the only viable TE on the Patriots. In week 4, Henry saw 4 targets. If Jakobi Meyers continues to sit out in week 5, Henry may be a streaming option for desperate managers banking on a touchdown.