Fantasy Football: Dissecting the Week 6 Injury Report

Justin Onslow@@JustinOnslowNFLContributor IIOctober 11, 2012

OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 23:  Darrius Heyward-Bey #85 of the Oakland Raiders lays on the field after getting hit hard in their game against the Pittsburgh Steelers  at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on September 23, 2012 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Consumer reports, finance reports and credit reports. If you‘re like me, you don’t pay attention to any of them.

But, there’s one report you should be sure to read every week—the NFL injury report. It’s nearly impossible to get through a fantasy season without being bitten by the injury bug, which, if it were a real creature, I would imagine to be something like this.

A good fantasy owner is one who makes adjustments and gathers as much information as possible. Bad luck can ruin your week, but bad information will ruin your season.

The following is a summary of injuries reported to the NFL this week as it pertains to the fantasy football landscape for Week 6. Be sure to scour it for any players you’re considering playing and adjust your roster accordingly.

Rashard Mendenhall

Mendenhall has recovered well from his ACL tear last season and seems to be ready to go this week. Last week against the Eagles, Mendenhall had 14 carries for 81 yards and a touchdown. He faces another favorable matchup this week against the Titans and should be in line for a steady workload and a solid statistical performance.

Kenny Britt

Britt has been a full participant in practice this week, and should get the start against the Steelers on Thursday. He hasn’t been at full strength yet this year, but when fully healthy, Britt is as good as any wideout in the league. The Steelers have played well against the pass this season, so play him at your own risk. If Britt suffers a setback and can’t play, consider Kendall Wright an adequate handcuff.

Darren McFadden

McFadden showed up on the Raiders’ injury report this week but was a full participation in practice and should be ready to start this week against Atlanta. The Falcons have been very generous against the run this year, having allowed 142.8 yards per contest. McFadden should be a solid play this week.

Darrius Heyward-Bey

DHB has been cleared for full contact, and participated fully in practice this week after suffering a concussion against the Steelers. Atlanta has been stingy against the pass this season, so use Heyward-Bey with caution.

Peyton Hillis

Hillis hasn’t done much this year, and the news that he did not participate in practice this week should come as a shock to no one. What this news means for owners of Jamaal Charles, however, is that Charles should again shoulder most of the workload this week.

Charles has been outstanding the last three weeks but faces the league’s best rushing defense this week. Still, Charles has earned must-start status.

Donald Brown

Brown will be sidelined two to three weeks after having minor surgery on his knee. The Colts haven’t relied very heavily on the run this season, but Brown owners should consider adding Vick Ballard all the same. Ballard should shoulder most of the work in Indianapolis’ running game, and the Colts play one of the worst rushing defenses in the NFL in Week 6.

The Jets have allowed 172 rushing yards per game this season.

Stephen Hill

Hill has been a limited participant in practice this week, and it’s likely he will play this week against the Colts. The Jets are marred with injuries, especially at the wide receiver position. If Hill is available to play, he could see a lot of targets and put up solid numbers against the Colts.

Dustin Keller

Keller has also been limited this week, and like Hill, Keller stands a good chance of starting this week. New York’s offense is in desperate need of play makers. Keller and Hill will both likely see a lot of targets if they play in Week 6. Mind the injury report as Sunday approaches and monitor the situation closely.

A.J. Green

Green has been limited in practice this week. He injured his ankle in the Bengals’ Week 5 contest and also seems to be hobbled by a knee injury. Still, Green is likely to play this week against the Browns. Joe Haden will return to the team this week and will be guarding Green closely, but Green has been fantastic this year and is a must-start receiver in all formats.

Brandon Pettigrew

Pettigrew missed practice Tuesday but returned Wednesday as a limited participant. All signs point to Pettigrew playing this week against the Eagles. He’s been a solid option this year but has only caught one touchdown pass. As Detroit’s offense gets on track, Pettigrew should become one of the better fantasy tight ends in the league.

Danny Amendola

Amendola will be out at least a month after suffering a shoulder injury against the Cardinals in Week 5. For now, stash Amendola on your bench and wait for him to return to action. In the meantime, consider adding Brandon Gibson or Chris Givens to your receiving corps. Both should see increased targets while Amendola is out.

Brian Hartline

Hartline showed up on Miami’s injury report, but there doesn’t seem to be any indication he won’t play this week against the Rams. Hartline is coming off a down week against the Bengals but should bounce back in Week 6. He has posted impressive yardage numbers this season and should be considered for a starting role in your lineup this week.

Daniel Thomas

Thomas suffered a concussion last week against Cincinnati, and with Reggie Bush healthy, Thomas should not be considered a good play this week. It’s unclear if he will play Sunday and has missed practice all week. Find a better option at running back for Week 6.

Miles Austin

Austin has been dealing with hamstring issues since the preseason but hasn’t missed any playing time, so far. He has been a full participant in practice this week. Austin has caught a touchdown in three of the Cowboys’ four games this season and is Dallas’ most consistent option at wide receiver. Don’t shy away from playing him against the Ravens this week.

Ryan Williams

Williams will miss the rest of the season due to a shoulder injury he sustained last week. Drop Williams and consider adding LaRod Stephens-Howling or William Powell as his replacement on your roster.

LaRod Stephens-Howling

Stephens-Howling has been limited in practice this week, but he believes he will play against Buffalo on Sunday. The Bills have been awful against the run this season, but Stephens-Howling may not be your best option. At 185 lbs, Stephens-Howling is not built to shoulder a heavy workload. William Powell may see a larger portion of the action against a bad Buffalo defense in Week 6.

Rob Gronkowski

Gronkowski caught just four passes for 35 yards in Week 5, but he was only targeted five times. Gronk showed up on the injury report this week, but there is little cause for concern. The Patriots are very liberal with the injury report. Gronkowski should be at full strength this week and will likely see more than five targets against the Seahawks.

Aaron Hernandez

Hernandez was limited in practice for three straight days this week, but his activity is encouraging. Hernandez missed the last three games due to an ankle injury but has a good chance of returning to action in Week 6. Monitor his status as the weekend approaches.

Wes Welker

Like half the Patriots’ roster, Welker was listed on the team’s injury report this week. He has been limited in practice but didn’t seem to suffer any serious injuries last week. Welker’s limited participation was likely precautionary and should get the start on Sunday against Seattle.

Marshawn Lynch

Lynch will likely play this week but monitor his status the next few days. Lynch has shouldered a heavy workload for the Seahawks this season. He is averaging nearly 23 carries per game and will struggle to stay healthy the entire season if Seattle continues to use him so heavily. For fantasy purposes, though, Lynch’s workload is encouraging, and he should remain in your lineup as long as he plays.

Jermichael Finley

Finley’s status is up in the air this week. He dislocated his shoulder in the Packers’ loss to the Colts last week. Finley has not participated in practice this week, and the Packers are treating Finley’s injury cautiously. Monitor reports regarding his health as the weekend approaches. Even if he plays, Finley’s chances of having a good fantasy performance against the Texans are slim.

Greg Jennings

Jennings is suffering from a groin injury that has been a recurring problem this season. He is listed as questionable at the moment and has not participated in practice this week. It looks unlikely that Jennings will play this week, and the Packers face an extremely tough matchup against the Texans this Sunday night. Jennings should remain on your bench for Week 6.

Arian Foster

Foster was limited in practice on Wednesday, but the Texans were likely just giving Foster extra rest. Foster has toted the rock more than any other back in the league this year, which should be very encouraging for his owners this season. Keep Foster in your lineup.

Ben Tate

Tate has been limited in practice this week, and with Foster healthy, Tate remains a valuable handcuff at best. He has just 30 carries this season, while Foster has 132. Keep Tate on your bench until he starts seeing a bigger workload.

Hakeem Nicks

Nicks has been making progress with his knee injury and could return to action this week. He did not participate in practice on Wednesday but has been doing individual workouts. Nicks believes he will play this week. Still, the Giants face a tough matchup against the 49ers in Week 6. Monitor Nicks’ progress but don’t be too eager to play him just yet.

Andre Brown

After Brown’s fantastic performance against the Panthers a few weeks ago, fantasy owners everywhere attempted to add him. Just two weeks later, Ahmad Bradshaw ran for 200 yards, and Brown, once again, became an obsolete fantasy option.

Brown suffered a concussion last week and still has not been cleared for contact. He missed practice on Wednesday and will probably miss this week’s game against the Niners. If rookie David Wilson is still available in your league, consider adding him in place of Brown.

Adrian Peterson

AP missed practice on Wednesday, but it was probably just a precautionary measure given the minor ankle injury he sustained last week. Peterson played through the pain and will likely get the start this week against Washington. The Redskins have been stout against the run this year, but Peterson remains a must start when healthy enough to play.

Robert Griffin III

Griffin was knocked out of last week’s game with a concussion but was a limited participant in practice on Wednesday. He has been making progress and claims to be free of concussion symptoms. Monitor RG3’s status the next few days, but it looks like he is likely to play against the Vikings.

Minnesota has been adequate against the pass this season, though Griffin can do damage to opposing defenses with both his arm and his legs. If Griffin plays, he is a must-start quarterback.


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