As has been the case for much of the season, injuries are a primary storyline heading into another slate of NFL games.
Week 7 will largely be defined by which teams are able to overcome the physical setbacks to their marquee players and still play well with replacement options. The same can be said about fantasy football managers, who may need to make last-minute adjustments to their lineups depending on various injury updates.
With that in mind, here is a look at some of the major injuries as the Week 7 action approaches.
- Michael Thomas, WR, NO: Out for Sunday's game against the Carolina Panthers
- Khalil Mack, OLB, CHI: Missed Friday's practice with a back injury
- Emmanuel Sanders, WR, NO: Out for Sunday's game against the Carolina Panthers
- Joe Mixon, RB, CIN: Out for Sunday's game against the Cleveland Browns
- Raheem Mostert, RB, SF: Placed on injured reserve with an ankle injury
- DeSean Jackson, WR, PHI: Placed on injured reserve with an ankle injury
- Austin Hooper, TE, CLE: Out for Sunday's game against the Cincinnati Bengals
- Sam Darnold, QB, NYJ: Limited in Thursday's practice with a shoulder injury
- Zack Martin, RG, DAL: Out for Sunday's game against the Washington Football Team
- Aaron Jones, RB, GB: Questionable for Sunday's game against the Houston Texans
- Tyler Higbee, TE, LAR: Missed Thursday's practice with a hand injury
- Darrell Henderson Jr., RB, LAR: Missed Thursday's practice with a thigh injury
- Jamison Crowder, WR, NYJ: Missed Thursday's practice with a groin injury
There are immediate fantasy implications that stand out from this list.
For one, Drew Brees may not be the best play at quarterback since he will be without Michael Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders. Look for the New Orleans Saints to control the clock with Alvin Kamara and the rushing attack, although wide receiver Tre'Quan Smith becomes an intriguing streaming option for fantasy players looking to replace Thomas, Sanders or someone else for Week 7.
Few wide receivers have been as consistent when healthy as Jamison Crowder of the New York Jets with three 100-plus yard games in four appearances, but his groin injury and the status of quarterback Sam Darnold means fantasy players should probably look at other options—such as Smith—before Sunday's slate as well.
At the running back position, Joe Mixon's absence for the Cincinnati Bengals is the biggest storyline.
Cincinnati put up 30 points the last time it faced the Cleveland Browns and figures to be a valuable fantasy team Sunday. The Browns are coming off a 38-7 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers and have looked vulnerable defensively a number of times this year.
That makes Giovani Bernard perhaps the best waiver-wire option for the week now that Boston Scott is already done following the Philadelphia Eagles' win over the New York Giants on Thursday.
Fantasy players in need of a win in Week 7 should look his way, especially if they are replacing other injured stars.