Injury Report: Week 10

John Daigle
Rotoworld

Week 10 of the fantasy football season is finally here, and the Rotoworld crew has everything you need to leave the weekend with a win. Patrick Daugherty answers your lineup questions with his Week 10 Rankings, Nick Mensio tells you who to start and who to fade in Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em, Ian Hartitz dives into which receivers are destined for production in his WR/CB Matchups Analysis, and Hayden Winks breaks down every matchup in his famous Fantasy Forecast Column.

I'm also here to shed some light on the most important injury situations facing fantasy owners heading into the weekend. The sister resource to this column is the Rotoworld News Page, which will have every single inactive and all the late-breaking news up to kickoff and beyond. I'll also join Josh Norris and a rotating member of the crew every Sunday morning at noon ET on the Rotoworld Fantasy Football Show to answer all of your pressing start/sit decisions.

Editor's Note: Drafting is only half the battle. Dominate all season long with our Season Pass! Use our NEW Start/Sit Tool, Trade Analyzer, Consensus Rankings, Projections and more on your way to a championship! Click here for more!

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Early Games

Lions @ Bears

*With Mitchell Trubisky struggling on the year and more recently going 33-of-56 (58.9%) for 378 yards and two turnovers in his last two games, it makes all the sense in the world for Chicago to continue leaning on David Montgomery, which the team has on 48-of-62 backfield touches in the Bears’ last two contests. That’s obviously an issue for Detroit if DTs Mike Daniels (foot, questionable), A’Shawn Robinson (ankle, questionable), Damon Harrison (groin, questionable), Da’shawn Hand (ankle, out) and DE Romeo Okwara (groin, questionable) can’t go.

*Linebacker Isaiah Irving (quad, out) is set to join run-stuffing NT Akiem Hicks (elbow, IR) on the sidelines.

Falcons @ Saints

*Matt Ryan (ankle) was upgraded to full participation to close the week and officially named starter. New Orleans’ defense went into their bye strangling opposing quarterbacks to 252.2 passing yards per game behind Football Outsiders’ No. 12 Pass Defense DVOA, but Julio Jones (16/243) and Calvin Ridley (15/239/4) did dog-walk this same group of corners in two losses just last year. Fantasy players should also expect Devonta Freeman to handle 84-plus percent of Atlanta’s backfield touches for the second consecutive game without Ito Smith (neck, out) available.

*With 14 days to get right, all of Alvin Kamara (knee, ankle), Jared Cook (ankle), and Tre’Quan Smith (ankle) are fully healthy for this divisional tilt against a Falcons Defense expected to get CB Desmond Trufant (toe, questionable) back on the perimeter. Kamara recently said he’s comfortable “sharing the load” with Latavius Murray after the latter totaled 62/307/4 in two spot-starts with Kamara sidelined, inevitably keeping both involved moving forward. With all signs pointing to an increased workload for Murray as the team’s ‘Mark Ingram 2.0’, the prized free agent acquisition remains a strong FLEX option capable of starting in the same season-long lineup with Kamara as both project to handle double-digit touches in this matchup. With six teams on bye, Cook files in as a low-end streaming TE1/2 with Drew Brees completely recovered.

Giants @ Jets

*Darius Slayton and Rhett Ellison are expected to start in place of Sterling Shepard (concussion, out) and Evan Engram (foot, out). With Mike Remmers (back, doubtful) hobbled, the Giants will also likely roll out their first different o-line combination of the season. In Engram’s lone absence against the Patriots in Week 6, Ellison saw seven targets on 25 routes and 100 percent of the team’s offensive snaps. He’s a thin option but one that suffices for opportunity alone in DFS cash games or deep league season-long squads. Slayton’s also a viable WR5/6 since he’s led the team in air yards (314) over the last month.

*Le’Veon Bell (knee) will suit up in a would-be dream spot if it weren’t for an injury scare following his second MRI of the season and the fact the Jets’ play-calling has yet to capitalize on soft matchups to date. Expect another uninspiring 24-plus touches as a high-end RB2. The team should be more focused on somehow bottling Saquon Barkley without starting LBs C.J. Mosley (groin, out), Jordan Jenkins (calf, questionable), and Neville Hewitt (neck/knee, doubtful), as well as pass rushers Steven McClendon (shoulder, questionable) and Henry Anderson (shoulder, questionable) and No. 1 corner Darryl Roberts (calf, doubtful).

Ravens @ Bengals

*Consider Lamar Jackson (illness, probable) an all-too-obvious top-two play despite suffering a mid-week DNP scare.

*A.J. Green (ankle) is outright droppable after re-aggravating his ankle in practice Thursday. It’s more reasonable to think he doesn’t partake on a single snap this season than believe he’ll suit up at less than 100 percent with rookie Ryan Finley now captaining the offense.

Bills @ Browns

*Demetrius Harris quietly ran 24 routes with Ricky Seals-Jones (knee, out) helped off the field against the Broncos and projects to get leaned on in the interim. The former garners a look as a score-dependent TE2 on Sunday if you’re in a bind.

*Fresh off season-highs in carries (20) and receiving yards (45) over Frank Gore in Week 9, it only helps Devin Singletary that Olivier Vernon’s (leg) already been ruled out.

Panthers @ Packers

*Even if starting corner James Bradberry (groin, questionable) suits up, he’s projected to matchup against a now-healthy Davante Adams, who accumulated a team-high 31 percent target share on 42-of-50 snaps in his first game back since Week 4.

*Jaire Alexander’s (groin, questionable) and Adrian Amos’ (hamstring, questionable) game-time decisions are less than optimal considering the Packers rank 31st in yards per play allotted since Week 4.

Cardinals @ Buccaneers

*David Johnson (ankle) practiced in full throughout the week and is reportedly “ready to go.” Tea leaves lead to Kenyan Drake being on the field at the same time as Johnson, but it’s the latter’s pass-catching role that fantasy owners should chase. Christian Kirk and Johnson haven’t shared the field since Week 4, but DJ notably averaged 10 targets in their last two games together before both went down. Drake sticks as a FLEX option against Tampa Bay’s suffocating front-seven with Chase Edmonds (hamstring) officially out.

*Pacing for an abysmal 31/410 before suffering a soft tissue injury prior to kick-off in Week 7, there’s no logical reason to slide O.J. Howard into your lineups outside of his matchup against a poor Cardinals Defense that’s allowed league-highs in catches (64), receiving yards (810) and touchdowns (9) to opposing tight ends. Note that Cameron Brate (ribs) also practiced in full all week.

Chiefs @ Titans

*You don’t need me to tell you to start everyone with Patrick Mahomes (knee) back. He practiced in full throughout the week and returns to Top 2 status from the get-go. It only helps that the Titans are missing starting CB Malcolm Butler (wrist, IR) and in turn swapping him with No. 4 DB LeShaun Sims who’s been charged with 5/76/1 in coverage despite defending on just 67 snaps to date. Kansas City’s defense also gets a sneaky boost in this matchup with both Frank Clark (neck, questionable) and slot corner Kendall Fuller (thumb, questionable) eyeing a return.

*Corey Davis’ (hip, doubtful) absence vacates five targets and 56.2 air yards per game, most of which should fall to No. 51 overall pick A.J. Brown, who leads all of Tennessee’s skill players in Pro Football Focus’ predictive Yards Per Route Run (2.04) metric despite splitting time with Tajae Sharpe (1.31) and Kalif Raymond (1.00) on the year. Adam Humphries makes sense as a DFS cash game pivot off Brown since Week 10 prices are tight. Fresh off a season-high 31 routes run (on Ryan Tannehill’s 46 dropbacks) without Delanie Walker (ankle, out) last week, Jonnu Smith also qualifies as an intriguing candidate and Top 10 season-long TE streamer to sponge Davis’ usage. Damien Williams gets the upgrade on the other side of the ball with All-Pro DT Jurrell Casey (shoulder, out) still shelved.

Afternoon Games

Dolphins @ Colts

*DeVante Parker is the safe bet to soak up Preston Williams’ (knee, IR) unloaded 7.5 targets and 99 air yards per game long-term, but this matchup against the Colts’ infamous Cover 2 scheme makes Mike Gesicki the better short-term start as the pick to feed off soft coverage underneath. Not only has the second-year specimen ranked No. 3 in air yards at his position since Miami’s Week 5 bye, Indianapolis has fortuitously allowed the ninth-most receptions (47) to opposing tight ends this season.

*Brian Hoyer isn’t the worst streaming option if you’re in a pinch following Jacoby Brissett’s (knee, out) recent scratch. This is still ultimately a poor Fins defense — short both S Reshad Jones (chest, out) and Xavien Howard (knee, IR) — that’s been dunked on for the third-most passing touchdowns (19) despite facing the third-fewest passing attempts (243) on the year. Even with T.Y. Hilton (calf), Parris Campbell (hand), and the team’s starting signal-caller out, I lean Over 44 heavily in this matchup. Have no fear going back to Zach Pascal as a WR3 following his 5/76/1 performance on a season-high 94 percent of Indy’s snaps last week even with 34-year-old Hoyer under center.

Rams @ Steelers

*Brandin Cooks’ (concussion, out) absence puts 5.6 targets and 78.5 air yards per game up for grabs among Los Angeles’ skill players. While Josh Reynolds is the likeliest candidate to see increased opportunity following his 3/73/1 performance on 88 percent of the Rams’ snaps in London, it’s not a bad idea to simply wager against ‘Road Goff’ and bank on Pittsburgh’s improved defense creating havoc. Goff’s notably completed just 41.2 percent of his passes for a not so nice 669 yards, three touchdowns, and two picks when under pressure this year — which he has been at the league’s seventh-highest rate among starters thus far. Malcolm Brown’s (ankle) return also delays rookie Darrell Henderson’s breakout for another week.

*Jaylen Samuels is prepped to make his second consecutive spot-start for James Conner (quad) after the latter was limited throughout the week and ultimately ruled out. Even with Los Angeles’ defense trending towards a clean bill of health and Mason Rudolph undoubtedly being in over his head, the 24-year-old’s 7.7 average depth of target keeps Samuels entrenched as a matchup and game script-proof RB1. Not only did Samuels lead the Steelers with a team-high 37 percent target share (!) against the Colts, he trailed only Leonard Fournette (40), Le’Veon Bell (36), and Saquon Barkley (35) in routes run (31) at his position. JuJu Smith-Schuster (foot, game-time call) was considered a WR3, anyhow, but his last-minute injury to close the week makes him a risky bet. Chances are you still need his body filling a starting spot with six teams on bye.

 

Sunday Night

Vikings @ Cowboys

*Trickle down from Adam Thielen’s (hamstring, out) re-aggravation in Week 9 allowed seventh-round rookie Olabisi Johnson to play a season-high 83 percent of Minnesota’s offensive snaps against the Chiefs and at least 71 percent of the team’s snaps in their last three contests. Stefon Diggs is the obvious WR1 in this instance, but Johnson and rookie Irv Smith, the latter whose routes run (28) hit a season-high range against Kansas City, are viable options if expecting this one to shootout — a sharp expectation since this total has been bet up from 45.5 to 48 since initially opening.

*Amari Cooper (knee/ankle, probable) secretly injured his knee in practice last week and re-aggravated it Monday night when stumping it into the MetLife turf. He was downgraded mid-week but did get in a limited session on Friday and is fully expected to suit up. He’s a WR1 (presuming he’s active) despite fighting through his fourth significant injury of the year.

 

Monday Night

Seahawks @ 49ers

*Luke Willson (ribs) will reportedly struggle through fractured ribs in an attempt to suit up behind Jacob Hollister. The latter is still the pick-to-click as a confident season-long streamer only one week after breaking out for 4/37/2 on 80 percent of the Seahawks’ snaps on Sunday. Tyler Lockett’s (hip) late add to Seattle’s injury report is slightly concerning, but you’re obviously firing him up if he’s cleared by Sunday. Deebo Samuel and Dante Pettis are widely available pivots if looking to take Lockett’s decision down to the wire.

*San Francisco’s trending towards full health with LT Joe Staley (leg), RT Mike McGlinchey (knee), and FB Kyle Juszczyk (knee) expected back Monday night.

 

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