The Training Room: Week 10 Injury Updates
For most fantasy football leagues, Week 10 is the trade deadline. If you are still in the hunt, now is the time to make some moves to put yourself in the best position to make a run at the playoffs. If you are at the bottom of the standings but are in either a dynasty or keeper league, now is the time to be savvy and look to the future in hopes that you can put your team in a better position to be successful next year. Trading for players that are hurt or trading away your injured players is always a tricky proposition because long term outlook can be hard to project. However, it could be an opportunity to buy low on a guy who could potentially give you a huge advantage when you make the playoffs. Let's check out this week's injury updates and be sure to check out Brandon Niles' Week 10 Waiver Watch article here.
On The Mend
Doug Martin (Strained Hamstring): Martin will be a surprise active this week. He'll likely be eased back into his role as lead back, Projection: Active Week 10. If you've held onto Martin this long and are hurting for RB depth this week due to byes, you could do worse by starting Martin. Keep expectations low on Martin though as the Bucs will likely limit his workload to reduce his risk of an in-game aggravation.
Dion Lewis (Knee Scope): Lewis returned to practice before the Patriots had their bye in Week 9, so the expectation is that Lewis will continue to practice and progress towards playing this upcoming weekend. Projection: Active Week 10. It's unclear how the Patriots plan to use him in his potential first game back, but there's enough upside here that he's a person worth taking a risk on for the stretch run.
James Starks (Knee Scope): Starks was a limited participant in practice on Wednesday, which tentatively puts him on track to return this weekend against the Titans. There's a chance that even if he does return, he's not close to 100% and could be eased back into a role. Projection: Active Week 10. Ty Montgomery has performed well in Starks' absence and should continue to be deployed as a hybrid running back/wide receiver out of the backfield. Starks is a hold at this point but he wasn't running very well this year to begin with so it's fair to wonder how effective he'll be.
Tony Romo (Back Fracture): Dak Prescott continues to win and show really good poise as a rookie puts the Cowboys in a good position to wait as long as they can with Romo to make sure he's 100% healthy. Projection: Misses Week 10. The Cowboys will continue to delay Romo's return for as long as Prescott plays at a high level. Even though the Cowboys have officially declared Romo is healthy to return to NFL action, the Cowboys will continue to play the wait and see game with him.
Matt Jones (Sprained Knee): Jones looks to be on track to play this upcoming weekend against the Vikings as he is back in a limited fashion at practice. He'll continue to be day to day but is trending in the right direction. Projection: Active Week 10. Coach Gruden has stated that Rob Kelley will take over the majority of the carries this week and that Jones will have to work his way back into the mix. He's merely a stash at this point, especially with the way the Redskin's backfield is currently setup with Rob Kelley and Chris Thompson handling the carries.
Jacquizz Rodgers (Sprained Foot): Rodgers remains week to week with a sprained foot. The fact that he is still in a boot and that he is only two weeks removed from the injury makes it highly unlikekly to be ready this week. Projection: Misses Week 10. Foot sprains are usually multi-week injuries so expect Rodgers to be sidelined for at least another week if not longer.
Carlos Hyde (Sprained AC Joint): Hyde was able to practice last week, but was wearing a non-contact jersey which means that he was still dealing with some discomfort in his shoulder. Hopefully, he'll be able to shed the non-contact jersey at some point this week which makes us feel more confident in his status this week. Projection: Starts Week 10. Latest reports are that Hyde will start this week, but DuJuan Harris will still be involved in the offense, so expect slightly less touches for Hyde as he returns from injury.
Alex Smith (Concussion): Coach Reid has stated that Alex Smith will return Week 10 to face the Panthers this upcoming weekend. The Chiefs have been very cryptic as to Smith's status as although they are stating he didn't suffer a concussion, he is clearly going through the protocol in order to be cleared for Sunday. Projection: Starts Week 10. The Panthers defense is starting to come around a bit, but I guess defenses tend to look a little better when you are facing Case Keenum.
Spencer Ware (Concussion): Ware remains in the concussion protocol but Coach Reid is optimistic that Ware could return this weekend. Projection Starts Week 10. The Chiefs run game was not the same without Ware as Charcandrick West struggled to do anything on the ground against the Jaguars.
Jacob Tamme (Sprained AC Joint): Tamme continues to be week to week at this point with a sprained AC joint and the fact that he hasn't practiced early in the week is not a good start. Austin Hooper will continue to be the starter for as long as Tamme is out. Projection: Misses Week 10. If Tamme was a receiver then I think he could have the possibility of playing, but the fact that he's a TE and does have to be on the line to block does put his shoulder in more of a vulnerable position for re-aggravation.
Jared Cook (High Ankle Sprain): Cook returned to practice in a very limited fashion late last week and was practicing this week, but has been ruled out for Week 10. Projection: Misses Week 10. Cook continues to struggle with the high ankle sprain that sidelined him in Week 3. It does seem like he's more day to day than week to week at this point, so if he's available in your league, he might be a good stash.
Will Fuller (Lower Leg Strain): Fuller returned to practice on Wednesday so it is an encouraging sign. He's on track to return this weekend barring any setbacks, but will likely be a game time decision to determine how he feels in pre-game warm ups. Projection: Starts Week 10. We still don't know the exact injury that he sustained, so it is tough to figure out how limited he might when he plays, so keep an eye on his status as inactives for the Texans will post around 11:30am.
Sammy Watkins (Sprained Foot): Watkins continues to make his way back from irritation to his surgically repaired foot in April. He is not eligible to come off of IR until Week 12, but I wouldn't expect big things from Watkins when he returns. He'll need to get through practices without trouble first before even considering him a fantasy option. Projection: Active Week 12. The fact that Watkins was able to avoid another surgery on his foot is encouraging, but there are just too many red flags to feel confident in his ability to provide a significant boost to your team. If you've got the space, stash him and hope that I'm wrong.
Tevin Coleman (Strained Hamstring): Coleman continues to do work on the side during practices, which means that although he is progressing, he isn't quite ready to return to practice yet. If Coleman does progress later in the week, he is shaping up to be a game-time decision against the Eagles. Projection: Misses Week 10. The Falcons have a bye Week 11 so my guess is that they play it safe with Coleman and give him one more week to make sure he's as close to 100% as possible for the stretch run.
Ladarius Green (Ankle Surgery): With only one more week to go for the Steelers to officially active Green off of IR, I think this is the week that we see Green active. Projection: Active Week 10. I wouldn't expect much as he hasn't played all year and his situation still remains very murky at best as he returns to the field. He could be a speculative stash, but it would be hard to rely on him with his role in the offense up in the air.
The Training Room
Bottom Line: Fitz exited this past weekend's game against the Dolphins due to a sprained MCL, but returned with a brace and was able to finish the game. Coach Bowles states that Fitz is day to day and will likely start Week 10 barring any setbacks in his recovery.
Projection: Starts Week 10. Although soreness in the knee after a ligament sprain doesn't really kick in till a day or two after the injury, Fitzpatrick does seem to have a very mild sprain that he could try and play through. I'm not sure why the Jets continue to start Fitzpatrick with their record at 3-6, but barring any setbacks expect Fitzpatrick to be under center.
Bottom Line: Maclin re-aggravated his groin strain that was questionable heading into the game with on the opening drive and then did not return. He is unlikely to play this week and will be week to week moving forward.
Projection: Misses 1-3 games. Groin strains, especially aggravations, are very difficult to try and rush as evidence by Maclin re-aggravating his groin strain on the opening drive. Chris Conley and Tyreek Hill should get a bump in production with Maclin out, as does Travis Kelce.
Bottom Line: Henry missed this past weekend's game against the Chargers as he strained his calf in warm-ups and was ruled out before the game even started. Henry was able to practice in full late this week so that does put him on track to play against the Packers
Projection: Active Week 10. It sounds like the Titans were being extremely cautious with Henry when they ruled him out right before last weeks' game against the Chargers. It's a great sign that he was able to practice fully and will continue to be the primary backup to Demarco Murray, but his usage could be more limited to reduce the risk of aggravating his calf.
Lateral Ankle Sprain
Bottom Line: Cruz exited the game during the first half of this past weekend's game against the Eagles. He was probable to return but then was later ruled out. Cruz had an MRI which revealed a lateral ankle sprain and is considered day to day for now.
Projection: Misses 1 game. Although Cruz's MRI came back with no long term injury, the ankle pain he is experiencing is significant enough where he could miss some time. If he does progress enough later in the week, he could be looking at a game-time decision so keep an eye on his status.
Lateral Ankle Sprain/Concussion
Bottom Line: Hurns exited this past weekend's game against the Chiefs with an ankle injury, and then he returned to sustain a concussion. Hurns is currently in the concussion protocol and it remains to be seen if he'll be cleared in time for Sunday's game against the Texans.
Projection: Starts Week 10. Even though Hurns is expected to play as he seems to have passed through the concussion protocol, we still don't know the extent of Hurns' ankle injury. It appears the Jaguars aren't overly concerned about his ankle so it sounds like you can use him like you normally would.
Bottom Line: Benjamin exited the game against the Titans and was ruled out in the 2nd half of the game. Benjamin, who is also dealing with a sprained PCL, is considered week to week at this point.
Bottom Line: Heyward-Bey was taken down as he was reaching up for a pass and he landed awkwardly on his foot/ankle that caused him to immediately grab for his lower leg. He was taken to the sideline and was then carted to the locker room for further testing. He was ruled out for Week 10 and is week to week.
Projection: Misses 1-2 games. Heyward-Bey hasn't been much of a factor in the Steelers offense, so even when he does return, he can be avoided for the stretch run.