Week 5: Game Time Decisions - Injury Update
In this article we profile players that are struggling to get into uniform for the coming week. A few guys suffered week four injuries and will be in street clothes this week including Titan QB Jake Locker, Jets WR Santonio Holmes and oft injured RB Darren McFadden. The Bills backfield is banged up and has to deal with a short week as they travel to Cleveland to face a stingy Brown run defense on Thursday night football. CJ Spiller is listed as a game time decision with an ankle injury while Fred Jackson is more likely to suit up as his knee injury seems less severe.
Jackson suffered a hamstring injury during his week two reunion with St Louis and left the game with three carries for zero yards. He's missed the past two games and appears very questionable to return for the Monday night battle with the Jets as the Falcons are expected to hold their workhorse out through their week six bye. In his Falcon debut, Jackson impressed rushing 11 times for 77 yards, while adding five catches for 45 yards in a loss to the Saints. Jason Snelling and Jacquizz Rodgers will likely share backfield duties this week against a stingy Jets defense allowing the fewest fantasy PPG to opposing running backs -- only allowed one rushing TD and just 65 YPG on the ground. Snelling has 222 yards and two touchdowns and is the better option in standard leagues since he'll see a greater amount of the goal line touches. Rodgers is on the field for most passing situations and remains more of a PPR option, but it is worth noting that over the past two weeks he's received more snaps (89-68) and touches (33-24) than Snelling.
The rookie from Alabama returned to practice on Tuesday and appears primed to return to the lineup when the Packers host division rival Detroit in week five. Lacy missed the week three loss to the Bengals, which opened the door for fellow rookie Johnathan Franklin to burst on to the fantasy scene as he rushed 13 times for 103 yards and a touchdown in Green Bay's Week 3 loss to Cincinnati. During the first two games of the season, Lacy totaled just 15 carries for 51 yards with one touchdown and could be in a committee provided Franklin is able to suit up (he's battling a foot injury). On a positive note, James Starks has already been ruled out with knee sprain, so at worst Lacy will be sharing touches with just one other player this week. Another plus for Lacy this week is the matchup. Detroit's defense is struggling to defend opposing ground games as they are allowing the third most fantasy points per game to opposing running backs (23 fantasy PPG). The favorable matchup should keep Lacy on the RB2 radar this week despite the potential timeshare.
To the surprise of no one in the fantasy universe, RUN DMC will likely miss at least one game after sustaining a hamstring injury during the Raiders' Week 4 home loss to the winless Redskins. During his previous five seasons, Mcfadden has been sidelined for 23 games due to injury. McFadden disappointed yet again this past week as he was unable to take advantage of the favorable matchup with Washington -- finishing with five carries for 29 yards before leaving with the injury. With Marcel Reece also forced from the game with a knee injury, former Jaguar Rashad Jennings finished with respectable numbers -- 15 carries for 45 yards and eight catches for a team-high 71 yards. Jennings' upside is limited by a porous offensive line and less than impressive track record. He floundered during his starts for Jacksonville last season and the San Diego defense is allowing the fifth lowest fantasy PPG to opposing running backs. Jennings remains just a flex play (better start in PPR leagues), despite the fact that he's likely to see 20+ touches this week.
Wes Welker's replacement had a solid debut against the Bills - finishing with 10 catches for 104 yards - but was unable to reach the end zone. He re-aggravated a groin injury in week one that has kept him in street clothes for the past three games. The oft injured 27 year-old WR returned to Wednesday's practice and seems likely to return to the lineup for a week five meeting with an injury riddled Bengal secondary. Amendola played just one game in 2011, missed five games last season, has never topped 700 yards in a season and has just seven career touchdowns. Consider selling high on Julian Edelman and rookie Kenbrell Thompkins as their fantasy value will likely take a hit in the near future with the impending return of Amendola and Gronk.
Pryor suffered a concussion during the week three loss in Denver and was forced to miss the dream week four matchup with the Redskins' struggling secondary. In his absence, Matt Flynn committed two turnovers and failed to impress - finishing with 246 yards and one touchdown. Pryor has returned to practice and is reportedly symptom free, which should result in him getting the start for another favorable matchup as the Raiders face a generous San Diego pass defense allowing the most fantasy PPG to opposing quarterbacks. The Chargers are yielding 329 yards per game through the air and have given up eight passing touchdowns, while registering only one interception. Pryor averaged 209 passing yards per game and 66 YPG on the ground during his first three starts this season and is well worth considering for those looking for a bye week filler (RG3 and Big Ben owners).