Fantasy Football Week 6: Thursday Night Football injuries; Davante Adams, A.J. Green, Todd Gurley and David Johnson updates
The Giants will be undermanned on Thursday Night Football, while Fantasy players could be down two huge names at running back. Chris Towers catches you up on all the latest news.
The Giants are playing on Thursday night this week, but most of the ones you care about won't be. There was some hope that Saquon Barkley would be able to play this week, but it turns out he may be mortal after all. He suffered his high-ankle sprain in Week 3, and while it seems like he could be back in time for Week 7 against the Falcons — a pretty nice landing spot if you want to try to trade for him — it turns out he will end up needing four weeks to get right, the low end of the initial injury timetable.
Wayne Gallman's absence due to a concussion means that Jon Hilliman, Austin Walter, and Elijhaa Penny will handle the running game work for the Giants, with Hilliman likely to lead the way and see passing downs work. That could be a not-insignificant role in a game against the Patriots that will likely see the Giants chasing points early. Hilliman is a viable low-end RB play for PPR leagues, if you're desperate — and as you'll see shortly, the number of injuries to big-name running backs might mean you're desperate.
In the passing game, things won't be easy for Daniel Jones either, as he'll be playing without Evan Engram (knee) and Sterling Shepard (concussion). This is Shepard's second concussion of the season, so it wouldn't be a surprise if he ended up missing multiple weeks, though we'll see how he progresses after this week. Engram could also miss multiple weeks as well, as he is dealing with a sprain in the same knee that cost him some time last season.
Golden Tate figures to get more work this week as the lead option, though the matchup against the Patriots means it's not exactly coming at an opportune time for Fantasy purposes. Tate is just a low-end starting Fantasy option for Week 6, while rookie Darius Slayton, who has 158 yards in three career NFL games, is a desperation play for deep leagues only.
On the other side, the Patriots will be playing without wide receiver Phillip Dorsett, while running back Rex Burkhead is not expected to play either, according to afternoon reports. That should create room for Sony Michel and James White to thrive in a great matchup, while the likes of Josh Gordon and Julian Edelman could figure more prominently in the passing game with Dorsett out. All are recommended starts for this one.
Here's the rest of the news you need to know about for Week 6.
Davante Adams was unable to practice Thursday
Adams didn't practice Thursday, a bad sign for his prospects of playing Monday as he continues to deal with a troubling turf toe injury. One reporter noted Adams "didn't sound optimistic about playing," with Adams noting: "It doesn't feel how I want it to feel at the moment."
Adams was off to an up and down start, but was averaging 94.5 yards per game on a career-best 15.1 yards per reception prior to the injury, so he'll obviously be missed. In Week 5, nobody really benefitted from Adams' absence, with Jimmy Graham leading the non-RB group of receivers with just 41 yards. With the Packers intent on running the ball more, Aaron Rodgers all of a sudden looks like a matchup-dependent low-end starting Fantasy quarterback — and I cannot believe I just typed those words.
A.J. Green returned to practice
Though he is unlikely to play in Week 6, the Bengals wide receiver practiced for the first time since July 27 on a limited basis Thursday. He was spotted in his helmet and pads, as he continues to work his way back from ankle surgery. That could put him on track to return in Week 7, though that would represent a tough landing spot, against the Jaguars and star corner Jalen Ramsey. Assuming Ramsey is still there. And assuming Green is still there, as he has been the subject of trade rumors, something he acknowledged Thursday as well.
Todd Gurley is dealing with a quad injury
This one comes as a significant surprise, because the Rams played last Thursday and this is the first we are hearing of it. Coach Sean McVay told reporters Gurley is day to day, so we'll definitely have to keep a close eye on this one over the coming days. Malcolm Brown figures to be the main replacement for Gurley in Week 6 against the 49ers and would be a recommended Fantasy starter, however you should expect more of a committee approach if Gurley does sit out, as Brown has just 19 catches over his five-year NFL career, including only one on three targets in 2019. Rookie Darrell Henderson could see some work this week if Gurley is out. McVay told reporters: "There's also going to be a time that we're going to rely on Darrell Henderson, it might end up being this week."
David Johnson did not practice
Chase Edmonds was one of Jamey Eisenberg's top waiver wire targets earlier this week for a reason, with Johnson dealing with a back injury. Johnson struggled with the injury during last Sunday's game, and the fact that he was unable to practice Wednesday is an ominous sign for his availability. Edmonds is still available in more than 50% of CBS Fantasy leagues, and with Kliff Kingsbury not willing to guarantee that Johnson would play this week, Edmonds should be viewed as a must-own option at this point. The Cardinals have a great matchup against the Falcons on the way, so if Johnson isn't able to go, Edmonds would be worth starting.
Chris Herndon did not practice Wednesday
We were hoping to see Herndon back on the field in Week 6 after he finished serving his four-game suspension, but it looks like that may end up getting delayed. He apparently suffered the injury running routes away from the team the previous week, and since hamstring injuries have a tendency to linger, it looks like he'll sit out this week's game against the Cowboys, and possibly Week 7 as well, as Ian Rapoport reported Thursday. Herndon is still someone worth stashing, as he could have a significant role with the Jets — who should get Same Darnold back this week — but if you were hoping to use him as a streamer for this week, consider other options like Gerald Everett.
- Case Keenum (foot) is expected to start in Week 6 … This should be good news for Terry McLaurin especially, as he looked like a budding star with Keenum playing. The matchup against the Dolphins only helps matters.
- Christian McCaffrey (back) will likely not practice on Wednesdays … When McCaffrey showed up on the practice report with a did-not-practice designation and a back injury, there was some concern that he might be joining the ranks of the injured Fantasy stars. However, coach Ron Rivera clarified that McCaffrey will likely be sitting out Wednesday practices for the foreseeable future, as the team tries to keep him fresh. There hasn't been a more valuable player in the NFL or in Fantasy this season than McCaffrey, who is averaging a league-leading 117.4 rushing yards per game while adding 55.8 receiving yards. He has 136 touches, and is on pace for an absurd 435, the most since DeMarco Murray in 2014.
- Hunter Henry (knee) was a limited participant … At this point, Henry still seems like more of a long shot to come back for Week 6, but this is obviously good news. Anthony Lynn hasn't ruled Henry out, so if he's still out there on your wire, snagging Henry would be a smart move. At the very least, a return in Week 7 against the Titans seems likely at this point.
- Tyreek Hill (shoulder) was limited … Hill is still no sure thing for Week 6, but after practicing in a limited capacity for more than a week, it's clear he is getting close to returning. With Sammy Watkins also sitting out with a hamstring injury, the Chiefs could be facing a situation where Demarcus Robinson, Byron Pringle and Mecole Hardman are their top wide receivers, so expect Patrick Mahomes to throw for 300-plus yards again.
- Julio Jones (hip) did not practice … This is a new one for Jones, so we'll certainly keep an eye on this one heading into Week 6.
- Christian Kirk (ankle) was limited … Kingsbury told reporters Kirk could return in Week 6 last week, so this is a good sign. This could be a shootout against the Falcons Sunday, so having Kirk back out there would certainly help. He'll be worth starting as a No. 3 Fantasy receiver if he plays.
- Kenny Stills (hamstring) was limited … Stills was limited all of last week, so this isn't necessarily a sign of improvement. However, he was a game-time decision for Week 5, so it would be a bit of a surprise if he wasn't able to go. Stills doesn't get enough targets to be much more than a boom-or-bust desperation flex play in most leagues, but his return would push Keke Coutee back out of Fantasy relevance in what would be an otherwise enticing matchup against the Chiefs.
- T.J. Hockenson is still in the concussion protocol … Hockenson was a limited participant in practice after suffering a concussion Sunday, a good sign of progress, though no guarantee he will be cleared to play. As with anyone in the protocol, we just have to wait and see whether he improves enough to be cleared to play.
- Josh Rosen will remain the Dolphins' starting QB … This one doesn't exactly have many ramifications for Fantasy, though maybe Rosen and Preston Williams can develop enough of a connection to turn the latter into a viable option. There have been flashes, and the matchup against Washington in Week 6 is an enticing one if you're hoping to see them connect more often.
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