Editor’s Note: Injuries are a huge part of winning and losing each year in fantasy leagues. Staying abreast of injury situations is key, as knowing what to expect from your players health-wise in the short term can help you make educated decisions in managing your team. Lucky for us, we have a Doctor in the house. Dr. Scott Peak is an ABPN board certified neurologist and neuro-oncologist. He is also a dynasty football addict and a Senior Writer for Dynasty League Football. He’s excited to lend his expertise in medicine with hopes he may help the DLF Team and its followers better understand medical conditions and injuries that may impact NFL players and dynasty football owners.
If you have a question for The Dynasty Doctor, just click here. Please remember The Dynasty Doctor is geared towards questions regarding medical science, injuries to players and their collective impact in fantasy football. Stay tuned each week as we’ll post his thoughts each and every Tuesday.
Cody Kessler, QB CLE
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The Browns truly are losing quarterbacks faster than a drummer in Spinal Tap. Patriots’ linebacker Dont’a Hightower blew through the Browns offensive line untouched and drove Kessler into the ground. Kessler is lucky he didn’t injure his throwing shoulder on the play. He left the game and Terrelle Pryor took snaps at QB. Kessler is reportedly day-to-day with chest/rib injuries. Charlie Whitehurst took over at QB, and his NFL career is resurrected again. Whitehurst had 14 completions for one touchdown and one interception. It’s hard to get motivated to start any Browns players. Even Isaiah Crowell had a poor game (13 carries, 22 yards, one reception for 18 yards). Gary Barnidge had a respectable five receptions for 76 yards. It seems virtually certain the Browns will spend significant draft capital on a QB in the 2017 draft.
Steve Smith, WR BAL
Smith sustained an ankle injury and was unable to return to the game. Smith did manage three receptions for 29 yards before leaving the game. There is some talk he could return next week, and that would be less consistent with a high-ankle sprain and more likely a lateral/low ankle sprain. Still, we’ll see if inflammation builds up that limits him in practice this week. It’s hard to count out Smith. Mike Wallace led the Ravens with 11 targets (seven receptions for 63 yards). Breshad Perriman continues to languish in obscurity (two receptions for 11 yards on five targets). It’s hard to expect too much from Kenneth Dixon given he just returned from injury, but his first regular season game was a disappointment (three carries for -1 yards, one reception for 6 yards). Dixon may be worth acquiring in dynasty if his owners weren’t satisfied with his performance this week.
Jeremy Hill, RB CIN
Hill may have aggravated a chest injury in a game against the Dallas Cowboys. Hill had a poor game before the injury, rushing 4 times for 12 yards. After Hill got a lot of pre-season hype, he hasn’t measured up to expectations (58 rushing attempts, 221 yards, 3.8 YPC, three touchdowns, three receptions for 37 yards). Entering week five, Hill was RB22 in standard-scoring leagues, and RB29 in PPR formats. Hill was drafted as the RB18 as of September, and I expect that number to drop. Hill is a strong dynasty sell for me.
Dez Bryant, WR DAL
Bryant was inactive with a knee injury. We covered his injury last week. Opinion is this is a week-to-week injury, with some reporting three weeks. Bryant was running routes pre-game so that is encouraging. As covered last week, there is published literature that describes tibia bone bruises as potential multi-week injuries, and bone bruises can take several months to fully heal. The danger is if bone underneath the cartilage surface isn’t allowed to fully heal, and degenerates underneath. There doesn’t appear to be any alarm bells ringing on Bryant so hopefully this is a very minor bruise. Nevertheless, monitor his practice participation and hopefully he’ll be back soon.
Eric Decker, WR NYJ
Decker has a torn rotator cuff, and we also covered his injury last week. Decker was unable to play this week. Reports suggested Decker had a shot at playing this week, but that seemed highly unlikely. The question is, when will he return? Physical therapy for a partially torn rotator cuff can take six weeks or longer. This seems likely to be a multi-week absence, but we’ll see how this unfolds. Brandon Marshall got a healthy amount of targets (15), and made them count (Eight receptions, 114 yards, one touchdown). Quincy Enunwa had a decent game for PPR (four receptions, 51 yards receiving). Bilal Powell is worth a look in PPR formats (four carries for 10 yards, six receptions for 41 yards on eight targets).
Latavius Murray, RB OAK
Murray was unable to play with a turf toe injury. Depending on severity, these injuries can take one to two weeks to heal, but grade 3 injuries can take longer (one-four months). Murray’s rushing attempts are declining, despite having respectable numbers (40 rushes for 172 yards, 4.3 YPC, three touchdowns, 10 receptions for 63 yards). DeAndre Washington didn’t do much on the ground (nine carries for 23 yards) but did produce as a receiver (five receptions for 29 yards). Jalen Richard also had a nice game in PPR formats (six receptions, 66 yards, eight carries for 31 yards). Murray will be a free agent in 2017 so perhaps a change of scenario will help. Then again, given the 2017 rookie class is flush with running backs, Murray may find job hunting a challenge. I’m avoiding Murray in dynasty leagues.
Kevin White, WR CHI
When we last covered White, we speculated about a high-ankle sprain, and that’s now confirmed. He will require surgery, as the high-ankle sprain did result in a fibular fracture. Recovery is typically three to four months, and it seems unlikely he’ll return in 2016. The dynasty value for White is on the decline. Now is a good time to buy him from frustrated owners at a discount, if you believe in him. White did show some potential, and could be a value pick for 2017 in PPR leagues. I’m still concerned about his recent series of lower extremity injuries, so he’s a risky buy. I’d be fine trading a rookie second round pick for him.
Stefon Diggs, WR MIN
Diggs was inactive this week with a groin injury. Reports are Diggs may return after the week six bye for the Vikings. Diggs was the WR12 in PPR and WR17 in standard-scoring leagues weeks one to four. Diggs most recent ADP per October mock is 2.09 (WR14; 21st pick overall), a big jump up from September (WR 41; 63rd overall). If I can trade Diggs for similar value, I would do it. I think Diggs is overvalued right now and this may be a good time to cash in on his value. Diggs did have injury issues in college so that’s worth considering when holding him in dynasty leagues.
Charles Sims, RB TB
Sims was placed on injured reserve with a knee injury. He could return in eight weeks but that’s no certainty and it will be near playoff time in fantasy leagues. Sims hasn’t been impressive as a rusher (41 attempts, 116 yards, 2.8 YPC, 1 TD) and he’s only had one solid game as a receiver (week three, six receptions for 69 yards). Jacquizz Rodgers has been the hot waiver wire add, but Peyton Barber may be the shark move here. Doug Martin should get a bump once he returns from injury.