In this series, we’ll cast a wide net to cover many different injuries that occurred during each week of the NFL regular season and what the implications are for your fantasy teams. If there were large injuries during the week, we’ll be sure to have a detailed piece in addition to this article. If there is any injury on your mind that you believe I missed, please feel free to comment below and I’ll give you my thoughts!
With week five in the books, we’re over a third of the way done with the fantasy football regular season! Easily the best part about dynasty fantasy football is that each week is something to play for. Even the 0-5 team in your dynasty league may have moves to make to help their team’s future success. For many of us (especially in the DLF community), there’s still a lot to play for in the 2018 season.
As bye weeks go into full swing, the impact injuries have on your rosters is more pronounced. For some, the injuries take away consistent assets from your teams. For others, the injury may open up opportunities for other promising young players on your rosters. Luckily in week five, there weren’t too many serious injuries. Regardless, let’s dig into the injuries that happened to see where the values may fall.
Jay Ajayi, RB PHI
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Arguably the biggest injury of week five was one we were not aware of until Monday. We knew that Ajayi was battling a back issue heading into the week, but this one comes as a surprise. For Ajayi, this season-ending injury is a tough blow to his value in a contract year. In addition to the obvious short-term value hit, Ajayi’s future is now uncertain. With multiple knee injuries and in a contract year, it would be a surprise if Ajayi is on the Eagles roster in 2018, in my opinion.
For the rest of the season, barring a trade, the Eagles will rely on some combination of Corey Clement, Darren Sproles, Wendell Smallwood, and Josh Adams. There have been rumors before the Ajayi injury of the Eagles making a move for Le’Veon Bell. For this analysis, we’ll put that aside. Should the Eagles trade for any starting-caliber running back, especially Bell, they would certainly feature him. Adam Schefter reports, however, that this is not in the cards.
On limited carries thus far in 2018, Clement, Smallwood, and Adams are all averaging more than four yards per carry. Clement has the most proven production at the NFL level and will likely get the majority of the work early on. He and Smallwood, who is a versatile back in his own right, are the two most likely to lead this backfield in touches the rest of the season. If I had to put a chip down, my bet would be on Clement.
Brandin Cooks and Cooper Kupp, WRs LAR
Two standout players for the Rams thus far in 2018 were knocked out of Sunday’s contest with concussions. Cooks owners had a particularly disappointing day, as the speedy playmaker was held without a catch before leaving the game. Concussions are particularly challenging to project how they will impact players’ availability the following week.
While neither player’s performance is expected to impacted long-term, the Rams may have to look elsewhere on the roster for production should either wideout miss time. Josh Reynolds, a promising second-year prospect, would see an increase in playing time. Based on how the Rams have been utilizing the wide receiver position this season, Reynolds would have legitimate upside.
Matt Breida, RB SF
Breida, one of this season’s most effective running backs, injured his ankle in week five. Coming into the contest, Breida was dealing with a shoulder injury. Boasting a 7.5 yards per carry on the season, Breida has shown true capability as a runner this year.
The MRI on Breida’s ankle reportedly came back negative, which is a great sign for fantasy owners. It’s likely that the 49ers starting running back will miss at least one week as he heals from a mild ankle sprain. The team will be cautious with Breida as they ease him back into play. With an already depleted running back room, look for the 49ers to lean more on Alfred Morris in Breida’s absence.
Corey Grant, RB JAC
A receiving specialist for the Jaguars, Grant will miss the remainder of 2018 after injuring his foot on Sunday. Grant’s absence will further confirm T.J. Yeldon as a workhorse in Jacksonville. As long as Leonard Fournette is absent, Yeldon will continue to be a viable RB2 at the very least each week in fantasy. Notable to dynasty owners, Yeldon is also an impending free agent next year. While many are on Tevin Coleman as the 2018 free agent running back to own, Yeldon could offer similar upside for a fraction of the trade cost.
After quite a roller-coaster of injuries in week four, week five was not nearly as bad. With the exception of Jay Ajayi, the fantasy landscape was not changed dramatically by injuries this past week. With bye weeks and potential trade deadlines fast approaching in your leagues, it’s more important than ever to stay on top of depth charts and injury reports. We’ll be back next week to cover all the week six injuries!