Dynasty League Football


Dynasty Injury Report: Pre-Week One

We discuss some players with notable injuries heading into week one of the season.

Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

“Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.”

Pain for us in the dynasty and seasonal fantasy football community can be identified as injuries, which are inevitable throughout an NFL season. Suffering through these injuries is optional – you must now make a decision of how you are going to proceed after one of your key players has suffered an injury.

My name is Jeff Mueller, a Doctor of Physical Therapy, and I am here to help guide you through these weekly injuries and provide helpful insight into how bad the injury is and what the expected timeline for recovery is for your key player. The weekly injury roundup will be posted on Wednesdays to discuss injuries that just occurred. I would also encourage you to tune in to the DLF YouTube channel (make sure to subscribe!) to tune in to helpful content throughout the week.

Let’s start with injury updates as we enter week one of the season.

Joe Burrow, QB CIN

Injury: Calf strain

Return to Play: Week 1

Fantasy Impact: Burrow is still listed as day-to-day with his calf strain but every indication leans towards him being a full go for week one. He missed five weeks, more than a typical timeline for a calf strain, and upon return was not wearing a compression sleeve, indicating that the calf is likely no longer bothering him. He should be fine for your starting lineup leagues, but consider avoiding him in DFS in case the Bengals lean on the run a bit more out of precaution.

Kyler Murray, QB ARI

Injury: ACL

Return to Play: Week 5-TBD

Fantasy Impact: Murray has been named a team captain, which increases intrigue as to whether or not he will be returning to the team once he is fully healthy. In theory, he should be ready to play by week five, but we all know there are other implications and variables involved here. We will have to wait and see.

Miles Sanders, RB CAR

Injury: Groin strain

Return to Play: Week 1

Fantasy Impact: Sanders has been practicing and coaches continue to state confidence that he is fully ready to go for week one. I have my concerns in regards to fantasy production considering the Panthers starting offensive line was one of the worst units throughout preseason and they have a rookie quarterback at the helm, plus factor in Sanders not being a good pass-catching back, but at least he has been cheap of sorts. If you need to play him, I think you can for week one.

Kendre Miller, RB NO

Injury: Hamstring strain

Return to Play: Week 2-3

Fantasy Impact: This is concerning considering he had an MCL repair in January, an aggravation to the same knee after the preseason game one, and now is dealing with a hamstring strain. He remains out of practice so far, so keep an eye on his status, but this seems like a situation where the Saints will fully lean on Jamaal Williams for at least the first game. The downside too is that Miller’s chances of a decent season came down to him making an immediate impact and earning more touches in the first three games before Alvin Kamara comes back and relegates him to RB3 on the depth chart.

Trending Up: Jamaal Williams, decent DFS play

De’Von Achane, RB MIA

Injury: AC sprain

Return to Play: Week 1

Fantasy Impact: Achane has shed the non-contact jersey and practiced in full, providing two positive signs that he will be active week one. I still believe that Raheem Mostert and Salvon Ahmed will be the primary running backs used with Achane possibly getting four to six touches to start out, but he likely earns more touches as the season goes on.

Zack Moss, RB IND

Injury: Forearm Fracture, Surgery

Return to Play: Week 1-3

Fantasy Impact: Moss has been at practice, though strictly in individual drills and not team drills, over the last week without a cast or brace on his forearm or wrist. There is a chance he can play in week one, but I think it is more likely that he returns to play in week two. Once returned, he likely slides back into the RB1 role, though the Colts have already stated that they intend to ride the hot hand.

Trending Up: Deon Jackson is expected to start week one

Jerome Ford, RB CLE

Injury: Right hamstring strain

Return to Play: Week 1

Fantasy Impact: Ford has returned to practice and by video has looked very good in his movement patterns, including stretching out runs and routes around the edge with his right leg fully extended and exploding up-field. Those are good signs of the hamstring not limiting him as he returns to full speed. I expect him to play and return to his RB2 role for week one.

Cooper Kupp, WR LAR

Injury: Hamstring strain

Return to Play: Week 2-5

Fantasy Impact: Kupp remains in Minnesota as he consults with a specialist to discuss his hamstring strain and any contributing factors, which could include his back, hips, and overall mechanics. I will be shocked if Kupp plays in week one, and think it is more likely that he will play closer to week five than week two. With the limited information that we have, this is more of a wait-and-see issue unfortunately.

Trending Up: Van Jefferson, Puka Nacua

Jerry Jeudy, WR DEN

Injury: Hamstring strain

Return to Play: Week 2-4

Fantasy Impact: Jeudy was spotted in warmups with the team, but I think it is unlikely that he plays in week one. My guess is that the team will wait until he is fully 100% to avoid a Kupp scenario where he returns too soon and suffers a reinjury. Upon return, Jeudy will still carry reinjury risk. Expect to be without him in your starting lineup for the first few weeks.

Trending Up: Courtland Sutton, Marvin Mims

Terry McLaurin, WR WAS

Injury: Turf Toe

Return to Play: Week 1-3

Fantasy Impact: McLaurin was in the protective boot until mid-last week to help his turf toe injury heal, leaving him only a week and a half to try to ramp up for week one. Given the timeline and severity of the injury, I think he winds up sitting out week one and returning week two. His return will be dependent on his ability to push off of his big toe without any complications.

Trending Up: Jahan Dotson

Jaylen Waddle, WR MIA

Injury: Ribs

Return to Play: Week 1

Fantasy Impact: It appears that his mysterious injury was due to falling on a ball in practice and suffering multiple bruised ribs. Waddle has been near full go in practice over the last week and has continued to state that he will be playing in week one, so I do not think we need to be concerned about his status.

Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR SEA

Injury: Left wrist fracture, surgery

Return to Play: Week 2-3

Fantasy Impact: He still has a cast on despite practicing, and given the timeline it is not likely that the cast comes off prior to week one. I would anticipate his return to the field being week two or three with overall low reinjury risk once he is back.

Trending Up: Tyler Lockett

Mike Evans, WR TB

Injury: Groin strain

Return to Play: Week 1

Fantasy Impact: Evans has been full go in practice after dealing with a mild groin strain last week, so I do not think his week one status is in jeopardy. If you need him, you should be able to play him.

Treylon Burks, WR TEN

Injury: Left LCL sprain

Return to Play: Week 1-3

Fantasy Impact: Burks has notably been practicing over the last week and has been seen changing direction, jumping off of and landing on his left leg, and twisting without noticeable issue. By video, it appears that he has been moving close to 80-85% but we never know what he is doing behind the scenes. I initially thought he would miss time, but it appears that he has a decent chance to play in week one. I would exercise caution and avoid starting him for fantasy if you can just until we see him play without reinjury.

Trending Up: Chig Okonkwo

Romeo Doubs, WR GB

Injury: Hamstring strain

Return to Play: Week 1-2

Fantasy Impact: Doubs has been out of practice with a hamstring strain and the Packers remain quiet on his status. My guess is that he misses week one with a chance to return week two. Keep an eye on his practice status this week.

Trending Up: Luke Musgrave, Jayden Reed

Travis Kelce, TE KC

Injury: Knee Hyperextension

Return to Play: Week 2-4

Fantasy Impact: We still do not have a ton of information on Kelce’s injury that he suffered on Tuesday at practice, other than they were doing a red zone drill and he hyperextended his knee. Majority of the time these come with a bone bruise that can take four to six weeks to heal, but typically players are able to return to play in around two weeks. The hope here is that there is no other structural damage. Assume best case scenario and that Kelce will be able to return close to week two or three. Of note, Schefter did report that the Chiefs “believe that the ACL is intact”, which gives me just a little hesitation. I can think of two other reports where the ACL was believed to be intact but extensive swelling was involved and likely make the imaging unclear, and that was when Zach Ertz and Logan Thomas actually wound up having an ACL tear. I am really hoping that is not the case here and that it is truly just a hyperextension injury and bone bruise without ligament involvement, so keep an eye on any future reports and hope for the best.

Trending Up: Noah Gray

George Kittle, TE SF

Injury: Groin strain

Return to Play: Week 1-3

Fantasy Impact: Kittle has been out of practice but has notably been sprinting on the side field the last few days. For groin injuries, we care more about non-linear movement so straight-line sprinting does not necessarily move the needle for me for his week one status. To feel comfortable starting him in week one, I would love to hear that he gets in a full practice on Thursday or Friday with no issues. The 49ers have progressively gotten more conservative in their return-to-injury protocols for their star players, so if Kittle plays I think I could trust that the 49ers have low concern for reinjury. Keep an eye on his status as the week goes on.

Mark Andrews, TE BAL

Injury: Undisclosed

Return to Play: Week 1

Fantasy Impact: It sounds like Andrews will be available to play but keep a close eye on his status. He has been missing practice, but we care more about Wednesday through Friday availability for the games on Sunday. The only other concern is that if the game is a positive run script and Andrews really is dealing with a lingering injury, they may not need him for much of the game against Houston and he could wind up being a bust for production purposes. Hard to bet against him, but simply keep an eye on his status.

Logan Thomas, TE WAS

Injury: Calf strain

Return to Play: Week 1

Fantasy Impact: Thomas’ injury status has been relatively under-reported, as he has been back to full practice for close to two weeks now without issue. He has also told reporters that he feels really good and 100%, so I would expect him to play and slide into his big projected role in the offense. Given his age, past injury history, and the remaining reinjury risk, I would still consider stashing Cole Turner.

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Dynasty Injury Report: Pre-Week One
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