The fifth weekend of the fantasy football season is here, and the Rotoworld crew has everything you need to lock up a win. Patrick Daugherty answers your lineup questions with his Week 5 Rankings, Nick Mensio tells you who to start and who to fade in Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em, and Evan Silva breaks down every matchup in his award-winning Matchups Column.
As for me, I am here to shed light on the most important injury situations facing fantasy owners heading into the weekend. The sister resource to this column is the Rotoworld News Page, which will have every inactive and all the late-breaking news up to kickoff and beyond. I also occasionally tweet about football @RMSummerlin.
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Texans @ Vikings
*LT Duane Brown (quad) is listed as questionable, but he is fully expected to make his season debut. His return could not come at a better time with the Vikings’ ferocious pass rush next up on the schedule. Braxton Miller (hamstring) will also make his return, and TE C.J. Fiedorowicz will play through his knee injury. TE Stephen Anderson (hamstring) and RB Jonathan Grimes (ankle) are out while CB Kareem Jackson (hamstring) is questionable.
*Stefon Diggs (groin, doubtful) will not play, leaving Sam Bradford desperately short of viable targets. Kyle Rudolph (rib, not listed) should get peppered, but the Texans have yet to allow more than 35 yards to a tight end this season. This injury could open the door for first-round rookie Laquon Treadwell, but Adam Thielen and Charles Johnson will likely lead the wide receiver group with Cordarrelle Patterson getting some work as well. Along with Diggs, the Vikings will be without DT Sharrif Floyd (knee), RT Andre Smith (elbow), TE David Morgan (knee), and TE Rhett Ellison (knee, doubtful).
Titans @ Dolphins
*TE Jace Amaro is questionable with a shoulder injury, but he should play after getting in a full practice Friday. He does not have a role as long as Delanie Walker is healthy. The Titans will be without S Da’Norris Searcy (ankle), CB Cody Riggs (hamstring), and DT Al Woods (calf).
*Despite getting in limited practices all week, Arian Foster (hamstring, doubtful) will not play. Coach Adam Gase has promised to “narrow” the running back rotation, but it is still difficult to trust any of the backs. Miami will also be without CB Xavien Howard (knee), TE Jordan Cameron (concussion) and LB Koa Misi (neck). Howard is out 3-6 weeks after undergoing surgery to repair the meniscus in his knee. Howard’s injury with thrust CB Byron Maxwell back into the lineup. If the Titans cannot find success through the air this week, it is not going to happen. The good news for the Dolphins is it looks like LT Branden Albert (ankle, questionable) and C Mike Pouncey (hip, questionable) will be able to play after getting in limited practices Friday. LB Jelani Jenkins (groin) and backup C Anthony Steen (ankle) are also questionable.
Patriots @ Browns
*New England will get Tom Brady back, but several of his key playmakers are questionable. LeGarrette Blount was limited all week with a hip injury, Rob Gronkowski has yet to get in a full practice this year because of a hamstring issue, and Julian Edelman popped up on Thursday with a foot injury, which is especially concerning considering his history. All three are expected to play, but they are important names to monitor Sunday morning. Jimmy Garoppolo (shoulder) is also questionable, but he will certainly be active after Jacoby Brissett landed on injured reserve with a thumb injury Friday. RB Brandon Bolden (knee) and LB Shea McClellin (concussion) are out.
*Cleveland’s inactive list continues to be easy to predict, with Corey Coleman (hand), Josh McCown (shoulder), Cameron Erving (chest, lung), TE Seth DeValve (knee), and TE Randall Telfer (ankle) all out. The good news is it looks like rookie DE Carl Nassib (hand), S Ibraheim Campbell (hamstring), and SCB Tramon Williams (shoulder) will be able to return despite questionable tags. Joe Hade (groin, thigh) practiced in full Thursday and Friday.
Jets @ Steelers
*Eric Decker sat out practice all week and will miss his second-straight game with a partially torn labrum. The Jets seem convinced he will be back soon, but he is no better than questionable for Week 6. Quincy Enunwa missed Friday’s practice with a knee injury and was listed as questionable, but the New York Post reports “he should be fine.” Enunwa will be a viable WR2 in a great matchup if he suits up. The Jets will also be without CB Darrelle Revis (hamstring, doubtful), QB Bryce Petty (shoulder), OG Brian Winters (concussion), WR Jalin Marshall (shoulder, doubtful), and TE Braedon Bowman (knee). Revis’ absence looks like a big loss on paper, but he has been a liability this season. Brandon Marshall (foot) practiced in full all week and Matt Forte (knee, ribs) got in full sessions Thursday and Friday.
*With nine players listed as out, the Steelers will have some “inactive” players “active” against the Jets. Eli Rogers (toe), RT Marcus Gilbert (ankle), SS Robert Golden (hamstring), and LB Ryan Shazier (knee) top the list, but Pittsburgh will also be without CB Justin Gilbert (knee), CB Senquez Golson (foot), OT Ryan Harris (shin), FB Roosevelt Nix (back), and OL Cody Wallace (knee).
Eagles @ Lions
*Zach Ertz (rib) practiced in full all week and will make his return in a prime spot against a defense which has given up six touchdowns to tight ends. He is a no-brainer TE1. Ryan Mathews (ankle) also practiced in full all week, but he is likely somewhere less than 100 percent. He will likely lose some carries to Wendell Smallwood. DT Bennie Logan (calf) is questionable.
*Detroit will be without Eric Ebron (ankle), DE Ezekiel Ansah (ankle), WLB DeAndre Levy (knee, quad), and RB Dwayne Washington (foot, ankle). Cole Wick should see some targets with Ebron out, but he is not a realistic option. Zach Zenner played just five snaps after Washington went down last week, but he could see a bigger workload against Philly. With Ansah and Levy out, the defense should remain a disaster. Marvin Jones (foot, questionable) returned to a full practice Friday and should play. Safeties Tavon Wilson (neck) and Don Carey (ribs) are also questionable.
Bears @ Colts
*John Fox’s assault on the injury report continues. He listed three players who did not practice all week as doubtful (Jay Cutler, Jeremy Langford, and NT Eddie Goldman) and 12 players as questionable. Alshon Jeffery (knee), Zach Miller (ribs), LT Charles Leno (illness), ILB Danny Trevathan (thumb), OLB Willie Young (knee), CB Tracy Porter (knee), RB Ka’Deem Carey (hamstring), DE Jonathan Bullard (shoulder), ILB Nick Kwiatkoski (elbow), and DB Sherrick McManis (hamstring) have a good shot to play. Eddie Royal (calf) and OLB Leonard Floyd (calf) are more questionable. Royal did not practice all week, and Floyd got in just one limited session Friday. Fox called Royal a game-time decision. With Kevin White on injured reserve, the Bears need Royal active. CB Deiondre' Hall is doubtful after showing up on the report Friday with an ankle injury.
*The Colts will continue to limit Andrew Luck’s (shoulder) practice reps, but there is no reason to think he will miss time. Frank Gore (chest) is also fine despite missing Wednesday’s practice. RG Denzelle Good (back, questionable) and RT Joe Reitz (back, questionable) should return after getting in full practices Friday. OLB Robert Mathis (rest, foot) and CB Darius Butler (hamstring) should also play despite questionable tags. Robert Turbin is truly questionable after showing up on the report with wrist and shoulder injuries Friday. Donte Moncrief (shoulder) and C Jonotthan Harrison (illness) are out.
Redskins @ Ravens
*Washington will be without WR Josh Doctson (Achilles’), CB Bashaud Breeland (ankle), S/LB Su’a Cravens (concussion), and CB Dashaun Phillips (hamstring). Doctson is not headed to injured reserve yet, but coach Jay Gruden would not rule out the possibility if the injury persists. Breeland and Phillips have played a combined 277 snaps this year, and Cravens is an important player in sub packages. Joe Flacco is set up for a good game. OLB Ryan Kerrigan (elbow) and LG Shawn Lauvao (ankle) are questionable, but both practiced in full Friday.
*Kenneth Dixon (knee) is listed as questionable, but he is fully expected to make his NFL debut after practicing in full all week. The Ravens plan to ease the rookie in, but he should carve out a big role in a timeshare with Terrance West in the coming weeks. He is even a desperation FLEX option in a great matchup against Washington. Devin Hester (thigh) and CB Sheldon Price (thigh) also drew questionable tags. LT Ronnie Stanley (foot, doubtful) will miss his second game in a row.
Falcons @ Broncos
*Tevin Coleman (sickle cell trait) is expected to play in the high-altitude environment in Denver, but he could be limited. He is a risky fantasy bet. Atlanta is extremely thin at linebacker with Sean Weatherspoon (Achilles’) landing on injured reserve this week and Deion Jones (ankle), De’Vondre Campbell (ankle), and Paul Worrilow (groin) all ruled out. Already bad against the run, the Falcons will struggle to contain C.J. Anderson. Mohamed Sanu (shoulder) and Jacob Tamme (hip) were limited earlier in the week, but neither is listed on the final injury report.
*Trevor Siemian (non-throwing shoulder) got in limited practices Thursday and Friday, but 9 News Denver’s Mike Klis does not expect him to play. Paxton Lynch is an interesting streaming option against a Falcons secondary which has given up a league-worst 13 passing touchdowns this season. Virgil Green (calf, questionable) should also play and find success in a good matchup. RT Donald Stephenson (calf) and S Shiloh Keo (knee) round out the questionable group with OLB DeMarcus Ware (forearm) and CB Kayvon Webster (hamstring) listed as out. Demaryius Thomas (hip) is good to go after getting in a full practice Friday.
Bengals @ Cowboys
*Expected to return from his ankle injury against the Cowboys, Tyler Eifert suffered a back injury early in the week and will not play. C.J. Uzomah will get another start and is a low-end streaming option in a good matchup. Jeremy Hill was limited with a chest injury early in the week, but he was not listed on the final report after practicing in full Friday. WR James Wright (hamstring) is doubtful, but LG Clint Boling (shoulder), OT Jake Fisher (back), and RB Rex Burkhead (hamstring) should play through questionable tags.
*Dez Bryant (knee) was once again ridiculously listed as questionable despite not practicing all week, and he once again will not play. Cole Beasley has a great matchup against Darqueze Dennard in the slot, and Brice Butler is worth a look in deeper leagues as well. Lance Dunbar (knee), OT Chaz Green (foot), and CB Orlando Scandrick (hamstring) will also likely sit despite questionable tags. On the bright side, LT Tyron Smith (back, questionable) is expected to return. K Dan Bailey (questionable) will test out his back Saturday. DE Demarcus Lawrence is eligible to be activated this week, but Dallas could decide to keep him out another game as he recovers from a back injury.
Bills @ Rams
*LeSean McCoy showed up on the injury report as questionable with a hand injury Friday. Late-week additions are never good, but McCoy is adamant he will play. DT Marcell Dareus also popped up on the report Friday with a hamstring injury. He is also listed as questionable, but there is more concern about his injury. Charles Clay (knee), LT Cordy Glenn (ankle), and CB Stephon Gilmore (ankle) should play despite questionable tags. WR Greg Salas (groin) was placed on injured reserve Friday, and OT Cyrus Kouandjio (ankle), C Patrick Lewis (knee), and CB Corey White (shoulder) are out.
*Kenny Britt (thigh, questionable) and Benny Cunningham (thigh, questionable) will likely play, but the Rams have trouble on the defensive line. DEs Robert Quinn (shoulder) and William Hayes (ankle) sat out all week while DT Michael Brockers (hip) missed Thursday and Friday. All three are listed as questionable, but it would be surprising if they played.
Chargers @ Raiders
*Antonio Gates (hamstring, questionable) is set to return after getting in a full practice Friday. His return knocks Hunter Henry back to the waiver wire. Jason Verrett landed on injured reserve with a knee injury earlier in the week, Brandon Flowers is out with a concussion, and SS Jahleel Addae is sidelined by a broken clavicle. A once strong secondary is now a mouth-watering matchup for Derek Carr and company. ILB Denzel Perryman (shoulder) is also likely to sit after missing Thursday and Friday and his backup, Nick Dzubnar, is out with a knee injury. On the bright side, DE Joey Bosa will make his NFL debut, and the offensive line is getting healthier with LT King Dunlap (migraines, questionable), RT Joe Barksdale (foot, questionable), and Orlando Franklin (knee) looking likely to play.
*Latavius Murray (toe) was ruled out Friday, opening the door for rookies DeAndre Washington and Jalen Richard to take on even bigger roles in the backfield. Even in what should be a fairly even timeshare, both have RB3 appeal in a great matchup. S Nate Allen (quad) and RT Menelik Watson (calf) will also sit. Clive Walford (knee) is expected to play despite a questionable tag and is a desperation streaming option in a good matchup. RT Austin Howard (ankle), RB Taiwan Jones (knee), OL Matt McCants (knee), and LB Malcolm Smith (quad) are also questionable.
Giants @ Packers
*Rashad Jennings (thumb) is once again questionable after being limited all week. He could end up being a game-time call, making him and the rest of the backfield options difficult to trust in a tough matchup. It looks like CBs Eli Apple (hamstring) and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (groin) will play despite questionable tags, but the secondary will be without safeties Darian Thompson (foot) and Nat Berhe (concussion). Larry Donnell (concussion) and RT Marshall Newhouse (calf) will also sit. Will Tye is a great streaming option with Donnell out.
*The bye brought exactly what the Packers’ banged-up defense needed. Clay Matthews, S Morgan Burnett, DT Letroy Guion, and DE Datone Jones will all return against the Giants. CB Sam Shields (concussion) is still out, however, and CB Damarious Randall is questionable with a groin injury. Jared Cook is expected to miss 4-6 weeks with a severe ankle sprain.
Bucs @ Panthers
*Doug Martin (hamstring) is not expected to return this week, and Charles Sims missed the first two practices with a knee injury. Coach Dirk Koetter called Sims a game-time decision, but he will need to get in some work Saturday to even have that chance. Jacquizz Rodgers appears likely to start Monday night. The Bucs will also be thin on the defensive line with Robert Ayers (ankle) unlikely to play after missing Friday’s practice and Gerald McCoy (calf) and Noah Spence (shoulder) all but ruled out. DT Clinton McDonald (hamstring) also sat out Friday, and Brent Grimes was added to the report as limited with a hamstring injury.
*Cam Newton (concussion) missed his second practice in a row Friday and is not expected to play Monday night. Derek Anderson will get the start and is a good streaming option in a great matchup. Jonathan Stewart (hamstring), CB James Bradberry (foot), DT Vernon Butler (ankle), and LT Michael Oher (concussion) are also expected to sit out this week.