Julio Jones, WR ATL – Risky Start
Julio Jones sustained what appeared to be a high ankle sprain during Sunday’s contest against the Panthers but was able to return and play through it. The fact that he was able to return was promising, but it is still a serious injury with an Optimal Recovery Time in the 2-4 week range. Since this injury is only a week old, he is certainly not 100 percent. This doesn’t mean Julio won’t play, however, as he is a central figure in the Falcons offense and has been known to play through injuries. But he won’t be very effective, Inside Injuries is pegging his Health Performance Factor as 39.3 percent, one of the lowest you will see for players not on IR. Unless you have no other option, Jones should be on your Fantasy bench. He’s barely a Top 15 receiver this season.
Devonta Freeman, RB ATL
Freeman first suffered a shoulder stinger two weeks ago. This can be a painful injury but it isn’t too serious and shouldn’t take more than a week or two to recover from. He wore a non-contact jersey at practice last week but was ready to go on Sunday. In the fourth quarter, Freeman injured his knee. This is the bigger concern going forward. He was at practice Wednesday and listed as limited. This indicates that there is no concern over any structural damage, but it is an injury to monitor. Expect Freeman to suit up again, but Coleman could continue to see valuable snaps in his place. The Freeman-Coleman duo provides a powerful 1-2 punch out of the Falcons backfield, but it only works if they are healthy and if they are used effectively in the offense. Neither of those things is certain heading into their critical matchup with the Cowboys.
Matt Forte, RB NYJ – Risky Start
Forte has been a conundrum this year. The aging back has been hurt all season, and yet he plays every week. His performance has been a mixed bag of results, with games like Week 8 with 52 yards, of which only seven yards came on the ground in four carries, and games like Week 9 with 77 yards on the ground, 19 more through the air, and two touchdowns. For the most part, however, Forte has been pretty limited in his carries, and that has had a major effect on his value. Forte is a very risky start each week and should not be in many lineups as his knee continues to flare up.
Jordan Reed, TE WAS – Sit
Jordan Reed has been missing since the end of October with a hamstring injury, and he is not looking favorable for Week 10. Reed was able to make a limited appearance in practice on Wednesday but was not able to make any effort beyond individual drills. Reed had an Optimal Recovery Time of three weeks after his Week 8 injury, so the Redskins should be looking forward to Week 11 for Reed. With Vernon Davis on the roster doing a good job holding down the fort, there is less of a rush to bring Reed back, and even if he is able to play, it will be in a diminished role. Reed has been a High Injury Risk since before training camp started, and he will remain that way for the remainder of the season.
Dez Bryant, WR DAL – Sit
Dez Bryant is dealing with multiple injuries right now that are hindering his ability to be an elite wide receiver. He has been dealing with both ankle injuries and knee injuries since Week 8, and with an Optimal Recovery Time of 4 to 6 weeks, Bryant is not really that close to being healthy again. Bryant has been willing and able to play through injuries before, but with both knee pain and a high ankle sprain affecting him at the same time, he will be severely debilitated. His lack of lateral agility will make him ineffective, and even if he plays (which is up in the air right now), he will be a borderline Flex option at the very best. The easier (and probably smarter) choice is to pick someone else to play.
Other Notable Injuries:
Ed Dickson, TE CAR – Start
Delanie Walker, TE TEN – Risky Start
Jamison Crowder, WR WAS – Risky Start
Emmanuel Sanders, WR DEN – Risky Start – Emmanuel Sanders returned in Week 9 after missing three weeks with a moderate ankle sprain. It was two weeks too soon according to Inside Injuries’ Optimal Recovery Time, so his one reception game was no surprise. He should do a bit better in Week 10 with another week to heal, but his Health Performance Factor is Below Average. Combine that with the quarterback problems in Denver, and he is a very risky Fantasy play this week.
Charles Clay, TE BUF – Risky Start – Clay returned to practice this week and is on track to suit up on Sunday. It has been just over four weeks since Clay underwent surgery to repair a torn meniscus. He was hit on the outside of his knee, causing the tear and an MCL sprain. The MCL is a ligament that heals well on its own unless it is a complete tear, but the meniscus had to be trimmed. The Optimal Recovery Time for Clay was calculated at seven weeks, so he is still two weeks away from being ready to play. If he is active on Sunday, as expected, the Bills may use him selectively as he works his way back. One week of practice is not enough to get ready, especially considering he was limited on Wednesday. He is a High Injury Risk.
Michael Thomas, WR NO – Risky Start
Demaryius Thomas, WR DEN – Sit – Once again, Demaryius Thomas is sidelined with an injury. Thomas has been High Risk all season due to various injuries, and now it is his hamstring that is problematic. He has a history of hamstring strains, complicating his recovery. Thomas did not practice on Wednesday and is highly questionable for Week 10. The Broncos should sit him to avoid further injury.
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