Fantasy football: Should owners start or sit these players listed as questionable?

Is Eddie Lacy worth taking a risk on in Week 6? What about Jordan Reed? Here's a closer look at just how severely their injuries will hinder their ability to perform.
Publish date:

Inside Injuries predicts the impact of injuries on player performance by using data analytics, medical expertise and statistical modeling. Inside Injuries is designed to educate sports fans, fantasy sports enthusiasts, weekend warriors and others interested in an “inside” look at common sports injuries.

Two of the key metrics calculated to predict the impact of injuries on player performance are Injury Risk Category (IRC) and Health Performance Factor (HPF). A player’s injury risk is defined as the likelihood a player will sustain an injury based on several factors included in the Inside Injuries data algorithm, e.g., injury history, number of games played, age, etc. A player’s injury risk is calculated on a scale of 0-100% (0% is best). A player’s health performance factor helps the consumer determine how healthy a player is on a scale of 0-100% (100% is best). The health performance factor is calculated based on the frequency and severity of the player’s injuries, as well as several other data points in the Inside Injuries algorithm. Please see the image below for the specific category definitions and value ranges. 

Here, we take a look at some key players who have found themselves on the injury report for Week 6 of the NFL season.

Fantasy football Start 'Em, Sit 'Em: How to set your lineups for Week 6

Eddie Lacy, RB, Green Bay Packers

Injury: Grade 2 ankle sprain

Status: Missed second half vs. Giants in Week 5; questionable for Sunday against Dallas

Overall Injury Risk: High—29.7%

Health Performance Factor: Below average - 52%

Risk Assessment: Ankle sprains such as the one Lacy is facing usually take 2–3 weeks to fully heal, however reports out of Green Bay suggest Lacy will tough it out against the Cowboys on Sunday. If Lacy is able to go, fantasy owners should be weary of re-injury. Even if he doesn't suffer a setback, Lacy will not be at 100% and is going up against a Dallas defense that has held opposing runners in check so far this season. RISKY START. 

Target Report: Todd Gurley is a victim of the Rams' awful offense

Latavius Murray, RB, Oakland Raiders

Injury: Turf toe

Status: Missed last week vs. Chargers; questionable for Sunday against Kansas City

Overall Injury Risk: Elevated—15.76%

Health Performance Factor: Above average - 68.5%

Risk Assessment: After missing last week, Murray is still not a sure bet to play this week against the Chiefs. Turf toe injuries are notorious for lingering, and usually take more than just a week to fully heal. However, Murray should be close enough to 100% to tough it out this week and is a solid play if active. START WITH CONFIDENCE.

Fantasy football waiver wire: Restock your WR corps with Steelers' Sammie Coates

Jordan Reed, TE, Washington Redskins

Injury: Concussion

Status: Played last week vs. Ravens; questionable for Sunday against Eagles

Overall Injury Risk: High—43.18%

Health Performance Factor: Poor—29.83%

Risk Assessment: Reed has a lengthy history of concussions throughout his NFL career, so the reports that he was being checked for yet another one this week are worrisome. Reed is one of the premier tight ends in the game when on the field, but, with the growing concerns centered around head injuries, especially for players with histories like Reed's, it is highly questionable as to whether or not he will be able to see the field this week. The bigger question may very well be whether Reed is even able to get back on the field later this season. DON'T START. 

Fantasy football Week 6: Player rankings for every position

Steve Smith Sr., WR, Baltimore Ravens

Injury: Grade 2 ankle sprain

Status: Left Week 5 vs. Redskins; has not practiced since the injury

Overall Injury Risk: High—30%

Health Performance Factor: Below Average—59.17%

Risk Assessment: Smith exited the Ravens’ Week 5 game after rolling his ankle and tried to get it taped up so he could return, but he was unable to. He hasn’t practiced yet this week and it’s looking highly unlikely that he will be ready to go in week 6. The recovery time for a grade 2 ankle sprain can be up to four weeks, so he isn’t ready to come back. If he does, he is risking re-injury and won’t be able to perform his best. DON'T START.