- Looking at the prognoses for Cooper Kupp, Quincy Enunwa and other injured fantasy football stars.
Cooper Kupp avoided serious injury, but is still expected to miss time. Devonta Freeman, meanwhile, can’t seem to get back on the field. How long will fantasy owners have to find replacements for those two, and all the other injured, fantasy-relevant players? We’ll give you the injury nuts and bolts, provided by 4for4’s Russell Manalastas, a physical therapist and strength coach based in New York, and the fantasy spin to go with them, in the SI.com Training Room for Week 7.
Cooper Kupp. WR. Rams
Injury: Sprained MCL
Injury take: This was one of the more bizarre injuries from Week 6. Kupp was carted off the field after what looked like a terrible knee injury sustained during a horse-collar tackle. Somehow he returned to the game in the second half, though he was largely a decoy. His MRI revealed—thankfully—a sprained MCL, which is a near-miracle considering how bad it looked. The bare minimum for MCL sprains is typically at least a week or two on the shelf, depending on the severity. Even if Kupp does return earlier than expected, he’ll likely wear a brace to help improve stability in the knee.
Fantasy spin: The Rams don’t have a bye until Week 12, so Kupp won’t have the luxury of a free week mixed into his recovery timetable. Assuming a return to full health, Kupp will be back up and running by the fantasy playoffs. Brandin Cooks and Robert Woods get a bump in value, and Josh Reynolds, who will take Kupp’s place in the lineup, should be on the radar in all leagues.
Quincy Enunwa, WR, Jets
Injury: High ankle sprain
Injury take: Enunwa suffered a high ankle sprain in Sunday’s game against the Colts and is expected to miss up to a month, and at least two weeks, because of the injury. All high ankle sprains are different, and it seems Enunwa came out of the far negative end of the spectrum. Swelling in the ankle joint, extreme discomfort, and the lack of strength and stability all complicate the recovery process from a high ankle sprain.
Fantasy spin: The Jets have a bye in Week 11, so targeting a Week 12 return for Enunwa seems the best-case scenario. Still, it’s going to be hard to get through the impending bye-week portion of the schedule with one player on your roster out until at least Week 12. If you need the spot, feel free to cut Enunwa. Conversely, Jermaine Kearse should be a top waiver wire target this week.
Baker Mayfield, QB, Browns
Injury: Sprained ankle
Injury take: Mayfield turned his ankle as he was running out of bounds on a broken play. Low ankle sprains, like the one Mayfield has, usually recover much faster than high ankle sprains, so I would expect Mayfield to miss some practice time this week, but be on track to start Week 7.
Fantasy spin: Mayfield and the Browns have an excellent matchup this week against the Buccaneers, ranked dead last in the league against quarterbacks in 4for4’s schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed metric. Mayfield is worth starting in most leagues, and is a great stream candidate for fantasy owners looking for a replacement for Aaron Rodgers, Ben Roethlisberger or Russell Wilson this week.
Amari Cooper, WR, Raiders
Injury take: Cooper sustained a pretty nasty helmet-to-helmet hit, and somehow there was no flag thrown on the play. Cooper looked like he was knocked unconscious for a second as he was not able to protect himself when falling to the ground. Cooper was ruled out the rest of the game and he’ll have the Week 7 bye to fully get healthy. I expect Cooper take advantage of with additional rest time afforded by the bye, and bet back on the field in Week 8 without missing a game.
Fantasy spin: First and foremost, it’s great news that Cooper should be able to make a full recovery from a scary hit. You’ll need someone to replace Cooper in your lineup this week, but that would’ve been the case anyway with the Raiders on bye.