There are six teams on a bye in Week 10 (Texans, Patriots, Eagles, Jaguars, Broncos and Redskins), and if that isn’t enough to annoy fantasy owners, there are a bunch of players in danger of missing action due to injury as well.
Isn’t fantasy football so much fun?
Don’t worry, all of us at Sports Illustrated have you covered as we highlight the players to grab off the waiver wire to fill in those bye-week holes and of course tell you which injured players to keep an eye on throughout the week that will end up with questionable tags.
Let’s get to it:
Won’t See Them Again in 2019
DeSean Jackson, Philadelphia Eagles, core muscle/abdomen
After exploding in Week 1 with eight catches for 154 yards and two touchdowns, Jackson essentially missed the next seven games with his sports hernia/core muscle injury. He was healthy enough to return in Week 9 but aggravated the injury and will now undergo surgery, which is expected to keep him out of action for a minimum of six weeks. That timeframe puts the speedy pass-catcher out for the rest of the regular season. Perhaps Jackson could make a return if the Eagles get to the playoffs, but for fantasy football purposes, Jackson is done for 2019. He’s expected to have surgery later this week.
Fantasy Impact: Considering how dominant Jackson was in Week 1, it’s truly one of the biggest teases of the year, not just for Jackson but the entire Eagles offense. Without their deep threat, Philadelphia’s offense has struggled mightily. Quarterback Carson Wentz's best game all year was with Jackson on the field in Week 1, when he threw for 313 yards and three scores. He’s managed to throw for over 300 yards (Week 6) and three touchdowns (Week 4) in just one other game this season. With Jackson out, the Eagles have just one other player with a catch of at least 45 yards, and that’s running back Miles Sanders. Wide receivers Alshon Jeffery and Nelson Agholor will retain their starting roles with Mack Hollins continuing to play in three-wide sets.
Preston Williams, Miami Dolphins, knee
The undrafted rookie quickly jumped on the fantasy radar by scoring a touchdown in Week 1 and continued to produce solid stats by catching four passes in the next three weeks. Before suffering his knee injury in Week 9, Williams caught five passes for 72 yards and a pair of touchdowns—by far his best performance of the year. Always a heart-warming story to see an undrafted rookie emerge from the depth chart and take over as a team’s top playmaker, but sadly Williams’s fairy tale rookie season ends abruptly with the season-ending injury.
Fantasy Impact: The Dolphins don’t have many viable options for fantasy purposes but Williams was at the very least a solid WR3. With the rookie out, DeVante Parker will be joined by a mix of Allen Hurns and Jakeem Grant in the starting lineup.
Might be a while before we see them again
Adam Thielen, Minnesota Vikings, hamstring
After injuring his hamstring in Week 7, Thielen missed the team’s game in Week 8 and tried making his return in Week 9, only to further aggravate the injury. Now he’s expected to miss several weeks due to the nagging hammy. Minnesota has a bye in Week 12, it would be wise to keep him out the next two weeks and get him back on the field in Week 13, essentially giving him three full weeks to rest and recover. After surpassing 90 catches and 1,200 yards in the last two seasons, Thielen is on pace for just 48 catches and 695 yards.
Fantasy Impact: With Thielen sidelined, Olabisi Johnson will play opposite of Stefon Diggs. Johnson caught just one pass in Week 9 but made the most of it by scoring a touchdown.
T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Colts, calf
The Colts' top playmaker didn’t even make it to Sunday before getting injured in practice. Hilton has battled a calf strain all year but now it seems the severity has been amplified, as head coach Frank Reich suggests Hilton may miss up to a month of action.
Fantasy Impact: With Hilton hampered by his calf, the Colts went with Zach Pascal and Chester Rogers at wide receiver. Rookie receiver Parris Campbell is also injured, which will force Indianapolis to start utilizing Deon Cain.
Jacoby Brissett, Indianapolis Colts, MCL sprain
The Colts passer went down in the second quarter after getting hit in the knee by a Steelers defender. Brissett did not return to action and has been diagnosed with an MCL sprain which coach Frank Reich says is a week-to-week injury. Typically a player would miss at least one game, but the Colts have yet to rule out Brissett for their Week 10 matchup against the Dolphins.
Fantasy Impact: When Brissett went down, Brian Hoyer entered the game and completed 17 of 26 attempts, three of which he connected for touchdowns. Hoyer finished with 168 yards. Considering T.Y. Hilton is also out, fantasy managers would have to be desperate to use Hoyer despite a great matchup against a bad Dolphins defense.
Should be OK but expect a questionable tag and limited practice
Le’Veon Bell, New York Jets, knee
As the Jets were losing their seventh game of the season to the winless Dolphins in Week 9, Le’Veon Bell came away with a knee injury. If you didn’t notice Bell limping or injured during the game, don’t worry. Neither did his coach Adam Gase, who was “unaware” Bell had a knee issue. That being said, the Jets rusher had an MRI on his knee on Monday. We are still waiting for those results, but fantasy managers can operate under the assumption it’s not going to be anything long term.
Fantasy Impact: Picking up Ty Montgomery as insurance to Bell would typically be a wise move, but the Jets' offense is sputtering and without Bell, they would struggle even more. The $52 million free-agent acquisition will end up being questionable for Week 10, but should be active.
Not injured but not playing either
Mark Walton, Miami Dolphins, four-game suspension
Just when the Dolphins finally get a win, they lose their up-and-coming wide receiver in Preston Williams and their starting running back Mark Walton to a four-game suspension. Walton was a popular waiver-wire pickup when the team traded Kenyan Drake last week, but he managed just 41 total yards in Week 10. Walton is suspended for violating the league’s personal conduct policy due to three offseason arrests.
Fantasy Impact: The Dolphins' backfield is a fantasy football dead zone. Kalen Ballage and Myles Gaskin will see extended action, but neither are fantasy factors.
Expected back soon…hopefully?
Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs, knee
David Johnson, Arizona Cardinals, ankle
In the protocol
Sterling Shepard, New York Giants
Brandin Cooks, Los Angeles Rams
Injured but not on the fantasy radar
Parris Campbell, IndianapolisColts, hand
Ricky Seals-Jones, Cleveland Browns, knee
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