With another trip inside the medical tent for week 6 this week, Brian will make sure we prevail. Injuries have been a significant factor so far this season. Remember, though; our teams are not the only teams dealing with them. We need to continue to make moves to counter our injuries. This will allow us to take advantage of other teams also dealing with injuries. Kenneth Walker and Darius Slayton are just a couple of guys who either now have an opportunity or have been getting a chance because of their situations around them. Pay attention to the waiver wire and go make the moves a champion makes.
Andrew Leduc: Is this the week we finally see the return of the highly touted rookie?
Brian Scott, MEd, PA-C, ATC-ret: As a Giants fan, this has been frustrating. As an injury expert, it’s been tough to gauge. The exact details of his injury have been very sparse. He finally returned as a limited participant this week, but it’s no guarantee he suits up this weekend. Of all the injured receiver corps, he has the best chance.
Prognosis: Robinson would immediately help out a lackluster receiving corp for the Giants. Richie James has been exciting and a surprise for them. Darius Slayton has also been a nice surprise with his little resurgence. It is safe to say, though, that the Giants need another explosive player other than Barkley. Robinson would provide that to a team that is playing with some confidence right now. If Robinson plays this week, I am keeping him on the bench to see for now. Depending on his first week back, though, he could make an appearance in some flex spots for me going forward.
Andrew Leduc: Back injuries can tend to linger if we look at history. What can you tell us about the state of Jameis Winston and his back?
Brian Scott, MEd, PA-C, ATC-ret: He participated in his second limited practice Thursday with back and ankle injuries. The back injury has been reported as multiple small fractures. This has likely been the most limiting factor slowing his return. I wouldn’t expect a quick recovery despite his ramped-up activity. Back injuries are very debilitating and take significant time and rehab to recover. He will need more practice time under his belt before we see him return.
Prognosis: Luckily for the Saints, they have “The Red Rifle” in Andy Dalton at their disposal. I honestly never thought I would say that with a straight face while suggesting that was a good thing. In all honesty, though, Dalton has been decent so far. In his two games, he has averaged right around 69% completion percentage, 200 yards, and only two total turnovers. There are plenty of worse scenarios for the Saints currently. Also at their disposal is Taysom Hill at tight end and his wildcat formations. With a game at home against the Bengals this week, I believe there is a scenario you could start Andy Dalton in a two-quarterback league and Hill at tight end. The return of Michael Thomas and Jarvis Landry will help spell the potential loss of Chris Olave as well.
Andrew Leduc: James Conner takes a trip inside the medical tent again with us with a rib injury. Do you think he will play through this injury?
Brian Scott, MEd, PA-C, ATC-ret: Conner missed practice all week with a rib injury which makes it very unlikely that we see him play this weekend. Depending on the severity, he could play through it. If they don’t list him out Friday, then it might be a game-time decision. They also have a Thursday night game next week, giving him less time to recover and get ready. If they want him to play Thursday, they may need to give him the extra rest this week.
Prognosis: Eno Benjamin is someone who should have already been on a team. If he is not, though, go pick him up now. I do not believe this is even the last injury of the year we see for Conner. Benjamin is averaging around 8 yards per target in the passing game and around 3.5 yards per carry. If you watch him play, though, he runs hard and efficiently. I think with a full workload, he is definitely in the flex conversation this week on the road in Seattle.
Andrew Leduc: Dalton Schultz reaggravated his PCL injury this past week. Is this an injury he may seek surgical repair for?
Brian Scott, MEd, PA-C, ATC-ret: Apparently, Schultz reaggravated the PCL injury to his knee this past weekend. He logged two limited practices Wednesday and Thursday. It was reported that there was no new structural damage to the knee. He probably will suit up, but we could see him used in a limited role as the Cowboys reportedly signed another tight end to their practice squad.
Prognosis: This is just more bad news on a season that a lot of managers banked on Schultz for. Coming into the season with a bottom first tier, top of the second tier tight end ADP, managers were looking for some great value from Schultz. As the case is with the majority of the tight-end landscape, though, that has not come to be. What also has not helped is how comfortable Cooper Rush has been with moving the ball down the field to his receivers. A lot of times, backup quarterbacks will lean on their short crossing tight ends. Given the injury and the team situation, if you do not have an IR spot in your league, you may have to try and move on from Schultz in a trade.
Andrew Leduc: It is expected for Dak Prescott to start throwing this week. What signs are you looking for to show he is ready to come back?
Brian Scott, MEd, PA-C, ATC-ret: His return is more imminent than ever after he participated in a limited practice Thursday. There were some rumors that he was throwing to receivers during drills, but when asked, he and CeeDee Lamb would not confirm. The key for Dak will be his ability to not only throw the ball with velocity but also to hold onto and secure the ball through contact. I had originally predicted 5-6 weeks before he returns, which means if not this week, then perhaps next.
Prognosis: The Cowboys has somehow managed to survive with Cooper Rush. This has allowed them to really take their time with Dak. That is great news for this team going forward because they will need him for the rest of the year if they want to compete with a hot Eagles team. Once Dak returns, you will likely be in a position where you will have to start him immediately. I think, given how smooth and patient his recovery has been, you should be able to do that with confidence. I also think he tries to get Lamb going to make up for “lost time” this season. The offense would get an immediate boost, but not as much as you think, considering it has been Cooper Rush at the helm. I think their potential fantasy scoring just gets deeper on their roster.
The return of some bigger names and the opportunity for some smaller names is going to make the rest of this season a challenging and interesting one. We don’t play fantasy football because it is easy, though. We play because the thrill of needing to pivot with your team adds another layer of excitement to an already exciting game. Always be looking to make trades that strengthen your squad, even if only for a week. There is nothing wrong with trading for a guy for one week, having him go off, and then selling high on him the next week. Be different and keep your opponents guessing what you are doing. A championship may just be one move away from your fingertips.
You can faceoff with any of your teams across any of your leagues each week on Flex Fantasy. Go to the website or download the app and look for me, Andrew Leduc, and my open challenges. I will have them posted each week by Tuesday for you to throw down the gauntlet with me. Use the link, Flex Fantasy, to accept my challenge!
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