It’s always a challenge to navigate through injuries in fantasy football. The WR position has several players dealing with issues. The time to set Week 13 lineups is near. What is the latest injury information on Chris Olave, Tank Dell, and Demario Douglas?
Latest News and Injury Updates Impacting Fantasy
Chris Olave, WR, New Orleans Saints
Editor’s note: Olave was a limited participant in practice on Thursday.
Friday update: Olave practiced in full on Friday. According to Ian Rapaport, he is close to clearing the concussion protocol. Typically, when players get in a full practice on Friday, they clear on Saturday. We will update this article if and when we get news on Olave’s status sometime Saturday afternoon.
Saturday update: Adam Schefter reported that Olave is expected to play Sunday.
Olave was well on his way to the best game of his young career on Sunday. He had amassed 114 yards before he took a nasty fall down the sideline, sustaining a concussion.
We have seen a couple of players make it back the week after sustaining a concussion, but it’s become exceedingly rare. Typically, a player with any chance at returning without missing a game would get in a limited practice on Wednesday.
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It’s still early, but it appears Olave has a shot at being the exception this week. He was able to practice on Wednesday in a limited capacity.
Olave still has some hurdles to clear. He will need to get in a full session on Thursday or Friday. But this is obviously great news for his chances of not missing a game.
Typically, if a player in the concussion protocol gets in a full practice by the end of the week, he plays. If we see that for Olave by Friday, I will be very optimistic about his chances.
If Olave is unable to play, the Saints are in a world of trouble at wide receiver. Michael Thomas is already on IR, and Rashid Shaheed is not going to play this week, either, due to a thigh injury.
That leaves the Saints with rookie A.T. Perry and journeyman Keith Kirkwood as the projected top two receivers. I don’t expect either to command a high target share.
If there’s no Olave, look for the offense to feature a whole lot of Taysom Hill, along with TE Juwan Johnson running more routes out of the slot. Hill will be a must-start TE1, while Johnson will be a viable Flex play against a rapidly declining Lions pass defense.
Tank Dell, WR, Houston Texans
Editor’s note: Dell was a limited participant in practice on Thursday for the Texans.
Saturday Update: Adam Schefter reported that Dell is expected to play Sunday.
Move over Nico Collins; there’s a new WR1 in Houston. C.J. Stroud reportedly told the Texans he wanted them to draft Tank Dell. They listened, and they definitely do not regret it.
Dell has emerged as the clear top target for Stroud. In doing so, he’s become an every-week WR1. For those of you out there still asking start/sit questions involving Dell, the answer is Dell.
Over the past four weeks, Dell’s worst fantasy outing was his 17.2 points from last week. His other three games were 29.6, 18.9, and 28.9. He’s scored a touchdown in four straight games.
Unfortunately, Dell injured his calf in last week’s narrow loss to the Jaguars. According to Aaron Wilson, he had imaging done on his calf after the game. Dell did not practice on Wednesday, but reportedly is still expected to play this Sunday. Head coach Demeco Ryans said, “We expect him to be okay.”
Expectations are great, but Dell will need to get in at least a limited practice on Thursday or Friday to have an actual shot at playing. It’s still only Wednesday. As of now, we have no reason to doubt the reports. Fantasy managers should remain optimistic that Dell will be able to get in a limited practice on Thursday or Friday, putting him in line to play.
If Dell can’t go, Collins will reassume the WR1 role, and a returning Noah Brown would be the WR2. Collins is already a weekly fantasy starter, but Brown would certainly be worthy of WR3 consideration without Dell.
Demario Douglas, WR, New England Patriots
Update: Douglas is out for Week 13.
There’s not much to get excited about in the Patriots offense. One of the lone bright spots this season has been rookie WR Demario Douglas.
In one of the weakest WR groups in the NFL’s history, Douglas emerged as the clear best option and became the team’s WR1. Surprisingly, he’s actually been viable in fantasy since taking over.
Douglas has hit double-digit fantasy points in four of his last five games. Over that span, he is averaging a hair under eight targets per game.
Unfortunately, Douglas is currently in the concussion protocol and did not practice on Wednesday.
With Douglas out entirely, he would need a limited practice on Thursday, followed by a full practice on Friday, before getting cleared by the independent neurologist on Saturday or Sunday. I would say that is unlikely to occur.
If Douglas doesn’t return to practice on Thursday, he’s not going to be able to play on Sunday. At this point, fantasy managers should operate as if they will be without Douglas.
Stepping up in Douglas’ place will be some combination of DeVante Parker, JuJu Smith-Schuster, and maybe Tyquan Thornton. None of these guys belong anywhere near fantasy rosters, let alone lineups.
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