Heading into Week 5 of the 2022 NFL season and the fantasy football injury report is once again a busy one. There are some big-name fantasy options that either entered Sunday with an injury or left their respective games. Let’s examine the latest NFL injury news and see what action fantasy managers should look to take.
Fantasy Football Injury Report Heading Into Week 5
Jonathan Taylor, RB | IND (Ankle)
The injury to Jonathan Taylor was somewhat tough to judge at the time because it happened late in the game, and Indianapolis had just one more drive after his injury. The incident occurred on a 4th-and-short, where Taylor fumbled the ball and then left the game with what appeared to be an ankle injury.
In the immediacy, there was a concern that it could be a high ankle sprain. That would most likely result in Taylor missing two to four weeks. On Monday, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Taylor’s tests were negative, and he has a chance to play Thursday. At the very best, Taylor will be limited in that game but is most likely set to miss it altogether.
When it comes to who might be the fantasy football option to add if Taylor does miss time, there is a lot to digest. Nyheim Hines is listed second on the Colts’ depth chart. However, he has just four double-digit-carry games in his career. Hines’ role for the Colts has tended to be as a change of pace and receiving back.
Therefore, we could see an increased workload for Deon Jackson, who is listed third on the depth chart. Jackson has been with the Colts for the past two years and has 15 rush attempts for 28 yards and a touchdown in that time. That limited workload in his career makes it tough to imagine the Colts simply handing the run game over to Jackson completely. The other options available on their practice squad are Phillip Lindsay and D’vonte Price.
The short-term solution we may see from the Colts is that they elevate Lindsay from the practice squad for the next two weeks and utilize him alongside Hines. Lindsay has experience handling a medium-level workload from his time with the Broncos. He and Hines could make an intriguing 1-2 punch, with Jackson as a third option in the backfield.
From a fantasy perspective, Jackson and Lindsay both have waiver wire potential. Hines should be the top priority, but both of the other two could be useful additions in deeper leagues. It’s tough to know who would be the priority out of those two, but if you’re desperate for a Week 5 option in a deeper league, Lindsay is an intriguing add who you could later drop if he’s not elevated this week.
Javonte Williams, RB | DEN (Knee)
There’s not a lot of optimism surrounding the injury to Denver Broncos RB Javonte Williams after he left Week 4 with a knee injury. Williams was quickly downgraded to out, which is never normally a great sign with knee injuries. A couple of hours after the game, Ian Rapoport confirmed that the injury was feared to be serious.
The initial fears from injury analysts on Twitter were for LCL and PCL injuries. However, there was positive analysis from the video footage in that it seemed unlikely to have been an ACL issue. The injury was expected to keep Williams out for multiple weeks, but the exact timeframe was unknown as of Monday morning as we await an MRI. Unfortunately, those fears proved not to be the case. On Monday, Tom Pelissero reported that Williams had suffered a torn ACL.
This puts the Broncos’ backfield in an interesting state of flux. Melvin Gordon III has fumbled four times in four weeks, and we saw Mike Boone getting carries for the first time this season. With Williams done for the season, look for this to be a committee approach between Gordon and Boone. Both are intriguing additions on the waiver wire this week, with Boone being the more widely available of the two.
Christian McCaffrey, RB | CAR (Thigh)
After missing two days of practice in Week 4, McCaffrey was active against the Cardinals. He still dominated the backfield work with eight of the nine RB carries, but this was his lowest number of rushing attempts this season. However, he was targeted a season-high nine times for 81 yards and a touchdown.
Despite the injury, the Panthers remain committed to getting McCaffrey the ball however they can. Therefore, you should continue to start him as long as he is active.
Cordarrelle Patterson, RB | ATL (Knee)
Cordarrelle Patterson played through concerns around a knee injust in Week 4. However, on Monday, the Falcons placed their leading rusher on IR, meaning he will miss at least the next four weeks. In his absence, Tyler Allgeier will become a priority waiver wire addition.
In Week 4, Allgeier took his 10 rushing attempts for 84 yards and added one reception for 20 yards. His 26 rushing attempts for the 2022 season is second behind Patterson’s 58. The Falcons will likely add Caleb Huntley to their roster after he had 56 rushing yards and a touchdown in Week 4.
Jahan Dotson, WR | WAS (Hamstring)
The optimism from Jahan Dotson’s fast start has been dampened by the news of a hamstring injury. Based on the timeframes we’ve seen this year, Dotson will likely miss between two to four weeks, with Week 7 or 8 being a target time for his return.
Dyami Brown came in for Dotson after the injury. However, this offense has plenty of other weapons that they can turn to. Therefore, Brown has very minimal fantasy value on the waiver wire.
Isaiah McKenzie, WR | BUF (Concussion)
After a big hit, Isaiah McKenzie was taken from the field with a concussion. He will now enter the protocol and will need to clear it this week before returning to practice. Concussions can be tricky to put a timeframe on. Some players return for the next week, such as Tee Higgins, while others, Hunter Renfrow, can miss multiple weeks.
If McKenzie is out in Week 5, Jamison Crowder would likely see a boost in targets. He would become a 14-team Flex option but would likely only get a one or two-week boost at most.
Justice Hill, RB | BAL (Hamstring)
The injury to Justice Hill happened late in the game, so we are short on specifics about the severity of the hamstring injury. This is a shame for a player who had been running well on limited opportunities for the Ravens.
The biggest beneficiary is likely Kenyan Drake in terms of carries in the immediacy, but his fantasy relevancy would be limited as J.K. Dobbins’ role is likely to continue to grow over the next week or two.
Daniel Jones, QB | NYG (Foot/Ankle)
Daniel Jones initially left the game and then had to return when Tyrod Taylor left the game with a concussion. However, the Giants ran plays out of the Wildcat formation to save Jones from doing much work after returning. The situation is very much up in the air until we get more information on Jones. The footage would appear to suggest that he may have suffered a high ankle sprain, so he could be looking at a two to four-week absence at least.
If he is set to miss time, the Giants will likely have to explore veteran options this week. The concussion protocol is tough to judge, and they will have little frame of reference for when Taylor might return. Davis Webb is signed to the practice squad, but the Giants will need more than one QB active on game day. The added complication to all of this is that the Giants head to London in Week 5 to face the Green Bay Packers.
The only true relevant fantasy option on the Giants right now is Saquon Barkley. However, the explosive running back is likely going to be facing a very stacked box when the Giants face the Packers in London. In deep Superflex leagues, Taylor is worth a speculative add, but the uncertainty over his availability this week makes it tough to invest heavily unless we hear confirmation that Jones will miss multiple weeks.
Kenny Golladay, WR | NYG (Knee)
Sticking with the Giants as Kenny Golladay also left Week 4’s game. We have no idea about the severity of the injury at this stage, but Golladay was not hugely fantasy-relevant anyway.
The question marks at QB make it tough for fantasy managers to invest in any of the other options on the Giants’ roster. The best-case scenario might be to stash Kadarius Toney and Wan’Dale Robinson in the hope one breaks out when they return. However, on shallow benches, that could be tough to do.
Treylon Burks, WR | TEN (Foot)
Seeing Treylon Burks carted off with a foot injury was concerning, but potentially more of a concern was how quickly he was ruled out. On Monday, it was confirmed that Burks has turf toe and will likely miss some time.
His potential absence opens up a path to Robert Woods being a weekly Flex option in 12-team leagues. Kyle Philips could also be a PPR option going forward, but he needs to get healthy and see consistent usage first. Philips is a very deep-league stash at best.
Brian Hoyer, QB | NE (Concussion)
The Patriots had to turn to their third QB in Bailey Zappe this week. With Mac Jones inactive with a high ankle sprain, Brian Hoyer got the start. However, he was knocked out of the game early. He will now enter the concussion protocol, which puts the Patriots in a weird situation.
Expect to see New England add a veteran QB to the practice squad as a potential game-day elevation in case Hoyer or Jones cannot be on the field in Week 5. Zappe will likely run a very limited offense if he plays, so his fantasy value is limited.
This is all very frustrating because the Lions have been one of the best fantasy matchups for QBs this season. If you are desperate in a 14 or 16-team Superflex league, Zappe could be an intriguing addition with a matchup that saw Geno Smith throw for 320 yards and two touchdowns.