Pro Football Doc: Top 5 Actionable Injury Issues for NFL Week 4

Let’s use health advantages to continue our winning ways. With the five picks against the spread, we sport a 10-5 record through three weeks. The premise is that the lines take into account talent/scheme/coaching but injuries are the hidden delta.

Field View and SIC Scores are published at for all games, teams and fantasy relevant players each week. 

SIC Score is our proprietary numerical injury grading system that incorporates the health of every NFL team and individual players to give sports bettors, DFS players and fantasy owners an edge each week during the season. While it purposely doesn’t take into account coaching, schemes or matchups, SIC Scores give an accurate assessment of team/player overall health heading into a game.

Here are the five Sunday games with two bonus honorable mentions. All lines are from


The Titans will be without top wide receivers A.J. Brown and Julio Jones as well as newly acquired pass rusher Bud Dupree yet still are over a dozen SIC score points healthier. The Jets have defensive injuries everywhere except at cornerback. One look at the field view and this projects to be a big game for Derrick Henry. The Jets rookie QB is still without his left tackle and has some WR issues. 


Although Carson Wentz is healthier and more mobile, the Colts are missing three key players on each side of the ball. Quenton Nelson has now been confirmed with a high ankle sprain as was placed on IR. Normally an area of strength, now four out of the five offensive line starters are dealing with health issues while TY Hilton remains on IR. Defensively, #1 CB Rock Ya Sin is out as well as two other defensive starters. The Dolphins are without starting QB Tua Tagovailoa but Jacoby Brissett is capable. Overall, the Colts already lower SIC score continues to drop from Week 3 and this is both a delta (directional) pick as well based on overall grade.


The Panthers are off to a hot 3-0 start but they have the biggest team SIC score drop of the week at 13.4 and a whopping 20.9 dip on offense. Last week the Steelers had a 20.9 point one week defensive drop leading us to take Bengals +3 and Cincinnati cruised to an easy win. Carolina is without Christian McCaffrey and potentially both starting guards. The Cowboys have their one defensive health issues but are headed in the right direction with the return of Randy Gregory. Meanwhile, Dak Prescott, Amari Cooper and Cee Dee Lamb are healthy with the Panthers down half of their starting secondary.


The Giants health continues to dip while losing two WRs and a top LB. Saquon Barkley is slowly improving but not 100% yet and the offensive line lost 40% of its starters. The Saints do lose their left tackle this week but otherwise are steady. Michael Thomas is not close yet and Tre’Quan Smith gets close to returning from IR. Although we don’t factor it into our picks, a return to home after the hurricane could provide an additional boost.


We wish we had the early week like of +3.5 but we live with the Saturday numbers. The Seahawks have the biggest team health advantage of the week at +14.6. Tyler Lockett should play and the 49ers have significant CB depth issues. Defensively, Seattle is among the healthiest teams and SF has well known running back issues. Talk the points or even take the money line for a slightly better return.


These won’t count in the official cumulative record of five picks each Sunday:


Buffalo is clearly the healthier side but huge number worries me. We analyze injuries for the hidden advantage. Here that is well known: no Deshaun Watson, no Tyrod Taylor and an overwhelmed 3rd string rookie QB. The 17.5 line may already account for health so despite a numerical health advantage for the Bills, it is not a final pick for us.


The Broncos are undefeated, at home and have a slight health advantage. However, we lean toward the Ravens based on the almost 10-point one week improvement in overall SIC score reflecting improvement on both sides of the ball. 

Good luck and have fun. Use the Field View and SIC score for all 16 games at to assist with your fantasy/DFS/wagering decisions. Let’s hope to continue the winning ways and improve on 10-5.

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Written by Dr. David Chao

David Chao, MD -- known digitally as Pro Football Doc -- is an expert contributor for Outkick. Chao spent 17 seasons as the team doctor for the San Diego Chargers (1997-2013) and is part of the medical team at OASIS in San Diego where he treats and specializes in orthopedic sports injuries, working with high-profile professional athletes from the NFL, NBA, and MLB.


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