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ProFootballDoc: Fantasy Friday: Top 10 Injury Issues and Unknowns

The fantasy ranks are pretty thin as every team manager is dealing with injuries. Heck, I am an injury guy, and 8 out of my starting 11 in my first formal fantasy league (Scott Fish Bowl, Dinosaur Toys Division) are injured or on a bye. My luck in amassing an 8-1 record so far may be running out.

Here are the top 10 fantasy injury issues and unknowns heading into Week 10.

1 . Ben Roethlisberger – The Steelers QB has injured both knees and is on the COVID list. The main issues is a left knee MCL sprain. He finished the game in Week 9. COVID and the other knee are not a big factor. Big Ben wouldn’t have practiced anyways this week with the knee sprain and barring surprise, will come off the COVID list to play the Bengals. His mobility will be affected because of tape/brace, but expect him to throw the ball as effectively as ever. The current FanDuel line is Pittsburgh -6.5, and that is sure to go up past a TD margin when Big Ben is cleared to play.

2. Nick Chubb – This is the week that the Browns RB returns from an MCL sprain. He has been resting it for six weeks, so he should be full go.  He is capable of a full workload, but the team may temper his touches to avoid muscle injury in his first game back. We signaled Sunday night that it was time to pounce on the Browns opening line at -2.5. Now that Baker Mayfield has come off the COVID list and news of Chubb’s return has surfaced, the line has now crossed the key 3 number to -3.5.

3. Miles Sanders – The Eagles had been the most injured team in the league, but they are on the upswing coming off the bye. This week, they get Sanders back from a knee sprain. Alshon Jeffery finally makes his season debut, and Lane Johnson should finally make it through a game, despite knee and ankle issues.

4. Joe Mixon – The curiosity of the Bengals running back continues. In Week 7, he hurt his foot on a TD run, got up, danced in the end zone and finished the game. Now he has missed two games, has not practiced this week and looks to miss the game this weekend as well. He was not placed on IR, yet is poised to miss the 3-game minimum IR stint.

5. Christian McCaffrey – The Panthers running back could play this week with an AC joint sprain but won’t. The team does not want to burn out their young superstar. With the high ankle sprain, they waited till he was 100% and will likely do the same here. A second opinion confirmed that no surgery is needed, and there is media optimism that he will return next week. However, in my opinion, he might miss next week too.

6. Jerry Jeudy – The Broncos rookie wide receiver has a shoulder issue but has returned to practice and is expected to play this week. His knee issues from college have not caused a problem this season so far.

7. Deebo Samuel – The 49ers have taken over the mantle as the most injured team in the league, and Samuel is one reason why. His hamstring injury has had him out for two weeks, and with more DNP this week so far, he looks dubious versus the Saints.

8. Kenny Golladay – The Lions top receiver looks like he will miss a second game with his hip issue. He has yet to practice this week. This should not be a long-term issue, but barring a surprise, he will be out again.

9. Running backs named David – Both David Johnson and David Montgomery are in concussion protocol. They have yet to take the field in practice. Oftentimes a player misses only one game after head injury, and Montgomery has an even better chance to clear, given the extra day with the Monday night game.

10. Seahawks running backs – The status of Seattle running backs hasn’t changed much. Chris Carson (foot) and Carlos Hyde (hamstring) are dubious to play. The order of availability has changed a little in my opinion with Travis Homer > DeeJay Dallas > Carlos Hyde > Chris Carson. Homer and Dallas will play. Hyde and Carson won’t.

Drew Brees, Michael Thomas, Cooper Kupp, Allen Lazard and Antonio Gibson are all trending up. Devonta Freeman and Justin Jackson are trending down. For full details on all players, go to www.profootballdoc.com and use the player search feature to have your individual player questions answered. 

Written by Pro Football Doc

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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