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ProFootballDoc: Top 5 Actionable Injury Issues for NFL Week 16

Two more weeks to go of Sunday five picks against the line. So far a cumulative 45-25-5 record gives us a +20 differential using hidden injury information to make selections. The theory is that scheme and talent get incorporated into the line but health inequities are not always accounted for.

In Saturday action,  the Bucs dominated, the Cardinals fell flat and the Dolphins rallied; however, the picks don’t count toward the Sunday tally.

Last Sunday we needed to narrow down the plethora of game choices to just five. This week there were not a lot of natural standout lines but we still take a stand on five games. Typically, we have chosen sides but here we will take mostly totals as that is where the value lies.

Bears and Jaguars defenses impacted

Both teams are short on the defensive line and at cornerback. I get it — it’s Mitch Trubisky and Mike Glennon — but there should be plenty of offensive opportunities given the lack of pressure up front and likely coverage lapses. Chicago controls its own playoff destiny. The total of 47 seems easily reachable even without either team being an offensive juggernaut.

Chiefs and Falcons with offensive starters out

Both clubs are missing two key offensive linemen and a key skill player. The Chiefs are without Clyde Edwards-Helaire and the Falcons are without Julio Jones. Overall, the defenses of both teams are healthier than the offenses and that should rule the day, especially this late in the season and a high total. Take the under 53 or 53.5 in this one.

Defense rules the day

The Colts and Steelers offenses may struggle heading into Week 16. Indianapolis is without both key tackles against a stout Pittsburgh outside pass rush. The Steelers have lost three straight games after an 11-0 start and the offense has sputtered while the Colts are healthy defensively. The current total of 43 or 43.5 is low but expect this to be a defensive battle.

Both pass defenses lacking 

The Broncos are down their top four corners and could be without their starting nose tackle while the Chargers should have Keenan Allen and Mike Williams healthier (with Austin Ekeler too). Meanwhile, the Bolts are down four defensive starters including pass rushers Joey Bosa, Uchenna Nwosu and Melvin Ingram. Expect a lot of scoring, meaning take the over 48.5.

Washington QB issues

In our only side of the day, we lean towards the Panthers. Yes, Washington has a lot to play for and the Panthers don’t but early we identified this as a line mover game feeling that Alex Smith would not be able to play. The line started at Panthers +3 but is now only +1 as reports surfaced that Smith may not play despite initial optimism. Dwayne Haskins survives his second COVID protocol violation and a hefty team fine to still get the start.

Good luck in your fantasy football championships, DFS plays or wagers. Hopefully the information at www.profootballdoc.com helps you make the best decisions.

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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