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ProFootballDoc: Top 5 Actionable Injury Issues for NFL Week 5

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Using injury analysis to identify advantages, we have started with a 12-8 record thru four weeks. This parallels last season’s 50-30-5 record  thru 17 weeks.

Use the Field View and SIC scores published at www.profootballdoc.com to assist in all your fantasy/DFS/wagering decisions.

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.

ARIZONA -2.5 vs SAN FRANCISCO

This game presents the largest health gap of the day with a total team SIC score difference of 18.8 points, almost doubling what we consider an actionable differential (10 points). The 49ers are without their #1 QB, top 3 RBs and main passing target. George Kittle was recently placed on IR with his calf but Jimmy Garoppolo is inactive although remains on the 53-man roster. Defensively, San Francisco is down several cornerbacks heading into the matchup. The main issue to an otherwise healthy Cardinals team is #1 CB Byron Murphy, Jr. is out with a ribs issue.

NEW ENGLAND @ HOUSTON under 38.5

This total opened at 41 and keeps dropping. The FanDuel line was 39.5 when we first published our Field View an SIC scores on Friday but is now at 38.5 which is an actionable number in our eyes. We get that is a very low number but both defenses are markedly healthier than the offenses by an average of 16.1 on the SIC score and we are trusting the injury analysis. The Patriots will be without 4/5ths of their starting offensive line heading into Houston. The Texans recently placed right tackle Marcus Cannon on IR and will start the rookie Davis Mills who is essentially the third stringer who had more interceptions (4) than points (0) last week. As an honorable mention, we also like Houston +7.5 at home. With 4 out of 5 O line starters out, can the Patriots really put up enough points to secure a two-score win?

MINNESOTA -10 vs DETROIT 

The Vikings are favored by 10 points as are healthier by a little over 10 based on the SIC score. The Lions have cornerback issues and may have trouble stopping both Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson. Dalvin Cook is listed as questionable with his ankle but should play but in any case, Alexander Mattison is very capable backup. In Week 3, we took the Lions as the healthier side against the heavily favored Ravens and absent a NFL record 66 yard FG, the Lions would have won although goping into Week 5 they are the more injured side.

NEW ORLEANS -2.5 @ WASHINGTON

The Saints are going into the game healthier by double digits and more importantly Washington’s overall health fell this week by 8.7. This was fueled by the loss of TE Logan Thiomas and RG Brandon Scherff. The injury trend is as important as the overall number for the Washington offense dropped by almost a dozen points in this week alone. The visiting Saints could be poised to take advantage of the huge SIC score drop.

LAS VEGAS -5.5 vs CHICAGO

The Bears have committed to Justin Fields but now the rookie doesn’t have his stud running back David Montgomery and already down pass catching back Tarik Cohen as he recovers from a 2020 ACL tear. A key loss on defense is hulking DE Akiem Hicks who will miss Week 5 with a groin injury. He is the key to the Bears stopping the run and will be sorely missed. The Raiders should have Josh Jacobs but are down their two guards. The health differential and the downward trend with the loss of a key offensive and defensive difference maker for Chicago seals this selection.

Honorable Mention (in addition to HOU +7.5 above):
PHILADELPHIA @ CAROLINA under 45.5

The defenses here are 12.8 SIC score points healthier than the offenses. The Eagles are down three offensive line starters, and the Panthers are down the left side of their line plus stud RB Christian McCaffrey. This sets up to be a low scoring game. The Philadelphia defense is healthy except for DE Brandon Graham who is out for teh season after rupturing his achilles. Based on trend, there is a small advantage to be had with the Eagles as well.

Check out all the games and matchups at www.profootballdoc.com before you make your 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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