The NFL is almost finished with Week 5, and the fantasy football injury report is a little lighter than we’ve seen in recent weeks. We’ll keep an eye out for more injuries, but regardless, we have some question marks and opportunities for your fantasy football rosters.
We have one game left with the San Francisco 49ers hosting the Cleveland Browns on Monday Night Football, but it is also time to start considering your waiver wire options for Week 6 of your fantasy football leagues. Below is a rundown of notable injuries, and who stands to benefit as you consider what to do with your waiver wire priority.
Wayne Gallman, RB, New York Giants
Gallman suffered a concussion in the Giants Week 5 loss to the Minnesota Vikings. He left the game on the team’s opening drive after two rushes for 14 yards. He was initially questionable to return, but later downgraded to out. Jonathan Hilliman replaced him and rushed nine times for 20 yards while adding one reception for four yards. Elijhaa Penny added 15 yards on three carries and nine yards on one reception.
The Giants have a short week before facing the Patriots on Thursday Night Football. There’s talk Saquon Barkley could return as soon as this week. A short week is tough for getting through concussion symptoms, so odds are decent Gallman does not play. Would the Giants rush back Barkley? If not, Hilliman will be popular on the waiver wire, even in a tough matchup for the Giants.
Mason Rudolph, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelers quarterback suffered a scary injury in the third quarter of the team’s loss to the Baltimore Ravens. Rudolph was sandwiched by two defenders as he made a throw, and appeared to lose consciousness as he went to the ground. After some time on the ground, he thankfully regained consciousness and was able to walk off the field with the help of the medical staff. He was quickly ruled out with a concussion.
Rookie quarterback Devlin Hodges replaced him and completed seven of nine passes for 68 yards and scrambled for 20 more yards. Hodges is not someone to pick up off the waiver wire, but he’s worth keeping an eye on to see how he impacts JuJu Smith-Schuster, Vance McDonald, James Conner, James Washington, and others. The Steelers play the Chargers in Week 6 Sunday Night Football, so we’ll have to wait and see how Rudolph moves through the concussion protocol.
Phillip Dorsett, WR, New England Patriots
Dorsett went down with a hamstring injury early against Washington and did not return. He had zero targets at the time of his injury. Washington kept things close, which allowed the Patriots to stick with the passing game well in the second half. Julian Edelman led the Patriots receivers with eight receptions for 110 yards and a touchdown. Josh Gordon had five receptions for 59 yards and Ryan Izzo added two receptions for 39 yards and a touchdown.
If you have Gordon or Edelman, orJames White, you’ll see a boost in targets if Dorsett misses any time. None of the receivers further down the depth chart will be of waiver value.
Sammy Watkins, WR, Kansas City Chiefs
Watkins was a question mark heading into Week 5 due to a shoulder injury. He was active for Sunday Night Football, but early in the game he injured his hamstring. He was first designated as questionable to return and then downgraded to out.
The Chiefs host the Houston Texans in Week 6, and we’re on a wait and see deal with Watkins. Mecole Hardman and Demarcus Robinson have been picked up in most leagues, but Week 5 saw Byron Pringle break out in place of Watkins. He caught five passes for 76 yards and a touchdown. He’ll be a popular waiver wire option.