For Week 6, the list of injured wide receivers is the longest it's been all season. Some of these names have been on this list for weeks. So will this be the week they actually play? Let's take a look as we go through all of the wide receiver injuries in the early games (late games can be found here) that most fantasy owners do need to know about.
Note: All games are at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday unless otherwise noted.
Teams on bye: Dallas, Oakland, St. Louis, Tampa Bay
Alshon Jeffery, WR, Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions
Questionable – Hamstring
Stop me if we've been here before. Jeffery has practiced in a limited basis, yet again, and should be on track to play in Week 6. He hasn't played since Week 1, and if he does play, is a WR1. The matchup is good and he has Jay Cutler back. With injuries to the Bears’ other key targets, Jeffery is poised for a great game.
Demaryius Thomas, WR, Denver Broncos at Cleveland Browns
Questionable – Neck
After Thomas missed practice on Wednesday and Thursday this week, fantasy owners were nervous. However, he did return on Friday and looks to be on track to play on Sunday. He's had at least five receptions in each game this season, but he only has one touchdown. Expect Peyton Manning to look for him in Week 6 against a beatable Browns secondary that will be without top cornerback Joe Haden (concussion) and safety Tashaun Gipson (ankle).
Sammy Watkins, WR, Buffalo Bills vs. Cincinnati Bengals
Questionable – Calf
Watkins publicly said he wanted to get the ball more. But it hasn’t been easy considering in Week 1 he was covered all game by the Colts’ Vontae Davis. Watkins then had six receptions for 60 yards in Week 2, before getting hurt the next game. If Watkins can stay healthy, sure, the Bills will give him more targets. However, he needs to be on the field first. It looks like he will be able to play this week, but he's a low WR3 with EJ Manuel most likely starting at quarterback in place of Tyrod Taylor (MCL sprain).
Golden Tate, WR, Detroit Lions vs. Chicago Bears
Probable – Hip
Tate was limited in practice, but the probable tag indicates that he will likely play on Sunday. While Calvin Johnson usually has a great game against the Bears, other players are going to catch the ball as well. Eric Ebron has already been declared out and the running back situation is a mess. This opens the door for targets for Tate. Start him as a WR3.
Eric Decker, WR, New York Jets vs. Washington Redskins
Probable – Knee
After putting in full practices, Decker is good to go for Week 6. The Jets had a bye and Decker missed a game in Week 3, but in the three games he's played in Decker has scored a touchdown. The yards haven't been there in two of those games, but the production has been enough to consider him a low WR2. Against Washington's beatable secondary, he should have another good day.
Allen Hurns, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Houston Texans
Probable – Ankle
After missing practice on Wednesday, Hurns was back for the rest of the week. He's playing on Sunday and is a solid WR2. He's scored touchdowns in the past three games and is a viable every-week fantasy starter.
John Brown, WR, Arizona Cardinals at Pittsburgh Steelers
Probable – Hamstring
Brown showed up on the injury report with a hamstring injury and missed practice on Wednesday. He was able to put in a limited practice by Friday and is probable. He will likely play, but there’s always concern that he will re-aggravate the injury. He is a WR3 against a very beatable Steelers secondary. Carson Palmer looks for him, and Brown is poised for a breakout game one of these days, assuming he stays healthy.
Eddie Royal, WR, Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions
Questionable – Ankle
Royal has been on the injury report seemingly all season. He did not play in Week 5 but was able to practice in a limited basis this week. It appears he will play, but that was the thought last week as well. If Alshon Jeffery is back, Royal is a low-end WR2. He has had two games with seven receptions, but the one game that he did play with Jeffery, he managed a 1/8/0 stat line.
Mike Wallace, WR, Minnesota Vikings vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Probable – Knee
After some questions regarding a knee injury, Wallace practiced Thursday and Friday and should be good to go for Sunday. The Chiefs’ pass defense has given up plenty of points, so Wallace is a decent option in fantasy. He has one touchdown on the year and two games with only three receptions. He's a WR3 with upside.
Percy Harvin, WR, Buffalo Bills vs. Cincinnati Bengals
Questionable – Hip
Harvin had a rough game in Week 5 (no receptions, one negative rushing yard). He may have aggravated his nagging hip injury, or he just wasn't a big part of the game plan. Either way, with the injury and the likelihood of EJ Manuel at quarterback, Harvin should not be started in fantasy leagues this week.
Charles Johnson, WR, Minnesota Vikings vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Questionable – Knee
Johnson missed Week 4, and prior to that, had recorded just six receptions for 46 yards in three games. While he is likely a game-time decision, he shouldn't be started in fantasy leagues even if he is active. The matchup is a good one, but his play hasn't warranted a start for fantasy purposes.
Cecil Shorts, WR, Houston Texans at Jacksonville Jaguars
Probable – Shoulder
As of last week when Shorts didn't play, it looked like his shoulder injury had the possibility of a multi-week injury. However, he was able to put in limited practices this week and looks to be on track to play. This says more about not jumping on the Jaelen Strong bandwagon, and knowing that Shorts will be back in that role. He's had at least six receptions or 50 yards in every game he’s played, and in a week with four teams on bye, Shorts i's a WR3.
DeSean Jackson, WR, Washington Redskins at New York Jets
Out – Hamstring
After being listed as questionable earlier in the week, Jackson was downgraded to out on Saturday. It’s probably best, as it was going to be hard to trust D-Jax after he tweaked his hamstring in practice on Thursday and because of today’s matchup against Darrelle Revis and the Jets’ secondary. At least now Jackson’s fantasy owners don’t have to worry about what to do with him.
Nate Washington, WR, Houston Texans at Jacksonville Jaguars
Out – Hamstring
Washington will miss his second game with a hamstring injury. Even though Jaelen Strong stepped up big in his absence, Cecil Shorts will likely be back, which cuts into Strong's value. DeAndre Hopkins will get as many targets as he can handle, and Shorts will be the Texans’ No. 2 receiver.
— Written by Sarah Lewis, who is part of the Athlon Contributor network and lives, eats, and breathes fantasy football. She also writes for SoCalledFantasyExperts.com among other sites. Have a fantasy football question? Send it to her on Twitter @Sarah_Lewis32.