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Week 5 Fantasy Football Injury Updates: Andre Johnson, Julio Jones, Dez Bryant, Markus Wheaton

Andre Johnson

Andre Johnson

Texas could be without its top wide receiver for the big in-state showdown in Week 5. Are there any other fantasy-relevant wideouts who may not be on the field today?

Harry Douglas, Devin Hester and Julio Jones, WRs, Atlanta Falcons at New York Giants

Out – Foot; Probable – Ankle; Probable – Ankle
The Falcons’ wide receiver corps just likes to keep things interesting, as evidenced by fact that three of them appear on this week’s injury report. Even though it’s a somewhat crowded list, it’s pretty easy to sort out. Douglas is Out because of a toe injury while Hester and Jones are both Probable and should play. Hester and Jones were both able to practice fully on Friday and as far as Jones is concerned, he’s a must-start WR1. Hester is the more interesting case, as he’s more known for his return skills. However, it looks like he’s found a home in Atlanta as the team’s No. 3/4 wideout, as Hester has scored an offensive touchdown in each of the past two games and caught five passes for 70 yards in last week’s loss to the Vikings. In leagues where special teams contributions count in the scoring, Hester certainly has appeal, but I also could make an argument me for employing him as a WR3/WR4 this week, especially with Douglas out.

Andre Johnson, WR, Houston Texans at Dallas Cowboys

Questionable – Ankle
Johnson had been listed on the injury report previously with an ankle injury, but it has yet to keep him from playing. What’s curious about this week, however, is that after saying his ankle was fine, Johnson did not practice Wednesday, was limited on Thursday and sat out Friday’s session. Johnson’s toughness has been vouched for in this space previously, but the possibility he could sit this one out cannot be taken lightly. The 1 p.m. ET kickoff should give Johnson owners enough time to chew on the updates regarding his Questionable status before deciding to start him or not.

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Dez Bryant, WR, Dallas Cowboys vs. Houston Texans

Probable – Shoulder
Bryant’s on the injury report, but he was a full practice participant all week. The Cowboys are looking to keep their hot streak going against in-state foe Houston and will need all the production they can get from Bryant to beat the Texans. Bryant’s Probable and he better be in your starting lineup.

Markus Wheaton, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers at Jacksonville Jaguars

Probable – Groin
Wheaton showed up on the injury report this week with a groin issue, which limited his practice participation on Wednesday and Thursday. However, he was a full go on Friday and is listed as Probable, so he should be out there today. The matchup with a generous Jaguars’ defense is certainly appealing, but be careful to not put too much trust in Wheaton. Antonio Brown is clearly Ben Roethlisberger’s favorite target, Heath Miller is still one of his most trusted ones and Le’Veon Bell is a factor coming out of the backfield. Wheaton’s talent and potential are certainly appealing, but he’s yet to catch a touchdown and the big plays (only three catches of 20-plus yards) just haven’t been there. Wheaton’s ceiling remains high, but right now he’s safest when employed as a WR3/flex option.

Odell Beckham Jr., New York Giants vs. Atlanta Falcons

Questionable – Hamstring
Will we finally see Beckham on the field? A hamstring injury has caused him to miss the first four games, but the mere fact that Beckham is Questionable and not already ruled Out is certainly encouraging. Even if he does play, how much remains to be seen, as it appears that Beckham has a lot of catching up to do in the eyes of the coaching staff. So while it is certainly too risky to start Beckham this week, he’s one to keep an eye on as there’s a reason the Giants drafted him in the first round.

Already Ruled Out:

Marqise Lee and Cecil Shorts, Jacksonville Jaguars –Lee will miss a third straight game due to a hamstring injury, while Shorts will probably be sidelined for an extended period of time with his own hamstring issue. Allen Hurns and Allen Robinson will serve as the Jags’ starting wide receivers and could be fantasy options depending on your depth at the position. Hurns is the more appealing option based on numbers (3 TDs), while Robinson’s value increases in PPR leagues. Of course how each fares today will depend largely on how Blake Bortles does in his first start at home against Pittsburgh.