Even with only two teams (Detroit, Houston) on bye in Week 7, there are more injuries that fantasy owners need to be aware of than at any point this season. Many players are banged up by this point of the season, it’s just a matter of which ones that are considered questionable will end up playing and should you trust them to help your fantasy team in Week 7?
These quarterbacks, running backs and tight ends have already been ruled out – Aaron Rodgers, Andrew Luck, Sam Bradford, Terrance West, Paul Perkins and Charles Clay. The list of injured wide receivers is so long for Week 7 that they get their own space. As always, be sure to check the inactive report before game time.
Teams on bye: Detroit, Houston
Note: All times are ET and all games are on Sunday, Oct. 22 unless otherwise noted.
Jameis Winston (shoulder), QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Buffalo Bills, 1 p.m.
After exiting Week 6 with a shoulder injury, Winston said he'd play in Week 7. However, he wasn't cleared to throw the ball until Friday. The team has said that Winston will play, so he's slated to be out there. However, for fantasy purposes, it's a risky start. The possibility of aggravating the injury during the game exists, and his ability to throw the ball may be compromised as well. He's a QB2 this week.
Leonard Fournette (ankle), RB, Jacksonville Jaguars at Indianapolis Colts, 1 p.m.
After leaving the Week 6 game with an ugly-looking ankle injury, he did not return (although reports were that he was cleared to get back on the field). Fournette did not practice all week, although it was initially reported that he would be out there on Friday. This does not bode well for his playing status in Week 7. The Jaguars have a bye in Week 8, and while they don't want to be without their star running back this afternoon, they may hold him out if he can't play to get two weeks’ worth of rest. Fournette owners should look to pick up Chris Ivory.
Melvin Gordon (shoulder), RB, Los Angeles Chargers vs. Denver Broncos, 4:25 p.m.
Gordon popped up on the injury report with a shoulder injury on Wednesday. He's put in limited practices and should be active for Week 7. Even with the later start time, fantasy owners shouldn't be worried about Gordon. He's an RB1 in what appeared to be a tough matchup, until the Giants’ backfield shredded the Broncos’ defense last week.
DeMarco Murray (hamstring), RB, Tennessee Titans at Cleveland Browns, 1 p.m.
After coming in and out of the game on Monday night to get his hamstring worked on, Murray missed practice Wednesday and Thursday this week. He put in a limited session on Friday but is officially a game-time decision. This is a situation where fantasy owners are running a risk starting him even if he's active, as he could tweak the hamstring at any point. With a bye looming next week, Murray likely will sit. But even if active, he shouldn't be in fantasy starting lineups.
Matt Forte (knee, toe), RB, New York Jets at Miami Dolphins, 1 p.m.
All signs point to Forte being active, and Bilal Powell has been removed from the injury report. Both backs will see work, but in PPR formats, Forte is the back to play. Powell may see more carries (Forte has not had double-digit carries yet this season), but Forte is more involved in passing downs. Elijah McGuire can be dropped in all formats.
Rob Kelley (ankle), RB, Washington Redskins at Philadelphia Eagles, 8:30 p.m. (Mon.)
After missing Week 6 with an ankle injury, Kelley is slated to return in Week 7. Unfortunately for fantasy owners, the Washington backfield is kind of a mess. Samaje Perine hasn't shown that he can be the lead back. Chris Thompson has looked good and will be involved in pass-catching downs. Kelley will likely resume his role of 10-12 carries, which puts him as a low RB3 in standard formats.
Jonathan Stewart (ankle), RB, Carolina Panthers at Chicago Bears, 1 p.m.
Even with limited practices all week, Stewart should play. The issue with Stewart isn't the ankle, rather it's how ineffective he's been all year. In Week 6, he had eight carries for negative yards. He earned fantasy owners either zero or negative points, depending on league scoring. He has one touchdown on the year (Week 1) and hasn't topped 68 rushing yards all season. He's a desperation play for Week 7.
Wendell Smallwood (knee), RB, Philadelphia Eagles vs. Washington Redskins, 8:30 p.m. (Mon.)
Despite practicing in full all week, Smallwood is listed as questionable for Week 7. He's missed the past two games with the knee injury, and LeGarrette Blount has performed well in his absence. This will still be Blount's backfield, with Smallwood entering for passing downs. Smallwood will still get around 8-10 carries, but he's a RB3 because of the timeshare with Blount. The knee injury isn't a concern, the distribution of touches is.
Andre Ellington (quad), RB, Arizona Cardinals vs. Los Angeles Rams, 1 p.m. (London)
After missing practice Thursday and Friday, Ellington looks to be closer to doubtful rather than questionable for Week 7. Given how well Adrian Peterson played in Week 6 and the fact that the Cardinals are on a bye in Week 8, Ellington likely will sit. Even if Ellington isn’t active, he shouldn’t be in a fantasy lineup. He should still be owned, for now, but his arrow is pointing downward.
Delanie Walker (calf), TE, Tennessee Titans at Cleveland Browns, 1 p.m.
Walker was added to the injury report on Thursday with a calf issue. He did not practice Friday, which is never a good sign. The Titans have a bye in Week 8, so if there any doubt about Walker's ability to play, he may be held out. This is a 1 p.m. kickoff, so fantasy owners should find out in plenty of time if Walker is active. He's a TE1 if he plays, but make sure you have a backup plan in place.
— 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.
(Top photo courtesy of www.jaguars.com)