Injuries continue to impact NFL teams and fantasy teams as the season rapidly approaches its midway point. With teams starting to hit their bye weeks your bench spots are becoming more important and pickups can end up in your starting lineup very quickly if your bench is thinned out by injures.
Check out the latest on fantasy-significant players below and be aware of players who met get increased time due to injuries to the players ahead of them on the depth chart.
Here’s the latest as we head into Wednesday before Week 6:
Robert Griffin III-Washington Redskins-QB: RG3 reportedly has been cleared to participate in practice today and if he does is on the road to a start on Sunday. It’s still not a sure thing, but he’s definitely on the right track.
Hakeem Nicks-New York Giants-WR: Nicks is looking like he’ll play on Sunday barring a setback. Ahmad Bradshaw said on ESPN Radio that Nicks “hinted” he’ll be in there. Nicks has experience setbacks before but appears on track to start against the Niners. Stay tuned to see how much he practices this week.
Kenny Britt-Tennessee Titans-WR: Britt said he’s feeling the best he has all year. He didn’t have a great game last week but didn’t suffer any setbacks either. I’m playing him this week as a WR3, and unless you have a more solid alternative he should be in your lineup too.
Alex Smith-San Francisco 49ers-QB: Smith has a figer injury that coach Jim Harbaugh called “very much of a concern.” We’ll see if he is able to practice today, but be ready for the Colin Kaepernick rush if Smith is sidelined for this week. Kaepernick will be a good quarterback when he gets his chance, but it won’t be this week unless Smith can’t go.
Rashard Mendehall-Pittsburgh Steelers-RB: Mendenhall will have a short week to rebound from his first NFL action of the year as the Steelers get ready to visit Tennessee on Thursday. He was limited yesterday but was just taking it slow. He’ll split carries again this week and will probably end up with 15-20 touches again.
Martellus Bennett-New York Giants-TE: Bennett hyperexteded his knee and will undergo test to see the severity of the damage. He may be good to go this week, but keep an eye on his practice time the next few days to get a better idea of his status.
Brandon Pettigrew-Detroit Lions-TE: There’s not much info out there on Pettigrew’s injury ut it did make him miss practice Tuesday. We’ll find out more as the week goes on.
Dustin Keller-New York Jets-TE: Keller is expected to play this week after missing the Monday Night Football game against the Texans.
Cedric Benson-Green Bay Packers-RB: Benson will be sidelined with a Lisfranc foot injury and won’t be back for eight weeks. The Packers will turn to Alex Green who will get the first look as Benson’s replacement but James Starks will also be involved.
Jake Locker-Tennessee Titans-QB: Locker won’t be playing this week against Pittsburgh but is targeting week 7 for his return.
Jahvid Best-Detroit Lions-RB: Best is reportedly looking good and the Lions are hoping he can return week 7 as soon as he’s eligible to come off the PUP list. Best is being recommended as a “swoop and stash” this week and if you have the roster space makes a nice addition that could payoff come fantasy playoff time.
Laurent Robinson-Jacksonville Jaguars-WR: Robinson won’t be practicing this week at all and can be dropped.
Ryan Williams-Arizona Cardinals-RB: With Beanie Wells on IR, the last thing the Cardinals needed was to hear that Williams is out for the season too. He’s been placed on IR and the recovery timetable is at least three months for his rare shoulder injury. He can be dropped in all formats.
Jerome Simpson-Minnesota Vikings-WR: Simpson is dealing with a bad back caused by a disc issue which may require surgery which would sideline him up to six weeks. Even if he doesn’t have surgery he’s most likely out this week and is barely worth a roster spot in most formats.