We’re into Week 6 of the 2023 NFL season and there’s been no shortage of impactful injuries. You never want to see any player get hurt, but it’s the nature of the beast. When injuries go down, we see players thrust into larger roles and it’s what creates a lot of value in daily fantasy football on DraftKings. In this piece, we’re going to go position-by-position and break down the biggest NFL injuries for Week 6, plus DFS picks and advice.
NFL Injury Report, Week 6: NFL DFS advice, picks
Deshaun Watson, Browns (OUT)
The Browns won’t have Watson, who remains out due to a shoulder injury. Cleveland is set to start PJ Walker ($4,000) against the 49ers this week. If you like paying up at D/ST, San Fran is $4,000 and should smash Cleveland. Walker isn’t really in a viable spot for DFS, though being min-priced at QB is appealing. He could have some rushing upside. You don’t need to play Walker but in tournaments, he won’t be on many rosters.
Anthony Richardson, Colts (OUT)
The Colts placed Richardson in injured reserve after he sustained a shoulder injury last week vs. the Titans. QB Gardner Minshew ($5,000) will start in a revenge spot against his former the Jacksonville Jaguars. Minshew is a much more appealing tournament and cash-game play at QB. He’s actually been very effective when thrown into game play this season. Minshew has completed over 68% of his passes for 553 yards and two TDs in five games, a 95.1 passer rating. Jacksonville is allowing 262.4 passing yards per game this season. You can craft some cheap stacks with WRs Michael Pittman Jr. ($6,300) and Josh Downs ($4,100).
De’Von Achane, Dolphins (OUT)
The Dolphins placed Achane on injured reserve this week with a knee issue. Achane had been lighting the world on fire on the ground. And it came at the worst time. Miami faces the Panthers, who are the worst rushing defense in the NFL. So with Achane out, expect Raheem Mostert ($6,400) to get the bulk of the carries. He makes for a pretty safe cash-game play. Mostert is viable in tournaments as well given his ceiling. We saw what happened when the Dolphins ran things up on the Broncos. A best-case for Mostert this week could look like multiple TDs.
James Conner, Cardinals (OUT)
Conner was placed on injured reserve due to his knee also and is out for at least four weeks. With Conner sidelined most of last week vs. the Bengals, the team used Emari Demercado ($4,900) as the lead back. He finished with 10 carries for 45 yards and a TD, plus a 12-yard reception. Demercado could see around 10-15 touches, if not more. The Rams aren’t a great matchup but the game script plays for Demercado to see a lot of work. He played 77% of the snaps last week. If he’s at around that number, he could see anywhere from 35-45 snaps. Demercado is risky but could pay off as a value back.
Of course the Bears just get their own header like that. RBs Khalil Herbert and Roschon Johnson are both out, plus third-string Travis Homer isn’t going to play. The Bears take on the Vikings in a winnable matchup. D’Onta Foreman ($4,400) should see the majority of the snaps at RB for Chicago. He may be forced into 20-25 touches just because the Bears have no one else. Foreman is a good cash-game play and even works in tournaments if you need some salary. Chicago should throw plenty but this script plays well for a RB who should be on the field most of the game.
Miles Sanders, Panthers (OUT)
Carolina will be without Sanders this week due to injury. That’ll mean we get Chuba Hubbard ($4,300) chalk. Sanders and Hubbard split snaps last week. It could have been because of the injury but Hubbard has been better this season. With the backfield now all his, Hubbard has a ton of upside, especially in this game environment. The Dolphins are 14.5-point favorites over the Panthers. That means Miami could go up and blow the Panthers out. Regardless, Hubbard would need to be on the field most of the first three quarters you’d think. He has 26 touches over the past two weeks. Maybe with around 15-18 touches, Hubbard can really do some damage. He’s a decent GPP option.
Justin Jefferson, Vikings (OUT)
Fantasy managers got the worst news ever with Jefferson being placed on injured reserve. He’ll miss at least four games going into Week 6 vs. the Bears, a dream matchup. Instead, the Vikings will need to turn to WR Jordan Addison ($5,700) and WR KJ Osborn ($4,400). Let’s also not forget TE TJ Hockenson ($6,600). The weather could be bad in Chicago, so just note that. If it’s really bad, it may be worth fading some of the Vikings WR chalk. Osborn should be popular since he’s the cheapest of this bunch. Brandon Powell ($3,000) at min-price is also being talked up. That feels like a stretch but could work out in GPPs. Addison should be the best play out of this group.
Tee Higgins, Bengals (Questionable)
The Bengals were without Higgins last week due to a rib injury. He’s questionable for this week. If Higgins is out, look for Trenton Irwin ($3,300) to get more work along with Tyler Boyd ($4,600). Ja’Marr Chase ($8,300) will lead the receiver group, of course. Irwin had 10 targets and eight catches last week vs. the Cardinals. If Higgins is out, Irwin could see plenty of snaps and be a viable PPR wideout again. Boyd is the sharper play in tournaments. A lot of lineups will look at last week and be scared off. If Higgins it out, Boyd could easily have a big game vs. the Seahawks, who have a weak secondary.
Sam LaPorta, Lions (Questionable)
The Lions are listing the rookie tight end as questionable to play due to a calf injury. It would be more impactful in season-long fantasy football if we’re being honest. If LaPorta is out, Brock Wright ($2,500) would likely start at TE for the Lions vs. the Bucs. Wright played 37 snaps last week with LaPorta healthy. Wright could see upwards of 40-50 snaps in Week 6 if LaPorta sits. Wright had three catches for 16 yards last week vs. Carolina. Wright would be a trendy GPP play at min-price if LaPorta sits this week.