Gameday Injury Expectations: Week 6

Breaking down the fantasy expectations of today's injured players and gametime decisions, including Knowshon Moreno, Reggie Bush and Jordan Reed

NOTE: I will be with family and not be able to update this feature after 900 AM ET today. I will make a strong effort to comment and retweet important information on Twitter. Please follow @JeneBramel and checking my timeline frequently today. Thanks.

Though not listed out on the injury report, there are no indications A.J. Green (toe - questionable), Calvin Johnson (ankle - doubtful), Shonn Greene (ankle - questionable) or Vernon Davis (back - questionable) will play today. 

On the positive side of the injury ledger, all indications are Percy Harvin (thigh - probable), Tom Brady (ankle - questionable), Keenan Allen (quad - probable), Greg Olsen (ankle - questionable) and Zac Stacy (calf - probable) will be at near full strength today. Those Harvin, Allen and Stacy carry some risk of an in-game aggravation, they can be inserted into fantasy lineups without concern for injury limitations. 

A handful of players are listed questionable, but I don't see any true game-time decisions.

845 ET: The big news this morning is on a star player with a bye week today:

Much more on this tomorrow in the Injury Rounds feature. But this is what I feared when I wrote about Graham's shoulder on Monday, comparing it to last year's nebulous foot injury and the lack of infomation we had then. It's why I wanted readers to be thinking about this possibility and be prepared earlier this week. I wouldn't rule out Graham for Week 7 yet, but get ready for another week of limited information through the post bye week practices and (at best) a tough game time decision next week.

carson palmer | shoulder | questionable

drew stanton | concussion | questionable

Palmer stuck around in Arizona on Friday and threw passes at 80% while taking some reps with the first team. He was reportedly headed to Denver to continue treatment on his weakened deltoid muscle and inflamed axillary nerve. The Cardinals have yet to rule Palmer out, but I'm still not hearing anything that says Palmer can confidently return to play and throw the ball with strength and accuracy for a full game. I'll be surprised if Palmer is active.

I think the Cardinals may have more strongly considered Palmer had Stanton not been cleared to play today. Multiple reports this weekend say Stanton was cleared by an independent neurologist and will be available to start. 

Fantasy expectation: Unless you're desperate, in a 2 QB league and have a hedge (Stanton, Derek Carr, Austin Davis), I would not consider Palmer in a fantasy lineup today. I think it's very unlikely he'll be active and he will be at high risk of well below average passing yardage, multiple interceptions and an early exit if his arm hasn't fully reconditioned yet.

745 ET: Adam Schefter tweets this morning Palmer is the early favorite to start today.

Palmer still hasn't done anything to suggest he can throw effectively. Avoid him today and hope he finishes the game healthy if he's active. 

knowshon moreno | elbow | probable

Ten days ago, during the Miami bye week, Moreno implied he could need another month to recover from his elbow dislocation. Less than a week later, he was on the practice field in pads and working with the first team. So, it's easy to dismiss his mid-week comments about his discomfort in the brace he must wear to protect his elbow, especially since he's listed probable today. But I'm not ready to fully dismiss them.

It's likely Moreno was more comfortable in the brace on Friday after getting used to it and not having any increased pain or stiffness around the elbow after Thursday's practice. But it's not an easy thing to play with for a running back. The brace will affect how he carries the ball, catches the ball and blocks. It will feel very different to him when running through traffic at game speed. That's not to say Moreno will be too limited to be effective, but his Thursday comments about the brace aren't just another episode of media quirkiness.

Fantasy expectation: Moreno will be active today, but I expect him to be limited and splitting touches with Lamar Miller. Whether the split is 70-30 in Moreno's favor, 50-50 or heavily skewed in Miller's favor may depend on how Moreno looks in his first series. I think 12-15 touches and a mid-RB2 stat line s Moreno's ceiling today. His floor is much lower.

reggie bush | ankle | questionable

Bush considers himself a game time decision today. Every Detroit beat writer, however, believes Bush will be out today. I don't expect to see Bush, who couldn't return to last week's game, had a concerning mechanism of injury and did not take a single practice rep this week.

Fantasy expectation: Joique Bell has been cleared to return from his Week 4 concussion and will get the bulk of the workload today no matter what the Lions decide about Bush's playing status. If Bush is on the active list today, it's unlikely he'll get to ten touches. Avoid him if he's active.

mike evans | groin | questionable

vincent jackson | rib | questionable

Jackson generally plays -- and plays effectively -- through pain. It's been very quiet all week, without any meaningful update on Jackson's injury. That may be because Jackson was never at risk of missing this week's game. Or Jackson may have struggled all week just to get on the field for a limited Friday practice. Given Jackson's history of high pain tolerance, it's probably the former. But Jackson may be more of a game time decision than he looks. Watch the inactives list to be sure.

Evans was running full speed this week and there's a strong consensus of team observers who believe he'll play today. Evans is still in the critical window where players reaggravate muscle strains, but expect him to see close to his usual usage immediately.

Fantasy expectation: If Jackson is active, he's safe to start as you normally would. Evans doesn't appear to be at risk of missing today's game and his practice participation is reassuring. But there's a risk of aggravation and his expected usage is unknown. He's a boom-bust WR3 and probably best avoided today.

715 ET: Ian Rapoport tweets both Evans and Jackson are expected to play today.

jordan reed | hamstring | questionable

Reed has been out a month with his hamstring strain. His rehab schedule, while seemingly slow, gave him two weeks to recondition during practice. Though he hasn't practiced fully since suffering the injury in Week 1, the two week practice program will limit his risk of an aggravation. Local writers don't think Reed will play every down, but fully expect him to be a major part of the offense. Whether that's 40 snaps and 5-8 targets or 25-30 snaps and 3-5 targets isn't known, but TE1 numbers are not out of the question today.

Fantasy expectation: Reed is a risk-reward, low floor TE1 today.

eric decker | hamstring | questionable

Rex Ryan was not optimistic on Decker on Friday, telling reporters he wanted to see more from Decker. Those comments stand in stark contrast to Ryan's tone a couple of weeks ago, when he suggested Decker was able to do more on Friday than he'd expected. Decker could be active today, but he looks to be on the doubful side of questionable.

Fantasy expectation: If Decker is active today, he'll have the benefit of an above-average matchup against the Broncos. But he'll also have to contend with the current quarterback mess in New York. I'd lean strongly toward keeping Decker on your bench if he's on the active list.

fred jackson | ankle/illness | questionable

Jackson missed practice with a fever on Friday. There was no concern from the local writers after Friday's locker room session and Ian Rapoport said Jackson would've played if there had been a game on Friday. Barring a setback with his illness this weekend, Jackson will be active today.

Fantasy expectation: Use Jackson as you normally would.

cecil shorts | hamstring | probable

Shorts missed multiple weeks earlier in the season while recovering from a hamstring strain. He was reasonably effective in Week 3, then re-aggravated the injury in Week 4 and admitted he wasn't 100%. Those aggravations are very often of a similar grade (and sometimes worse), so it's very surprising to see Shorts listed probable and expected to play after just one missed week this time. The back-to-back full practices on Thursday and Friday are reassuring, but Shorts will be at high risk of an aggravation today.

Fantasy expectation: Not only will Shorts be at risk of re-aggravating his hamstring again, the Jaguars will be the healthiest they've been at wide receiver this year today. Allen Robinson, Marquise Lee and Allen Hurns are all expected to play today. It's hard to see Shorts getting more than five targets today. I'd avoid using him unless you've no other options in a deeper league.

jonathan stewart | questionable | knee

Stewart has a chance to play today after putting in two limited practices on Thursday and Friday. I think it's most likely he'll rest this week and target Week 7 as his return date. If Stewart is active, I don't see him getting more than 10-12 touches.

Fantasy expectation: Against a solid front seven in Cincinnati (with Vontaze Burfict expected back), Stewart is a flex play at best today if he's active. 

Best of luck in your fantasy games this weekend. I'll be back on Monday morning to review all the Week 4 injuries in the Injury Rounds column. Follow me on Twitter @JeneBramel for breaking news and analysis during the games today.