Gameday Injury Expectations: Week 5

Breaking down the fantasy expectations of today's injured players and gametime decisions, including Randall Cobb, Alshon Jeffery, James Jones, and others

NOTE: This column is a living document and will be updated throughout the morning. Major changes to the content will be in red. Check back often for additions as gameday inactives are announced and lineup / depth chart changes are reported. I'll also be immediately retweeting any breaking news with quick bits of analysis, so make sure you're following me at (@JeneBramel) and checking my timeline on Twitter on Sunday mornings.

I don't get to write this often, but this week is about as straight forward as it gets with injury expectations.

Nearly every early week injury question has been answered and there are no major game time decisions. Julio Jones, Jeremy Hill, Latavius Murray, Travis Kelce, and Allen Hurns all increased their practice participation and are ready to play today. Others were ruled out well in advance of Sunday or are not expected to play, including Marshawn Lynch, LeSean McCoy, Karlos Williams, Davante Adams, Jordan Reed, DeSean Jackson and (likely) Sammy Watkins

Here are the few mildly unclear situations this week. 

830 AM: Welp. So much for making Saturday night assumptions about Sunday morning.

julio jones | hamstring | questionable | early sun start

Jay Glazer is reporting this morning that Jones' hamstring tightened on him this week and he'll see how he feels in pregame warmups before deciding how much he'll be able to do today.

I've noted on some of our podcasts over the past two weeks that I felt we'd get to this point with Jones. He's looked limited by his hamstring strain during games and missed more than his usual snaps. But the injury hadn't affected his targets or effectiveness. There was reason to believe the Falcons elected to rest Jones last week after getting out to a big lead and Julio was practicing on Wednesday and continued to work throughout the week. The Falcons are notoriously underreported, so it appeared there was no change in Jones' status this week.

Fantasy expectation: I still think there's a strong likelihood Jones will be active today. But it's clear he's been limited in recent weeks and playing through a mid-week aggravation puts him at high risk of more difficulty today. If he's active, he'll see enough high leverage opportunity against a very favorable matchup to keep in lineups. But there's a much lower floor than we expected 24 hours ago. 

alshon jeffery | hamstring | questionable | early sun start

Jeffery practiced for the third consecutive week and was listed questionable on the final injury report. While that seemingly left the door open for him to play this week, I don't believe he has a chance to play. The media reports on Jeffery were never positive this week and he didn't practice at all on Friday. The primary question with Jeffery isn't whether he'll play this week but whether he aggravated his injury in practice on Thursday.

Fantasy expectation: I don't expect Jeffery to play today. If he does, keep him out of your lineups.

randall cobb | shoulder | probable | early sun start

Cobb continues to struggle with soreness and limited range of motion from a preseason AC sprain. It's a lingering injury that could continue to cost him snaps, but it's something he'll continue to play through. Cobb is likely to take hits and fall on the sore shoulder, and his effectieness could be affected. But as we saw in Week 3, Cobb still has an elite ceiling due to his high leverage opportunity and the continued stellar play of Aaron Rodgers.

Fantasy expectation: Cobb's floor and ceiling expectations are less than they normally would be, but they're more than high enough to trust Cobb in lineups today.

james jones | HAMSTRING | QUESTIONABLE | early sun start

There never seemed to be any concern with Jones this week from local media members and Jones managed three consecutive limited practices and earned a probable tag on the final injury report. While there's always a risk of aggravation with hamstring strains, Jones looks safe to trust today.

Fantasy expectation: Use Jones as you normally would.

andre ellington | knee | probable | late sun start

Ellington fully practiced on Friday, but is likely not fully recovered from his Week 1 PCL sprain. Stiffness and soreness could affect his vertical explosiveness and change of direction ability. More concerning is the crowded depth chart, and low probability that Ellington sees enough volume to have fantasy value today.

Fantasy expectation: Ellington will play today but his low ceiling and middling floor should keep him on your bench today.

charles clay | calf | probable | early sun start

Rex Ryan was confident Clay's mid-week calf strain was mild. There was no hint of any imaging studies and Clay was back at practice on Friday. He's listed probable and expected to play. Calf strains are rough recoveries -- see also Alshon Jeffery, Sammy Watkins, and Crockett Gilmore already this year -- but Clay's injury is minor.

Fantasy expectation: Use Clay as you normally would today.

tevin coleman | ribs | probable | early sun start

The strong play of Devonta Freeman allowed Coleman to take two full weeks to heal and then recondition slowly in practice this week. Coleman was feeling good enough to practice fully on Friday and will play today. His usage is likely to be low, though, and he shouldn't be expected to see more than 6-8 touches.

Fantasy expectation: Coleman's volume will be too low to use him in fantasy lineups this week.

julius thomas | hand | questionable | early sun start

830 AM: Thomas has reportedly been cleared to play today. He's been practicing for nearly a month and should be close to fully conditioned. If he's been cleared, he should not have too much difficulty handling passes. His usage is an open question, however, and it's likely his snap count and opportunity will be limited.

Fantasy expectation: I don't believe Thomas will see high usage today, but he could be used around the red zone. I'd keep him on your bench today and re-evaluate next week.

Best of luck in your fantasy games this weekend. I'll be back on Monday morning to review all the Week 5 injuries in the Injury Rounds column. Follow me on Twitter @JeneBramel for breaking news and analysis during the games today.