Thu Sep 20 8:13 am
By JEFF PAUR
Sr Fantasy Writer
Last week wasn't quite as terrible as the previous, but we still had our fair share of injuries. You'll see that this list is pretty full once again. There are some players returning to action, though, which is a good thing. Here are all the latest injury updates from around the league. Here is to hoping your team is on the mend.
Mike Wallace, WR, Eagles. Wallace was placed on Injured Reserve because of a broken leg. He could be back after eight weeks but his season is likely over. The Eagles are very thin at receiver right now, needing to sign Jordan Matthews this week. He could play immediately because of the injury to Wallace.
Leonard Fournette, RB, Jaguars. Fournette missed last week because of a hamstring strain. He is practicing this week and seems to have a good shot to return, especially with his backup, T.J. Yeldon, likely to miss because of a sprained ankle. Keep an eye on the practice reports for the latest but things are trending the right way for Fournette.
Jay Ajayi, RB, Eagles. Ajayi is iffy to play right now because of a back injury. He left the game early last week because of the injury but was able to return. So you can't rule him out for this week but even if he is active, he might not get a full workload because of the injury. Consider him a game-time decision. Corey Clement could handle much of the work at running back for the Eagles in Week 3.
Carson Wentz, QB, Eagles. Wentz was cleared for contact and is back practicing this week. He has already been named the starter for the Week 3 game. He makes his much anticipated return to the lineup.
Darren Sproles, RB, Eagles. Sproles missed last week with a hamstring injury and is expected to miss another week of action. He still isn't practicing and the Eagles are preparing to play without him. He could be back in a week or two.
LeSean McCoy, RB, Bills. McCoy suffered fractured rib cartilage in Week 2. There is a decent chance he is not healthy enough to play this week. The good news is he has dealt with an injury similar to this in the past and missed minimal time. He could be back playing in a week or two. For now, look for Chris Ivory and Marcus Murphy to split running back duties for the Bills in Week 3.
Joe Mixon, RB, Bengals. Mixon needed minor knee surgery after the Bengals game last week. He is going to miss a couple weeks of action because of the surgery. Gio Bernard will start for the Bengals while Mixon is out of action. He has value as a No. 2 back for fantasy teams in a starting role.
Devonta Freeman, RB, Falcons. The Falcons disputed a report that Freeman would miss multiple weeks of action with his knee injury, calling him day to day. Either way, Freeman isn't practicing and sure looks like he will miss the Week 3 game. Tevin Coleman starts and has solid value in a starting role for the Falcons.
Paul Richardson, WR, Redskins. Richardson had an MRI on his injured knee and the results came back negative. This is good news but it doesn't mean Richardson will play this week. He seems to have a good chance to miss the Week 3 game, especially with the Redskins adding some receivers to the roster this week. Get other options ready.
Devante Parker, WR, Dolphins. Parker was limited in practice last week because of his broken finger, but seemed to have a legit chance to play in the game. He was held out, though. Parker is practicing in full this week and seems right on track to make his season debut Week 3. He should start and play a big role in the offense.
Marcus Mariota, QB, Titans. Mariota did not play last week because of a sore elbow. He is practicing again this week, splitting the starter work with Blaine Gabbert. His status remains unknown for Week 3. It could be a situation that both quarterbacks split the work at quarterback, making both useless for fantasy teams. This is likely a situation avoid.
Marquise Goodwin, WR, 49ers. Goodwin missed last week's game because of a quad injury. He is practicing on a limited basis this week. He could return to action but should be considered a game-time decision for Week 3.
Alshon Jeffery, WR, Eagles. Jeffery is practicing on a limited basis this week. He is nearing a return from his offseason shoulder surgery. There is a chance he returns this week but could be a game-time decision. Keep an eye on the notes for the latest.
Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Cardinals. Fitzgerald hurt his hamstring last week and had to leave the game. He is doing some work on the side at practice this week but head coach Steve Wilks said Fitzgerald will play this weekend. He should be ready for the game and get his usual workload.
Dalvin Cook, RB, Vikings. Cook has yet to practice this week because of a hamstring injury, which forced him from the game last week. The injury is supposed to be pretty minor, though, and expectations are he will be ready for the Week 3 game. Keep an eye on the player notes for the latest info on Cook, but he should be able to play this week as long as he gets in some practice before the week is out.
Marlon Mack, RB, Colts. Mack missed practice Wednesday because of hamstring and foot injuries. The foot injury is new and he apparently re-aggravated his hamstring injury last week. This is not a good sign for Mack, who just can't seem to stay healthy. Mack still has a shot to play this week but will need to practice some. And even if he is active, Mack likely will split work in the game. He is a big risk for fantasy teams.
Greg Zuerlein, K, Rams. Zuerlein suffered a groin injury last week and is going to miss some time. Early reports are he is going to be sidelined for three to six weeks. Sam Ficken takes over the kicking duties for the Rams until Zuerlein is ready to kick again.
Jeff Paur is a two-time finalist for FSWA Fantasy Football Writer of the Year and won the FSWA award for Best Fantasy Football Article on the Web in 2011. He also was the most accurate expert in 2012, winning the FSTA Fantasy Football Accuracy Award. If you have any questions for Jeff, email him at email@example.com. Follow Jeff on Twitter @jeffpaur.
Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield is coming off a fantastic real-life game which saw him complete 18 of his 22 pass attempts against the Carolina Panthers. That being said, his production in the fantasy realm was lacking as he threw just one touchdown in the game. Since the team fired Hue Jackson and Todd Haley, the Browns have been playing slow on offense, which has limited Mayfield's ceiling somewhat. This week, the Browns travel to Denver to take on the Broncos on Saturday night. The Broncos have been great against the pass this season, ranking No. 2 in pass defense DVOA. That being said, the Broncos have suffered several injuries in their secondary over the past few weeks which keeps Mayfield in the conversation as a deep-league streamer. Treat Mayfield as a mid-QB2 for Week 15.
Miami Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill (ankle) could be limited in practice Wednesday, Dec. 12, as the team will closely monitor his ankle injury heading into Week 15.
Fantasy Spin: Tannehill has binged with a couple of three-score games, but history has shown you can't count on that this week against the Minnesota Vikings. He's a QB2 in two-QB leagues.
Seattle Seahawks LB Mychal Kendricks (knee) injured his knee during the team's Week 14 win over the Minnesota Vikings, and his availability for the team's game against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, Dec. 16, is in question, according to head coach Pete Carroll.
The Tennessee Titans signed TE Cole Wick off the San Francisco 49ers practice squad on Tuesday, Dec. 11. Tennessee also signed free-agent OL Austin Pasztor (Falcons).
San Francisco 49ers WR Pierre Garcon (knee) was officially placed on the Reserve/Injured list on Tuesday, Dec. 11.
New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas will head into Week 15 with 102 receptions for 1,218 yards and eight touchdowns on the season. Thomas will face a Panthers secondary that is allowing the eighth most fantasy points to receivers, including four 100-yard receiving games since Week 11. Carolina has surrendered 10 touchdowns to receivers over their last six games and now must try and shut down one of the game's elite receivers. Thomas should be able to exploit this matchup in Week 15 and will be a WR1 option across all fantasy formats.
New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley will go up against a Titans defense in Week 15 that is allowing the fifth fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs. But at this point in the season, tough matchups no longer scare fantasy owners of the fantastic rookie. Barkley has least 100-plus yards from scrimmage in 12 of the 13 games played this season to go along with 13 total touchdowns. Barkley is about as bankable a fantasy option as any player in the league right now and heads into Week 15 with 1,753 all-purpose yards. Start Barkley with confidence.
New York Giants tight end Evan Engram's fantasy arrow has been pointing up over the last two games, posting 143 yards over that span. But he could struggle to out-score his fantasy projections against a Titans defense that is allowing the fewest fantasy points to opposing tight ends. The Titans defense has not allowed a tight end to catch a touchdown against them this season and only two tight ends have scored more than six fantasy points in a single game. Engram will be a dicey TE2 play in Week 15.
Arizona Cardinals WR Chad Williams (ankle, hamstring) was listed with the first-team offense on the team's depth chart Tuesday, Dec. 11.
Fantasy Spin: This is somewhat notable since Williams has missed the last five games and doesn't exactly have the kind of resume that one usually has to keep a job when he is sidelined that long. Larry Fitzgerald remains the only playable Cardinal receiver, but DFS players who may have been hoping to strike gold with J.J. Nelson and Trent Sherfield versus the Atlanta Falcons may have to look elsewhere.
Kansas City Chiefs WR Kelvin Benjamin is reportedly picking up the offense quickly, but it remains unlikely he will play an extended amount of time in Week 15 versus the Los Angeles Chargers.
Fantasy Spin: It's understandable considering he hasn't been with the team two weeks yet. Still, Tyreek Hill will almost certainly be limited in some way, shape or form and the Chiefs may be down to Damien Williams as their starting running back. Despite the presence of Patrick Mahomes, owners should be able to do better than Benjamin in their starting lineups during the fantasy playoffs.
Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin, who had his first practice with the team last Friday, is unlikely to play extended snaps if he makes his team debut on Thursday against the Chargers. However, they may need Benjamin active with Sammy Watkins (foot) not expected to be available until the playoffs and Tyreek Hill (heel, wrist) being dinged up in Week 14. Its just concepts and really learning the language of a new playbook, Benjamin told The Star on Tuesday. Its coming real good to me. I feel like Im grasping it real well. Benjamin was terrible in his time with Buffalo and lacked hustle and motivation, so hopefully he'll be more motivated to make an impact with his first team, who currently have the top seed in the AFC. Even if Benjamin plays this Thursday and in the final two games of the season, he's unlikely to make much of a fantasy impact unless either Hill or Chris Conley get hurt.
Houston Texans rookie wide receiver Keke Coutee (hamstring) was limited in practice on Tuesday. Coutee has missed the last two games but is trending toward being active in Week 15 on Saturday against the Jets. Hamstring issues have limited the rookie to just six games in 2018, and he can't be trusted in starting lineups behind DeAndre Hopkins and Demaryius Thomas if he returns. Quarterback Deshaun Watson hasn't been throwing the ball all that much either, making Coutee unlikely to see heavy targets if he's back this Saturday.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR DeSean Jackson (thumb) had his injured thumb immobilized Tuesday, Dec. 11. He cannot squeeze a football with his injured hand yet but hopes to play again this season.
Fantasy Spin: In the meantime, Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and Adam Humphries will continue to see increased targets. They have a tough matchup this week, though, against the Baltimore Ravens, so lower your expectations.
New York Jets LB Jerry Attaochu (concussion), RB Trenton Cannon (toe) and LB Jordan Jenkins (shoulder, ankle) did not practice Tuesday, Dec. 11. LB Kevin Pierre-Louis (shoulder) was limited. OT Kelvin Beachum (knee), CB Morris Claiborne (shoulder, neck), TE Jordan Leggett (knee), C Spencer Long (knee, finger), WR Andre Roberts (foot) and CB Buster Skrine (shoulder) participated fully.
New York Jets WR Robby Anderson (ankle) participated fully in practice Tuesday, Dec. 11.
Fantasy Spin: Last week Anderson found the end zone for the first time in six games and saw seven targets for the third time in four games, but he's an inconsistent player who can't be trusted in postseason lineups.
New York Jets WR Quincy Enunwa (ankle) was not at practice Tuesday, Dec. 11.
Fantasy Spin: Enunwa has done next to nothing since the beginning of the season. Now is not the time to take a chance on starting him and hoping he rebounds.
New York Jets QB Sam Darnold (foot) participated fully in practice Tuesday, Dec. 11.
Fantasy Spin: If you made your league's playoffs, you probably didn't get there by starting Darnold. Don't start now.
Houston Texans WR DeAndre Carter (concussion), WR Keke Coutee (hamstring), C Zach Fulton (hand), S Andre Hal (ankle), CB Kareem Jackson (knee), OG Senio Kelemete (elbow) and DE J.J. Watt (knee) were limited in practice Tuesday, Dec. 11. LB Dylan Cole (wrist, knee), CB Aaron Colvin (ankle), C Greg Mancz (knee), LB Brian Peters (ankle), S Justin Reid (shoulder, wrist) and CB Shareece Wright (neck) participated fully.
Houston Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins (foot) practiced on a limited basis Tuesday, Dec. 11.
Fantasy Spin: Hopkins has been limited in practice practically the entire season. He has produced consistently despite the nagging issue, so there's no reason to remove him from starting lineups, especially in the fantasy playoffs.
Houston Texans QB Deshaun Watson (shoulder) was a full practice participant Tuesday, Dec. 11.
Fantasy Spin: Watson has been bruised and battered for the entirety of his sophomore campaign but he'll be good to go in a favorable matchup with the New York Jets. He's a QB1 for those still in the fantasy postseason.