By JEFF PAUR
Sr Fantasy Writer
Injuries are never good any time of the season, but they are especially bad at this time of the year - playoff time. And this week's list is pretty full, which could make it hard for many playoff teams. There are a lot of key players on this list, making for some tough replacements for fantasy teams. Hopefully, you aren't dealing with too many injuries at this crucial time of the season. Here is the latest. . . .
Carson Wentz, QB, Eagles. Wentz is dealing with a back injury and unlikely to play this week. At this point, there is speculation he could be shut down for the season. Nick Foles will serve as the starter for the Eagles while Wentz is out of action.
Odell Beckham, WR, Giants. Beckham was injured late in the week last week with a quadriceps injury and missed the Week 14 game. He is out of practice to start this week and looking iffy to play. He is not being ruled out just yet, but get other options ready. We'll know more about his status later in the week.
LeSean McCoy, RB, Bills. McCoy had to leave the game last week because of a hamstring injury. He is not practicing to start the week. It is not looking good for McCoy to play right now. We would expect him to miss the game. Chris Ivory starts for the Bills if McCoy is out of action.
Jordan Reed, TE, Redskins. Reed was knocked from last week's game with a toe injury. He is another player out of practice to start the week. Reed has a long injury history, so it would not be a surprise if he misses plenty of time because of this injury. There is even speculation Reed might not play again this season. Vernon Davis starts for the Redskins while Reed is out.
Josh Doctson, WR, Redskins. Doctson is dealing with a concussion and is out of practice right now. He will need to clear the concussion protocol to play the Week 15 game. We will have know before the week is out of Doctson has been cleared to play. Keep an eye on the player notes for the latest.
Isaiah Crowell, RB, Jets. Crowell is dealing with a toe injury and was seen in a boot Tuesday. He has not practiced yet this week. Crowell is not looking good to play, leaving Elijah McGuire and Trenton Cannon to spilt the duties at running back for the Jets in Week 15.
Spencer Ware, RB, Chiefs. Ware is listed as doubtful on the Injury Report because of a shoulder injury. He is not expected to play Thursday, making Damien Williams the starter for the Chiefs in Week 15. Williams has real value for fantasy teams in a starting role for this high-powered offense.
Melvin Gordon, RB, Chargers. Gordon has not been ruled out for this week yet but it isn't looking great for him to play. He continues to deal with a knee injury and has done little in practice. Gordon is considered a game-time decision for the game, but we think he'll miss another week of action. And even if he happens to be able to play, expect Gordon to be limited in the game. Rookie Justin Jackson should get most of the work at running back for the Chargers this week.
Austin Ekeler, RB, Chargers. Ekeler has already been ruled out for this week's game because of a neck injury and concussion. As mentioned, Justin Jackson should be the starter for the Chargers in Week 15.
Tyreek Hill, WR, Chiefs. Hill is dealing with heel and wrist injuries. He has practiced some this week and expectations are he should be ready for the Thursday game. Keep an eye on the inactives to be sure, but we expect Hill to play his usual role in the offense this week.
Matt Breida, RB, 49ers. Breida missed last week because of a sprained ankle and has been limited in practice this week because of the injury. He is trending the right way but nothing is certain with his status right now. Consider him a game-time decision. Jeffery Wilson gets another start for the 49ers if Breida is out once again.
Kerryon Johnson, RB, Lions. Johnson remains out of practice because of a sprained knee. He is expected to miss another week of action and might not play again this season at this rate. LeGarrette Blount and Theo Riddick should split most of the work at running back for the Lions with Zach Zenner also getting some work.
James Conner, RB, Steelers. There was some hope Conner might return this week but he remains out of practice because of his sprained ankle. It is not looking great for him to play right now. Look for rookie Jaylen Samuels to serve as the No. 1 back for the team once again in Week 15.
Austin Hooper, TE, Falcons. Hooper suffered some sort of knee injury last week and is out of practice to start the week. It is not looking good for Hooper to play right now. We would get other options ready.
Courtland Sutton, WR, Broncos. Sutton suffered a strained quad last week and had to miss some time in the game because of the injury. He has been limited in practice to start this week but should be healthy enough to play the Week 15 game, barring a late-week setback.
Doug Baldwin, WR, Seahawks. Baldwin missed the game last week with a hip injury and is out of practice to start this week because of the injury. The Seahawks are holding out hope he will be ready for the game this week, but nothing is certain with his status right now. Consider him a game-time decision, but we would count on other options this week.
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.
The San Francisco 49ers agreed to terms on a three-year, $8.7 million deal with running back Raheem Mostert on Saturday, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. The deal will include $3 million guaranteed. Mostert spent the last two years with San Fran, compiling 40 rushing attempts, 291 yards and a touchdown in 20 games. He'll be buried on the depth chart behind Jerick McKinnon, Matt Breida and newly-signed Tevin Coleman, so Mostert is unlikely to have any fantasy value.
The Tennessee Titans released quarterback Blaine Gabbert after they traded for Ryan Tannehill on Friday. Gabbert's only season in Tennessee in 2018 saw him make three starts while filling in for an injured Marcus Mariota. Gabbert spent 2017 with the Cardinals, three in San Francisco before that and three years in Jacksonville after being drafted 10th overall in 2010. He'll only attract backup work on the open market.
The Jacksonville Jaguars signed free-agent wide receiver Chris Conley to an undisclosed deal on Saturday, according to NFL Network's Mike Garafolo. The team also signed offensive tackle Cedric Ogbuehi and linebacker Jake Ryan. Conley spent the first four years of his career with the Chiefs and started 34 of 53 games while catching 104 passes for 1,238 yards and six touchdowns. The 26-year-old will likely compete for a role with the Jags and won't be fantasy relevant.
The Atlanta Falcons agreed to terms on an undisclosed one-year deal with free-agent tight end Logan Paulsen on Saturday. Paulsen returns to Atlanta, where he had only nine catches for 91 yards and one touchdown in 15 games in his first season with the Falcons last year. He should not be on anyone's fantasy radar as mostly a blocking tight end behind pass-catcher Austin Hooper and Luke Stocker.
The Cincinnati Bengals re-signed tight end Tyler Eifert to an undisclosed one-year deal on Saturday, a source told NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. The 28-year-old former first-rounder has been hurt by injuries over the course of his six-year career in the NFL and has played in more than eight games in just two seasons. He missed the final 12 games in 2018 with a broken ankle, although he's expected to be ready for organized team activities this spring. Eifert played in only 14 games since his Pro Bowl season in 2015, and fantasy owners are now staying away from him altogether most likely. With C.J. Uzomah also re-signing, Eifert will have to prove to both the Bengals and fantasy owners that he can stay on the field.
The Washington Redskins are expected to sign free-agent cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie to an undisclosed deal, a source informed of the situation told NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. DRC announced his retirement just five months ago but has decided to give it another go. He'll be reunited with former Giants teammate Landon Collins, so signed a six-year deal this week. Rodgers-Cromartie will turn 33 on April 7, and it's fair to wonder how much he has left physically. He has plenty of experience and is expected to offer cornerback depth on a team that also has Josh Norman.
The Oakland Raiders signed free-agent wide receiver J.J. Nelson to an undisclosed deal on Friday. Nelson spent the last four seasons with the Cardinals and caught 81 passes for 1,439 yards in 56 career games. The former fifth-rounder had his worst season in 2018, though, catching just seven passes for 64 yards and no scores in 14 games in Arizona's inept offense. The speedster does boast 17.8 yards per catch in his career and will provide another deep threat in Oakland alongside Antonio Brown and Tyrell Williams after the team released veteran Jordy Nelson.
The Tennessee Titans acquired quarterback Ryan Tannehill from the Miami Dolphins on Friday and signed him to a one-year deal worth $7 million guaranteed and worth up to $12 million with incentives. The Dolphins will receive a seventh-round pick in this year's draft and a 2020 fourth-round pick in exchange. Tennessee will also get a 2019 sixth-rounder. Tannehill, a former eighth overall pick in 2012, never lived up to his draft status while going 42-46 over six seasons in Miami. He has a career 62.8 completion percentage and an 87 passer rating and will have zero fantasy appeal as Marcus Mariota's backup in his new digs. The rebuilding Dolphins are likely to look to the draft for their next signal-caller, especially after Teddy Bridgewater elected to re-sign with the Saints this week.
The Denver Broncos re-signed tight end Jeff Heuerman to a two-year deal worth up to $9 million on Friday, a source told NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. The former third-round pick in 2015 played in just 11 games due to injury last year and caught a career-high 31 passes for 281 yards and two touchdowns in his third NFL season. Unless the Broncos add to the position in the draft or free agency, Heuerman will likely be the starter at the position. New quarterback Joe Flacco has targeted tight ends often in his career, so Heuerman could be a TE2 deep sleeper this year.
The Cincinnati Bengals signed free-agent offensive guard John Miller to a three-year, $16.5 million deal on Friday, according to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero. Miller started 47 games the last four years at right guard with the Bills and will likely be viewed as an upgrade over Alex Redmond at the spot in 2019. Cincy also re-signed right tackle Brian Hart to a three-year deal earlier in the week to shore up their offensive line. Quarterbacks Andy Dalton and Jeff Driskel were sacked a combined 37 times last year.
The Jacksonville Jaguars signed free-agent tight end Geoff Swaim to an undisclosed deal on Friday. Ben Koyack and Pharoah McKever are the only other tight ends on roster as of now, so Swaim could become a big part of the offense in 2019. A seventh-round pick by the Cowboys in 2015, Swaim has 35 career catches for 336 yards and one touchdown in four seasons. He caught a career-high 26 passes for 242 yards and a score last year. Quarterback Nick Foles and offensive coordinator John DeFilippo have leaned on the tight end in the past, but Swaim is still likely to be more of a fantasy afterthought.
The New York Jets signed free-agent kicker Chandler Catanzaro to an undisclosed deal on Friday. Catanzaro spent the 2017 season with Gang Green before spending time with the Panthers and Buccaneers last year. He made a career-low 73 percent of his field-goal tries in 13 games in 2018, including going 2-for-2 from 50-plus yards. He represents a downgrade from Pro Bowler Jason Myers a year ago and can be avoided for fantasy purposes.
Updating an immediate report, Cleveland Browns RB Kareem Hunt will not appeal his eight-game suspension.
The NFL has suspended Cleveland Browns running back Kareem Hunt for eight games for violating its personal conduct policy. Hunt violated the personal conduct policy while he was a member of the Kansas City Chiefs, which led to his release in November. The Browns took a chance on the running back, signing him to a one-year contract in February. While Hunt is suspended, running backs Nick Chubb and Duke Johnson will be asked to lead the backfield, although there have been persistent rumors that the team would like to trade Johnson. When he does return from suspension, Hunt's role in the team's backfield is unclear.
Cleveland Browns RB Kareem Hunt was suspended eight games Friday, March 15, for violating the personal conduct policy, according to a source.
Fantasy Spin: Hunt can still appeal the ruling, but he's gone for 75 percent of the fantasy season in a lot of leagues. You're really going to have to be lucky avoiding the injury bug if you're going to carry him as an RB5 all season. There is obvious risk of rust and obvious reward for the latter part of the season and playoffs. Nick Chubb will be an RB2 or RB3 in Hunt's stead.
Free-agent PK Chandler Catanzaro (Panthers) signed an undisclosed deal with the New York Jets Friday, March 15.
Free-agent DT Steve McLendon re-signed with the New York Jets on Thursday, March 14, agreeing to an undisclosed contract.
Free-agent WR Chris Hogan (Patriots) and his representatives have been in contact with the New York Giants, according to a source.
Free-agent S Eric Berry has reportedly been told he should be able to play through the ankle problems that plagued him in 2018, according to NFL Network's Mike Garafolo.
Free-agent LB Shaquil Barrett (Broncos) visited with the Cincinnati Bengals on Thursday, March 14.