Thu Dec 13 9:00 am
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Jeff on Twitter @jeffpaur.
New England Patriots running back James White caught four passes for 49 yards, including 23 rushing yards, in the team's 37-31 win over the Chiefs to advance to the Super Bowl. One week after White caught 15 passes, the veteran running back was targeted only six times in the passing game. White already has one Super Bowl MVP under his belt and has enjoyed a career season with 85 receptions and 12 total touchdowns. He will certainly have to share time in the backfield with teammates Sony Michel and Rex Burkhead but White will see plenty of action against the Rams on February 3.
New England Patriots running back Sony Michel carried the ball 29 times for 113 yards with two touchdowns in the Patriots 37-31 victory over the Chiefs to reach the Super Bowl. The rookie running back was fantastic from the jump and the Patriots leaned on him to move the chains. Michel punched in a 1-yard score to get New England on the board and then sprinted untouched for a 10-yard score in the fourth quarter. Michel is hot at the right time and will have tons of sleeper potential as a possible Super Bowl MVP heading into the Patriots matchup against the Rams on February 3.
New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski caught six passes for 79 yards in the Patriots 37-31 win over the Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game. Gronk was targeted a team-high 11 times and delivered some huge plays in the wild final minutes of the game. He was counted on to pick up some huge first downs, none more important than a big-time 25-yard catch to set up a go-ahead score in the fourth quarter. Gronkowski has not looked like himself this season but with one game left, the Patriots will do all they can to unleash Gronk against the Rams in the Super Bowl on February 3.
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady completed 30 of 46 passes for 348 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions in the Patriots thrilling AFC Championship victory over the Chiefs 37-31 in overtime. The Patriots offense got off to a slow start but the future Hall of Famer turned it on when it mattered the most. From the beginning of the fourth quarter, Brady nearly doubled his passing yards with some nearly perfect drives. When the chips were down, the Patriots put the ball in Brady's hands and delivered strike after strike as the team scored 20 points in the final quarter in addition to overtime. Brady will now play in his ninth Super Bowl on February 3, striving to win an all-time record sixth Super Bowl.
New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman caught seven passes for 96 yards in the Patriots 37-31 overtime win over the Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game. Edelman was quiet for most of the game but was heavily targeted in the games final minutes, delivering clutch catch after catch. Edelman is clearly quarterback Tom Brady's preferred target in crunch time and the veteran receiver made some fantastic receptions in traffic. Edelman will be a top choice to lead the team in targets when the Patriots take on the Rams in the Super Bowl February 3.
New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas caught four passes for only 36 yards in the Saints 26-23 overtime loss to the Rams in the NFC Championship Game. Thomas was targeted seven times but disappointed for a player that caught 125 passes in the regular season. The Saints offense revolved mostly around teammate Alvin Kamara and Thomas was a non-factor. Despite the disappointing end to his season, Thomas will remain a top choice among wide receivers in fantasy heading into next season.
Los Angeles Rams RB Todd Gurley's lack of involvement in the offense against the New Orleans Saints in the NFC Championship Game was because of the 'flow' of the game, according to head coach Sean McVay.
Fantasy Spin: Gurley rushed just four times, and while he did drop a couple of passes, it is almost impossible to believe that the reason he spent most of the game on the sidelines wasn't related to the knee injury he suffered late in the year. If he is banged up, he will have two weeks to prepare before the Super Bowl.
New England Patriots LB Kyle Van Noy finished with 10 tackles, including eight solo stops and a tackle for loss, and two sacks in a 37-31 win over the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game Sunday, Jan. 20.
New England Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski caught six of his 11 targets for 79 yards in a 37-31 win over the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game Sunday, Jan. 20.
Fantasy Spin: There have been rumblings that Gronkowski may hang it up after the season, but for now he has to prepare for another trip to the Super Bowl. He isn't the overwhelming force he was a few years ago, but he is still capable of putting up big numbers compared to a majority of the other tight ends in the league.
New England Patriots RB James White rushed six times for 23 yards and caught four of his six targets for 49 yards in a 37-31 win over the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game Sunday, Jan. 20.
Fantasy Spin: It was a relatively quiet game for White, but you only need to look back one week at his 15-catch performance against the Los Angeles Chargers for a reminder of the type of production he is capable of providing.
New England Patriots WR Phillip Dorsett caught one of his three targets for a 29-yard touchdown in a 37-31 win over the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game Sunday, Jan. 20.
New England Patriots RB Rex Burkhead rushed 12 times for 41 yards and two touchdowns, including the game-winning score in overtime, and caught four passes for 23 yards in a 37-31 win over the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game Sunday, Jan. 20.
Fantasy Spin: Burkhead often takes a backseat to Sony Michel and James White, but he still is capable of delivering when his number is called and is up to three touchdowns this postseason.
New England Patriots WR Julian Edelman caught seven of his 10 targets for a team-high 96 yards in a 37-31 win over the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game Sunday, Jan. 20.
Fantasy Spin: Edelman was particularly clutch on third downs throughout the game, and he has been Tom Brady's favorite target this postseason. Heading into the Super Bowl, Edelman has 16 catches on 23 targets for 247 yards in two games.
Kansas City Chiefs WR Sammy Watkins caught four of his eight targets for 114 yards in a 37-31 loss to the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship Game Sunday, Jan. 20.
Fantasy Spin: Injuries remain a constant issue for Watkins, but he wasn't bad when he was on the field. He topped 60 yards in five of his final six games, including the playoffs, and even as the No. 3 option in the Kansas City passing attack, he will have WR3 upside in 2019.
New England Patriots QB Tom Brady completed 30 of his 46 passes for 348 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions in a 37-31 win over the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game Sunday, Jan. 20.
Fantasy Spin: It wasn't the prettiest game of Brady's playoff career, and he had a third in interception that would have ended the game wiped out by a penalty. Still, he made enough big throws to put New England back in the Super Bowl, and he will try to add his incredible legacy in a couple of weeks.
New England Patriots RB Sony Michel rushed 29 times for 113 yards and two touchdowns in a 37-31 win over the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game Sunday, Jan. 20.
Fantasy Spin: Michel has been a monster in the postseason, logging 53 carries for 242 yards and five scores in two games. He will try to add to those numbers in the Super Bowl in a couple of weeks.
Kansas City Chiefs TE Travis Kelce caught three of his five targets for 23 yards and a touchdown in a 37-31 loss to the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship Game Sunday, Jan. 20.
Fantasy Spin: It marked just the second time all year and the first time since the season opener that Kelce failed to top 40 receiving yards. His season may have ended on a sour note, but that doesn't change the fact that Kelce may be the top fantasy option at his position heading into 2019.
Kansas City Chiefs RB Damien Williams rushed 10 times for 30 yards and a touchdown and caught five passes for 66 yards and two scores in a 37-31 loss to the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship Game Sunday, Jan. 20.
Fantasy Spin: Williams didn't do much on the ground, but an early deficit had a lot to do with that. Still, he showcased his versatility once again, and since taking over as the starter, he has left no doubt that he can be a workhorse for the Kansas City backfield. Williams will have RB1 potential entering 2019.
Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes completed 16 of his 31 passes for 295 yards and three touchdowns and rushed twice for 11 yards in a 37-31 loss to the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship Game Sunday, Jan. 20.
Fantasy Spin: Mahomes led the Chiefs back from an early deficit, but he never saw the ball overtime. His impressive season doesn't end with a Super Bowl appearance, but it will put him in the conversation to be the first quarterback selected in drafts in 2019.
Kansas City Chiefs WR Tyreek Hill caught one of his three targets for 42 yards in a 37-31 loss to the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship Game Sunday, Jan. 20.
Fantasy Spin: As the Patriots often do, they took away the best offensive weapon for their opponent. It was a quiet end to the best season of Hill's career, but he looks poised to deliver WR1 numbers for the foreseeable future as the top target for Patrick Mahomes.