What This Is:
*A no-nonsense quick-hitting analysis of fantasy-relevant player injuries that could impact performance on game day.
*A preview of the current week’s fantasy-relevant players with an injury through Friday night.
The following general rules apply for big shake-ups on the weekend:
*Players who are downgraded from full or even partial practice to “Did Not Practice” on Friday or Saturday, for any medical reason, are a long shot to play. Typically you’ll see teams say these players are a “game time decision” which is code for “they ain’t playing”.
*Players who have a concussion have up until Saturday night/Sunday morning to clear the protocol.
*If no “final update” is available, the player has either been officially ruled out or no news is good news.
The following players are on the COVID list and at high risk of sitting in Week 15. Check in on them individually as no timelines are predictable in this case.
Odell Beckham Jr.
The following players have already been ruled out as of Friday evening and/or are unlikely to play so get them out of your lineups:
The following players are considered doubtful for Week 15:
Equanimeous St Brown
The following notable players practiced in full on Friday and/or carry minimal concern:
Aaron Jones - Minimal to moderate volatility
Tevin Coleman - Moderate volatility
Marvin Jones Jr
Lamar Jackson - Ankle
Jackson suffered a lateral ankle sprain but hasn’t practiced all week. John Harbaugh says Jackson “has a chance” to play but he’s always overly optimistic. It would be surprising to see Jackson go tomorrow. However, if he’s active, start him. Start him and live with the results.
Josh Allen - Toe
Allen has turf toe but by all intents and purposes it seems mild as he was back at practice in full on Friday. Now, his volatility is slightly elevated but similar to Patrick Mahomes in 2020, this is not a reason to fade a tier 1 QB.
Aaron Rodgers - Toe
Rodgers is dealing with a 5th toe fracture. However, don’t fade him.
Dalvin Cook - Shoulder
The numbers on Dalvin Cook have not changed. He looked great in Week 14, but he’s still highly, highly volatile. This is a warning to cash gamers.
Saquon Barkley - Ankle
Barkley is coming off an ankle injury and his volatility is minimal to moderate due to re-injury risk.
Tony Pollard - Foot
Pollard has been limited two days in a row after a plantar fascia injury. This is a very painful injury to play through, so fire up Pollard at your own risk. Pick your spots but be concerned for moderate volatility due to performance issues.
Chase Edmonds and Michael Carter - High Ankle
These two RBs will face the uphill battle of ~20% production loss coming off a high ankle sprain this week. He’s moderately volatile as a result.
James Robinson - Heel
Robinson has been feeling with a heel injury most of this season. He was DNP on Wednesday, so be aware that there’s minimal to moderate volatility due to pain issues. However, this might finally be Robinson’s time to shine in in the post Urban era.
Miles Sanders - Ankle
Sanders has re-injured this ankle once already. He’s moderate to maximally volatile for cash game players. However, when active he’s clearly the Philly lead back. Pick your spots with Sanders.
James Conner - Ankle
The Conner injury was vague and difficult to see, but a high ankle can’t be ruled out. Further, after only one practice this week, Conner was not looking very spry. He’s maximally volatile in Week 15.
Javonte Williams - Knee swelling
There’s not much to say here other than the rookie’s body must have hit a wall. This might not be a ceiling week for Williams.
Leonard Fournette - Ankle
Fournette has a significant history of ankle issues dating back to college. So, after just one practice this week, Fournette is a high risk play in DFS due to re-injury risk.
Adam Thielen - High ankle
There are some reports stating that Thielen will try and give it a go in Week 15. If he does, I would bench him in most leagues given the Vikings’ specific history with game time decisions and first weeks back from injury. In fact, Thielen himself tried coming back too soon, re-injured himself, then was out for over a month in 2019. The same could be said for Dalvin Cook earlier in 2021 when he came back (clearly) still limited. I don’t trust the Vikings with my playoff life.
Sterling Shepard - Calf
Shepard has had back luck this year dealing with soft tissue injuries and now popped up on the report with a calf issue. He’s minimally to moderately volatile due to re-injury risk.
Terry McLaurin - Concussion
Dealing with his second concussion since 2019, McLaurin will have to fully clear protocol before playing this week. He’s been limited this week which is a good sign, just be sure you confirm he’s actually active.
Zach Ertz - Hamstring
It might sound like a safe idea to start Ertz given Hopkins is out. However, be aware that the 31 year old Ertz has dealt with hamstring injuries for several years and the older he gets, the harder it is to bounce back. He’s highly volatile in Week 15.
Cole Kmet, David Montgomery, and Khalil Herbert all dealt with an illness this week. That means they could all still be suffering the effects of dehydration and fatigue. The Bears offense will be moderately volatile as a whole this week.
TENTATIVE PROJECTED RETURN DATES:
The following dates are based primarily on updates directly from beat reporters or the team. When appropriate, historical data & clinical experience are used to refine these dates. They are educated guesses. Not set in stone.
Lamar Jackson - Week 16/17
Derrick Henry - Week 16-18
Henry returning before 10 weeks is the least likely scenario to happen
D’Andre Swift - Week 16/17
The silver lining is that Swift is considered “day-to-day” but that still implies the injury wasn’t nothing. The average return to play for an AC sprain is 10 days, but that would be cutting it close depending on the severity (grade) of the injury.. Realistic managers should expect this to go 2-3 weeks and give a sigh of relief if it’s only a one game absence.
Carlos Hyde - Week 16/17
Kareem Hunt - Week 17/18
DeAndre Hopkins - 2022
TJ Hockenson - 2022
Darren Waller - Week 16/17
Daniel Jones - ???
A.J. Brown - Week 16/17
Elijah Mitchell - Week 16/17
Adam Thielen - Week 16/17
Damien Harris - Week 16/17