This article will be continuously updated through Sunday morning.
Jonathan Taylor - Thumb
Jonathan Taylor apparently has a thumb injury. Don’t you love fantasy football? The primary assumption I’m making here is that he tore the UCL in the thumb (not the elbow, obviously). This is a common injury in baseball players and has decent data backing it up. The most recent high-profile player to sustain this injury was Drew Brees, who returned in 6 calendar weeks in 2019. The physical demands of a QB vs. an RB are very different though, so let’s discuss.
In this small sample of 23 NFL players, 22 players were able to return after a thumb UCL surgery. Of those 22 players who returned, 9 players (41%) did so before 6 weeks. The average amount of time those players missed was 35 days (5 weeks). The rest of the sample returned at 6 weeks or later.
So those are the numbers. Functionally, as a baseball PT, I’ve seen this injury a fair share of times, and it can be a tough recovery from a sensitivity and grip strength perspective, depending on how involved the surgery is. This obviously implicates ball handling and security. Not to mention the surgeon will definitely recommend protecting the surgical site for as long as possible. Taylor could come back within the 3 week timeframe given by Jim Irsay, but that would be awfully optimistic. He would also be doing so at significantly less than 100% and likely in a splint/brace. The Colts are probably waiting for the surgeon to open JT up and assess the damage, but at this point, IR is not off the table. My best advice is to load up on Zack Moss and hope for a 3-4 week return for JT.
Michael Wilson, Demario Douglas, Kayshon Boutte, Kendre Miller, Rashid Shaheed, Jonathan Taylor, Hayden Hurst, Dorian Thompson-Robinson, Marquise Goodwin, Aaron Jones
Keenan Allen, Noah Brown, Chris Olave, Chris Godwin, Trey McBride, Travis Etienne, Treylon Burks, Marquise Brown, Tank Dell, De’Vonn Achane
This is in addition to a Tuesday update with transaction recommendations. Remember that these projections are an imperfect analysis working with the most current information and five years of historical data. If players practice in full, they’ll be excluded from any specific analysis and should be assumed healthy unless otherwise stated.
“*” indicates full breakdown below
Dorian Thompson-Robinson (OUT)
Aaron Jones (doubtful)
Kendre Miller (doubtful)
Michael Wilson (doubtful)
Marquise Goodwin (doubtful)
Marvin Mims Jr
Jayden Reed (questionable, will likely play with high re-injury risk)
Demario Douglas (OUT)
Rashid Shaheed (doubtful)
Dalton Schultz (OUT)
Dallas Goedert (doubtful)
De’Von Achane* - Knee
Well, Achane theoretically had just a 12% chance of re-injuring his knee, and here we are. Somebody has to bring the average up. Now 2 weeks removed from an injury that he didn’t miss additional practice time for, again, theoretically, Achane should be fine. However, given the fact that he had 5 weeks to get right and reinjured the knee, nothing is certain. His size is definitely a factor to consider for dynasty purposes. For Week 13, Achane should be in lineups where gamers need a home run. In situations where he’s a flex, I feel much more comfortable recommending Achane until we see he’s able to hold up to NFL workloads.
Breece Hall - Hamstring
Don’t forget Hall is still only 12 months removed from his ACL surgery. A little soft tissue tightness is normal. He’s only slightly more volatile than usual.
Keenan Allen - Quad
Allen returned to practice Friday after missing the last 2 days. This likely has more to do with the Chargers resting one of their 2 sources of offense, and you should start him everywhere.
Cooper Kupp - Ankle
Here are the stats for WRs and lateral ankle sprains: 21% end up missing at least 1 game. Production after missing time dips by 9%. The re-injury rate is 20%.
Here’s the bottom line: Kupp’s “low” ankle sprain wasn’t something to shrug off. Something’s gotta give with those numbers, and Kupp’s production was a casualty in Week 12.
Gamers need to decide how they’ll feel with Cooper Kupp scoring 15+ points on their bench as Greg Dortch sputters his way to 5 receptions for 44 yards. Additionally, Kupp has only been marginally worse from a peripherals perspective relative to Puka Nacua.
Amari Cooper - Ribs
Cooper is a warrior who has battled through plenty of injuries to this point in his career. Still, now that he’s catching balls from Joe Flacco, he’s even more volatile than WRs who usually return from these injuries. Usually, YAC dips by ~20%, and re-injury risk is 16%. He’s not a must-start in many season-long leagues.
Chris Godwin - Neck
This is a bit concerning, given the Bucs have already called Godwin a game-time decision. Godwin has already had more than 1 head/neck issue (which began in 2021). This is worth monitoring, but even given the bye weeks, he’s not a must-start.
Tank Dell - Calf
Situationally, Dell’s best comp is Davante Adams, who also missed 1 game with a calf injury and scored 29 points the following week. Now, I wouldn’t necessarily expect that from Tank, but it's in the realm of possibilities. Calf injuries have a high recurrence rate making him a moderate to high risk with an average to above average ceiling ceiling.
Marquise Brown - Heel
Brown looked fine last week, and his peripherals weren’t dissimilar from his season-long averages. Despite not practicing so far this week (as of Friday), there’s no tangible reason to bench Brown unless there are better overall options.
Chris Olave - Concussion
Olave has been practicing and could “clear concussion protocol.” Like I mentioned on Tuesday, star receivers just have a knack for beating the protocol, and I can’t quite put my finger on how they do it (insert eye roll of the century). Still, if Olave is active, he’s highly risky to re-injure his brain and that’s the bottom line. The hope is that does not happen, of course, and we don’t wish that on him. Aside from reinjury, we usually WRs see a significant dip in targets per route run and fantasy production. But given the depleted Saints offense, Olave will likely be involved early and often.
Tee Higgins - Hamstring/Ankle
Higgins has been out for a while now and he’s been known to airball. Now he’s dealing with the hamstring and ankle. With Jake Browning throwing passes now, Higgins is not a must-start.
Trey McBride - Calf
Start McBride. But for those interested, here’s a small sample to consider: TEs who came back after missing practice due to a calf injury (PPR points):
Zach Ertz: 11.4
Dallas Goedert: 0
George Kittle: 8
Evan Engram: 10.4