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 carry minimal concern due to injury unless otherwise mentioned below:
Darnell Mooney - Minimal volatility
Zach Ertz - Minimal to moderate volatility
Melvin Gordon III
The following players are on the COVID list and at high risk of sitting in Week 16. Check in on them individually as no timelines are predictable in this case:
Laviska Shenault 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:
Jakeem Grant Sr
Jamison Crowder - Doubtful
Antonio Gibson - Doubtful
Darren Waller - Doubtful
Donald Parham Jr. - Doubtful
David Johnson - Doubtful
Josh Allen - Foot
Allen is still on the injury report with a toe injury listed as foot. Last week, he rushed three times for a total of 24 yards – the lowest marks in that department since Week 11. Still, you can’t sit this guy.
Kirk Cousins - Ribs
Cousins was a full participant on Friday due to a ribs injury. This could, in part, be a contributing factor to his absolutely putrid performance in Week 15, so be cautious with exposure to Cousins this week.
Tyler Huntley - Illness
Another week, another Baltimore Ravens QB headache. If he’s active, his ceiling is capped as there’s no telling how sick he actually was. He’s moderately volatile as a result.
Joe Mixon - Ankle
Mixon suffered a relatively vague ankle injury and progressed to full practice participation on Friday. This is a great sign and Mixon carries only minimal volatility overall.
Damien Harris - Hamstring
With Stevenson out, Harris looks to be active on Sunday. But at what cost? He was limited all week from a hamstring injury and if they’re rushing him back to fill roster holes, this could end badly. Harris is the classic high risk/high reward RB this week.
D’Andre Swift - Shoulder
It’s been about four weeks since Swift re-injured his AC joint. Since then, he’s practiced in a limited fashion three days in a row. The problem is that up until Thursday, Swift hadn’t taken any contact. The caveat is that for all we know, he ran the Oklahoma drill for three straight hours on Friday and we’d be none the wiser. However, given the entire situation, it’s hard to see Swift playing this week. If he does play, he’s highly volatile due to re-injury risk.
James Conner - Heel
Conner didn’t practice all week but states he’s “confident” he’ll play. Well, the data doesn’t quite support James’ confidence. If he’s active, he’s highly volatile as heel/foot injuries can be quite painful. Last week the answer to Chase Edmonds or James Conner was neither. But if you’re choosing between the two again this week, Edmonds is safest.
Adam Thielen - Ankle
Thielen allegedly was testing out the ankle in pregame warmups last week but it was going to be tough to overcome a high ankle sprain that quickly. Now that he’s been limited in practice it’s more realistic to at least see him active. However, he’s highly volatile as there’s a 20% average drop off in production following high ankles in addition to the re-injury risk. Take on Thielen in lineups at your own risk.
Antonio Brown - Ankle
The ups and downs with Brown never end. Brown last played a game in Week 6 but with Godwin and Evans now out, he might be featured in the offense. Antonio Brown is a polarizing figure and there are plenty of bones to pick with him but if there’s one thing that’s inarguable is his talent. Don’t count him out as a highly volatile/high reward play in Week 16.
Curtis Samuel - Hamstring
DJ Moore - Hamstring
Moore is a game time decision according to his coach. If there’s one thing the Panthers have taught us in terms of their management style is that it leaves much room for error. If Moore is active, he’s highly volatile due to re-injury risk.
Emmanuel Sanders - Knee/Vet rest
Sanders practiced in full on Thursday which indicates he was testing out the knee. The assumption is that it went well so he reverted back to a limited sesion on Friday to rest up before the big Week 16 matchup.
Kadarius Toney - Oblique/COVID ramp up
This one is a bit mysterious. What does “COVID ramp up” mean? Did Toney have symptoms and is he progressing into higher level activity? How will the oblique, a muscle strain, respond to game action? If Toney plays and goes off, it is an L I’m willing to take in Week 16.
Kalif Raymond - Shoulder
Unfortunately there isn’t much information to go off regarding this shoulder injury. Roll with him where you need to but know he’s moderately volatile. Maybe even more so in that offense 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 17
Derrick Henry - Week Week 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.
Kareem Hunt - Week 17/18
DeAndre Hopkins - 2022
TJ Hockenson - 2022
Darren Waller - Week 2022
Daniel Jones - 2022
Elijah Mitchell - Week 17/18
Justin Fields - Week 17/18
Rhamondre Stevenson - Week 17
Pat Freiermuth - Week 18
Mike Evans - Week 18
Antonio Gibson - Week 18
Donald Parham Jr. - Unknown
David Johnson - Week 17
Rondale Moore - Week 18