Fantasy Football Injury Review: Wild Card Weekend
Now that the NFL injury report has eliminated the designation of “probable,” the questionable tag will include players who are anywhere from 50 to 99-percent likely to play. With this new development, you will need to check here every week before locking your lineups to make sure that you don’t get burned by a player whose injury status you miscalculated. I will use a combination of Injury Science and my experience as a Doctor of Physical Therapy to give you a more precise description of whether you can trust these players on your fantasy roster.
Russell Wilson (QB – SEA): Knee Brace Off
With Wild Card Weekend not consisting of many injuries, you will have to dig a little deeper for an edge. The reports that Russell Wilson may go without a knee brace this weekend is significant with this small pool of players to pick from in playoff fantasy leagues and DFS. The absence of the brace should give Wilson an automatic bump in his agility.
The knee brace that Wilson has worn for weeks has likely limited his ability with quick cuts and acceleration which is a problem when you consider the typical stat lines for Russell Wilson before this injury. With Wilson and Aaron Rodgers being the only true quarterback running threats this week, those who value the floor that those rushing yards bring to the quarterback position should keep an ear out to make sure that Wilson follows through with taking the field with no brace. If he does, I believe his value takes a jump, and we may see vintage Russell Wilson this weekend.
Lamar Miller (RB – HOU): Ankle sprain
Miller appears to be healthy and ready to go this week after a three-week break, but keep in mind that Miller has been somewhat injury prone this year and has a history of ankle sprains. Unfortunately, ankle sprains carry one of the higher rates of recurrence. Despite this fact, I believe that Lamar Miller should be closer to 100% than most running backs this week, considering the rest of his body got a three-week rest.
Additionally, I would expect the Houston Texans’ training staff to have that ankle protected during the game with taping, bracing, or even footwear that provides more support. Miller should be a good bet to get through this game with a decent production ceiling, but if the Texans somehow make a deep run in the playoffs, I would not be surprised if he pops up with another injury.
Matthew Stafford (QB – DET): Finger sprain
I think Matthew Stafford proved me wrong last week with a decent performance vs. the Green Bay Packers. His 23.9 fantasy points were his highest score in over the last four weeks and likely marked his body’s ability to adjust to an injury that will likely plague him for the rest of his season. Regardless of his numbers, I watched him throw the ball, and his control appeared to be back to normal.
He still runs the risk of falling on that hand or having it hit, which might cause a setback and change his mechanics once again. I don’t know that many will care about any of this because he visits Seattle this week, but after looking at the Seattle Seahawks’ recent game log, you might come away understanding that this may not be the Seahawks’ defense of old. If you are considering Stafford as your quarterback this week, he does look healthy enough to perform.
Randall Cobb (WR – GB): Ankle sprain
Cobb appears ready to return from a two-game absence with an ankle sprain, and his timing should be about right as ankle sprains should heal in about three weeks. Regarding how he will perform returning from this injury, I am a bit skeptical.
If you just look at the Green Bay Packers’ wide receivers, Cobb is the last one you want to see with an ankle injury. All wide receivers need to make cuts, accelerate, and decelerate; but if this were Jordy Nelson or Davante Adams we could still depend on their ability to box a defender out or catch a ball on their back shoulder. When it comes to Randall Cobb, we have to depend on him getting open with quick cuts and acceleration and these are the exact actions that will stress his ankle most.
Although the Green Bay Packer players should be very used to playing in the cold, I believe the combination of the cold and Cobb trying to get back in a rhythm will push his production floor and ceiling pretty low. I would not be surprised if Cobb’s snap count is lower than usual by his inability to produce as the Packers are loaded at the wide receiver position. If the Packers make a playoff run, Cobb should be able to continue progressing over the next couple weeks and resume his normal production, but for this week I consider him a very risky play.
If I did not cover a player that you are interested in, contact me @DrPettyIRD before the game.