Week 14 Injury Report Recap (2019 Fantasy Football)
The first week of the fantasy playoffs is always stressful. From this point forward, you need to win every week. Stalking the injury report is an excellent way to give yourself a leg up on your opponents. If you see one of their players tagged as out, doubtful, or questionable, you should snag whoever is on waivers at that position. If you see one of your players get tagged, you must come up with a back-up plan for Sunday. Each week, I’ll be walking you through the NFL’s Friday injury reports to give you some instant fantasy advice. Let’s get started.
Panthers at Falcons (Sunday, 1:00 PM EST)
Panthers: TE Greg Olsen (concussion) OUT.
Falcons: No fantasy-significant injury report listings.
As expected, Greg Olsen will miss Sunday’s game with a concussion. This will be Carolina’s first game without either Olsen or head coach Ron Rivera since they both left Chicago to join the Panthers in 2011. Without Olsen, the Panthers should use a committee approach at the position, which means Ian Thomas, Chris Manhertz, and fullback Alex Armah should see snaps at tight end. That said, Thomas impressed without Olsen last season, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets the bulk of the work. Look elsewhere for a streamer this week, but if Olsen misses extended time, Thomas could be a smart pickup. For the Falcons, things don’t look great offensively. Their three best wide receivers — Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley, and Russell Gage — were all limited in practice through Thursday, as were all three of their tight ends. That said, all of them should play on Sunday, and the team will even get rookie guard Chris Lindstrom back from injured reserve, who should fill in for an injured James Carpenter. Look for Atlanta to commit to the run against the Panthers’ porous rushing defense.
Colts at Buccaneers (Sunday, 1:00 PM EST)
The Colts are falling behind in the AFC South because of their injury woes. While they’ll have to live without T.Y. Hilton again this week, they’ll at least have both Marlon Mack and Parris Campbell back in the offense. Mack’s return kills any value for Jordan Wilkins or Jonathan Williams, but Nyheim Hines should retain some PPR RB3/flex appeal. That said, I’d avoid the Colts’ backfield this week as they take on the pass-funnel Buccaneers — while Tampa Bay has only given up 915 rushing yards on the year, they’ve also surrendered 3,639 receiving yards. This matchup bodes well for Jack Doyle, Zach Pascal, and Parris Campbell, who could all easily post impressive numbers at their position. Both Doyle and Pascal had double-digit targets last week, and I expect them to get similar volume even with Campbell in the lineup. For Tampa Bay, Scotty Miller’s absence gives Breshad Perriman a boost in value. When Miller sat out last week, Perriman caught five passes for 87 yards, and while I don’t think he can repeat that performance, it’s worth noting for those in deeper leagues. He’s a high-upside WR4/5 option.
Dolphins at Jets (Sunday, 1:00 PM EST)
Things are looking up in South Beach. While Miami isn’t playing for the Super Bowl anymore, they’ve turned their season around. Kalen Ballage‘s injury last week means that Patrick Laird, Myles Gaskin, and Zach Zenner will see more significant roles in the committee backfield. Laird has the most upside of the three, but he’s little more than a desperation RB3/flex option. Miami should have an easier time passing the ball, too, as star safety Jamal Adams is unlikely to play. The Dolphins have even gotten healthier on defense since the last time they played the Jets. They were without corner Ken Webster the previous time the two teams met, but he’ll be back for this game. That means Jamison Crowder isn’t a lock to repeat his impressive 8-83-1 performance. On offense, the Jets could be without both Le’Veon Bell and Ryan Griffin due to illness. While players tend to play through these things, Bell did not practice all week. If he doesn’t suit up, expect an even split between Ty Montgomery and Bilal Powell. Neither would be more than desperation plays at RB3. Demaryius Thomas has played through questionable tags all season long, so don’t expect him to miss this week’s game.
49ers at Saints (Sunday, 1:00 PM EST)
The 49ers are getting healthy. While they could be without Pettis and Goodwin, neither has played a big role in their offense this season. Instead, George Kittle and their talented trio of running backs have led the way. This week, the 49ers will have all three of their best rushers back in action. I expect Matt Breida and Raheem Mostert to lead the way against the Saints’ formidable rushing defense, as Tevin Coleman is trending in the wrong direction. He has been the least efficient of Kyle Shanahan’s running backs, and I expect that the head coach will reward Mostert for his electric performance against the Baltimore Ravens. Breida is a low-end RB2 for this week, while both Mostert and Coleman are RB3/flexes until we see what Shanahan has planned.
Lions at Vikings (Sunday, 1:00 PM EST)
Dalvin Cook owners, rejoice! After last weekend’s scare, the star running back cleared the Vikings’ injury report. The same can’t be said for Adam Thielen, however, whose absence should push the Vikings to keep running with Cook. The Lions’ defense has been awful this season, and Cook gashed Detriot for 142 yards and two touchdowns in Week 7. For Detroit, the Lions will go with David Blough under center once again. Blough looked pretty good against the Bears on Thanksgiving, as he threw for 280 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception in his debut. While Stafford shredded the Vikings for 364 yards and four scores in Week 7, Blough is no Stafford, so he’s nothing more than a low-end QB2/Superflex. However, the third-stringer proved that he could chuck the ball deep, so both Marvin Jones and Kenny Golladay will retain their boom-or-bust value moving forward.
Broncos at Texans (Sunday, 1:00 PM EST)
Courtland Sutton did not receive an injury designation for this week’s game, although he got added to the injury report on Friday with a hamstring injury. We’ll have to wait for game day to see if that limits him at all. The Broncos could also be without star linebacker Von Miller again this week, but they managed to win without him last week against the Chargers. Will Fuller also received a questionable tag as he continues to recover from his hamstring injury, but I fully expect him to play this week. No pun intended.
Ravens at Bills (Sunday, 1:00 PM EST)
Ravens: WR Marquise Brown (ankle) QUESTIONABLE.
Bills: No fantasy-significant injury report listings.
The Bills will enter their big game with the Ravens in good health. The Ravens are also pretty healthy, as the players they’ve listed as questionable are expected to play. Marquise Brown has played through questionable tags before this season, and John Harbaugh expressed optimism with the team’s health. That said, if there ever were a week for the Ravens to call an audible, it would be this one. The Ravens play on a short week in Week 15 as they take on the Jets in Thursday Night Football. Make sure that you double-check Brown’s status before game time.
Bengals at Browns (Sunday, 1:00 PM EST)
Two of the Browns’ starters along the offensive line were limited in practice this week and earned questionable tags. Both missed practice on Wednesday but could put in some reps on Thursday and Friday, so we’ll have to wait and see if they are available this week. If they aren’t, the Browns will have to take on a surging Bengals defense without key parts of their offensive line. Last week, Cincinnati defensive end Carlos Dunlap finished with 11 pressures and three sacks, winning AFC Defensive Player of the Week honors, and the Bengals have now logged 54 pressures and seven sacks in the past two weeks. Even if both offensive linemen can suit up, Baker Mayfield and Nick Chubb are in for a tough test at home. It’s not all bad news for the Browns, though, as tight end David Njoku is expected back for this weekend. He could be a good streaming option at a thin position. The Bengals won’t have A.J. Green back, but they should have John Ross. He’s a high-upside, low-floor option at WR3.
Redskins at Packers (Sunday, 1:00 PM EST)
The Redskins are fresh off a big day on the ground last week. Bill Callahan loves to run the ball, and I expect him to keep running against the Packers’ eighth-worst rushing defense. Although the Packers aren’t as bad as the Panthers, they still surrender 123.0 rushing yards per game. Look for Adrian Peterson and Derrius Guice to have low-end RB2/flex performances, especially as Washington will play without some of their better options in the passing game. Quinn and Richardson’s absences give Terry McLaurin a boost in value, while both tight end Jeremy Sprinkle and wide receiver Kelvin Harmon are worth consideration in deeper leagues.
Chargers at Jaguars (Sunday, 4:05 PM EST)
Chargers: No fantasy-significant injury report listings.
Jaguars: LB Myles Jack (knee) IR.
The Jaguars put Myles Jack on injured reserve this week, ending his season. Jack is the quarterback of the team’s defense, so his loss will hurt the Jacksonville defense substantially. In their game without him last week, Tampa Bay exploded for 25 first-half points, and while their yardage totals weren’t very impressive, they didn’t need to be — the Jags could only muster 11 garbage-time points. That said, Jacksonville is much worse against the run than against the pass. They’ve given up 17 rushing touchdowns this year, the second-most in the league, while they’re top-10 in terms of passing yards. Look for the Chargers to capitalize on the Jaguars’ weaknesses this week, as Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekeler should lead Los Angeles to a win.
Steelers at Cardinals (Sunday,4:25 PM EST)
The Three B’s are no more, but Pittsburgh still has a winning record. The Steelers have even managed to win games without JuJu Smith-Schuster and James Conner. Without them, the Steelers offense has prioritized the run and Devlin Hodges‘ deep ball — and the Cardinals are just the team that strategy will work against. Duck Hodges and hunting buddy James Washington should connect for some big plays on Sunday, especially since Arizona still doesn’t know who will be starting at cornerback alongside Patrick Peterson. Benny Snell will continue to see low-end RB2 value with Conner sidelined, and Jaylen Samuels remains a low-end flex option in PPR leagues.
Titans at Raiders (Sunday, 4:25 PM EST)
Josh Jacobs has been playing with a fractured shoulder for weeks. It looks like Gruden has already started to wear down his workhorse back. I wrote about Jacobs’ overuse back in Week 12, and I’d recommend that Jacobs owners add Deandre Washington if they still can. Jacobs could only log one limited practice session this week, and his injury may have caught up with him. Hunter Renfrow will also miss this week’s game against the Titans, and his absence gave Darren Waller a significant boost in value last week. While I expected Tyrell Williams to trend upward as well, that didn’t materialize. He’ll have a chance to rebound since the Titans are without corner Adoree’ Jackson. For Tennessee, I expect them to lean on A.J. Brown and Corey Davis in the passing game with Humphries and Sharpe banged-up. The Raiders are especially vulnerable to the deep ball, which bodes well for Brown’s skillset.
Chiefs at Patriots (Sunday, 4:25 PM EST)
The Kansas City backfield has become a mess. Darrel Williams is now done for the year, while Damien continues to miss time with a rib injury. Damien has not logged a practice since he went down, so his absence may even linger into next week. Without them both, the Chiefs will turn to LeSean McCoy, Darwin Thompson, and newly resigned Spencer Ware. The Chiefs gave McCoy only eight touches in Week 13, although the Chiefs’ big lead made it easier to rest McCoy. Head coach Andy Reid has already said that he’s managing McCoy’s workload because of his age, so don’t expect his volume to increase too much. As a result, I’m anticipating a relatively even split between Shady and preseason star Darwin Thompson. The matchup against the Patriots isn’t great for either player’s value, however, and neither back is more than a mid-tier RB2. For New England, I expect both Julian Edelman and Mohamed Sanu to suit up on Sunday, as they’ve both played through questionable tags already this season. Edelman should post his usual numbers, while Sanu should recover from his bad fantasy showing last week as he comes back from his ankle injury. That said, he’ll need to earn back Tom Brady’s trust after his costly drops last week.
Seahawks at Rams (Sunday, 8:20 PM EST)
It looks like Tyler Higbee will face off with Jacob Hollister on Sunday Night Football this week. Higbee exploded against the Cardinals with Everett sidelined, but let’s be honest, that’s not very hard to do. However, the Rams offense proved that it still has gas in the tank, and they did almost beat the Seahawks last time out. Both Higbee and Hollister are low-end streaming options at the position, although Seattle has been especially vulnerable to tight ends this season.