Whether you are finishing off your seasonal league or simply entering some DFS lineups, the injury news of the week hits you just the same. The only variable that we need to account for, is that since this is the conclusion of the regular season, teams will likely be a little more cautious as they are either getting ready for the playoffs or kicking of the off-season. Either way, there is a lot of news to keep an eye. 


The fact that Lamar Jackson still didn’t practice on Thursday is not a good sign for his potential return on Sunday. At this point you should be prepared to roll with Tyler Huntley once again. 

On the surface, it’s a good sign that Aaron Rodgers has logged some practice time this week as he still deals with his toe injury. We know that his performance on the field hasn’t suffered, but as Green Bay is strictly in preparation mode for the playoffs, it’s unclear how much Rodgers will play on Sunday which makes him risky from a fantasy perspective. 

Across the field from Rodgers, and this might be the first time I ever say this, Jared Goff might be the better option as it appears he is primed to make his return after missing two games with a knee injury. This is based on the fact that Goff will potentially be on the field for the entire game as Detroit continues to be a formidable opponent. 

I wouldn’t read much into Joe Burrow practicing on Thursday as it appears that Cincinnati will play things very cautiously with their young quarterback. That means Brandon Allen could get the start, and while he could provide value as a cheap DFS option depending on which of the Bengals’ skill position players take field, there is some risk involved. 

Jalen Hurts is off the injury report and lock and loaded for Saturday’s game against Dallas. While the ankle has been a nagging issue over the past few weeks, it doesn’t appear to be anything that will limit him as he continues to produce both on the ground and through the air. 

For the second straight day, Jimmy Garoppolo was a limited participant in practice on Thursday. The important thing, is that Garoppolo looked to be in good shape throwing the football, and at this point I would expect him to make his return against the Rams on Sunday. It will be a tough matchup in a game that San Francisco needs to win, so I wouldn’t rush to insert him back into my lineup, but there could be some value. 

There is only an outside chance for Pittsburgh to make the playoffs (they need Jacksonville to beat Indianapolis while also beating Baltimore themselves), so this is likely Ben Roethlisberger’s last game. The veteran practiced in full on Thursday and it will be interesting to see if he goes out with a bang as health won’t hold him back. 

To say that this season has been hard on Baker Mayfield is an understatement, but he has been put out of his misery. Mayfield’s season is over as he heads to shoulder surgery, and I wouldn’t expect much from Case Keenum as his replacement this week. 

Drew Lock has done a solid job over the past two weeks, but he has passed for just 398 yards and one touchdown. The Denver quarterback is off the injury report and he will get another start for the Broncos to close out the season but there isn’t much to see here from a fantasy perspective. 

With Justin Fields now on the COVID list, we will get another week of Andy Dalton under center for Chicago. The veteran has proven to be a capable replacement, but nothing much more than that. 

Running Back

We still need more clarity heading into the weekend, but appears things have flip-flopped in the Arizona backfield once again. After missing the last two games with a heel injury, James Conner is trending in the right direction as he was limited once again in practice on Thursday. That is good news as Chase Edmonds is dealing with injuries both to his ribs and toe and didn’t take part in practice. At this point, we have to assume that Conner gets the lead once again and we know what he is capable of. 

With 21 touches on Sunday, it was clear that Elijah Mitchell’s knee wasn’t holding him back. After not practicing on Wednesday, he was back at it the next day; albeit on a limited basis. At this point, it appears that Mitchell will be good to go again on Sunday and it will be as San Francisco’s lead back. 

Michael Carter continues to show promise for the Jets so it is a good sign that he practiced in full on Thursday as the concussion is no longer something we have to worry about. New York has been gathering momentum as they close out the season, and they should look to send Carter into the off-season on a high note. 

With Clyde Edwards-Helaire out this week, Darrel Williams is lining up to be one of the better running back plays of the week. Last week, Williams picked up 88 yards on the ground on 14 carries while scoring two touchdowns while adding 19 yards on three receptions and we should get a similar performance this week with Derrick Gore in a supporting role. 

It is in Saquon Barkley’s best interests to finish the season strong, and he was on the way to doing that last week as he carried the ball 21 times which was his most so far this year. With less than no passing game, I would expect something similar this week and I wouldn’t read into the fact that he was limited in practice on Thursday as New York is simply trying to manage his reps. 

Things were looking good over the past few weeks for Antonio Gibson but he is now dealing with a hip injury. Last week it was COVID that kept him out of the lineup, and it shouldn’t be surprising that once again he is limited in practice again this week. I would watch Gibson’s status carefully leading up to Sunday and we know that Jaret Patterson can be a worthy alternative. 

With Ronald Jones currently in a walking boot, it looks like we will be getting a fair amount of Ke’Shawn Vaughn on Sunday against the Panthers. Based on volume alone, that should put Vaughn squarely on our radars.

Clarity is always nice, but it only goes so far this week in Philadelphia’s backfield. Miles Sanders will be out with a broken hand this week, and that is where the clarity ends. With both Jordan Howard and Boston Scott currently on the COVID list and their statuses unclear for Sunday, we could be looking at a whole lot of Kenneth Gainwell on Saturday. 

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Aaron Jones has been limited in practice this week, but while he hasn’t missed time, he continues to share time with AJ Dillon. With Green Bay in full prep mode for the playoffs, this could be a week where I would rank Dillon ahead of Jones as it wouldn’t surprise me to see him lead the Packers in touches. 

Cincinnati will be without Joe Mixon tonight as he is on the COVID list which means that Samaje Perine will grab a hold of the Bengals backfield and the fantasy value that goes with it. 

The status of Kareem Hunt and Nick Chubb are somewhat intertwined for this week as Cleveland has nothing to play for. After missing the last three games, Hunt is trending towards making his return, but it’s also unclear how much work the Browns will give him. Chubb has been limited in practice so far this week dealing with injuries to both his ribs and chest so we have to wait to see how cautious Cleveland will be with him. This could be a situation where D’Ernest Johnson ends up taking the lead. 

Another week, and more limited practices out of Damien Harris as he continues to work through a hamstring injury. Ultimately it hasn’t slowed him down much this season as he is a strong 1A to Rhamondre Stevenson’s 1B. The concern here is that the Patriots play things cautiously with Harris like they did last week. 

Speaking of time shares, we once again get both Denver running backs as Javonte Williams and Melvin Gordon are both good to go for Saturday. Williams will always have more upside, but both have produced sustainable value this season and they have a favorable matchup against Kansas City. 

In what should be a must-win game for the Raiders on Sunday night, it appears they will have Josh Jacobs at their disposal once again. While Jacobs is dealing a rib injury, he has practiced on a limited basis so far this week and he should be leaned on heavily once again. 

Dallas continues to tread carefully with Tony Pollard and his foot injury, but it shouldn’t impact his status for taking the field Saturday night against Philadelphia. At the same time though, Pollard hasn’t shown us enough of the past few weeks that he can be relied on from a fantasy perspective. 

Cam Akers continues to practice, but to this point he has yet to return to game action. Things are trending towards Akers making his season debut on Sunday, but it’s unclear how heavily the Rams will lean on him this week which makes it hard to rely on him from a fantasy perspective. Sony Michel has been dominant as of late and I would expect that he will still be a viable option from a fantasy perspective. 

Things are moving in the direction of Mark Ingram being sidelined this week, but regardless of that, Alvin Kamara will continue to dominate the New Orleans backfield. 

Wide Receiver

It’s abundantly clear how short-handed Tampa Bay is when it comes to wide receivers, so it’s a good sign that Mike Evans practice in full on Thursday and doesn’t appear to have any restrictions as it is shaping up to be quite a busy day for him. The good news, is that Evans has proven to be a very capable performer. 

With four touchdowns in his last two games, including three last week along with six receptions for 63 yards, it’s hard to argue with what we have seen out of DK Metcalf as of late. While he continues to manage his foot injury, Metcalf practiced in full once again on Thursday and he will be good to go again on Sunday. 

It’s not a good sign for Marquise Brown that he missed practice on Thursday with an ankle injury after practicing the day before. This is going to be a situation to keep an eye on heading into the weekend as it’s unclear whether or not we can trust Brown. 

What JeMarr Chase did last week was simply unreal. While it’s not health related, it’s unclear how much of Chase we will see this week, especially if Joe Burrow is sidelined, so I would plan to look elsewhere on Sunday. 

After being placed on the COVID list, it’s unclear whether or not Dionte Johnson will be available on Sunday. If that is the case, then Ray-Ray McCloud and James Washington will see an increase to their target volume. 

Julio Jones appears to be healthy both from his hamstring injury and COVID and looking to return to action on Sunday. His impact this season has been minimal, and I wouldn’t expect that to change at this point although the potential is always there. 

At this point, it’s unclear who Zach Wilson will have left to throw to on Sunday. Elijah Moore and his quadriceps injury doesn’t appear to be ready to return, Braxton Berrios missed practice both Wednesday and Thursday with a quadriceps injury, and Jamison Crowder is only practicing on a limited basis with a calf injury. Whoever is active out of this list, it wouldn’t surprise me if none of them will be, will have some fantasy value while Keenan Cole should also play a decently sized role. 

Unless something changes, the Carolina passing game with be DJ Moore and not much else on Sunday. Robby Anderson is trending towards not being active as he continues to miss practice this week with a quadriceps injury and Terrace Marshall was placed on Injured Reserve with a foot injury. Moore has proven that he can handle the volume and he should get as much of it as he can handle this week. 

Denver’s wide receiving corps will two critical pieces this week as both Tim Patrick and Jerry Jeudy have been activated off the COVID list. The problem though, is that it is unclear how much production Drew Lock can support. 

After missing last week’s game with a knee injury, Emmanuel Sanders has yet to return to practice of Thursday and I wouldn’t feel too confident in his status for this week. That means Gabriel Davis and Cole Beasley continue to see a sight boost to their value. 

Despite being limited in practice again Thursday with a thigh injury, it doesn’t appear that there will be any restrictions on Jakobi Meyers’ status for Sunday. With 79 receptions for 796 yards this season, Meyers has been a solid contributor for New England but it would be nice if he had more than two touchdowns on the season. 

Based on what we have seen from Kadarius Toney this week, things are trending towards the rookie’s season being over. It does appear that the Giants will be getting Darius Slayton back this week and if we actually trusted the New York passing offense, then perhaps there would be some value to be found. 

Tre’Quan Smith returned to practice on a limited basis both Wednesday and Thursday and based on that trend, he should be on track to make his return on Sunday. Even still, there is some risk and variability with Smith and it’s unclear that the New Orleans passing offense can support him. 

After missing the last two games with an ankle injury, just like last week, it’s unclear if Rondale Moore will make his return this week. Even before the injury, Moore wasn’t exactly tearing things up in Arizona so I wouldn’t rush to put him back into your lineup if he is in fact active on Sunday. 

At least Curtis Samuel is closing the season out consistently as it appears he will be sidelined once again with a hamstring injury in what has proven to be a lost season. 

With six receptions for 71 yards this season, it has been a lost season for Preston Williams, but the Miami receiver practiced in full on Thursday and should be good to go on Sunday. 

Tight End

The season for Las Vegas literally rests on this week’s game as it is essentially a playoff game for the Raiders. At this point it’s unclear whether or not they will get Darren Waller back, but he did practice on a limited basis both Wednesday and Thursday. With the Raiders being the last game of the week, there is some risk here, but if Waller is active, I’d lean towards rolling with him in seasonal leagues, but there is likely too much DFS risk here for me. 

The fact that Kyle Pitts was back in practice, albeit on a limited basis, on Thursday while dealing with a hamstring injury was a good sign. Pitts is looking to finish the season off on a high note, but there is some involved if the hamstring starts to bark again at any point. 

Noah Fant was busy last week catching six passes for 92 yards and a touchdown, but Denver was missing both Jerry Jeudy and Tim Patrick. With both receivers back this week, it will be a little harder to trust Fant, but the fact that he isn’t listed on the injury report is a positive here. 

C.J. Uzomah hasn’t practiced to start off the week as he is dealing with both knee and hip injuries, and it would be in Cincinnati’s best interest to give him Sunday off as the Bengals prepare for the playoffs. 

Not practicing on Thursday with a shoulder injury doesn’t give me optimism regarding David Njoku’s status for Sunday and I would be prepared to go with an alternative on Sunday. Austin Hooper would see a bump in Cleveland, but this isn’t a must start situation. 

Seeing Ricky Seals-Jones not practice on Thursday as he continues to deal with a concussion doesn’t give much confidence for him to take the field on Sunday. That means we will get another week of John Bates having some fantasy value. 

After missing last week’s game while being on the COVID list, Jared Cook was activated this week and should be good to go Sunday night as the Chargers hunt for a playoff berth. 

Dealing with a hip injury, things aren’t looking good for James O’Shaughnessy to take the field this week and that could mean a few more targets for Luke Farrell; even if this shouldn’t move the fantasy needle all that much. 

As of Thursday, Will Dissly has yet to practice with a heel injury, and that means we might see a little more of Gerald Everett on Sunday although I wouldn’t react all that much from a fantasy perspective here. 

After practicing in full on Wednesday, Jack Doyle took a step back on Thursday and it is cause for concern as he continues to deal with a knee injury. Should Doyle be sidelined, Mo Allie-Cox will see a slight boost in volume. 

A non-COVID illness kept Jordan Akins out of practice on Thursday, but there isn’t much to see here from a fantasy perspective.