NFL Fantasy Football Injury News: Dec. 27
Michael A. Stein checks in on the injury aftermath from the NFL Week 16 games and discusses the impact for fantasy football owners as they approach the waiver deadline for Week 17.
I hope everyone had a very happy holiday season no matter what you are celebrating. Unfortunately for several NFL players and fantasy GMs, this holiday season has been marred with significant injuries to key players which had or will have an impact on the outcomes of many leagues. So without further ado, here is the next edition of the fantasy football walking wounded.
Marcus Mariota (QB-TEN)
Mariota has led the Titans to an impressive run challenging for the AFC South title all season but suffered a devastating fracture to his fibula during their loss to Jacksonville. He will require surgery and will likely miss the entire offseason. All indications are that Mariota should be ready to go by training camp next season which is good news. The sophomore quarterback played extremely well this year finishing with 3,426 yards passing along with 26 touchdown passes and only nine interceptions.
Derek Carr (QB-OAK)
In what can only be described as catastrophic, Derek Carr suffered a broken leg and will undergo surgery this week. He is expected to miss six to eight weeks which technically means he could possibly return for the Super Bowl, but that would be a highly optimistic expectation. Carr has had an MVP-type season leading the Raiders back to the playoffs with 3,933 yards and 28 touchdowns to go along with just six interceptions. Matt McGloin takes over which does not bode well for the Raiders championship aspirations.
Lamar Miller (RB-HOU)
Miller has been dealing with an ankle injury most of the season but it finally cost him his first game in Week 16 when he was held off the field. The Texans have won the AFC South so it seems unlikely that they will push Miller too quickly. Alfred Blue played in his place last week and will do so again in Week 17 if Miller is held out, so Blue will be a viable RB2 or Flex option and a good value pick in DFS leagues.
Jay Ajayi (RB-MIA)
The Dolphins have officially clinched a playoff berth but they still can improve their seeding in the AFC. Ajayi ran for over 200 yards again in Week 16 but did suffer a minor shoulder injury which didn’t seem to affect him much against Buffalo. There is a chance Miami could give him some extra rest in Week 17, so Ajayi’s value may be slightly limited if that happens.
Adrian Peterson (RB-MIN)
Peterson missed most of the season with a knee injury and then came back only to injure his groin which kept him out of Week 16. There is a minuscule chance he could play next week but it seems likely that his season is over. Peterson is not a viable fantasy option for Week 17 even if he does play.
Matt Forte (RB-NYJ)
Forte missed his first game of the year in Week 16 as he was held out due to both a knee and shoulder injury. The Jets season has spun out of control so it is doubtful they will even suit Forte up for Week 17. He, much like the rest of the Jets, has had a disappointing season being held to only 813 yards rushing but with seven touchdowns.
Kenneth Farrow (RB-SD)
Farrow has been placed on injured reserve with a shoulder injury thus ending his unremarkable season. He got some playing time towards the end of the year when Melvin Gordon was out, but Farrow didn’t do much with his opportunities. He is not expected to be much of a fantasy factor heading into 2017.
Carlos Hyde (RB-SF)
Hyde suffered a torn MCL this past week and has been ruled out for the remainder of the season. The good news is that he won’t require surgery. However, health has always been a major concern for Hyde who typically misses a few games every year. He finishes a disappointing 2016 season falling short of 1,000 yards but should be back for 2017 as a mid-round running back option with all sorts of red flags attached to his name.
Thomas Rawls (RB-SEA)
Rawls suffered a bruised shoulder this past week and his availability for Week 17 is questionable at best. Seattle still does have something to play for with the number two seed and a bye at stake, but they are playing the 49ers and would be able to beat them with Shaun Alexander or Curt Warren in the backfield. Don’t expect them to rush Rawls back onto the field.
Tyler Eifert (TE-CIN)
Eifert missed Week 16 against Houston with a back injury and has been officially placed on injured reserve ending his season. He only played eight games this year which furthers his reputation as a significant injury risk. When he plays, he is highly productive as indicated by his five touchdown catches this season. There is upside to him, but Eifert remains a risky option for fantasy GMs heading into 2017.
Cameron Brate (TE-TB)
Brate took a huge hit to his back on Saturday and was forced out of this week’s loss to the Saints. He appeared to be in a tremendous amount of pain after leaving the game but there is no indication that the injury is serious enough to cost him Week 17. Tampa Bay is still fighting for a playoff berth so they will want Brate on the field at all costs with his 57 receptions for 660 yards and eight touchdowns.
Spencer Ware (RB-KC)
Ware left last week’s game early with a rib injury, but MRI results came back clean which is good news. Ware will certainly be on the field for Week 17 when the Chiefs have a chance to earn the number two seed and a first round bye in the AFC playoffs. This scenario looks even more possible now that Derek Carr is out for the Raiders. Ware will be a solid RB2 option heading into the final week.
Randall Cobb (WR-GB)
It’s been a very disappointing season for Randall Cobb who has been held to just 60 catches for 610 yards and four touchdowns in only 13 games. He missed Week 16 with an ankle injury but is hopeful to be back on the field for Week 17 when the Packers take on the Lions for the NFC North title. Aaron Rodgers is playing his best football right now and is doing so without Cobb being a significant factor. If he can suit up, he could be a sneaky fantasy option given Detroit will be focused on shutting down Jordy Nelson at all costs.
Donte Moncrief (WR-IND)
Moncrief re-aggravated his shoulder injury during Week 16 and will have an MRI done to determine the extent of any damage. He has been dealing with injuries for most of the season, and now that the Colts have been eliminated from playoff contention it seems unlikely that they would even take a chance and put Moncrief on the field in a meaningless game during Week 17.
Michael A. Stein, Esq. is the Chief Justice of Fantasy Judgment, the industry's premier dispute resolution service, and is also the co-host of the Fantasy Alarm podcast. You can contact him at email@example.com or on Facebook and Twitter (@FantasyJudgment),