2017 Fantasy Football Injury Report: December 8
Michael Stein brings you all the latest updates on injuries around the NFL and the fantasy impact of each of them.
Welcome to the fantasy playoffs as we kicked off Week 14 with a big NFC South matchup on Thursday night. Sure enough, there were a couple of critical injuries that will leave their mark on the results of this week’s playoff games. There are many players who are injured and may or may not miss Week 14 so critical decisions will have to be made right up until kickoff on Sunday. So, without further ado, let’s delve into the next edition of the fantasy football emergency room.
Alvin Kamara (RB-NO) – Fantasy GMs looking to get off to a quick start in Week 14 had their hopes dashed early on Thursday night when Alvin Kamara was taken out of the game with a concussion. Kamara has exploded over the past several weeks helping lead lots of GMs into their league’s playoffs with 1,220 yards from scrimmage and 11 total touchdowns. This was a catastrophic loss for the first week of the playoffs. However, assuming you can withstand this, he will have an extra three days to clear the protocol and return for Week 15.
Antonio Brown (WR-PIT) – Brown has been suffering from an injured toe this past week but he played the entire game on Monday night against the Bengals. He was kept out of practice on Thursday but this was most likely just a precautionary move to give him additional rest. Brown will be on the field for Week 14 so you can count on another big performance as he adds to his 88 receptions for 1,296 yards and nine touchdowns.
Matthew Stafford (QB-DET) – Good news for Lions fans and GMs as Stafford ramped up his activities in practice on Thursday. He appears headed in the right direction to start this weekend against Tampa Bay in what is a must-win situation for Detroit. The injury to his hand looked bad last weekend and there was legitimate concern that he may not be able to play in Week 14. Barring any setbacks, Stafford is a must-start and could put up big numbers against a susceptible Bucs’ defense.
Amari Cooper (WR-OAK) – It does not look good for Cooper to return this week against Kansas City. He has been cleared from the league’s concussion protocol, but he is still missing practice due to his ankle injury. GMs will miss out on a potentially explosive game against a vulnerable and depleted Chiefs defense. Remember, Cooper’s best game of the season came against Kansas City earlier in the year when he scored two touchdowns and had over 200 yards. Assuming Cooper cannot play, Michael Crabtree will be a great fantasy option as he returns from his suspension.
Sterling Shepard (WR-NYG) – Shepard has been dealing with all sorts of problems this season including an ankle injury, migraines and now a hamstring issue. He missed practice earlier in the week but returned on Thursday in a limited capacity. He appears to be heading in the right direction and is a solid WR2 option if he plays because he will have Eli Manning back under center and likely looking to prove a point against a depleted Cowboys’ secondary.
Robby Anderson (WR-NYJ) – Anderson has provided tremendous bargain value all season with 49 catches for 821 yards and seven touchdowns. His status for Week 14 is questionable right now as he is dealing with the re-aggravation of a hamstring injury during Thursday’s practice. He would be a solid WR3 option this week against Denver team that has spiraled out of control assuming he is healthy enough to play. Follow up for further updates over the weekend.
Zach Ertz (TE-PHI) – Ertz was limited in practice on Thursday but appears on track to play in this week’s showdown with the Rams. The Eagles have sent out mixed messages about Ertz’s status with the league’s concussion protocol but all signs are pointing towards him being back on the field this Sunday.
Chris Hogan (WR-NE) – Hogan has missed the past four games with a shoulder injury but finally returned to practice this week in a limited capacity. This puts him in line to play on Monday night against Miami which is great news for fantasy GMs who have been stashing him for weeks. Hogan should see a lot of targets because Rob Gronkowski will be serving his suspension for his illegal hit last week against Buffalo.
Tevin Coleman (RB-ATL) – Coleman suffered a concussion during the Falcons’ win over New Orleans on Thursday night and has been placed into the league’s protocol. He will have extra time to rest and recover before Atlanta plays again a week from Monday against Tampa Bay. Coleman has rushed for 593 yards and five touchdowns to go along with two receiving touchdowns. He is normally a RB2 or Flex option due to the shared duties with Devonta Freeman who will see most of the playing time if Coleman is not able to return by next week.
Joe Mixon (RB-CIN) – Mixon did not practice again on Thursday as he still has not been cleared from the league’s concussion protocol. This does not bode well for his chances to play in Week 14 against the Bears. If Mixon cannot play, then Giovani Bernard will get most of the snaps for Cincinnati making him a viable RB2 option.
Adrian Peterson (RB-ARZ) – Nothing much has changed with Peterson’s status as he is still absent from practice with a neck injury. It certainly does not look good for him to play this weekend against the Titans which means that Kerwynn Williams is a viable fantasy option in any league format.
Jeremy Maclin (WR-BAL) – Maclin was downgraded to DNP on Thursday but returned to practice on Friday meaning he should be fine to play this weekend against Pittsburgh. He got off to a hot start to the season but has been non-existent for the past couple months. Maclin is nothing more than a WR4 or Flex option in deep leagues.
Kelvin Benjamin (WR-CAR) – Benjamin has been a bust since being acquired by the Bills but now finds himself in position to be the featured receiver on the team due to Jordan Matthews going on injured reserve. Benjamin could be limited by the poor quarterback play Buffalo has experienced lately so temper your expectations even against a terrible Indianapolis defense. He also may not be 100% as he is recovering from a torn meniscus.
Marqise Lee (WR-JAX) – Lee has been dealing with a knee injury this week but returned to practice in a limited capacity on Thursday. Jacksonville has had a great season but mostly thanks to their top defense and prolific running game. Lee did have 86 receiving yards last week which is something to build on but he will be up against a Seattle defense that is battered by injuries but still a formidable opponent. He will be fine to play but beware of the potential for a goose egg.
Will Fuller (WR-HOU) – Fuller has been a polarizing fantasy player this year having scored seven touchdowns in six games. However, he is always injured and now has Tom Savage back at quarterback. Fuller was at his best with Deshaun Watson so his return to the field is not being met with the same fanfare with Watson gone for the season. He could still be a viable WR3 in deep leagues if you need a replacement due to another injury.
Michael A. Stein, Esq. is the Chief Justice of Fantasy Judgment, the industry's premier dispute resolution service, and co-host of the Fantasy Alarm Podcast. You can contact him at email@example.com or on Facebook and Twitter (@FantasyJudgment).