This is the final edition of the fantasy football injury report for the regular season as we head into Week 17. Many leagues have concluded already but there are plenty of championships to still be decided this weekend along with DFS contests. The problem with playing through Week 17 is that many teams have nothing to play for and are more inclined to rest their stars and players banged up with nagging injuries. This makes it quite difficult for GMs to make critical roster decisions. However, we have been dealing with injuries and turmoil all year so why should this week be any different than any other? With that, I wish everyone a happy and healthy New Year as we finish out another season. So, without further ado, here is the final regular season edition of the fantasy football emergency room.
Melvin Gordon (RB-LAC) – Gordon was limited at practice on Thursday as he continues working through the ankle injury he sustained last week. His status for Sunday against Oakland is still up in the air so it could be a game-time decision whether he is going to play. Clearly, Gordon is a must-start RB1 if he takes the field so you will need to wait as long as possible before making any roster decisions with him.
Julio Jones (WR-ATL) – It’s hard to imagine that 83 catches for 1,364 yards would be considered a disappointing season, but fantasy GMs have not gotten what they bargained for when drafting Jones. He is one of the best wide receivers in the league, but his statistics are deceiving because he has had a couple monster games to get those numbers up and he has been limited to only three touchdowns. Jones also is always dealing with some type of injury and this week is no different. He claims he will be ready to play against Carolina as Atlanta can clinch a spot in the playoffs with a victory. You have to bank on him as a bona fide WR1 and hope that he has another monster game left in him.
DeAndre Hopkins (WR-HOU) – Houston has indicated that Hopkins will likely be a game-time decision on Sunday as he is dealing with a calf injury. The Texans have nothing to play for against the Colts but Hopkins is only four receptions away from 100 for the season so he will certainly do his best to get on the field. Hopkins has been one of the best fantasy performers of the season despite horrendous quarterback play from everyone besides Deshaun Watson. He is a must-start WR1 assuming he plays so follow his status very closely over the next couple days.
Michael Thomas (WR-NO) – Thomas is still dealing with a hamstring injury that almost cost him last week’s game and has limited him in practice this week. He will most certainly be on the field for Week 17 against Tampa Bay and could be in for a big game against a suspect defense. Thomas has 98 catches so he will be motivated to surpass the century mark for the season and is a great fantasy option for the season finale.
Michael Crabtree (WR-OAK) – Crabtree suffered a hamstring injury on Monday night against Philadelphia in a game where he was targeting three times and was held without a catch. It was an awful night for him and one that fantasy GMs will begrudgingly not forget. The Raiders have nothing to play for this week against the Chargers so there is little reason to think they will rush him back onto the field if he isn’t 100%. He has 56 catches for 601 yards and eight touchdowns on the season as part of an overall disappointing season for all Raiders from a fantasy perspective.
Jordy Nelson (WR-GB) – Nelson missed practice again on Thursday and is not expected to play this weekend. His season was derailed the second Aaron Rodgers went down because he didn’t catch a single touchdown pass since Week 5. Nelson’s season will conclude with disappointing statistics for a highly drafted WR1.
Davante Adams (WR-GB) – Adams continues to remain sidelined at practice this week and has not seen any action since he suffered his second concussion of the year during Week 15. There seems to be little to no chance he will play this week as Green Bay’s season is done. It’s unfortunate that Adams has suffered these two head injuries because he was having a terrific season with 74 catches for 885 yards and ten touchdowns which is still tied for the second most in the league.
DeMarco Murray (RB-TEN) – Murray has a torn MCL but has not been officially ruled out by the Titans for Week 17. He has not practiced this week so there is still a chance he could return on Friday in a limited capacity. However, chances are that he will not play despite whatever false hope Tennessee has for him. Murray would be a very risky option even if he does make it onto the field so go with Derrick Henry as the better bet in the Titans’ backfield.
Cooper Kupp (WR-LAR) – The rookie wide receiver has had a solid inaugural season with 62 catches for 869 yards and five touchdowns. However, he is dealing with a knee injury which kept him out of practice this week. The Rams are going to keep him out of this weekend’s game against San Francisco regardless of whether he is healthy enough to play. They are making the correct conservative move to ensure Kupp is ready to go for the playoffs in the Wild Card Round.
Marquise Goodwin (WR-SF) – Goodwin has emerged as a viable fantasy option on a San Francisco team that has been playing extremely well with Jimmy Garropolo at quarterback. He has caught 54 passes for 934 yards and one touchdown and will be highly motivated to reach the 1,000 yard mark this weekend against a Rams team which will be playing mostly all reserves. His back injury has kept him limited in practice this week but he will be on the field for the season finale and is a good WR3 option for Week 17.
Evan Engram (TE-NYG) – Engram has not practiced this week after sustaining a rib injury last week against Arizona. The Giants have nothing to play for so chances are they will be cautious and conservative with their rookie tight end. He wants to try to play in the season finale and build on his 64 catches for 722 yards and six touchdowns, but we will have to see whether he can practice at all on Friday before having a better idea as to his status.
Chris Hogan (WR-NE) – It has been nauseating speculating over Hogan’s status the past several weeks as he continues to deal with his shoulder injury. He practiced in a limited capacity on Thursday and appears to still be day-to-day which is of no help for fantasy GMs. The Patriots still have something to play for seeking the #1 overall seed in the playoffs so there is motivation for him to be on the field. It is quite possible that we won’t know for sure what his status will be until close to game-time on Sunday.
Keelan Cole (WR-JAX) – The rookie wide receiver has been on fire over the past month averaging over 100 yards in his last four games to bring his season total up to 715. Cole has also caught three touchdown passes in that span making him a viable option during the fantasy playoffs. Unfortunately, he suffered a quadriceps injury last week against San Francisco and was limited in practice on Thursday as he is still suffering the effects from it. Chances are that he will be ready to go against Tennessee this weekend as the Jaguars look to enter the playoffs on a positive note, especially after the drubbing they took last week against the 49ers.
Deonte Thompson (WR-BUF) – Thompson suffered a shoulder injury at practice on Thursday making his status for Week 17 against Miami questionable. He has been one of Tyrod Taylor’s main targets this season which has seen the Bills receiving core depleted with injuries. Thompson is a marginal fantasy option but this is a must-win game for Buffalo so if he is able to play then he could be a big part of the offense.
Joe Mixon (RB-CIN) – Mixon returned from a concussion only to suffer an ankle injury which has limited him in practice this week. He is hopeful to play in the season finale but his status will likely be determined by how he holds up on Friday. The rookie running back was finally coming on before suffering the concussion and now this injury has put a damper on the progress he made. Mixon will be a risky fantasy option even if he is able to suit up.
Giovani Bernard (RB-CIN) – In Joe Mixon’s absence, Giovani Bernard stepped right in and delivered several solid performances, especially over the past couple weeks. He is coming off of his best game of the year when he ran for 116 yards and a touchdown last week. He is also dealing with an ankle injury but he should be good to go against the Ravens in Week 17. Bernard’s fantasy value is dependent on Mixon’s status so be sure to follow both of their statuses before making a final decision on a Bengals running back.
Eric Ebron (TE-DET) – Ebron has been a frustrating fantasy player to own throughout his career and this year is no different. He seems to always be injured in some form but has managed to avoid missing any games this season. Ebron has 52 catches for 565 yards and four touchdowns on the year and has had two of his best games over the past three weeks. He was limited in practice on Thursday with a knee injury but should be good to go for Week 17 and remains a risky option at tight end simply because you never know what you are going to get with him.
Michael A. Stein, Esq. is the Chief Justice of Fantasy Judgment, the industry's premier dispute resolution service. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Facebook and Twitter (@FantasyJudgment).