Fantasy Football Week 14: What you missed Monday, with Joe Mixon going down, and Rob Gronkowski hit with a suspension
Chris Towers catches you up on all of the latest news from around the NFL.
What's this? Every Tuesday through Friday, Chris Towers will catch you up on the previous day's biggest news first thing in the morning. Here's what you missed Monday, starting with a breakdown of last night's game:
Antonio Brown dominated despite his toe injury
"Never sit your studs" is too simplistic a form of analysis to ever really hold true in every situation, but Brown provided a good reminder of why it's risky to go away from him even with what looks like a serious injury. Brown was a true game-time decision for Week 14, and given the Monday night kickoff, keeping him in your starting lineup came with considerable risk. However, despite looking hobbled in pregame warmups due to the injury, Brown was able to line up for all 66 of Pittsburgh's offensive snaps Monday. And he was his typically electric self.
Brown finished with eight catches for 101 yards and a touchdown, and might have even left a few Fantasy points on the board. Brown had at least one drop in the game, and a few others that looked like they could have been caught had he been at full speed. Still, Brown is such a vital part of this team's offense, they'd have to saw his foot off for me to consider not playing him when active. Assuming he doesn't suffer any kind of setback before Week 14 against the Ravens, he'll once again be one of the top options in Fantasy.
Joe Mixon was forced out with a concussion
Mixon was playing well, rushing for 34 yards on seven carries, but was sandwiched between two defenders on his final carry, going down to the ground with what would ultimately be diagnosed as concussion. It's possible Mixon will be able to return for Week 14 – however the Monday night kickoff this week gives him one fewer day to get ready for next Sunday's matchup with the Ravens – but Giovani Bernard will need to be a priority on waivers.
With Jeremy Hill already ruled out for the year, we got a taste of what Bernard can do as a featured back Monday, as he rushed for 77 yards on 13 carries and added two catches for 19 yards on three targets. Rookie Brian Hill did not see the field Monday night.
JuJu Smith-Schuster could be facing a suspension
One of the ugliest moments of an ugly game came when Smith-Schuster laid out Vontaze Burfict on an illegal hit in the fourth quarter. The hit itself may not warrant much more than a fine, but Smith-Schuster's actions afterward – standing over Burfict while play was still ongoing – could lead to additional disciplinary action. This one is somewhat speculative, but it will certainly bear watching over the next few days to see if Smith-Schuster's availability might come into question for Week 14.
What else you need to know from around the NFL
- Rob Gronkowski has been suspended for one game… Gronkowski's suspension comes as no surprise, after he launched himself at a defensive player on the ground after the whistle. He'll appeal, but it would be surprising to see him get the chance to play. Dwayne Allen will play more in Gronkowski's absence, but was held without a catch the last time Gronkowski missed time. If you need a replacement option for Week 14, .
- Mark Ingram (toe) was added to the injury report... It's not clear when Ingram suffered the injury, or how serious it is at this point. However, the Saints have just two more days to get him healthy before Thursday against the Falcons, so we'll have to watch this one and see if he gets on the practice field over the next few days.
- Alex Collins is dealing with migraines… Collins dealt with migraines after Sunday's game. It's not clear if this issue is expected to linger, but remember Sterling Shepard missed two games recently due to lingering migraine issues of his own. We'll monitor this one throughout the week.
- Tyrod Taylor avoided ligament damage… Taylor suffered a bruised patellar tendon and is day to day, a minor miracle after he was carted off Sunday. If Taylor is able to play, he will start in Week 14 – Nathan Peterman has no Fantasy appeal if he has to play.
- Eli Manning is expected to get his starting job back… It hasn't been confirmed, but ESPN reported Monday Manning is expected to be named the starter for Week 14 against the Cowboys. Geno Smith didn't play poorly in his work against the Raiders, and it's not clear Manning changes the dynamics of this offense much at all.
- Trevor Siemian will remain the Broncos starter… Siemian was a disaster in Week 13, tossing three picks and completing less than half of his passes. However, with Paxton Lynch still dealing with an ankle injury, Siemian will remain under center. Given what we've seen from all three QB's on the roster, no change would make this team's outlook any brighter.
- Greg Olsen could return this week… Olsen's absence in Week 14 was at least partially attributable to the artificial surface the Panthers played on in New Orleans. With three home games starting in Week 14, it sounds like he could be back in action.
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