More Week 15:— — — — —
Injuries have hit some prominent names at the worst possible time for Fantasy players, with key pieces at quarterback, running back and receiver set to miss Week 15 action. The barrage of bad news is offset for some by the return of one the most prolific players at the quarterback position, and several others are also trending toward toughing out their ailments and suiting up. Without further ado, let's dive into a jam-packed injury report heading into Sunday morning:
- The Packers' Aaron Rodgers (collarbone) was officially activated from injured reserve on Saturday and will start against the Panthers in a key NFC matchup. Green Bay's playoff hopes remain very much alive at 7-6, as Brett Hundley was able to help them more or less tread water in Rodgers' seven-game absence by leading them to a 3-4 record. Rodgers doesn't even carry an injury designation heading into the contest, so all indications are that rust will be the only hindrance he'll face against a Carolina team that he's averaged 307.5 passing yards against in four career appearances. His return naturally upgrades the prospects of Jordy Nelson, Davante Adams and Randall Cobb significantly, with running back Jamaal Williams also likely to see less populated defensive fronts.
- The Eagles' Carson Wentz is on the opposite side of the spectrum after he was placed on injured reserve this past week due to the torn ACL suffered versus in Week 14. The breakout second-year star already underwent surgery and should be nearing full strength by the time the 2018 regular-season opener rolls around. Wentz's stellar 2017 included 3,296 passing yards and a 33:7 TD:INT ratio over 13-plus games, and his absence leaves the quarterback position in the hands of Nick Foles for the duration of Philadelphia's season. The Fantasy outlook for the Eagles' pass catchers gets a downgrade as a result, although it should be noted that Foles generated a 27:2 TD:INT over 13 games during the 2013 campaign and carries the potential of a 300-yard performance on any given week.
- The Jets' Josh McCown became the second signal-caller whose season came to an abrupt end last Sunday, as the veteran suffered a fractured left hand versus the Broncos. McCown considerably exceeded expectations in his age-38 season, throwing for 2,926 yards and generating an 18:9 TD:INT in 13-plus games while playing a sizable role in the development of second-year wideout Robby Anderson. The Fantasy fortunes of the latter – along with those of Jermaine Kearse and Austin Seferian-Jenkins – all take a hit with Bryce Petty now under center for New York.
- The Bills' Tyrod Taylor (knee) is starting Sunday against the Dolphins after practicing in full all week. Taylor was held out of last Sunday's snow-filled win against the Colts, a game in which rookie Nathan Peterman suffered the concussion that will keep him inactive against Miami. Versatile veteran Joe Webb, who logged 28 snaps against Indianapolis after Peterman went down, will serve as Taylor's backup Sunday.
- The Texans' Tom Savage (concussion) is out for Sunday's battle against the Jaguars, leaving T.J. Yates as Houston's third starting quarterback of the campaign. While the 27-year-old Savage hasn't made anyone forget dynamic rookie Deshaun Watson (knee), he'd displayed some encouraging signs in his last full game, a 365-yard effort versus the Titans. He'll look to be ready for a Week 16 battle versus the Steelers, leaving Yates with the unenviable task of facing a Jaguars defense that's allowed the fewest Fantasy points (10.15) to quarterbacks in standard scoring formats this season.
- The Jaguars' Leonard Fournette (quadriceps) has been declared out for Sunday's divisional matchup versus the Texans. His absence will vault Chris Ivory and T.J. Yeldon into the expanded roles that they also saw in Weeks 7 and 9 when Fournette was out with an ankle injury. Ivory rushed for a combined 117 yards and a touchdown on 37 carries and posted three receptions for 34 yards in that pair of contests, while Yeldon compiled 163 yards on 20 rushes and added four catches for 26 yards in those same games. The workload could be split in similar fashion in Week 15 against a Texans defense that's been stingy against the run (14.69 Fantasy points per game allowed to running backs in standard scoring formats), although as per early Sunday morning reports, Ivory is expected to draw the start.
- The Bengals' Joe Mixon (concussion) has been ruled out for Sunday's Week 15 battle against the Vikings, marking his second consecutive absence. Mixon made notable progress this week after not stepping onto the practice field during Week 14 prep, as he worked up to a limited practice Thursday and a full session Friday. Giovani Bernard, who worked through a minor knee issue this week, will man the lead-back role once again in Mixon's stead. Bernard amassed 62 yards on 11 carries and 68 yards on another six receptions as the top back last Sunday versus the Bears, but an unexpected game script that saw the Bengals fall behind significantly in the second half limited his overall opportunities. The outlook isn't exactly bright heading into Sunday either, as Minnesota allows the fewest Fantasy points (13.08) to running backs in standard scoring formats.
- The Falcons' Tevin Coleman (concussion) has already been declared out for Monday night's contest against the Buccaneers. His absence will naturally bump up the prospects of Devonta Freeman, who logged 51 snaps and 24 carries in Week 14 versus the Saints, which he parlayed into 91 rushing yards and a touchdown. Freeman missed the Week 12 matchup against Tampa with a concussion, and he rushed 17 times for 77 yards while also posting two receptions for 28 yards when he last faced them in Week 9 of the 2016 season. With Bucs Pro Bowlers Gerald McCoy (biceps) and Lavonte David (hamstring) already declared out for the Week 15 contest, Freeman should have a path of limited resistance to fantasy success on the ground.
- The Dolphins' Damien Williams (shoulder) remains out against the Bills in Week 15, likely affording Kenyan Drake owners some peace of mind. The latter continued to emerge in Week 14 against the Patriots, rushing 25 times for 114 yards, while also posting five receptions for a career-high 79 yards. The matchup against Buffalo is even more inviting, considering they've yielded 4.4 yards per carry and the most Fantasy points (22.08) to running backs in standard scoring formats.
- The Jets' Matt Forte (knee) is questionable to face the Saints on Sunday after missing practice all week. Forte logged a modest eight touches over 26 snaps against the Broncos in Week 14, and with Bryce Petty set to take over under center, Bilal Powell and Elijah McGuire could see a fairly robust workload as the Jets' coaching staff potentially looks to help the second-year quarterback as much as possible with a balanced attack.
- The Cardinals' Adrian Peterson (neck) was placed on injured reserve earlier this week, which bestows the top running back role to Kerwynn Williams for the balance of the campaign. The latter has proven capable of handling a starter's workload over the last two games, compiling 170 yards on 36 carries and one catch for 15 yards over that span. Williams encouragingly saw an increase in snaps from Week 13's 31 to 38 last Sunday, while D.J. Foster (21 snaps, two rushes, two receptions) and Elijhaa Penny (eights snaps, two rushes, one reception) played decidedly minimal roles.
- The Texans' DeAndre Hopkins (toe) is officially questionable for Sunday's divisional battle against the Jaguars after missing the last two practices of the week. However, early Sunday morning reports confirm that he is expected to take the field barring any last-minute setbacks. The matchup against Jacksonville's stalwart secondary is the least desirable in the league for receivers (NFL-low 13.77 Fantasy points allowed to the position in standard scoring formats) – and it's worth noting he'll be catching passes from career backup T.J. Yates to boot – but Hopkins did notch seven receptions for 55 yards and a touchdown against the Jags in the season opener.
- Meanwhile, Hopkins' teammate and fellow wideout Braxton Miller (concussion) is already ruled out.
- The Rams' Robert Woods (shoulder) is officially off the injury report heading into Sunday's battle against the Seahawks after finishing the week with two full practices. He'll resume his role alongside Sammy Watkins to form the team's top receiving duo, while Cooper Kupp, who logged 18 receptions and posted a pair of 100-yard games within the last three weeks, will slide back into a high-usage third wideout role.
- The Patriots' Chris Hogan (shoulder) is officially questionable for Sunday's conference clash versus the Steelers, but he was able to turn in limited practices throughout the week. Hogan played 55 snaps in the Week 14 loss to the Dolphins last Monday night and reportedly emerged from the game setback-free. Therefore, he's expected to be out there Sunday in Pittsburgh, with final confirmation likely to come after pregame warmups.
- The knee of the Bills' Kelvin Benjamin seems to unfortunately be a magnet for injury, as he once again went down in a Week 14 blizzard-like battle against the Colts. Benjamin ultimately was able to turn in a trio of limited practices this past week and has expressed that he expects to suit up for Sunday's battle versus the Dolphins. If he's overestimated his health and ultimately sits out, Zay Jones, Deonte Thompson and Andre Holmes will all have a slightly brighter Fantasy outlook than usual, while tight end Charles Clay could also see some extra targets.
- The Panthers' Devin Funchess (shoulder) is questionable for Sunday's battle versus the Packers after going from a full practice Thursday to missing Friday's session altogether. However, as per early Sunday morning reports, he's expected to suit up for a matchup against a Packers defense that's allowed the third-most fantasy points (23.08) to receivers in standard scoring formats, and that is tied with multiple teams for second-most touchdowns (1.15) yielded to the position as well.
- The Steelers' JuJu Smith-Schuster (hamstring) is questionable to face the Patriots after wrapping up the week with a pair of limited practices. The rookie served a one-game suspension last week for the hit he'd applied to the Bengals' Vontaze Burfict in a Week 13 contest, and as per early Sunday morning reports, he's expected to suit up against New England.
- The Saints' Ted Ginn, Jr. (ribs) is questionable to face the Jets in Week 15 after wrapping up the week with a pair of limited practices. Ginn has stated he expects to play, but he's notably had a much smaller role in the offense the last two weeks. After seeing between four and 11 targets in six of the seven games prior to Week 13, Ginn received a modest five looks over the last two contests combined.
- The Raiders' Amari Cooper (ankle) is out for the Sunday night battle against the Cowboys after failing to practice all week. Michael Crabtree, Seth Roberts, Cordarrelle Patterson and Johnnie Holton should all see expanded roles of varying degree in Cooper's absence against a Dallas team that's allowed 21.69 Fantasy points per game to receivers in standard scoring formats.
- The Cardinals' John Brown (toe) will miss his fourth straight game in Week 15, although he was able to put in three limited practices this week. The trio of J.J. Nelson, Jaron Brown and Chad Williams will continue to serve as the top backups to No. 1 wideout Larry Fitzgerald, but the Fantasy upside of the Cardinals' passing attack as a whole remains relatively modest with Blaine Gabbert -- who's seen his passing yardage totals drop in the last three games -- under center.
- The Ravens' Mike Wallace (ankle) is questionable after only mustering one practice this week, a limited Friday session. Wallace did proclaim his availability for Week 15's battle against the Browns to a local beat reporter earlier this week, and the matter will be definitively settled following pre-game warmups.
- The Jaguars' Allen Hurns (ankle) remains out in Week 15, providing the trio of Marqise Lee, Keelan Cole and Dede Westbrook another opportunity to helm the Jacksonville receiving corps. Conditions could be favorable for a Fantasy-friendly day in the passing game, considering running back Leonard Fournette will sit out the game with an ankle injury and the Texans come into the game allowing the sixth-most fantasy points (22.00) to wide receivers in standard scoring formats.
- The Redskins' Ryan Grant (ankle) is questionable to face the Cardinals in Week 15 after turning in three limited practices this week. Teammate Maurice Harris (concussion) carries the same designation after mirroring Grant's practice schedule.
- The Giants' Roger Lewis (ankle) is questionable to take on the Eagles in a Week 15 divisional clash after only turning in a sole limited practice this week. Fellow receiver Travis Rudolph (hamstring) carries the same designation after logging a trio of limited sessions.
- The Vikings' Kyle Rudolph has apparently made significant strides with his ankle injury over the last 48 hours or so, as he's now expected to take the field against the Bengals, as per early Sunday morning reports. Rudolph failed to practice throughout the week and was considered doubtful to suit up as late as Friday, so the change in outlook has indeed been significant. Naturally, owners will want to make sure to check the Vikings' official inactives at approximately 11:30am Eastern to ensure that he's suffered no setbacks in pregame warmups. Rookie David Morgan would be the next man up at tight end if Rudolph ultimately sits.
- The Eagles' Zach Ertz (concussion) cleared concussion protocol last Wednesday and was subsequently able to turn in a week of full practices. His return on Sunday against the Giants signifies that Trey Burton -- who parlayed 48 snaps into five receptions for 71 yards and two touchdowns during Ertz's Week 14 absence -- should see his role significantly reduced.
- The Redskins' Jordan Reed (hamstring) was finally placed on injured reserve earlier this week after last having taken the field in Week 8. Reed will reportedly also need toe surgery this offseason and finished his truncated 2017 campaign with 27 receptions for 211 yards and a pair of scores in six games. Vernon Davis and Niles Paul should continue to man the tight end position for Washington over the season's final three contests.
- The Steelers' Vance McDonald (shoulder) is out for Sunday's key divisional matchup versus the Patriots, which will mark the sixth missed contest of his debut Steelers campaign. Jesse James will see a bump in targets after having hauled in 10 receptions for 97 against the Ravens in Week 14.
- The Cardinals' Jermaine Gresham (illness) has been declared out for Sunday's battle against the Redskins. The veteran has taken a back seat to Ricky Seals-Jones in recent weeks anyhow, but his absence will bump up Troy Niklas one rung on the depth chart.
- The Raiders' Clive Walford (concussion) has been declared out for Sunday night's battle against the Cowboys. The 26-year-old has largely been a fantasy disappointment in 2017 after posting 61 receptions and six touchdowns over his first two campaigns, as he's worked behind both Lee Smith and Jared Cook throughout the entirety of the season.
- The Redskins' Dustin Hopkins (hip) was activated from injured reserve Saturday, with Nick Rose being released in a corresponding move. Hopkins was 9-for-11 on field goals and perfect on four extra-point tries across five games before his injury, with both of his misses having come from beyond 50 yards.
Key Defensive players
- The Bengals' Dre Kirkpatrick (concussion) remains out in Week 15 against the Vikings.
- The Browns' Briean Boddy-Calhoun (knee) is doubtful to face the Ravens on Sunday, while fellow corner Jamar Taylor (foot) is questionable despite missing practice all week.
- The Cowboys' Orlando Scandrick (back) is out for the Sunday night battle against the Raiders after once again missing practice all week.
- The Packers' Davon House (shoulder) has been declared out for the Week 15 battle against the Panthers after also remaining sidelined in practice throughout the week.
- The Dolphins' Xavien Howard (illness) is questionable to take on the Bills in Week 15 despite progressing to a full practice by Friday. Teammate Cordrea Tankersley (ankle) is doubtful despite closing out the week with a pair of limited sessions.
- The Patriots' Stephon Gilmore (ankle) is questionable to face the Steelers after a trio of limited practices this week, but it's worth noting he suited up against the Dolphins on Monday night under the exact same circumstances.
- The Raiders' David Amerson (foot) is doubtful to face the Cowboys in Week 15 after being downgraded to no practice for the last two sessions of the week.
- The Bucs' Vernon Hargreaves (hamstring) will miss his fourth consecutive game in Week 15 against the Falcons.
- The Steelers' Joe Haden (upper leg) is questionable to face the Patriots on Sunday after turning in three limited practices this week. The increase in activity level lends some credence to the notion that the former first-rounder could take the field for the first time since Week 10.
- The Bengals' Shawn Williams (hamstring) is questionable to face the Vikings in Week 15 after finishing up the week with a full practice. Williams has missed four of the last five games and last suited up in Week 11.
- The Broncos' Justin Simmons went on injured reserve with an ankle injury this past week, putting an end to a strong season in which he totaled 69 tackles, five passes defensed, two interceptions (including one pick-six) and one sack across 13 games.
- The Dolphins' Michael Thomas (knee-ACL) is out against the Bills in Week 15.
- The Giants' Landon Collins (ankle) is doubtful for Sunday's divisional tussle with the Eagles after sandwiching two missed practices around a limited Thursday session.
- The Seahawks' Kam Chancellor (neck) was placed on injured reserve this week after having missed the last five games. He finishes an abbreviated 2017 campaign with 49 tackles, a pair of defensed passes and one forced fumble.
- The Titans' Johnathan Cyprien (back) is questionable to face the 49ers in Week 15 after failing to practice this week.
- The Buccaneers' T.J. Ward (concussion) will return to the field Monday night against the Falcons after missing the last two contests.
- The Cardinals' Corey Peters (ankle) and Josh Mauro (ankle) are both questionable to face the Redskins after each closed out the week with limited practices.
- The Cowboys will once again be without David Irving versus the Raiders on Sunday night.
- The Buccaneers' Gerald McCoy (biceps) has already been declared out for Monday night's divisional battle against the Falcons, leaving the Buccaneers without their All-Pro defensive tackle versus the threat of Matt Ryan and Devonta Freeman. Meanwhile, fellow lineman Clinton McDonald (back) is listed as questionable.
- The Texans' Jadeveon Clowney (knee) is questionable to face the Jaguars on Sunday after failing to practice this past week, but as per early Sunday morning reports, he's expected to play.
- The Patriots' Trey Flowers (ribs) is questionable to face the Steelers after three limited practices this past week. Meanwhile, teammate Deatrich Wise (foot) is also questionable after mirroring Flowers' practice pattern.
- The Raiders' Denico Autry (hand) is questionable against the Cowboys after closing out the week with a pair of limited practices.
- The Jets' Muhammad Wilkerson, who's battled a host of injuries throughout the season, is out for Sunday's game against the Saints due to head coach Todd Bowles' decision. The veteran has battled a broken toe and a bad shoulder, although Sunday's absence will be his first of the season.
- The Panthers' Shaq Thompson (foot) is out against the Packers after once again failing to practice all week.
- The Bengals' Vontaze Burfict (concussion) will miss a second consecutive contest in Week 15, as he's apparently yet to clear the league-mandated protocol for head injuries. Fellow linebacker Kevin Minter (hamstring) was also placed on injured reserve this past week, while Nick Vigil (ankle) is out for Sunday's game despite a pair of limited practices to finish off the week.
- The Cowboys' Justin Durant (concussion) is out for Sunday night's battle with the Raiders, while teammate Sean Lee (hamstring/back) is questionable after missing practice Friday. He may come down to a true game-time call, and given his injury history, fantasy owners may want to consider an alternative, with Dallas not kicking off until 8:30pm Eastern time.
- The Packers' Nick Perry (foot) is questionable to face the Panthers after three limited practices this week, while teammate Jake Ryan (knee) carries the same designation despite finishing the week with a pair of limited sessions as well.
- The Jaguars' Telvin Smith has cleared concussion protocol and does not carry an injury designation heading into Sunday's game against the Texans.
- The Patriots' Kyle Van Noy (calf) is out for a second consecutive game versus the Steelers on Sunday.
- The Saints' A.J. Klein (groin) is out for Sunday's Week 15 contest against the Jets.
- The Seahawks' Bobby Wagner (hamstring) is questionable to face the Rams on Sunday after missing practice all week, but as per early Sunday morning reports, he believes he can play and will test things out in pregame warmups. Meanwhile, teammate K.J. Wright (concussion) is doubtful after missing practice all week.
- The Buccaneers' Lavonte David (hamstring) is out for Monday night's divisional battle against the Falcons, leaving Tampa without a top run-stopper versus Atlanta's Devonta Freeman.
- The Titans' Derrick Morgan (knee) has been declared out for Sunday's battle with the 49ers.
- The Redskins' Zach Brown (Achilles) is out against the Cardinals after missing practice all week.