News & Analysis

Week 14 NFL injuries that matter for fantasy

Dec 3, 2017; Seattle, WA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles tight end Zach Ertz (86) is tended to by team staff members after suffering a neck injury against the Seattle Seahawks during the third quarter at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Staying on top of injuries throughout the week, and especially on Sunday mornings, is one of the easiest ways to maintain an edge in fantasy football. Outside of, you know, just making sure you don’t have inactive players in your starting lineup, it’s important to understand how one injury can greatly impact the fantasy potential of other skill position players within a game.

Lucky for you, this weekly series is here to help. Rather than just frantically refreshing each team’s injury report, I’ll do the heavy lifting each Saturday night and update injuries and provide analysis once inactives are released and early game-time decisions finalized on Sunday mornings.

Early Inactives

Adrian Peterson, RB, Arizona Cardinals (neck) – Out
John Brown, WR, Arizona Cardinals (toe)
– Out
Jordan Matthews, WR, Buffalo Bills (knee)
– Out
John Ross, WR, Cincinnati Bengals (shoulder)
– Out
Alfred Blue, RB, Houston Texans (concussion)
– Out
C.J. Fiedorowicz, TE, Houston Texans (concussion)
– Out
Bruce Ellington, WR, Houston Texans (hamstring)
– Out
Braxton Miller, WR, Houston Texans (concussion)
– Out
Donte Moncrief, WR, Indianapolis Colts (ankle)
– Out
Allen Hurns, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars (ankle)
– Out
Nick Novak, K, Los Angeles Chargers (back)
– Out
Rob Gronkowski, TE, New England Patriots (suspension)
– Out
JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers (suspension)
– Out
Jordan Reed, TE, Washington Redskins (hamstring)
– Out

Questionable

Jeremy Maclin, WR, Baltimore Ravens (back) – Questionable (likely)
Devin Funchess, WR, Carolina Panthers (shoulder)
– Questionable (likely)
Greg Olsen, TE, Carolina Panthers (foot)
– Questionable (likely)
Emmanuel Sanders, WR, Denver Broncos (ankle)
– Questionable (likely)
Matthew Stafford, QB, Detroit Lions (hand)
– Questionable (likely)
Ameer Abdullah, RB, Detroit Lions (neck)
– Questionable (likely)
Mike Williams, WR, Los Angeles Chargers (knee)
– Questionable (likely)
Robert Woods, WR, Los Angeles Rams (shoulder)
– Questionable (unlikely)
Damien Williams, RB, Miami Dolphins (shoulder)
– Questionable (unlikely)
Chris Hogan, WR, New England Patriots (shoulder)
– Questionable (likely)
Orleans Darkwa, RB, New York Giants (illness)
– Questionable (likely)
Sterling Shepard, WR, New York Giants (hamstring)
– Questionable (likely)
Matt Forte, WR, New York Jets (ankle)
– Questionable (likely)
Amari Cooper, WR, Oakland Raiders (ankle)
– Game-time decision
Zach Ertz, TE, New York Jets (concussion)
– Questionable (likely)

Updates/Analysis

Doug Martin, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Active – Doug Martin is active and will start Sunday, but he's also averaging only 5.7 fantasy points per game since Week 6, and Peyton Barber looked like a far more effective replacement last week. Still, he’ll be a high-end RB3 in a soft matchup against the Lions.

Amari Cooper, WR, Oakland Raiders – Active (snap count) – Cooper is active Sunday, but per Dan Graziano, will be on a “pitch count.” I’d bump Cooper down to the low-end WR3-range with this news.

Sterling Shepard, WR, New York Giants – Active – As expected, Shepard is back Sunday, and in a soft matchup, against a Dallas defense that has surrendered the most fantasy points to slot wide receivers since their Week 6 bye. He’s seen at least eight targets in all games with Eli Manning and without Odell Beckham Jr.

Zach Ertz, TE, Philadelphia Eagles – Inactive – With Ertz out, Trey Burton slides into high-end TE2-consideration. Last week, with Ertz playing on 60 percent of the team’s snaps due to injury, Burton drew seven targets, catching four for 42. In Week 9, with Ertz out, Burton saw four targets, catching two for 41 yards and a score.

Ameer Abdullah, RB, Detroit Lions – Inactive – With Abdullah again inactive, Tion Green should assume Abdullah’s typical workload on the ground (about 11 carries), while Theo Riddick should get the bulk of his missing targets. At best, I have Riddick as a high-end RB3 in PPR leagues, and Green as a low-end RB3 in standard leagues.

Tyrod Taylor, QB, Buffalo Bills – Inactive – With Taylor out, rookie Nathan Peterman draws the start. You might remember him from his first career start in Week 11, when he put together one of the (statistically) worst quarterback performances of all time. While he’s unlikely to be as bad as he was last time (just because it’s literally almost impossible to be any worse), you’re still downgrading all position running backs, wide receivers, and tight ends due to this news.

Donte Moncrief, WR, Indianapolis Colts – Inactive – With Moncrief out, I’m not doing much to my rankings other than bumping up Chester Rogers a tad. Moncrief is averaging just 3.3 catches and 32.6 yards per game this season.

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