NFL News & Analysis

NFL Week 18 Injury Report: All 16 games

Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon (28) runs during the first quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

A player's injury status can have a significant effect on both real life and fantasy football. So, each week, PFF injury analyst Mario Pilato will comb through the official injury reports for each NFL game and give updates and analysis for fantasy-relevant players.

Injuries are fluid, so make sure to stay up to date by following @PFF_Mario on Twitter.

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KEY
DNP: Did not participate in practice
LP: Limited participation in practice
FP: Full participation
(-): Not listed
OUT: Player will not play
D: Player is unlikely to play
Q: Player is not certain to play
NIR – Rest: Not injury-related or resting veteran

KC @ DEN | DAL @ PHI | CHI @ MIN | IND @ JAX | TEN @ HOU | PIT @ BAL | CIN @ CLE | GB @ DET | WFT @ NYG | CAR @ TB | NO @ ATL | NE @ MIA |
NYJ @ BUF | SF @ LAR |
SEA @ ARZ | LAC @ LV


Kansas City Chiefs @ Denver Broncos (+10.5)

Injury Analysis: QB Teddy Bridgewater will not play in the last game of the season, as he was placed on IR due to a concussion.

RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire has been a DNP all week and has been ruled out of the regular-season finale with a shoulder injury. The Chiefs are likely resting him to get him ready for the playoffs.

Fantasy Analysis: Starting cornerbacks Pat Surtain II , Ronald Darby and Nate Hairston have been ruled out for Chiefs-Broncos, leaving Denver's secondary extremely thin. Coming off a 10-target game, Tyreek Hill should easily surpass his 59.5 receiving yards prop.

PFF’s fantasy projections have him pegged for 85 receiving yards.

Correlate Hill with an over on Mahomes’ passing yards prop. The Chiefs quarterback has gone over his forecasted total in seven of the nine games in which Hill has at least 60 receiving yards.

The Over/Under for this game is currently 45. PFF Greenline uses exclusive game and player data to make projections on NFL game spreads, moneyline, and over/under.


Dallas Cowboys @ Philadelphia Eagles (+4)

Name Position Team Injury Fantasy Rank Proj. points Tues. Status Wed. Status Thurs. Status Game Status
Jalen Hurts QB PHI Ankle QB13 20.6 LP LP FP (-)
Tony Pollard RB DAL Foot RB65 8.4 LP LP LP Q
Quez Watkins WR PHI Knee WR107 5.1 LP FP FP (-)
Miles Sanders RB PHI Hand 0.0 DNP DNP DNP OUT

Injury Analysis: RB Miles Sanders has been a DNP all week with his hand injury and will miss the season finale. He has a good shot to return for the playoffs.

RB Tony Pollard has been limited all week with a foot injury. The Cowboys have decided to hold him out of Week 18 to try and get him ready for the playoffs.

Fantasy Analysis: Two Philadelphia Eagles worth adding or rostering in DFS are running back Kenneth Gainwell and tight end Tyree Jackson. COVID may force both players to start and play the full game at their respective positions.

Gainwell leads the Eagles running backs in receptions/targets this season, while Jackson flashed in the preseason before sustaining an injury.

Tony Pollard is out, elevating Corey Clement to the No. 2 role behind Ezekiel Elliott. He has a sneaky DFS appeal on the Saturday-only slate. He’s at the stone minimum ($4,000).

The Over/Under for this game is currently 43.5. PFF Greenline uses exclusive game and player data to make projections on NFL game spreads, moneyline, and over/under.


Chicago Bears @ Minnesota Vikings (-5.5)

Name Position Team Injury Fantasy Rank Proj. points Wed. Status Thurs. Status Fri. Status Game Status
Kirk Cousins QB MIN NIR – Rest QB15 17.5 LP (-) (-) (-)
Andy Dalton QB CHI Groin QB28 15.7 (-) FP FP (-)
Jimmy Graham TE CHI NIR – Rest TE39 2.5 DNP FP FP (-)
Luke Stocker TE MIN Elbow 0.6 DNP LP (-) (-)
Kene Nwangwu RB MIN Hamstring RB87 0.4 LP LP FP (-)

Injury Analysis: QB Justin Fields has been ruled out of the season finale after being placed on the Reserve/COVID list.

Fantasy Analysis: Andy Dalton will start with Justin Fields placed on the COVID/reserve list. The QB swap bodes well for all the Bears offensive personnel ie. David Montgomery, Darnell Mooney and Cole Kmet.

Mooney has averaged over 10 targets and nearly 100 receiving yards in Dalton’s last two start, while Kmet has averaged just under seven targets per game in Dalton’s last three starts.

The Over/Under for this game is currently 44. PFF Greenline uses exclusive game and player data to make projections on NFL game spreads, moneyline, and over/under.


Indianapolis Colts @ Jacksonville Jaguars (+15)

Injury Analysis: TE James O'Shaughnessy will miss the season finale due to a hip injury.

Fantasy Analysis: N/A

The Over/Under for this game is currently 44. PFF Greenline uses exclusive game and player data to make projections on NFL game spreads, moneyline, and over/under.


Tennessee Titans @ Houston Texans (+10.5)

Name Position Team Injury Fantasy Rank Proj. points Wed. Status Thurs. Status Fri. Status Game Status
Julio Jones WR TEN Hamstring WR56 10.6 LP FP FP (-)
Chris Conley WR HST Knee WR76 6.0 DNP DNP DNP Q
Jordan Akins TE HST Illness 0.6 (-) DNP LP Q
Chris Moore WR HST Illness 0.0 (-) DNP LP Q
Deshaun Watson QB HST NIR 0.0 DNP DNP DNP OUT

Injury Analysis: N/A

Fantasy Analysis: N/A

The Over/Under for this game is currently 42. PFF Greenline uses exclusive game and player data to make projections on NFL game spreads, moneyline, and over/under.


Pittsburgh Steelers @ Baltimore Ravens (-3.5)

Injury Analysis: QB Lamar Jackson will not play in the season finale due to his ankle injury. There are a ton of things that need to go the Raven's way for them to make the playoffs, so Jackson is likely done until the 2022 season.

Fantasy Analysis: Tyler Huntley ($5,700) has performed admirably during Lamar Jackson‘s ($7,000) absence, averaging 21.5 expected fantasy points and 53 rushing yards in his four starts. He will start in Week 18 for an injured Jackson.

The Over/Under for this game is currently 41. PFF Greenline uses exclusive game and player data to make projections on NFL game spreads, moneyline, and over/under.


Cincinnati Bengals @ Cleveland Browns (-6)

Injury Analysis: RB Kareem Hunt has been a limited participant all week but is likely to sit out the season finale.

TE David Njoku had two DNPs followed up with a limited session. He has a chance of playing in Week 18.

Fantasy Analysis: With Cincy unlikely to play their starters — Joe Burrow already ruled out — Mike Thomas ($3,000) becomes an interesting punt play in DFS. He was Brandon Allen’s most targeted WR during the 2021 preseason.

Samaje Perine ($5,300) has been Mixon's direct backup all season and has often worked in tandem alongside the starter as a receiver out of the backfield. He received his most work back in Week 5 when Mixon missed time with an ankle injury.

Perine performed admirably, racking up 83 yards from scrimmage and one touchdown on 15 touches. He earned 15.9 expected fantasy points and ran a route on 59% of Joe Burrow’s dropbacks, which cements his role as a trusted receiver in Week 18.

He carries a $5,300 price tag on DraftKings this week and will surely take advantage of the full-PPR scoring format when Brandon Allen starts at quarterback.

Don’t go overboard chasing Jarvis Landry’s ($5,400) targets from last week. Donovan Peoples-Jones operated as the Cleveland Browns‘ true No. 1 wide receiver Monday night, running a route on a team-high 94% of Cleveland's dropbacks. Landry's routes run declined by 20% to 69% route participation.

With Cleveland’s playoff chances eliminated for 2021, it would make sense for the Browns to pull back Landry in an effort to give DPJ and their other receivers more opportunities. Peoples-Jones’ 38% air yards share ranks fifth among all players over the last four weeks, which foreshadows a big game on the horizon. He’s a value on DraftKings at just $4,300 ahead of a matchup against second-string Bengals defensive backs.

The Over/Under for this game is currently 37. PFF Greenline uses exclusive game and player data to make projections on NFL game spreads, moneyline, and over/under.


Green Bay Packers @ Detroit Lions (+3.5)

Injury Analysis: RB Aaron Jones has been limited all week with a knee injury and is likely to rest for the playoffs.

Fantasy Analysis: Juwann Winfree was the Packers' most productive receiver when Green Bay lost the majority of its starting WRs in Week 8. He could see an expanded role alongside running back Patrick Taylor ($4,000), who is the next running back on the depth chart behind A.J. Dillon and Aaron Jones.

D’Andre Swift ($5,900) returned to the lineup in Week 17, but fantasy managers were led astray by head coach Dan Campbell. The Lions head coach claimed Detroit would “cut Swift loose,” but Swift finished with only six total touches.

His peripheral receiving usage — 71% route participation, 57% snap share — wasn’t bad, but quarterback Tim Boyle did not target his No. 1 running back as much as Jared Goff has all season. He also was out-carried by Jamaal Williams at the goal-line, which is not ideal because a running back’s ceiling is often tied to their ability to hit paydirt.

This week, Swift said he expects to have a similar role as last week.

Per Pride of Detroit: “I think it’ll probably be the same,” Swift said of this week’s game plan. “I’m not sure as far as what it looks like on the note sheet or a piece of paper, but just talking to the coaches throughout the week, it’ll probably be the same process.”

The Over/Under for this game is currently 44.5. PFF Greenline uses exclusive game and player data to make projections on NFL game spreads, moneyline, and over/under.


Washington Football Team @ New York Giants (+7)

Injury Analysis: QB Mike Glennon has been ruled out of Week 18 with a wrist injury.

WR John Ross will miss the season finale with a knee injury.

WR Kadarius Toney will miss the last season of the game due to a shoulder issue.

WR Curtis Samuel's season is done due to a hamstring injury.

TE Ricky Seals-Jones has been ruled out of Week 18 with a concussion.

Fantasy Analysis: Ricky Seals-Jones exited Week 17 after a collision with a sideline cameraman, elevating John Bates into a full-time tight end role. The rookie tight end ran a route on 84% of Washington’s dropbacks. That type of elite usage has made Washington’s tight end fantasy viable all season long. It also cements Bates as the No .1 pay-down option in Week 18 with RSJ declared out Friday.

The New York Giants have given up the most red-zone touches/targets to tight ends this season.

The Over/Under for this game is currently 37.5. PFF Greenline uses exclusive game and player data to make projections on NFL game spreads, moneyline, and over/under.


Carolina Panthers @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-8.5)

Name Position Team Injury Fantasy Rank Proj. points Wed. Status Thurs. Status Fri. Status Game Status
Mike Evans WR TB Hamstring WR8 14.5 LP FP FP (-)
Robby Anderson WR CAR Quad WR70 8.6 DNP DNP DNP Q
Ke'Shawn Vaughn RB TB Ribs RB29 8.5 FP FP FP (-)
Shi Smith WR CAR Illness 2.0 DNP (-) (-) (-)
Jaelon Darden WR TB Illness 0.7 LP FP FP (-)
Justin Watson WR TB Quad 0.0 DNP DNP DNP OUT

Injury Analysis: WR Robby Anderson has been a DNP all week and unlikely to play in the season finale due to a quad injury.

RB Ronald Jones II has been ruled out of the season finale due to an ankle injury.

Fantasy Analysis: Robby Anderson is a game-time decision. Being that it is the last week of the season, Anderson likely won’t suit up. His absence, along with the vacancies left by Terrace Marshall Jr. and Shi Smith, make D.J. Moore a lock for 10-plus targets. What he does with his targets is anybody’s guess, though, due to his horrible quarterback play. Moore makes for an interesting bring-back option in Tampa Bay Buccaneers DFS stacks.

Ronald Jones ($6,100) is out for Sunday’s game, as he's currently in a walking boot. Second-year back Ke’Shawn Vaughn ($5,300) should start in his place with Le'Veon Bell mixing in.

Vaughn has been efficient when given opportunities at the NFL level — career 4.9 yards per carry and 4 yards after contact per attempt — and he has pass-game chops with three targets last week. He’s also graded as a top-six pass-blocker in back-to-back seasons, which ensures Vaughn won’t be taken off the field on third down.

The matchup also works in Vaughn’s favor, as the Carolina Panthers are the same defense he bested for 70 yards and one score just two weeks ago.

The Over/Under for this game is currently 41.5. PFF Greenline uses exclusive game and player data to make projections on NFL game spreads, moneyline, and over/under.


New Orleans Saints @Atlanta Falcons (+3.5)

Injury Analysis: RB Mark Ingram II has had two days straight of DNPs, and I am not optimistic he plays in the season finale.

Fantasy Analysis: Alvin Kamara faces the Falcons in a must-win game for New Orleans, so the Saints shouldn’t hold their star player back in any capacity. Kamara went over 100 yards from scrimmage the last time he faced Atlanta. He’s also had elite pass-game usage, running a route on 60% of New Orleans' dropbacks in his last four games. His 18.8 expected fantasy points per game over that span rank sixth.

Just be warned: We still have not seen Kamara crest over 20 DraftKings points in games where Mark Ingram is also active. Ingram is highly questionable.

The Falcons’ No.1 goal in this game should be to get Kyle Pitts the rookie tight end receiving record. If he plays, Pitts needs 59 receiving yards to break the record.

The Over/Under for this game is currently 39.5. PFF Greenline uses exclusive game and player data to make projections on NFL game spreads, moneyline, and over/under.


New England Patriots @ Miami Dolphins (+6.5)

Injury Analysis: RB Damien Harris has been limited all week with a hamstring injury, but I expect him to be ready to roll for the season finale.

WR Jakobi Myers has been limited all week with a thigh issue, but I am optimistic he plays in Week 18.

Fantasy Analysis: With the Miami Dolphins‘ playoff dreams squashed, they have all the incentive in the world to make sure their prized first-round pick breaks the rookie reception record. Currently sitting at 99 receptions, Jaylen Waddle ($6,300) is just three catches away from surpassing Anquan Boldin’s 101-reception rookie record from 2003. Considering Waddle owns a 30% target rate per route run over the last four weeks, he should easily break the record if he stays healthy. Also, Waddle’s 10% target share from Week 17 is easy to peg as an outlier that should regress positively based on his 22% season-long target share.

Patriots starting slot CB is out Myles Bryant is out with COVID.

The Over/Under for this game is currently 40. PFF Greenline uses exclusive game and player data to make projections on NFL game spreads, moneyline, and over/under.


New York Jets @ Buffalo Bills (-16)

Injury Analysis: WR Braxton Berrios's season has come to an end, as he will miss Week 18 with a quad injury.

WR Emmanuel Sanders is unlikely to play due to a knee injury. He will rest up for the playoffs.

Fantasy Analysis: I've been at this fantasy football analysis for a while, and when a player gets labeled “day-to-day,” they usually don’t end up suiting up. Bills head coach Sean McDermott said as much in regard to Emmanuel Sanders’ availability, so I would plan on him sitting out in Week 18, which means Gabriel Davis becomes my favorite DFS option at $4,900.

Without Sanders in Week 17, Davis ran a route on 92% of Josh Allen‘s dropbacks and ran more total routes than Stefon Diggs. Davis is a surefire bet to break out in 2022, as Sanders is an impending free agent. What better way to ignite the pending star than with a matchup against the Jets, who rank 31st in yards per target allowed this season (8.2). The second-year wideout went for over 100 yards the last time he faced the Jets while running a route on just 37% of dropbacks.

Braxton Berrios and Elijah Moore won’t suit up on Sunday, thrusting Jamison Crowder into the starting slot role. He is likely a safe bet for six-plus targets, on account of that being his average this season. Crowder has averaged 8.5 fantasy points per game in games Zach Wilson has started this season.

Michael Carter is a nice cheap option at $5,000 on DraftKings coming off his concussion. He should lead the backfield in touches, and the matchup is solid. Buffalo ranks seventh in fantasy points per game allowed to RBs over the last four weeks.

The Over/Under for this game is currently 40.5. PFF Greenline uses exclusive game and player data to make projections on NFL game spreads, moneyline, and over/under.


San Francisco 49ers @ Los Angeles Rams (-4.5)

Name Position Team Injury Fantasy Rank Proj. points Wed. Status Thurs. Status Fri. Status Game Status
Elijah Mitchell RB SF Knee RB15 9.6 DNP LP FP (-)
Jimmy Garoppolo QB SF Right Thumb QB32 1.3 LP LP LP Q
Cam Akers RB LA Achilles RB73 0.0 FP FP FP (-)

Injury Analysis: QB Jimmy Garoppolo has been limited all week with a thumb issue. He is trending in the right direction to play in the season finale, and I expect him to play with San Francisco's playoff hopes on the line.

Fantasy Analysis: The 49ers have five starting defensive backs on the COVID/reserve list, which bodes well for Matthew Stafford and company.

Kyle Shanahan said Friday he knows whether it will be Jimmy Garoppolo or Trey Lance that starts. Garoppolo figures to get the nod if healthy, so it's a slight boost to the team's passing attack. Be wary that it's a late game, so have late-swap options available if your roster features one of the 49ers' QBs.

The Over/Under for this game is currently 44.5. PFF Greenline uses exclusive game and player data to make projections on NFL game spreads, moneyline, and over/under.


Seattle Seahawks @ Arizona Cardinals (-5.5)

Injury Analysis: RB Chase Edmonds will miss the season finale with ribs/toe injury. He will look to get ready for the playoffs.

James Conner is considered questionable for Week 18. I expect the Cardinals to sit him to get ready for the playoffs.

WR Rondale Moore has been ruled out for the season finale and will set his sights on the playoffs.

Fantasy Analysis: Chase Edmonds was ruled out for Week 18, while James Conner remained limited. With Conner clearly not at 100%, I’d imagine he will split touches with Eno Benjamin and Jonathan Ward if he even suits up.

Linebacker Bobby Wagner is doubtful, which is a big boost to the Cardinals’ offense.

The Over/Under for this game is currently 48. PFF Greenline uses exclusive game and player data to make projections on NFL game spreads, moneyline, and over/under.


Los Angeles Chargers @ Las Vegas Raiders (+3)

Name Position Team Injury Fantasy Rank Proj. points Wed. Status Thurs. Status Fri. Status Game Status
Josh Jacobs RB LV Ribs RB9 15.6 LP LP LP Q
Darren Waller TE LV Knee TE5 14.9 LP LP LP Q
Foster Moreau TE LV Abdomen TE33 4.1 FP FP FP (-)
Daniel Helm TE LV Knee 0.1 FP FP FP (-)
Sutton Smith RB LV Heel 0.0 FP FP FP (-)

Injury Analysis: RB Josh Jacobs has been limited all week with a rib injury, but I expect him to play in a must-win game.

TE Darren Waller has been limited all week with a knee injury, and I expect him to return from his injury.

The Over/Under for this game is currently 49. PFF Greenline uses exclusive game and player data to make projections on NFL game spreads, moneyline, and over/under.

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