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NFL Wild-Card Round Injury Report: All 6 games

Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry (22) runs the ball while Indianapolis Colts outside linebacker Darius Leonard (53) defends in the second half at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-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- and DFS-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


LV @ CIN | NE @ BUF | PHI @ TB | SF @ DAL | PIT @ KC | ARZ @ LA


Las Vegas Raiders @ Cincinnati Bengals (-5.5)

SATURDAY, JAN. 15 | 4:30 P.M. ET | NBC

Injury Analysis: N/A

The Over/Under for this game is currently 48.5. PFF Greenline uses exclusive game and player data to make projections on NFL game spreads, moneyline, and over/under.


New England Patriots @ Buffalo Bills (-4)

SATURDAY, JAN. 15 | 8:15 P.M. ET | CBS
Name Position Team Injury Fantasy Rank Proj. points Tues. Status Wed. Status Thurs. Status Game Status
Stefon Diggs WR BUF NIR – Rest WR4 18.2 (-) (-) DNP (-)
Jakobi Meyers WR NE Thigh WR19 12.3 LP LP LP Q
Cole Beasley WR BUF NIR – Rest WR23 10.0 0 DNP 0 (-)
Emmanuel Sanders WR BUF Knee WR34 9.7 FP FP FP (-)
Nick Folk K NE Left Knee K3 8.3 LP LP LP Q
Damien Harris RB NE Hamstring RB10 8.1 LP LP LP Q

Injury Analysis: WR Jakobi Meyers was limited all week with a thigh injury. He is listed as questionable, but I expect him to play Saturday.

RB Damien Harris was limited all week with a hamstring injury, but I expect him to be ready for Wildcard Weekend.

Fantasy Analysis: With injuries/COVID designations to CBs Jalen Mills, Shaun Wade and DT Christian Barmore, the Bills offense owns the health advantage. Replacement cornerback Justin Bethel is the Patriots' worst-graded cornerback (60.0), and his 2.31 yards per coverage snap rank last among all defensive backs playing on Wild-Card Weekend.

Starting LT Isaiah Wynn is also out, which does not bode well for the Patriots' passing attack. Justin Herron will take over, and he is PFF's sixth-worst graded pass-blocker this season.

Without Emmanuel Sanders in Week 18, Gabriel Davis ran a route on 96% of Josh Allens dropbacks, commanded 13 targets and ran more routes than Stefon Diggs for the second-straight week. The high-value target machine also earned three end-zone targets, five deep targets and 227 air yards. That’s a ton of fantasy-friendly looks.

Unfortunately, Davis finished with just three catches for 39 yards, as only eight of his 13 targets were deemed catchable. He also was credited with three drops. Woof.

Mistakes aside, the second-year wide receiver is a serious breakout candidate in 2022 because Sanders is an impending free agent.

Nevertheless, temper expectations for this week, as Sanders is practicing in a full capacity. That delegates Davis to the two-game DFS slate only because he still has touchdown upside attached to Allen.

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.


Philadelphia Eagles @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-8.5)

SUNDAY, JAN. 16 | 1:00 P.M. ET | FOX

Injury Analysis: RB Miles Sanders has missed two games with a hand injury. He has been cleared and will play in the Wildcard Round.

WR Justin Watson was able to log a full practice on Friday, which has him trending in the right direction. He hasn't played much this year, but he will be needed with WR Cyril Grayson (hamstring) and Chris Godwin (ACL) out and Antonio Brown dismissed.

RB Leonard Fournette has missed the last three games with a hamstring strain, but I believe he will be active Sunday. I do not believe he is 100%, therefore he is at extreme risk for reinjury. I think game script will determine how much he is used, but RB Ronald Jones II being ruled out due to an ankle injury puts the Bucs in a tough spot.

Fantasy Analysis: If you're going to chase a sub-$5.5K running back in DFS, opt for Miles Sanders ($5,100), who is cleared to play on Sunday. The Buccaneers’ elite run defense needs no introduction, as it allowed the fewest rushing yards to RBs during the regular season. However, when it does give up rushing production, it usually comes on explosive rushes. The Buccaneers' 16% explosive run rate allowed this season ranks last, which plays right into the Eagles offense's hands, as it ranks second in explosive runs generated.

With poor weather conditions calling for even more ground and pound, Philly has a lot working in its favor with Sanders leading the charge. The Eagles have the most favorable OL/DL matchup in the run game this week.

Leonard Fournette will be a game-time call, but he’s worth rostering in DFS in the chance he does suit up.

Before his injury, Fournette led all running backs in expected fantasy points per game due to his excellent role in Tampa Bay's passing game. He averaged 6.5 catches and nearly eight targets per game. That skill set should prove extremely valuable against the Philadelphia Eagles, who rank third in receptions allowed to running backs this season.

The Bucs should lean heavily on Fournette as both a rusher/receiver because the latest weather reports forecast heavy rain and winds up to 23 miles per hour for Sunday’s first wild-card matchup.

Without Fournette or Ronald Jones — also ruled out for Sunday — in the Week 18 lineup, Ke’Shawn Vaughn led the Buccaneers backfield with 12 touches to Le’Veon Bell’s four. However, outside of carries, everything else was split in terms of routes run, targets and goal-line carries.

Both are fringy, touchdown-or-bust options versus a tough Eagles front if Fournette can't play on Sunday.

Cyril Grayson was hurt in Week 18, thrusting Breshad Perriman into a full-time role for the Buccaneers on the outside. Perriman would be the favorite to operate in three-WR sets alongside Tyler Johnson (slot) and Mike Evans if Grayson cannot return. Grayson is out for Sunday’s game.

The Over/Under for this game is currently 45.5 PFF Greenline uses exclusive game and player data to make projections on NFL game spreads, moneyline, and over/under.


San Francisco 49ers @ Dallas Cowboys (-3)

SUNDAY, JAN. 16 | 4:30 P.M. ET | CBS
Name Position Team Injury Fantasy Rank Proj. points Wed. Status Thurs. Status Fri. Status Game Status
Jimmy Garoppolo QB SF Right Thumb QB9 21.3 LP FP FP (-)
Elijah Mitchell RB SF Knee RB6 16.4 DNP LP FP (-)
George Kittle TE SF NIR – Rest TE1 14.8 DNP FP FP (-)
Tony Pollard RB DAL Foot RB20 8.8 FP FP FP (-)
Sean McKeon TE DAL Neck 0.3 LP FP FP (-)

Injury Analysis: N/A

The Over/Under for this game is currently 51. PFF Greenline uses exclusive game and player data to make projections on NFL game spreads, moneyline, and over/under.


Pittsburgh Steelers @ Kansas City Chiefs (-12.5)

SUNDAY, JAN. 16 | 8:15 P.M. ET | NBC

Injury Analysis: RB Najee Harris hyperextended his elbow last week and received a PRP shot. I expect him to be able to play through the injury against the Chiefs on Sunday.

WR JuJu Smith-Schuster was back at practice this week after missing three months due to a torn labrum. I expect him to play in Wildcard Weekend with no limitations.

WR Tyreek Hill suffered a heel injury in warm-ups in Week 18. He played sparingly and was visibly hobbled. He logged two full practices with a limited session sandwiched in-between, which bodes well for him. Hill does not carry an injury designation, and I do not believe he will be affected by the injury.

RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire will miss his third straight game with a shoulder injury. He is getting close to returning, though, and I expect him to have good shot at playing in the next round if the Chiefs advance.

RB Darrel Williams suffered a toe injury in Week 18 and is questionable heading into the Wildcard Round. I expect Williams to play Sunday.

Fantasy Analysis: Clyde Edwards-Helaire is out for Sunday Night’s game versus the Pittsburgh Steelers, thrusting Darrel Williams into the starting role. The matchup is divine versus a Steelers’ run defense that has allowed the second-most rushing yards to running backs this season.

In Williams’ last start, he played 80% of the snaps, compiled 17 touches and over 100 yards from scrimmage.

JuJu Smith-Schuster is just $3K on DraftKings and is expected to play on Sunday night. He hasn’t played since Week 5, but Smith-Schuster averaged 32 receiving yards and just under four receptions per game through the first four weeks of the season.

His low ceiling makes him a punt play to save salary with his workload unclear. He also nukes any chance of Ray-Ray McCloud III returning value at $3,700.

The Over/Under for this game is currently 46. PFF Greenline uses exclusive game and player data to make projections on NFL game spreads, moneyline, and over/under.


Arizona Cardinals @ Los Angeles Rams (-4)

MONDAY, JAN. 17 | 8:15 P.M. ET | ABC/ESPN/ESPN+

Injury Analysis: RB Chase Edmonds has been limited all week with ribs/toe injuries. I expect him to be ready Monday.

RB James Conner has not practiced all week due to a ribs injury suffered in Week 18. He has not practiced all week, but it's hard to believe he won't try to give it a go with this being a playoff game.

WR Rondale Moore has been limited all week with an ankle injury, but I expect him to be ready for the Wildcard Round.

Fantasy Analysis: James Conner ($6,300) got knocked out of last week’s game versus the Seahawks after suffering a rib injury. Re-watching the contest, it was clear Connor was in intense pain.

Playing on Monday night does give Conner a chance to suit up, but his day-to-day designation is a foreboding signal he probably won’t play. He didn’t practice on Thursday or Friday.

Conner may give it a go because it’s the postseason, but I doubt we see him anywhere close to 100%. It’s also a brutal matchup on the ground for Conner, as the Cardinals have the biggest OL/DL matchup disadvantage this week.

I’d rather build my lineups with the idea that Chase Edmonds ($5,000) is the healthier of the two RBs and bogarts the lion’s share of pass-catching work. Conner nearly finished with 100 receiving yards the last time he faced the Rams — Edmonds was sidelined.

Edmonds has practiced in a limited fashion this week.

The Over/Under for this game is currently 49.5. PFF Greenline uses exclusive game and player data to make projections on NFL game spreads, moneyline, and over/under.

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