It’s the end of the regular season or the start of the playoffs in fantasy football and the injuries just don’t care which situation you are in. Some injuries are going to be older ones while we also have a spate of fresh hurts that will impact your fantasy rosters. That being said, let’s see who’s in the clinic this week.
Green Bay WR Jordy Nelson (hamstring) went down hurt in the first quarter of last week’s game and didn’t return. Nelson has missed a couple days of practice this week and doesn’t appear to be on target to play Sunday night against Detroit.
With it being a Sunday night game, have a backup plan ready either way. Sure, the Patriots and Texans play Monday so there are some quality options available (if you have them on your roster). Either way, I wouldn’t count on Jordy Nelson this week and would expect Greg Jennings to believe in himsmelf and be the primary target for Aaron Rodgers.
Detroit WR Ryan Broyles tore his ACL and is done for the season. Lions WR Titus Young is also on IR so Mike Thomas will get the call opposite Calvin Johnson this week. As mentioned in the waiver wire piece, Thomas has the opportunity to put up good numbers and Brian Robiskie wil be fighting for the scraps as the WR3.
Philadelphia RB LeSean McCoy (concussion-phase 3) is getting closer to getting back on the field. While he has moved from phase 2 to 3 of the recovery, it’s still no safe bet that he’ll be back on the field this season. Michael Vick has been stuck at stage 4 for about a month now and he has been shelved for the rest of the season. Look for the Eagles to contemplate the same thing at 3-9.
Carolina WR Brandon LaFell (foot sprain) is an iffy proposition for this week’s game against Atlanta. He’s suffering from the dreaded turf toe and reportedly also has a chipped bone in his foot too. It looks like Cam Newton will have to rely on Steve Smith and Greg Olsen more in the passing game this week against the Falcons.
New York Jets TE Dustin Keller (ankle sprain) is still limping significantly and may not play this week. Greg Cumberland, the hero of the scintillating 7-6 win over Arizona last week, would get the call if Keller can’t play. Neither of them look to be particularly strong options against the Jaguars.
Jacksonville RB Rashad Jennings (concussion) left last week’s game. He hasn’t practiced since and is highly doubtful for this week. With MJD still being listed as highly questionable, look for Montell Owens to be the lead back with Jordan Todman expected to split carries. Neither has any real fantasy value.
New England WR Julian Edelman (foot) has put on IR and his season is done. He left last week’s game with a foot injury and it turns out to be a broken foot. Brandon Lloyd will have to step up to try and fill in the gap Edelman leaves. Devin McCourty could see extra duties in the kick return game with Edelman out.
Pittsburgh will be getting QB Ben Roethilsberger (rib) back for Sunday’s game against the Chargers. While there will be some familiarity coming back for the Steelers, it remains to be seen how effective he will be. it’s one thing to be okay in practice but in my eyes, Big Ben needs to prove that he can do it on the Big Stage before I consider starting him again. Not with the playoffs on the line. I need a healthy dependable quarterback for the playoffs.
Chicago LB Brian Urlacher (hamstring) may miss the rest of the regular season. Look for this to be week to week for now for those of you who play IDP formats. The Bears DST will not be as strong without him, but still should be an every-week play.
Tampa Bay WR Vincent Jackson (calf) shouldn’t slow him down this week. He’s gotten two full days worth of practice in and is good to go with a favorable matchup against the Eagles.
Dallas RB Demarco Murray (foot) looks to be back to normal and should be started as usual this week. Murray takes on a tough Bengals’ defense that doesn’t surrender many points to rushers so lower your expectations a little. Dallas WR Miles Austin (hip) is probable this week as well. Yet again, Cincy has a tough defense and Dez Bryant has been hot as of late. Austin and Murray both get the same outlook against Cincy.
And now for the quick wrap-around the rest of the relevant injuries, it’s time for…
Donald Brown will be out for the Colts this week so RB Vick Ballard will have another chance to shine…Arizona QB Kevin Kolb was limited in practice this week but John Skelton will get the start as the Cardinals try to snap their eight-game losing streak when they visit Seattle. That sounds like a lot of Angry Birds going at it in Starbucks City…St. Louis WR Danny Amendola(foot) is still limited for this week against Buffalo and could be the dreaded game-time decision…Cincinnati K Mike Nugent (calf) looks to be out this week as the Bengals signed Josh Brown for this week. Brown has missed just 10 times in eight seasons from inside the 40-yard range so he could be a good last-minute add to replace Nugent.
There you have it. There are a lot of dinged up players this time of year and hopefully your team isn’t getting bitten by the injury bug.
Leave your comments and questions below and good luck this week!