Rob Gronkowski’s sixteen game, standard scoring, fantasy point pace for 2015 was 214.4.  That’s a hefty number.  That’s a number good enough to keep the “is he, or is he not worth a 1st round draft pick” debate going.  If there exists a knock against Gronk, it is most likely that he can’t stay healthy.  Which is something that I think is technically true, but it also might be unfair.  I think we need to acknowledge that most tight ends are injury prone.  For whatever reasons, they just seem to miss more time than their wide receiver counterparts.  This has been especially true for the most dominant tight ends in fantasy of the past several years: Antonio Gates, Rob Gronkowski, Jimmy Graham, and Julius Thomas.  Gronkowski and Thomas have missed the most games, while Gates and Graham have mostly managed to stay on the field, albeit often with lesser production as they struggled with injuries .

So it’s arguably not really Gronk being injury prone, per se, because the top tight ends as a whole get injured a lot.  Other oft injured tight ends include Jordan Reed, Kyle Rudolph, and going back a little further to when he was useful… Owen Daniels.  Going back even further, you have Dallas Clark.  Arguably, Tyler Eifert and Jordan Cameron deserve to be labeled as injury prone.  The only exceptions I can think of are Greg Olsen, Jason Witten and Tony Gonzalez, three truly durable players.

Rob Gronkowski (knee) has suffered a sprain of some sort as well as a “bone bruise”.  Here’s the official report:

So let the speculation begin.  I’m really quite positive he’s going to miss this week’s game, as Adam Schefter has reported.  He’ll probably miss at least another week after that.  I think everyone knows not to drop Gronkowski, that’s the right choice.  Even if he only plays one more week for you, I can’t imagine that dropping him would be the right move.  I feel the greatest odds are that he returns week 16.  Just a guess though.  Until then, Scott Chander is a pretty good replacement for owners of Gronk, Graham or Eifert.  Other decent replacement options include Benjamin Watson, Richard Rodgers, Jacob Tamme, and Kyle Rudolph.

Jimmy Graham (knee, patellar tendon) has been placed on IR.  Patellar tendon injuries might be the worst of all relatively common injuries an NFL player can sustain.  With the six to nine month recovery time mentioned below, look for him to be ready to go by the start of 2016, but will he be the same?  I think he’s a very difficult player to value headed into next year and he’ll probably be drafted anywhere from the 6th-8th round in 12 team drafts, with the variance between due to the fact that it only takes one person to believe he’ll regain some old Jimmy Graham form.  Plus the Seahawks offensive line figures to be better, I mean, it has to be better, right?

Tyler Eifert (neck) missed Wednesday’s practice, so we might be without two of the top 3 tight ends (1. Gronk 2. Olsen 3. Eifert… right?).  Oh and Graham is arguably still the 6th best (behind Kelce and Barnidge?), so that’s a lot of good players to lose in one week.  Update:  It’s been reported he’s missing today’s (Thursday’s) practice as well.

Chris Johnson (leg, fractured tibia) is on IR w/ designation to return in case they reach the Super Bowl.  At this point it’s extremely difficult to get a reading on his value for next season considering we don’t even know what team he’ll play for, as I’m under the impression the Cardinals didn’t extend his original one year contract.  My thinking is he probably won’t have a lot of value headed into next year but he should be at the worst a second string RB, possibly he somehow latches onto a team as their starter, maybe the Cardinals again?

Andre Ellington (toe) is expected to miss some time with his turf toe injury.  Obviously this leaves Duke Johnson as the Arizona Cardinals RB to own.  I think that Johnson should be considered a just inside the top-20 RB while Ellington is out.  What will be Ellington’s role when he’s back to health?  I really don’t know what share of the touches he’ll receive.  I think it depends a lot on how Duke Johnson performs in the meantime.  Bruce Arians has not wanted to use Ellington a lot this year but that could change if Johnson’s performance is poor.  Anyway, this report seems to imply that Ellington will miss at most one week:

Allen Hurns (concussion) is unlikely to play this week.  I’ve discussed concussions before so.. take it form me:  “Concussions are both clear cut and unpredictable at the same time.  They are clear cut because if a player has passed the concussion protocol then he will play.  They are unpredictable because the time it takes to be cleared seems to vary a lot on a player by player basis.”  My guess is Hurns could return for week 14 after sitting out this week but it’s iffy.

Karlos Williams (shoulder) missed practice and it’s looking highly doubtful that he’ll play this week.  He can be dropped but I’m not saying he should be dropped.  I still don’t trust LeSean McCoy’s health so it all depends on whom you’d be dropping him for.

Updates on Previously Injured Players:

On The Mend:  Devonta Freeman (concussion) only practiced on a limited basis but reports say he is out of the concussion protocol (that is, he’s been fully cleared).  Andrew Luck (kidney) has resumed throwing.  A week 15 return seems like a small possibility at this point but I haven’t yet seen an updated timetable from a “source”.  He can still be safely ignored.

Murky Waters:  Ryan Mathews (concussion) still has not come back to practice.  Carlos Hyde (foot) still has not returned to practice but if he’s available in your league I think he makes a decent stash in case he returns by week 15.  I thought Austin Seferian-Jenkins was nearing a return like 4 weeks ago and it still hasn’t happened.  If it does happen I’d strongly consider him as a replacement if you lost Gronk, Graham, or Eifert.

So now I leave you with the practice reports for week 13 of the NFL season.  These are the same reports that each team is required to give the league after every day of practice.  Teams that play Thursday have a full injury report with the “Out/Doubtful/Questionable/Probable” designations due by Wednesday.  Teams that play Sunday (or Saturday) only have a practice report due Wednesday and teams that play Monday have nothing at all due by Wednesday, which is when this post is written.

The Practice Report for December 2nd, 2015

Arizona Cardinals
John Brown – WR – Limited Participation
Andre Ellington – RB – No Participation
Larry Fitzgerald – WR – No Participation
Michael Floyd – WR – Limited Participation

Atlanta Falcons
Devonta Freeman – RB – Limited Participation
Leonard Hankerson – WR – No Participation

Baltimore Ravens
Marlon Brown – WR – No Participation
Maxx Williams – TE – No Participation

Buffalo Bills
Marcus Easley – WR – Limited Participation
Tyrod Taylor – QB – Limited Participation
Karlos Williams – RB – No Participation

Carolina Panthers
Corey Brown – WR – Full Participation

Chicago Bears
Martellus Bennett – TE – Full Participation
Ka’Deem Carey – RB – Full Participation
Eddie Royal – WR – No Participation

Cincinnati Bengals
Tyler Eifert – TE – No Participation

Cleveland Browns
Taylor Gabriel – WR – No Participation
Andrew Hawkins – WR – No Participation
Johnny Manziel – QB – Full Participation

Dallas Cowboys
No Practice Information Reported (Monday Night Football)

Denver Broncos
Owen Daniels – TE – Limited Participation
Bennie Fowler – WR – No Participation
Virgil Green – TE – Full Participation
Ronnie Hillman – RB – Limited Participation
Cody Latimer – WR – No Participation
Peyton Manning – QB – No Participation
Brock Osweiler – QB – Full Participation
Emmanuel Sanders – WR – Full Participation

Detroit Lions
Calvin Johnson – WR – Limited Participation
Lance Moore – WR – No Participation
Golden Tate – WR – Full Participation

Green Bay Packers
Jared Abbrederis – WR – Full Participation
Ty Montgomery – WR – No Participation

Houston Texans
Alfred Blue – RB – Limited Participation
DeAndre Hopkins – WR – Limited Participation

Indianapolis Colts
Phillip Dorsett – WR – No Participation
Andre Johnson – WR – No Participation
Andrew Luck – QB – No Participation

Jacksonville Jaguars
Toby Gerhart – RB – No Participation
Allen Hurns – WR – No Participation
Marcedes Lewis – TE – No Participation
Neal Sterling – WR – Limited Participation
Bryan Walters – WR – No Participation

Kansas City Chiefs
Chris Conley – WR – Full Participation
Travis Kelce – TE – Full Participation
De’Anthony Thomas – WR – No Participation
Spencer Ware – RB – Full Participation
Charcandrick West – RB – Full Participation

Miami Dolphins
Jay Ajayi – RB – Full Participation
Rishard Matthews – WR – No Participation
Dion Sims – TE – Full Participation

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots
Danny Amendola – WR – Limited Participation
Julian Edelman – WR – No Participation
Rob Gronkowski – TE – No Participation
Michael Williams – TE – Limited Participation
Trey Williams – RB – No Participation

New Orleans Saints
Marques Colston – WR – No Participation
Mark Ingram – RB – Full Participation
Willie Snead – WR – No Participation

New York Giants
Larry Donnell – TE – No Participation

New York Jets
Eric Decker – WR – Full Participation
Ryan Fitzpatrick – QB – Full Participation
Brandon Marshall – WR – Limited Participation

Oakland Raiders
Taiwan Jones – RB – Limited Participation

Philadelphia Eagles
Nelson Agholor – WR – Limited Participation
Seyi Ajirotutu – WR – Full Participation
Sam Bradford – QB – Full Participation
Zach Ertz – TE – Full Participation
Josh Huff – WR – Full Participation
Ryan Mathews – RB – No Participation

Pittsburgh Steelers
Martavis Bryant – WR – No Participation
Heath Miller – TE – No Participation
Ben Roethlisberger – QB – Full Participation
Matt Spaeth – TE – No Participation

San Diego Chargers
Ladarius Green – TE – Full Participation
Philip Rivers – QB – Full Participation

Seattle Seahawks
Marshawn Lynch – RB – No Participation
Paul Richardson – WR – No Participation
Will Tukuafu – RB – No Participation

San Francisco 49ers
Blake Bell – TE – Full Participation
Anquan Boldin – WR – Full Participation
Garrett Celek – TE – No Participation
Bruce Ellington – WR – Full Participation
Carlos Hyde – RB – No Participation

St. Louis Rams
Case Keenum – QB – Limited Participation

Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Vincent Jackson – WR – No Participation
Austin Seferian-Jenkins – TE – Limited Participation
Luke Stocker – TE – No Participation

Tennessee Titans
Anthony Fasano – TE – No Participation
Dexter McCluster – RB – No Participation

Washington Football Team
No Practice Information Reported (Monday Night Football)


Every week I either forget something or leave something out due to time constraints.  I’m happy to discuss situations I missed or anything else in the Comments section below.  Thanks for reading!

Lance is also available on Twitter @RotoLance.

  1. Eng says:

    Start Spencer Ware or Joique Bell this week?

    • RotoLance

      RotoLance says:

      @Eng: I don’t like either choice this week. Ugh, Bell plays tonight.. Play Joique, hope he gets a touchdown.

  2. Nick says:

    Hey bud, your confusing Duke Johnson (Cleveland) with David Johnson (Arizona)..update your post!

    • RotoLance

      RotoLance says:

      @Nick: You’re confusing your with you’re. Unfortunately I can’t update the post. I could ask Jay to, but because everyone will easily be able to tell the difference I don’t think it’s necessary. Thanks though.

  3. Jarrad says:

    Pick 2 RB and 1 Flex from the following, please…

    Yeldon (@TEN), Bernard (@CLE), Spencer Ware, Charcandrick West (@OAK)
    Anquan Boldin (@CHI)

    I’m leaning Yeldon, Bernard, and Boldin. That KC RB situation is irksome!


    • RotoLance

      RotoLance says:

      @Jarrad: I would feel comfortable with your choice. I also think Yeldon, Bernard and West should be solid. Perhaps we’ll know a little more about West v Ware by Sunday.

      • Jarrad says:

        @RotoLance: Thanks for the input!

Comments are closed.