Fantasy Football: Week 14 Injury Report
Injuries are an unfortunate part of football. It's one thing we hate having occur to not only the players we roster but within the game itself. With that said, this does create opportunities for teammates, opening up potential pickups in season-long leagues while also producing value plays in daily fantasy football.
Using the practice report, we can glean a lot of information based on who's available and what coaches are saying from press conferences. This knowledge can allow us to make emergency plans to pivot or change our lineups come Sunday morning when inactives are announced.
Based on this week's practice reports, here are a few quick-hitters to give you a leg up on lineup decisions as crunch time approaches for Sunday lineup lock.
Evan Engram (hamstring) practiced in full on Thursday and Friday which bodes well for his status for Sunday. Engram has missed the last two games and Rhett Ellison has filled in for him. Engram's been a disappointment for fantasy this year who was being drafted as a top-five option in the summer and has only topped ten fantasy points twice this season. In a week where some owners are in the fantasy playoffs, Engram's low floor shouldn't be considered.
Julio Jones (foot) has been a non-participant in practice, but fantasy owners should not be concerned. Owners should not be considering benching Jones based on injury, this seems to be more of a maintenance week for the veteran. Per Head Coach Dan Quinn, Jones is expected to play against the Green Bay Packers. The premier wide receiver has been leading the league in air yards (579) which has him ranking top-three in market share (51%) over the last three weeks. The Falcons receiver should have plenty of opportunities to make big plays against numberFire's 21st-ranked passing defense.
Duke Johnson (personal) has not practiced this week but returned on Friday. Johnson has taken a backseat to Nick Chubb and played around 35% of snaps for most weeks. The Cleveland Browns have used Johnson minimally, and he hasn't topped five targets since Week 9. Chubb has three-straight games of three catches with at last 30 yards receiving. If Johnson were to ever miss in the future, Chubb would be a strong play with an increased target projection to go along with his large weekly carry load.
Cam Newton (shoulder) came into Week 14 limited in practice but is not listed on the final injury report. There's been some concern over Newton's throwing shoulder after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was able to intercept him four times last week, on top of reports indicating that he's been dealing with pain. Newton's dealt with the pain and soreness all season as he's popped up on the Carolina Panthers injury report with this same injury before, but wasn't spotlighted until the Panthers recent struggles. Still, fantasy owners should probably look for other options as the Browns have been good at keeping quarterbacks in check, allowing 17.5 fantasy points per game.
Adrian Peterson (shoulder) was limited on Thursday but should be ready to play the New York Giants. Peterson had 26 carries for 149 rushing yards and two total touch downs when the Washington Redskins last played the Giants. From a Rushing Net Expected Points (NEP) perspective, it was also his best game of the season (5.74). The Redskins are small home underdogs -- 3.5 points on FanDuel Sportsbook -- which could be attributed to the quarterback change. The Giants have struggled to contain opposing backfields, they have allowed 4.8 yards per carry over their last 4 games - something Peterson can take advantage of.
T.Y. Hilton (shoulder) and Eric Ebron (knee, illness) returned to practice for the Indianapolis Colts on Friday. Ebron seems to be in better standings than Hilton, as he could be a game time decision for their game against the Houston Texans. The Colts passing offense is heavily concentrated around these two - 26% target market share each over their last two games - and having neither would be a significant downgrade for the Colts prospects. They head to Houston where the Vegas sports books opened this game at a 49 over/under and since then has moved up 1 point, to 50.0 on FanDuel Sportsbook.
D'Onta Foreman (Achilles) was activated off the PUP list this week and has been practicing in full. Foreman tore his Achilles last November and has been on the PUP since training camp. Interesting to note that the Houston Texans pushed into the deadline to activate him but beat reporters expect him to be inactive on Sunday. Foreman will simply be a depth add behind Lamar Miller and Alfred Blue as they make a playoff push. For fantasy purposes, he should only be a targeted in DFS and could be considered as a stash candidate in leagues that play with keepers. The Texans can save $6.25 million on the salary cap if Miller is cut and Blue will be an unrestricted free agent in 2019.
Stefon Diggs (knee) started this week better than last week with a limited participation. Diggs spent most of last week not practicing at all, and was a game-time decision against the New England Patriots. Diggs caught all five of his targets and had 49 yards against the Patriots, which was one of his worst fantasy outings this season. With the Minnesota Vikings playing on Monday they will have an extra practice over the weekend, which will give better indication of where Diggs will be going into the game. Since Diggs was able to play last week with no practice, expectations should be that he will be active. Our projections have Diggs going for 7.2 catches for 77.6 yards and 0.40 touchdowns, good for WR14.
Isaiah Crowell (toe) is questionable for Sunday. If Crowell misses, Elijah McGuire and Trenton Cannon will be the primary running backs. McGuire has played in 55% of snaps from weeks nine through twelve until that dropped to 37% last week. He hasn't topped 15 touches in any of those outings. Crowell has 57% of the team's running back carries and is tied with McGuire for total targets (11) over the last three weeks. McGuire ($4,600) will be another cheap running back option this week along with Jeff Wilson ($5,600) and Jaylen Samuels ($4,600) on FanDuel.
DeSean Jackson (thumb) will sit out for a second straight week against the New Orleans Saints. This would place Chris Godwin as a full time starter for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He has been superb in filling for Jackson, and he caught five of his six targets and had over 100 receiving yards with a touch down last week. This game is forecasted for a shootout with the Saints winning by 10 points, which should keep the Bucs' prolific passing game in positive game script for the majority of the game. Godwin comes into Week 14 as a top 36 wide receiver in our model and is a strong play on FanDuel at $5,600.
Kerryon Johnson (knee) will miss a third straight week for the Detroit Lions. The Lions believe that Johnson has made little progress and reports have suggested he could be finished for the season. The team has four wins on the season and are more likely to have a top ten draft pick then they are to sniff at a playoff opportunity, so it would make sense for the team to shut him down for what is becoming a lost season. The split between LeGarrette Blount and Theo Riddick should continue with Blount getting the carries and Riddick the targets, but neither are fantasy viable on an offense that has struggled recently and are 27th in numberFire's rankings.
Sammy Watkins (foot) suffered a set back on Friday and was ruled out for 4 to 6 weeks. This comes together as to why the Kansas City Chiefs signed Kelvin Benjamin yesterday. Benjamin is just a depth add for the Chiefs but should place Chris Conley as a full time starter and Demetrius Harris getting a bump in snaps. Chiefs will play the Baltimore Ravens in a matchup where an unstoppable force (Chiefs 1st in passing offense) meets an immovable object (Ravens 1st in passing defense).
As it is with all injuries, each individual situation is fluid. Make sure to keep tabs throughout the weekend and keep up with our numberFire player news feed for up-to-date reports prior to kickoff. Good luck this week!
Gabriel Garrido is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Gabriel Garrido also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username guhreedoe28. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his/her personal views, he/she may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his/her personal account. The views expressed in his/her articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.