Fantasy Football: Injury Report Week 15

 

Columnist Shane Taylor reviews some of the most important injury news for fantasy owners in Week 15

Wes Welker

Sorry Welker owners, the former Patriot has been ruled out of playing Thursday night after getting a concussion during last week’s game. This is the second concussion he’s had within the past month, so we can’t really say we’re surprised he’s out. Hopefully you have Eric Decker or Demaryius Thomas on your team as consolation, as the duo is expected to get extra looks from Peyton Manning while going up against a porous Chargers defense(ranked 29 overall in ESPN.com standard scoring leagues). If not, you can look to the waiver wire and add Julian Edelman who is due for an increase in looks due to Rob Gronkowski being out. Speaking of which…
Rob Gronkowski 
Gronkowski was hit low in the knees during last weeks game against the Cleveland Browns (it looked painful). The hit tore his ACL and MCL and he has been accordingly placed on injured reserve, thus ending his season. Michael Hoomanawanui is the next man up on the depth chart, but Hoomanawanui and Tom Brady didn’t show any signs of life while Gronkowski missed the first 6 games of the season. You would be better off looking to the waiver wire and adding either Dennis Pitta, Martellus Bennett, or Brandon Myers for a replacement. You probably wouldn’t add…
Jordan Reed, Robert Griffin III
Hopefully you added Logan Paulsen, because, for the third week in a row, Reed is in danger of missing time out on the field. Reed’s concussion symptoms continue to bother him, and it remains to be seen if he will be able to go Sunday. He didn’t practice Wednesday so that is not a good sign, although if he is healthy, he will get the start. If not, Paulsen will get the starting nod. I wouldn’t put all my eggs in either tight end’s basket though, as the Redskins season is over and coach Mike Shanahan has decided to pull the plug on RGIII and start Kirk Cousins at quarterback. RGIII doesn’t really have a major injury, Shanahan is merely doing this to preserve his star quarterback from any further damage, who has been getting hit all season long. The Redskins are a mess, and it might be best to avoid them altogether.
Tony Gonzalez, Roddy White
The duo have had their share of injuries the past few weeks, but it seems the Atlanta veterans are finally getting close to 100%. They’re also facing the Washington Redskins, who are in utter turmoil after a media circus this past week (see above). Oh, and they also have the 7th worst scoring defense in the league, so I believe it’s safe to start both Gonzalez and White.
Adrian Peterson
It seems as though the Vikings will probably play Sunday’s game without AP. Don’t they know that it’s the playoffs this week!? I know, I know, it is unfortunate, but the Vikings have nothing to gain by playing Peterson, as they sit in last in their division and have already been eliminated from playoff contention. Remember two years ago, when AP was playing in a meaningless game late in the season and he tore his ACL? It is better to be safe than sorry, especially with someone as valuable as the former league MVP. Expect Toby Gerhart to get 15-20 carries against the Eagles on Sunday. Even if Gerhart hasn’t been practicing either, coach Leslie Frasier believes Gerhart will be good to go. If Gerhart can’t go, expect a monstrous game from some guy named Matt Asiata, because that’s how fantasy football works.
Maurice Jones-Drew
MJD himself says his hamstring is acting up, and expresses doubt that he might miss Sunday’s game against the Buffalo Bills. He is officially listed as questionable and did not practice today. If MJD were to miss any time, Denard Robinson is listed as the #2 running back on the depth chart, but Robinson has been very unproductive while on the field. Some rumors are that there is a possibility that Jordan Todman could leapfrog Robinson for the #2 spot. It is somewhat messy, so let’s all hope MJD is good to go by Sunday.
Cecil Shorts
Shorts is another Jaguar with some injury questions coming into the weekend. He has yet to participate in practice this week and is listed as questionable. If Shorts misses the game, which will possibly be determined on Friday, Ace Sanders will likely be the main beneficiary.Given the fact that the Jaguars offensive struggles are a constant factor to their fantasy value, it would be wise to look for a different option. Cordarrelle Patterson might be a decent fill in for you to look at if you are in dire need of a WR #3.
Percy Harvin
It looks as though Harvin is day-to-day this week with his continued hip problems. He hasn’t practiced at all the past few days and the former Vikings play maker has missed all but one game this season, and he was even limited in that game as well. He’s officially listed as questionable, but don’t expect Harvin to start. Even if he does, you should keep him sidelined until we know for sure he’s back at 100%.
Zach Miller
Another banged up Seahawk, Miller is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game against the New York Giants due to a rib injury. He didn’t practice Wednesday, and if Miller were to miss any time, Luke Wilson would get a majority of the reps at tight end. The Giants apparently love to get scored on by tight ends, so whoever starts for Seattle, it would probably be smart to play them, especially with all the tight end injuries around the league.
Vincent Jackson
The Tampa Bay wideout has had some issues with his hamstring as of late and didn’t participate in practice yesterday. He is listed as questionable, and will be given a decision to play on the weekend. It is also worth noting that Tampa Bay plays the 49ers this weekend, so if the receiver is hobbled against a strong defense like the Niners, it might be wise to play someone else on your team.
Eddie Lacy
The Alabama product injured his ankle during Sunday’s game against the Falcons and the injury is apparently endangering his Week 15 status. He has not practiced at all this week and is officially listed as questionable. An answer for Lacy will be given sometime around the weekend, and if he can’t play, James Starks is the presumed #2. The Packers are playing the Cowboys this weekend, so whoever starts at running back is expected to put up some points. The Packers have also had to rely on their running game with Aaron Rodgers missing the last six weeks of action, so look for a big dose of the Packers run game yet again.
Aaron Rodgers 
It seems to be the same story for Rodgers again this week. He practiced in limited capacity with the reserve centers, his shoulder is getting better although it is not 100%, he wants to play but must first get cleared. I own Aaron Rodgers in one of my leagues and pray that he gets to start, but it would not be surprising if he missed Week 15 as well. Each week there is more cautious optimism that Rodgers will play, but right now, Matt Flynn will start again for the Packers.
Jay Cutler
Cutler is expected to start this Sunday against the Browns, but there is a small cloud of doubt that his high ankle sprain will keep him out for his 5th consecutive contest. There is supposed to be an announcement on his status today, but as of this writing, there has been no clarification on whether Josh McCown or Cutler will start. The good news here though is that a decision will be made in the near future, and we know that, given his status, Cutler is the one who will start over McCown.
I hope I was of some service to you fellow Fantasy Footballers. Good luck this week in your playoff race and if you’ve already been eliminated, have some fun with it and start Brett Favre as your quarterback this week or something. See you next week!
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