Fantasy football aftermath: The injuries of Week 14
So much of the week’s health issues were already health issues entering the week, and they just didn’t go anywhere. Pretty frustrating, NFL.
There weren’t that many injuries in Week 14. Rather, the injuries for fantasy players to note were injuries that already existed coming into the week. A bunch of players missed Week 14, or just barely played, as they tried to recover from their assorted ailments.
Still, we came out of the week with a lot of questions. Is his ankle better? How is his hand? Monday morning is a tough time to have all the answers, but we can start with some headway.
Quarterback injuries of Week 14
- The Tennessee Titans could never really make things work with Jake Locker at quarterback; his frequent injuries just kept the quarterback from ever finding a groove. So when they went to Zach Mettenberger and he started to look at least competent, hopes were high. That’s why the shoulder injuries Mettenberger suffered each of the last two weeks had to hurt so much. Mettenberger’s injury Sunday likely finished the rookie’s season and brought Locker back into the starting job. All the more reason to avoid every single member of Tennessee’s offense, with the possible exception of tight end Delanie Walker.
Running back injuries of Week 14
- It took until Friday for the Arizona Cardinals to really decide to shut down Andre Ellington for the game, but by the end of Sunday, they moved him all the way to injured reserve, with a hip injury, a foot injury and a sports hernia. He’s done for the year. In his absence, the team surprisingly let Kerwynn Williams carry the load Sunday, and he responded with 19 carries for 100 yards. In a desperate situation – you owned Ellington and had no backup – Williams could be helpful, but it’s hard to imagine he can capitalize on this brutal down-the-stretch schedule.
- It was cute that we were worried about Justin Forsett coming into Sunday. He was dealing with a knee injury and was a question mark into the weekend, then he played and went for 71 yards and a touchdown. It doesn’t sound like he had any setbacks Sunday, and going against the Jaguars next week, good times abound.
- Rashad Jennings was technically active for the Giants‘ game Sunday, but he might as well have sat it out. He ran the ball twice Sunday for five yards, and caught a single pass for 17 yards. He was still clearly held up by his ankle injury, leading to the Giants leaning heavily on Andre Williams. We’ll have to pay attention over the week to New York practice reports, because we haven’t seen enough out of Jennings on the field to feel strong about his status for Week 15.
- Tampa Bay deactivated Bobby Rainey for Sunday as the running back dealt with an ankle injury. The Buccaneers went with a completely unproductive duo of Doug Martin and Charles Sims. It’s basically irrelevant, as it’s impossible to put any faith in any of the Tampa Bay running backs. Rainey is fully droppable, and Martin and Sims basically are as well.
- The Saints got Khiry Robinson back for Sunday’s game, but he didn’t have any touches in the game. It sounds like he was fine, just not given a big workload. His fantasy role the rest of the way will be more to rob Mark Ingram of touches than to produce in his own right, but that’s going to matter.
- In another example of only mattering based on how he affects his teammate, DeAngelo Williams missed Sunday, and in response, Jonathan Stewart had a huge game, with 155 rushing yards and a touchdown. We won’t have a good feel for Williams’ Week 15 status until we see him practice this week, but with the Panthers not playing until Monday, and Williams not exactly lighting it up regardless, he’s not worth much at all in fantasy.
Wide receiver injuries in Week 14
- DeSean Jackson‘s status for Washington got basically worse over the week. It started with “He won’t practice, but will probably play anyway,” to out for the game over the late part of the week. That sort of track makes me think he’s likely to play next week, but until we know that he practices, you can’t use him in fantasy.
- The injury to Brandon Marshall was really frustrating Thursday, as the receiver was off to a good start against the Cowboys. But he suffered two fractured ribs and a collapsed lung in his injury, according to reports, and by all accounts he’s done for the year. It will help the already-must-start value of Alshon Jeffery, Martellus Bennett and Matt Forte, but it seems unlikely any of the next tier of Bears‘ receivers will do enough to be helpful in fantasy.
- The Ravens said after their game Sunday that Torrey Smith‘s knee swelled up in warmups, after they had already announced him as active for the game. In other words, Smith wasn’t supposed to be active for the game. In his absence, Kamar Aiken had a moderately productive day, but Smith should be healthy for Week 15. Expect him back, but plan for the contrary.
- Kendall Wright was inactive for Tennessee Sunday with a hand injury. With Justin Hunter also out (for the year), the Titans looked to Derek Hagan, Nate Washington and Kris Durham as their wide receivers, which went about as well as you’d imagine that would go. Wright should be back for Week 15, though with the disaster that is the Tennessee offense, he’s pretty irrelevant.
Tight end injuries in Week 14
- Both Dwayne Allen and Julius Thomas technically made their returns Sunday, but the two high-end tight ends combined for one catch for five yards. Thomas was active in emergency capacity only, and never saw the field, while Allen saw three targets and caught one of them. Give both another week to heal their ankles, and odds are good they’ll be back to themselves, but ultimately, you’re kind of stuck – their upsides are too good to bench if they are active.
- The Chargers lost Ladarius Green for the rest of the game after a third-quarter hit left him with a concussion. It was a brutal hit, and no one really thought we’d see Green on the field again. He’ll have to clear the league’s concussion protocol before he’ll play again. For fantasy, though, Green has been basically irrelevant all year anyway, and this just cements that.