Sorry guys, a little late this week as I have been away. A massive thanks to Daniel for these fantastic articles all year!
With this being the last article of the inaugural NFL season, I just wanted to say thanks. It’s been fun branching out into something different and I wouldn’t have had the chance if it weren’t for Wenin and the SC Talk crew allowing me to, and you guys reading it every week. I hope it’s been as fun an off-season for you as it has for me. But it’s not done just yet. Let’s get into it.
Here. Comes. The PAIN. In a year where injuries reigned supreme, this week is going to be the worst for players being out. With teams wrapping up playoff positions already, many of our biggest stars will be rested in order to be fresh for that Superbowl push. There’s still 3 days until games are played and already some huge names are being touted to miss. Alex Smith won’t be playing. Big Ben and Le’Veon Bell are being rested. As is Todd Gurley. DeAndre Hopkins might miss his first game ever due to an injury. It’s going to be a bloodbath.
And just to make things a little bit tougher, all games are on Monday at either the early slot (4am) or West Coast slot, (7:30am). Good luck.
Oh and the Cowboys got eliminated last week. Good times.
What we learnt
Here’s a few things we learnt this season. Injuries are a bitch and will mean the difference between NFL success and mediocrity. Just ask the Green Bay Packers. They suck without Aaron Rodgers. Same could be said for Dallas and Zeke. And the Browns….well they just suck. 0-16 this weekend? Todd Gurley needs to be in MVP discussions. Even if he doesn’t win, he just needs to be mentioned. The league is in some good hands going forward thanks to a crop of amazing rookies from this year. Hunt, Fournette, Kamara, Cook, Juju, Kupp, Watson etc. They’re all going to be stars. The replay-review system needs to be reviewed. We’re seeing too many lengthy breaks to determine something that blind-Freddy could make a call on. It almost makes me thankful for the NRL video refs. Almost.
Each week, I’ll give a brief list of the Fantasy relevant players that appear in the injury reports. You won’t see every player here, just the ones I think may have some Fantasy implications.
|Adrian Peterson||RB||Arizona Cardinals||Neck||Placed on IR|
|Carson Palmer||QB||Arizona Cardinals||Arm||Placed on IR|
|David Johnson||RB||Arizona Cardinals||Wrist||Placed on IR|
|Julio Jones||WR||Atlanta Falcons||Ankle||Questionable for Week 17 vs. Carolina|
|Kelvin Benjamin||WR||Buffalo Bills||Knee – Meniscus||Questionable for Week 17 at Miami|
|Charles Clay||TE||Buffalo Bills||Knee||Questionable for Week 17 at Miami|
|Cam Newton||QB||Carolina Panthers||Shoulder||Questionable for Week 17 at Atlanta|
|Giovani Bernard||RB||Cincinnati Bengals||Ankle||Questionable for Week 17 at Baltimore|
|Tyler Eifert||TE||Cincinnati Bengals||Back||Placed on IR|
|Joe Mixon||RB||Cincinnati Bengals||Ankle||Questionable for Week 17 at Baltimore|
|Isaiah Crowell||RB||Cleveland Browns||Shoulder||Questionable for Week 17 at Pittsburgh|
|Dez Bryant||WR||Dallas Cowboys||Knee||Questionable for Week 17 at Philadelphia|
|Emmanuel Sanders||WR||Denver Broncos||Ankle||Questionable for Week 17 vs. Kansas City|
|Eric Ebron||TE||Detroit Lions||Knee||Questionable for Week 17 vs. Green Bay|
|Aaron Jones||RB||Green Bay Packers||Knee – MCL||Doubtful for Week 17 at Detroit|
|Davante Adams||WR||Green Bay Packers||Concussion||Questionable for Week 17 at Detroit|
|Clay Matthews||LB||Green Bay Packers||Hamstring||Questionable for Week 17 at Detroit|
|Aaron Rodgers||QB||Green Bay Packers||Shoulder||Placed on IR|
|Ty Montgomery||RB||Green Bay Packers||Wrist||Placed on IR|
|Jordy Nelson||WR||Green Bay Packers||Shoulder||Questionable for Week 17 at Detroit|
|DeAndre Hopkins||WR||Houston Texans||Calf||Questionable for Week 17 at Indianapolis|
|Jadeveon Clowney||DL||Houston Texans||Knee||Questionable for Week 17 at Indianapolis|
|Deshaun Watson||QB||Houston Texans||Knee – ACL||Placed on IR|
|J.J. Watt||DL||Houston Texans||Lower Leg||Placed on IR|
|Andrew Luck||QB||Indianapolis Colts||Shoulder – Labrum||Placed on IR|
|Allen Hurns||WR||Jacksonville Jaguars||Ankle||Questionable for Week 17 at Tennessee|
|Allen Robinson||WR||Jacksonville Jaguars||Knee – ACL||Placed on IR|
|Spencer Ware||RB||Kansas City Chiefs||Knee – PCL||Placed on IR|
|Melvin Gordon||RB||Los Angeles Chargers||Ankle||Questionable for Week 17 vs. Oakland|
|Hunter Henry||TE||Los Angeles Chargers||Abdomen||Placed on IR|
|Kyle Rudolph||TE||Minnesota Vikings||Ankle||Questionable for Week 17 vs. Chicago|
|Dalvin Cook||RB||Minnesota Vikings||Knee – ACL||Placed on IR|
|Rob Gronkowski||TE||New England Patriots||Illness||Questionable for Week 17 vs. N.Y. Jets|
|Tom Brady||QB||New England Patriots||Achilles||Questionable for Week 17 vs. N.Y. Jets|
|Rex Burkhead||RB||New England Patriots||Knee||Questionable for Week 17 vs. N.Y. Jets|
|Julian Edelman||WR||New England Patriots||Knee – ACL||Placed on IR|
|Michael Thomas||WR||New Orleans Saints||Hamstring||Questionable for Week 17 at Tampa Bay|
|Evan Engram||TE||New York Giants||Ribs||Questionable for Week 17 vs. Washington|
|Sterling Shepard||WR||New York Giants||Neck||Questionable for Week 17 vs. Washington|
|Odell Beckham||WR||New York Giants||Ankle||Placed on IR|
|Robby Anderson||WR||New York Jets||Illness||Questionable for Week 17 at New England|
|Matt Forte||RB||New York Jets||Knee||Questionable for Week 17 at New England|
|Austin Seferian-Jenkins||TE||New York Jets||Foot||Questionable for Week 17 at New England|
|Jared Cook||TE||Oakland Raiders||Wrist||Questionable for Week 17 at L.A. Chargers|
|Amari Cooper||WR||Oakland Raiders||Ankle||Questionable for Week 17 at L.A. Chargers|
|Carson Wentz||QB||Philadelphia Eagles||Knee – ACL||Placed on IR|
|Antonio Brown||WR||Pittsburgh Steelers||Lower Leg||Out for Week 17 vs. Cleveland|
|Earl Thomas||DB||Seattle Seahawks||Knee||Questionable for Week 17 vs. Arizona|
|Jimmy Graham||TE||Seattle Seahawks||Knee||Questionable for Week 17 vs. Arizona|
|Bobby Wagner||LB||Seattle Seahawks||Hamstring||Questionable for Week 17 vs. Arizona|
|Kam Chancellor||DB||Seattle Seahawks||Neck||Placed on IR|
|Richard Sherman||DB||Seattle Seahawks||Achilles||Placed on IR|
|Marquise Goodwin||WR||San Francisco 49ers||Back||Questionable for Week 17 at L.A. Rams|
|Cameron Brate||TE||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Hip||Questionable for Week 17 vs. New Orleans|
|DeSean Jackson||WR||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Ankle||Questionable for Week 17 vs. New Orleans|
|DeMarco Murray||RB||Tennessee Titans||Knee – MCL||Questionable for Week 17 vs. Jacksonville|
|Jordan Reed||TE||Washington Redskins||Hamstring||Placed on IR|
|Terrelle Pryor||WR||Washington Redskins||Ankle||Placed on IR|
|Chris Thompson||RB||Washington Redskins||Lower Leg||Placed on IR|
|Rob Kelley||RB||Washington Redskins||Ankle||Placed on IR|
If you’re stressing out about your guy being on here as “Questionable”, don’t. Every man and his dog will wear the Questionable tag at some stage this year. If a player misses a training or has a niggle or anything really, they get deemed as “Questionable”. Here’s what the designations mean:
Questionable – 50/50 chance of playing. The most common of all designations. Even more so than healthy on some weeks
Doubtful – 75 percent chance will not play. Be a bit more concerned. Keep a close eye on reports
OUT – Speaks for itself. Definitely will not play this week.
IR – Injured Reserve. Player has basically been shut down for the year due to injury.
PUP – Physically Unable to Perform. We’ve all been here after a big night on the drink, right guys? This one is for long-term injuries sustained in pre-season or early on that aren’t necessarily season-ending (as is my understanding). They’ve got until about week 6 to be upgraded or placed on IR.
Suspended – Also speaks for itself, except this one has a definitive timeline (in most cases).
Start or Sit
You know the drill by now.
Tyrod Taylor, QB, Buffalo – The Buffalo Bills need to win this game to keep their playoff hopes alive, and have the perfect chance to do so with the Miami Dolphins. McCoy has been the Bills offense all season, but this Miami D has allowed 25 passing TD’s this year, so Tyrod has every opportunity to finish 2017 with a bang. Just 2 weeks back, Taylor threw and ran in a TD vs Miami, and should be able to replicate that against a team with nothing to play for.
Also Start: Kirk Cousins vs. Giants, Matt Stafford vs. Packers
Derrick Henry, RB, Tennessee – Henry had big wraps on him when he first came into the league, but has been primarily a backup to DeMarco Murray. But Murray has a minor MCL tear, meaning the stage is Henry’s. Yes, it’s against the Jags defence, but they have locked up their playoff berth so it doesn’t make sense for them to play all their starters for the entirety of the game. And even with all their starters last weekend, Carlos Hyde and Matt Breida both ran in TD’s when the 49ers upset the Jags. Plus in week 2, Henry had 92 yards and a TD against Jacksonville, showing he can get it done.
Also Start: Carlos Hyde vs. Rams, Alex Collins vs. Bengals
Mohamed Sanu, WR, Atlanta – Sanu only had 3 catches and 23 yards vs Carolina in week 9 but he did score a TD that week to boost his score. That game was in Charlotte, so with the home crowd behind him and most of the attention going to Julio (like every week), I can see Sanu matching that game at least. The Panthers have been giving up good scores to multiple WR’s most games over the past 2 months so even if Julio has a big game, there’s plenty of room for Sanu to flourish too.
Also Start: TY Hilton vs. Texans, Marquise Goodwin vs. Rams
Ben Watson, TE, Baltimore – Jeremy Maclin’s injury has opened up a lot of targets for the other Ravens players, and Watson has been taking advantage. He had 9 catches, 114 yards and a TD over the past 2 weeks. The Ravens are another team who need a win to clinch a playoff spot, vs the Bengals who can’t make it. Cincinnati allow over 7 catches and almost 60 yards to the TE position. Watson could be just what you need to steal a fantasy Superbowl win.
Also Start: Jack Doyle vs. Texans, Charles Clay vs. Dolphins
Minnesota Vikings, DST – I’ll finish the defensive starts with one of the best of the season. The Vikings (thanks to Xavier Rhodes) have been shutting down teams all year. They play the Bears this weekend (tick), in their home stadium (tick), and need to win to lock up the second seed in the NFC so won’t be resting starters (tick). Marshall Eriksen would be excited.
Also Start: Seattle Seahawks vs. Cardinals, Denver Broncos vs. Chiefs
Nick Foles, QB, Philadelphia – This isn’t a matchup thing, or a skill thing (even though I don’t really rate the guy). It’s a resting thing. With top seed in the NFC already locked up, the Eagles have little reason to play any starters and risk injury. The only reason they’d want to play Foles is to continue to build chemistry as a team heading into playoffs. But with Wentz already gone why would you want to go through that again. If they do play Foles, you can bet it won’t be for long. If you’re looking for a streaming option, it shouldn’t be him.
Also Sit: Derek Carr vs. Chargers, Andy Dalton vs. Ravens
Jonathan Stewart, RB, Carolina – Stewart had one of his worst games of the year in week 9 against Atlanta when he rushed for just 21 yards on 11 carries including 2 lost fumbles. To make matters worse, he’s been super bad over the past 2 games with just 46 yards combined over that stretch. They were games against the Bays – Green and Tampa. Not exactly defensive juggernauts. And not that Atlanta are, but they still have something to fight for here. If the Panthers are going to do any damage it will be through Cam.
Also Sit: LeGarrette Blount vs. Cowboys, Mike Davis vs. Cardinals
Tyreek Hill, WR, Kansas City – I don’t know if you’re sensing a theme here, but I feel like Tyreek Hill also won’t be playing. Nothing has been said to that effect but Andy Reid has said that Patrick Mahomes will be getting his first career start, meaning Alex Smith is out. So if Smith is being rested, it’s not a stretch to assume that Hill and even Kareem Hunt will also be rested. If they aren’t, they won’t see a huge amount of minutes. And if they do, there’s a debutant throwing to Hill. There’s too many if’s and question marks for my liking.
Also Sit: Sterling Sheperd vs. Redskins, Amari Cooper vs. Chargers
Jason Witten, TE, Dallas – Witten now has 9 games in a row where he hasn’t scored over 10 points. His highest score in that time was 6.8 which consisted of 1 catch for 8 total yards and a TD. Witten’s highest yard total since the Cowboys week 6 bye is 59 yards and he’s scored just 3 TD’s in those 10 games. It’s not impressive reading. The Eagles will likely be sitting a bunch of starters but that just means that Zeke will have room to operate. If you’re in a fantasy Superbowl, now is not the time to be trusting Jason Witten.
Also Sit: Jared Cook vs. Chargers, Travis Kelce and Zach Ertz
Los Angeles Rams, DST – The Rams are one of the NFL’s better defensive units, but did you just see what Garropolo and the 49ers did to the league’s BEST defensive unit? San Fran hung 44 points and a 3 point fantasy score on the Jags. Jimmy G is still undefeated in 6 career starts and looking super impressive while doing so. The Rams are already resting Gurley, Goff, Watkins and Aaron Donald, which means a few other guys will also get a seat.
Also Sit: Carolina Panthers vs. Atlanta, Philadelphia Eagles vs. Cowboys
I hope you have trades left. You’re going to need them.
Bell, Gurley and Hopkins will be in everyone’s squad by now. There’s a better than good chance that all three are out. I would assume Brady will be in that same boat by the time games kick off on Monday. So what you need are trades and cover.
The best you can do is trade out Bell or Gurley or both perhaps. The RB’s are where you’re going to get your big points from. I’m going with Zeke most likely. But his matchup with the tough Philly defence does concern me. I do like Latavius Murray against Chicago as a cover option.
I don’t have any other advice for you. I have 2 trades left and I’d still be surprised if I managed to get through the weekend without a donut somewhere. Keep a VERY close eye on the late reports and then, fingers crossed I suppose.
Vice-Captain – There’s the early games and late games this week. 2 time slots so you can VC anyone in the games at 4am and be on the ball for the later switch. Best VC options are Hopkins (if he plays), Brady (if he plays), Thielen, Zeke, Dak. That’s probably all I’d go for to be honest.
Bet of the Week
My bet of the week is that you’re going to get screwed by one of these games. We can put a bet on and hope that all the guys suit up, but’s I’m hesitant to lock anything in this week.
You know what? I’m going to take a run at the Browns with a 7 point head start. No Ben. No Brown. No Bell. Pittsburgh defence isn’t exactly dominant. Worth a shot at $1.87.
The Bills are fighting for a playoff spot. They need a win here (and a few other results to go their way), and have been given a great matchup with the Dolphins. They’re paying $1.74 just to win.
Moneyball tips of the week
This is hard this week. Shady is my best pick. LeSean McCoy is my guy. As I just mentioned, the Bills need this win and to get there, they’ll lean on their best option to run them into the post season. Shady costs $8,300 but should tear Miami apart.
Latavius Murray is a touch cheaper ($6,700) but has a great matchup with Chicago. He’s cemented himself as the main guy in Minny and should be good value here.
And that’s a wrap. Thanks once again. I’m taking a break for a bit. I’ll see you in a month or so when the NRL starts heating up again.