by Noah Pires
October 25, 2018
I took a two week break from this article, but now we're back with a vengeance. After thinking about this article, I realized I should probably write it differently. In the past, I gave my own injury outlook for these players, but I realized two things. One, I'm not a doctor, contrary to popular belief, and two, rotoworld does a prettay good job of putting out reports on these players. Instead, I'm going to flip this article on its head, and instead, explain how I think injuries will affect the rest of the team as well as some deep stashes (available in 70% of leagues)/waiver wire replacements (available in 60% or more) for our lost brothers in arms. Let's get into this beotch.
Ryan Tannehill - Miami Dolphins
The Dolphins may be better off without the Tan Man. Brock has been surprisingly decent, but now with the loss of Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson, I'm not touching this offense with a Brock Osweiler sized pole.
Josh Allen - Buffalo Bills
He's been out for a few weeks, but the passing offense hasn't been downgraded much as they were still awful before his injury. Again, not touching the Bills.
CAM NEWTON - CAROLINA PANTHERS
Cam is reportedly dealing with an injury to his throwing arm's shoulder, which should bring some caution for fantasy owners. Newton underwent surgery on this shoulder a year ago, so I would keep an eye on this injury's progression. If it isn't cleared up by this weekend, I'd be extremely cautious starting him in Week 8, especially playing the Ravens. Cam can always produce on the ground, but if Baltimore knows he can't throw, I'm not sure he'll be viable this week.
If he is in fact injured, I'd stay away from both Devin Funchess and Greg Olsen this week. Though neither are 'deep threats', I'm not confident that Newton will be able to move the ball with a bum arm, especially when facing a stout Ravens' secondary. McCaffrey, though, may benefit, as Cam may need to rely on the short passing game. McCaffrey won't do much on the ground, as Baltimore is elite at stopping the run, but in PPR leagues, his pass catching ability should be able to give a solid floor.
DESHAUN WATSON - HOUSTON TEXANS
Watson is playing hurt, as he wasn't even able to go on the team plane to the Jags game. Despite this, he still helped lead the Texans to a 20-7 win against an elite defense, dropping 139 and a score on 12/24 throwing. This week, he's at home with an easier matchup, but I'm not sure how much they'll pass the ball in this spot. It's a short week, so Watson likely won't be any healthier than he was last week, and Miami can't stop the run. Even though Lamar miller is a chump, they might give him 15 carries and bring in Alfred Blue for additional looks. Last week, they skewed towards the run, and I expect much of the same on the short week.
Although Watson won't throw much in this spot, there aren't any real 'losers' sprouting from his injury. With Coutee out, he only has 2 real receiving options in DHop and Fuller, so they should see their usual target distribution (around 7 for Fuller, 10 for Hopkins) despite less overall volume.
WAIVER REPLACEMENTS (THIS WEEK)
Joe Falcco - Baltimore Ravens
Matchup: @ Carolina Panthers
Flacco has been decent this year, and against the Panthers, his production should continue. From week two until now, the Panthers have given up 2 touchdowns in every single game, including 2 tuddies from Eli and Alex Smith. I'd be willing to bet Joe Flacco can do much of the same, especially with his weapons on the outside, making him a strong replacement for those dealing with byes and injuries this week.
Baker Mayfield - Cleveland Browns
Matchup: @ Pittsburgh Steelers
Baker finally produced last week against a horrible Tampa defense, and now, he gets another weak back line in the Steelers. Now, the Steelers have been better against the pass recently, but they still gave up 2 scores to Andy Dalton last week. Baker should be forced to throw, as the Steelers have a solid run defense, making him a solid back-end QB1 this week.
There really aren't any QBs to "stash" unless you have a 34 player bench and want Taysom Hill or Lamar Jackson for their rushing upside.
(won't speak on Devonta Freeman/Fournette/Cook as they've been out for a while and we've seen how these offenses have shaken out without them)
Bilal Powell - New York Jets
Powell suffered a neck injury last week that has landed him on the IR. I'm not sure Crowell benefits from this at all, as Crow and Bilal have different skillsets. If anything, I see a bump to Trenton Cannon, who will certainly be involved in the passing game. He looked good last week, but Elijah McGuire returns in week nine. Because of this, I'm entirely avoiding the Jets' backfield going forward.
Sony Michel - New England Patriots
How is Michel not out for the year? He was legitimately bent in half and spun in a circle with his already shaky knee trapped under a 700 pound lineman. Well, he's likely out this week, but maybe not much more than that. Because it doesn't look to be long-term, I doubt the Pats make any roster moves to acquire a new back, especially since they get the Bills Monday and don't necessarily need the help.
For right now, people may think Barner is a big winner, but I just don't see him getting anywhere near Michel's workload, even if they're up 100 on Monday night. I'd expect White to be on the field for more than 70% of the snaps and for the Pats to throw the shit out of the ball. Against the Bills, who have been fairly solid against QBs and WRs, I expect the passing game to get a boost and consider Brady, Edelman, White, Gordon, and Gronk (if he plays) strong starts this week, and if you're desperate, could look for help in Chris Hogan, who has sneakily posted 4/78/0 and 6/63/0 the past 2 weeks.
Marshawn Lynch - Oakland Raiders
Another real one went down, but this time, it was during his bye week. Many people are saying Jalen Richard will get a major boost with this injury, but I'm not sure that's the case. Richard has handled less than 2 carries per game, topping out at 5 in week one. His role is that of a pass-catching back, as he averages 6.2 targets per game. He does benefit now, though, as the Raiders have shipped off Amari Cooper, so Carr will need somebody under the age of 37 to throw to.
The player who benefits the most from Lynch's injury is Doug Martin. Beatsmode had been seeing 15 carries per game, which Doug should be able to handle. Lynch saw 19 redzone touches in his 6 games, which ranked 8th in the NFL, so Martin certainly has touchdown upside. Another point, which I mentioned with Richard, is that Carr will need to look for new faces to throw to with the departure of Cooper, so Doug may see some usage in the passing game. This week, against Indy, he should be a back-end RB2. Based on what we see this week, we'll be able to gauge his value going forward.
MATT BREIDA - SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS
Breida just won't sit out, which is baffling to me. The 9ers aren't playing for anything, yet he keeps strolling out there with various ailments just to leave the game in the first quarter week after week.
Alfred Morris' best days are clearly behind him, but he still outcarried Raheem Mostert last week. Despite this, I prefer Mostert in games where Breida sits, as he's a better pass catcher and has the ability to break big plays.
PEYTON BARBER - TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
The Bucs aren't specifying what type of injury Barber sustained, so it's hard to tell whether he'll play this week. Reports surfaced that Ronald Jones handled most of the first team reps this week in practice, but I'm not particularly enticed by any option out of the Tampa backfield. Even when Barber was handling the bulk of the carries, he didn't produce, and I'm not sure, at this point of his career, RoJo is better than PB. I'm avoiding this backfield unless you're extremely desperate. He's a middling RB3 for me.
As for others who may benefit, I'm not sure much will change in the passing game. The Bengals aren't elite stopping the pass, but I don't think they can throw much more than they have recently. Guys like Evans, DJax, Godwin, and O.J. Howard are weekly starters and should remain that way this week.
ROYCE FREEMAN - DENVER BRONCOS
Royce gets a beautiful matchup this week, but with his ankle injury, may not be able to take advantage of the situation. As far as who's effected, there's one clear winner: Phillip Lindsay. PL has looked incredible and can produce on the ground and through the air. For those who are looking Devontae Booker's way, I'd advise you don't, as his only real role will be to spell Lindsay to give him a breather. Lindsay will likely get the goal line carries, looks between the 20s, and work in the passing game. Against the Chiefs, he will be able to produce on the ground, and when the Broncos get down big, he'll be involved in the passing game, making him a fringe RB1 this week.
LESEAN MCCOY/CHRIS IVORY - BUFFALO BILLS
McCoy continues to sustain injuries this season, and now, with Ivory going down with an injury, the Bills don't have much left. I'd expect at least one of these two to suit up, as these injuries don't seem overly serious, but I still think Marcus Murphy could be a decent RB3 play this week in PPR formats. He saw 6 targets last week, converting them into 5 catches, and against the Pats, the Bills NEED to throw. I don't trust much of anybody in this offense, but Murphy should see enough work, if one or both are hurt, to be a decent RB3/FLEX play this week.
JALEN RICHARD/DOUG MARTIN - OAKLAND RAIDERS
MATCHUP - INDIANAPOLIS COLTS
Many of the guys listed in this section are here due to injuries ahead of them. In PPR leagues, Richard has FLEX appeal weekly due to his passing game involvement and may be on your waiver wire because he isn't a huge name and is coming off a bye. As for Doug Martin, we don't know what to expect out of him but he'll likely see somewhere in the ballpark of 15 carries and 3 targets, including goal line work. Richard is a near RB2 and Martin should be in the same range due to the lack of options this week and his TD upside.
MIKE DAVIS - SEATTLE SEAHAWKS
MATCHUP - @ DETROIT LIONS
The Lions may have added Damon Harrison this week, but I'm not sure he immediately comes in and changed the Lions' identity. The Seahawks obviously want to run, and will do so with more than one guy. Two weeks ago was likely an anomaly for the Seahwaks, as the utilized Rashaad Penny a ton. The two weeks previous, Davis combined for 33 carries, 169 yards, and 3 scores along with 6 catches for 30 yards. He could be a sneaky play this week as a RB3 where, if you're tight at the position, could be a strong fill in.
KENJON BARNER - NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
MATCHUP - @ BUFFALO BILLS
I don't think Barner is a good runningback, but in this spot, he'll obviously be used some. James White obviously has the job here as long as Michel is done, so I'd expect somewhere in the ballpark of 10-12 touches for Barner while Michel is sidelines. Even though 12 touches isn't great, he's getting them in the Pats' offense playing the Buffalo Bills. I'm not sure he'll get goal line carries, so he probably won't have the upside of a Doug Martin, but he should put up decent enough production if you're in dire need of a replacement for an injury riddled position.
RONALD JONES - TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
MATCHUP: @ CINCINNATI BENGALS
The only way I'd consider playing RoJo is if Barber is out. For the dske of this, let's assume he sits. If Barber's out, Jones should see around 12 touches, and although he isn't a good passcatcher, he's been used through the air a bit. If he gets 10 carries and 2-3 catches, that's decent enough volume to be a RB3 this week. It's a good matchup, as the Bengals haven't been great against the run, and if they get to the goal line, which isn't unreasonable, he'll have a chance to bring added value by punching it in.
KENNETH DIXON - BALTIMORE RAVENS
Dixon is eligible to return week 11, and with the uninspiring play from Collins and Allen, he could slot into a valuable role in this offense. He has pass catching ability and a big enough frame to handle goal line work. The only issue is his health, but if you have a deep bench or an IR spot, you aren't risking anything by rostering him.
MALCOLM BROWN - LOS ANGELES RAMS
I have two reasons for this. One, if Gurley ever goes down, Brown would be a viable fantasy starter. I'm not sure whether he'd be top 12 back or not, but in this offense, he's certainly be a viable starter. Secondly, like we saw last year, the team may just rest their starters late in the year. They're currently undefeated, and if they get homefield before week 16, they'd have no incentive to put their starters out there. He gets Arizona in week 16, and if Gurley sits, he could be a league winner. I know this is an extreme hypothetical and sounds wild, but being wild is how you win chips.
COOPER KUPP - LOS ANGELES RAMS
Kupp looks to be sitting again this week, and as we saw last week, the offense will still roll. Cooks and Woods both produced last week, and in this game, should do the same. This should be a high scoring game with ARod not wanting to back down to the elite Rams team, so the receiving corps should see plenty of work. Josh Reynolds did close to nothing last week with Kupp out, so I wouldn't expect much from him, as well as the tight end position. As far as Gurley goes, he puts up 9000 points whether Kupp plays or not, so nothing changed here. Jared Goff also hasn't been the same in recent weeks, but he put up 2 touchdowns for the first time since Week 5, so I wouldn't be too concerned that Kupp being out would effect Goff's value.
KENNY STILLS/ALBERT WILSON - MIAMI DOLPHINS
The two best receivers for Miami are out this week, and Albert is likely done for the year. Does this boost any other receiver? Other than Danny Amendola, I'd say no. Sure, Jakeem Grant may be able to display his speed on long plays or screen passes, but I wouldn't put him anywhere near my starting lineup. DeVante Parker is an athletic freak as well, but it sounds like Adam Gase just sees him as the last man standing without much confidence in him. Along with this, they're tethered to Brock Osweiler. He's been good this year, but do we expect this to continue? I'd say no. One player who I think gets a big boost is Kenyan Drake. Drake has seen 25 targets over the past 3 weeks and has put up at least 78 total yards in each of those contests. I wouldn't be surprised to see him line up in the slot a few times, where he's been used some this year, which will inevitably lead to targets. Because of this, I'd consider him a back-end RB2 this week and going forward.
PIERRE GARCON - SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS
Garcon is likely out this week, but I don't think this has much of an impact for fantasy. He's seeing almost 6 targets per game, but they haven't translated to any sort of fantasy value. Dante Pettis could get a look in deeper leagues, but in this offense, I don't think anyone is a great option going forward.
KEKE COUTEE - HOUSTON TEXANS
With Keke going down, the Texans are left with Will Fuller and Deandre Hopkins. In games where he was healthy (weeks 4-6), he commanded 9 targets per game. Over that span, Fuller saw under 4 targets a game, albeit he wasn't 100%. Without Coutee, he's seen over 9 targets per game, and I'd expect this to be the case this week with Coutee out and Fuller nearing full health. As for DHop, he's an elite WR1 whether Keke plays or not, but his value gets a little bump now, as he'll get a few more looks. Watson isn't hurt much by this either as he's shown he can produce with just Fuller and Hopkins. He isn't 100% and can't even fly on a plane, but he's at home this week and should provide QB1 value.
QUINCY ENUNWA - NEW YORK JETS
Last week everyone though Jermaine Kearse would blow the fuck up without Enunwa manning slot duties; this did not happen. Just because it didn't work out last week doesn't mean it won't this week, though. He'll get some looks for sure since the Jets don't have much else in the receiving game, but likely facing Kyle Fuller isn't a great matchup. I'd stay away. Robby Anderson, though, has quietly seen just shy of 7 targets a game over the past 3 games, a trend which should continue without Enunwa. He has big play potential and could be a serviceable WR3/FLEX this week with all of the injures/byes this week. As for Sam Darnold, you're never going to start him anyway, and now that he lost his safety blanket, he should be nowhere near your starting lineup.
One sneaky upside play is Chris Herndon who has put up a combined 6/98/2 over the past 2 games. He had a 2nd TD overturned last week, so that should be noted as well. The tight end position is scarce, and next week, with guys like Engram, McDonald, Uzomah, etc. all on bye, he could be a decent fill in.
GOLDEN TATE - DETROIT LIONS
Tate's dealing with an ankle issue, but it doesn't appear to be too serious. If he DOES sit, though, it should boost Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones' values as Tate's near 10 targets per game should be mostly distributed between them. Golladay is a weekly WR2 play, and if Tate sits, he's a near WR1, falling somehwere in the WR15 range. Jones also has big play upside and gets looks in and around the end zone, so if he sees more volume, he'll certainly have WR1 upside. Because he's more of a boom/bust player, I'd see him as a backend WR2, though. If Tate plays, he and Golladay will be safe floor WR2 plays with Jones being a middling WR3.
In the running game, Kerryon has looked incredible, and if Tate sits, he'll likely see some targets that would typically be thrown GT's way. With Theo Riddick hurt and Blount not doing anything through the air, Kerryon should get more than enough work this week, with or without Tate, to be a high end RB2.
RANDALL COBB/GERONIMO ALLISON - GREEN BAY PACKERS
We've seen how this offense works over the past few weeks with these guys out. Davante Adams has been a top 5 receiver and Marquez Valdes-Scantling has combined for 10/171/1 on 16 targets over the past 2 games. If Cobb and Allison play, I think it'll only effect MVS, as Davante and Jimmy Graham have solidified roles in this offense. It looks like Cobb would be more likely to sit than Allison, so if Allison plays, I see him as a middling WR3 with MVS being a WR3/4. Adams will be an elite WR1 either way and Graham should be a top 7 tight end due to the position's lack of depth and his guaranteed volume.
ALLEN ROBINSON - CHICAGO BEARS
ARob looks good to go, but if he's in any way limited, Trey Burton, Anthony Miller, and Taylor Gabriel should get a bump in looks. Cohen has shown he deserves to get 8+ targets a week, so his workoad should remain the same with or without Robinson. This is a good matchup for Bears' wideouts, and I'll talk about one of them more in the next section.
I'm combining these sections for the WR position because both of my waiver replacements are also stashes for deeper leagues. Let's take a look.
ANTHONY MILLER - CHICAGO BEARS
MATCHUP - NEW YORK JETS
If you follow me on Twitter, you'd see my love for Miller this week.
Miller should get work out of the slot this week, a position the Jets have struggled to stop. They'll likely focus more on Robinson (if he suits up) and Gabriel, who could threaten them over the top. Even with Cohen, Gabriel, Burton, and Robinson getting looks, Miller still got 7 targets last week and was involved. He's a sneaky play this week and weeks going forward as the Bears have shown they want to pass more. This week, he's a fringe WR3 and could keep this value going forward if he proves to produce.
CHRISTIAN KIRK - ARIZONA CARDINALS
MATCHUP - SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS
It's most likely been overshadowed by the fact that the Cardinals suck, but Kirk has quietly been good this year. He's played in over 80% of snaps the past 3 weeks and since week 3 he's on a 77/1,078/3 pace (102 targets). Kirk has also continued to run more routes every week over his past 3 games and is becoming one of Rosen's favorite targets. Now, with Mike McCoy gone, this offense can't get any worse, so I'd expect Kirk to atleast keep up his recent production, making him a fringe WR3. This week, he's certainly in the WR3 conversation facing the 9ers.
TRE'QUAN SMITH - NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
MATCHUP - BALTIMORE RAVENS
Smith isn't quite a waiver wire option this week as he draws a tough matchup, but going forward, could be a FLEX play. Tre'Quan has played in over 70% of snaps the past 2 games and has looked to overtake the #2 job from Meredith. Tedd Ginn landed on IR, so even with Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara seeing somewhere near 10 targets a game, Smith will have enough volume to produce. This is an elite offense that throws the ball nearly 40 times per game, and if I can get the 2nd receiver tethered to Drew Brees, I'm doing it. He's available in over 80% of leagues, which should change after this week.
There are no tight ends that suffered injuries this past week that are rules out for this week yet. Keep your fingers crossed that this good health continues.
ROB GRONKOWSKI - NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
His status is still up in the air for Monday night, which makes him tough to start this week. If you lock him in and he's a game time decision, you're risking a zero. If his status is unknown before the 1 oclock games (or whenever your backup/waiver replacement plays) I'd fire up a replacement just to avoid that donut in your tight end spot. If he does sit, like he did last week, we should see continued dominance from Edelman, Gordon, and White, along with some more usage out of Hogan. Gordon will likely see Tre'Davious White, so he's no more than a high-end WR3 this week, but Edelman should be a middling WR2 in a favorable matchup. Along with Edelman, White will be a strong play and should be a top 10 RB this week with Michel out and Barner not being the same caliber player as Sony, so he likely won't get many snaps out of the backfield. Even if Gronk does play, all of these players stay in the same range.
DAVID NJOKU - CLEVELAND BROWNS
Njoku has seen 9 targets per game over the last 4 weeks and has become Baker's second favorite option. Juice is still the #1 in Cleveland, but with Callaway not being able to catch and Duke Johnson not being used much, Njoku has stepped into this newfound role. If he sits this week, I think it hurts Mayfield the most as he'll have only one reliable option to throw to. I doubt Njoku sits as it sounds like this "injury" was sustained last game, but he still played 93% of snaps and doesn't look like it's too serious. Fire him up as a TE1 this week in a beautiful matchup.
GREG OLSEN - CAROLINA PANTHERS
Olsen has been limited this week as he's trying to rest up that foot he had surgery on earlier this week. Despite coming off a foot injury, Olsen has been on the field almost 100% of the time his two weeks back. I doubt he sits this week, but if he does, it's a huge bump to Funchess, who has already been producing with Olsen in. McCaffrey should also see a few more looks, but nothing that would move him up much this week. One player who could seriously benefit from this is D.J. Moore, as he has shown flashes of elite athleticism but hasn't received enough looks for it to translate.
JACK DOYLE - INDIANAPOLIS COLTS
Doyle looks like he may be returning from his hip injury he sustained in week 2. If he sits, expect much of the same that you've seen from this offense in the past with TY Hilton being a fringe WR1 and Ebron being a top 5 tight end. If he does suit up, though, then I think it'll take away a little value from Ebron this week. I wouldn't expect him to step in and get immediate volume, so Ebron should still be a top 5 option this week, but as the season progresses and Doyle's health improves, Ebron's value may take a hit. Ebron has been putting up big numbers, but he hasn't been quite as good in real life as he is in fantasy. He still drops a lot of passes and isn't the same caliber blocker as Doyle. He'll still be a top 10 tight end, whether or not Doyle is 100%, but I wouldn't expect the same production we've seen recently.
CJ UZOMAH - CINCINNATI BENGALS
MATCHUP - TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
The Bucs have given up at least 50 yards and a score each of their last 4 games, and even in their first 2, allowed 59 and 151 yards to the position. Their defense is atrocious and Uzomah has been in on over 90% of snaps the past 3 weeks. He's only seen 11 targets over the past 3 games, but the Bucaneers are so terrible that everyone in the passing game should eat. This week, I'd be comfortable firing Uzomah up as a back-end TE1.
RICKY SEALS-JONES - ARIZONA CARDINALS
Either I have a man crush on RSJ or he has an extremely easy schedule. I seem to feature him in this every week, and once again, he gets a beautiful opponent. RSJ looked to have sustained a major injury last week, but it ended up being a bruise and he's practicing in full. He has seen 6 targets in 4/7 games and 4 tin 2/7, so he's certainly been given volume. With a new OC, this offense, as I've said before, can't get much worse, and RSJ has been a fringe TE1 is weeks where he's had good matchups. The 49ers have given up 141 yards or a score to the position in 5/7 games this year, with one of the 2 where they didn't came against the Cardinals.In that week, RSJ saw 6 targets but didn't catch any of them. With his floor of targets in this spot, he should be a high end TE2 this week, despite not producing in this same spot a few weeks back.
BENJAMIN WATSON - NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
MATCHUP - @ MINNESOTA VIKINGS
The Vikings have given up either 90 yards or a score to the position in 6/7 games, so it's certainly an opponent to target. Waston has seen 10 targets over his last two games, and with Ginn landing on IR, should continue to see this volume. Does he have the upside that Uzomah or RSJ have? Probably not because he's about 53 years old, but he has a high floor. If you're dealing with injuries at the position, he should be a serviceable high end TE2 this week.
DALLAS GOEDART - PHILADELPHIA EAGLES
If Zach Ertz ever goes down, Goedart will become a top 10 tight end. Even with Ertz, he's put up two top 10 weeks. You can't start him on a weekly basis simply because he's the team's 4th option (at the most), but if Alshon/Ertz go down, I wouldn't mind slotting him into my starting lineup. If you have a deep bench, keep hold of Goedart.
CHRIS HERNDON - NEW YORK JETS
I'm not huge on owning any Jets players, but Herndon is one of their only receiving options left. He's produced each of the last two weeks, and with every single tight end finding themselves on the IR, he could be an interesting player, provided, he also stays healthy. He isn't a must stash simply because he's on a bad offense and not many people will be rushing to grab him, but if you have space, you can go out and grab him.
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by Nick Ercolano
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