Welcome to the Fantasy Football playoffs, for those of you who were lucky enough to survive the season and get to the promised land. It’s be an injury-plagued season, to say the least, which has made things difficult to predict and required a ton of adjustments along the way. So kudos to you for making it this far in the first place, but no one wants to get here and lose in the first round, so I’ll assume no one is happy to just be here.
We have a lot of guys to talk about this week on top of the six that have already been covered in separate articles (linked below), so let’s get right to it!
Aaron Rodgers (fractured clavicle): Is getting closer to returning, but it’s just not worth risking re-injury in what’s shaping up to be a lost season for the Packers. Matt Flynn will get another start and it’s beginning to look like a Rodgers return this season is a pipe dream. Nothing is certain at this point, but it’s looking bleak.
Jay Cutler (ankle/groin): Was able to return to practice for two days this week, which is a definite sign of progress, but just not enough to justify getting him back in the lineup. Week 15 looks like a distinct possibility though.
Christian Ponder (concussion)
Percy Harvin (hip surgery): That little procedure that he reportedly had done is looking to be more involved than we thought. We were initially led to believe that Harvin was just dealing with some post-surgical soreness, but there must be more concern that just soreness with the precautions that Seattle is taking with Harvin. I’ll continue to update his status each week, but it’s getting more difficult to expect him to contribute from a fantasy perspective this season. He may return to the Seahawks lineup for the playoffs, but he won’t be helping this week in the fantasy playoffs.
Denarius Moore (shoulder)
Darren McFadden (ankle)
Jason Campbell (concussion, probable): The good news is that he has been medically cleared to play this Sunday, so this two-QB league option is available to you as needed. Monitor his status to make sure that he’s active on Sunday, but he looks ready to go.
Peyton Manning (ankle, probable): No worries here, he’ll play and he’ll be as effective as ever.
Adrian Peterson (groin, questionable): Not sure what to make of his questionable tag, but ever since information leaked out that AP was really limited by this groin issue, all he’s done is run for 146 and 211 yards in consecutive weeks. If that’s limited, I don’t want to know what healthy is. Look, he’ll be hampered by this for the rest of the season, but he’s clearly still competing at a high level and not showing any signs of serious limitation. You’ve counted on him all season, no reason to think that changes now. He’ll be ready to go.
Knowshon Moreno (foot contusion, probable): That whole crutch and boot deal seems to be in the past now, doesn’t it. He looked pretty healthy this past Sunday and didn’t appear to be hampered by the bone bruise at all. He was a full participant in practice on Friday and looks ready to go. Play him as you would.
DeAngelo Williams (quad contusion, probable): After missing last week’s game with a strained quad muscle, Williams put in a full practice on Friday and appears in line to return to the lineup on Sunday. Expect Williams to be out there, barring setback. However, expect it to remain a crowded backfield as both Jonathan Stewart (ankle) and Mike Tolbert (knee) are probable and expected to play as well.
Andre Ellington (knee sprain, probable): Full practice on Friday usually is a good sign for a player’s availability on Sunday and Ellington appears to be no exception. After missing last week’s game due to a mid-week knee sprain in practice, Ellington should make his return to the lineup this week against the Rams.
Le’Veon Bell (concussion, probable): Boy, did he get cracked during the Steelers Thanksgiving night loss to the Ravens. Lo and behold, he put in three consecutive days of full practice participation and should be ready to go come Sunday. Double check the morning inactives to make sure, as any return of symptoms means he’s a late scratch, but that appears unlikely at this point.
Eddie Royal (toe, questionable): Royal was a late downgrade last week from questionable to doubtful and missed Sunday’s game. This week, he’s officially listed as questionable, this despite not practicing at all this whole week. Royal has played Sunday after not practicing all week before this season, so it’s not out of the realm of possibility that he suits up. But to me, he presents too much of a risk to rely on him for the first week of the playoffs, especially with all the depth at WR this year. If you absolutely need him, he looks like he’ll be a game time decision, so stay tuned.
Jeremy Kerley (dislocated elbow, probable): The fact that he was able to practice fully this week is a great sign for his return, and coach Rex Ryan raved about how good he looked (but it is Rex Ryan, so take it with a grain of salt). Kerley appears to be close enough to 100% to make his return to the field this week. Double check his status in the morning, but he’s expected to play at this point.
Santonio Holmes (hamstring, probable): Another Jets’ WR dealing with an injury, Holmes looks like he will play this week. He played limited snaps this past Sunday after aggravating his hamstring issue, so the fact that he was able to get some practice time in this week makes it more likely that he’ll be in good shape this week. Expect him to play, but it wouldn’t surprise me to see the Jets put him on a limited snap count because of his fragile state all season.
Will play: Danny Amendola (groin, probable), Calvin Johnson (knee, probable), Brandon Marshall (quad, probable), Dez Bryant (back, probable), T.Y. Hilton (shoulder, probable), Michael Floyd (shoulder/ankle, probable), A.J. Green (groin, probable)
Delanie Walker (concussion, questionable): After suffering a concussion in Week 13, Walker went through a rigorous workout away from practice on Thursday as a measuring stick. Had he responded well to that, he would have been out there on Friday. However, he did not practice Friday, so many are speculating that he will miss this Sunday’s game. He has not been ruled out yet, but it appears less likely that he will be able to play on Sunday. This is another one to watch out for when the inactive lists are released prior to kickoff.
For more information or other injury-related questions, you can find me on Twitter at @z_dahdul or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org