The fantasy playoffs are here, and the Rotoworld crew has everything you need to survive and advance. Patrick Daugherty answers your lineup questions with his Week 16 Rankings, Nick Mensio tells you who to start and who to fade in Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em, and Evan Silva breaks down every matchup in his award-winning Matchups Column.
As for me, I am here to shed some light on the most important injury situations facing fantasy owners heading into the weekend. The sister resource to this column is the Rotoworld News Page, which will have every single inactive and all the late-breaking news up to kickoff and beyond. I also occasionally tweet about football @RMSummerlin.
Redskins @ Eagles
*Byron Maxwell (shoulder), Bennie Logan (calf) and Seyi Ajirotutu (ankle) are all listed as questionable despite not practicing this week. Maxwell’s likely absence leaves the Eagles very thin in the secondary, but Eric Rowe’s (probable) quick recovery from a concussion should help.
*DeSean Jackson (knee) and Jordan Reed (shoulder) are probable. Both are great plays. Matt Jones (hip), Dashon Goldson (rib, knee, shoulder), Ryan Grant (abdomen), Josh LeRibeus (ankle) and Morgan Moses (ankle) are questionable. Jones should play, but he should have a smaller passing-game role with Chris Thompson (shoulder, probable) expected to return. Perry Riley Jr. (foot) is out.
Colts @ Dolphins
*Jarvis Landry (knee), Lamar Miller (quad) and DeVante Parker (ankle) are all probable. Rishard Matthews (ribs), Jelani Jenkins (ankle) and Mike Pouncey (foot, ankle) are questionable. Matthews was downgraded to limited in Friday’s practice and is probably more doubtful than questionable. Pouncey has not practiced all week, and there have been reports his season is finished. Ja’Wuan James (toe) and Earl Mitchell (calf) are doubtful.
*Matt Hasselbeck (various injuries, old) is probable after getting in a full practice Friday. Whether he will finish the game is another question entirely. Donte Moncrief (toe), Josh McNary (groin) and Colt Anderson (ankle) are questionable. Moncrief got in a limited session Friday and played through the injury last week. He should suit up, but he is not a great option with so much uncertainty at quarterback. Andrew Luck (kidney) and Winston Guy (hamstring, shoulder) are out. Luck wants to play in Week 17 even if the Colts are eliminated from the playoffs, but that would not be a great decision by Indianapolis. Luck is the franchise, and the offensive line is not good enough to risk him.
Bears @ Bucs
*Vincent Jackson (knee) and Akeem Spence (ankle) are out. Jackson’s season is likely over. Mike Evans will continue to see double-digit targets with Jackson sidelined. Logan Mankins (knee) is questionable. Chris Conte (knee) and Kourtnei Brown (groin) are doubtful. Gerald McCoy (probable) has been playing with a torn rotator cuff in his shoulder since Week 2. He still leads the team with 7.5 sacks and was selected to the Pro Bowl.
*Alshon Jeffery (hamstring) and Shea McClellin (concussion) are doubtful. Jeffery has been a monster when on the field, but his contract year could not have gone much worse from a health perspective. Zach Miller and Eddie Royal (knee, questionable) should see a bump in targets with Jeffery sidelined. Pernell McPhee (knee) and Tracy Porter (knee) are questionable.
Browns @ Chiefs
*Spencer Ware (ribs) is probable after getting in full practices Thursday and Friday. He will resume his duties as the short-yardage option, but Charcandrick West should continue as the lead back. Both have great matchups as big home favorites against one of the worst run defenses in the league. West is a legitimate RB1 while Ware is a touchdown-dependent RB3/FLEX. Tamba Hali (thumb) is listed as questionable despite not practicing all week. Hali had three pins inserted into his broken thumb Tuesday, and the smart move would be to hold him out of a game Kansas City should win with ease. Justin Houston (knee) and Husain Abdullah (concussion) are out.
*Duke Johnson (hamstring), K’Waun Williams (shoulder), Alex Mack (calf), Joe Thomas (knee), Marlon Moore (ribs) and Cameron Erving (ankle) are questionable. Johnson is shaping up as a game-time decision after being limited all week. Thomas does not miss football games.
Patriots @ Jets
*Eric Decker (knee), Ryan Fitzpatrick (thumb) and Brandon Marshall (ankle) are probable. Quincy Enunwa (neck) is questionable and Dee Milliner (hamstring) is doubtful.
*Danny Amendola (knee), Scott Chandler (knee), Patrick Chung (foot), Nate Ebner (ankle), Dont’a Hightower (knee) Josh Kline (shoulder) and Devin McCourty (ankle) are questionable. Julian Edelman (foot) is doubtful, but the rest of the wide receiver situation is up in the air. Amendola got in limited practices all week, but most signs have pointed to him not playing. LaFell was also a limited participant all week, but he should be good to go. Rob Gronkowski is the only reliable member of the pass-catching corps at this point. Jonathan Freeny (hand) is out.
Cowboys @ Bills
*LeSean McCoy (knee), Charles Clay (back) and Nigel Bradham (ankle) are out. Karlos Williams (shoulder, probable) is expected to start in McCoy’s place, but Mike Gillislee should steal some carries. Williams is still an upside RB2 in a good spot. Clay’s absence should give Sammy Watkins even more work. Ronald Darby (groin) is questionable.
*Dez Bryant (foot, ankle) did not practice all week and is listed as doubtful. There is a good chance he does not play again in the lost season. Terrance Williams could see more targets, but it does not matter with Kellen Moore under center. Cole Beasley (knee, illness), Morris Claiborne (hamstring) and Kyle Wilber (shoulder) are questionable.
Panthers @ Falcons
*Tevin Coleman (concussion) and Grady Jarrett (shoulder) are out. Coleman was concussed when he slipped in the shower Wednesday. Terron Ward will back up Devonta Freeman while Coleman is sidelined. Ra’Shede Hageman (knee) was added the injury report Friday as questionable. Mid-week additions are never a good sign.
*Jonathan Stewart (foot) and David Mayo (hamstring) are out. Cameron Artis-Payne served as the early-down back with Stewart sidelined last week and should reprise that role against the Falcons. He has some back-end RB2 value. Ted Ginn (quad, probable) got in full practices Thursday and Friday. Kyle Love (concussion) is questionable.
49ers @ Lions
*Calvin Johnson (ankle), Bill Bentley (illness), Glover Quin (concussion), Josh Bynes (foot), Haloti Ngata (neck), Michael Ola (knee), Caraun Reid (ankle) and Larry Warford (quad) are questionable. Johnson is fully expected to play, but he has just two catches the last two weeks. He is not a must-start in championship week.
*Shaun Draughn (knee), Alex Boone (knee), Marcus Martin (concussion) and Michael Wilhoite (ankle) are out. The 49ers will turn to an underwhelming committee “featuring” Kendall Gaskins, DuJuan Harris, and Bruce Miller. There is not much fantasy value to be found in this backfield.
Texans @ Titans
*Marcus Mariota (knee) is out. Tennessee is acting like Mariota has a chance to play Week 17, but taking that risk with their franchise building block makes zero sense. Kendall Wright (ribs, probable) is set to return. Fantasy players should not care. Delanie Walker (hamstring) was added to the injury report Friday, but he is listed as probable. He remains a TE1.
*Brian Hoyer (concussion) and Jared Crick (back) are questionable. CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora reports Hoyer is not expected to play against Tennessee, but he is on track to return Week 17. Brandon Weeden will start in Hoyer’s place. It is a big downgrade for the entire passing game. Cecil Shorts (hamstring) and Rahim Moore (illness) are out. Nate Washington put up 13 catches for 201 yards and three scores in two games without Shorts earlier this season. Alfred Blue (back) is probable and a sneaky play as the lead back against a defense which has thrown in the towel.
Steelers @ Ravens
*Marlon Brown (back) is out, and Albert McClellan (ankle) is doubtful. Coach John Harbaugh has not announced a starting quarterback yet, but he suggested earlier in the week Ryan Mallett would get the start if he was ready. OC Marc Trestman declared Mallett ready on Thursday. Jimmy Clausen has been competent in two starts, but Baltimore is grooming Mallett to be their backup next season.
*Every Steeler on the active roster is probable or better.
Jaguars @ Saints
*Drew Brees (foot), Benjamin Watson (knee), Marques Colston (chest), Terron Armstead (knee) and Zach Strief (elbow) are questionable. The Saints are doing their best to ruin what should have been a great shootout. Brees, Watson, and Colston all are in real danger of missing after sitting out practice Friday. Brees has said he intends to play despite a painful tear of his plantar fascia tendon in his right foot, but there has been no word on Watson’s or Colston’s injuries. At this point, it looks like both will miss. Dannell Ellerbe (hip) is out.
*T.J. Yeldon (knee) and Telvin Smith (shoulder, finger) are doubtful. Yeldon was seen in a knee brace earlier in the week, and it is possible he has already played his final game as a rookie. Denard Robinson (foot, probable) will again be an every-down back with Yeldon out. Despite a disappointing game last week, Robinson can be fired up as a low-end RB1. Allen Hurns (thigh) is probable.
Rams @ Seahawks
*Marshawn Lynch (abdomen) remains without a timetable to return. Christine Michael should get the start, but Bryce Brown could catch the “hot hand” and take over the lead role at any point. Michael is the only back worth starting, but he is just a risky upside play. Doug Baldwin (hamstring), Russell Okung (calf), Kam Chancellor (tailbone) and Michael Bennett (toe) are questionable. Coach Pete Carroll said Baldwin will be a game-time decision, but Baldwin practiced in full Friday and should be good to go. Still, Baldwin owners need to have a contingency plan in place. Jermaine Kearse (calf, probable) is widely available and should see an uptick in what are already solid target numbers if Baldwin sits. Anthony McCoy (knee) and Jordan Hill (knee) are doubtful.
*Eric Patterson (ankle), Bradley Marquez (knee) and Lamarcus Joyner (back) are questionable. Andrew Donnal (knee) is out.
Packers @ Cardinals
*Carson Palmer (finger) is probable. Andre Ellington (toe), Cory Redding (ankle), Rashad Johnson (ankle) and Frostee Rucker (ankle) are questionable. Coach Bruce Arians said he expects Ellington to play. His return could eat into David Johnson’s workload, but Johnson remains a high-end RB1. Josh Mauro (calf) is out.
*Eddie Lacy (ribs) is probable. In a bad matchup on the road as part of a timeshare, Lacy cannot be considered anything more than a back-end RB2. Sam Shields (concussion) is doubtful, which leaves two rookies and Casey Hayward to chase around one of the best receiving trios in the league. Jayrone Elliott (quad) is out. David Bakhtiari (ankle), Letroy Guion (foot) and Justin Perillo (hamstring) are questionable.
Giants @ Vikings
*Adrian Peterson (ankle, shoulder) returned to a full practice Friday and is probable. There is a small risk Peterson is rested in the second half of what could turn out to be a meaningless game, but he is worth the risk in a great matchup. Harrison Smith (knee, hamstring), Anthony Barr (knee), Linval Joseph (foot), Everson Griffen (shoulder) and Josh Robinson (concussion) are all probable for a defense nearing full health.
*Odell Beckham is suspended. Rueben Randle should serve as the No. 1 with Beckham out, but Will Tye may see the biggest bump in usage. Randle is useful as a high-risk, high-reward WR3 while Tye is a back-end TE1 streaming option. Dwayne Harris (shoulder, questionable) will also be worth a look in deeper leagues if he plays. Devon Kennard (foot) and Cooper Taylor (concussion) are out.
Bengals @ Broncos
*Peyton Manning has a “big workout” scheduled for Saturday which could determine whether or not he plays again this season after suffering a setback last week. Brock Osweiler has already been named the starter for Week 16. T.J. Ward (ankle) returned to a limited practice Thursday. C.J. Anderson (back, ankle) was also limited.
*Tyler Eifert (concussion), Andy Dalton (thumb) and George Iloka (groin) remain sidelined. It is possible both Eifert and Dalton have already played their final regular season snaps. Every other member of the active roster was a full participant Friday.
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