An ugly Sunday produced brutal results. Week 14 dealt blows to a slew of fantasy stars; some could return as soon as this weekend, while others won’t play another snap. It’s the kind of unpredictability everyone hates in fantasy, and it couldn’t come at a worse time. What course of action should impacted managers take to weather this storm, and which players could see their stocks rise or fall?
Fantasy Football Injury Update Week 15
Justin Herbert Injury Update
A disappointing Chargers season found a new low on Sunday, as Herbert suffered a fractured finger against the Broncos. The season-ending injury derails not just a franchise quarterback, but the numerous weapons in L.A.’s offense. Chief among those impacted is Keenan Allen, who has been a bonafide WR1 all year. He’s still a must-start, but an NFL-leading 150 targets aren’t sustainable without Herbert’s steady hand.
New quarterback Easton Stick did find some chemistry with rookie Quentin Johnston, including a 57-yard completion, but it was too little, too late in a blowout loss. A Thursday matchup with the Raiders, a team Los Angeles might build a lead against, doesn’t bode well for Chargers pass catchers. It might help Austin Ekeler, who has struggled over multiple weeks. L.A. will likely also prioritize safe passes, which could lead to plenty of dump-offs for their star running back.
Nico Collins Injury Update
The Texans’ offense has seen better days; over the past few weeks, they’ve seen ailments to Dalton Schultz, Tank Dell, and now Nico Collins. An early exit against the Jets hasn’t ruled Collins out of Houston’s game against the Titans, but it would be a shock to see him suit up so soon after a calf injury, which can be tricky.
In Nico’s absence, Noah Brown could be the wide receiver to prioritize, but he’s seen a whopping zero receptions over his last two contests. Veteran Robert Woods hasn’t shown much during that time either (one catch), so figuring out who could become Houston’s top wideout is nearly impossible. Combine that with C.J. Stroud’s concussion issues, and this might be an offense to avoid entirely, at least for next week.
Josh Jacobs Injury Update
The Raiders are going nowhere fast after last weekend’s 3-0 loss in Minnesota, and Josh Jacobs’ quad injury won’t make things easier. Zamir White is the clear next in line should Las Vegas be without their star running back, with Ameer Abdullah likely handling passing downs. With not much to play for and a short week before their game against the Chargers, it makes sense for the Raiders to be cautious with Jacobs. Still, we’ve seen the defending rushing champ gut through injuries before, so it won’t be a surprise if he does suit up on Thursday night.
Tyreek Hill Injury Update
The simple analysis of how a Tyreek Hill absence impacts both Miami and fantasy managers: They are screwed. Maybe it’s not quite so dire for fantasy rosters, but it’s far from ideal. The Cheetah’s historic campaign hit a speed bump on Monday, as ankle pain forced him out of the game during the first half. While Hill would return later in the game, he was clearly not at his best, and the Dolphins’ offense sputtered as a result.
Head coach Mike McDaniel has expressed some confidence about Hill’s availability, but it still remains to be seen whether he can play against the Jets this week. For a Miami squad with real Super Bowl hopes, the best course of action might be to play it safe. If the Dolphins are without Reek, expect more targets for Jaylen Waddle, as well as bigger roles for Cedrick Wilson Jr. and Chase Claypool.
Justin Jefferson/Alexander Mattison Injury Updates
It wasn’t a good day to be on the Minnesota Vikings offense, as their three total points came at the cost of the NFL’s best wide receiver and the team’s starting running back. Jefferson’s exit seemed especially serious, as he was taken to a local hospital due to a chest injury. Obviously, the Vikings’ success is highly dependent on the health of their best player; there’s nobody that can replace his production, especially without Kirk Cousins behind center. Jordan Addison and K.J. Osborn could see a resurgence, but there’s plenty of optimism that Jefferson will return to play the Bengals on Saturday.
Things appear to be more serious for Mattison, who sprained his ankle before leaving Sunday’s game during the first quarter. These injuries can take multiple weeks at a minimum, so it’s safe to assume Mattison won’t play this weekend. Ty Chandler should be next in line, as he saw 12 carries to close out the game against Las Vegas. The pass-catching specialist should benefit from Nick Mullens at quarterback, a slower player than Josh Dobbs who will be more inclined to throw check-downs. Chandler might not be an automatic start for most rosters, but teams in a pinch could do far worse.