Injury Fallout: How to Move Forward from the Major Week 14 Injuries

Matt Hicks, Staff Writer

Injuries wreaked havoc throughout the first round of the fantasy playoffs in Week 14. From fantasy studs like Kamara and Wentz to sneaky streamers like McCown; the effects were felt in every league. This has left fantasy owners with a lot of uncertainty, so we’re going to break down how to move forward from each of the major injuries in terms of the injured players and their teammates.

Carson Wentz (Torn ACL, Out for Season)

Next Man Up:

Nick Foles: Streaming Option

Although Foles doesn’t have the most successful career, he does have significant experience; with 36 career starts. More importantly, Foles has a ton of weapons to support him. I expect Foles to lean on the trio of running backs for the Eagles and find success in a conservative game plan. Foles faces off against the Giants in Week 15, who have allowed the 2nd most fantasy points to opposing fantasy quarterbacks this season. He then gets the Raiders in Week 16, who have allowed the 5th most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. If you’re in a deep, or 2 QB league you can stream Foles; but I’m not excited about him.

Effect on Teammates:

Jeffery, Agholor, Hollins: Stock Down

This isn’t a complicated analysis; when the second-best quarterback in the league goes down to injury, his wide receivers lose value. In particular, I like Jeffery falls the furthest; given his reliance on bigger plays to find success. Agholor falls the least, benefitting from a potential increase in volume from his short, possession style.

Zach Ertz: Stock Up

Once Ertz comes back, he will likely be a key target for Foles. Look for the Eagles to take advantage of the Giants, who have been very vulnerable (allowed the most points) to opposing tight ends this season. The short, conservative style I expect Foles to take on, benefits Ertz as well; especially as a safer red zone target.

Jay Ajayi: Stock Way Up

Ajayi saw a big increase in carries with Wentz out, even though Wentz still played the first three quarters of the game. The 15 attempts Ajayi saw was his highest workload since joining the Eagles. He averaged 5.2 yards on those carries; making a good case for him to return to the 20+ carry volume we consistently saw from him in Miami.

Tom Savage (Concussion)

Next Man Up:

T.J. Yates: Leave on Bench

Yates came in and performed well; going 14-26 with 175 yards and 2 touchdowns. We know, however, who Yates is; and it’s not someone you want to leverage your playoff hopes on. Yates also faces the Jaguars and Steelers in Weeks 15 and 16; they’ve allowed the least and 4th least fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season.

Effect on Teammates:

Lamar Miller: Stock Unaffected

Miller is on his third quarterback of the season, and his volume hasn’t changed significantly for any of them. He’s consistently gotten between 15-20 carries per game but hasn’t averaged more than 3.7 yards/carry in any game since Week 10. Miller also has only scored 3 touchdowns all season; so hopefully you weren’t already depending on Miller. If you are, things don’t get worse, but they also don’t get any better.

DeAndre Hopkins: Stock Unaffected

Forget match-up proof, Hopkins is quarterback proof. He scored two touchdowns with 149 yards in Week 14, showing that it doesn’t matter who throws him the ball; he’s going to catch it. Hopkins is still a must start, even with two tough match-ups ahead.

Josh McCown (Broken Hand)

Next Man Up:

Bryce Petty: Don’t Even Think About It

The name Bryce Petty doesn’t instill confidence in anyone, certainly not fantasy owners and let’s be honest; probably not in Bryce Petty either. He went 2-9 filling in for McCown; totaling 14 passing yards. He’s the worst streaming option of the 3 quarterbacks discussed in this article.

Effect on Teammates:

Bilal and Forte: Stock Down

Both running backs have fallen out of fantasy relevancy over the last 4 weeks, and the McCown injury just makes things worse. Opposing defenses are likely to stack the box and hone in on the Jets rushing game. With the Jets likely to give up on there season, there’s no upside to either of these guys.

Robby Anderson: Stock Down Slightly

Anderson’s stock certainly drops without McCown; however, Bryce Petty tends to hyper target Anderson. In the 3 games last season where both Petty and Anderson started Anderson saw 23 targets. In those games, Petty threw the ball 53 times; so 43% of the time Petty dropped back he threw it to Anderson. In those games, Anderson averaged 5 receptions and 73 yards per game, with 1 touchdown. In 2017, Anderson is averaging 4 receptions and 65 yards per game. I only dropped Anderson’s stock because his big game potential is diluted, however, he is still worth starting in any league but especially in PPR formats.

Quick Takes:

Alvin Kamara (Concussion)

Take a deep sigh of relief, Kamara owners; he’s expected to return in Week 15. His injury should have no resounding effects on his or his teammates values.

Greg Olsen (Foot)

Olsen missed Weeks 2-11 with his foot injury, which was supposed to take 6 weeks to heal. He then left his Week 12 match-up, and missed Week 13 with re-injury concerns. He played the majority of snaps in Week 14 but failed to haul in any receptions. Move on from him until 2018.

Amari Cooper (Ankle)

Cooper left his Week 14 match-up after reaggravating his ankle injury. This came after having Week 13 off to rest it (while serving his suspension). If you haven’t already moved on from Cooper; do so now.

Aaron Rodgers (Clavicle)

We’re still waiting to see if Rodgers will play in Week 15, however, the Week 14 win for the Packers keeps them in the playoff chase; and keeps our Rodgers hopes alive. If he plays, he has to be in your line-up.

Kelvin Benjamin (Knee)

Benjamin continues to battle with his knee, and it’ll likely cause him to miss Week 15. Either way Benjamin, much like Cooper, needs to be left on your bench or dropped.

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Categories: Fantasy Football

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