The vast majority of season-long fantasy leagues have already concluded, but there is still a full 16-game slate of NFL action ahead in Week 18. With best-ball and daily fantasy leagues still going, staying abreast of the fantasy-relevant injuries is still important.
Baker Mayfield (QB) Cleveland Browns – Mayfield has been playing with a torn labrum in his left (non-throwing) shoulder all season and will not play in Cleveland’s finale. Mayfield is expected to have surgery on his shoulder but may have played his last game in Cleveland. Case Keenum should be under center for the Browns.
Lamar Jackson (QB) Baltimore Ravens – Baltimore has dropped their last two games without Jackson and is now on the fringes of the AFC wild-card hunt. The Ravens need a ton of things to go right to sneak into the seven seed, beginning with needing to knock off the Steelers at home. If Jackson can play, he’ll be out there, but he may be playing at less than 100%, and John Harbaugh could pull him if other games aren’t going Baltimore’s way. It’s a situation to avoid in DFS this week.
Jimmy Garoppolo (QB) San Francisco 49ers – Trey Lance led the Niners to an easy victory over the Texans and will most likely be under center again the Rams. San Francisco has already clinched a wild-card spot and would do well to give Jimmy G. another week to rest for the postseason and get another week of evaluation for Lance.
Jared Goff (QB) Detroit Lions – Goff has missed two games with a knee injury but was reportedly processing well last week. Odds are he’ll be in the lineup as long as he’s able to practice this week. Regardless of who starts, there’s not a lot of fantasy upside for the Lions’ passers as another lost season concludes.
Teddy Bridgewater (QB) Denver Broncos – Listed as doubtful, a concussion will almost certainly assure that Drew Lock starts in a meaningless game for the Broncos.
James Conner (RB) Arizona Cardinals – That heel injury kept our guy out again last week, but we’re hoping he’ll be back to conclude the regular season. That said, it makes more sense for Kliff Kingsbury to hold Conner out for the playoffs, so prepare for another busy week for Chase Edmonds.
Michael Gallup (WR) Dallas Cowboys – Gallup tore his ACL making an end-zone TD grab and will miss the remainder of the season.
Darren Waller (TE) Las Vegas Raiders – Sunday night’s tilt with the Chargers is a “win and in” game for the Raiders, so there’s a very good chance we’ll finally see Waller back on the field. The star tight end has missed a month with a knee injury and was on the reserve/COVID list last week. As long as Waller is cleared, he’s a top-5 fantasy option in the season finale.
Miles Sanders (RB) Philadelphia Eagles – Sanders broke his hand and missed last week. With the Eagles already having clinched a wild-card berth, there’s no reason to think Sanders will be active in a game that has little real meaning for the club. However, the Eagles have been hit hard by COVID, so we’ll certainly be monitoring their backfield’s health ahead of Week 18.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire (RB) Kansas City Chiefs – Andy Reid said that sophomore RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire could return from a shoulder injury but the Chiefs have a more-than-adequate backup in Darrel Williams and shouldn’t need CEH to knock off the Broncos. Odds are, Reid will opt to rest Edwards-Helaire until the playoffs.
Ronald Jones, Ke’Shawn Vaughn (RB) Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Both of Tampa’s top-2 back exited Week 17 early. Jones is supposed to have an MRI on his ankle injury, while Vaughn hurt his ribs. The Bucs are planning on playing all of their starters this week, which could be Le’Veon Bell if Jones and Vaughn are ruled out, as expected.
Kareem Hunt (RB) Cleveland Browns – Best-ballers were hoping that Hunt (ankle) would be activated ahead of Cleveland’s Monday loss but with nothing on the line in Week 18, it wouldn’t make much sense for the Browns to play Hunt in a meaningless game.
Michael Carter (RB) New York Jets – Carter exited last week after three carries with a concussion. He’ll have five days to clear the league’s protocol but has a tough matchup against Buffalo’s fearsome run defense. Practiced Thursday so that’s a good sign.
Ricky Seals-Jones (TE) Washington Football Team – Seals-Jones also suffered a concussion and will most likely be held out of a meaningless season finale. RSJ had been passed by John Bates on the depth chart recently, anyway, so he’s well off the fantasy radar.
Alex Collins (RB) Seattle Seahawks – Collins has been placed on IR and his season is over. This locks Rashaad Penny into lead-back duties in Arizona.
Blake Jarwin (TE) Dallas Cowboys – Jarwin should be activated this week but is well behind Dalton Schultz in the pecking order. Perhaps the loss of Michael Gallup will result in more ’12’ sets but Jarwin can’t be trusted in fantasy lineups of any type.
Robby Anderson (WR) Carolina Panthers – Remained sidelined during Thursday practice. (quad)
Antonio Brown (WR) Free Agent – Bucs waived him on Thursday and will inevitably go unclaimed on waivers.
Chase Edmonds (RB) Arizona Cardinals – Remained sidelined for Thursday practice. (toe)
Players on the Reserve/COVID list
Diontae Johnson (WR) Pittsburgh Steelers
Justin Fields (QB) Chicago Bears
Jordan Howard (RB) Philadelphia Eagles
Boston Scott (RB) Philadelphia Eagles
Dallas Goedert (TE) Philadelphia Eagles
D’Ernest Johnson (RB) Cleveland Browns
Brandon McManus (PK) Denver Broncos
Jerry Jeudy (WR) Denver Broncos
Tim Patrick (WR) Denver Broncos
Micah Parson (LB) Dallas Cowboys – Won’t play.
Mike Tagliere Memorial Playoff Challenge
In honor of industry giant and close personal friend to our Jody Smith, this year’s playoff contest is in memory of Mike Tagliere from Fantasy Pros.
“As you all know, the fantasy industry was dealt a devastating blow in September when we lost one of the most genuine people and finest football analysts ever in Mike Tagliere.
I knew Mike for over a decade and had the privilege to work together with him on multiple occasions. Mike truly was a craftsman, who loved this industry and considered himself truly blessed to be able to do this for a living.
My personal relationship with Mike goes back over a decade and we became real friends. I had the pleasure to meet him and his wife, Tabbie, in Dallas and consider that experience one of my finest memories in my dozen years of providing fantasy football content.
Mike made an impact on thousands of people, who he helped, entertained, and impacted in a positive manner for many years. You simply will not read a negative opinion of Mike because there aren’t any.
His positive impact on the industry is still felt today and we wanted to do a little something to give back and honor the memory of one of the finest human beings I’ve ever known. For those lucky enough to win their leagues this season, please consider donating a portion of your winnings to the Tagliere family.
With help from and permission from Mike’s team at FantasyPros, we wanted to present a FREE playoff fantasy football contest honoring the life and legacy of one of fantasy football’s all-time greatest people, Mike Tagliere.”
This is a FREE-to-play NFL Playoffs contest and we’ve increased the prizes this year.