In this series, we’ll cast a wide net to cover many different injuries that occurred during each week of the NFL regular season and what the implications are for your fantasy teams. If there were large injuries during the week, we’ll be sure to have a detailed piece in addition to this article. If there is any injury on your mind that you believe I missed, please feel free to comment below and I’ll give you my thoughts!
Week 11 was a fun one. With a plethora of close games and the ultimate highlight reel game on Monday night, football fans were treated to a great week of entertainment. As we near the fantasy football playoffs, the action on Sundays always feels more intense. The good feels great, and the bad feels terrible.
Fortunately, there was much more good than bad for fantasy owners in regards to injury news over the weekend. Some players were forced to leave their games early, but for the most part, their injuries were not as severe as initially feared. Without delay, let’s get into this week’s injury news.
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Alex Smith, QB WAS
The biggest real-life football injury of week 11 was undoubtedly the gruesome leg injury to Alex Smith. The Redskins are in the midst of playoff contention with the Cowboys right on their heels in the NFC East. With Colt McCoy and the newly-acquired Mark Sanchez leading the playoff push under center, it feels as though the Redskins are the underdogs to win the division. For Smith, it will likely be a long road to recovery. While very early reports suggest a timetable to recover of six to eight months, there’s certainly a chance Smith won’t be ready for week one of the 2019 season.
In regards to fantasy football, Smith certainly wasn’t the star QB he was last season for the Kansas City Chiefs. Coming into the week as QB23 overall, Smith had short-term appeal in superflex leagues and as a desperation play in start-one quarterback formats. With bye weeks nearly a thing in the past, Smith’s absence shouldn’t hurt too much for playoff contenders.
As we saw in week 11, Colt McCoy will be getting the majority of the work at quarterback in the near future. With Washington having one of the least appealing support casts in the league, McCoy won’t be worth consideration except in deep leagues. Jordan Reed exploded back to prior form under McCoy, finishing with his best game this season. McCoy to Reed will be a popular combination down the stretch. I anticipate Reed finishing as a low-end TE1 the rest of 2018.
Other players to keep an eye on, though not on the fantasy radar, are Trey Quinn and Josh Doctson. Quinn, this year’s “Mr. Irrelevant” is certainly not so, finishing with four catches for 49 yards on Sunday. Quinn is an explosive, quick slot receiver who could develop into a nice asset for dynasty owners in the near future. He would be a priority add for me this week if I have the roster space. Doctson, on the other hand, will need to show his worth over the Redskins’ final games to secure a spot on the team next season.
Kerryon Johnson, RB DET
Just a week after losing starting wide receiver Marvin Jones for a few weeks, it appears Kerryon Johnson will need time to recover from a knee sprain suffered on Sunday. Johnson has been having a great rookie season by all accounts. Fortunately for fantasy owners, Kerryon did not suffer any ligament damage and will not require surgery. While he will likely miss Thursday’s Thanksgiving matchup against the Bears, Johnson has a good chance to play the following week.
In Thursday’s matchup, Theo Riddick should provide both a safe floor and possible upside as a runner and receiver out of the backfield. Over the past three weeks, Riddick has seen no fewer than seven targets in the passing game, leading to a reasonable eight-point PPR fantasy floor in those games. While LeGarrette Blount will continue to vulture touchdowns and more than likely lead the backfield in rushing attempts, Riddick is shaping up to be the better play of the two if Kerryon misses time.
Marcus Mariota, QB TEN
The Titans are perhaps the most confusing team in football. Two weeks ago, they showed everyone what they’re capable of in an offensive show against the Patriots. Then, Marcus Mariota takes four sacks in the first half of Sunday’s game against the Colts and is forced out of the game with an elbow injury.
Even before leaving the game, Mariota did not lead the Titans to the same offensive success they saw the prior week. Reports are that Mariota did not seriously re-injure his elbow, but his status is worth tracking throughout the week. Should Mariota sit, Blaine Gabbert will lead the Titans offense. Fantasy owners should do their best to look for alternatives to the Titans’ skill position players if this is the case.
Jimmy Graham, TE GB
A former Pro Bowl tight end, Graham has had a lackluster season – all things considered – playing with future Hall of Famer Aaron Rodgers. Graham was limited to just one catch early in the first quarter on Thursday night and left the game early. Graham will reportedly attempt to play through a broken thumb the remainder of the season. I am certainly no expert on the subject, but I imagine it’s going to be difficult for Graham to catch passes with a broken thumb. While he will still be playing in the near future, fantasy owners will want to look for alternatives down the stretch in these finals games in the fantasy season.
As trade deadlines – if you have them – come and go in your leagues, be sure to take a look at your team to see if you could stand to gain some depth in case of injury. The teams most sensitive to injury are easy to spot, usually starting the same exact players each and every week. Even if your team is a lock for the playoffs, making a depth move now can be the difference between winning it all or coming up just short. Make sure to check out here and all of DLF’s content to keep giving you the edge you need to bring home the glory. We’ll be back next week to discuss week 12 injuries.
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