ProFootballDoc: Fantasy Friday and Top 10 Injury Concerns entering Week 13

The fantasy regular season concludes, and it’s time for the fantasy football playoffs. This year is the first time I have participated in a real fantasy league. I was lucky enough to be invited to participate in the prestigious 10th annual Scott Fish Bowl, where the titans of the industry play fans and each other. For me, it was like being a NFL fan who has never gone to a game and whose first one turns out to be the Super Bowl. I want to thank Scott, the organizer, and all of my Dinosaur Toys division competitors for welcoming me.

I have always said that I am an injury expert and not a fantasy expert, but the irony is that over half of my original starting team got injured. With a lot of beginner’s luck, I managed to ride my Patrick Mahomes/Tyreek Hill stack and Aaron Rodgers to a first-round playoff bye.

I want to claim that my team played great defense (not true, as only offensive players are selected,) but the reality is that I was very lucky, and my opponents were kind enough not to score a lot when we were matched up.

Here are the top 10 fantasy injury concerns and unknowns. Bear in mind that this article has been written prior to the final injury report, where game status is revealed.

1. Daniel Jones – Odds are heavily against the Giants quarterback playing, even though I have seen no reports about significant hamstring damage confirmed on MRI. His team leads the NFC East, and I know he wants to play. He tried to return to the Week 12 contest but couldn’t even throw, which indicates at least a moderate tear. Just like we indicated last Sunday, Jones is likely to miss at least this week and maybe several weeks before he can be a serious run threat again.

2. Philip Rivers – His own Colts teammate indicated the QB had “a really bad problem with his foot.”  I can say from first-hand experience (and it has been well reported) that Rivers has played through an ACL tear, rib fractures and countless other injuries on the way to leading the league with 244 consecutive starts, an Ironman streak if there ever was one. I can’t say anything else because of HIPAA regulations, but you can bet that Rivers is not going to miss a game, regardless of how bad his toe injury is.

3. Cam Newton – This week, the Patriots QB has been deemed “limited” in practice, which can mean anything short of “fully able,” with an abdominal issue. He says, “It’s football.” This late in the season, almost every player has something. One could say New England is “overly” honest in listing all injuries on the report. My expectation is that Newton, along with a host of other Patriots, will be listed as “questionable” for the game, and he and the majority of his injured teammates will play.

4. Dalvin Cook – The Vikings RB is said to be “beat up” and has been limited by an ankle issue this week. According to video from the game, I do not expect a significant injury. Expect Cook to play and continue to chase the league rushing title.

5. Josh Jacobs – The right ankle issue of the Raiders RB did not seem severe after video analysis, and my original thought was that the lopsided score kept him from returning to the game. After two straight missed practices, however, one has to question his availability. I still hope for a return to at least limited practice today and an ability to play versus the Jets on Sunday.

6. David Johnson – The Texans RB has been designated to return from a concussion, but he has not been activated yet. His 21-day practice window is open, and he needs to log a full practice before seeing an independent neuro for final clearance. He seems to have taken a turn for the better and may be able to play this week.

7. Clyde Edwards-Helaire – The Chiefs RB missed practice with an illness Thursday. There is no indication of COVID, but he will still need to have two consecutive negative tests to play. Given that he has three full days to feel better, chances are good that he plays Sunday night versus the Broncos.

8. Kenny Golladay – The Lions WR seems headed for another week out. There has not been clarity on his hip injury, and he has yet to even practice this week. It seems his team should have placed him on IR to free up the roster spot.

9. A.J. Brown – The Titans WR has recently made a habit of missing Thursday practice due to his knee. Thursday may also be a rest day for defense installs. He missed practice yesterday with a hip issue. There was no video indication of a hip injury, so one has to think it is still the traditional rest issue and that Brown will be good to go on Sunday.

10. Zach Ertz – The Eagles may finally have their tight end back for the first time since Week 6, when he sustained a high ankle sprain with avulsion fracture. Ertz is on the active roster and available, but expect him to — at best — split targets with Dallas Goedert against the Packers.

For thoughts on dozens of other players, including D.J. Chark, Phillip Lindsay and more, go to the free one stop injury analysis site www.profootballdoc.com to help you win fantasy/DFS/wagering.

Written by Dr. David Chao

David Chao, MD -- known digitally as Pro Football Doc -- is an expert contributor for Outkick. Chao spent 17 seasons as the team doctor for the San Diego Chargers (1997-2013) and is part of the medical team at OASIS in San Diego where he treats and specializes in orthopedic sports injuries, working with high-profile professional athletes from the NFL, NBA, and MLB.

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