Week 13 Sunday resulted in a winning 3-1-1 using injury advantages. The season record is now 38-23-4 https://www.outkick.com/profootballdoc-top-5-actionable-injury-issues-for-nfl-week-13/ for a +15 tally.
Missed extra points and a fumble at the 1-yard line lead to a push on the MIN-JAX total and the Chargers were blown out, but the Lions won outright as underdogs. The Colts won by six, and the Packers covered.
There are two Monday games today. The early matchup has the stout defense of the undefeated Steelers against Washington, led by Alex Smith. Even without Bud Dupree (and Devin Bush), can T.J. Watt, Cam Heyward and Stephon Tuitt (back from COVID) take advantage of an immobile Smith and a weakened left side on the Washington offensive line? I lean towards yes and would take Pittsburgh -6.5.
In the late matchup, Buffalo is clearly the healthier side with an almost two full grade advantage. San Francisco is getting healthier with their running backs and wideouts but are still missing their starting QB and all-world TE. Even with Richard Sherman back, the defense is still injury riddled. Meanwhile, Josh Allen’s ankles are healthy as well, as is most of the team. The Bills are +1 in a closely matched game, but they are the right side from an injury perspective.
Here are the top 10 injury questions coming out of Sunday as we head to fantasy playoffs and Week 14:
1. Drew Brees – The Saints are 8-0 in the last two seasons without their starting QB, but he is available to come off IR in Week 14. Despite 11 rib fractures and a lung issue, it is possible that he could return this coming week versus the Eagles. If so, the current -6.5 is sure to rise well past the key 7 number for a middle opportunity.
2. Daniel Jones – The Giants upset the Seahawks without their starter, and there is a good chance he may miss again. There is no way his hamstring will be 100%, and even if he can play, Jones won’t be the same running threat. The Cardinals open at -3.5, and that line is sure to rise as news gets out about the Giants starter. Kyler Murray should be over his shoulder issue by next week as well.
3. Brandon Allen – The Bengals backup QB left with a chest injury late in the game. By video, he fell on the ball with a defender’s body weight on him and lost his wind. He was probably more sore than injured. If there had been more time left in the game, he would have returned and should be healthy for next week, although certainly the Bengals miss Joe Burrow.
4. Christian McCaffrey – When he hurt his shoulder on the final drive of Week 9, we opined that the Panthers may hold him out until after the Week 13 bye. That has indeed been the case. CMC is certain to return in Week 14 and will be full-go with likely his usual 30 touches. The fantasy manager who hung on to him will get playoff dividends from the star.
5. Tyler Lockett – The Seahawks receiver left the game for what seemed to be a called-down, mandatory head injury check, and he was cleared. On the play, it seemed he also rolled his left ankle. The mild inversion basketball-type sprain is something Lockett can manage. He might be limited in practice, but I don’t see him missing the next game.
6. A.J. Brown – The Titans star WR suffered a non-contact injury in the open field, but not all non-contact injuries are worrisome. Fortunately, by video, this one is not. He seemed to roll his right ankle and indeed was able to return. Brown should be a go for next week.
7. Julio Jones – The Falcons WR has been hampered by his hamstring for a majority of the season. He seemed to aggravate it again, but he remains productive with six catches for 94 yards. Jones is not his dominate self but seems determined to continue to play through. He will continue to produce, but not at his usual superstar level.
8. Frank Gore – The Jets RB left early with a concussion. It remains to be seen whether he can be cleared for next week, as the Jets remain winless after the Raiders scored a last-second touchdown.
9. Darius Slay – The Eagles defense has been healthier, but now their top corner is destined to miss time. He entered with a calf issue and now, by video, has a right knee MCL sprain. Slay will miss at least next week, as his team faces the Saints and their top receiving corps.
10. Colts – With their left tackle Anthony Castonzo already out with an MCL sprain and their QB Philip Rivers hobbled with a significant toe issue, the backup left tackle Le’Raven Clark may now be out for the season. By video, he tore his left Achilles tendon early in the game, and if so, he will need surgery. The Colts would then have a third stringer protecting Rivers’ blind side.
Fortunately, this was one of the better weeks for injury. For a rundown of all the injuries, listen to the ProFootballDoc Podcast on OutKick or go to www.profootballdoc.com.