Fantasy managers in must-win situations just to have a chance at making the fantasy football playoffs may face some very tough starting decisions with two teams on bye weeks and a handful of big injuries at the WR position this week.
Let’s take a look at the latest injury updates for Amari Cooper, Tyler Boyd, and Chris Olave and how they are impacting decision-making this week.
Latest News and Injury Updates Impacting Fantasy
Amari Cooper, WR, Cleveland Browns
The Cleveland Browns’ leading WR has managed to produce WR33-type numbers in PPR formats despite playing with four different starting quarterbacks this season. Unfortunately, he suffered a concussion against the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday, which has put his status for Sunday’s game against the Jacksonville Jaguars in jeopardy.
After failing to participate in practice on Wednesday or Thursday, Mary Kay Cabot reported that Cooper returned to the practice field on Friday. This development does give him a chance to play in Week 14 if he manages to clear the concussion protocol.
“When it comes to the protocol, you just have to follow to a tee,” Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski said about Cooper’s injury during a press conference on Wednesday. “And that’s what we’ll do.”
Cooper averaged a healthy five receptions for 96 yards per game when starting QB Deshaun Watson played more than 90% of the offensive snaps in five games this season. Unfortunately, since Watson suffered a season-ending shoulder injury against the Baltimore Ravens back in Week 10, Cooper has produced just nine receptions for 84 yards and no scores over the last three games.
However, Cooper did only play 32% of the offensive snaps on Sunday before exiting the game with a head injury. If veteran QB Joe Flacco gets a second straight start under center, then it could give Cooper a small fantasy boost in Week 14.
If Cooper is unable to clear concussion protocol before Sunday, look for Elijah Moore and David Njoku to be leading target-getters in this Cleveland passing attack.
Tyler Boyd, WR, Cincinnati Bengals
It is hard to determine what is worse … Tyler Boyd’s hilariously awful interception on Monday Night Football or fantasy managers who have started Boyd on their fantasy team over the last three games.
That sounded really mean, but with Tee Higgins back into the fold and backup quarterback Jake Browning under center for the Cincinnati Bengals … do you really want to put Boyd into your starting lineup in any circumstance?
Despite being a limited participant for Thursday and Friday’s practice, a recent report from Jay Morrison states that Bengals head coach Zac Taylor said Boyd is “good to go” for Sunday’s game against the Indianapolis Colts.
Since Browning took over under center for Joe Burrow, Boyd has caught just eight passes for 60 yards combined over the last two games. While Browning’s breakout performance on Monday Night Football was certainly very encouraging, there are certainly questions about whether or not he can make multiple pass-catching options reliable fantasy options moving forward.
Every double-digit fantasy performance Boyd has come with Burrow under center, which makes him a WR3 at best in Week 14.
Chris Olave, WR, New Orleans Saints
Don’t look now, but Olave has strung together back-to-back 100-yard games and has seen a healthy share of 8+ targets in six straight games. Unfortunately, his recent run of exceptional production may be in jeopardy heading into their Week 14 matchup against the Carolina Panthers.
According to a recent report from Luke Johnson, Olave is officially listed as questionable for Sunday while dealing with an illness. Normally, an illness isn’t too threatening to a player’s status for gameday, but Olave did not participate in practice on Thursday or Friday, which provides a little cause for concern.
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Starting QB Derek Carr was a full participant for Friday’s practice but is still questionable for Sunday while still going through concussion protocol.
If Carr were to miss Sunday’s game, Jameis Winston would be the next man up under center for the New Orleans Saints. The fantasy outlook for Olave probably wouldn’t change all that much if Winston is under center, but it is certainly worth mentioning.
If Olave can’t go on Sunday, look for an expanded role for A.T. Perry with Rashid Shaheed not practicing all week while dealing with a thigh injury.
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