QB and TE Fantasy Injury Report Week 17: The latest on Lamar Jackson, Travis Kelce, and the inimitable Pat Freiermuth

Some major fantasy QBs and TEs are on the injury report heading into Week 17. Will they return, and what are the fantasy implications?

We are here, Week 17, and QBs and TEs are still injured! Some of them, at least. For the latest information on the QB and TE injury report — as well as how they or their replacements might impact your fantasy football week — read below.

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Fantasy Football Injury Report: QB update

What is the Week 17 status of quarterbacks on the NFL injury report, and what are the fantasy impacts? We’ve got you covered.

Teddy Bridgewater, Denver Broncos

Teddy Bridgewater remains in the concussion protocol, and the Broncos have announced Drew Lock as their Week 17 starter. Lock’s presence won’t have a material fantasy impact on Denver’s depleted receiving corps, which in recent weeks has been the most underutilized group of talented pass-catchers in Earth’s history.

Kirk Cousins and Sean Mannion, Minnesota Vikings

Kirk Cousins was added to the reserve/COVID-19 list on Friday and will miss Sunday’s must-win contest against the Packers. On the same day, the Vikings removed Sean Mannion from the reserve/COVID-19 list, setting up what could be a brutal set of performances for Minnesota’s top offensive weapons.

It’s quite possible rookie QB Kellen Mond could take over in the second half if the game gets out of hand. And if you’re planning to start Dalvin Cook, Justin Jefferson, or K.J. Osborn, expect marginal-to-significant production drops in what I expect will be a comfortable (or rather, uncomfortable) loss.

Justin Fields, Chicago Bears

While Justin Fields (ankle) returned to practice this week and is officially listed as questionable, head coach Matt Nagy stated on Friday that Andy Dalton will start this weekend. The opposing Giants are not pushovers on defense. Dalton’s value hinges largely on whether David Montgomery can catch 8+ passes for 90+ yards and a score.

Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49ers

Jimmy Garoppolo is dealing with a UCL tear and fracture on his right thumb. He has not practiced this week, though he stated that he was “confident” he could play through the injury. If Jimmy G starts, he’d be a risky top-16 QB in a great matchup.

If backup future phenom Trey Lance starts, I would plug him in as a top-eight QB with top-three upside. Candidly, I picked up Lance on Wednesday to block my opponent. Yeah, that’s the kind of person I am.

Jared Goff, Detroit Lions

After clearing COVID protocols on Monday, Jared Goff has missed practice because of a knee injury and is listed as doubtful for Week 17. We should not be surprised if Detroit shelves their first-string QB in favor of (once again) Tim Boyle. It would be nice to see Goff finish the season strong. Instead, he might finish seated. Amon-Ra St. Brown would be minimally impacted, given what we saw from him last weekend.

Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens

Lamar Jackson (ankle) finally returned for a limited practice on Wednesday, but he regressed to “absent” from Thursday’s and Friday’s practices. He is gearing toward a game-time call, though fantasy managers should prepare for another Tyler Huntley start, which should be far less dominant than his last one in Week 15. And if Jackson does start but is clearly less than 100%, we should be concerned about his ability to rack up fantasy points on the ground.

Carson Wentz, Indianapolis Colts

Update 01/01/22: NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport is reporting that the Colts have activated Carson Wentz off the COVID-19 list. While he has yet to be officially cleared to play, this is procedural and the expectation is that he will be available tomorrow.

Carson Wentz tested positive for COVID on Tuesday. Under the new NFL rules, he could still return for Sunday’s game. If backup Sam Ehlinger is forced to start, it would be difficult to trust any Colts player in fantasy except Jonathan Taylor. If Wentz is back under center, Michael Pittman Jr. would be a near-automatic start given his ceiling.

TE Injury Update

How are injuries impacting tight ends ahead of Week 17? Will fantasy managers need to make backup plans just in case?

Tyler Conklin, Minnesota Vikings

Tyler Conklin is listed as questionable for Sunday night with a hamstring issue. With Adam Thielen on the injured reserve, the Vikings’ top-heavy offense just got a little more top-heavy. And with Kirk Cousins out, the Vikings’ top-heavy offense just got a little more bottom-heavy.  Normally a reasonable streamer, Conklin would be a low-floor fade in Week 17.

Jack Doyle, Indianapolis Colts

After missing practice most of the week due to knee and ankle injuries, Jack Doyle returned for a full practice on Friday. For fantasy purposes, Mo Alie-Cox would be a deep-league fantasy flyer if Doyle sits. If Doyle returns, both would be deep-league fantasy flyers. If Doyle returns, and he and Alie-Cox dine at an all-you-can-eat restaurant an hour before the game, they both would still be deep-league fantasy flyers — not to be confused with the deep-fried Big Leaguer, available for a limited time only at Pittsburgh’s very own Grandslam Pizza.

Pat Freiermuth, Pittsburgh Steelers

Pat Freiermuth (concussion) participated in full practices on Thursday and Friday, setting him up nicely for Monday Night Football. We all know the awesome power of The Freiermuth. He can strike fear into opponents when wielded by a professional (i.e. any fantasy manager with a smartphone or laptop).

Ryan Griffin and Tyler Kroft, New York Jets

Ryan Griffin has been out with a knee injury, while Tyler Kroft was added to the reserve/COVID-19 list on Monday. If they both miss Sunday’s game, Trevon Wesco or Kenny Yeboah could be thrust into the famed New York spotlight.

Under normal circumstances, I would not recommend starting a third- or fourth-string Jets tight end in your fantasy title game. And these are certainly normal circumstances.

Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs

Travis Kelce was removed from the COVID list on Wednesday. The next big question (probably unanswerable until well into Sunday’s game) is whether he can get back into game shape quickly. Tread more carefully than usual with Kelce. It’s almost impossible to rationalize benching him. That said, it’s important to set realistic expectations, given what we’ve seen from other players coming off the COVID list (exhibit A: Tyreek Hill in Week 16).

Marcedes Lewis, Green Bay Packers

Marcedes Lewis was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list on Tuesday. If he can’t return for Week 17, Josiah Deguara would earn a small fantasy bump, although 6-7 fantasy points still might be a stretch. He’ll need to score to earn top-10 TE honors.

James O’Shaughnessy, Jacksonville Jaguars

James O’Shaughnessy was ruled out for Sunday’s game on Friday, giving the Jaguars two days to prep their just-signed sixth-string tight end, Kahale Warring. Warring was a 2019 third-round draft pick who has been under contract this season with the Texans, Patriots, Colts, and Bills.  His over/under for Week 17 fantasy points is 1.5.  Making matters worse, Trevor Lawrence has 1 TD in his last eight games. That’s not a typo: 1 TD. Even worse, the opposing Patriots have given up fewer fantasy points to tight ends than any other team.

Jared Cook and Donald Parham, Los Angeles Chargers

Jared Cook was added to the reserve/COVID-19 list on Friday, and Donald Parham remains out after missing Week 16 with a concussion. Third-string tight end Stephen Anderson would be a deep-league fantasy flyer — not to be confused with the deep-fried Big Leaguer, which is now no longer available at Pittsburgh’s very own Grandslam Pizza.

Darren Waller, Las Vegas Raiders

Darren Waller remains sidelined with his IT Band/back injury, and on Wednesday, he was placed on the COVID list. When it rains, it pours on Waller. Hopefully, the all-world tight end can return before the season’s over. For now, continue to keep Foster Moreau on standby.

BJ Rudell is the Fantasy Football and Betting Product Director for Pro Football Network. You can read all of BJ’s work here and follow him on Twitter: @BJRudell.

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