There are some intriguing names on the Week 15 WR injury report. With fantasy football managers trying to navigate the chaos that comes with the start of the fantasy playoffs, as well as the three games on a Saturday, there is a lot to work through with these injuries. Let’s take a look at and consider the fantasy implications of the latest news regarding DJ Moore, Tee Higgins, Marquise Brown, Tyler Boyd, and others.
WR Injury Report Heading Into Week 15
DJ Moore, CAR | Ankle (Questionable)
It’s been a strange week for DJ Moore in Week 15. At the beginning of the week, there was some concern he could be at risk of missing the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Then he managed to practice in full on both Wednesday and Thursday, making it seem like he would be fine. However, things switched Friday when he was limited in practice and was listed as questionable for this week’s game.
Wilks clarified that this situation is “not so much of a setback. It’s really just trying to see whether or not he’s gonna be to sustain and be efficient with what we’re asking him to do.” Head coach Steve Wilks told reporters he hoped to have a decision Saturday, and we found out that the WR should be available for the Carolina Panthers and fantasy managers this week.
It’s an intriguing situation for the Panthers because they actually have their future in their own hands when it comes to the playoffs, despite being 5-8. Risking a further injury now for Moore could have a major impact on the Panthers down the line.
For fantasy managers in 12-team leagues, it may be best to consider Moore a player to avoid this week. He’s been inconsistent at best when it comes to fantasy outputs this year. He could end up on a snap count or aggravating the injury and leaving the game altogether, so there’s a lot that can go wrong.
If Moore ends up not playing, there’s no option that fantasy managers can be confident in. Terrace Marshall Jr. has flashed but hasn’t been consistent. Laviska Shenault Jr. could have benefited, but he is also questionable.
Tee Higgins, CIN | Hamstring (Questionable)
After being limited through the first two days of Week 15, Tee Higgins was upgraded to a full participant Friday. He’s listed as questionable and told reporters that he expects to be out there. Head coach Zac Taylor said he felt good about Higgins’ and Tyler Boyd’s chances of playing after being full in practice today. That optimism was reflected by NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport on Sunday morning.
The problem is that Higgins was cleared to play last week after struggling with a hamstring issue. He would go on to play one snap before leaving the game. That was the second time this year that Higgins has been injured during the week and then only managed a few snaps. That raises a serious red flag for fantasy managers, especially with an issue like a hamstring injury.
If Higgins plays, the desire to start him will be high for fantasy managers. However, the risk is huge after what we’ve seen this year. Fantasy managers may want to explore their other options using Tommy Garrett’s Week 15 WR fantasy rankings.
If Higgins misses the game, then the picture gets confusing. Tyler Boyd would usually be the main beneficiary, but he is also dealing with an injury. That could leave Trenton Irwin in line for a bigger role. If both Higgins and Boyd were to miss the game, Irwin could be an intriguing deeper league option.
Tyler Boyd, CIN | Finger (Questionable)
Early in the week, it seemed as though Boyd might be in line to miss a couple of weeks. However, after logging two limited sessions and one full participation in practice, he has a chance to play this week. Boyd is also expected to play this week, per Rapoport’s Sunday morning report.
The problem with a finger injury for a pass catcher is that it’s something that can be easily aggravated. Normally, with Higgins questionable, it would be Boyd who would have a chance to step up. Trusting either Irwin or any of the other Bengals WRs is a dicey thing to do in the fantasy playoffs.
Marquise Brown, ARI | Illness (Questionable)
When Marquise Brown popped up on the injury report Thursday with a questionable designation due to illness, it was uncertain what that would mean for this weekend. Sometimes illnesses end up being nothing more than a one-day concern, but Brown is listed as questionable, despite being limited on Friday.
We may see Brown cleared on Saturday if he’s recovered. However, if the illness lingers, it could make him a game-time decision and even limit him during the game. We have seen odd occasions this year where illnesses have either cost a player a game or caused him to struggle during game-time action.
While Brown was not officially cleared on Saturday, we got a report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter late on Saturday that Brown is expected to play this week.
However, with Colt McCoy under center, there are a lot of questions about this offense. Brown managed just four receptions for 34 yards last week, and he is still working his way back from a foot injury. He is a hard option to trust right now with this illness and the QB situation. Additionally, the Broncos’ defense is a tough one to go up against for opposing WRs.
Kadarius Toney, KC | Hamstring (Questionable)
The Kansas City Chiefs appear to be playing it cautiously when it comes to Kadarius Toney. They kept him limited in practice for the second straight week and have him listed as questionable heading into the weekend. Andy Reid was noncommittal about Toney when he spoke to the media, which tells fantasy managers a lot in itself.
The fact that Reid appears to be playing it cautiously with Toney tells us all we need to know when it comes to the wideout’s fantasy value. Even if Toney ends up suiting up in Week 15, his role will likely be limited. As an x-factor option for the Chiefs, they will be unlikely to rush Toney back into a game and risk another injury. It wouldn’t make sense for fantasy managers to start him outside of a real long shot in deep leagues.
Julio Jones, TB | Knee (Questionable)
If you have been relying on Julio Jones for fantasy this season, you don’t need me to tell you how frustrating it’s been. He’s been on and off the injury report throughout the season. Even when he’s been active, his fantasy output has been inconsistent. Outside of 16-team leagues, it’s close to impossible to trust Jones in lineups this week.
Brandin Cooks & Nico Collins, HOU | Out
Once again, the Houston Texans head into a game week without their top-two WR options. Nico Collins didn’t practice all week with a foot issue. Brandin Cooks offered a hint of hope that he might play when he was limited on both Thursday and Friday. However, Cooks was also ruled out, leaving the Texans really short on options.
That leaves Chris Moore as the lead option once again this week. He had 10 receptions for more than 120 yards last week. The matchup with the Chiefs has a lot of potential, so Moore is an intriguing 14- and 16-team option. It would be hard to feel completely comfortable in 12-team leagues, but if you’re really short at WR, then he is intriguing.
Additionally, Moore is a fun late-round shot in Underdog Fantasy Best Ball drafts. He could easily see double-digit targets this week, and the matchup is optimal.
Courtland Sutton, DEN | Hamstring (Out)
It never seemed like Courtland Sutton was going to be able to get back this week. When he was absent from practice on Friday, that sealed the deal. The only WR option you can really consider for the Broncos this week is Jerry Jeudy. However, with Brett Rypien under center, there is no real knowing what this offense will look like this week.
Treylon Burks, TEN | Concussion (Out)
When Treylon Burks was still absent from practice on Wednesday, it always seemed like he was heading to be inactive this week. Hopefully, he can get back on the field next week because he could be a real asset for fantasy managers. In his absence, there isn’t really a WR option for the Tennessee Titans that stands out as having his ceiling.
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