In the first round of the playoffs? Playing for a playoff spot in a do-or-die situation in your league? It really doesn’t get more crucial than this. A late-season stash could be the difference between 5th place and 1st place in your league. A pickup on Sunday morning could be the difference between playing in the toilet bowl and playing in the championship. Get right with this last-minute injury guide. This is the Week 14 fantasy football inactives list, Sunday-Monday edition.
This series will continue to be live every Saturday morning, meaning that if brand new statuses appear later in the weekend, they are not covered here. You can also follow me on Twitter (@AhaanRungta) for more regular fantasy football discussions, including comments on injury-riddled fantasy rosters. If a game does not appear on this list, that means there is currently no current injury threat in the realm of fantasy relevance.
Week 14 NFL Inactives
New Orleans Saints vs. New York Jets
IN: RB Alvin Kamara, NO (knee, hamstring)
QUESTIONABLE: WR Lil’Jordan Humphrey, NO (hamstring)
QUESTIONABLE: WR Elijah Moore, NYJ (quadriceps)
OUT: RB Mark Ingram, NO (illness) / RB-WR Ty Montgomery, NO (illness) / WR Deonte Harris (suspension)
OUT: RB Michael Carter, NYJ (ankle) / RB Tevin Coleman, NYJ (concussion) / WR Corey Davis, NYJ (groin)
Just a few days ago, sleeper wide receiver Lil’Jordan Humphrey was the man I used my Fantrax staff Bold Prediction of the Week as he has seemingly built himself a little role in the Saints offense. That pick isn’t quite the smash play I thought it would be anymore as a hamstring injury has appeared on the radar for the 23-year-old as he was a non-participant in practice on Friday. To add to the concerns for the Saints offense, Ty Montgomery and Mark Ingram are both out sick and Deonte Harris is serving a three-game suspension.
Due to these pass-catching wrinkles, the Saints called back Kenny Stills to be part of the big league squad again to accompany Marquez Callaway and Tre’Quan Smith as wideouts. Luckily for New Orleans, superstar offensive weapon Alvin Kamara is back in for NFL action for the first time since Week 9.
On the other hand, rookie Zach Wilson gets a shot to face an offense that can give up some big air yards but will have to do it without Corey Davis, who is out for the season with a core muscle injury that will require surgery. Additionally, stud rookie wide receiver Elijah Moore could not practice all week and is in danger of missing Week 14 altogether due to a quadricep injury. With rookie running back Michael Carter still on injured reserve and veteran Ty Johnson out with a concussion, Ty Johnson and Austin Walter will headline the Jets backfield, and Jamison Crowder and Keelan Cole could lead the Jets wideout core.
Atlanta Falcons vs. Carolina Panthers
QUESTIONABLE: TE Hayden Hurst, ATL (ankle)
OUT: RB Christian McCaffrey, CAR (ankle)
While there isn’t much injury motion for either team here, Atlanta does have a sneaky-relevant status update. Tight end Hayden Hurst could be on his way back in Week 14 as Atlanta designated him to return from the injured reserve this week. Although Hurst hasn’t found any fantasy relevance himself this season, rookie tight end Kyle Pitts has, on average, produced better fantasy numbers with Hurst on the field so far this season, likely due to a role shift.
On the other side, Carolina got a much-needed bye week after getting wrecked in Miami, but they will be without their superstar running back Christian McCaffrey for the reason of the season as he will miss the rest of the season with an ankle injury that put him in a walking boot shortly after Carolina’s Week 12 game. Rookie Chuba Hubbard and veteran Ameer Abdullah will work the backfield for Carolina.
Seattle Seahawks vs. Houston Texans
QUESTIONABLE: WR Brandin Cooks, HOU (back)
OUT: RB Adrian Peterson, SEA (back) / RB Travis Homer, SEA (calf)
The Seattle backfield is disgusting—for football purposes and for fantasy football purposes. If there’s a silver lining at least, statuses are slightly clearer heading into this weekend. New acquisition Adrian Peterson and special teams merchant Travis Homer are both missing Week 14 for sure, which means Alex Collins will likely have lead duties for Seattle and will be backed up by some combination of Rashaad Penny and DeeJay Dallas, although head coach Pete Carroll has commented on which way he could be leaning.
RB Rashaad Penny at Houston: "He's going to play a lot this week," Pete Carroll says.
That's after Penny's strong game in limited opps vs 49ers. Run, catch and run on screen, key blitz pickup for 17-yard pass.
— Gregg Bell (@gbellseattle) December 8, 2021
On the other side, veteran wideout Brandin Cooks, who many consider to be Houston’s best player, is dealing with a back injury and is questionable headed into the weekend. Notably, Davis Mills is the new quarterback for the Texans. In six previous starts for Mills this season, Cooks averaged 62.5 receiving yards per game on 8.2 targets per game and tallied one touchdown.
Las Vegas Raiders vs. Kansas City Chiefs
OUT: RB Kenyan Drake, LV (ankle) / TE Darren Waller, LV (knee)
The Kansas City Chiefs continue to remain fairly healthy on offense and their big 3 of Patrick Mahomes, Tyreek Hill, and Travis Kelce are all easy starts in Week 14. Their AFC West rivals cannot say the same as the Raiders have lost another man for the rest of the season—it’s backup running back Kenyan Drake. Starter Josh Jacobs should now get the lion’s share of touches for the Las Vegas backfield and is backed up by Peyton Barber.
Meanwhile, stud tight end Darren Waller missed practice yet again this week and will miss his second straight game, making it three games missed on the season. In Waller’s absence in Week 13, tight end Foster Moreau was not fantasy-relevant but that could change in Week 14 if Moreau sees red zone looks like he did in Week 7 when Waller previously missed a game.
Baltimore Ravens vs. Cleveland Browns
OUT: TE David Njoku, CLE (undisclosed) / TE Harrison Bryant, CLE (ankle)
The Cleveland Browns continue staying banged up but in Week 14, the tight end storyline could very well be highlighted by Cleveland’s situation. This season, their 30.9% target share to tight ends rank #1 in the NFL and in Week 14, two of their three relevant pass-catching tight ends are out. That leaves Austin Hooper as the alpha male of the Browns’ tight end room, making him a viable tight end streamer in all formats. The Ravens have given up the fourth-most receiving yards, receiving touchdowns, and fantasy points per game to tight ends this season.
Dallas Cowboys vs. Washington Football Team
QUESTIONABLE: RB Tony Pollard, DAL (foot)
QUESTIONABLE: RB Wendell Smallwood, WSH (undisclosed) / RB J.D. McKissic, WSH (concussion) / WR Curtis Samuel, WSH (groin)
OUT: WR Noah Brown, DAL (groin)
OUT: TE Logan Thomas, WSH (knee)
How the turns have tabled—if you don’t like The Office references, I don’t care. Both Ekeziel Elliott and Antonio Gibson are talented running backs who have dealt with injury narratives recently but in Week 14, both of them enter the weekend fully healthy and ready to go while their backups are in danger of losing time.
The only other Cowboys backup to Ezekiel Elliott is Corey Clement, who has scored 3 of his 7 career #NFL regular season TDs against the Giants.
The Cowboys face the Giants Week 15. Since Week 6 of last season, Elliott has taken at least 80% of the DAL offensive snaps just ONCE. https://t.co/0NkA4liOvc
— Ahaan Rungta (@AhaanRungta) December 9, 2021
For Dallas, the dynamic change-of-pace back Tony Pollard is considered a game-time call for the divisional matchup that kicks off at 1:00 PM ET. If he is unable to suit up, Corey Clement would likely serve as Elliott’s backup. For Washington, J.D. McKissic is still looking to be cleared from his Week 12 concussion and Wendell Smallwood is dealing with an ambiguous discomfort that simply leaves him as a complete involvement wild card for the game. If neither McKissic nor Smallwood are good to go, Jaret Patterson would serve as Gibson’s backup.
Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Tennessee Titans
QUESTIONABLE: WR Julio Jones, TEN (hamstring)
While this injury report motion seems relatively minor, it is mostly from a lack of good news on either team. The Jaguars will field essentially the same offense as the week before with Jamal Agnew, Dan Arnold, and D.J. Chark still out, likely all for the rest of the season.
For Tennessee, the athletic wideout A.J. Brown remains on the injured reserve and the superstar running back Derrick Henry isn’t considered very close to returning. However, wide receiver Julio Jones is trending upwards and after practicing in full on Friday, he is likely in for Week 14 to be back in NFL action for the first time since Week 9.
Detroit Lions vs. Denver Broncos
QUESTIONABLE: RB Melvin Gordon III, DEN (hip)
DOUBTFUL: TE T.J. Hockensen, DET (hand)
OUT: RB D’Andre Swift, DET (shoulder) / RB Jamaal Williams, DET (undisclosed)
The Lions may have set the NFL world on fire by doing the unthinkable and winning a football game in Week 13, it’s going to take a heroic effort for Jared Goff’s offense to repeat the feat in Week 14. Not only is the athletic tight end T.J. Hockensen trending towards missing his first game of the season but the Detroit backfield is arguably the most depleted one in the league as their top 2 in D’Andre Swift and Jamaal Williams are both no-gos this Sunday.
Instead, Godwin Igwebuike and Jermar Jefferson will handle the backfield duties. While it is impossible to exactly predict how the touches will be split for these two backs, it is worth stashing them if you can.
For the Broncos, veteran running back Melvin Gordon III, who missed a primetime duel against the Chiefs, is questionable but trending up to play on Sunday. However, head coach Vic Fangio has no interest in providing information on how the backfield work will be split between Gordon and the explosive rookie Javonte Williams. In Gordon’s absence in Week 13, Williams was the overall PPR RB1 in fantasy football, logging 78% of the snap share, 32 touches, and 178 scrimmage yards, and a touchdown.
#Broncos @Melvingordon25 said he would like to return as free agent even though fans might not think so because “fantasy football has them tight in the rear” he said with a laugh. Gordon has has had strong year. Has worked well w Javonte #Denver7
— Troy Renck (@TroyRenck) December 9, 2021
New York Giants vs. Los Angeles Chargers
QUESTIONABLE: WR Sterling Shepard, NYG (quadriceps) / WR Kenny Golladay, NYG (ribs)
QUESTIONABLE: WR Mike Williams, LAC (COVID-19 close contact)
OUT: QB Daniel Jones, NYG (neck) / WR Kadarius Toney, NYG (oblique)
OUT: WR Keenan Allen, LAC (COVID-19)
What a mess of wideouts. The Giants continue being banged up and now quite literally have no starting wide receiver fully healthy ahead of Week 14. Rookie Kadarius Toney is already ruled out for Week 14 while veteran wide receiver Sterling Shepard participated in practice through injuries and veteran wide receiver Kenny Golladay was absent in practice due to injuries. It is truly not worth starting any Giants wide receiver in Week 14 and against the worst rushing defense in the NFL, the health news combined with the quarterback being Mike Glennon could possibly be setting up for a big fantasy day for running back Saquon Barkley.
For the Chargers, COVID-19 has dominated the headlines this week as Keenan Allen tested positive, resulting in Mike Williams being identified as a close contact. Per NFL protocols, Allen is a no-go in Week 14 while Williams, who is unvaccinated, is still likely to play on Sunday since he just needs to acquire negative tests, which he has accomplished so far. Williams’ status is one to eyeball over the weekend, however.
San Francisco 49ers vs. Cincinnati Bengals
QUESTIONABLE: WR Deebo Samuel, SF (groin)
QUESTIONABLE: RB Joe Mixon, CIN (illness) / WR Tee Higgins, CIN (ankle)
OUT: RB Elijah Mitchell, SF (knee, concussion)
One of the most dominant rushing attacks in the NFL will be at a slight disadvantage, talent-wise, in Week 14. Rookie running back Elijah Mitchell is dealing with both a knee irritation and concussion symptoms and is ruled out, while the dual talent of Deebo Samuel was limited in practice on Friday after already missing a divisional Week 13 contest at Seattle.
On the other hand, Joe Mixon’s status has been a tad concerning over the week but reports revealed that his questionable tag comes from a non-COVID-19 illness rather than a serious availability-endangering injury. Additionally, second-year wideout Tee Higgins was limited in practice on Friday due to an ankle injury although the belief on the beat right now is that he is going to suit up on Sunday.
Still, given the fantasy significance of the statuses of Samuel, Mixon, Higgins, and their teammates, it is worth having contingency plans for this game headed into Sunday given that kickoff occurs at 4:25 PM ET.
Chicago Bears vs. Green Bay Packers
IN: QB Justin Fields, CHI (ribs) / WR Allen Robinson II, CHI (hamstring)
IN: QB Aaron Rodgers, GB (toe)
DOUBTFUL: QB Andy Dalton, CHI (hand)
OUT: WR Randall Cobb, GB (groin)
The above injury report movement is all just a glorified way of saying that Aaron Rodgers is going to play, Justin Fields is back, and Randall Cobb can be dropped. Rodgers has been dealing with a toe injury pretty much all season long but he continues to let the public know that the plan is to play and deal with the toe later. He will be without veteran pass-catcher Cobb, who will undergo core muscle surgery, possibly ending his season.
For Chicago, rookie quarterback Fields had rib injuries that have reportedly healed, making Dalton’s hand injury an appropriate segue into simply inserting the rookie back under center ahead of Sunday Night Football.
Los Angeles Rams vs. Arizona Cardinals
QUESTIONABLE: RB Darrell Henderson Jr., LAR (thigh)
QUESTIONABLE: RB Chase Edmonds, ARI (ankle) / TE Zach Ertz, ARI (shoulder)
While veteran tight end Zach Ertz was limited in back-to-back practice to finish out the week, he is believed to be trending towards a start in Week 14 against the Rams and is thus not the biggest storyline of this game. A pair of fantasy-relevant running backs are headlining Monday Night Football—not always the cleanest situation but luckily, we should get some clarity on this situation quickly.
Rams running back Darrell Henderson Jr. was active in Week 13 but did not get a snap; that was likely in part due to Sony Michel getting it done against an atrocious team in the Jaguars. Henderson was limited in practice on Friday, which is a step in the right direction to start on Monday. If he is unable to go, though, Michel is a reasonable stash option.
Cardinals running back Chase Edmonds has been designated to return from the injured reserve and return to NFL action for the first time since Week 9 but since the move to have him back and start is not quite official yet, the questionable tag is one to keep an eye on. Regardless of Edmonds’ status, James Conner’s solidified role in the red zone makes him a good start. Edmonds managers need to have a contingency plan just in case an Edmonds confirmation does not arrive until late on Sunday or we simply hear negative news on Edmonds’ development. Twitter is a good place for that kind of news.
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