2012 Fantasy Football Week 15 Injury Report: Robert Griffin III, Ray Rice, LeSean McCoy and More
Ray Rice (RB | Baltimore Ravens 100% owned in Y!) – Rice suffered a hip pointer at some point during the Ravens loss to Washington. He did not miss time during the game.
Fantasy Spin: Rice’s injury does not seem to be a big concern. I would be more concerned with his Vonta Leach’s sprained ankle. Leach is the bulldozer who leads Rice through the holes and into daylight. Rice’s handcuff is Bernard Pierce and should be owned by all Rice owners. Drop that extra defense or tight end you may have on your roster or extra RB/WR who has bad matchups for the rest of the season to insure your Rice investment.
Robert Griffin III (QB | Washington Redskins 98% in Y!) – Griffin suffered a potentially serious knee injury late in Washington’s win over their Beltway rival the Baltimore Ravens. Further tests proved the injury to be a grade one sprain of his LCL. Griffin is questionable to play this week against the Browns.
Fantasy Spin: Griffin has been everything fantasy owners could have hoped for and more. Washington is pushing for a playoff spot, but will have to balance Griffin’s future against their present goal of making the playoffs. I can see Griffin missing this game (or being less than effective). Look elsewhere this week (perhaps a QB like Colin Kaepernick who has a nice matchup) to back up Griffin. Griffin would be replaced by fellow rookie Kirk Cousins who could put up similar passing numbers to Griffin, but would not have the rushing yards to match.
LeSean McCoy (RB | Philadelphia Eagles 98% in Y!) – McCoy has been cleared for contact after passing through the five stages of the concussion protocol.
Fantasy Spin: The Eagles have a short week with the Thursday game against the Bengals. I cannot see McCoy providing much in the way of production this week. Moving forward, he is no longer the lead dog and will split time with Bryce Brown thus rendering both of them risky plays for the playoffs.
Jordy Nelson (WR | Green Bay Packers 97% in Y!) – Nelson missed Green Bay’s week 14 snow-laden tilt against the Lions with a hamstring injury. His status for week 15 is unknown at this time.
Fantasy Spin: Nelson has now missed nearly two games with the injuries and it looks like it is far more serious than the Packers let on after the initial injury. Nelson’s injury means more targets for Randall Cobb, Greg Jennings and James Jones.
Darren McFadden (RB | Oakland Raiders 97% in Y!) – McFadden injured his ankle in the Thursday loss to the Raiders. He has assured everyone he will play this week.
Fantasy Spin: There hasn’t been a more disappointing RB this year than McFadden. If somehow you are still in the playoffs with McFadden on your roster, congratulations. McFadden will likely play this week, but probably shouldn’t be on your active roster. Marcel Reece becomes a viable flex play should McFadden miss this week.
Dez Bryant (WR | Dallas Cowboys 97% in Y!) – Bryant injured his left index finger (finally reported as a fracture) in the Cowboys victory over the Bengals. His status is unclear as reports have ranged from him playing this week with his fingers taped together to he will be placed on injured reserve.
Fantasy Spin: Bryant has driven many teams to the playoffs with his recent improved play (and consistency). Should Bryant miss time, the Cowboys would likely replace him with a Dwyane Harris and Kevin Ogletree with neither generating any fantasy excitement.
Ahmad Bradshaw (RB | New York Giants 96% in Y!) – Stop me if you’ve heard this before- Bradshaw left last week’s game with an injury to his knee. Well, the body part is new, but the song is the same. Bradshaw did return to the game.
Fantasy Spin: Number one on your waiver priority should be David Wilson. Wilson showed his dynamism against the Saints. Coach Coughlin is running out of reasons to keep Wilson out of the lineup and I don’t see Ryan Torain or Kregg Lumpking being a threat should Bradshaw miss time.
Rob Gronkowski (TE | New England Patriots 93% in Y!) – Gronkowski continues to sit out with a broken arm. His timetable for return is unknown.
Fantasy Spin: It’s playoff time and it doesn’t look like Gronk will help. He’s a candidate to be dropped to add a player who can help you over the last couple of weeks of the season.
Dwayne Bowe (WR | Kansas City Chiefs 90% in Y!) – Bowe broke his ribs in week 14 and will be placed on injured reserve ending his season.
Fantasy Spin: The Chiefs offense is down to Jamaal Charles and a bunch of flotsam and jetsam. Bowe will likely be replaced by Jonathan Baldwin, Terrance Copper and Dexter McCluster. Yuck. Pass on all of them and the Chiefs (outside of Charles) in general.
Maurice Jones Drew (RB | Jacksonville Jaguars 89% in Y!) – Jones-Drew missed another game and seems no closer to playing in a game.
Fantasy Spin: Jones-Drew is another candidate to be released so you can add a useful player (or block your opponent from adding someone). I don’t see him making it back this late in the season – there is no reason for the Jags to push him.
Jeremy Maclin (WR | Philadelphia Eagles 87% in Y!) – Maclin didn’t miss time on Sunday, but was listed as “limited” for Monday’s practice (which of course didn’t actually occur).
Fatnasy Spin: The short week makes Maclin a tough start this week. Watch the actual practice reports to see if Maclin makes it on to the field. If he does, he’s a solid play this week for the Eagles.
Fred Jackson (RB | Buffalo Bills 84% in Y!) – Jackson injured his knee in the fourth quarter of Buffalo’s loss to St. Louis. He is lost for the season.
Fantasy Spin: Calling all C.J. Spiller owners! Spiller is now the unquestioned lead back for Buffalo with only Chan Gailey mascot Tashard Choice to steal some carries. Gailey has stated that Spiller will get as many touches as he can handle. Ride Spiller for the remainder of your fantasy playoffs as an RB1. His matchups are tough, but Spiller is dynamic enough to contribute.
Brandon Pettigrew (TE | Detroit Lions 78% in Y!) – Pettigrew injured his ankle and played sparingly in the Lions loss to the Packers on Sunday night.
Fantasy Spin: Pettigrew has been a solid TE over the season, but if he’s lost you will need to look elsewhere for a replacement as the Lions do not have another serviceable TE on the roster. Tony Scheffler is his backup, but he offers little to fantasy owners. It does look like Pettigrew will play this week, but stay tuned.
Cecil Shorts (WR | Jacksonville Jaguars 72% in Y!) – Shorts was inactive this past week due to a concusision. His return date is unclear.
Fantasy Spin: Shorts has been a pleasant surprise especially with Chad Henne at the helm. However, I assume the Jags will take it slowly with Shorts and not press him into action with nothing to play for. His absence makes Justin Blackmon much less attractive and opens up opportunities for Kevin Elliott who had only three catches on his ten targets. Look on your waiver wire for help and avoid Jags WRs until Shorts returns.
Robbie Gould (K | Chicago Bears 68% in Y!) – Gould hurt his calf in pregame warm-ups and was limited to shorter FGs during the game.
Fantasy Spin: Cut Gould and find a healthy kicker. At this stage, you cannot afford a zero from any player.
Danny Amendola (WR | St. Louis Rams 64% in Y!) – Amendola missed Week 14 with a foot injury. His status for this week is unclear at this point.
Fantasy Spin: Amendola has traded bodies with Danario Alexander – an extremely talented WR who cannot stay healthy. Watch the practice reports this week – Amendola is a must start if healthy, but that is increasingly a questionable proposition. Chris Givens is the WR to target on the Rams if Amendola misses another week.
Jonathan Stewart (RB | Carolina Panthers 62% in Y!) – Stewart missed another game with a high ankle sprain.
Fantasy Spin: I think it’s also time to cut Stewart. I don’t see him back in the next couple of weeks and the Panthers running game is nearly non-existent. Go out and find a backup to your stud RB in place of Stewart.
Brent Celek (TE | Philadelphia Eagles 61% in Y!) – Celek suffered a concussion on the first play of Sunday’s game and did not return. He will not play in Week 15.
Fantasy Spin: Celek is fungible and should be back on the waiver wire. Clay Harbor filled in admirably for Celek and could be an option in PPR leagues this week.
Michael Vick (QB | Philadelphia Eagles 54% in Y!) – Vick has been cleared for practice after passing the league’s concussion protocol.
Fantasy Spin: Vick is still owned in 54% of leagues?!?!? Cut him. He won’t play again for the Eagles this season or ever. He doesn’t need to be owned at all. Nick Foles has the job for this year and into the future.
Jay Cutler (QB | Chicago Bears 53% in Y!) – Cutler left late in fourth quarter against the Vikings with an undisclosed injury. It was later reported that Cutler suffered a neck injury – perhaps whiplash.
Fantasy Spin: Cutler makes the Bears offense go. Without him, the Bears look a lot more like the Arizona Cardinals than a potential playoff team. Cutler has said that he will be ready to play this week so monitor practice reports to ensure he’s ready to go. Jason Campbell would replace him and is not a viable option in most leagues.
Donald Brown (RB | Indianapolis Colts 41% in Y!) – Brown hurt his ankle in against the Lions and missed this past week’s game with the Titans.
Fantasy Spin: There is still no definitive timetable for Brown’s return. While Brown is out, Vick Ballard is the full time RB for the Colts and offers low end flex scoring for your fantasy squad.
Rashad Jennings (RB | Jacksonville Jaguars 41% in Y!) – Jennings missed week 14 with a concussion and will likely not suit up for the Jags this week either.
Fantasy Spin: Montell Owens is in line for another start, but this one is against a stout Dolphins run defense. Owens picked up solid stats this past week, but he looks like he belongs to your bench this week.
Jared Cook (TE | Tennessee Titans 38% in Y!) - Cook tore his rotator cuff and is finished for the season.
Fantasy Spin: The Titans didn’t seem to know that Cook was on the team so I doubt they will miss him now that he’s gone. Craig Stevens is the backup and should be ignored.
Dustin Keller (TE | New York Jets 29% inY!) – Keller missed last week with an ankle injury (which may or may not be a high ankle sprain). His status for this week is unknown.
Fantasy Spin: Jeff Cumberland is the backup and he is nothing special. Keller may be back this week if his ankle injury is of the minor variety. You should be able to find a useful TE on the wire.
Brandon LaFell (WR | Carolina Panthers 25% in Y!) – LaFell missed Sunday’s game with turf toe and a chipped bone in his foot. His timetable for return is unclear.
Fantasy Spin: The Panthers passing offense has started to look better as Cam Newton has come around. LaFell isn’t a start, but he can be useful in deeper leagues. Louis Murphy is the starting WR while LaFell is out, but Greg Olsen looks to be the beneficiary of LaFell’s absence.
Mario Manningham (WR | San Francisco 49ers 21% in Y!) – Manningham missed the 49ers win with a shoulder injury.
Fantasy Spin: Manningham has only been useful in deeper leagues. He can safely be cut as it is unclear if he will return this season. In dynasty leagues, 49ers rookie A.J. Jenkins makes an intriguing pickup for next season as he may audition a bit this season.
Mike Nugent (K | Cincinnati Bengals 16% in Y!) – Nugent sat out the Bengals loss to the Cowboys. He is expected back before the season ends.
Fantasy Spin: See Gould, Robbie – cut Nugent and add a healthy kicker.
James Starks (RB | Green Bay Packers 15% in Y!) – Starks missed week 14 with a knee injury. The reports are that Starks will likely miss the rest of the season.
Fantasy Spin: Alex Green gets his job back, but does it matter? The Packers do not (or cannot) run the ball so Green’s impact would only be felt in deep leagues. He’s best left on the waiver wire for the playoffs.
Emmanuel Sanders (WR | Pittsburgh Steelers 14% in Y!) – Sanders injured his shoulder again in the Steelers embarrassing loss to the Chargers.
Fantasy Spin: The Steelers are a mess on offense right now and Sanders is likely not going to be a big part of it going forward. He’s safe to cut to find a WR with more upside.
Chris Ivory (RB | New Orleans Saints 12% in Y!) – Ivory hurt his hamstring in Friday’s practice and was inactive against the Giants.
Fantasy Spin: Running back in the Saints offense is a black hole for fantasy owners. This injury likely pushes Ivory to the back of the RB pecking order in New Orleans and will give more reps to Darren Sproles, Mark Ingram and Pierre Thomas. Cut Ivory at this point as he’ll likely miss Week 15 as well.
Kevin Kolb (QB | Arizona Cardinals 3% in Y!) – Kolb continues to sit out with injured ribs. He looks unlikely to suit up for the Cardinals for the rest of the season.
Fantasy Spin: If you were hoping for a Kolb return to boost Larry Fitzgerald back to fantasy relevance, stop hoping. It doesn’t look like it will happen and Fitzgerald probably deserves to be on the waiver wire and off your roster.
Brandon Jacobs (RB | San Francisco 49ers 3% in Y!) – Jacobs’ mouth has gotten him suspended for the rest of the season.
Fantasy Spin: Jacobs was seen as a handcuff to Frank Gore, but that never materialized. With Kendall Hunter’s season ending injury, it looks like Anthony Dixon and LaMichael James are the players to hold for Gore owners.
Written by Chris Garosi for FantasyFix.com. You can follow Chris on Twitter @chrisgarosi. You can find more of his work at District Sports Page