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Next Man Up: Championship Week

Championship week is upon us and @ReflipeWThenuz brings you the final injury report and installment of this year's next men up.

Each and every week, players across the NFL suffer injuries. This weekly article will explore the injuries that affect your dynasty squads. We will briefly discuss the injured players themselves and those who stand to benefit or suffer as a result. In order to make them easier to follow, we will break down the injuries by division. Without further ado, let us examine the Regular Season Week 16 injuries and the next men up for your Championship week.

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AFC East:

Miami wide receiver Jaylen Waddle injured his shin and eye during his team’s Week 16 victory. The talented playmaker was hurt, making a huge 50-yard catch early in the game. He was forced to exit the game before briefly returning. His return was short-lived as he was forced to leave the game again, the second time for the balance of the contest. This will be a situation to monitor throughout the week, as his practice reps will be the best indicator of his availability for your championship lineups. If he does miss next week, the Dolphins will feature a receiver corps made up of Tyreek Hill and Cedric Wilson. They would be supplemented by Chosen Anderson and Chase Claypool. Tyreek Hill will likely be peppered with targets as he attempts to reach his goal of 2,000 yards.

Miami running back Raheem Mostert briefly exited his team’s Week 16 victory with a knee injury. The veteran starter returned to the game and appears to have avoided a significant injury. However, with any player, especially one of his age, it is a good idea to keep an eye on his practice reps throughout the week. If Miami were forced to sit Mostert next week, they would be forced to rely on rookie De’Von Achane to carry the load. He would be a potential championship game-winner if he got the entire load to himself.

New York wide receiver Garrett Wilson injured his ankle during his team’s Week 16 game against Washington. He was forced to leave the game briefly but returned to the field after a short absence. He should be good to go, but with so much on the line next week, monitoring his practice reports throughout the week might be a good idea. If he missed next week’s contest, the Jets would roll out Xavier Gipson, Jason Brownlee, and Allen Lazard.

AFC South:

Jacksonville quarterback Trevor Lawrence injured his shoulder while attempting to run for a first down during his team’s Week 16 contest. The star quarterback underwent an MRI to determine the extent of the injury following the game. Team officials disclosed that the testing did not reveal significant damage, and the ailment is considered minor. He should be good to go as the Jaguars fight for a playoff spot. That is great news for the Jacksonville skill players. If Lawrence did miss time, the Jags would look to former San Francisco signal-caller C.J. Beathard.

AFC North:

Cleveland quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson injured his hip during his team’s Week 16 victory. The rookie signal-caller has been operating as a gimmick player alongside new starter Joe Flacco. The Browns have placed DTR on season-ending IR, clearing the way entirely for Flacco. This has no real fantasy relevance other than it means Flacco will stay on the field for the entire game for the remainder of the season.

AFC West:

Denver wide receiver Courtland Sutton suffered a concussion during his team’s disastrous Week 16 loss. The Broncos #1 receiver hit his head on the ground, attempting to make a deep catch before his exit. He will need to progress through the league’s concussion protocols before being allowed to return to action. He will likely miss a week. In his place, the Broncos must rely on Jerry Jeudy, Marvin Mims, and Brandon Johnson. Running backs Javonte Williams and Samaje Perine will likely have a bigger role in the weekly game plan if the Broncos are without their top pass catcher.

Kansas City running back Isiah Pacheco was knocked out of his team’s shocking Week 16 loss. The sophomore runner has been one of the most consistent members of the Chiefs offense this season. It seems like every time he is out, the offense sputters. He will need to progress through the league’s concussion protocols to suit up for next week. Much like Sutton in Denver, he will likely miss a week, as have the bulk of players attempting to gain clearance this year following concussions. The Chiefs would be forced to turn to the duo of Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Jerrick McKinnon.

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NFC East:

The NFC East escaped Week 16 without any fantasy-relevant injuries.

NFC South:

The NFC South emerged from Week 16 without any fantasy-relevant injuries to report.

NFC North:

Minnesota tight end T.J. Hockenson was forced from his team’s Week 16 loss with a knee injury. The talented tight end took a brutal hit to his lower leg after securing a nice catch over the middle of the field. He limped off the field and, following an examination in the blue tent, was immediately ruled out of the rest of the game. Team sources indicated this looks like a serious injury. It was reported that Hockenson tore his ACL and MCL. The Vikings will turn to Josh Oliver in their lineups.

Minnesota wide receiver Jordan Addison also suffered an injury in his team’s Week 16 loss. The standout rookie injured his ankle during the loss to the division-rival Lions. However, unlike his teammate Hockenson, this one does not appear to be major. The rookie should be good to go next week as the team attempts to stay in the playoff chase. If Hockenson does indeed miss action, Addison and All-Pro teammate Justin Jefferson will pick up some additional looks. Keep an eye on Addison’s practice reps this week.

Chicago tight end Cole Kmet was forced from his team’s Week 16 victory with a knee injury. The budding star was in the middle of his best game of the season, putting up over 100 yards in the first half before going down with a knee injury. Kmet exited just before the half and was unable to return to the game. After the game, Head Coach Matt Eberflus said that the injury looked positive, and he had hopes that Kmet would be fine moving forward. This remains a situation to monitor as the week continues. Kmet has been a nice TE in your lineups this year. If he were forced to miss any game action, the Bears would look to former Packers starter Robert Tonyan. If necessary, the tight end could provide some desperation TE points for your lineup. 

Chicago wide receiver D.J. Moore exited his team’s Week 16 victory with an ankle injury. The star receiver had his ankle trapped under him during a hip-drop tackle on his first catch of the game. He looked to be in a considerable amount of pain. However, after a brief exit, he did manage to return to the game. Despite returning, he didn’t appear to be 100% and was nowhere near as involved in the passing game as usual. Keep an eye on his practice news this week. If he cannot go next week, the Bears will look to Darnell Mooney, Velus Jones Jr., and rookie Tyler Scott. Mooney would be a sneaky play if Moore and Kmet both sit.

NFC West:

San Francisco quarterback Brock Purdy was knocked out of his team’s Week 16 loss to the Ravens with a reported stinger. The late time of this game means that there has been very little information emerged about the status of the 49er’s star quarterback as it relates to next week. However, we can say that if Purdy is forced to miss time, San Francisco will look to former USC star Sam Darnold in his place. That could likely mean a big game for CMC and George Kittle, as Darnold favored the middle of the field when entering on Monday Night. Keep your ears peeled on this one as the week goes ahead of your fantasy championship games next week.

Thank you for reading this article! Please be sure to join the #Nerdherd, so you don’t miss out on any of the amazing things we have to offer Use my promo code DynastyHolliday for a 15% off discount. You will get rankings, extra podcasts, and access to our rookie film room. For just a couple of bucks more, you can get access to our revolutionary DynastyGM tool. So much for so little, why miss out on all the fun? Also, you absolutely must check out our new mock draft tool. Find it in your Apple & Android app stores. Follow me @ReflipeWThenuz for more dynasty content and other musings.

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