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Next Man Up: Regular Season Week 15

The playoffs are here and with them come added importance to each and every injury. @ReflipeWThenuz breaks down the weeks injuries and highlights the next men up for your lineups in the playoffs.

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 14 injuries and the next men up.

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AFC East:

Miami wide receiver Tyreek Hill exited his team’s Monday Night contest against the Titans with an ankle injury. This one initially looked really serious. However, Hill returned to the game in the second half. This will certainly be a situation to monitor, as there will certainly be some swelling after the game, no matter what. At a minimum, he looks to have suffered a low ankle sprain. If he does miss time, look for Cedrick Wilson to take on a much more significant role in the passing game alongside uber-talented Jaylen Waddle. Braxton Berrios and Chase Claypool could also see some additional opportunities if Hill is forced to sit for any length of time.

AFC South:

Houston quarterback C.J. Stroud was knocked from his team’s Week 14 loss with a head injury. The rookie-of-the-year frontrunner took a big shot to the head late in the game against the Jets. Stroud will have to work his way through the league’s concussion protocols to suit up for next week. If Stroud cannot gain clearance, the Texans will turn to former starter Davis Mills. Mills should keep the offense afloat, but he will be a downgrade across the board for the Texans receiving weapons. Mills would be a desperation play at best in Superflex formats with the playoffs at hand. 

Houston wide receiver Nico Collins had to leave his team’s Week 14 contest against the Jets with a calf injury. At first, you had to worry about yet another Achilles injury on the MetLife turf, but Collins appears to have merely suffered a calf injury. Managers will need to closely monitor the situation in Houston as the week progresses. Practice reps will reveal a lot about the probability of Collins suiting up next week. With fellow starter Tank Dell already out for the season, the Texans might be forced to work with a starting three of Noah Brown, Robert Woods, and John Metchie.

AFC North:

Cincinnati quarterback Jake Browning briefly left his team’s Week 14 victory with a thumb injury. This one turned out to be a phantom thumb injury, as Browning would be able to return to the game and engineer a victory. Bengals team officials have since reported that the starting quarterback was dealing with muscle cramps in his hand. At this point, Browning seems safe moving forward. Former Alabama and XFL star A.J. McCarron would be the next man up if Browning ever does miss game action.

Cleveland running back Jerome Ford exited his team’s Week 14 victory with a hand injury. There has been no information about the X-rays he underwent following the game. Provided there are no broken bones in his hand, he should be good to go for next week against the Bears. If Ford cannot go for any reason, the Browns would turn to former Rushing Champion Kareem Hunt to shoulder the load. He would make for a decent RB2 play in a tough matchup against the revived Bears defense.

AFC West:

Los Angeles quarterback Justin Herbert suffered a painful-looking finger injury during his team’s Week 14 loss. The talented signal caller can’t seem to catch a break as he again hits his hand on a defender while attempting a pass. Herbert showed his toughness by staying in and finishing the drive but was unable to return once medical officials got a look at the injury. Team officials revealed that Herbert fractured a finger on his throwing hand. The Chargers have a short week with a Thursday Night date with the Raiders. If Herbert does miss time, the Chargers will look to Easton Stick to direct the offense. That would be a huge downgrade to all Los Angeles pass catchers—devastating news on the eve of the fantasy football playoffs.

Las Vegas running back Josh Jacobs left late in his team’s Week 14 loss with a knee injury. This will be tricky for dynasty managers to navigate as Jacobs has a short turnaround with the Raiders playing on Thursday Night against their division-rival Chargers. Zamir White would be the next man up for the Raiders in the running game. He would be supplemented by former Nebraska star Ameer Abdullah. Keep your eyes peeled for practice reports to get an indication of how this one will play out.

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NFC East:

The NFC East emerged from Week 14 healthy from a fantasy standpoint. 

NFC South:

The NFC South teams managed to make it through Week 14 healthy on the offensive side of the ball. 

NFC North:

Minnesota wide receiver Justin Jefferson briefly returned to the Vikings lineup before exiting with a back injury. The All-Pro pass catcher took a brutal shot to the back while attempting to make a catch on a highly-thrown Joshua Dobbs pass attempt. Jefferson was in obvious pain and never returned to the game once leaving. If he misses further snaps, the Vikings will look back to rookie Jordan Addison, along with veterans K.J. Osborn and Brandon Powell. Tight end T.J. Hockenson would also be a substantial beneficiary of any missed game action by the Vikings #1 receiver.

Minnesota running back Alexander Mattison exited his team’s Week 14 victory with an ankle injury. Mattison played relatively well in this one before being forced to leave the game. The Vikings have a short week with a Saturday contest against the Bengals. If Mattison can’t go, Minnesota would look to Ty Chandler as their starting running back. Chandler has shown flashes in the past and would be an interesting flex play for your fantasy playoffs.

NFC West:

Los Angeles wide receiver Tutu Atwell was forced from his team’s Week 14 loss to the Ravens with a head injury. The diminutive dynamo has enjoyed something of a breakout year with the Rams. However, as of recently, he has become something of an afterthought behind Cooper Kupp and Puka Nacua. Look for this pair to have some significant volume if Tutu sits out along with starting tight end Tyler Higbee.

Los Angeles tight end Hunter Long suffered a season-ending knee injury in his team’s Week 14 loss. The former Dolphins tight end was filling in for an injured Tyler Higbee, who had been out dealing with a neck injury. This one will have some moving parts, with Higbee potentially returning. Keep an eye out for news on their starter. If Higbee can’t go again, this injury to Long would open up an opportunity for Davis Allen and Brycen Hopkins. Neither player should be trusted in your fantasy playoffs.

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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