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Next Man Up: Regular Season Week 15

Week 14 saw some major players go down across the league on the eve of the fantasy football playoffs! @ReflipeWThenuz is here to break down all the injuries and highlight the next men up for your playoff lineups.

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 the players who stand to benefit or suffer. 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

Big Apple breakdown

New York quarterback Mike White was in and out of his team’s Week 14 contest with a rib injury. White was able to gut this game out despite being in obvious pain. When it comes to rib injuries, pain tolerance is often the main issue. Keep an eye on White’s practice reps as the week progresses. If he cannot go against the Lions next week, the Jets would look to Joe Flacco to keep their playoff hopes alive. A White inactive would also potentially pave the way for Zack Wilson to get back onto the field.

New York wide receiver Corey Davis was forced from his team’s Week 14 loss with a concussion. The former Titans first-round pick will need to progress through the league’s concussion protocol ahead of next Sunday’s action. If he cannot pass the protocol, it would be a big boost for second-year receiver Elijah Moore who has seen an uptick in his production following the team’s change at quarterback. Denzel Mims and Braxton Berrios would be the other players who would benefit from Davis missing time. Rookie #1 Garrett Wilson would remain the top option in the passing game.

Miami running back Jeff Wilson was knocked from his team’s Week 14 loss with a hip injury. The former 49ers rusher has taken over a large portion of the Miami workload since coming over in a trade. His absence thrust injury-prone former starter Raheem Mostert into a bigger share of the touches than usual. With only Salvon Ahmed and Myles Gaskin as backups on the roster, this will be a situation to monitor. Neither Ahmed nor Gaskin is a recommended play in Wilson’s absence. However, if Wilson does miss game action, Mostert becomes a must-start RB2 for your playoff squads.

Bummed out in Beantown

New England wide receiver DeVante Parker was forced from his team’s Week 14 victory with a concussion. The nominal WR1 for the Patriots, Parker has had an up-and-down campaign in 2022. He will have to progress through the league’s new protocols ahead of his team’s Week 15 contest against the Raiders. If Parker is unable to go, the Patriots will lean on Nelson Agholar and Kendrick Bourne alongside rookie Tyquan Thornton. The team will also be hoping to get back top target Jakobi Meyers next week as well. Keep an eye on the news out of Patriots practice this week, as this will be a fluid situation to monitor.

New England running back Rhamondre Stevenson was forced from his team’s Monday Night Football victory with an ankle injury. This is a tough blow to his dynasty managers, as Stevenson has been on a hot streak as of late. With fellow back Damien Harris dealing with a thigh injury of his own, New England is currently thin at the position. As it stands, rookies Kevin Harris and Pierre Strong Jr. are the top two backs, pending the availability of Stevenson and Damien Harris.

AFC South

Houston, we have a problem

Houston running back Dameon Pierce was forced from his team’s Week 14 loss with an ankle injury. Testing after the game revealed that the talented rookie suffered a mild high ankle sprain. On the cusp of a 1,000-yard season, Pierce will certainly want to get back into action this year. However, he seemed destined to miss at least next week’s game against Kansas City. This will leave the Texans with Rex Burkhead and Dare Ogunbowale as their top two backs after waiving Eno Benjamin earlier this week. Of the two, Burkhead appears to have the trust of the coaching staff and could be a desperation running back play for teams struggling with injuries.

AFC North

Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett was knocked out of his team’s Week 14 loss with a concussion. The highly drafted rookie was slammed to the turf hard by Baltimore linebacker Roquan Smith early in the first quarter. In his stead, the Steelers turned to Week 1 starter Mitchell Trubisky. The former Bears and Bills quarterback moved the team well but tossed several costly interceptions. If Pickett cannot progress through the league’s concussion protocol ahead of next Sunday’s matchup against the Panthers, then Pittsburgh would again turn to Trubisky. From a fantasy standpoint, Trubisky is a desperation Superflex play but is a decent facilitator for the Steelers’ skill players.

Bungle in the Jungle

Cincinnati wide receiver Tyler Boyd was knocked out of his team’s Week 14 victory with a finger injury. It was revealed after the game that the former University of Pittsburgh star suffered a dislocated finger. He has a chance to play next week against Tampa. Keep an eye on his practice reps this week. With fellow Bengals receiver Tee Higgins also dealing with an injury, the Bengals could be pretty thin. Higgins suffered a hamstring injury in this game.

Digging deep in Baltimore

Baltimore quarterback Tyler Huntley was forced from his team’s Week 14 victory with a concussion. Already filling in for an injured Lamar Jackson, Huntley’s injury leaves the Ravens desperately thin as they try to hold onto a playoff spot in the AFC. If neither Jackson nor Huntley can go in Week 15, the Ravens will start undrafted rookie Anthony Brown. This would be a situation to avoid for all Ravens pass catchers. Consequently, it could boost the Baltimore ball carriers as they will shoulder a greater share of the workload, with the rookie taking snaps under center.

AFC West

Denver quarterback Russell Wilson was forced from his team’s Week 14 loss with a concussion. The hits keep coming for the former NFL Man of the Year. As you can see above, Wilson took a big shot to the head while trying to scramble for a touchdown. This had the look of a more serious type of concussion. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Denver sit their quarterback for at least a week with nothing to gain by risking his future health. If he does sit, the Broncos will turn to Brett Rypien. The nephew of former Super Bowl MVP Mark Rypien will be a desperate play at best in your Superflex leagues. Keep an eye on news out of Denver on the health of Wilson as the week continues.

Denver running back Mike Boone suffered a high ankle sprain in his team’s Week 14 loss. The former Vikings draft pick has worked his way into a committee role with veteran Latavius Murray before this injury. His absence from your lineup will largely be inconsequential. However, it will mean a couple of extra touches for Latavius Murray and open the potential for a desperate play of Marlon Mack. 

Gambling on a bounce back

Las Vegas running back Josh Jacobs suffered a hand injury to his pinky in his team’s Week 14 loss. This was a gut punch to the Raiders and their dwindling playoff chances. Jacobs returned to the game and finished after having his finger popped back into the socket following the x-rays. At this point, he seems safe for next week’s fantasy playoff action. However, keep an eye on his practice reps. If for some reason, he is unable to go, the Raiders would turn to rookie Zamir White and pass-catching specialist Ameer Abdullah in a committee.

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NFC East

New York tight end Daniel Bellinger was knocked from his team’s Week 14 contest with a rib injury. The talented rookie recently returned from one of the scariest eye injuries you will ever see. There hasn’t been much information on Bellinger other than the tight end is extremely sore. He may be forced to miss Week 15, which would be a significant blow to an offense already dealing with the loss of multiple pass catchers. Nick Vannett would draw the start but would not be a recommended play in any format.

New York wide receiver Richie James was forced from his team’s Week 14 loss with a concussion. He will have to pass through the league’s new concussion protocols. If he cannot clear all the benchmarks, the Giants will be forced to rely on Darius Slayton, Isiah Hodgins, and potentially Kenny Golladay. Slayton will be the preferred play and should continue to function as a decent WR3 for your playoff lineups.

NFC South

Carolina wide receiver D.J. Moore suffered a leg injury late in his team’s Week 14 victory. One of the more disappointing players in all dynasty, Moore has struggled with injuries and inefficient quarterback play in 2022. A Monday MRI revealed that the injury is minor, and the Panthers’ no.1 has a decent shot at suiting up for next week’s contest against the Steelers. Keep an eye on news coming out of Carolina as the week progresses. If Moore is forced to sit, the Panthers will rely on a combination of Laviska Shenault, Terrace Marshall, and Shi Smith.

NFC North

The NFC North made it through Week 14 without any major fantasy-relevant injuries. 

NFC West

Desert disaster

Arizona quarterback Kyler Murray suffered a devastating non-contact injury in his team’s Week 14 loss. Subsequent testing revealed that Murray tore his ACL at a minimum. This is an issue that will have reverberations well into the 2023 campaign. Having recently signed a big-money extension, the Cardinals will be forced into scramble mode to hold down the fort until their franchise quarterback can return. In the short term, Colt McCoy will finish the season as the Cardinals’ starter. He can be a low-end QB2 in your Superflex leagues. While he is a downgrade from Murray, he should be able to at least distribute the ball to the Cardinal’s talented pass catchers keeping them playable in your dynasty playoffs.

Arizona running back James Conner was in and out of his team’s Week 14 loss while dealing with an undisclosed injury. The former Pittsburgh star had one of his best games despite dealing with the injury. He appears to have avoided any major issues on the verge of the dynasty playoffs. However, it is always wise to monitor these situations especially given Conner’s lengthy injury history. If he were to miss any game action for some reason, the Cardinals would lean on rookie Keaontay Ingram.

Busted up by the bay

San Francisco wide receiver Deebo Samuel was forced from his team’s Week 14 contest with a scary-looking knee/ankle injury. Subsequent testing revealed that the talented receiver suffered an MCL sprain and a high ankle sprain. His 2022 fantasy season is over. He will have a shot to return for the 49ers in the NFL playoffs, but we will see on that account. San Francisco will be forced to rely on Brandon Aiyuk, Juan Jennings, and Danny Gray as their top receivers. In all likelihood, star running back Christian McCaffrey and tight end George Kittle will become that much more involved in the passing game as Kyle Shanahan looks to help Aiyuk shoulder the massive void left in Deebo’s wake. Aiyuk, McCaffrey, and Kittle are all must starts down the stretch and will get a bump from this unfortunate injury.

San Francisco quarterback Brock Purdy suffered an oblique injury in his team’s Week 14 victory. Mr. Irrelevant was able to play through the injury and guide the team to a victory over Tom Brady and the Bucs. The 49ers staff have indicated they will need to wait until later in the week to determine if Purdy will be able to play in Week 15. Purdy has said that he feels fine, so all sign point toward him being able to suit up. However, this is a situation to monitor, and if, for some reason, the rookie cannot play, the 49ers would be forced to turn to Josh Johnson.

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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