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Thankfully we did not see many major injuries this week. However, players still have popped up on the injury report as a non-participant in the early days of practice for week 14. Two players have been placed on IR and are unlikely to return for the rest of the season, tight-end T.J. Hockenson and tight-end Eric Ebron. One of the worst news you can have going into the first week of the playoffs is that one of your stars will be missing time during the fantasy football playoffs. If you are an owner of a player like Ezekiel Elliot, Josh Jacobs, or Dalvin Cook you should have the “handcuff” for your star fantasy player. The “handcuff” for these players are the backup players who will be able to step into the full workhorse position in the case of an injury to the starter. All statistics in this article can be found on our website at https://www.lineups.com/nfl.
RB Josh Jacobs (OAK)
The rookie sensation, who is the leading candidate for Rookie of the Year, carried the ball 17 times for 104 yards averaging 6.1 yards per carry against the Kansas City Chiefs. A good game was building up for Jacobs until he suffered a shoulder injury against the Chiefs. This injury was later reported as a reaggregation of a previous shoulder injury suffered during week 7. Jacobs also reported that he had been playing through this injury, which Jacobs described as a fractured right shoulder, since week 7. As Jacobs continues to play on this injury, the chances of him exiting a game early and missing significant time increases. Jacobs is a tough football player and is saying he will be suiting up in week 14, continuing to play through this injury. Jacobs’ injury status is something every Jacobs owner should be paying close attention to. If Jacobs is to miss time this season the workload he has been carrying will likely be split between Raiders’ running-backs Deandre Washington and Jalen Richard.
Deandre Washington will likely be the running-back to see a majority of the backfield carries. Jalen Richard will be taking over the passing game and 3rd down back duties. The more valuable role being handed to Deandre Washington if Josh Jacobs misses time. Jacobs has been one of the few true workhorse running-backs in the league. Averaging 18.2 carries per game throughout this season, that kind of workload being handed to a backup with fresh legs could be a league-winning back. As many analysts thought coming into the season, many were assuming a large passing role in this Raiders offense. Jacobs has seen very limited opportunities in the passing game. Seeing just 24 targets on the season, averaging just 2 targets a game. The passing game has been handled by Jalen Richard so far this season. However the role for Jalen Richard will likely not change if Jacobs were to miss time. If Jacobs is unable to suit up this week Deandre Washington will be the back to pickup in this Raiders offense.
WR T.Y. Hilton (IND)
After making his return from injury in week 13, Hilton popped up on the injury report early this week designated as questionable. Hilton was interviewed at his locker room about his injured calf, saying that his injury makes him unsure about his status for Sunday’s game against the Buccaneers. Hilton caught just 3 of his 6 targets for 18 yards against the Houston Texans. If HIlton is to lose time, the biggest beneficiary will be Zach Pascal. While Hilton was injured from week 8 through week 11, Pascal was the clear #1 wide receiver in this Colts’ offense. Since week 8, the first time Hilton missed time due to injury, Pascal averaged 95% of the offense’s snaps. Pascal also saw the largest amount of targets in the offense with Hilton out.
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TE Eric Ebron (IND)
New surfaced on Monday reporting that Eric Ebron will be undergoing season-ending surgery on both of his ankles. The end of a disappointing season for Ebron after his incredible fantasy season last year. The obvious beneficiary to Ebron’s absence will be Jack Doyle. Doyle and Ebron have been nearly exactly the same in all statistical categories including target share, touchdowns, receptions, yards per reception, and yards per attempt. With Ebron expected to be out for the rest of the season, Doyle will likely be taking over his target share in the Colts’ offense. This increase in target share will make Dolye one of the most prized tight-ends on the waiver wire. If Doyle were to take over Ebron’s target share he would be seeing a double digit target share week in and week out. It is unlikely that Doyle will be taking all of Ebron’s targets. Mo Alie-Cox has been seeing almost ⅓ of the snap counts (30.5%) in the Colts’ offense this season. Although Cox has not seen a target since week 9 against Pittsburgh. It is best to wait and see what the Colts will do with Cox without Ebron in the offense.
T.J. Hockenson (DET)
Hockenson’s rookie season has officially come to an end. The Lions placed the first round rookie tight-end on Injured Reserve following an ankle injury he suffered during week 13 against the Chicago Bears. In that game he caught 6 of 11 targets for 18 yards. Hockenson will be sorely missed by the Lions new quarterback David Blough, who clearly liked to favor Hockenson in the passing game. The beneficiaries of Hockenson’s unfortunate season ending injury will be the wide receivers Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones Jr, and Danny Amendola.
Facing the Minnesota Vikings in week 14, a favorable matchup against opposing fantasy wide receivers. The Vikings rank as the 27th best defense against opposing fantasy wide receivers this season. David Blough came in and played incredibly well for an undrafted free agent rookie against a tough Chicago Bears defense. Facing a solid defense against opposing fantasy quarterbacks, ranking 13th on the season. The Vikings have given up the 13th most passing yards and the 11th most passing touchdowns on the season. Blough will be good enough to continue to allow the Detroit Lions wide receivers Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones Jr. to continue their fantasy production as long as Matthew Satfford is out.
QB Daniel Jones (NYG)
News came out early this week reporting that Daniel Jones has been spotted in a walking boot and is diagnosed with a high-ankle sprain. Analysts also reported that the injury Jones has suffered is similar to the high ankle sprain that teammate Saquan Barkley suffered earlier this season. Hinting at a return later on this season, Daniel Jones has been ruled out and Eli Manning will be the starter against the Philadelphia Eagles. The quality of targets that the Giants’ receivers will get will not change dramatically. However, with how Jones has performed Eli may try to change his tendencies. Playing to be able to put something good on tape for him to use as he explores his options with other teams. One thing that is for sure, Saquan Barkley will finally be getting the targets he deserves in that offense. Last year, under Eli Manning, Barkley saw 91 targets in the passing game. This season that amount of targets has plummeted down to 38 targets. Barkley owners who have been greatly disappointed in your likely #1 overall selection will be able to find hope in this news of quarterback change.
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