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FFStatistics Week 13: Injury Report

Injuries are never a good thing. No matter how you try and spin it, So many lose touch with reality when it comes to injury in its relation to fantasy sports. Being upset about an injury and its effect on your fantasy team is okay. Tt A little bit of tilting because you lost your first round pick to a torn ACL or a broken bone is not a bad thing. We put a lot of time, effort and in some cases money into this game. Keyword there though is and should be Game. We all know the risks that these players are taking every week and shouldn’t really be surprised or angry when something happens to a guy on your team. Acting like your life is over is completely ridiculous. Remember that the players REAL life was just affected.

FFStatistics Week 13:

Injury Report

So where to from here you ask? What you should do is put your nose to the grindstone and keep working. The season may seem like it’s coming to an end but the fantasy second season is starting and this is the most important time of the fantasy season. No time to lose focus. I’m going to do my best to help you answer these questions you might have heading toward your playoffs.

The Starters

Here are the injuries that directly impact your team. (Player(s) to watch in BOLD)

AJ Green, WR Cinncinati Bengals (Toe, On IR)

Sunday was a sad day as the Bengals star wide receiver was coming off an injured toe. Early in the game, Green re-injured the toe and had to be carted off the field. Normally the huge target hog for Andy Dalton and the offense, this will leave a void. Not to mention Dalton is also on IR. We’ve seen a four-game sample size (For all intents and purposes, if you count his early exits in Weeks 8 and 13). The difference is noticeable.

Tyler Boyd, WR

Boyd moves outside a little more with Green out which would explain the higher catch rate, yard per target/ reception but also the lower catch rate and target numbers. Less opportunity, more risky/ lower value targets and facing better coverage is most likely the answer for the drop in TD production. He will still be the team’s number one target but he does take a hit.

Weeks 1 – 8 W/ Green (Avg. – Caught 6.1/ 8.3 Targets for 77.5 Yards and 0.6 TD, 12.65 Y/R, 9.39 Y/T, 74.2% Catch Rate)

Weeks 10 – 13 W/O Green (Avg. – Caught 5/ 7.8 Targets for 79.5 Yards and 0.3 TD, 15.9 Y/R, 10.26 Y/T, 64.5% Catch Rate)

Potential add: John Ross, WR

Ross has come on as of late scoring three touchdowns in the last 4 games without Green primarily in the lineup. He still hasn’t been exactly reliable with a 39.1% catch rate but he is being targeted more and being used more in the red zone. Three of his touchdowns are from inside the 3-yard line and one of them was a blown coverage as the defenders were supposed to switch and instead, Ross was free to run up the see as the defender had a deer in the headlights moment..

Weeks 1 – 8 (Avg. – Caught 1.4/ 3.2 Targets for 15.8 Yards and 0.4 TD, 11.29 Y/R, 4.94 Y/T, 43.8% Catch Rate)

Weeks 10 – 13 (Avg. – Caught 2.3/5.8 Targets for 27.5 Yards and 0.8 TD, 12.22 Y/R, 4.78 Y/T, 39.1% Catch Rate)

The Tight end and Running Backs

Weeks 1 – 8 (Avg. – C.J. Uzomah Targets per Game (2.9)- (Eifert and Kroft were also active through much of this stretch), Mixon and Bernard Combined Targets per Game (10)

Weeks 10 – 13 (Avg. – C.J. Uzomah Targets per Game (7), Mixon and Bernard Combined Targets per Game (7.5)

Team Points Per Game

There is an 11.32 Point per Game difference with AJ Green in the lineup.

Weeks 1 – 8 (Avg. – 27.62 Points per Game)

Weeks 10 – 13 (Avg. – 16.25 Points per Game)

Greg Olson, TE Carolina Panthers (Foot, On IR)

Greg Olson’s foot finally gave out on him and from his comments, it sounded like he knew eventually was going to happen. Fantasy owners might have heard this and been upset but remember. Every player has the chance to get hurt on every play there on the field.

Potential add: Ian Thomas, TE

Thomas is in line to pick up the tight end work in Carolina. As you’ll see below though, Christian McCaffrey’s arrival has somewhat ended the reliability for fantasy tight end on the Panthers. I wouldn’t rely on Thomas at all this week but monitor the situation moving forward.

Christian McCaffrey, RB

Cam Newton’s Targets By Position

As you can see to the left since the arrival of McCaffrey, Cam Newton has completely flipped who he targets. The TE targets heavily outweighed the RB targets early in his career. It’s done almost a complete 180-degree turn. I would Imagine that a player like Devin Funchess would be used in the red zone like he was last week. That was kind of Olson’s role in the last couple of seasons when he has been healthy. McCaffrey I would imagine will get a few more targets as well. Cam Newton is also dealing with shoulder issues and if he can’t throw the ball deep with any zip on the ball, there should be plenty of shorter routes ran.

Matt Brieda RB San Francisco 49ers (Ankle)

Brieda will miss the first game since high school as crazy as that sounds. Every time you turn around he is banged up but like the Energizer Bunny he keeps going and going. Since Brieda will miss week 14, then by the way Week 13 played out the man in line for the starting role in a Kyle Shannahan offense is Jeff Wilson Jr. He stepped right in last week with 15 carries for 61 yards and caught 8/9 targets for 73 more yards.

Must add: Jeff Wilson Jr, RB

Chris Carson, RB Seattle Seahawks (Finger)

Carson is expected to play after dislocating a finger but if the last couple weeks have been any type of reminder, get your handcuff. If you are relying on Carson every week in fantasy. you should probably look into owning one of these two other Seattle RBs. The Seahawks are the leading rushing offense in the league and whoever starts for them usually is solid. All three of Seattle’s backs have had fantasy relevant weeks but Penny had been up and down and Davis hasn’t gotten a consistent workload. Just when you think you know, they switch it up on us.

  • Carson – Yards per Touch (4.9)
  • Davis – Yards per Touch (4.7)
  • Penny – Yards per Touch (5.4)

Potential adds: Rashaad Penny and Mike Davis, RBs

James Conner, RB Pittsburgh Steelers (Ankle)

James Conner suffered what was to be believed to be just a leg contusion but now reports have come out that it was much worse than originally thought. Conner is expected to miss the Week 14 game against the Oakland Raiders. One of the best matchups a running back can get in 2018. Especially for a back that gets as heavy a workload as the Steelers starting running back usually gets. So who stands to be the beneficiary of the Conner injury and he is definitely interesting.

As you can see and I’m sure, have heard, the Steelers more often than not use one running back. There are whispers of a running back by committee situation brewing. Steven Ridley and recently activated Trey Edmunds.

Must add: Jaylen Samuels, RB

So as you can see (Above) when throwing the ball, Ben Roethlisberger has the highest quarterback rating when targeting Samuels. Small sample size to say the least but he still has been effective in a limited role. He has 21 opportunities with 85 yards and has two receiving touchdowns. He tested well prior to the draft (Above, Left) and that athleticism could come in handy this week. The Steelers will be taking on the lowly 31st ranked Oakland Raiders rushing defense that is allowing 153.3 yards per game and is one of seven teams in the league to allow a 5.0 yard per carry average so far in 2018. Last week The Raiders somewhat held the Spencer Ware and the Chiefs running game in check but that’s the outlier on the season.

Samuels is a must get for any James Conner owner or even the if you were relying on Melvin Gordon or Kareem Hunt. He should be a reliable RB2 at the least. Also if you play in Yahoo leagues I believe Samuels has tight end eligibility. You could potentially start the RB1 for the Steelers in your TE slot.

Melvin Gordon 111, RB Los Angeles Chargers (MCL/ Knee)

Now there is a possibility that Melvin Gordon returns for Week 14 and the Chargers are back to normal. Gordon taking the bulk of the workload (66.1% opportunity share, 73.1% snape share). Just in case though, you need to be prepared.

Austin Ekeler, RB

Must add: Justin Jackson, RB

We’ve seen two times this year when Austin Ekeler has been given the lion share of the running back load for the Chargers. On both of those days, he has yet to live up to expectations, to say the least. In fact to take it a little farther, in games this season that he has double-digit carries he has underwhelmed. Well, let me say this. He has underwhelmed if you wanted him to be Melvin Gordon 111.

  • @ Buf Week 2/ 11 carries for 77 yards and three receptions on three targets. Ekeler failed to score but this was a week in which MG3 scored three times.
  • vs Ten Week 7/ 12 carries for 42 yards and five receptions on seven targets for 26 yards. Again Ekeler failed to score in the first game with Gordon sidelined.
  • @ Pit Week 13/ 12 carries for 21 yards and five receptions on eight targets. Zero touchdowns one more time in the second game this year that Gordon missed. This was the Justin Jackson breakout party.

Jackson touched the ball as much as Ekeler in the second half of the Sunday Night Football game and was far more productive. There wasn’t a lot of room in the first half for Ekeler to run. The chargers switched some things up at the half and yes, Ekeler was more effective in the third and fourth quarter but Jackson was great. He had four double-digit yardage plays. Three at 18 or more. He also had another nine-yard carry. Oh yeah, and the 18-yard touchdown run. Ekeler out touched Jackson overall 17 to nine but Jackson was far more effective. I’d expect a timeshare all game this week if Gordon were to be out again.

Christian Kirk, WR Arizona Cardinals (Foot, On IR)

Kirk was surprisingly was seeing a 20.4% target share with the Cardinals in 2018. 5.8 targets a game this season (6.3 targets a game since Week 3). Those targets are going to have to go somewhere. My guess would be that David Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald would see the biggest bump. Johnson has seen a big-time usage increase since Byron Leftwich started calling the plays. Fitzgerald has been a touchdown threat with five scores in the past six games. (Avg – Caught 4.7/7 targets for 48.8 yards and 0.8 touchdowns in that stretch. Losing their rookie field stretcher will likely result in a shorter passing game..

Sam Darnold, QB New York Jets (Foot)

As you can see below the return of Sam Darnold could signal the return of the wide receivers to miner fantasy value this year. Josh McCown was targeting the tight ends and running backs this season about as much as the wide receivers whereas Darnold is throwing to the wideouts about 2/3 of the time. The mild early season value of players like Quincey Anunwa and Jermaine Kearse could return and in turn possibly open the run game back up. Not for multiple 200-yard performances like Isaiah Crowell had but still could give the value in the backfield a small tick up.

Sam Darnold % of targets by position
Josh McCown % of targets by position

Trey Quinn, WR Washington Redskins (Ankle, On IR) & Colt McCoy, QB Washington Redskins (Leg, On IR)

It’s a shame that just a few games after returning from temporary IR, Quinn will head back to injured reserve and for good this time. The young receiver had flashed a little in the wake of all the Washington offensive injury woes. The passing game had also seen a little boost in recent weeks as far as the weapons are concerned. McCoy wasn’t someone you were relying on in fantasy but he had given a little uptick to the passing game.

Jamison Crowder did return in Week 13 and stepped back into his slot role catching 4/4 targets for 36 yards. Josh Docton has actually started to show up a little. In the last five weeks, he has been catching an average of 3.8/6.4 Targets for 45.2 Yards a Game and 0.4 Touchdowns. Also look for Vernon Davis and Jordan Reed to see a little more work as they generally navigate the same areas of the field as the slot receivers. The running Backs could also get an increase in workload. Thompson is a good receiver and can do a lot of the same things as Quinn in the receiving game and with another quarterback change, Peterson might be called on a few more times a game.

The Surrounding Cast

Sometimes the injuries you need to be aware of are not directly to the fantasy starter on your team. Sometimes the injuries are to the surrounding cast. Star defensive players, Offensive line trouble, or even a backup or Number Two on the team getting injured and you players opportunity increasing are things you always should pay attention too. Here are some of the injuries that could affect your team moving forward.

Denver Bronco Defense (Chris Harris Jr, CB, and Derrick Wolfe, DT)

The Denver Broncos had been on a nice run as of late. Allowing 21.0 points a game this year (11th). When you’ve played teams like the Chiefs and The Rams but in four of their last six games they have allowed fewer than 20 points. The other two games they allowed more than 20 in were against the Rams (23 points) and the Chargers (22 points). The injuries to Wolfe and Harris Jr. will most certainly affect the defense up the middle for the Broncos. What was the strongest part of their defense will take a huge hit. and the woes they went through early in the year could return.

Broncos Passing Defense above, Rushing Defense Below

Green Bay Offensive Line (Bryan Bulaga, OT, and Byron Bell, OG)

Aaron Jones is as efficient as they come when he gets the opportunity as you can see above in his heat map. 

The Packers Offensive Line took a big hit in Week 13 losing two of its starters. Rodgers is generally mobile enough to navigate even a crowded pocket but the loss of Bell and Bulaga. Luckily for Green Bay and Jones, they will take on the poor Falcons rush defense that is ranked 27th in the league and allows 130.7 yards on the ground a game.. This should make a relatively easy transition.

 Minnesota Cornerbacks (Trae Weyens, and Xavier Rhodes, CB)

Minnesota Vikings Passing Defense Heat Map

The Vikings defense is back their 2017 ways. They have found that dominance again but the injuries in the secondary could prove to be a problem. The Vikings will take on the hyper-efficient Seahawks passing game and Russell Wilson whos coming off a game in which he completed just 11 passes. Four of them though for scores. The Vikings will be fortunate they have such a dominant defensive line because they will need it to stop the number one running game in the league. They will also need to get heavy pressure on Wilson.

  • Min D Sacks for 36.0 (8th)
  • Sea sacks allowed 37.0 (8th)

Jacksonville Offensive Line (Jeremy Parnell, OT, and Everyone Else)

The Jags just lost their last Week 1 starting linemen. This is the type of thing that will tend to keep Leonard Fournette a high volume inefficient fantasy option now that he’s back from suspension. As you can see below, Fournette is good but he has had to work really hard for everything this year and it could only get more difficult.

  • Fournette’s 2018 – Dominator Rating 34.7 (#5), Average Defenders in the Box 7.3 (#3), Loaded Box Percent 43.3% (#2), Yards Created per Rush 1.14 (#34), Fantasy Points 0.85 (#59)

Houston Texans Offensive Line (Kendall Lamb, OT)

Protecting Deshaun Watson was an issue early in the season and his season started to take a turn as the line improved. this loss could hurt Watson a bit. He could return from the concussion protocol but everyone recovers differently from these.

  • Colts Defense – Sacks For (30.0/ 2.5 per Game) 19th in Sacks for.
  • Texans – Sacks Allowed – (41.0/ 3.42 per Game) 3rd in Sacks allowed.

Buffalo Bills Offensive Line (Russell Bodine, C)

This Could lead to a less productive Shady McCoy. If your relying on him moving forward you might not be in the playoffs. Also, it could mean less protection for Josh Allen but in turn that could mean Allen scrambles more and as we’ve seen, he is a legitimate threat on the ground.

  • Josh Allen Weeks 12 and 13 Rushing averages (11 Attempts for 117 Yards and 0.5 TD)

Malcolm Brown, RB Los Angeles Rams

Just another friendly reminder to grab your handcuffs for the running backs that get a massive workload and snap share. You want the handcuffs for the Gurley, Zeke types. Malcolm Brown is going to miss the remainder of the season after having surgery (Shoulder), John Kelly is your guy.

Potential/ Must add: John Kelly, RB

We’ve yet to see Kelly in the regular season so no real sample size to go off except what kind of work the starting Rams back would likely receive.

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