Between a broken finger and being placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list, Jones is unlikely to play on Sunday
It’s Week 15 of the NFL season and likely the semifinal game of the fantasy playoffs for most leagues. It’s going to be a tough week because of injuries to some key players. With three games already played (thanks, Saturday football!), fantasy owners may have already made some start/sit decisions.
When it comes to a kicker, Zane Gonzalez (Arizona) has been ruled out. He didn’t play last week either, so be sure that if you had him during the regular season, you’ve since dropped him for another kicker.
Be sure to check the list of players that have already been ruled out or are doubtful, as they likely won’t see the field in Week 15. For the rest, check the inactive reports about 90 minutes before game time to make sure you are starting players that are active.
Brandon Allen, QB, Cincinnati Bengals
Myles Gaskin, RB, Miami Dolphins
Kenny Golladay, WR, Detroit Lions
Damien Harris, RB, New England Patriots
Duke Johnson, RB, Houston Texans
Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons
Joe Mixon, RB, Cincinnati Bengals
Kyle Rudolph, TE, Minnesota Vikings
Deebo Samuel, WR, San Francisco 49ers
Alex Smith, QB, Washington Football Team
Michael Thomas, WR, New Orleans Saints
Antonio Gibson, RB, Washington Football Team
Note: All times are ET and games are on Sunday, Dec. 20 unless otherwise noted. Players are grouped by position.
Daniel Jones (ankle/hamstring), QB, New York Giants vs. Cleveland Browns, 8:20 p.m.
Jones may be listed as questionable but the Giants have already said that Colt McCoy will get the start against Cleveland. It was clear that Jones was not healthy last week as he struggled in the loss to Arizona, so the team is going to sit him since there's really nothing the Giants are playing for, other than draft positioning. And you're not starting McCoy unless you are desperate.
Matthew Stafford (ribs/thumb), QB, Detroit Lions at Tennessee Titans, 1 p.m.
Fantasy owners of Stafford will know early if he's active or not. He didn't practice all week and it seemed that he would be out. However, he drew a questionable tag and traveled with the team to Tennessee. Odds are that he'll head out for pregame warm-ups and see how he can move around and throw. As a fantasy owner, it will be difficult to trust him, given the injury. The Titans are a good matchup for opposing quarterbacks, but not a banged-up one.
Sunday morning update: Stafford is active
Ezekiel Elliott (calf), RB, Dallas Cowboys vs. San Francisco 49ers, 1 p.m.
Zeke will be active, but how effective remains unclear. He missed practice all week and his performance has clearly been hampered by the calf injury (59 total yards from scrimmage in Week 14). Owners of Elliott that have made it this far should continue to start him, but know that he's not the RB1 you drafted. At this point, him putting up RB2 numbers would be considered a good week.
Sunday morning update: Elliott is out. Start Pollard as a RB2.
James Conner (quad), RB, Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals, 8:15 p.m. (Mon.)
Conner was on the reserve/COVID-19 list for Weeks 12 and 13 and returned in Week 14 with a quad injury that cost him two days of practice this week. He was able to put in a limited practice on Friday, which bodes well for him playing on Monday night. However, in Week 14, he only had 10 carries for 18 yards and a fumble (recovered by Pittsburgh). The Bengals are a good matchup, but it is going to be hard for fantasy owners to trust Conner. Pick up Benny Snell Jr. if possible and start him if Conner sits. If Conner is active, only expect RB2 production, with the possibility of an in-game aggravation of the injury.
Ronald Jones II (finger), RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Atlanta Falcons, 1 p.m.
Jones has not been officially ruled out yet but besides the broken finger, which he had surgery on earlier this week to insert a pin, he's also on the reserve/COVID-19 list. It has not been reported if Jones tested positive or was a close contact, but between the finger and the COVID list, he seems like a long shot to play. Those who have Leonard Fournette on their roster may want to consider inserting him into the lineup given the matchup against the Falcons.
Sunday morning update: Jones is out.
Salvon Ahmed (shoulder), RB, Miami Dolphins vs. New England Patriots, 1 p.m.
Ahmed missed Weeks 13 and 14 with a shoulder injury, but he was able to practice this week. Myles Gaskin is on the reserve/COVID-19 list and will miss this game so the Dolphins certainly can use Ahmed if he is able to go. DeAndre Washington didn't do a lot in Week 14 to show that he is capable of being the lead running back, although Ahmed hasn't looked great either. He's a low RB2 if active, but fantasy owners should be able to find better options.
Sunday morning update: Ahmed is one of the few Dolphins that are active.
Alexander Mattison (illness), RB, Minnesota Vikings vs. Chicago Bears, 1 p.m.
Mattison had an emergency appendectomy and missed Weeks 13 and 14. It's unclear if he will be able to play in Week 15, but fantasy owners shouldn't be starting him anyway. Dalvin Cook is active and the workhorse for the Vikings. Mattison is still his direct backup, if needed, for Week 16.
Sunday morning update: Mattison is active.
DeVante Parker (hamstring), WR, Miami Dolphins vs. New England Patriots, 1 p.m.
Parker left Week 14's game with a hamstring injury, but he was able to put in limited practices this week. That puts him on track to play in Week 15. He may be hampered a bit by the hamstring injury, but he should be active. The matchup against the Patriots isn't a bad one, but the reality is that he has not had any kind of connection with Tua Tagovailoa. Parker is a low WR2 for Week 15.
Sunday morning update: Parker is inactive.
Jamison Crowder (calf), WR, New York Jets at Los Angeles Rams, 4:05 p.m.
Crowder was able to put in limited practices this week, so he should be active for Week 15. However, fantasy owners shouldn't expect a lot in this matchup. The Rams' defense is one of the best in the league and the Jets' offense is, well, not one of the best in the league. They should struggle to move the ball, and it should be a rough outing for Crowder. He's a WR3.
Jakeem Grant (hamstring), WR, Miami Dolphins vs. New England Patriots, 1 p.m.
Similar to DeVante Parker, Grant left Week 14 with a hamstring injury. He also was able to put in limited practices this week, which would put him on track to play. It should be noted, however, that the Dolphins did promote a wide receiver from their practice squad. It seems that they are counting on both Parker and Grant to play, but may not be convinced that they'll make it through a whole game. Treat Grant like a WR3.
Sunday morning update: Grant is inactive.
Evan Engram (calf), TE, New York Giants vs. Cleveland Browns, 8:20 p.m.
Engram popped up on the injury report on Friday with a calf injury. Late-week additions to the injury report are never a good sign, and it will be hard to gauge how injured Engram truly is. The Giants are thin at the tight end position, so it seems that if Engram can play, they will start him, but he may not be able to get on the field. Fantasy owners should pay close attention to his status, but it may be best to prepare as if Engram will be out, as you don't want to get stuck without a tight end in the semifinals.
Mike Gesicki (shoulder), TE, Miami Dolphins vs. New England Patriots, 1 p.m.
Gesicki dislocated his shoulder in Week 14 and the initial reports were that he would miss a week. He didn't practice on Wednesday and returned for a limited session on Thursday. Gesicki is someone that should truly be viewed as questionable. The team will likely see how he feels in pregame warm-ups and make a decision based on that. The good news for fantasy owners is that the Dolphins play in the early slate of games, so they will know his status early. If Gesicki is active, he's a TE1.
Sunday morning update: Gesicki is inactive.
Jimmy Graham (hip), TE, Chicago Bears vs. Minnesota Vikings, 1 p.m.
Graham has been used in the red zone, but appears to be behind Cole Kmet in terms of the pecking order at this point. He was added to the injury report on Thursday, but then was able to put in a limited practice on Friday. It seems that Graham should play in Week 15, but he's a touchdown-dependent TE2.
Austin Hooper (neck), TE, Cleveland Browns at New York Giants, 8:20 p.m.
Hooper missed Week 14 with a neck injury, but it seems that the team expects him to play in Week 15. Unfortunately for fantasy owners, he is no longer a decent fantasy option. His production, which was trending upward before he had an appendectomy and then the bye week, has dropped since. Even if active, he's a low TE2 and even that may be to overstating his potential value.
David Njoku (knee), TE, Cleveland Browns at New York Giants, 8:20 p.m.
Njoku may have value if Austin Hooper is out, but since the team expects Hooper to play, Njoku shouldn't even be on fantasy rosters. Even If Hooper is out, Njoku would be a desperation option only.
Mo Alie-Cox (knee), TE, Indianapolis Colts vs. Houston Texans, 1 p.m.
Alie-Cox missed practice on Wednesday and Thursday and returned on Friday to a limited practice. He hasn't had more than three receptions or 50 yards since Week 2. With both Jack Doyle and Trey Burton active, Alie-Cox shouldn't be started in fantasy.
— Written by Sarah Lewis, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and lives, eats, and breathes fantasy football. Have a fantasy football question? Send it to her on Twitter @Sarah_Lewis32.