The second week of the fantasy playoffs is here, and the Rotoworld crew has everything you need to survive and advance. Patrick Daugherty answers your lineup questions with his Week 15 Rankings, Nick Mensio tells you who to start and who to fade in Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em, Rich Hribar hits all the relevant stats in his Worksheet, and Evan Silva breaks down every matchup in the original and best Matchups Column.
As for me, I am here to shed light on the most important injury situations facing fantasy owners heading into the weekend. The sister resource to this column is the Rotoworld News Page, which will have every single inactive and all the late-breaking news up to kickoff and beyond. I also occasionally tweet about football @RMSummerlin.
Texans @ Jaguars
*As expected, Tom Savage (concussion) was ruled out on Friday, leaving T.J. Yates to start in Jacksonville. Yates could also be without his top receiver after DeAndre Hopkins missed Thursday and Friday with a toe injury, although coach Bill O’Brien expects him to play through a questionable tag. If Hopkins plays, he will be a must-start despite the matchup. Houston will be without LB Jelani Jenkins (concussion), OT Kendall Lamm (concussion), and WR Braxton Miller (concussion) while Jadeveon Clowney (knee, illness) and TE MyCole Pruitt (calf) are questionable. O’Brien also expects Clowney to play despite sitting out all week.
*Leonard Fournette (quad) did not practice at all this week, but the Jaguars are leaving the door open for him to play with a questionable tag. At best he will be a game-time decision, and he was inactive the last time he failed to practice. It seems more likely than not Chris Ivory and T.J. Yeldon handle the backfield work in this one. Allen Hurns (ankle) and WR Larry Pinkard (concussion) are out.
Update: Leonard Fournette has been ruled out for Sunday's game against Houston.
Packers @ Panthers
*In case you have been on radio silence, Aaron Rodgers (collarbone) was medically cleared on Tuesday and is fully expected to start in Carolina. His return is a boost for the entire offense, but that is especially true for Jordy Nelson, who averaged three catches for 22 yards in seven games without his quarterback. Rodgers’ return puts him back in the WR2 conversation. Rodgers himself is worth starting in most situations despite the long layoff. In worse news, CB Davon House (shoulder, back) has been ruled out while CB Demetri Goodson (hamstring) is questionable, weakening an already shaky secondary. OLB Nick Perry (foot, shoulder), ILB Jake Ryan (knee), and OT Jason Spriggs (hip) are also questionable.
*Devin Funchess is officially questionable, but he is expected to play despite resting his injured shoulder on Friday. He is a borderline WR1 in a great matchup. C Tyler Larsen (foot) is also questionable. Carolina will be without LB Shaq Thompson (foot) and RG Trai Turner (concussion). Turner’s absence is a downgrade for the running game.
Bengals @ Vikings
*Joe Mixon (concussion, questionable) looks on track to play after getting in a full practice Friday, but he still needs to be cleared. If he cannot go, Giovani Bernard will be worth another start. S Shawn Williams (hamstring) is also questionable. The Bengals still have serious injury issues on defense with LB Vontaze Burfict (concussion), CB Dre Kirkpatrick (concussion), and LB Nick Vigil (ankle) out, DE Michael Johnson (pec) doubtful, and LB Kevin Minter (hamstring) landing on injured reserve Friday. After getting run over by the Bears, Cincinnati may be looking at a similar fate this week.
*Both Kyle Rudolph (ankle) and LT Riley Reiff (ankle) are listed as doubtful, but it is highly unlikely either plays after sitting out the entire week of practice. Rudolph sitting is a huge blow for fantasy owners considering the sorry state of the waiver wire. Eric Ebron and Ricky Seals-Jones are the “best” options available in most leagues. Minnesota will also be without CB Mackensie Alexander (ribs). LB Emmanuel Lamur (foot) is questionable. Adam Thielen was limited by a knee injury on Wednesday, but he was a full participant the rest of the week and was not listed on the final report.
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Jets @ Saints
*Despite beat writers seeing him on the field, Matt Forte (knee) was listed as a DNP all three days before drawing a questionable tag. Bilal Powell will be more interesting if Forte sits, but this looks like a situation to avoid with Bryce Petty under center. RG Brian Winters (abdomen, ankle) is also questionable. Muhammad Wilkerson has been suspended for this game for once again being late to a team meeting.
*As expected, Alvin Kamara cleared the concussion protocol and was not even listed on the final report. He is a must-start any time he touches the field. Ted Ginn (rib) is listed as questionable, but he is expected to play following limited practices Thursday and Friday. LG Andrus Peat (groin, questionable) is a bigger question mark after sitting out Friday’s session. DE Trey Hendrickson (ankle) and LB A.J. Klein (groin) have been ruled out.
Eagles @ Giants
*It does not offset the loss of Carson Wentz, but Philly’s injury report is relatively clean after Zach Ertz cleared the concussion protocol on Wednesday. OG Stefen Wisniewski (ankle, questionable) is the only player listed on the final report.
*Sterling Shepard was limited this week by a nagging hamstring injury, but he was left off the final report. S Landon Collins (ankle) was able to get in a limited practice Thursday, but he sat out Friday and is listed as doubtful. He will almost certainly be sidelined along with S Nat Berhe (hamstring). WR Roger Lewis (ankle), WR Travis Rudolph (hamstring), and CB Brandon Dixon (heel, hamstring) are questionable.
Dolphins @ Bills
*Damien Williams (shoulder, illness) is set to miss another game, leaving Kenyan Drake as the clear lead back in a great matchup. Drake is a must-start at this point. Also out for Miami are Matt Moore (foot), CB Cordrea Tankersley (ankle, shoulder), S Michael Thomas (knee), and RG Jermon Bushrod (foot). DE Andre Branch (knee), CB Xavien Howard (illness), and DT Jordan Phillips (ankle) are questionable.
*Tyrod Taylor (knee) is set to return following a full week of practice, but Kelvin Benjamin (knee) is questionable. Benjamin likely will give it a go, but he seemed to suffer a setback in Thursday’s practice and is not a good bet to make it through the game. He is a risky play in the semifinals. LT Cordy Glenn landed on injured reserve with a foot injury Friday, and Buffalo ruled out RG John Miller (ankle) and QB Nathan Peterman (concussion).
Cardinals @ Redskins
*Adrian Peterson (neck) landed on injured reserve Friday, meaning Kerwynn Williams should close out the season as the starter. Arizona will also be without John Brown (toe), ILB Gabe Martin (hamstring), and OG Earl Watford (ankle) this week. Brown was able to practice on a limited basis all week, suggesting he is nearing a return. Jermaine Gresham (illness), DL Josh Mauro (ankle), and DL Corey Peters (ankle) are questionable.
*Josh Norman (knee) will play, but the questions along the offensive line remain with LT Trent Williams (knee), RT Morgan Moses (ankle), and C Chase Roullier (hand) all questionable. Ryan Grant (ankle), WR Maurice Harris (concussion), DL Terrell McClain (toe), and OLB Ryan Anderson (ankle) are also questionable while ILB Zach Brown (Achilles, hip, toe) and S Montae Nicholson (concussion) are out.
Ravens @ Browns
*Of the seven Ravens listed as questionable, Mike Wallace (ankle) is the biggest fantasy name and probably the most questionable, although he says he is definitely suiting up. If he does, the suddenly reliable receiver will be a WR3 in a good matchup. WR Chris Moore (hip), CB Maurice Canady (knee), OT Jermaine Eluemunor (shoulder), OL Ryan Jensen (ankle), QB Ryan Mallett (illness), and OLB Za’Darius Smith (shoulder) round out the questionable list.
*David Njoku was limited with foot and wrist injuries on Wednesday and Thursday, but he returned to a full practice Friday and was left off the final report. The news is not as good in the secondary with CB Briean Boddy-Calhoun (knee) doubtful and CB Jamar Taylor (foot) as questionable as possible after sitting out every practice this week. DB Darius Hillary (knee) and WR Matt Hazel (hamstring) are also questionable.
Rams @ Seahawks
*Robert Woods (shoulder) was left off the final report following full practices Thursday and Friday. Even in Seattle, Woods should be put right back into fantasy lineups as an upside WR2. QB Brandon Allen (back) is doubtful.
*Despite limited practice snaps, neither Mike Davis (ribs) nor Jimmy Graham (ankle) was listed on the final report. Both should be in fantasy lineups this weekend. Seattle will be without S Kam Chancellor (neck), who for cap reasons has yet to be put on injured reserve, LB K.J. Wright (concussion), and DT Nazair Jones (ankle). MLB Bobby Wagner (hamstring) is extremely questionable after sitting out Wednesday and Thursday. Seattle struggled to stop the run after Wagner left last week, so Todd Gurley would get a boost if he sits.
Patriots @ Steelers
*New England’s offense is nearing full health with Rob Gronkowski returning from suspension, Tom Brady (Achilles) and Brandin Cooks (hand) practicing in full all week, and Chris Hogan (shoulder) likely to play through a questionable tag. DE Trey Flowers (rib), CB Stephon Gilmore (ankle), LB David Harris (ankle), S Brandon King (hamstring), DE Eric Lee (ankle), ST Matthew Slater (hamstring), LB Kyle Van Noy (calf), OT LaAdrian Waddle (ankle), and DE Deatrich Wise (foot) are also questionable. DT Alan Branch (knee) is out.
*JuJu Smith-Schuster (questionable) will likely play through his hamstring injury after getting in a limited practice Friday, but he will be a name to watch on Sunday morning. The same is true of CB Joe Haden (questionable), who has been sidelined since Week 10 because of a broken leg. CB Coty Sensabaugh (shoulder) is also questionable. TE Vance McDonald (shoulder) is out.
Titans @ 49ers
*Marcus Mariota picked up a knee injury last week, but he practiced in full all three days and was left off the final report. Tennessee will be without OLB Derrick Morgan (knee) while S Johnathan Cyprien (back) and TE Phillip Supernaw (ankle) are questionable.
*CB Greg Mabin (calf) and CB Ahkello Witherspoon (knee) are the only players on the final report for the 49ers after they placed RT Trent Brown (shoulder) on injured reserve Friday. The corners are questionable.
Cowboys @ Raiders
*LB Sean Lee (hamstring, back) skipped Friday’s practice and is listed as questionable, but it is possible the Cowboys were just getting the veteran rest. Lee sitting would be a big upgrade for Marshawn Lynch. LT Tyron Smith (back), WR Brice Butler (foot), RT La'el Collins (back), DT Maliek Collins (foot), and TE James Hanna (knee) are also questionable. Smith and Collins are expected to play. LB Justin Durant (concussion), DE David Irving (concussion), and CB Orlando Scandrick (back) are out.
*Following his abbreviated return last week, Amari Cooper (ankle) sat out every practice and was ruled out on Friday. Cooper sitting should mean more targets for Seth Roberts and Cordarrelle Patterson, but this passing game has not been good enough to chase those points in most leagues. DE Mario Edwards (ankle) and TE Clive Walford (concussion, neck) are also out while CB David Amerson (foot) is doubtful. DE Denico Autry (hand, ankle), OG Jon Feliciano (concussion), and S Keith McGill (knee) are questionable.
Falcons @ Bucs
*Tevin Coleman (concussion) looks extremely unlikely to play after sitting out Thursday and Friday. As the clear workhorse in a good matchup, Devonta Freeman will be a locked-in RB1. Mohamed Sanu (knee) has been limited, but there does not seem to be any concern about his status.