We missed a visit inside the medical tent in week 13, but we are back now for week 14. It is playoff time and there are a few injuries that could have a significant impact on your league’s outcome. This is the time of year when true “league winners” emerge. A guy who has not done much all year may get an opportunity, due to injury, to step into a spotlight role and lead your team to victory. We are here today to help you find those guys in those scenarios.
Andrew Leduc: Does avoiding surgery sound like it was the right call? Are the playoffs really within reach?
Brian Scott, MEd, PA-C, ATC-ret: From what I can piece together, I believe he might have a Jones Fracture that the organization and he are willing to try and treat without surgery. The projected time to return based on reports is 7-8 weeks. If he heals up quickly, I think it could be as early as 6 weeks. This is a big if, because if it is a true Jones fracture, then there is a higher chance of the bone not healing at all and surgery being inevitable. In the general population, we treat these injuries without surgery a significant portion of the time. In elite athletes, most physicians opt to do surgery to guarantee success. By gambling here, there is the hope he could be ready come playoffs. Initial reports stated that he would have season-ending surgery. Then, there was a reverse of action. Surgery may still loom, but we will have to see how this plays out as the season winds down.
Prognosis: Let’s get this out of the way now. Brock Purdy is not going to be a “league winner”. We will see San Fransisco lean out the running game like they usually do anyways. Both Christian McCaffery and Jordan Mason carry value for me this week. Jordan Mason specifically in DFS formats is a great cheaper play who should see roughly 25% of the touches for the running backs. Mason is someone I was adding weeks ago anyways when we saw McCaffery get banged up. In that offense, and now with a backup quarterback, Mason could end up being the “league winner” in this offense if McCaffery goes down.
Andrew Leduc: What have you heard about his groin injury?
Brian Scott, MEd, PA-C, ATC-ret: He is coming off a groin injury in week 11 and had a week 13 bye, so there has been ample time for a good recovery here. Despite this, he was not seen at practice as of Thursday this week, so this does not bode well. Most skill position players can bounce back from groin injuries pretty quickly, I would guess if not this week, then perhaps we see him suit up next weekend.
Prognosis: A few weeks ago we wrote off Greg Dortch. Now, if Moore can’t play, then Dortch is back in the mix with DeAndre Hopkins also being questionable for a Monday night game this week. If Moore plays, you can expect Marquise Brown to lead the receivers and Moore to be next in line. This Cardinals offense has been disappointing this year though as injuries have never allowed them to settle in. Marquise Brown is the only option I am interested in this week here.
Andrew Leduc: It sounds like he is week to week. Is 3 weeks or less realistic?
Brian Scott, MEd, PA-C, ATC-ret: Did not practice this week with a PCL sprain of the knee. This ligament is not quite as important as the ACL (its counterpart) and many players have played with complete or partially torn PCLs. However, this usually does not occur until at least some of the swelling has subsided and the pain has improved enough that they can get through some rehabilitation. They have said he is week to week and his timeline to return Is anywhere between 1-3 weeks. I am eyeing more of a 3-week return with a brace and likely some limited mobility compared to what we normally see from him.
Prognosis: This one could have some big significance this week. Lamar Jackson will not play this week and Tyler Huntley is going to be at the helm. We have seen Huntley have success in this offense before and it would not shock me if we saw that again this week. With a healthy Mark Andrews at his disposal, I think the Ravens could still pull out a win against the Steelers. The Steelers’ offense has been looking better as Kenny Picket has gotten more comfortable, but I still like the Ravens in this one. I think Huntley can get enough done to be a solid DFS play this week.
Odell Beckham Jr.
Andrew Leduc: Is the concern he is not ready the sign of a setback, or would this be early for him to return?
Brian Scott, MEd, PA-C, ATC-ret: I did an article for Belly Up Fantasy about OBJ where I gave some statistical data about why I do not think he will have a significant impact no matter where he signs (https://bellyupfantasysports.com/obj-yay-or-nay/). Apparently, the Dallas Cowboys have leaked medical information about his knee after having met with him. They do not seem to think he has progressed well enough to contribute yet and may not be ready until next season. Unfortunately for OBJ, with this being his 2nd ACL reconstruction to the same knee in just under 2 years, this would not be surprising. When it comes to this type of scenario, there really is no good timeline about when is the right time to return, but most would probably agree that anywhere between 12-18 months is probably safest.
Prognosis: A waiver wire add for the last few weeks may go up in smoke here. It was just assumed that the ACL injury was healed and he would be good to go when a team needed him. It seems like the idea of OBJ returning to save your fantasy dreams is going up in smoke though. At this point with what we know, I don’t think he gets signed anywhere. If you added him, you can go ahead and drop him to prepare for your playoff run with a second defense or tight end.
Andrew Leduc: What is going on with Lawrence’s foot?
Brian Scott, MEd, PA-C, ATC-ret: The team has clarified that the injury he sustained involved his great toe. This is likely a turf-toe type of injury, which can be very painful and debilitating. Some players, depending on severity and position, can play through this with special bracing/taping and footwear. If there is swelling and pain in the joint of the great toe, this could take several weeks to resolve enough to get him back on the field without risk of serious injury. Keep in mind, turf toe injuries have ended many players’ careers, and this is especially true in skill position players.
Prognosis: Another quarterback heading into the playoffs going down is brutal. Lawrence has provided pretty solid fantasy production this year as the #10 quarterback. Christian Kirk will be affected most here and should be considered more of a FLEX play if Lawrence misses time. Kirk has been the #11 WR on the year to this point. I think we see a lot of Travis Etienne if Lawrence misses time with this toe injury.
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