Championship week was kind enough to deliver the fantasy world a Thursday free of NFL football for the first time since August 3rd. Hopefully you spent your football-free time doing productive things like guzzling eggnog or wandering around the mall with no idea what to buy for your significant other. While fantasy football title games won’t kick off until Saturday, fantasy news didn’t slow at all on Thursday as injury updates continued to shape Week 16 rosters and present excruciating lineup decisions for hardware-hunting fake footballers. Buckle up as we check-in on the latest news from around the NFL in Friday’s Daily Dose. It’s trophy time.
Running Back Worries?
Samaje Perine’s fantasy production has slowed in recent weeks and could potentially be frozen for Week 16 as the rookie left practice with a groin injury on Thursday. When asked about the situation, Washington coach Jay Gruden said he thought the issue was “minor,” but did not know about Perine’s Week 16 status. If Perine is not able to play on Christmas Eve, the Washington backfield would be left to Kapri Bibbs and a guy names LeShun Daniels Jr., which is like leaving your unattended home to the Wet Bandits. Bibbs has receiving chops and hauled in four passes for 47 yards and a score last week, so he would be the back of choice for running back-needy teams if Perine watches from the sidelines.
The fantasy playoffs do not require pretty lineups, just winning lineups. Arizona running back Kerwynn Williams has been a decent contributor for fantasy teams over the last three weeks with Adrian Peterson sidelined, handling at least 16 touches in each game since Week 12. Williams hasn’t found the end zone, but finding respectable workloads on the waiver wire this time of the year is a tall task. Unfortunately, Williams’ run may be coming to an end as he injured a quad in Week 15 and has yet to see the practice field this week. If Williams does indeed sit on Sunday, it would be beefy Elijhaa Penny stepping into the starting role for the Cardinals. Penny handled 10 carries last week and while D.J. Foster will receive the pass catching work out of the Arizona backfield, Penny is a 234 pound back that would certainly be able to carry the load for Bruce Arians’ squad if called upon. Keep Penny on speed dial if you’re scrounging through your couch cushions for startable flex options this week.
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Fitz Finally Finished?
Arizona legend Larry Fitzgerald signed a one-year extension with the Cardinals in November, but that move simply locked Fitzgerald in with the franchise in the event that he decided to return in 2018. Apparently that difficult decision will take some time for the future Hall of Famer. On Thursday, Fitzgerald told reporters, “I don't know. I'm going to take some time, figure it out. I'll let you know though." The decision is most definitely more difficult after Fitzgerald was required to spend the vast majority of 2017 chasing down targets from Drew Stanton and Blaine Gabbert. Even if injured quarterback Carson Palmer is healthy and ready to return to action in 2018, the Cardinals are now sinking toward a perennial spot at the bottom of the NFC West and Fitzgerald could very well opt to hang up his cleats rather than suffer through another losing campaign. Fitz does have the ability to continue his impressive career, as he will put the finishing touches on another 100-catch, 1,000-yard season this month. The Arizona wide receiver group will be one worth monitoring for dynasty league owners over the offseason, as a significant overhaul could begin if Fitzgerald retires and John Brown leaves via free agency.
Injury News and Notes
Davante Adams (concussion) has been officially ruled out for Week 16. Without Adams and Aaron Rodgers, the Green Bay offense looks ready to take a nosedive while propelling the Minnesota D/ST to a huge fantasy championship performance. … Joe Mixon (concussion) practiced on Thursday and will likely end Gio Bernard’s time in the spotlight when he returns in Week 16. Mixon can be returned to fantasy lineups as long as he is indeed active. … Devin Funchess (shoulder) has not practiced this week but claims he is “good to go” for Carolina’s matchup with Tampa Bay. Go ahead and start Funchess as planned. … Amari Cooper (ankle) has been banged up in recent weeks but is reportedly “on track” to return to the field this weekend. Cooper hasn’t caught a pass since Week 12 and is a tough name to slide into starting lineups ahead of a Monday Night date with Philadelphia. … Emmanuel Sanders (ankle) didn’t practice on Thursday and should be monitored heading into the weekend. Sanders has dealt with injury issues throughout the season that could make him a 2018 fantasy bargain if Denver finds a quarterback. … Matt Forte (knee) did not practice on Thursday and will be an early morning call on Sunday. … DeSean Jackson (ankle) missed practice on Thursday and appears likely to miss Week 16 and open up extra snaps for rookie Chris Godwin. … Jeremy Maclin (knee) is doubtful for Week 16 and can be safely ignored in fantasy leagues.