Week 16 Injury Wrap: The Todd Gurley Problem

Week 16 Injury Wrap: The Todd Gurley Problem

It’s championship week, and some of the conundrums are particularly hairy.

• Todd Gurley (knee) is questionable for Sunday, and the game at Arizona is a 4:05 pm ET start. It’s a messy fantasy situation, obviously.

We don’t know what the Rams would do with the backfield work if Gurley can’t go. C.J. Anderson has been with the team less than a week. John Kelly is an option. Maybe the Rams would just pass all over Arizona.

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And with the Cardinal one of the weakest teams in the league — Los Angeles is a 15-point favorite — you would totally understand if the Rams decided to rest Gurley in this spot with an eye towards future games against more difficult opponents.

Gurley owners need to have as many viable late-wave fill-ins as possible. Maybe Matt Breida (now off the injury report) is in play for you, or Jeff Wilson. Jordan Howard would be a reasonable card to play. I like Jaylen Samuels as a proactive option, with James Conner still out. There’s no one answer to this stuff. Season to taste.

• Back to Samuels, he’s in line to be Pittsburgh’s featured runner with James Conner still out. The Steelers will get a staunch challenge on the road against the vastly improved Saints defense. JuJu Smith Schuster (groin) made it clear on Twitter, he’ll be playing this week.

• Melvin Gordon (knee) is back for the Chargers, but Austin Ekeler (neck) will not play. Things are trending up for Keenan Allen (hip). I’ve ranked Gordon aggressively and I’m prepared to use him.

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• T.Y. Hilton (ankle) will be a game-time call for the Giants on Sunday. A crummy time to be questionable, as New York has been awful against No. 1 receivers this year. Hilton did have a limited practice Friday, for what it’s worth.

• Julio Jones (multiple) is another game-time decision, though context clues point to him playing at Carolina. At least it’s an early-wave game.

• Lamar Miller (ankle) won’t play at Philadelphia, which means it’s an Alfred Blue Christmas yet again. Blue’s per-play metrics are a mess, but volume is the most important thing in fantasy. Maybe he can stumble to something useful. I need to use him in one key, deeper league. DeAndre Hopkins (ankle) had a limited practice week but is expected to go; meanwhile, Keke Coutee (hamstring) is ruled out.

• Rashaad Penny (knee) is a game-time call for the Sunday nighter against the Chiefs. Either way, Chris Carson obviously runs this backfield.

• Spencer Ware (hamstring) is unlikely to play at Seattle, so get Damien Williams in any lineup you can.

• Jamaal Williams is the last back standing in Green Bay, with Aaron Jones down for the year. Kapri Bibbs, last seen in Washington, is the new backup. Look for Williams to get a slew of work against the Jets. I’m prepared to play him proactively, in both seasonal and DFS formats. Randall Cobb (concussion) is unlikely to play.

• Bruce Ellington (hamstring) is done for the year, not that you wanted more exposure to Matt Stafford and the Detroit passing game. Kenny Golladay (chest) is the only Lions receiver who makes sense, but check in Sunday — he missed the full practice week. LeGarrette Blount (calf) is iffy, which opens the door for Zach Zenner play. I remain staunchly out on Theo Riddick.

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• The Saints activated Ted Ginn Jr. and might use him against Pittsburgh. Ginn is too risky as a fantasy option, but he’s the type of field stretcher who could have a cascade effect for the offense. New Orleans hasn’t had an impactful second wideout for most of the year.

• With Josh Gordon out indefinitely, you might want to throw the dice on a Patriots receiver. I wouldn’t try this unless particularly desperate, but if you qualify, I rank Chris Hogan over Cordarrelle Patterson and Phillip Dorsett.

• Odell Beckham Jr. (quad) is out for another week, and Russell Shepard (ankle) is out; at least we know Andrew Siciliano won’t be confusing the two Shepards this week. Evan Engram looks like a good start against the Colts, but I would’t start Eli Manning on a dare.

• LeSean McCoy (hamstring) is never a safe play, but he’s expected to go at New England. Chris Ivory (shoulder) has also been practicing and should be in uniform.

• DeSean Jackson (thumb) had two full days of practice and might return, muddling the Tampa Bay usage tree. The Buccaneers are eight-point underdogs at Dallas.

• Cam Newton is mercifully done for the year, which means Taylor Heinicke is the replacement quarterback. For what it’s worth, Heinicke and Curtis Samuel showed chemistry during the preseason.