Fantasy Football: Week 13 Knowing Injuries and Week 14 Premature Abandonment of Wire Goals

Hey everyone, this is Chris Towers and I’m back! Before we get to anything else, I want to say a heartfelt “thank you” to Dan Schneier, RJ White and the others Fantasy football today crew for helping pick up the slack in the newsletter and the Fantasy Football today in 5 Podcast over the last week while dealing with a minor health crisis. I’m fine and I’m back to help you make that final push to the playoffs.

And we are at that time. Once the final two games of week 13 are on the books tonight and tomorrow night, we’ll be in the final week of the fantasy regular season for most leagues – I’ve only got one of 14 leagues where the playoffs don’t start until Week 16. And I definitely have something to play for in more than a few of them as I’m sure you do too.

And you have to make that push into the playoffs without some big names available in Week 14. Starting off, you have six teams – the Packers, Bears, Colts, Saints, Commanders, and Falcons – goodbye, so you can omit almost 20% of teams from contributing – but if there’s a silver lining here, it’s these teams probably make up nowhere near 20% of the players you actually want to play in fantasy in any given week.

The bigger issue might be wear and tear from injuries. We’ve already had a lot of big names headed to Sunday’s games and sadly that list didn’t get any shorter. In today’s newsletter, I have a recap of every injury you need to know about, as well as my early look at the week 14 waiver, where there’s actually a decent amount of RB help if you need it. Tomorrow we’ll have Week 13’s biggest winners and losers before turning our attention to the crucial Week 14, but for now here are our initial reactions to Sunday’s action.

Week 13 injury tracker

Getty Images

Sunday’s most serious injuries appear to have come from the QB position, but they’re by no means the only injuries we’ll be watching. The big headline is Lamar Jackson’s knee injury, which has pushed Tyler Huntley into a prominent role for the Ravens. We saw that in five games — four starts — for the Ravens last season, and Huntley averaged 17.2 fantasy points per game despite just three passing touchdowns; Huntley isn’t Jackson as a rusher, but he fits well on this offense and will be fantasy relevant if Jackson has to miss time. John Harbaugh said Jackson’s schedule would be measured in “days and weeks,” which seems to indicate it won’t be a season-ending but certainly could require some time off.

Here are the other injuries we’ll be tracking in Sunday’s games:

Jimmy Garoppolo (foot) – Garoppolo was clumsily tackled early in Sunday’s game and was shut out shortly after being carted into the dressing room. Brock Purdy came in and rushed for 210 yards and a touchdown (with an interception) on 37 tries and would not be a recommended starter for Week 14 against the Buccaneers. The problem is the 49ers have to ride Purdy because Garoppolo’s foot injury is expected to cost him the rest of the season – after the game, head coach Kyle Shanahan told reporters, “He broke a few things. The 49ers lost Trey Lance early in the season to suspected season-ending ankle surgery, and Shanahan told reporters a few weeks ago he doesn’t expect Lance to be back this season. So the 49ers’ offense will do the rest way to be tied to Purdy, the final pick in the 2022 draft. Unfortunately, that’s a downgrade for the offense as a whole.

Tua Tagovailoa (ankle) — Tagovailoa’s injury doesn’t seem nearly as concerning as he told reporters he feels “as good as I can be after a game.” He suffered an ankle injury late in the game after coming on with an ankle injury on the injury report. Hopefully this won’t be a problem in the future.

Trevor Lawrence (knee) — Lawrence went down at the end of the first half after a rather clumsy-looking tackle, but was able to work through an apparent knee injury with little concern in the second half. That suggests this isn’t a cause for concern, but we’ll keep an eye on it throughout the week – we’ve had a few situations this season where guys have played through an injury only to suffer something more serious. Lawrence looks like a top 12 Fantasy QB at this point if he’s healthy.

Kenneth Walker (ankle) – Walker suffered an ankle injury in the second quarter and was unable to return to the game. The Seahawks, who lost Rashaad Penny earlier in the season to a season-ending fibula fracture, left both DeeJay Dallas and Tony Jones Jr. out of Sunday’s game with ankle injuries of their own, though both were able to pull through . If Walker has to miss time, Dallas would likely be the lead back and at least for Week 14 in the RB2 discussion.

Aaron Jones (shin) – Jones was able to play through his injury sustained in the second quarter but was used very sparingly, with just two touches on two snaps in the second half of the game. He looked pretty uncomfortable at his first touch from the injury, and we saw little-used reserve running back Patrick Taylor come onto the field — though AJ Dillon obviously stepped up as lead back and finished with 93 yards and 18 carries, plus three catches for 26 yards while adding a rushing touchdown. Dillon would be a borderline top-12 RB for Week 14 against the Rams if Jones is out.

Treylon Burks (concussion) – Burks suffered his injury on an early touchdown, a 25-yard pestle on his only goal of the game, but he was down for a while after suffering a big hit. He was quickly ruled out and had to clear the concussion record to play the Jaguars in Week 14, which is not a sure thing.

Chase Claypool (knee) — Claypool left Sunday’s game with a knee injury in a first-half game where he fumbled but was able to play with a brace on the knee in the second half and had five catches for 28 yards on six goals ended. His target 24% share without Darnell Mooney was a promising sign, but Claypool has a lot more to prove – including his health – before he can be trusted for Fantasy.

Jaylen Waddle (leg) – Here’s another where the player played through the injury, although Waddle was fairly limited, only playing six snaps out of 20 in the second half. Waddle has been very productive this season but has been held back somewhat at times by injuries. The Dolphins have the Chargers slated for Week 14, and Waddle will be a top-15 WR if he’s healthy enough to leave. Hopefully he will be.

Oct 9, 2022; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; Seattle Seahawks running back Kenneth Walker III (9) rushes for a touchdown against the New Orleans Saints during the second half at Caesars Superdome.

US TODAY

If Jackson’s injury keeps him from doing that, Huntley will likely be one of the top targets on the Week 14 Wavier Wire if you need QB help. Unfortunately, if you need wide receiver or tight end help, week 14 doesn’t look like a great week for that, although there are some running backs out there that look like they could be quite useful.

Here’s a first look at who we’ll be following in Week 14:

Top Destinations:

  1. Zonovan Knight, RB, Jets (81%)
  2. James Cook, RB, Bills (40%)
  3. Cam Akers, RB, Rams (62%)
  4. DJ Char, WR, Leuven (19%)
  5. Greg Dulcich, TE, Broncos (57%)

For the rest of my top early priorities and why I’m targeting them, head here.

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