Early Trust or Fade - Week 15

A summary of Jene Bramel's Thursday video conference, covering all of the upcoming weeks relevant injury news and how it affects your daily lineup decisions. 

During the season, I will transcribe Jene Bramel's Thursday injury video conference and provide you with his thoughts on which players to trust or fade for your lineups in the upcoming week's schedule of games. Click here to view Jene's Week 15 injury video conference. In addition to all pertinent injury news, Jene has in-depth details on the injuries to Julio Jones, Matt Forte and A.J. Green

THURSDAY UPDATE 

Jimmy Graham, SEA (knee) Graham had his usual early week of rest and returned to full practices on Tuesday and Wednesday. He'll see his usual workload on Thursday and is expected to play without fail. 

Result: Trust

QUARTERBACK

Matthews Stafford, DET (finger) Stafford participated in a full practice on Thursday in preparation for this week's game against the Giants. He is expected to play this week and says he won'tbe limited. 

Result: Trust

Ryan Tannehill, MIA (knee) Ryan Tannehill is dealing with an MCL injury and will not play this week

Result: Fade

Aaron Rodgers, Andrew Luck, Derek Carr, Trevor Siemian, Cam Newton, Tyrod Taylor, Blake Bortles - All are on the injury report for various ailments, but all are expected to play this week. Rodgers is dealing with a calf and hamstring injury, so don't expect him to be too mobile, especially if weather is as brutal as projected in Chicago. Luck is on the injury report for his shoulder and elbow. He missed practice on Wednesday, but is expected to play. 

Result: Trust

RUNNING BACK

Melvin Gordon III, SD (hip, MCL sprain) Melvin Gordon III is not expected to play this week. It's likely the MCL sprain that's limiting him more than the hip strain but the combination will keep him out at least this week. 

Result: Fade

Matt Forte, NYJ (meinscus tear) Forte has a chance to play, but it's slim. He has an aggravated meniscus tear that was too swollen and painful to play through last week. The thought process is that the Jets will lean heavily on Bilal Powell, who played well in Forte's absence last week. Unless Forte shows excellent signs in Friday practice, he's either going to miss the game or be limited. At best he's a game time decision right now and it all points to an unfavorable decision to add him to your lineup. May be best to stay away. 

Result: Fade

Adrian Peterson, MIN (knee) Peterson was designated to return off the Vikings' injured reserve list on Wednesday and began officially practicing. Barring a setback, it looks like Peterson may try to return in a limited role in Week 16 and 17 in the hopes of contributing to a playoff run. He already mentioned that he would not seek a return if the Vikings are out of the playoffs. He's nowhere near a lineup thought, but keep him inmind to potentially play in Week 16.

Result: Fade

Mark Ingram II, NO (toe, knee) - the Saints held Ingram out of practice on Wednesday, but we've seen them do the same in weeks prior and Ingram played on Sunday. The expectation is that he's just getting some rest and the team doesn't want to risk further injury. Look for him to play this week at Arizona. 

Result: Trust

Lamar Miller, HOU (ankle/ribs), Ty Montgomery, GB (shoulder), Frank Gore, IND (non-injury), Matt Asiata, MIN (ankle) - All have practiced in full, on a limited basis or were excused (in Gore's case). All are expected to play this week

Result: Trust

Darren Sproles, PHI, Shane Vereen, NYG, James Starks, GB, Zach Zenner, DET - All of the aforementioned running backs are in the concussion protocol and are awaiting further results. Vereen and Zenner have at least participated in a limited workout, which makes them the closest to being cleared and potentially being active this week. 

Result: Fade. Potentially trust Vereen and Zenner if given clearance on Friday.

Theo Riddick, DET (wrist) Riddick was a scratch last week despite being on the better side of questionable. Detroit doesn't help matters by not being forthcoming at all with injury updates or detailed information. It's possible that Riddick returns this week, however we know he didn't practice on Wednesday. This is a wait and see scenario. For now, it's not wise to assume he'll play. 

Result: Fade

WIDE RECEIVER

Julio Jones, ATL (toe) - Jones did not practice on Wednesday or Thursday and is still a question mark. If he gets into a practice on Friday he could play but would likely be limited. If he fully practices by Friday, he's good to go. The best case scenario is him playing but not getting full reps. 

Result: Fade

A.J. Green, CIN (hamstring)  A.J. Green returned to practice on Wednesday on a limited basis. This is good news as it's rare for Cincinnati to bring a player back quickly after missing multiple weeks of practice. They'll often make sure the player can handle a full week of limited individual workouts before returning them to the gameday roster. However, if Green's recovery is reassuring the Bengals may go against their own rule this week against the Steelers in a game they have to win to keep playoff hopes alive. Green has said he won't return until he's fully healthy and he remains questionable at best. But there's a chance we see Green back in a limited role this week. That's good for his outlook, but not exactly someone you want in your lineup, especially for $7,400. 

Result: Fade

Randall Cobb, GB (high ankle sprain). At best right now, Cobb is a game time decision for this week's game at Chicago. Weather is supposed to be brutal, which may be reason enough to let him continue to heal for another week. Even if he played he would likely be limited on the field and not someone we would want to invest a lineup spot on. 

Result: Fade

Michael Thomas, NO (foot). Like Cobb, Thomas is a game time decision for this week at Arizona. At least he'll have better weather to contend with. Thomas was able to get a limited practice in on Wednesday, which is a good sign. He won't shed the game time decision label unless he gets a full practice in on Thursday or Friday. For now, shy away from Thomas

Resut: Fade

Donte Moncrief, IND (hamstring) - Moncrief did not practice on Wednesday or Thursday and is looking more and more like a scratch for Week 15. Hamstring injuries are known to linger if not given enough time to heal, even low-grade. The Colts could sure use him, however a setback would be costly. Ultimately one game missed is better than half a game played and two more missed. 

Result: Fade

Dez Bryant, DAL (back), Amari Cooper, OAK (shoulder), Sammy Watkins, (foot), Larry Fitzgerald, (knee), Michael Crabtree, OAK (finger), Tyrell Williams, SD (shoulder), Stefon Diggs, MIN (knee), Jordan Matthews, PHI (knee), Quincy Enunwa, NYJ (ribs), J.J. Nelson, ARI (knee), Brandon LaFell, CIN (knee) - All are expected to play this week despite being listed on the injury report for various ailments. 

Result: Trust

Brandon Marshall, NYJ (knee, foot) Is expected to play, but don't be surprised to see his role reduced some after he mentioned to reporters on Thursday that he will be on a snap count. That's not good news for strong fantasy production. Even though he should play, he's not the best option this week. 

Result: Fade

Torrey Smith, SF (concussion), Smith is not expected to play this week. Hehas not practiced and has not cleared the concussion protocol yet. 

Result: Fade
 

TIGHT END

Jordan Reed, WAS (shoulder) - Reed is still dealing with a high grade AC sprain that can be a very painful injury, despite being able to receive full or close to full range of motion in the shoulder. Reed played only 10 snaps last week and had one catch on one target for 10 yards. His status will be blind heading into Sunday's schedule of games, due to Washington playing on Monday night.  Unless he's more positive on Friday and Saturday, you may want to hold back on Reed as a high dollar tight end to target for your lineup this week. Until he shows it on the field, it's just to risky to assume you can trust him. 

Result: Fade

Eric Ebron, DET (knee) Charles Clay, BUF (knee), Dwayne Allen, IND (shoulder). All three are on the injury report, but it's looking like all three will be able to play. Allen has long been a player who is slow to return from injury, so it would not be a surprise to see him inactive or limited in snaps if he is active. 

Result: Trust, but take caution on Dwayne Allen

Jared Cook, GB (chest/lung contusion) - Cook practiced on Wednesday, which is a good sign for him playing this week. The early guess is that he'll play, especially if he continues to practice Thursday and Friday. 

Result: Trust

C.J. Fiedorowicz, HOU (concussion) Fiedorowicz did not practice on Wednesday or Thursday, which is not good news for him to be cleared in time to play this week. For now, stay away. 

Result: Fade

 

Questions, suggestions and comments are always welcome to haseley@footballguys.com