LeSean McCoy RB, Bills – Start
LeSean McCoy appears to be dealing with a sore knee that had him limited in practice on Wednesday. The injury actually happened last week during Thursday practice. He didn’t practice on Friday but went on to not only play in Sunday’s matchup against the Colts but to dominate. He was on the field for 50 snaps and was able to carry the ball 32 times for 156 yards and a touchdown. And this was in a blisteringly cold game with snow was covering the field. In more favorable conditions, he may have been able to do even better. While he isn’t a shoo-in for a great game, he will almost certainly play.
Jordy Nelson WR, Packers – Start
With the return of Aaron Rodgers also comes the return of Jordy Nelson’s fantasy value. Nelson has not surpassed 35 yards receiving since Week 6, when Rodgers went down with a clavicle fracture. He also does not have a touchdown in that stretch. But Rodgers is back, and Nelson is his favorite target. If you have the luxury of a deep wide receiver corps on your roster, hold off for one more week to see how Rodgers and Nelson look. But if not, you can safely plug Nelson back into Fantasy lineups in Week 15.
Cam Newton QB, Panthers – Cautious Start
Cam Newton has been dealing with a thumb strain the last couple weeks, and it has caused him to be limited in Wednesday’s practice. While the injury is bothersome, it does not appear that it will keep him out of the game. He was able to start with the same injury last week, and while he was less than his normal self, he was still able to put up a decent number. His thumb will continue to bother him through the regular season, but we can only imagine it will get better. With another week of rest behind him, and going against a worse than average Packers defense, he should be able to put up numbers that would warrant starting him on most teams.
Aaron Rodgers QB, Packers – Cautious Start
The other quarterback in this week’s Panthers-Packers matchup is Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers has been missing for weeks due to a broken collarbone, but he has been cleared to play this week. He has had full practices on Wednesday and Thursday, and all signs are pointing to him starting this Sunday. Word is that Rodgers has looked great in practice this week. In theory, he should be able to transfer that to the game. But he will be going against a solid Panthers pass defense that ranks seventh in passing yards per game allowed. Rodgers is certainly one of the best quarterbacks around, but he has been off the field for months, and even he can get rusty. Rodgers has a lot of upside, but some teams might find their other quarterback less risky.
Leonard Fournette RB, Jaguars – Risky Start
Leonard Fournette has been dealing with injuries all year, and you can now add another one to the list. On top of the ankle and foot injuries he has been playing through for the past few months, you can now add a quad injury to the medley of ailments he is dealing with. While the injury may not be huge, it was large enough to keep him out of practice on Wednesday and Thursday.
Fournette was already less effective playing through his foot and ankle injuries (after averaging 4.6 yards per carry in the first six weeks, he has averaged only 3.2 in the last five weeks). This might be the straw that broke the camel’s back; the injury that finally makes him lose all effectiveness. I would wait until next week to play Fournette, after you see how the injury affects him this week, that is, if you can afford to.
Other Notable Injuries:
Alvin Kamara RB, NO – Healthy Start
Jerick McKinnon RB, MIN – Cautious Start
Jimmy Graham TE, SEA – Cautious Start
Giovani Bernard RB, CIN – Cautious Start
Robert Woods WR, LAR – Cautious Start
Adam Thielen WR, MIN – Risky Start
Kelvin Benjamin WR, BUF – Risky Start
Kyle Rudolph TE, MIN – Sit
Tevin Coleman RB, ATL – Sit
Adrian Peterson RB, ARI – Sit
Amari Cooper WR, Raiders – Sit
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