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Tunnel Vision of Week 15 – The Huddle

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QB Teddy Bridgewater – Head
RB Joe Mixon – Ankle
RB Leonard Fournette – Hamstring
WR Chris Godwin – Knee
WR Mike Evans – Hamstring
WR Julio Jones – Hamstring
WR Tajae Sharpe – Foot
WR Sterling Shepard – Torn Achilles
WR Rondale Moore – Ankle
TE Pat Freiermuth – Concussion
PK Zane Gonzalez – Quad
QB Teddy Bridgewater (DEN) – Was carted from the field and sent to the hospital after suffering a  neck/head injury in the loss to the Bengals. While HC Vic Fangio said that Bridgewater “checked out good,” he remained in the hospital overnight to be observed. Drew Lock replaced him  and will again at the Raiders if Bridgewater doesn’t return.
RB Joe Mixon (CIN) – He entered the win over the Broncos already banged up and then left later when his left leg was rolled up, and  he injured his ankle. HC Zac Taylor did not give a post-game update. His status should be known on Monday and the Bengals need him for their matchup with the Ravens this week. He may have just reaggravated his previous sprain.
WR Julio Jones (TEN) – His first season with the Titans is a bust. Now he left the loss to the Steelers with a hamstring injury before recording a catch.  He just returned from injured reserve last week and hasn’t been a factor since Week 2 anyway.
WR Sterling Shepard (NYG) – Tore his Achilles and is gone for the season. Given the constant stream of injuries to the Giants’ wideouts and the level of quarterbacking, there is no other receiver worth grabbing.
RB Leonard Fournette (TB) – Injured his hamstring and left the matchup with the Saints. Ronald Jones becomes a must-own if Fournette misses any time since the Bucs final three games are against the Panthers (twice) and the Jets.
Buccaneers wideouts – Mike Evans (hamstring) and Chris Godwin (knee) left the matchup with the Saints. Initial speculation is that Godwin has a sprained MCL and will be back.  The severity of Evans’ hamstring strain will be determined.  Antonio Brown has served his most recent suspension and will rejoin the team this week. He’ll be immediately returned to the field if either Evans or Godwin misses any time with their injuries.
For the first time ever, there are still four games left to play.
TE Hunter Henry (NE) – Henry already scored seven touchdowns on the year but had been quiet in the last three games. Against the Colts in a game when the Pats couldn’t win by rushing and good defense, Henry delivered six receptions for 77 yards and two scores for a season-best.
WR Gabriel Davis (BUF) – The Bills’ wideout just pulled the hat trick. After scoring against the Pats and Buccaneers in the two previous games, he led the Bills with five catches for 85 yards and two scores. Emmanuel Sanders’ absence hasn’t hurt Davis but he was already scoring before Sanders was hurt in Week 14.
RB Devin Singletary (BUF) – The Bills backfield is always among one of the least productive but they’ve settled on Singletary as the primary rusher. He comes off a season-high 22 carries for 86 yards and a score on the Panthers and he added a ten-yard catch. Matt Breida was the only other running back and he ran just once.
RB Chase Edmonds (ARI) – First game back from injured reserve and the “other half” of the Cardinals’ backfield  ran six times for 53 yards against eight rushes for 39 yards by James Conner. That split the backfield that Conner has owned in recent weeks. Conner caught two passes for 31 yards while Edmonds failed to catch his only target. The game did not go as planned, so the ratios are not set in stone. But so far, Edmonds reduced Conner’s fantasy value without creating much of his own.
RB Craig Reynolds (DET) – The undrafted practice-squad call-up surprised in Week 14 when he ran for 83 yards on 11 carries in Denver. He followed that with 26 carries for 112 yards in the improbable win over the Cardinals.  D’Andre Swift takes over whenever he returns, but Reynolds deserves a spot on the bench, not the practice squad after two impressive performances.
WR Amon-Ra St. Brown (DET) – The Lions’ rookie gets better and better. After recording over 70 yards for the last two weeks, St. Brown turned in a season-high 90 yards and a score on eight catches.  Josh Reynolds (6-68, TD) also looks better back with Jared Goff and not many people can say that.
WR Brandin Cooks (HOU) –  The Texans’ only weapon served up a season-high seven catches for 102 yards and two touchdowns in the win over the Jaguars. He caught eight passes for 101 yards last week versus the Seahawks. This coincided with Davis Mills being re-installed as the starting quarterback. Deshaun Watson is gone next year, but do the Texans need  to address quarterback? Lots of needs, Mills seems to be improving.
RB James Robinson (JAC) – The Jaguars’ passing offense remains weak in the Post-Meyer era, but at least Robinson is back to business with 18 rushes for 75 yards and a touchdown in the loss to the Texans.  Robinson added three catches for 13 yards as well.
RB Michael Carter (NYJ) – Returned from injured reserve but a disappointing eight runs for 18 yards in the loss to the Dolphins. Tevin Coleman (8-50) ran better and even Austin Walter had two carries. Carter had just gotten the backfield to use him as a primary back but his return created just another three-man committee.
RB Duke Johnson (MIA) – His first action as a Dolphin was in Week 11 when he rushed for  18 yards on four runs. Myles Gaskin was on the COVID list but returned in time to play the Jets. He gained 54 yards on ten carries versus the worst defense against running backs in the NFL, maybe the entire world. But Johnson ran for 107 yards and two scores on 22 carries in a career-best performance. It was his first-ever 100-yard game. The most important word in all of this is “Jets”, but he’s added to one of the weakest backfields in the NFL. He’ll probably find it tougher this week at the Saints.
RB D’Onta Foreman (TEN) – This is basically Duke Johnson on another team. Foreman ran for 108 yards on 22 carries at the Steelers and added 27 yards on two receptions. Dontrell Hilliard (9-49) and Jeremy McNichols (6-26) also mixed in as well, but Foreman’s been fantasy relevant for the last three games.
RB Jeff Wilson (SF) – Elijah Mitchell missed his fourth game of the season – starting to wonder about the whole “durability” thing – but a healthy Jeff Wilson ran for 110 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries versus the Falcons while Deebo Samuel only ran six times for 29 yards (and a touchdown, of course).  The problem with the 49ers isn’t a lack of talent, it is trying to guess which one goes off when they are all healthy. Fortunately, it’s been rare that all offensive stars are healthy in any given week.
QB Tyler Huntley (BAL) – The Ravens replacement quarterback did himself proud with 215 passing yards and two scores on the Packers, plus ran for 73 yards and two more touchdowns on his 13 runs. He led the Ravens on a comeback that could have tied the game had they not opted for the two-point play in an attempt to win outright. But everyone knew the pass would go to Mark Andrews and it was incomplete. But Huntley took over in Week 14 when Lamar Jackson was injured. He connected with Andrews for 115 yards on 11 catches with a touchdown. And this week as the starter, Andrews ended with ten  receptions for 136 yards and two touchdowns.
TE Travis Kelce (KC)  –  He cost a first-round pick in August Fantasy drafts. For fantasy owners in their playoffs, Kelce delivered everything that was hoped when he caught ten passes for 191 yards and two touchdowns in the win over the Chargers that produced 41 points in a reception-point league. He’ll be a first-rounder again next summer. And he’s a difference-maker in fantasy playoffs.
Salute!
Now get back to work…
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