After an injury riddled Week 14, where a dozen fantasy football superstars went down, Week 15 was a bit kinder to us in terms of volume. But for some teams, the significance was just as bad. Two players inside the top five for their position, Dalvin Cook and Chris Godwin, couldn’t finish their games on Sunday. While the outlook is a bit more positive for the Vikings running back, there seems to be no hope for the Buccaneers receiver to get on the field in Week 16.
Our usual format this season has been to discuss each player and the length of time they’ll be out. With only one week left in the most fantasy seasons, our list is much shorter. Let’s get to it.
Won’t see them again in 2019
Chris Godwin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, hamstring
An absolutely incredible season for the Tampa Bay wide receiver has come to an end in the worst of ways. Godwin suffered a hamstring injury against the Lions and had to be carted off the field. Head coach Bruce Arians admitted the injury “doesn’t look good” and odds are we’ve seen the last of the Buccaneers playmaker in 2019.
Fantasy Impact: Godwin was having a third-year breakout campaign to end all third-year breakout campaigns. There are still two more games on the schedule but if the season ended after Week 15, Godwin would finish second in touchdowns with nine, second in yards with 1,333 and fifth in catches with 86. Considering he won’t play out the year, he’ll surely get passed in a few of those categories, but his current standing puts things in perspective for how miraculous he performed in 2019. With Godwin and Mike Evans out of the lineup, look for quarterback Jameis Winston to target receiver Breshad Perriman (five catches, 113 yards, three touchdowns in Week 15) and tight end O.J. Howard (led the team in Week 15 with eight targets). The Buccaneers receiving corps is full of injuries, as Scotty Miller also went down with a hamstring injury in Week 15.
Praying/hoping we see them in Week 16
Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings, shoulder
A shoulder injury in Week 13 caused massive panic for the Vikings, and anyone with the Minnesota running back on their fantasy teams. But somehow Cook was able to play through the pain in Week 14. Unfortunately, he aggravated the injury this past Sunday, once again causing chaos in fantasy football matchups. The Vikings’ superstar reinjured his left shoulder right before halftime and didn’t return to the game. Head coach Mike Zimmer told reporters Cook’s injury “feels good today” giving hope to all who have the dynamic back on their squad and are looking to start him in their championship.
Fantasy Impact: Trailing only Christian McCaffrey for most fantasy points by a running back, Cook is tied for the second-most touchdowns with 13 and he’s seventh in the league in rushing yards with 1,135. If he’s unable to play, it creates a massive hole in all fantasy lineups, considering he was averaging 17.4 fantasy points per game. The Vikings’ second-string running back Alexander Mattison was inactive in Week 15 due to an ankle injury, which opened the door for Mike Boone to score two touchdowns with Cook out of action. If both Mattison and Cook are unable to play, Boone and perhaps a sprinkle of Ameer Abdullah would lineup in the Minnesota backfield.
Might be playing but can they be trusted?
Adam Thielen, Minnesota Vikings, hamstring
Injured way back in Week 7, Thielen had a long road to recovery but finally made it back on the field after missing four games (five if you include Week 9 where he had zero catches and aggravated his hamstring and six if you include the team’s bye week). That’s a pretty lengthy absence. But if you held onto the Minnesota playmaker this long, you might have felt obligated to start him once it was announced he would play in Week 15. That decision would have cost you major points as Thielen caught just three passes for 27 yards.
Fantasy Impact: Thielen and the Vikings take on the Packers on Monday Night Football, the final game of fantasy football championship weekend. Luckily the veteran pass-catcher didn’t suffer a setback and should be much closer to 100% compared to Week 15. When Thielen faced off against Green Bay earlier this year, he caught five passes for 75 yards.
Damien Williams, Kansas City Chiefs, ribs
It looked like Williams would be able to return to action in Week 15 after a few limited sessions in practice, but Sunday rolled around and Williams was declared inactive. The Chiefs rusher hasn’t played since Week 11 when he injured his ribs against the Chargers.
Fantasy Impact: Kansas City is using a committee when it comes to their backfield, which has limited the production and consistency for Williams and LeSean McCoy. While Williams has been sidelined, the Chiefs used rookie Darwin Thompson along with McCoy. However, once Williams returns, Thompson will lose the very small amount of fantasy relevance he possessed. As for using Williams in Week 16, even if he’s active the Chiefs will take on a Bears defense that is in the top 10 for least amount of rushing yards allowed.
TY Hilton, Indianaplis Colts, calf
Hilton missed five of the Colts’ last six games, but was active in Week 15 for the first time since Week 12. Quarterback Jacoby Brissett didn’t hesitate to target Hilton against the Saints, sending nine passes in the receiver’s direction. But Hilton came away with just four catches for 25 yards. Certainly not a stat line that boost’s ones confidence for Week 16.
Fantasy Impact: Perhaps the silver lining is Hilton’s matchup against the Panthers, who allow the fourth-most fantasy points and second-most yards to opposing wide receivers. With just two games in their last six with more than 17 points, the Colts are desperate for a spark on offense and Hilton could be that match.
D.J. Chark, Jacksonville Jaguars, ankle
Tied for third among all wide receivers in the league with eight touchdowns, Chark missed the team’s Week 15 matchup against the Raiders. Despite sporting a walking boot earlier last week, Chark still traveled with the team, which is a bit unusual for a player who was ruled out the Friday before the game. The good news for Chark is that coach Doug Marrone confirmed the receiver can now run and cut on grass, but there’s been no word on his expected practice availability for the rest of the week.
Fantasy Impact: Entering the season as a late-round flyer or perhaps a first-week pickup, Chark has ben one of the most consistent receivers in football. He’s averaging 11.2 fantasy points on a per game basis in the non-PPR format which is a pretty significant void to fill. But Marrone said Chark has now shed the boot and began running and cutting, which at least helps the rest of us hold out some hope for the third-year receiver.