It was the week before Christmas and not a single creature moved around the house because he was too busy checking his iPhone for the status of his most sacred fantasy stars.
The fantasy playoffs are coming to an end. Leagues across the country advance to the semi-finals and finals. The best would be the involvement of key NFL players. But across the league, the combination of injury and COVID has made prominent players inaccessible.
Lumps of coal are especially dark in Tampa Bay, where the pirates are suddenly faced with a pandemic of injuries that threatens their chances of winning the Super Bowl.
The most serious injury came from long-range receiver Chris Godwin, who will miss the remainder of the season with a knee injury. WR Mike Evans counts week after week, and the reanimated RB Leonard Fournett may be missing out for a while too.
This is bad news for pirates, but can be fatal for fantasy connoisseurs who need immediate help.
On the other hand, RB Ronald Jones and Antonio Brown may be accessible to people who don’t care, say, about the authenticity of player vaccination cards.
Outside of Tampa Bay, other key players have become risky prospects for the holiday week:
Travis Kelsey (Chiefs TE) – The world’s greatest tight end, which reminded the world of its status in Los Angeles last week, is on the COVID list and may miss Sunday’s match with Pittsburgh. You should wait until the last second before throwing it. But we are expecting to be abandoned, you must.
Austin Ekeler (Chargers RB) – It’s the same with the best running back in Los Angeles. This is especially painful since Los Angeles will meet the Texans on Sunday. But that could make Justin Jackson or Joshua Kelly much more attractive as a late replacement.
Joe Mixon (Bengals RB) –Mixon injured his ankle in the Bengals’ win in Denver last week. But both Cincinnati and fantasy people can adequately replace him with Samaj Perin. While this isn’t a perfect match against Baltimore, Perin isn’t a chopped liver.
Lamar Jackson (Ravens QB) A big injury problem in Bengals-Ravens is Baltimore’s stuck quarterback status. Closely monitor the condition of his injured ankle. If # 8 looks like it won’t be available this week, check out our Deepest Sleeper immediately later in this column.
Julio Jones (Titans WR) “The Loop finished well this year in our league, in part due to the meager contributions of this frontier hall of fame, which returned briefly last week before getting hurt again. Can A.J. Brown quickly return to Tennessee? We wait with bated breath.
Green Bay will have so many defenders in the box on Christmas night that it could be a tough night for Cleveland St. Cleveland. Nick Chubb… … If Kyler Murray looked so pathetic against the background of the modest Lviv that we would not count on him in the match against Indianapolis, eager for the playoffs. … New England will not oppose Buffalo’s defenses, whether there is still a stormy wind this week or not, so keep going Mac Jones and company … … Protecting Chicago that made the Vikings look so ordinary on Monday night will help continue Russell Wilson abyss. … Dallas Duck Prescott was mostly ineffective against Washington two weeks ago, so expect a repeat at Jerryworld this week. … Other QBs likely to hit the ground this week are the Pittsburgh Ben Rotlisberger against Kansas City and Miami Tua Tagovailoa against the suddenly stingy Saints.
Plunger receiver Cooper Kupp made his way to MVP this season and the Vikings will probably understand why. … 49ers will continue to produce Dibo Samuel a multi-position threat Thursday night against Tennessee. … Leonard Fournett hamstring injury suddenly makes Tampa Bay RB Ronald Jones the obligatory start of the last two weeks of the fantasy playoffs. … Speaking of multidimensional dudes, Atlanta Cordarrell Patterson will bring back some of his recent brilliance against Detroit. … The closest fight between the Jets and the Jaguars will be fertile ground for their two running stars: James robinson and Michael Carter… … The NFL’s Biggest Secret, Raiders WR Hunter Renfrow, will publish larger numbers compared to Denver. … And the two QBs set to go big this week are the Chargers’ Justin Herbert against Houston and Philadelphia Jalen Hurts against the giants.
Vikings could really use return Adam Thielen for their critical play against battering rams. Late Monday night, he played against Chicago. … San Francisco may have to do without the rookie running back. Elijah Mitchell at least another week. … Tennessee is really needed D’onta foreman continue your fake Derrick Henry personification, because the last is still far away. … Giants Sterling Shepard Last week, his disappointing season ended with a ruptured Achilles tendon. Best recipients Tyreek hill and Tyler Lockett got on the COVID list. … The long list of dubious ones includes the defenders (Aaron Rogers, Baker Mayfield), runners (Sakwon Barkley, Aaron Jones, James Conner, Damien Harris), wide receivers (Mike Evans, Antonio Brown) and several tight ends (Darren Waller, Zach Ertz, Pat Freyermouth).
THE DEEPEST SLEEP
Caveat: first you MUST make sure that Lamar Jackson too injured to play this week for Baltimore against Cincinnati. If this is confirmed, then you should take a backup copy of it, Tyler Huntleythat gave Jackson a bit of a thrill last Sunday against the Packers. The former Utah Utah player either doesn’t have any fantasy this week or he could be a playoff winner. How many other rejected guys recently posted games with four touchdowns (2 passes, 2 runs)?
CHOICE OF THURSDAY
49ers in Titans (+ 3½):
To choose: Titans 3
Browns at Packers (-7½):
To choose: Packers of 11
Colts at the Cardinals (-1½):
To choose: Colts by 3
We’ll be updating our column based on the latest injuries and hints right up to the start of Sunday. Go to TwinCities.com/theloop.
You can hear Kevin Cusick on Wednesdays on Bob Sansever’s BS Show podcast on iTunes. You can follow Kevin on Twitter – @theloopnow… You can reach him at [email protected].