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SHOW ME WHERE IT HURTS: Week 13 Injury Fallout

Here’s a list of all the fantasy-relevant Week 13 injuries, along with the fantasy impact:

Kalen Ballage, RB, Miami Dolphins

Ballage left Sunday’s game against the Eagles with a left leg injury in the second quarter. It appeared to be a non-contact injury, and he had to be taken to the locker room on a cart. He was officially listed as questionable to return, but he did not re-enter the game.

Impact

We don’t currently know the severity of Ballage’s injury, but the need for a cart suggests that it might be serious. With the trade of Kenyan Drake, the release of Mark Walton, and this injury to Ballage, the Dolphins might be down to rookies Patrick Laird and Myles Gaskin as their main ball carriers, although De’Lance Turner could also get some snaps. Based on Miami’s running back usage this season, Laird appears to be the team’s preferred option of the three. Although Laird managed only five yards on 10 carries against the Eagles, he caught four of five targets for 43 yards and also scored a rushing touchdown. With a slew of good matchups over the next three weeks, Laird’s pass-catching ability and potential increased workload could make him a solid flex option in PPR leagues down the stretch. If you need a running back, he’s worth a pickup.

 

Darrel Williams, RB, Kansas City Chiefs 

Williams left Sunday’s game against the Raiders with a hamstring injury in the third quarter. He suffered the injury on a carry to the outside, when his right leg appeared to give out without getting contacted. Williams was able to limp off the field under his own power, but he did not return to the game.

Impact

We don’t know much about Williams’ injury at this point, but non-contact hamstring injuries are often concerning. If this injury lingers into Week 14, then the Chiefs could be left with only LeSean McCoy and Darwin Thompson in their backfield, although it’s possible that Damien Williams returns from his rib injury or that Elijah McGuire gets called up from the practice squad. If both Damien Williams and Darrel Williams are out in Week 14, then McCoy would be a top-30 RB consideration, even in a difficult matchup against the Patriots. Thompson, who played well on Sunday, wouldn’t be startable against the Patriots, but he might be worth a stash if the injuries to the “Williams duo” keep them out long-term. However, if either of the Williams duo is able to return from his injury, then it would be best to avoid this backfield altogether.

 

Greg Olsen, TE, Carolina Panthers

Olsen left Sunday’s game against Washington with a head injury in the third quarter. He suffered the injury when he took a hard helmet-to-helmet hit from linebacker Ryan Anderson. He remained on the ground for some time before making his way to the sideline and eventually heading to the locker room. He did not return to the game, and he is now in the NFL’s concussion protocol.

Impact

Olsen will have to clear the concussion protocol in order to play in Week 14 against the Falcons, but considering the brutality of the hit, it’s unwise to count on that happening. If Olsen is unable to play in that game, then Chris Manhertz and Ian Thomas are both likely to get significant snaps. Thomas is an interesting dynasty prospect, but he has been out-snapped by Manhertz all season, which makes them both untrustworthy for fantasy purposes.

 

Baker Mayfield, QB, Cleveland Browns

Mayfield left Sunday’s game against the Steelers with a right (throwing) hand injury in the second quarter. He suffered the injury when his hand hit linebacker Bud Dupree’s helmet after a throw, and he missed the final two plays of the first half. Mayfield returned to the field at the start of the third quarter, and he played the remainder of the game with a glove on his hand. After the game, Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens said that Mayfield underwent X-rays at halftime, which were negative. Kitchens also described the injury as “a bruise.”

Impact

Mayfield’s ability to return to the game suggests that he’ll be able to play through his hand injury going forward, but you should still monitor his status in case the prognosis changes or the Browns decide to be cautious with their franchise quarterback. If Mayfield is sidelined for any period of time, then sixth-year quarterback Garrett Gilbert would become the starter. It’s impossible to know how Gilbert would play since he has only thrown four regular season passes in his career, but it’s safest to assume that he would be a significant downgrade. In this scenario, Odell Beckham and Jarvis Landry would have to be lowered from WR2 to WR3 territory.

About Jay Devineni

A journalist by trade, Jay is in St. Louis and still a loyal Rams fan. He earned a Master's Degree in Journalism from Columbia University and is a published sports writer.