The Sunday portion of Week 16 in the NFL is just about a wrap. We still have the primetime games to get to but it’s never too early to start scouring the waiver wires in fantasy football for replacements for injured starters.
As with every week in the NFL, key skill position players are going to go down with an injury. Some may step right back onto the field soon while others will miss time. When one guy goes down, an opportunity opens up for someone else to fill the gap. We’re currently in a unique space as the situation with COVID has been unpredictable. For now, we’ll just stick with players who have suffered on-field injuries. Most leagues are entering either the semifinal or championship rounds, so these could be the most important transactions you’ll make all season long.
Below is a rundown of notable skill position injuries, and who stands to benefit as you consider what to do with your waiver wire priority. We’ll offer updates on each injury as new information comes along this week.
James Robinson, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars
James Robinson’s season is done. The dynamic second-year running back tore his Achilles in Sunday’s loss to the Jets, officially sidelining him for the Jags’ final two games of the year and creating a long road to recovery for next season.
Desperate managers with no other choice will have to turn to backup Dare Ogunbowale (0% ESPN and Yahoo) as a substitute. He had a decent time filling in for J-Rob on Sunday, taking 17 carries for 57 rushing yards and a touchdown and also caught two passes for 15 receiving yards. Tavon Austin (0%ESPN and Yahoo) is also good to scrape together a handful of carries receiving targets every game.
Miles Sanders, RB, Philadelphia Eagles
Miles Sanders left Sunday’s game against the Giants with a hand injury, missing out on the second half of the 34-10 blowout. It was a shame considering that he really started to get his footing on the ground over the last three weeks.
If Sanders were to miss time, Jordan Howard (17% Yahoo/9% ESPN) would be a decent substitute. He had 37 rushing yards and 19 receiving yards in the win and before Sunday, he was netting fantasy managers 10.5 fantasy points per game in PPR leagues. However, Howard exited the game as well with a stinger so if he misses time, to turn Boston Scott (17% Yahoo/9% ESPN).
Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB, Kansas City Chiefs
The second-year back out of LSU exited the third quarter of Sunday’s game against the Steelers with a collarbone injury. He contributed to the blowout with 27 rushing yards and a touchdown.
If you’re feeling lucky, you can see if Darrel Williams (61% ESPN/60% Yahoo) is still available on your waiver wire. If not, Derrick Gore (2% Yahoo/1% ESPN) could be a decent fantasy option if given more opportunities.
Jack Doyle, TE, Indianapolis Colts
Jack Doyle exited the Colts’ 22-16 victory over the Cardinals on Saturday, not registering a single catch before leaving him with no targets for the Christmas night matchup. He entered Week 16 as the 25th rated tight end in fantasy, averaging 5.5 fantasy points per game in PPR leagues.
Mo Alie-Cox (3% Yahoo/2%ESPN) is the obvious replacement here. He’s numbers have sagged down the stretch but he still ended up with two receptions for 42.
Stefon Diggs, WR, Buffalo Bills
Stefon Diggs suffered a shoulder injury in the team’s 33-21 victory at the Patriots on Sunday. The All-Pro wideout played through the pain and was still effective, catching seven passes for 85 yards and a touchdown.
If this ailment forces him out of next week’s game against the Falcons, you could always look into Emmanuel Sanders (50% ESPN and Yahoo), who is the 43rd rated receiver and netting fantasy managers 9.8 fantasy points per game in PPR leagues.