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Week 17 injury watch: Drew Brees and other stars to sit out finale

  • By Jason B. Hirschhorn
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Most fantasy leagues have concluded their championship already, preferring to avoid the wave of precautionary DNPs that typically accompany the final week of the year. Still, some leagues still schedule through the season finale, making Week 17 a minefield for all involved. 2018 appears no different, with several key players sitting as their teams have already locked in their playoff seeding. Those absences come on top of those caused by significant injuries.

Bengals: Tyler Boyd (knee) - The Bengals ruled out Tyler Boyd for the second consecutive week, ending his season. The team already lost top wideout A.J. Green earlier in the season as well as starting quarterback Andy Dalton. Cincinnati closes out the year against the Steelers.

Buccaneers: DeSean Jackson (Achilles) - DeSean Jackson didn't practice this week and will probably sit for the Buccaneers' season finale. Given the emergence of Chris Godwin as a downfield threat, Jackson might have already played his final down for Tampa Bay. The team can release him with no cap penalty this offseason.

Chiefs: Spencer Ware (hamstring), Sammy Watkins (foot) - Spencer Ware, officially questionable, has a realistic chance to return from a multi-game hiatus. The Chiefs have featured Damien Williams during that absence and Ware's workload seems likely to fall as a result. Meanwhile, Sammy Watkins will miss another game as he recovers from his foot injury.

Colts: Eric Ebron (concussion), T.Y. Hilton (ankle) - Eric Ebron still needs to clear the concussion protocol to play Sunday, but he has returned to practice. That development suggests that medical clearance could realistically happen before game day. At wideout, T.Y. Hilton battled through his injury last week and produced seven catches for 138 yards. While the Colts have listed him as questionable this week, expect Hilton to suit up for a make-or-break season finale.

Giants: Odell Beckham Jr. (quad) - The Giants have ruled out Odell Beckham for Week 17, the fourth consecutive week the wideout will miss with his quad injury. Beckham finishes 2018 with 77 catches for 1,052 yards and six touchdowns, all career lows for a season in which he played at least five games.

Jaguars: Leonard Fournette (ankle, foot) - Officially doubtful, Leonard Fournette will probably sit out the final week of the Jaguars' lost 2018 season. Barring an unforeseen development, Fournette will finish the year with 133 carries for 439 rushing yards (3.3 average) and five touchdowns.

Lions: Kenny Golladay (Chest) - Officially questionable for the second straight week, Kenny Golladay practiced Thursday and Friday in a limited capacity. The second-year receiver has yet to miss a game this season, so fantasy managers should feel fairly good about him entering the weekend.

Packers: Davante Adams (knee), Randall Cobb (concussion) - One catch short of the Packers' single-season reception record, Davante Adams stands a good chance of playing through his questionable tag. Even if Adams sits, Green Bay will see Randall Cobb return after the veteran wideout cleared the concussion protocol earlier this week.

Rams: Todd Gurley (knee) - Todd Gurley didn't practice all week, so it comes as no shock that the Rams decided to sit the star running back. If Los Angeles takes care of business against the 49ers, Gurley will not have to see the field again until the divisional round of the playoffs.

Saints: Drew Brees (knee) - Saints head coach Sean Payton revealed that, with the team already locked into the No. 1 seed in the NFC, Drew Brees will sit out the season finale. That means that former first-round pick Teddy Bridgewater will start in Brees' place. Certainly, this development will impact the fantasy output of Michael Thomas, Alvin Kamara and the other New Orleans skill-position stars.

Steelers: Antonio Brown (knee), James Conner (ankle) - Antonio Brown's availability looks dicey after popping up on the injury report this week. The Steelers say brown will undergo further tests on his knee to determine his status. On the other end of the injury spectrum, James Conner looks like a strong candidate to suit up after practicing in full throughout the week. Given the dire state of the Steelers' season, it would take a massive setback to keep Conner off the field Sunday.

Titans: Marcus Mariota (stringer) - It remains unclear whether Marcus Mariota can play through his latest injury, though he practiced Thursday and Friday. With the playoffs on the line, the Titans can ill afford to play without their franchise quarterback. Blaine Gabbert would start if Mariota lands on the inactive list.