Week 14: Injury Update
The oft injured 24 year old RB was a waiver wire darling following his week 11 explosion against a very forgiving Carolina defense. In week 11, Kevin Smith exploded for 200 total yards and three touchdowns and got the start on Thanksgiving, but his tenure as the lead back was short lived after he suffered a sprained ankle that forced him to the sidelines in the first quarter. Smith returned in week 13 and amassed 80 yards on just 12 carries despite reinjuring the ankle, leaving him questionable at best for a week 14 match-up with a solid Minnesota run defense. Maurice Morris is worth considering in PPR leagues (14 catches for 128 yards over the past two games).
Gary Kubiak has to be a candidate for coach of the year as the Texans are all but assured of winning the division, despite a myriad of injuries. QB Matt Schaub and DE Mario Williams have been lost for the year and WR Andre Johnson just can't seem to stay healthy. In week 13, Johnson suffered yet another hamstring injury and he's very questionable for week 14 (missed Wednesday practice). AJ missed 6 games with a right hamstring injury, but the injury to his left hamstring is not considered to be as serious. He's expected to be a game time decision, but the 9-3 Texans will be very cautious in hopes of having Johnson 100% for the playoffs. Jacoby Jones and Kevin Walter alternated productive fantasy games and Owen Daniels saw the greatest increase in targets during Johnson's previous absence. Expect a heavy dose of Foster and Ben Tate for the remainder of the season. Johnson signed a 6-year, $63 million contract last August and the Texans would be wise to give him the needed rest to ensure a productive playoffs (not music to fantasy owners ears).
Maclin suffered multiple injuries, including a separated shoulder and hamstring strain, in week 10 and has missed the past three games. The 3rd year WR from Missouri is averaging 68 YPG with four TDs, and was expected to practice Wednesday and return to the lineup for the week 14 game in Miami. Maclin owners will be forced to stay on top of practice reports and his return would make Riley Cooper waiver wire material.