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Football Daily Dose

The COVID Apocalypse, Other Tuesday Notes

by Jack Miller
Updated On: December 15, 2021, 12:07 pm ET

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I basically start this article with the same refrain every week: Tuesday isn't the most eventful day for football purposes, but let's still look at what happened around the league. Unfortunately, the beginning of this week has been highly eventful, as a plethora of players have been placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list. The fantasy football playoffs start this week in most leagues, and numerous fantasy-relevant players are at risk of not playing. Without any further ado, let's recap Tuesday's happenings.

Odell Beckham Placed on COVID List
Less than a day after hauling in six balls for 77 yards and a touchdown on Monday Night Football, the Rams placed WR Odell Beckham on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Beckham was highly involved in his third game as a Ram, running 30 routes on 33 Matthew Stafford dropbacks and finishing second on the team in targets.

Beckham actually tested positive for COVID-19, so he technically could play on Sunday if he magically records two negative tests 24 hours apart, but that seems highly unlikely. If he's out, Van Jefferson will be in the flex conversation as the clear WR2 opposite Cooper Kupp.

Per ESPN's Adam Schefter, the Rams have closed their facilities and entered the NFL's intensive testing protocols because of how many players they have in COVID protocols.

 

 

Jarvis Landry on COVID List
Beckham's former Browns teammate Jarvis Landry was also sent to the reserve/COVID-19 list on Tuesday – along with seven other Cleveland players, including Austin Hooper, Jedrick Wills, and Wyatt Teller. It's not a pretty situation for the Browns, who were also forced into the NFL's intensive protocols this week. That's especially notable considering the Browns have a short week before playing the Raiders on Saturday. All signs are that the league will not intervene and postpone the game as they did last year, so the Browns could be woefully shorthanded for a pivotal late-season battle against Las Vegas.

 

 

Donovan Peoples-Jones would inherit a larger role if Landry is unavailable in Week 15. Baker Mayfield's pass-catching weapons could be severely depleted if Landry, Hooper, and Kareem Hunt (who is currently injured) are all out. Expect a healthy dose of Nick Chubb against a pedestrian Raiders run defense.

Testing Confirms Torn ACL for Logan Thomas
Washington TE Logan Thomas is out for the year with a torn ACL. John Bates and Ricky Seals-Jones will fill in behind him. Seals-Jones was the clear lead tight end when Thomas missed time earlier this year, but then he got hurt, allowing Bates to step into a prominent role. With both healthy in Week 14, Bates played 48-of-68 snaps, while Seals-Jones played 31. Bates also ran 27 routes to Seals-Jones' 17. It warrants monitoring whether RSJ takes on a larger pass-catching role as he gets further removed from his injury; after all, Seals-Jones was the TE2 earlier this year and has more of a receiving background than Bates. However, Bates appears to have the edge at the moment, but neither can be trusted for fantasy purposes. Leave both Washington tight ends on the waiver wire.

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Bucs Send Giovani Bernard to Injured Reserve
The Buccaneers placed RB Giovani Bernard on injured reserve on Tuesday afternoon, which will effectively end his season for fantasy purposes. This actually doesn't move the needle all that much in the Bucs' backfield, as Leonard Fournette had already surpassed Bernard for passing-down work, and Bernard wasn't a threat to Ronald Jones' change-of-pace rushing role. This means Ke'Shawn Vaughn should be the RB3 in Tampa Bay for the foreseeable future. Fournette remains an RB1 and Jones is the guy behind him.

Chargers Activate Keenan Allen From COVID List
The Chargers activated WR Keenan Allen from the COVID list on Tuesday, meaning he will be good to go when Los Angeles faces the Chiefs in a pivotal divisional showdown on Thursday night. Allen has only one game with fewer than eight targets this season and is entrenched as a must-start fantasy option for the fantasy playoffs, especially in a game in which the Chargers may need to throw in order to keep up with Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs. Mike Williams falls back into WR2 territory, while Josh Palmer and Jalen Guyton fall off the fantasy radar completely. Allen could be in for even more looks than usual if Austin Ekeler is out, but the star running back appears questionable at the moment. If Ekeler is out, Allen would have a monopoly on low-aDOT targets.

"Time Running Out" for Daniel Jones to Return This Year
Giants QB Daniel Jones still has not been cleared to return from his neck injury, which makes it a longshot for him to suit up in Week 15. According to beat writer Jordan Raanan, New York is hoping Jones can return this year, but – in Raanan's words – "time is running out." Mike Glennon will continue to start in the meantime. Glennon has failed to top 191 yards in either of his starts and is averaging a horrific 4.7 yards per attempt. All Giants skill-position players should be downgraded as long as Jones is out – and it seems like he might be done for the year.

Mac Jones Limited with a Thumb Injury
Patriots QB Mac Jones was limited at Tuesday's practice with a thumb injury. The Pats play the Colts on Saturday in an important matchup for AFC seeding purposes. Jones doesn't seem like he's at risk of missing the game right now, but it's worth keeping an eye on practice reports over the next few days just to be sure.

Austin Ekeler and Mike Williams Both Limited on Tuesday
Austin Ekeler and Mike Williams were both limited at practice on Tuesday. This is a slight upgrade after neither practiced on Monday, but it doesn't mean they're in the clear, especially with Los Angeles having a short week before facing Kansas City on Thursday. Chargers coach Brandon Staley has said that Ekeler's injury is not serious, and Williams played on Sunday, so neither seems like a long-term deal, but that's not much of a stress reliever for fantasy managers whose playoffs begin on Thursday. Teams with Ekeler and Williams will need to follow injury reports closely leading up to Thursday night. If Ekeler plays, he's a locked-and-loaded RB1 as usual. Williams is in the WR2 or flex mix with Keenan Allen back off the COVID list.

Jack Miller

Jack Miller is a fantasy football and prop betting analyst for NBC Sports EDGE and Establish The Run. You can find him on Twitter @JackMiller02.