For many fantasy football coaches, this week could be their last chance to make the fantasy playoffs. For others, it’s a chance to play with lineups and matchups and test the waters for the coming weeks. Unfortunately, several WRs are battling injuries in Week 14. Here are the latest updates on Puka Nacua, Noah Brown, and Zay Jones fantasy injuries.
WR Fantasy Injury Updates
Puka Nacua, WR, Los Angeles Rams
We all thought Cooper Kupp would be the Los Angeles Rams WR who would win us fantasy championships this season, but it could be rookie Nacua. The 177th pick in the NFL Draft is currently WR9, with seven top-13 finishes this season. Nacua’s talent, combined with Kupp’s slow recovery from injury, has created a fantasy WR for all ages.
Last week, against a supposedly tough Cleveland Browns defense, Nacua had 136 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown. He had a fantastic 70-yard breakaway run that made Kupp jump for joy. Nacua had WR10 in Week 13. However, he landed awkwardly on his shoulder after a pass, and it looked like his day was over.
#Rams WR Puka Nacua lands hard on his right shoulder on this play.
The rookie sensation is now in the locker room. pic.twitter.com/aUhzgH4QZF
— Pro Football Network (@PFN365) December 3, 2023
Nacua was slow to get up and then they asked her about it. He said: “I wasn’t breathing and I felt like my shoulder wasn’t in the right place, but it was fine.” Nacua was limited on the Rams’ tour Wednesday because of his shoulder, but needless to say, he’s tough. I expect him to play this week.
Noah Brown, WR, Houston Texans
The shiny new rookie WR Tank Dell has had a phenomenal year. The WR17 of the season had become QB CJ Stroud’s favorite target. Unfortunately, this week, Dell rolled up during a touchdown run by RB Dameon Pierce and broke his left fibula. He underwent surgery this week and was placed on injured reserve.
MORE: NFP’s FREE NFL Playoff Predictor
With Dell out for the year, Fantasy managers are looking for other receiving options in what has become an exciting Houston offense. Nico Collins becomes the WR1, but Brown quickly becomes the second choice.
Brown missed Weeks 11 and 12 due to a knee injury but managed to return in Week 13. He only had two targets, as Collins got most of the work, but his percentage of targets should increase with Dell out of the mix. He reportedly hasn’t had any issues with his knee, but he was limited in practice today. This appears to be a maintenance precaution, but Fantasy managers should monitor practice reports for the rest of the week.
Zay Jones, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars
Jones has missed a lot of football this season. Battling a knee injury for most of the year, he has missed six games. He’s been less relevant to fantasy in the games he played, outside of Week 1, when he finished as WR18. Jones is currently the WR94 of the season.
With the loss of Christian Kirk, Jones’ opportunity to make an impact on fantasy increases considerably. On Monday night, Kirk went down after his first catch and took his time getting up. It turned out to be a groin injury, he will undergo core muscle surgery and is expected to miss 6-8 weeks. Their fantasy season is over.
But for Jones to take advantage of Kirk’s bad luck, he needs to get on the field, and he played a limited part of Wednesday’s practice. Jones immediately becomes the Jags’ WR2 with Kirk out, and Fantasy’s managers expect this to be just a limited maintenance session on Wednesday.
Remember that if Jones takes the field, he may not catch the pass from QB Trevor Lawrence. It could be CJ Beathard under center as Lawrence deals with his sprained ankle.
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