- Stephania Bell, Fantasy Sports
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Week 15 is in the books, and if you're still alive in your fantasy league, then it is a happy holiday season indeed. Everything right side up was upside down Sunday as there was an abundance of upsets around the NFL. Who should you be concerned about heading into Week 16?
• For Thursday night's game, the Houston Texans will once again be without the services of wide receiver Andre Johnson. This does not come as a huge surprise, but coach Gary Kubiak maintains Johnson is very close to a return. The Texans have sustained so many significant injuries this season, it's understandable that they would be reluctant to be anything but conservative in managing their star offensive weapon in advance of the playoffs. Still, between Johnson stating he would like to see some regular-season game action and Kubiak talking about Johnson's near readiness to return, it appears there is a solid chance he is back in Week 17. That is, if you're still playing.
• Also in Houston, tight end Owen Daniels will be a game-time decision Thursday night, according to Kubiak. Daniels took a helmet to the knee in Sunday's game and was still experiencing soreness that kept him out of practice Tuesday.
• Dallas Cowboys running back Felix Jones was held out of Tuesday practice with a tight hamstring. Naturally that raises some concern, given the recent loss of DeMarco Murray to injury. According to Bryan Broaddus of ESPNDallas, head coach Jason Garrett says he expects to have Jones back in practice Wednesday. It sounds like it was a proactive measure to rest him for a day in the hope it doesn't turn into something more.
• Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green suffered a third-degree shoulder separation in Sunday's contest, but came back and finished the game! It certainly couldn't have felt good, and Green was wearing a sling to support his arm afterward, but the impressive rookie has already said he will be back this week. Green suffered a similar injury to his opposite shoulder in college and since the Cincinnati Enquirer reports it is a Grade 3 (complete) tear of the acromioclavicular ligaments that connect the clavicle (collarbone) and the acromion (tip of the shoulder blade), it doesn't present a huge risk. Unlike throwers who often choose to have these injuries surgically repaired (Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford comes to mind), non-throwers can often function just fine without surgery. One of the primary issues will be discomfort and whether Green can elevate his arm enough to be effective. As if to answer that question, Green told reporters on a conference call that he was catching passes Tuesday, although he did not formally practice. It's worth watching to see if there are any signs of change during the week, but right now Green appears to be on track.
• Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson sprained an ankle late in Sunday's game, but no one in Tennessee seems to be particularly concerned about his status. In fact, head coach Mike Munchak was clear about Johnson's availability according to the Tennessean. "He'll be questionable this week, but we saw him [Monday] and we don't think there's any reason he'll be out for the game," Munchak said. Fantasy owners would like him to not only play this week, but also play better.
• There was some question as to just how much Willis McGahee's hamstring was bothering him Sunday and whether that played a role in him spending a lot of time on the sideline. McGahee returned to limited practice Tuesday, making it look as if he will be ready to go on Saturday.
• Buffalo Bills receiver Stevie Johnson aggravated the groin injury that has nagged at him for a good portion of the season. Johnson did not practice Tuesday, but the Buffalo News reports he is expected to play in Week 16. Johnson has played fairly effectively despite the injury throughout the season, so it comes as little surprise he plans to press forward.