11:58 PM ET
Welcome to Week 12! Well, the second part of Week 12, anyway. Six teams played on Thanksgiving Day, and with no teams on bye this week, there are 26 teams left with games to play. All of them will play Sunday, except the Philadelphia Eagles and Green Bay Packers, who play on Monday night.
Injury concerns regarding players heading into the Sunday and Monday games can be critical. Each Saturday, this entry will be dedicated to each player who appears on the official weekly NFL game status injury report and how his status might impact fantasy teams.
All of the best fantasy football advice and relevant information for Week 12 from our Insider experts, all in one place.
Our fantasy football experts help you set your Week 12 lineups with individual and composite rankings for each position.
For those who might be new to this feature, injury reports provide some insight into a player’s status. The NFL requires teams to submit practice injury reports several times a week, identifying the body part that is involved in the injury. This year, there has been a change in the language of injury reporting, per the league office. The most notable change is the removal of the “probable” designation. For more detailed information on the changes and what they mean, click here.
Early in the week, the practice injury reports indicate whether a player did not practice, was limited in practice or was a full participant in practice. On Fridays, all teams file a game status injury report assigning one of the following designations: questionable, doubtful or out. The designations listed here reflect the injury reports filed with the league office Friday evening. Teams playing Monday night do not have to issue their designations until Saturday. The explanation for each designation is as follows:
Out: This is the easy one: The guy is not playing this week.
Questionable (Q): This remains the most dreaded player designation. By definition it means a player is “uncertain to play.” How uncertain is uncertain? There is no percentage or measurement scale, so this classification remains rather vague. Whether a player ends up active or inactive often comes down to a game-time decision based on how he feels on game-day morning or how he performs during warm-ups. Final inactives are due 90 minutes before kickoff.
Doubtful (D): The doubtful designation means a player is unlikely to play that week. Rarely does a player labeled as doubtful end up playing, unless he experiences a major turnaround before game time.
Each week in this Saturday feature, we run down a list of key fantasy players, by position, who appear in the Friday injury report, along with the injured body part as listed on the report, player status and any relevant developments or insight. The primary fantasy positions are covered (quarterback, running back, wide receiver and tight end).
This year, at the end of each positional section, there is a subgroup of players: “Players off game status injury report.” The probable tag no longer exists, so players who would have been listed as probable in previous years are now simply removed from the report. This means there will be players who appear in the practice injury reports during the week but will not appear on the game-status report Friday, since they are presumed active for game day. They are included in this article so that fantasy owners can see where players who were on the practice injury report during the week have been upgraded in advance of the games.
At the end, key fantasy players listed Friday as “out” for the week’s games will appear as a group.
Good luck in Week 12, everyone!
Tom Brady, New England Patriots, knee, (Q): Brady is no stranger to injury reports, so much so that fantasy owners tend to dismiss it whenever he makes an appearance. But this week is different. Brady did not practice for two consecutive days due to a knee injury sustained in Week 11. Brady took a hit to his right lower thigh just above the knee, and he admitted to some soreness postgame. After his missed Wednesday and Thursday practices triggered some alarms for fans and fantasy owners, Brady returned to limited practice Friday and spoke to reporters afterward, another positive sign. ESPN.com’s Mike Reiss reported there is little to no concern about Brady’s availability for Sunday’s game against the New York Jets, but it is always worth verifying his status before game time. This happens to be a late game (4:25 p.m. ET), so fantasy owners should make sure there is someone they can insert into their lineup at the last minute should Brady be a surprise inactive.
Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears, right shoulder, (D): Cutler is contending with a reported labral tear in his shoulder, and the conversation earlier this week revolved around whether or not the injury signaled the end of his season. Such injuries are not uncommon among throwers, and their presence rarely forces an abrupt end to a season, provided the athlete is still able to throw. Cutler finished out last week’s game but was reportedly seeking other opinions this week with regards to his injury. Coach John Fox told reporters Cutler’s injury was not season-ending and that he was day-to-day, but the practice reports certainly suggest he is not in the mix for this week. Cutler did not practice at all and comes up on the game status report as doubtful. If he sits, as it appears he will, it will be Matt Barkley under center for the Bears.
Players off game status injury report:
Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals, right shoulder: Dalton remains on the practice injury report because of a sore shoulder but practiced in full both Thursday and Friday after a limited outing Wednesday. His removal from the game status injury report indicates he will be under center as usual on Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens.
Tyrod Taylor, Buffalo Bills, right shoulder: Taylor appears on the Bills’ injury report due to shoulder soreness, but there was never any doubt that he would play this week. A full participant in practice daily and removal from the game status injury report confirm he will be on the field to face the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars, right shoulder: At one point during the Week 11 game, Bortles was spotted on the sideline undergoing evaluation on his throwing shoulder. It did not keep him from returning to that game, nor did it keep him out of practice this week. Bortles was a full participant daily, and his removal from the game status injury report confirms his availability for Sunday’s game against the Bills.
Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks, knee: Anyone who has watched Wilson in recent weeks can see the improvement in his health via his increased mobility both within and outside the pocket. He remains on the injury report during the week but continues to be removed from the game status injury report at week’s end. He will make his usual start on Sunday.
Trevor Siemian, Denver Broncos, left shoulder: Siemian has appeared regularly on the injury report since injuring his nonthrowing shoulder in Week 4. Other than missing the subsequent week’s action, Siemian has played through any discomfort, although it appears the shoulder continues to bother him. He remains on the injury report but continues as a full participant daily, and his removal from the game status injury report indicates he will play.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, New York Jets, knee: Fitzpatrick has already played through his knee injury, and coach Todd Bowles has once again named him the starter. After full practices daily and removal from the game status injury report, Fitzpatrick will be active against the Patriots.
LeSean McCoy, Buffalo Bills, thumb, (Q): MCoy appears on the injury report again, but not because of his hamstring. This time it’s a dislocated left thumb (suffered in Week 11) that was the culprit, an injury that required a procedure Sunday night to reduce the dislocation. The team expressed optimism all along that McCoy would be available by the Week 12 game, and that appears to be the case. He was out on the practice field every day this week, listed as a limited participant but inspiring enough confidence in coach Rex Ryan to lead him to say he expects McCoy not only to play but also to get the majority of the carries. With Mike Gillislee already ruled out because of a hamstring injury, it appears the team will indeed lean on McCoy, with Jonathan Williams and Reggie Bush available behind him. Given that the issue was with the top half of McCoy’s left thumb, it should not present an issue for him in terms of ballhandling.
Mark Ingram, New Orleans Saints, concussion, (Q): Ingram suffered a head injury in the Saints’ Week 11 game, something the team hadn’t confirmed as a concussion until the first practices of this week. Both coach Sean Payton and Ingram himself expressed confidence about his return to practice, with Ingram declaring himself 100 percent recovered on Wednesday and insistent he would play. Still, he was listed as a limited participant in practice each day, and he comes into Sunday’s game as questionable. It’s unclear whether he is simply waiting on clearance from the independent neurological consultant or whether he has even been cleared for contact, as the Saints have remained silent on the specifics. Thankfully, this is an early game against the Los Angeles Rams, so fantasy owners will know his status when the pregame inactives are announced.
Latavius Murray, Oakland Raiders, ankle, (Q): Murray came into last Monday night’s game in Mexico City listed as questionable because of his ankle. He played in that game, and while his yardage on the ground was not overwhelming, his yardage in the passing game boosted his fantasy value. Murray was a limited participant in practice each day this week — just as he was last week — leading us to believe he will be active for this week’s game against the Carolina Panthers. It’s worth noting this is a late game (4:25 p.m. ET), so fantasy owners should have a backup plan in place in the event Murray is a surprise inactive.
T.J. Yeldon, Jacksonville Jaguars, ankle, (Q): Yeldon suffered an ankle sprain in Week 11 and was held out of practice all week as a result. Treatment and rest may have been more important than practice, as Yeldon is listed as questionable, and the team expects him to be able to play on Sunday in Buffalo. The question remains as to how much time he’ll see; it will likely be a matter of how well he performs and how his ankle tolerates the early activity.
Jacquizz Rodgers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, foot, (Q): This marks the first week Rodgers has returned to practice since injuring his foot in Week 8. He was a limited participant on Wednesday and Thursday, then upgraded to full on Friday. The questionable tag leaves the door open for Rodgers to be active this week, but even if he is, he would not be expected to carry a full workload. A healthy Doug Martin will still be the primary ball carrier for the Buccaneers.
Players off game status injury report:
Tevin Coleman, Atlanta Falcons, hamstring: The Falcons will welcome Coleman back this week after a three-game absence due to a hamstring strain. When Coleman returned to practice this Monday, coach Dan Quinn indicated he was at 100 percent health. His full participation daily showed the team was not concerned about limiting him, and his removal from the game status report shows they expect him to contribute on Sunday.
Darren Sproles, Philadelphia Eagles, rib: It’s pretty remarkable that Sproles could go from fracturing his seventh rib in last week’s game to completely off the injury report in advance of this week’s Monday night contest, but that’s precisely what happened. Earlier in the week, coach Doug Pederson indicated Sproles’ injury was in a “safe” area and that his ability to play would be determined by how he was able to make it through the week — in other words, pain tolerance. Sproles has shown plenty of toughness in his career, but a rib injury, even when not an actual fracture, can cause significant pain to the point of making it difficult for the athlete to breathe, twist, turn and stretch, not to mention absorb physical contact. This week, Sproles has made a convincing case to return, participating fully in each of the team’s practices. His removal from the game status injury report Saturday indicates the team plans to have him available Monday night. The expected workload for Sproles is uncertain, however, not only because of his recent injury, but also because of the injury to Ryan Mathews. With Mathews ruled out due to a knee injury, Wendell Smallwood will definitely have a role in this week’s game, and it could end up being substantial.
Matt Forte, New York Jets, knee: Forte continues to make a weekly appearance on the injury report and continues to be removed from the game status injury report. It’s worth noting that Forte didn’t even take a day off practice this week as he often does. Instead, he is listed as a full participant daily. Expect him to be a full go against the Patriots this Sunday.
Lamar Miller, Houston Texans, ankle/ribs: Miller showed he was healthy enough to play in the Texans’ Monday night game in Mexico City. He remained on the practice injury report but practiced daily on a limited basis and is off the game status injury report. He should play as usual when the Texans host the San Diego Chargers Sunday.
DeMarco Murray, Tennessee Titans, foot: Murray is status quo; he appears on the injury report during the week, as he is given Wednesday off from practice then returns to full participation Thursday and Friday. His removal from the game status injury report each week confirms he will play.
Charcandrick West, Kansas City Chiefs, concussion: West was not in practice Wednesday, but returned to full participation Thursday, and followed it up with another full session Friday. His removal from the game status injury report confirms he will be available for Sunday’s game, but his role remains a lesser one to that of starter Spencer Ware.
Sammy Watkins, Buffalo Bills, foot, (Q): After all the “Will he or won’t he?” chatter regarding Watkins’ status this week, it now appears he will indeed take the field Sunday, the most recent evidence being a roster move made by the Bills Saturday to make room for Watkins on the active roster. With Watkins now activated, he appears virtually certain to return to action Sunday after 10 weeks away from competition. He was a limited participant in practice throughout the week, and there seemed to be conflicting reports about whether he was ready to return to competition. Coach Rex Ryan said Watkins was “good to go,” while offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn sounded more cautious when he said, “As far as implementing him in the game plan, I don’t know about that yet.” Lynn expressed concern about Watkins’ conditioning, a reasonable worry for a player who has been away from the playing field for such an extended period of time. It now looks as if Watkins will return, but there is no way to gauge how much action he will actually see. Given all the time off to allow his foot to recover, it stands to reason the Bills would not utilize him on every offensive snap. But what percentage? That is unclear. And how much will he be targeted by Taylor when the two have not played together in two months? With Robert Woods sidelined due to a knee injury, the opportunity quotient for Watkins is there, but he is not likely to be overworked in his first game back. This appearance will be an excellent opportunity to see how Watkins’ foot responds to game action after the additional rest time, and he could prove to be a huge boost for fantasy owners down the stretch.
Julian Edelman, foot, and Chris Hogan, back, New England Patriots (Q): Edelman proved he was healthy enough to play and play well when he traveled home to the Bay Area to face the 49ers. His continued presence on the injury report should not overly concern fantasy owners when it comes to his status for this week. Hogan missed last week’s game with a back injury despite practicing on a limited basis each day. This week he stuck to the same practice schedule but has reportedly been improving, increasing his chances of being active according to Reiss.
Torrey Smith, San Francisco 49ers, shoulder, (Q): Smith practiced on a limited basis last week but ended up missing the game, and it was the first absence due to injury of his career. Although Smith practiced on a limited basis each day this week, it’s not clear whether he’s ready to return. Fantasy owners considering using him will have to wait for pregame inactive reports.
Michael Crabtree, Oakland Raiders, ankle, (Q): Crabtree was listed on this week’s injury report with an ankle injury, although he played through Monday night’s game against the Texans. It was Crabtree’s worst statistical performance of the season (three catches for 5 yards, with a fumble) and he appeared to struggle at times with maintaining his balance. Perhaps the ankle was a factor? After a week of treatment and limited practice, it appears Crabtree is in line to play this week, but since this is a late game against the Panthers (4:25 p.m. ET), fantasy owners are advised to confirm his status before kickoff.
Travis Benjamin, San Diego Chargers, knee, (Q): Benjamin returned to practice this week after sitting out all of Week 10’s practices and, ultimately, the game. The Chargers then had a bye week and Benjamin no doubt benefited from the additional rest. He returned to the Chargers’ practice field Monday and even violated the team’s tempo regulations because he was running too quickly, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune. An even more encouraging sign was Benjamin’s participation in full practices throughout the week, the most he has done in the last month. While his knee may not be at 100 percent, it appears some of the symptoms Benjamin was experiencing have quieted with the reduced activity. Although he is listed as questionable heading into Sunday’s game, all signs point to Benjamin returning to action this week. The good news is this is an early game for the Chargers as they visit the Texans.
Michael Floyd, Arizona Cardinals, hamstring, (Q): After not practicing either Thursday or Friday due to a sore hamstring, Floyd is now listed as questionable. The hamstring has been an issue for Floyd intermittently over the last month, but he has yet to miss a game. Still, his utilization within the game has certainly fluctuated, making it hard to anticipate what to expect if he does take the field. Coach Bruce Arians said Floyd will be a game-time decision, so fantasy owners will want to be sure to check pregame inactives before considering him as an option.
Jarvis Landry, shoulder, and Kenny Stills, calf, Miami Dolphins, (Q): Both Dolphins receivers appeared with the same designation on the injury report last week, yet both were able to play. It is now one week further along, and the expectation is both will play again Sunday. Neither is at 100 percent health, and the limited practice reps are partially to limit exposure during the week. While fantasy owners always want to confirm player status prior to kickoff, both should be able to suit up again this week.
Eddie Royal, Chicago Bears, toe, (Q): Royal has already returned from his toe injury to game action, but he has been exceptionally limited in those outings (one catch for 24 yards in Week 10 and two catches for 13 yards in Week 11). This week, Royal did not even participate in one practice, a downturn from the last two weeks. With Cutler unlikely to play in Week 12, it is uncertain just what to expect from the entire offense in Chicago. There are better options for fantasy players out there.
Players off game status injury report:
Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons, shoulder: Jones has been a regular on the practice injury report … but also a regular on the “off game status injury report” section of this article. After one limited day of practice Wednesday, Jones was a full participant Thursday and Friday. There is no doubt as to his availability this week against the Cardinals.
Brandon Marshall, foot, and Quincy Enunwa, neck, New York Jets: Both of these receivers have made extended appearances on the injury report, but rarely have they been in jeopardy of actually missing a game. That continues this week, as both were full participants in Friday’s practice and both were removed from the team’s final injury report.
Brandon LaFell, Cincinnati Bengals, knee: LaFell was on the injury report because of a sore knee and sat out Wednesday’s practice. He returned to full practice Thursday and Friday, however, and his removal from the game status injury report indicates he is expected to play.
Will Fuller V, Houston Texans, knee: Fuller was questionable heading into Monday night’s game because of his knee, but he ended up playing and emerged without a setback. After limited practices Wednesday and Thursday, Fuller was a full participant Friday and is off the game status report heading into Sunday’s contest against the Chargers.
Rob Gronkowski, chest, and Martellus Bennett, ankle/shoulder, New England Patriots, (Q): The easy one here is Bennett. Listed as questionable routinely because of his chronic ankle injury, the only noteworthy item here is that his shoulder has been added as an injury issue. Bennett was a limited participant in practice on Wednesday and Friday, with a day off in between on Thursday. Bennett would potentially see a spike in activity if Gronkowski were to sit this one out, which is where the injury report gets interesting.
After suffering a chest injury in Week 10, Gronkowski was understandably ruled out early for Week 11, before the team made a cross-country visit to the 49ers. Early this week it sounded as if the Patriots planned to hold him out another week, despite his improvement, taking the long view of a season the team no doubt expects to extend well into January and possibly early February. But since Gronkowski’s return to practice on a limited basis Wednesday, he has reportedly made significant progress and maintained his limited practice status through the end of the week. He is now expected to be a game-time decision, according to ESPN’s Diana Russini, but it’s worth noting he remained in a noncontact jersey through Friday’s practice. If Gronkowski ends up being active, given the nature of the injury and the recovery, there should be no predetermined limitations with regards to his playing time. Unfortunately, this is a late game against the Jets (4:25 p.m. ET), and with Gronkowski’s status up in the air, fantasy owners must have an alternate plan in place.
Players off game status injury report:
Jimmy Graham, Seattle Seahawks, knee: Graham is a constant on the injury report, but he has proven that we no longer need to worry about his status on a consistent basis. His practice schedule remained the same this week — off Wednesday followed by full practices Thursday and Friday — and he is once again off the injury report heading into Week 12.
C.J. Fiedorowicz, Houston Texans, shoulder: Nothing to see here. Coming off a Monday night game, Fiedorowicz was listed as a limited participant Wednesday and Thursday because of his shoulder. On Friday he upgraded to full participation and is off the injury report prior to the game against the Chargers.
This space is intended for a list of key players, not including those who have been moved to injured reserve status, who are officially listed as “out” for the upcoming game.
A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals, hamstring: Green suffered a hamstring injury in Week 11 that resulted in him being carted off the field. While the early concerns about it being a definitive season-ending injury appear to have been alleviated, at least for the time being, Green was ruled out early in advance of this game. Consider his status week-to-week going forward.
C.J. Prosise, shoulder, and Troymaine Pope, ankle, Seattle Seahawks: Prosise suffered a fractured scapula, and Pope injured his ankle in what was a rough injury week for running backs, especially in Seattle. Thomas Rawls, no longer on the injury report, is expected to carry the load for the Seahawks.
Mike Gillislee, Buffalo Bills, hamstring: The timing of Gillislee’s injury was particularly unfortunate, as teammate McCoy was coming off a procedure on his left thumb. If anyone knows how problematic hamstring injuries midweek can be, it’s certainly McCoy. Of the two, it’s Gillislee who has already been ruled out for this week’s game, and judging from coach Ryan’s concern at the time of the injury, this may not be the only week he is impacted.
Ryan Mathews, Philadelphia Eagles, knee: Mathews suffered an MCL injury last week, and the Eagles have ultimately acknowledged this could sideline him for an extended time. He will not play on Monday night, meaning Smallwood should see an increased workload, even if Sproles (rib) is active (as it appears he will be).
Robert Woods, Buffalo Bills, knee: Woods has been a regular on the injury report for several weeks because of his foot but has been back in action without incident since Week 8. Last week, however, Woods suffered a knee injury when he landed awkwardly and was subsequently hit. He walked off the field gingerly, but it became apparent quickly that he would not be available this week and perhaps longer. For now, Woods has definitively been ruled out for Week 12.
Jeremy Maclin, Kansas City Chiefs, groin: Maclin remains out for the third straight week due to a groin injury.
Julius Thomas, Jacksonville Jaguars, back: Thomas was unable to practice all week and was ruled out early for Sunday’s game.
Be sure to check out Fantasy Football Now, Sundays on ESPN2 at 11:00 a.m. ET for last-minute inactives, rankings, injury impact and more!
Taijuan Walker has been an interesting name in both fantasy baseball circles, and in Major League front offices for a while now, but hasn’t quite lived up to the billing in the early going of his big league career. Last season Walker held a 4.22 ERA, which is a little bit worse than league average. If you stack up that figure with all pitchers that totaled at least 100 innings in 2016, he ranks 74th. If you’re in a standard scoring league, that’s already one hole that needs to be compensated for, leaving saves (ineligible), wins, strikeouts and WHIP.
Wins are a bit subjective to the quality of the team the pitcher is on, and can be found just about anywhere. At 74th in ERA, 73 other pitchers rated higher than he did and just about all of them finished with a higher win total, including a number of those with worse ERAs.
His strikeout rate is decent, but again, nothing near the top of the leaderboard. He finished with a 7.97 K/9 rate in 2016, and has hovered right around the eight mark in his big league career. If you’re looking for strikeouts, there are some other players with similar strikeout rates that will give you more overall value. A couple of examples would be Matt Moore of the Giants (8.08 K/9) who will be spending a full season in the city by the bay and be able to benefit from spacious ATT Park. Jake Odorizzi (7.96) and Mike Foltynewicz (8.10) offer a little more upside as well.
Walker’s WHIP ranked 52nd in 2016 at 1.24, which was actually tied with Chris Archer‘s in a down year for the Tampa Bay Ray. He’ll be well off the board before Walker.
So what we’re seeing is a pitcher that could be taken on a flier in the later rounds, and could blossom into one of the better arms in your rotation if he can put it all together.
The stats from last year aren’t the only problem area that are concerning, however. It’s the move to Chase Field, which has been notoriously harsh to pitchers. Zack Greinke was signed by Arizona last winter to an extremely lucrative deal after posting ERAs of 2.63, 2.71 and 1.66 between 2013 and 2015, but posted an ERA of 4.37 in 2016. While Chase Field wasn’t the only factor here, as he posted a 3.94 mark on the road, it certainly didn’t help matters. And that’s Greinke, who has had lots of success in the big leagues.
Another worrying factor for Walker in Arizona is his 4.99 FIP, which is a more accurate depiction of how effective a pitcher is. With his ERA being substantially lower, that means that the defense behind him was bailing him out of some jams. If he pitched the exact same way in 2017 with the Diamondbacks and their terrible defense, his ERA isn’t going to look pretty.
Finally, his home run rate was extremely high given the number of innings he tossed. Over 134 1/3 innings Walker allowed 27 home runs for a rate of 1.81 per nine innings. A move to Arizona will not help that number go down without vast improvement from Walker.
The upside with Walker is that he gets a change of scenery, and sometimes a different voice is all that a pitcher needs to turn the preverbal corner. It’s just a shame that that place is in one of the most hitter friendly parks in baseball.
Walker is worth a flier, but there are plenty of other options that have flier potential that have more to be excited about. If he were to make a move to the bullpen we would certainly have to re-evaluate his value.
“Patience is a virtue” – William Langland
Sure, that quote is 750 years old so it wasn’t originally written for Fantasy football owners. But at least for one week it’s going to be a virtue that is rewarded. A pair of running backs that have given Fantasy owners far less than they bargained for are going to deliver in a big way as we march to the playoffs.
While patience may be a virtue, I know it’s not very prevalent in 2016, so let’s jump right into Week 12 in a tweet:
Can the Superdome make
For those baseball fans out there, the Superdome has basically been the Coors Field of the NFL. No game has had fewer than 45 points scored and three out of five have seen at least 69 points. But that hasn’t necessarily meant great success for quarterbacks. Here is what opposing quarterbacks have done in New Orleans this year, the final column is how their performance at the Superdome differed from their season average.
Not quite what you expected, right? In total, quarterbacks have performed very much in line with their season average. While Goff doesn’t have much of a baseline to base that on, let’s just keep in mind that the team didn’t want to start him over
The bottom line is, with a quarterback like Goff you probably aren’t expecting much. If anything, the
New Orleans Saints
defense is probably a better play.
Those injury replacements at WR aren’t going to help you.
Need help at wide receiver? You probably need to look somewhere besides Chicago and Cincinnati. I actually liked
as a deep sleeper, but not when he’s catching passes from Matt Barkley. As for the
is just a guy and
isn’t anywhere close to consistent yet. Either could be a No. 4 receive or a No. 3 in deep leagues, but that’s about it.
If you need a receiver this week I’d look to someone like
instead. Lee should thrive in garbage time down the stretch. He’s a better option than any of the receivers mentioned above.
Are there any shootouts?
There’s only one Sunday game that has a Vegas total over 50 — the
. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t going to be any high-scoring teams. It just means we’re going to have some blowouts. Here are my thoughts on some offenses where you can find Fantasy points.
New York Giants
becomes solid No. 2 running back,
is a very nice No. 3 receiver and
is streamable. Eli Manning is a borderline top 10 option at quarterback as well. Basically anyone you could reasonably consider starting from New York you should. I also like
in garbage time with
New England Patriots
New York Jets
: The Patriots are always difficut to figure out and this week is no exception. You’re starting
but after that it’s pretty hairy. Assuming Chris Hogan can’t go again, Malcolm Mitchell is a decent deep sleeper and
is a borderline starting tight end. I’ve taken the position that I don’t want to start
until I see him do it but I’d rather start him than
San Francisco 49ers
is a top six back this week and
is a good streaming option. I would start both
as No. 3 receivers, but I’m not as high on them as Dave Richard and Jamey Eisenberg. I’m afraid the Dolphins run the ball 35 times against this atrocious defense. On the other side of the ball I like
a lot and could see streaming
You’re finally going to get
as a No. 1 RB.
So I poo-pooed the Goff narrative pretty quick, but I’m all in on Gurley. The
Los Angeles Rams
running back has had a miserable sophomore campaign and I feel for his owners (mostly me). But those owners will be rewarded for their patience when Gurley faces the Saints in New Orleans.
The Saints have given up 15 touchdowns to running backs this season, the second worst mark in the league. They’ve also given up the fourth most Fantasy points to opposing backs, including several dreadful performances at home. For the first time since Week 5 I expect Gurley to crack 100 yards and score a touchdown.
Colin Kaepernick is once again the best streaming option.
I’m not even sure it’s fair to call Kaepernick a streamer anymore.
Top 10 QB FP/g since Week 6
— Heath Cummings (@heathcummingssr) November 21, 2016
I know it’s difficult to accept, but Kaepernick needs to be considered a starting option most weeks unless he has a truly dreadful matchup. He doesn’t this week. The one strength of this Dolphins defense is their ability to pressure the quarterback. Kaepernick mitigates that risk with his legs.
If you missed out on Kaepernick my favorite steamers are Tannehill and
. I’ll get to Palmer in just a minute but Tannehill is really interesting. The 49ers won’t offer any resistance, so it’s all about volume. That’s only one question, but it’s a pretty huge question with this system.
Struggling quarterbacks get one more shot.
I’ve referenced Carson Palmer a couple of times already. I know a lot of you gave up on him and I get it. But I’d give him one more week. For one, I think this game could easily turn into a quasi-shootout with the Cardinals defense not quite as dominant in the dome as they would be at home. Maybe more importantly, Palmer has all the signs of a quarterback that has been better than his Fantasy production suggests because of bad touchdown luck.
Before last week’s debacle against the
, Palmer had thrown for at least 342 yards in three straight games. If he comes anywhere close to 300 this week I would expect multiple touchdowns and a good Fantasy day. Palmer ranks second in the NFL in passing yards per game since Week 7. Give him one more chance against a suspect defense.
I’m also not completely giving up on Cam Newton yet, but I may be closer than you think. Newton has a good matchup against a team that should put up some points on his defense. I want to see him throwing more accurately and using his legs. If not, I’m looking for a different option for the playoffs.
Committees have turned into one-man shows.
Due to injuries
have once again become the man in their respective backfields. This week at least that probably matters more for Rawls than Hill. Hill has a terrible matchup against an underrated
defense that will load the box now that
is out of the picture. He’s a borderline No. 2 that I’d feel decent about as a flex.
Rawls, on the other hand, is our start of the week against the
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
. The Bucs have had their moments against the run this season but I would expect Rawls to get the volume he needs to be successful. More importantly, unlike Hill, he has a passing game to keep the defense honest. Start Rawls with confidence.
Exceptional WR/CB matchups.
I don’t know how much this will matter from a Fantasy perspective — because you can’t bench these guys — but it certainly will be fun to watch. Also, it could mean more targets for the second or third options.
: The key to beating this
defense is moving inside, and Evans doesn’t do that very often. Sherman got off to a bit of a rocky start, but he’s been phenomenal as of late. Quarterbacks are only completing 51 percent of passes thrown his way and he has more interceptions than touchdowns. If you’re wondering who may benefit I’d say
, but both are desperation-only plays.
: Julio roasted Peterson in their last matchup and Matt Ryan has been much more willing to spread the ball around. If anyone benefits from that it will be
. Gabriel looks like the deep threat so he’s more a boom-or-bust play, but Sanu should be good for 5 to 7 Fantasy points and a decent showing in PPR.
Mile High is a Fantasy downer.
From a football perspective the
Kansas City Chiefs
may play one of the best games of the weekend. It will be a fantastic way to cap our Sunday. But in terms of Fantasy I’m not excited at all. Both defenses are getting healthy, which is bad news for
and Trevor Siemian. Not that you wanted to start them anyway. I view both running backs as borderline No. 2 options that are far from must-starts.
with confidence because of his targets. I’ll start
begrudgingly. And of course I’ll start the kickers in the thin air. Other than that I’d target someone playing in an earlier game so you can enjoy this contest for the beautiful defensive struggle it will be.
keep his streak going against
There’s a fun narrative out there that Rodgers has been bad this year. People point to his Y/A (matches last year’s career-low 6.7) and speculate over off-the-field circumstances that may be contributing. Hogwash. He’s the NUMBER ONE QUARTERBACK IN FANTASY!
Sure, Rodgers has been less efficient and he’s needed a lot of volume to do it. Who cares? The Packers aren’t going to find a running game tw0-thirds of the way through the season — and the current volume isn’t going anywhere. I don’t care how good this Eagles defense has been at home, Rodgers is a must-start and should be viewed as a top five Fantasy option regardless of matchup.