Week 12 Injury Report Recap (2019 Fantasy Football)
Welcome to another edition of Injury Report Recap! Each Friday, I’ll be going through teams’ injury listings to give you instant fantasy analysis. This week get ugly for fantasy owners, as we’ve got some big-name injuries as the Chiefs, Vikings, Cardinals, and Chargers are on a bye.
Broncos at Bills (Sunday, 1:00 PM EST)
Broncos: G Ronald Leary (shoulder, neck) QUESTIONABLE, C Connor McGovern (back) QUESTIONABLE, G Dalton Risner (ankle) QUESTIONABLE, T Ja’Wuan James (knee) QUESTIONABLE, WR Tim Patrick (shoulder) QUESTIONABLE.
Bills: No fantasy-significant injury report listings.
It’s not a good sign when four of your five starting offensive linemen are listed as questionable in the same week. While all four at least logged a limited practice on Friday, neither McGovern nor Risner was able to practice before then. This will make life difficult for the Broncos’ offense this week against the Bills. Brandon Allen may not have as much time to get rid of the ball, which could limit Courtland Sutton’s ability to get open on deep routes. Sutton is currently 11th in the league in yards per catch, so limit your expectations for the breakout receiver this week. It may also be difficult for lead back Phillip Lindsay to find running lanes against the Bills, but he should catch some more dump-off passes to make up for the difference. The injury bug could also affect wideout Tim Patrick, who came out of nowhere to produce 77 yards on four receptions. He hurt his shoulder in last week’s game against the Vikings, but he returned to in-game action quickly — only to not log a full practice session this week. While you should leave him on waivers for now, he could be worth an add if he has another strong game this week or next.
Giants at Bears (Sunday, 1:00 PM EST)
Two of the most important stories here aren’t on the injury report. First, the Giants will get Sterling Shepard back after he missed time for a concussion. The Giants will now have two slot receivers, Shepard and Golden Tate, who will compete for targets. We’ll see if either of them can work well on the perimeter. Next, Mitch Trubisky’s “injury” from last week won’t keep him out against New York. Lots of people called it a benching, and given his full participation in practice all week, that might just have been the case. Also, both of these teams are now without their top-two options at tight end. The Bears lost Trey Burton to injured reserve, and they won’t have Adam Shaheen to fill in for him. And while the Giants haven’t lost either of their tight ends to the IR, they’ll still be stuck with their third-stringer come Sunday. If you’re looking for a streaming option, I’d recommend avoiding both of these teams’ reserve players. Why? First, unlike the Giants, the Bears also found themselves stuck in this situation last Sunday. Third-stringer Ben Braunecker only caught one of his three targets for eight yards in the relief appearance. Meanwhile, although we haven’t seen the Giants operate without either Engram or Ellison, backups Scott Simonson and Kaden Smith have combined for one reception and one yard all season. Instead of streaming their backup tight ends, see if you can get one of their other pass-catchers, like Anthony Miller or Darius Slayton.
Steelers at Bengals (Sunday, 1:00 PM EST)
Although both JuJu Smith-Schuster and Diontae Johnson suffered concussions last Thursday in a tough game against the Browns, only one will miss this Sunday’s game. Smith-Schuster has struggled without Big Ben under center, but he hasn’t yet sat out a game this year. We’ll have to see how the Steelers’ target distribution works without him in the lineup, but for now, expect Johnson, James Washington, and tight end Vance McDonald to see a boost in work. McDonald might be the best option of the trio, as he’s earned a solid seven targets in each of his last three appearances. The Steelers also won’t have James Conner this week, so look for Jaylen Samuels and Benny Snell to produce in his absence. The Steelers like to feature Samuels in the passing game and another back on the ground without Conner, so Snell could repeat his 17-carry, 75-yard performance against the Chargers back in Week 6. The Bengals are also banged-up on offense, and they could be without Auden Tate. While Tate cleared the concussion protocol on Friday, head coach Zac Taylor wouldn’t commit to anything other than saying that Tate “potentially can play.” That’s much better than A.J. Green, who will be out once again. If you’re a Green owner, I hope that you sold him when you still could.
Dolphins at Browns (Sunday, 1:00 PM EST)
Dolphins: CB Ken Webster (ankle) DOUBTFUL.
Browns: No fantasy-significant injury report listings.
The story here is more of who cleared the injury report. For the Browns, neither Jarvis Landry nor Odell Beckham received injury designations despite being limited in practices this week. While Landry was able to return to full participation on Friday, Beckham remained limited for the whole week. Neither receiver is having a great season with Baker Mayfield throwing them the ball, and while both will play on Sunday, neither will be at 100 percent. That said, the Dolphins are the perfect team to bounce back against, especially given their weak secondary. They lost Xavien Howard to injured reserve earlier in the season, and Ken Webster has missed the last few games with an ankle injury as well. Miami gave up a season-high 280 passing yards to Josh Allen and the Bills last Sunday, so Mayfield and his receivers might just put together a strong performance come Sunday. Although they’ll be without Webster, the Dolphins won’t have to worry about Ryan Fitzpatrick missing a start. Although he was limited in practice on Wednesday and Thursday, he returned to full action on Friday and avoided an injury designation.
Buccaneers at Falcons (Sunday, 1:00 PM EST)
Despite a late-game scare last week for Jameis Winston, the quarterback was able to practice in full all week. The Bucs head into their Week 12 game with the Falcons as a pretty healthy bunch. Meanwhile, the Falcons will be without two of their best offensive weapons, but they proved last week that they could win without either of them. In the passing game, Austin Hooper’s work seems to have gone to both Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley. Both receivers earned eight targets last week, far more than any other players on the Falcons’ offense. They’re the only two Falcons pass-catchers I would start with confidence. Slot receiver Russell Gage, who I expected to see a good chunk of the workload, only caught two of his four targets. Of course, he could’ve had a better day if he hadn’t dropped one of those passes in the end zone. That said, I think he has enough potential to be a high-risk WR4/flex play this week. On the ground, the Falcons went with Brian Hill, who failed to produce against the Panthers’ bad rushing defense. The Falcons may change things up at running back, and I’d avoid starting Hill, Qadree Ollison, or Kenjon Barner regardless. That’s because they’re up against a stout Tampa Bay front seven. And from what the Falcons originally said about Freeman’s injury, he should be back next week, limiting their value even more. To be honest, Hill is probably droppable.
Panthers at Saints (Sunday, 1:00 PM EST)
Both of these teams are fairly healthy heading into their matchup on Sunday. However, the Saints could be without some important pieces. Fullback Zach Line’s absence means that Alvin Kamara and Latavius Murray may have a harder time rushing the ball, especially close to the end zone. That said, the Panthers have struggled against the run this year, and their success against Brian Hill last week was an outlier. Fire up Kamara and Murray as you otherwise would’ve done, but keep an eye on Line’s status for next week’s game in Atlanta. The Saints could also be without star corner Marshon Lattimore again, although they dominated without him last week. The Saints picked off Jameis Winston four times, and they kept both Chris Godwin and Mike Evans in check. The corner’s status is worth keeping an eye on if you’re forced to start Kyle Allen, however, as a return to action would limit his already low upside.
Seahawks at Eagles (Sunday, 1:00 PM EST)
Pete Carroll called Willson’s hamstring injury “legit” after he went down, so it won’t be surprising for him to miss another game. His absence means that Jacob Hollister should continue to have low-end TE1 appeal. The more interesting story is on the Eagles’ side of the ball. In the backfield, Howard’s injury has complicated things for Philly. They’ve since added bruiser Jay Ajayi, who comes with a skill set similar to Howard’s. While Ajayi saw minimal action last week, he hadn’t yet had a chance to get adjusted. Should Howard sit out again, expect Ajayi to get enough red-zone work to make him a touchdown-dependent flex option. And because of Ajayi’s presence, Sanders is a high-risk RB2 regardless of whether Howard plays. In the passing game, it sounds like the Eagles could have both Alshon Jeffery and Nelson Agholor on Sunday, although neither will be playing at full health. Even if both receivers are active, look for tight ends Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert to have big days against Seattle’s seventh-worst defense against tight ends in Half PPR.
Lions at Redskins (Sunday, 1:00 PM EST)
Lions: QB Matthew Stafford (back) OUT. DL Trey Flowers (concussion) OUT, Da’Shawn Hand (hand) OUT.
Redskins: TE Vernon Davis (concussion) OUT, RB Adrian Peterson (toe) QUESTIONABLE, RB Chris Thompson (toe) QUESTIONABLE.
Although I expect at least Adrian Peterson to suit up alongside Derrius Guice, the sophomore running back will be playing with some banged-up veterans. He’ll have an opportunity to shine against the Lions’ league-worst defense against running backs in Half PPR, especially since Bill Callahan loves to run the ball. Even better for Guice is that the Lions continue to struggle with injuries along their defensive line. Trey Flowers, who had anchored the line while Damon Harrison and Mike Daniels sat out, is now out with a concussion. Guice has low-end RB2 appeal this week, but he doesn’t come with that much floor. Even though I doubt he’ll lose touches to Chris Thompson, we don’t yet know how Callahan will distribute work among his three running backs. Also worth noting is that breakout rookie Terry McLaurin avoided an injury designation after he was listed with a wrist injury all week. On the Lions’ side of the football, Jeff Driskel will get another start as Matthew Stafford could miss extended time with his back injury. We’ll see if he comes back early, but there’s not a whole lot left to fight for in Detroit.
Raiders at Jets (Sunday, 1:00 PM EST)
Raiders: No fantasy-significant injury report listings.
Jets: WR Demaryius Thomas (hamstring) QUESTIONABLE.
While he may have cleared the injury report, running back Josh Jacobs remained limited in practice throughout the week. The Raiders might just be trying to keep their workhorse back fresh, as he’s on pace for 305.6 carries this season. Gruden famously ran running back Cadillac Williams into the ground with a similar workload, although Williams never topped 300 carries on a season. For some perspective, Ezekiel Elliott led the league in rushing attempts with 304 last season. I hope that Jacobs can stay healthy through the end of the year, but his owners should consider handcuffing him with DeAndre Washington. Washington got more rushing attempts than Jalen Richard when Jacobs missed time in Week 5, so I’d expect him to have more value if anything happens to Jacobs. On the Jets’ side of the football, look for Demaryius Thomas to once again play through a questionable tag. That said, he’s little more than a desperation play at this point, as Jamison Crowder is the receiver to own for the Jets.
Jaguars at Titans (Sunday, 4:05 PM EST)
Jaguars: No fantasy-significant injury report listings.
Titans: TE Delanie Walker (ankle) DOUBTFUL.
With Delanie Walker doubtful, Jonnu Smith is a viable streaming option at tight end. However, Mike Vrabel said he was “hopeful” that Walker could play, so keep an eye on his status before you commit to Smith. Although no wide receivers got injury designations, that’s where the story is for this week’s game. For Jacksonville, D.J. Chark, Chris Conley, and Dede Westbrook all missed time during practice this week. Chark and Conley were limited participants on Wednesday, and Westbrook only practiced on Friday. While I doubt that this will affect their in-game performance, it’ll be worth monitoring in case any of them aggravate the injuries they are working through. For Tennessee, Corey Davis will be available again after he missed Week 10. That said, A.J. Brown has emerged as the Titans receiver to own with Ryan Tannehill under center.
Cowboys at Patriots (Sunday, 4:25 PM EST)
Cowboys: No fantasy-significant injury report listings.
Patriots: QB Tom Brady (elbow) QUESTIONABLE, WR Phillip Dorsett (concussion) QUESTIONABLE, WR Mohamed Sanu (ankle) QUESTIONABLE, WR Julian Edelman (shoulder) QUESTIONABLE, CB Jason McCourty (groin) QUESTIONABLE, S Patrick Chung (heel/chest) QUESTIONABLE.
Yikes. Tom Brady and three of his receivers are questionable for Sunday’s game against the Cowboys. Although Belichick has been starting players despite their questionable tags all season, especially Julian Edelman, this week bodes poorly for the Pats’ passing attack. I fully expect that both Brady and Edelman will play, but I’m not sure if they’ll be at full speed since Brady has injured the elbow of his throwing arm. While the Pats are optimistic that Dorsett will be able to play, they are less optimistic about Mohamed Sanu’s odds. Reports came out that he could face a multi-week absence on Thursday, but the fact that he logged at least a limited practice on Friday is a good sign. N’Keal Harry would benefit the most if Sanu or Dorsett sit out. The Pats’ vulnerabilities at wide receiver leave a big gap for running backs James White, Sony Michel, and Rex Burkhead to potentially exploit. As a result, I think that both White and Michel should be strong RB2 plays this week. On the Cowboys’ side of the football, the Pats’ banged-up secondary will create opportunities for Dak Prescott to connect with his receivers. Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, and Randall Cobb should get a small boost in value accordingly.
Packers at 49ers (Sunday, 8:20 PM EST)
Packers: No fantasy-significant injury report listings.
49ers: RB Matt Breida (ankle) DOUBTFUL, TE George Kittle (knee, ankle) QUESTIONABLE, WR Deebo Samuel (shoulder) QUESTIONABLE, WR Emmanuel Sanders (ribs) QUESTIONABLE.
The Packers may look pretty healthy heading into Sunday Night Football, but star receiver Davante Adams was limited in practice all week with a toe injury. Although he’ll play on Sunday, he might not be at 100 percent. Green Bay is still a lot better than San Francisco, however, as many of the 49ers’ best playmakers earned injury designations. Don’t expect to see Matt Breida on Sunday, and his absence gives Tevin Coleman and Raheem Mostert a boost in value. George Kittle returned to practice this week and said that he expects to play against the Packers. If he suits up, he’s a high-end TE1. If he can’t, Ross Dwelley should remain a viable streaming option. Sanders played through his rib injury last week, so I’d look for him to do so again — but you shouldn’t start him even if he plays. Shanahan limited him to just 47% of snaps last week, and Sanders will have to take on Jaire Alexander while still banged-up. Alexander limited Sanders to just two receptions for 10 yards in Week 3 when he was still a Denver Bronco. Finally, Deebo Samuel suffered a shoulder injury in last week’s game against Arizona, and although he went off for eight receptions and 134 yards last week, his status is worth monitoring as game time approaches. Wide receiver Kendrick Bourne could be a sneaky flex play if Kittle and Samuel can’t suit up, as he’s earned 14 targets, 73 yards, and two touchdowns through the last two weeks.