Week 13 Injury Report Recap (2019 Fantasy Football)
The biggest story this week? Bill Belichick listed 17 players as questionable for the game against Houston. Add Ryan Izzo, who is out, and you’re just four guys short of a starting lineup. Each week, I’ll be breaking down teams’ injury reports to give you some instant fantasy advice. Let’s get started.
Titans at Colts (Sunday, 1:00 PM EST)
The Titans shut down Walker this week, which means that Jonnu Smith will be a low-end TE1 option for the rest of the season. Smith didn’t catch a pass last week and ran for just four years, but I’d look for him to rebound against the Colts. Indianapolis will be starting Jonathan Williams again this week as Mack’s absence continues. Williams has looked good in his past two appearances, and the Titans’ defense against running backs isn’t much to write home about. Nyheim Hines should be a flex option without Mack, and his pass-catching ability gives him a boost in PPR formats. That said, the Colts did not use Jordan Wilkins last week, which may have been because of his ankle injury. The Colts were on a short week last time out, so don’t write Wilkins off just yet. In the passing game, the Colts were forced to shut down Eric Ebron, and they won’t have Hilton again. Jack Doyle and Zach Pascal should both be startable options as a result, and Parris Campbell could be a high-upside, low-floor WR3/flex option if he can suit up.
Jets at Bengals (Sunday, 1:00 PM EST)
Neither of these injury designations should surprise you. The Jets have listed Thomas as questionable almost every week, and he’s a safe bet to play through his questionable tag. He’s not really on the fantasy radar, as Jamison Crowder, Robby Anderson, Le’Veon Bell, and Ryan Griffin seem to be higher on the totem pole. Meanwhile, Green’s absence continues to drag out. Without him, Tyler Boyd is a safe WR2, and both Auden Tate and Alex Erickson are matchup-dependent options at WR3/4. Andy Dalton’s return under center should also boost their value.
Redskins at Panthers (Sunday, 1:00 PM EST)
Redskins: WR Paul Richardson (hamstring) OUT.
Panthers: No fantasy-significant injury report listings.
The biggest story here is the return of Chris Thompson. We haven’t seen Bill Callahan’s run-first offense with all three of Thompson, Adrian Peterson, and Derrius Guice. The Panthers’ defense has also been awful against running backs this year, so look for Callahan to run the ball a lot on Sunday. Before Thompson’s return, Peterson and Guice had been splitting carries evenly — Guice got 17 carries to Peterson’s 19. Both had also gotten used in the passing game, but I’d expect Thompson’s return to limit that moving forward. That said, the Panthers tend to give up more fantasy points to running backs on the ground than through the air, so Peterson and Guice are the best bets from Washington this week. It’s a coinflip as to who wins out, but both are in the RB3/flex conversation. Paul Richardson’s injury gives Terry McLaurin some added floor, meaning he’ll remain a WR2 even with Dwayne Haskins under center.
49ers at Ravens (Sunday, 1:00 PM EST)
Not that it matters for fantasy purposes, but Pettis has a non-contact knee injury and is week-to-week. Emmanuel Sanders, Deebo Samuel, and George Kittle all cleared the 49ers’ injury report this week for their big game against the Ravens. Baltimore’s defense has improved throughout 2019, but they’ve been most vulnerable to opposing wideouts. Since San Francisco should have their full arsenal of weapons (except Pettis, but he hasn’t done much) in Baltimore, I’d look for either Sanders or Samuel to have a big game. Kittle is always a safe bet to produce, too, especially as he’s the focal point of their passing attack. If Breida can’t go, Tevin Coleman and Raheem Mostert should be low-end RB2/flex options, but the tough matchup caps their value. They’ll have even less of a chance on the ground if run-stuffer Michael Pierce makes his return. Since there’s a good chance that the Ravens get ahead early and force Shanahan to pass, I’d avoid the San Francisco backfield regardless of Breida’s status.
Buccaneers at Jaguars (Sunday, 1:00 PM EST)
Miller shot onto the fantasy radar two weeks ago when he caught four passes for 71 yards against the Saints. Unfortunately, he followed it up with one reception for just eight yards against the Falcons last week, and he’s set to miss this week’s game with the Jaguars. As unpredictable as Jameis Winston has been this year, it’s still clear that he favors Chris Godwin and Mike Evans over any other receivers on the roster. Although Miller’s absence will boost Breshad Perriman’s snap count, I’d avoid any Tampa Bay wideouts behind Godwin and Evans on the depth chart. The Jags enter this game pretty healthy on offense, but the potential absence of stud linebacker Myles Jack does not bode well for them defensively. He is the quarterback of their defense, and they could struggle on Sunday if he can’t suit up. If Jack sits out, look for Ronald Jones to have a big day on the ground.
Browns at Steelers (Sunday, 1:00 PM EST)
The Steelers will be without their No. 1 wide receiver and No. 1 running back again this week. Pittsburgh has pivoted to more of a run-focused offense this season, so Benny Snell stands to benefit the most from both of their absences. In his two full games without Conner, Snell has logged 38 carries for 173 yards. He is yet to find the end zone, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he does exactly that against the Browns this week. He’s an RB2 this week. Jaylen Samuels still has a role to play in this offense, although he’s mostly limited to the passing game, so I wouldn’t start him outside of PPR. He’s a fringe flex option this week after his dud last time out. As far as the receivers go, neither Diontae Johnson nor James Washington has much floor with Devlin Hodges under center — even with Smith-Schuster out. Both will be boom-or-bust WR3/4 plays this week. Lastly, while Odell Beckham cleared the Browns’ injury report, he was limited in practice all week. He was similarly limited in practice last week, but he managed to gash the Dolphins for 84 yards and a touchdown. Pittsburgh is a tougher opponent than Miami, however, so keep Beckham’s health in mind as you set your lineups this week.
Packers at Giants (Sunday, 1:00 PM EST)
The Giants’ receivers can’t seem to stay on the field this season. Without Tate, Sterling Shepard should have the slot receiver role locked down. He’s been able to produce consistently when healthy this season, and I’d look for him to finish with low-end WR2 numbers against Green Bay this week. Tate’s injury should also boost rookie Darius Slayton’s usage, and I’d pencil him in as a WR3/flex option. Through his past two games, Slayton has turned 22 targets into 14 receptions, 188 yards, and two scores. While I’m expecting some regression from Slayton, the Giants’ injury woes keep him on the fantasy radar. Third-string tight end Kaden Smith finished as the TE5 last week without Engram and Ellison, but he’s nothing more than a touchdown-dependent streaming option.
Eagles at Dolphins (Sunday, 1:00 PM EST)
Eagles: RB Jordan Howard (shoulder) QUESTIONABLE, TE Zach Ertz (hamstring) QUESTIONABLE.
Dolphins: CB Ken Webster (ankle) QUESTIONABLE, CB Ken Crawley (shoulder) QUESTIONABLE, S Steven Parker (groin) QUESTIONABLE.
This week’s Eagles/Dolphins matchup features a beat-up passing offense against a beat-up secondary. While the Eagles get Alshon Jeffery and Nelson Agholor back, we’ll have to see how healthy both players actually are. And while they’ll have those two back, they could be without leading receiver Zach Ertz. If Ertz sits out, Dallas Goedert vaults into mid-tier TE1 territory. I would roll with Jeffery and whoever plays at tight end this week, especially as the Dolphins’ injury report doesn’t capture the full extent of their injuries in the secondary. In addition to those listed above, they’ve got Xavien Howard, Bobby McCain, Aqib Talib, and Reshad Jones on injured reserve. In the running game, Jordan Howard is questionable again. Miles Sanders is an RB2 regardless of whether Howard plays or not, and I’d avoid Jay Ajayi even if Howard can’t play on Sunday. He might get the garbage-time carries to run out the clock, but there’s a lot of risk in starting someone who’s logged just six carries on the year.
Rams at Cardinals (Sunday, 4:05 PM EST)
Kyler Murray made a surprise appearance on the injury report after he logged a full practice session on Friday. It’s the first news about any such injury for Murray, and it’s a story to monitor as Sunday approaches. For the record, ex-Packer Brett Hundley is the backup for Arizona. Hundley has been unimpressive throughout his career, and a change at quarterback would reduce Christian Kirk’s value. That said, the Cards would probably run the ball a lot more, so look for Kenyan Drake and David Johnson to gain value if Murray sits out. On Los Angeles’ side of the ball, the Rams won’t have Gerald Everett this week. Without him in the mix, I’m betting on the rest of the Rams’ receivers to rebound against Arizona. Tyler Higbee could also be a viable tight end streamer.
Chargers at Broncos (Sunday, 4:25 PM EST)
Chargers: No fantasy-significant injury report listings.
Broncos: T Ja’Wuan James (knee) QUESTIONABLE.
After the majority of Denver’s offensive linemen made the injury report last week, all but Ja’Wuan James are locks for this week’s game against the Chargers. The bigger story is who will be under center, as Ian Rapoport expects Drew Lock to return from injured reserve and make his first career start on Sunday. The Broncos’ offensive line will need to do a better job in pass protection than last week if they want to give Lock enough time to pass to Courtland Sutton. Still, I’m cautiously optimistic that Sutton can produce high-end WR2 numbers as he has for most of the season. Wide receiver Tim Patrick will be a high-risk WR4 option this week.
Raiders at Chiefs (Sunday, 4:25 PM EST)
After it looked like he was turning his fantasy season around, Damien Williams got hurt in Week 11 and will miss at least one game with a rib injury. In the two games that he missed earlier this season, LeSean McCoy and Darrel Williams relieved him by splitting carries. McCoy looked good, earning 24 touches for 169 yards and three scores. Meanwhile, Darrel also impressed, turning 25 touches into 165 yards and two touchdowns. McCoy has been trending downward since Damien’s first injury — and he even got concussed last Monday — so Darrel could see even more touches than he saw back then. Both are strong RB2 plays, although neither are free of risk. Notably, the Chiefs will also get Tyreek Hill back after he also hurt his hamstring last Monday. Look for him to torch the Raiders’ soft secondary. For Oakland, Hunter Renfrow’s absence means that Tyrell Williams and Darren Waller won’t have as much competition for targets. Look for them to rebound along with Derek Carr on Sunday.
Patriots at Texans (Sunday, 8:20 PM EST)
Patriots: WR Phillip Dorsett (concussion) QUESTIONABLE, WR Julian Edelman (shoulder) QUESTIONABLE, WR Mohamed Sanu (ankle) QUESTIONABLE, T Marcus Cannon (illness) QUESTIONABLE, T Isaiah Wynn (illness) QUESTIONABLE, OL Jermaine Eluemunor (illness) QUESTIONABLE, LB Dont’a Hightower (illness) QUESTIONABLE, CB Stephon Gilmore (illness) QUESTIONABLE, LB Jamie Collins (illness) QUESTIONABLE, LB Kyle Van Noy (illness) QUESTIONABLE.
Texans: No fantasy-significant injury report listings.
This is ugly. I’m going to start with the non-illness related injury designations that are afflicting New Englands’ receiving corps. While Dorsett, Edelman, and Sanu are all listed as questionable, Edelman has consistently played through his questionable tag. Dorsett and Sanu are more up in the air, but both of them logged limited practices the whole week. N’Keal Harry and Jakobi Meyers stand to benefit the most if either of them misses time. While we thought that James White would benefit from the injuries at receiver last week, he didn’t, so I’m not giving him a boost this week. The bigger story is the illness ripping through the Pats’ locker room. Belichick can’t possibly be planning to sit all of his best players, and of those listed as questionable, only Dont’a Hightower, Kyle Van Noy, and Isaiah Wynn missed a full practice after Wednesday. This is a situation worth monitoring if you own any Patriots or Texans, and you may want to bench the New England D/ST.