Week 13 Practice Report & Injury Recap (2020 Fantasy Football)
Another week of football means another week of injuries. Each Friday, I’ll break down the NFL practice reports by matchup. That’s when teams release two key pieces of information: first, a player’s status (full-go, limited, no-go) in practice that week; second, their injury designation (questionable, doubtful, out). It’s vital stuff to follow for your fantasy matchups, and I’ll walk you through the important things to know.
Saints at Falcons (Sunday, 1:00 PM EST)
The Falcons could be without Jones and Gurley again. Both players earned limited practice reps on Wednesday and Friday, but neither practiced on Thursday. Jones said that he “feels really good,” so I think he’ll play, but there’s always a risk that he re-aggravates his hamstring injury during the game. He’s not someone you can bench if he’s active, but I would definitely avoid him in DFS.
Gurley is another story. The issues with his arthritic knee are well-documented, and I’m suspicious about his status for Sunday. Even he does suit up, don’t expect him to contribute much to your fantasy team against New Orleans’ defense, as they give up the fewest half-PPR points per game to the position.
For the Saints, both Alvin Kamara and Michael Thomas cleared the practice report without earning injury designations, so they should both be all set for Sunday despite only logging limited practices on Wednesday and Thursday.
And if your league still uses a kicker, Younghoe Koo didn’t receive an injury designation and should be good to go on Sunday.
Browns at Titans (Sunday, 1:00 PM EST)
Perhaps an injury was to blame for Smith’s goose-egg last week after all. It didn’t appear that he got hurt during the game, but he failed to practice at all heading into this one, so look for Geoff Swaim and Anthony Firkser to pick up the slack at tight end. They’re both touchdown-dependent streamers against Cleveland’s third-worst tight end defense.
The cornerback injuries should free up the passing attacks in this game. While running backs are the focal point of both offenses, we could see a handful of big plays with both Jackson and Ward still sidelined. The Titans may have Malcolm Butler on Jarvis Landry when the receiver lines up the perimeter, but Butler doesn’t often follow receivers into the slot. Butler’s slot rate (4.1%) is far lower than Landry’s (44.8%), so I wouldn’t worry about tight coverage if you’re starting Landry.
Lions at Bears (Sunday, 1:00 PM EST)
Lions: WR Kenny Golladay (hip) OUT, CB Jeff Okudah (shoulder) OUT, QB Matthew Stafford (thumb) QUESTIONABLE, RB D’Andre Swift (concussion) QUESTIONABLE.
Bears: DT Akiem Hicks (hamstring) QUESTIONABLE, OLB Khalil Mack (back) QUESTIONABLE, WR Allen Robinson (knee) QUESTIONABLE, WR Darnell Mooney (knee) QUESTIONABLE.
There’s a lot to break down here, so I’ll start with Detroit. It seems increasingly likely that Golladay might not come back at all, as he hasn’t seen the practice field since Week 8. With Golladay sidelined, T.J. Hockenson, Marvin Jones, and Danny Amendola will operate as the featured pass-catchers. Of the three, I’m most excited about Hockenson this week, as the Bears give up the second-most half-PPR points per game to the position — compared to the third-fewest for wideouts.
Expect Stafford to play through his injury tag and get the start. It’ll be the first game led by interim head coach Darrell Bevell, and Stafford will look to prove that he wasn’t the problem during Matt Patricia’s ill-fated term. He’ll have a tough task against a tough Bears defense, as they rank sixth against opposing quarterbacks, but the injuries to key playmakers in Hicks and Mack could limit their effectiveness.
Meanwhile, running back D’Andre Swift missed last week’s game with a concussion. Fellow running back Adrian Peterson said that Swift “hasn’t been himself” since the injury, adding that the rookie hadn’t had the same “energy level.” Even if Swift suits up, temper your expectations for him, especially now that Patricia has been ousted — we don’t know exactly how Bevell sees this backfield.
A pair of wideouts got questionable tags from the Bears. Mooney got held out of Friday’s practice “as a precaution” but is expected to play; meanwhile, Robinson left Friday’s practice with a knee injury, and his status seems genuinely up the air. If Robinson can’t play, Mooney should be a high-upside WR4/FLEX option against Detroit’s eighth-worst wide receiver defense.
Bengals at Dolphins (Sunday, 1:00 PM EST)
Bengals: No fantasy-relevant injuries.
Dolphins: RB Salvon Ahmed (shoulder) DOUBTFUL, RB DeAndre Washington (hamstring) DOUBTFUL, RB/WR Malcolm Perry (chest) QUESTIONABLE, QB Tua Tagovailoa (thumb) QUESTIONABLE, RB Matt Breida (COVID).
The Dolphins are continuing to hemorrhage running backs. Last week’s leader in rushing attempts, Washington, is now unlikely to play against the Bengals. While the team could get Myles Gaskin back, they still haven’t’ activated him, and there’s a real shot that they’re left with some mix of Patrick Laird and utility players Malcolm Perry and Lynn Bowden. If that happens, Laird could be a sneaky low-end RB3/FLEX play, but I wouldn’t get too excited about him. That said, I suspect that the injuries will give Miami a reason to bring Gaskin back this week, even if he isn’t 100%.
Tagovailoa’s status is arguably the bigger story, and it sounds like his status is genuinely up in the air. Brian Flores said the coaching staff would take a look at his practice tape, which is exactly what they did last week before ruling him out. If Tagovailoa can’t play, Ryan Fitzpatrick becomes a rock-solid streaming option against Cincinnati.
Jaguars at Vikings (Sunday, 1:00 PM EST)
Mike Glennon made his first start for Jacksonville last Sunday, and he’ll make his second despite Gardner Minshew‘s return to health. He’ll have D.J. Chark back this week, too, and he might get Conley back as well. Conley was limited in practice all week with his hip injury, and I suspect that he’ll get the go-ahead at this point. If he doesn’t fellow wideout Keelan Cole would be a fantastic WR3/FLEX option against Minnesota’s third-worst defense against wideouts. If Conley does suit up, he and Cole would both be shaky WR4/FLEX plays.
The Vikings won’t have Irv Smith for another week, and that means more volume for Kyle Rudolph. He caught seven passes for 68 yards against the Panthers last week, and he’s not a bad streaming option against Jacksonville’s seventh-worst tight end defense.
Colts at Texans (Sunday, 1:00 PM EST)
Colts: OT Anthony Castonzo (knee) OUT.
Texans: No fantasy-relevant injuries
The good news for Houston is that David Johnson “on track to play” this week. The bad news is that Randall Cobb is stuck on injured reserve while Will Fuller serves a six-game suspension. We can expect fantasy-relevant numbers from Houston’s reserve pass-catchers, like Keke Coutee and Jordan Akins, as long as Deshaun Watson is throwing them the football. That said, Johnson could have an expanded role in the passing game, too, and he should be a viable RB2 this week.
The Colts won’t have their starting left tackle this week, and that’s never good news, but it could be worse news than usual since the Texans rank ninth in adjusted sack rate. J.J. Watt and company could cause problems for Philip Rivers behind the line of scrimmage.
Raiders at Jets (Sunday, 1:00 PM EST)
Raiders: RB Josh Jacobs (ankle) OUT.
Jets: No fantasy-relevant injuries.
It’s official: Josh Jacobs is out for Sunday’s visit to MetLife Stadium. His absence will create a ton of upside for veteran tailback Devontae Booker, who ran for 81 yards on 16 attempts just three weeks ago. While I’m not expecting a similar high-powered stat line from him here, he should be a viable option at RB2/FLEX against New York’s defense, as they rank 11th-worst against the position.
Giants at Seahawks (Sunday, 4:05 PM EST)
Giants: QB Daniel Jones (hamstring) DOUBTFUL.
Seahawks: No fantasy-relevant injuries.
With Danny Dimes unlikely to play, Colt McCoy could be a viable fantasy asset against Seattle’s struggling secondary. Sure, Carson Wentz just stunk it up against them on Monday Night Football, but he’s Carson Wentz, and the Seahawks have given up the most fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks this season.
I wouldn’t let Jones’ injury status scare you away from Sterling Shepard, as the veteran wideout looked good with McCoy last week, and the Seahawks also give up the most half-PPR points per game to opposing wideouts.
Rams at Cardinals (Sunday, 4:05 PM EST)
Rams: No fantasy-relevant injuries.
Cardinals: WR Larry Fitzgerald (COVID).
Quarterback Kyler Murray continues to nurse an AC joint sprain, but he was full-go in practice on both Thursday and Friday. That said, you should consider some other options this week. In Murray’s two games against the Rams last season, he scored 13.3 and 13.0 points, which isn’t close to QB1 production. If you can find a better streamer, throw them in your lineup; if not, stick with Murray and hope for the best.
Patriots at Chargers (Sunday, 4:25 PM EST)
Whenever I write this column, I groan before I get to the section about New England. The Patriots always list a ton of players as questionable, but they almost always play every Sunday. For example, they listed 17 players as questionable back in Week 10, yet only two (11.7%) were inactive. Questionable tags are supposed to indicate players who have about a 50% chance to play. They clearly don’t in New England.
Anyway, Cam Newton will almost certainly play on Sunday.
The Chargers may not have Ballage or Hayward this week, but neither of those developments matter much. The Patriots don’t pass enough for Hayward’s presence to really affect his one, while Ballage is firmly behind Austin Ekeler on the depth chart.
Eagles at Packers (Sunday, 4:25 PM EST)
Eagles: CB Darius Slay (calf) QUESTIONABLE.
Packers: No fantasy-relevant injuries.
We should get another duel between Davnate Adams and Darius Slay this week, but Slay was limited in practice on Thursday and Friday, so he may not be operating at 100%. The two had a humorous offseason exchange at Matt Patrica’s expense, and I bet that Slay will have something to prove now that the Patrica era has ended in Detroit. That’s not a reason to fade Adams, especially if he ends up on the wrong side of questionable, but it should be a fun story to follow on Sunday afternoon.
Broncos at Chiefs (Sunday, 8:20 PM EST)
The Broncos will have a real quarterback this week! Fill-in Kendall Hinton played admirably given the circumstances, but he’s no substitute for an NFL-groomed quarterback, and Drew Lock will get the start now that he’s been activated from the COVID-19/reserve list.
While they’re both questionable, Lock should have both Lindsay and Jeudy this week. Lindsay missed Wednesday’s practice but practiced without limitations on Friday, and I’d be stunned if the tough undrafted free agent sat out. Meanwhile, Jeudy logged limited reps all week long, but Vic Fangio said that he expects Jeudy to play with few restrictions on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Edwards-Helaire missed practice on Thursday and Friday with an illness. When asked about his status for Sunday, Andy Reid said that “we think we’re going to get him back.” CEH totaled 63 yards and a score against Denver back in Week 7.
If you want to dive deeper into fantasy football, be sure to check out our award-winning slate of Fantasy Football Tools as you navigate your season. From our Start/Sit Assistant – which provides your optimal lineup, based on accurate consensus projections – to our Waiver Wire Assistant – that allows you to quickly see which available players will improve your team, and by how much – we’ve got you covered this fantasy football season.