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FFL: Week 12 | NFL: Week 12

Injury Status: Week 7

Thu Oct 22 10:19am ET
By JEFF PAUR
Sr Fantasy Writer

I wanted to talk some strategy when it comes to injury. Most of you probably do this but if not, here is a tip. If you have an injured player that is iffy to play. Try to use him in your flex spot so you have some flexibility if the player has to miss the game. That way you aren’t tied into using a specific position if the player misses. I realize that some circumstances might not allow that. You might have three must plays at running back each week, trying up a flex spot. But again, if you have flexibility at the flex spot, try to use those game-time decisions at those spots. Just a thought.

Now here is the latest injury news from around the league. . . . .

Alshon Jeffery, WR, Eagles. Jeffery is trying to return from a foot injury but apparently injured his calf in practice this week. Both injuries will keep him out of action this week once again. We aren’t sure when he returns to action. Hopefully, sooner than later. 

Denzel Mims, WR, Jets. Mims is finally nearing a return from his hamstring injury. As long as he doesn’t have any setbacks in practice this week, the Jets expect to have Mims in the lineup. He could make an impact in a hurry, getting a chance to play a role in a passing game looking for options at receiver.

DeSean Jackson, WR, Eagles. Jackson is not even on the Injury Report this week. His hamstring injury is finally near full strength. He could play a big role right away, getting a chance to head right back into the starting lineup. 

Zach Ertz, TE, Eagles. Ertz suffered a high-ankle sprain last week and is going to miss a good chunk of time with the injury. He could be out almost a month. Dallas Goedert will start for the Eagles if he is healthy enough to play.

Miles Sanders, RB, Eagles. Sanders is another injured Eagle. He will miss the game this week because of a knee injury. The good news is Sanders seemed to avoid something too serious. He might not be out much longer than this week. Boston Scott should get the start for the Eagles in Week 7.

Dallas Goedert, TE, Eagles. Goedert is eligible to return from Injured Reserve this week and has a chance to be ready for the Week 7 game. He is up in the air right now but has not been ruled out. He is looking like a game-time decision. But if he is active for this week, he is a top fantasy play as the starter in this offense. Goedert has huge upside going forward.

Jonnu Smith, TE, Titans. Smith suffered a sprained ankle last week and left the game early. His ankle injury is not considered too serious, though. Smith has been limited in practice this week and has a decent shot to play. We should have a better idea later in the week but consider him a decent bet to play right now. If Smith happens to sit out, Anthony Firkser would start for the Titans and have good fantasy value.

Sam Darnold, QB, Jets. Darnold has missed the last few games with a shoulder injury. He is practicing on a limited basis this week, so he is getting closer to a return. The Jets aren’t going to rush him back unless he is ready, though, so another week missed is likely for Darnold.

Sammy Watkins, WR, Chiefs. Watkins remains out of practice because of hamstring injury. He is not expected to play this week, giving Demarcus Robinson and Mecole Hardman more playing time at receiver.

Michael Thomas, WR, Saints. Thomas sat out last week because of disciplinary reasons, but was also nursing an ankle injury. He has a new injury, though, besides the ankle, having some sort of hamstring injury. So he is dealing with two injuries, but was able to practice on a limited basis to start the week. He seems to have a decent shot to return this week but keep an eye on the practice notes late in the week before putting him in your lineup. He isn’t a sure thing to play just yet, looking like a game-time decision.

Raheem Mostert, RB, 49ers. Mostert left the game early last week because of an ankle injury. He is not expected to play this week and could miss a few weeks of action. Jerrick McKinnon will start while Mostert is out of the lineup once again.

DJ Chark, WR, Jaguars. Chark was back in the lineup last week but remains limited in practice because of an ankle injury. He should be good to go this weekend after playing last week and getting near his usual workload.

Keenan Allen, WR, Chargers. Allen was off last week but had to leave the previous week’s game because of back spasms. The Chargers are downplaying the injury, but he has been limited in practice to start the week. We would expect him to play but a back injury is a little scary because it could pop up at any time. But if active, it is hard to sit Allen because of his huge upside.

Jeff Paur is a two-time finalist for FSWA Fantasy Football Writer of the Year and won the FSWA award for Best Fantasy Football Article on the Web in 2011. He also was the most accurate expert in 2012, winning the FSTA Fantasy Football Accuracy Award. If you have any questions for Jeff, email him at jeff@rtsports.com. Follow Jeff on Twitter @jeffpaur.

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Player Notes
Dallas Cowboys Nov 26 5:10pm ET

The Houston Texans Defense played their best game of the year against the Lions on Thanksgiving. Houston recorded four sacks, two recovered fumbles, and an interception, which was returned for a touchdown. J.J. Watt did the honors, snatching an errant Matthew Stafford throw and waltzing into the end zone. This was an impressive effort by the Texans, though they should still be left off the fantasy radar next week against a Colts' offense that is starting to put it together.

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Keke Coutee Nov 26 5:00pm ET

Houston Texans wide receiver Keke Coutee caught two of three targets for 17 yards in a 41-25 win over Detroit. Coutee nearly hauled in a deep pass from Deshaun Watson early in the game, but it was just out of his reach. Other than that, the 23-year-old took a backseat to Will Fuller V and Brandin Cooks. With Randall Cobb (toe) on the injured reserve, Coutee could again be looking at increased playing time. However, the matchup with the Colts next week is a tough one.

From RotoBaller

Jordan Akins Nov 26 5:00pm ET

Houston Texans tight end Jordan Akins saw two targets and failed to record a catch in a Week 12 win over Detroit. Unfortunately for his fantasy managers, both targets grazed off his hands in the end zone- so the day could have been a fruitful one. The good news is, Akins seems to have a pretty decent hold on the tight end room. Houston will probably continue to rotate players in and out, but Deshaun Watson clearly trusts the veteran tight end. A Week 13 matchup with Indianapolis will make it hard to feel comfortable starting Akins, though.

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Brandin Cooks Nov 26 4:50pm ET

Houston Texans wide receiver Brandin Cooks caught all five targets for 85 receiving yards in a 41-25 win over the Lions. That makes back-to-back 85-yard games for Cooks, who is thriving with Deshaun Watson throwing him passes. The two connected over the middle of the field on several occasions, as the porous Lions' secondary had no answers for the passing game. The 27-year-old has exceeded 50 yards in seven of 11 contests this year and has three touchdowns to go along with those numbers. He's become a weekly starter and one who will be hard to take out of the lineup in Week 13, even against a tough Colts' defense.

From RotoBaller

Will Fuller Nov 26 4:40pm ET

Houston Texans wide receiver Will Fuller V had a monster game in a Thanksgiving day win over the Lions. Fuller caught six of seven targets for a season-high 171 yards and two touchdowns. A strong game from the 26-year old turned into a beastly one in the fourth quarter, as he torched the Lions' defense on two deep balls for scores, showcasing his great connection with quarterback Deshaun Watson. Fuller has at least 80 yards in three of his last four games and has found the end zone three times in that span. The Colts' 4th-ranked pass defense awaits in Week 13, though Fuller is too good to have on the bench.

From RotoBaller

Duke Johnson Nov 26 4:30pm ET

Houston Texans running back Duke Johnson enjoyed a bounce-back game in a win over Detroit. Johnson carried the ball eight times for 37 rushing yards and caught three of four targets for 43 receiving yards and a touchdown. He couldn't get much going on the ground against a beatable run defense, which was a bit disappointing, though it was nice to see him find the end zone. He did have a touchdown stolen by backup C.J. Prosise, though that shouldn't take away from Johnson's good effort. There's a chance that starter David Johnson (head) returns next week, which would put Duke Johnson back in a complementary role. Either way, a Week 13 matchup with Indianapolis is not one to target for running backs.

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Deshaun Watson Nov 26 4:20pm ET

Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson completed 17 of 25 passes for 318 passing yards with four scores and added 24 rushing yards in a 41-25 win over the Lions on Thanksgiving. Watson had it all working today, though his deep-ball connection with Will Fuller V stole the show, as the two hooked up for two touchdowns of 30 yards or more. The 25-year-old is playing on another level right now, with 16 total touchdowns and no interceptions in his last six games. No one is benching Watson next week, though expectations should be tempered a bit when he faces off with the Colts' 4th-ranked pass defense.

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Marvin Jones Nov 26 4:10pm ET

Detroit Lions wide receiver Marvin Jones Jr. caught six passes for 48 yards in the Lions 41-25 loss to the Texans on Thanksgiving. The veteran led the Lions with 12 targets but the Lions passing offense really struggled after a promising start. Jones Jr. also left the game in the final minutes with an apparent leg injury and the extent is unknown at this time. Jones Jr. deserves a fantasy roster spot in deeper leagues but the return of Kenny Golladay next week and a possible injury could hamper an already middling value moving forward.

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Mohamed Sanu Nov 26 4:10pm ET

Detroit Lions wide receiver Mohamed Sanu caught four passes for 32 yards with one touchdown and a two-point conversion reception in the Lions 41-25 loss to the Texans on Thanksgiving. The veteran got an opportunity with the injury to Kenny Golladay and was able to secure a pass from quarterback Matthew Stafford for a 14-yard touchdown late in the game. Sanu possesses very little fantasy appeal but could siphon touchdowns away from Golladay and tight end T.J. Hockenson in the coming weeks if he continues to see the field.

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Adrian Peterson Nov 26 4:00pm ET

Detroit Lions running back Adrian Peterson carried the ball 15 times for 55 yards with two touchdowns in the Lions 41-25 loss to the Texans on Thanksgiving. Peterson punched in two short-yardage scores before the Texans ran away with the game and led the team in carries. With starting running back D'Andre Swift out with a concussion, the veteran back ran hard but was unable to break off any big gains. Swift's status heading into Week 13 will determine Peterson's fantasy value moving forward.

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Matthew Stafford Nov 26 4:00pm ET

Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford completed 28-of-42 passes for 295 yards, one touchdown and one interception in the Lions 41-25 loss to the Texans on Thanksgiving. The Lions offense simply is not the same without star receiver Kenny Golladay and a strong first half was wasted by stagnant offensive play in the second half. The veteran also was the victim of a fantastic interception by the Texans J.J. Watt, who took it to the house for 19-yard touchdown. Stafford was able to rack up some passing yards with the game out of reach but consistently struggled in the red zone. Stafford will continue to lack QB1 appeal heading into Week 13.

From RotoBaller

T.J. Hockenson Nov 26 4:00pm ET

Detroit Lions tight end T.J. Hockenson caught five passes for a team-high 89 receiving yards in the Lions 41-25 loss to the Texans on Thanksgiving. Hockenson got off to a promising start, coming down with a 51-yard reception. The talented tight end saw eight targets in the game but his production dissipated in the second half with the Lions down multiple scores. The Lions season is going off the rails but Hockenson continues to be a bright spot. He didn't find the end zone but should continue to be one of the main focal points in the passing offense moving forward.

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Sam Darnold Nov 26 3:40pm ET

New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (shoulder) practiced in full on Thursday, which is a sign he's heading toward a return in Week 12 against the Dolphins. Darnold was limited on Wednesday and appears to be on track to play on Sunday after missing the team's last two games in Weeks 9 and 11. The 23-year-old could be a bit more intriguing as a low-end QB2 in superflex leagues now that wide receivers Breshad Perriman, Jamison Crowder and rookie Denzel Mims are all healthy, and Miami's defense also allows the 10th-most fantasy points per game to quarterbacks. Veteran Joe Flacco gave the winless Jets a chance in the last two games as the starter, but he'll go back to holding the clipboard for Darnold if he plays. Crowder will have more upside if Darnold returns, too.

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Mitch Trubisky Nov 26 3:20pm ET

For the second straight day, Chicago Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky (shoulder) practiced in full on Thursday, while Nick Foles (hip) did not practice. Head coach Matt Nagy hinted on Wednesday that Trubisky was on track to start in Week 12 against the division-rival Packers, and that is even closer to happening with Foles still unable to practice. It's not like Foles has been good since replacing Trubisky in Week 3. While neither QB is more than a low-end QB2 in superflex leagues in this stagnant offense, but at least Trubisky can offer fantasy managers a little something with his legs. The Packers Defense has also allowed the sixth-fewest fantasy points per game to signal-callers, so whoever starts under center for Chicago won't be a great fantasy option. Trubisky threw for 562 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions in two games against Green Bay in 2019.

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Tom Brady Nov 26 2:30pm ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers center A.Q. Shipley (neck), who has been filling in as a starter the last two weeks, may be dealing with a career-ending neck injury, according to head coach Bruce Arians. Shipley left the Monday night loss to the Rams in the fourth quarter. It's bad news for a Tampa offensive line that is already without starting left guard Ali Marpet, who has missed three games with a concussion. Starting center Ryan Jensen was moved to left guard because of Marpet's injury after Joe Haeg struggled in the blowout loss to the Saints. Left tackle Donovan Smith (ankle) also missed practice this week. It's something to watch for quarterback Tom Brady's protection heading into Week 12 in their contest against the Chiefs.

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D.J. Chark Nov 26 2:20pm ET

Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver D.J. Chark Jr. (ribs) did not practice on Thursday for the second straight day. Chark is now in danger of sitting out in Week 12 against a vulnerable Browns Defense unless he gets in at least a limited practice on Friday. As of right now, the 24-year-old should be considered a shaky WR3/flex with quarterback Mike Glennon making his first start under center since 2017 with the Bears. If Chark is unable to suit up on Sunday, it'll boost the values of Keelan Cole, Chris Conley and rookie Laviska Shenault Jr. (if he plays). But the bottom line is it's tough to trust any Jacksonville pass-catcher with the team on their third starting QB in 2020. Running back James Robinson is the team's only real safe fantasy play against Cleveland.

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Los Angeles Rams Nov 26 2:20pm ET

The Los Angeles Rams placed linebacker Micah Kiser (knee) on Injured Reserve on Thursday. Kiser has been really solid on the interior of the Rams Defense this year, recording 77 tackles (44 solo), three passes defensed and one forced fumble in nine games this season. The 25-year-old from Virginia suffered the knee injury in the Monday night win over the Buccaneers. While LA will miss his presence for at least the next three games, their defensive unit as a whole should remain fantasy relevant. The Rams defense should be considered a top-five fantasy unit this weekend against the division-rival 49ers and backup quarterback Nick Mullens.

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Hayden Hurst Nov 26 2:10pm ET

Atlanta Falcons running back Todd Gurley II (knee) and tight end Hayden Hurst (ankle) were held out of practice for the second straight day on Thursday. Fantasy managers definitely don't want to see Gurley and a knee injury mentioned in the same sentence. He played a season-low 36 percent of the snaps in Week 11, too, and has a well-documented history with knee issues. He'll need at least a limited practice on Friday to have a chance at facing the Raiders in Week 12. Whoever is the team's primary back, though, will have some upside against a Raiders defense that has allowed the fourth-most fantasy points per game to running backs. Gurley owners might want to run to the waiver wire and add Brian Hill right now. Hurst had no catches last week and is in danger of missing Sunday's game. If he cannot play, Luke Stocker and Jaeden Graham would split repetitions at the tight end position for Atlanta. Hurst is a very shaky low-end TE1 at this point.

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Calvin Ridley Nov 26 1:50pm ET

Atlanta Falcons wide receivers Julio Jones (hamstring) and Calvin Ridley (foot) were limited in practice on Thursday. The Falcons announced earlier this week that Jones would be a game-time decision in Week 12 against the Raiders, but the good news is that he's been limited in two practices this week. However, he played only 22 snaps in Week 11 as he continues to play through nagging injuries. We'd say he's on the right side of questionable, but the 31-year-old All-Pro receiver should be viewed as a shaky WR2/3 if he continues to be limited. Ridley should be fine to play and has clear WR1 upside if Jones is limited again or out entirely against Las Vegas. The Raiders have allowed five receivers to go over 100 yards receiving this year, setting up Ridley as a must-start this weekend.

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Jerry Hughes Nov 26 1:33pm ET

The Buffalo Bills did not practice Thursday, Nov. 26, and the following participation reports are estimations. WR John Brown (ankle) did not participate. OG Cody Ford (ankle) and QB Jake Fromm (non-injury) were limited. DE A.J. Epenesa (concussion), DE Jerry Hughes (back), RB Taiwan Jones (hamstring), TE Dawson Knox (hamstring) and CB Josh Norman (illness) were full participants.

From TheHuddle