The 12th weekend of the fantasy football season is here, and the Rotoworld crew has everything you need to lock up a win. Patrick Daugherty answers your lineup questions with his Week 12 Rankings, Nick Mensio tells you who to start and who to fade in Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em, and Evan Silva breaks down every matchup in his award-winning Matchups Column.
As for me, I am here to shed light on the most important injury situations facing fantasy owners heading into the weekend. The sister resource to this column is the Rotoworld News Page, which will have every inactive and all the late-breaking news up to kickoff and beyond. I also occasionally tweet about football @RMSummerlin.
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Jags @ Bills
*There were not many updates about T.J. Yeldon this week after he left Sunday's game with an ankle injury, but he is unlikely to play despite a questionable tag after not practicing at all this week. Chris Ivory will serve as the clear lead back and is a solid RB3/FLEX play. Yeldon will be joined on the sidelines by Julius Thomas (back), DE Jared Odrick (shoulder), LB Dan Skuta (back), and DE Chris Smith (eye). Not a viable TE1 even when healthy, Thomas can be cut. WR Arrelious Benn (concussion), CB Aaron Colvin (concussion), and DT Abry Jones (ankle) are questionable.
*Despite a questionable tag, LeSean McCoy is fully expected to play after undergoing surgery on his dislocated thumb very early in the week, and he should see plenty of work with Mike Gillislee (hamstring) out. Also practicing was Sammy Watkins, who looks likely to play after sitting on injured reserve for two months with a foot injury. Certain to play limited snaps even if active, Watkins is not worth using this week, but he does have WR1 upside in a great schedule down the stretch. Pick him up if available. Percy Harvin (illness), Charles Clay (knee), OLB Lorenzo Alexander (ankle), LT Cordy Glenn (back), and OT Seantrel Henderson (not injury related) are also questionable. The Bills are “hopeful” Harvin will be able to play through his illness, which is good with Robert Woods (knee) out. S Robert Blanton (foot) and DT Corbin Bryant (shoulder) are also out.
Titans @ Bears
*DeMarco Murray (foot) sat out Wednesday's practice, but he was a full participant Thursday and Friday. This routine has become just that. Murray is a high-end RB1. S Daimion Stafford (hamstring) is questionable while TE Phillip Supernaw (concussion) is out.
*Jay Cutler (right shoulder), LG Josh Sitton (ankle), and OLB Leonard Floyd (concussion) are out. John Fox has called Cutler day-to-day, but he did not practice this week and is going to be out a while if not the rest of the season. Matt Barkley will get the start in his place, but he will be missing Alshon Jeffery (suspended), Zach Miller (foot, injured reserve), and both Sitton and RG Kyle Long, who landed on injured reserve with shoulder and ankle issues a couple weeks ago. The Titans DST is a great play. Eddie Royal (toe), CB Deiondre' Hall (ankle), LB Christian Jones (ankle, back), and DE Mitch Unrein (back) are questionable. Royal did not practice all week and likely will sit as well. Even if he plays, Royal can be left on the wire with Barkley under center.
Cardinals @ Falcons
*Michael Floyd picked up a hamstring injury at Wednesday’s practice and did not get in any work the rest of the week. He is listed as questionable and is officially a game-time decision, but there is little chance he plays. J.J. Nelson and John Brown should pick up the slack in what could be a high-scoring affair. Tyrann Mathieu (shoulder), CB Justin Bethel (foot, knee), S Christian Bryant (groin), WR Brittan Golden (groin), DT Corey Peters (foot), DT Ed Stinson (hip), and RG Earl Watford (shoulder) are also questionable. Mathieu is fully expected to play.
*Tevin Coleman is not even on the injury report coming out of the bye. He practiced in full all week and is ready to return as the 1B in the rushing attack. The news is not as good for CB Desmond Trufant (shoulder), who is questionable after being limited in practice all week. He is a game-time call. P Matt Bosher (hamstring) is also questionable.
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Rams @ Saints
*Todd Gurley sat out Friday’s practice with an illness, and he was added to the report late as questionable. Despite the questionable tag, he will likely be ready to disappoint on Sunday. C Tim Barnes (foot) and DT Ethan Westbrooks (thigh) are questionable.
*Mark Ingram got in three limited practices this week, but he has yet to be cleared from his concussion. He likely will before Sunday, but the questionable tag seems legitimate. Tim Hightower would see a huge workload if Ingram sits. LT Terron Armstead (knee, quad), RB Travaris Cadet (toe), T Tony Hills (abdomen), C Senio Kelemete (triceps), S Shiloh Keo (neck), G Tim Lelito (calf), and DE David Onyemata (knee) are also questionable. RB Daniel Lasco (hamstring) is out.
Bengals @ Ravens
*The good news is A.J. Green (hamstring) has not been ruled out for the season, but he is not going to play this week. Brandon LaFell and Tyler Boyd should pick up the slack. TE C.J. Uzomah (calf) and S Shawn Williams (hamstring) are out while LS Clark Harris (groin) and S Derron Smith (thigh) are questionable.
*The most impactful fantasy news on the Ravens' injury report is the likely absence of CB Jimmy Smith (back, doubtful), which makes LaFell’s matchup quite a bit easier. TE Crockett Gillmore (thigh), LG Alex Lewis (ankle), and RB Lorenzo Taliaferro (thigh) are all out as well. OLB Elvis Dumervil (foot), DT Timmy Jernigan (shoulder), DT Brandon Williams (back, hand), and RG Marshal Yanda (shoulder) are questionable.
Giants @ Browns
*Despite missing practice both Wednesday and Thursday, Jason Pierre-Paul (knee, questionable) promised he will play this week. Orleans Darkwa (lower leg), G Adam Gettis (calf), and Roger Lewis (concussion) are also questionable. C Brett Jones (calf), OT Marshall Newhouse (knee), and LG Justin Pugh (knee) are out. Pugh suffered a “minor” setback this week.
*Cody Kessler (concussion) was ruled out early in the week, meaning Josh McCown will get the start. He is just keeping the spot warm for Robert Griffin III (shoulder), who returned to practice this week. S Ed Reynolds (knee) and CB Tramon Williams (knee) are questionable.
49ers @ Dolphins
*Torrey Smith (shoulder, questionable) should be able to play after getting in three limited practices this week, but it does not matter much from a fantasy perspective. CB Jimmie Ward (concussion), DT Quinton Dial (knee, neck), and OLB Aaron Lynch (ankle) are also questionable.
*Miami has serious problems along the offensive line, with C Mike Pouncey (hip) out, LT Branden Albert (wrist) doubtful, and LT fill-in Laremy Tunsil (shoulder) questionable. Jay Ajayi is in a great spot against a terrible run defense, but the offensive line is a concern. Jarvis Landry (shoulder) is also questionable, but he said he is “close to a 100 percent.” CB Xavien Howard (knee) is doubtful while Kenny Stills (calf), RB Kenyan Drake (knee), LB Jelani Jenkins (knee, hand), LB Spencer Paysinger (neck), DT Ndamukong Suh (knee), and DE Mario Williams (ankle) are questionable.
Chargers @ Texans
*Travis Benjamin (knee) is listed as questionable, but he practiced in full all week. He will be good to go coming out of the bye. WR Jeremy Butler (ankle) and OLB Tourek Williams (hamstring) are also questionable. ILB Jatavis Brown (knee), TE Asante Cleveland (concussion, knee), and CB Brandon Flowers (concussion) are out.
*Alfred Blue (calf) remains out, meaning Akeem Hunt will continue to back up Lamar Miller. RB/KR Tyler Ervin (ribs), LB John Simon (chest), and WR Jaelen Strong (ankle) are also out. FB Jay Prosch (hamstring) is questionable.
Seahawks @ Bucs
*The running back situation in Seattle is less than ideal with both C.J. Prosise (shoulder) and Troymaine Pope (ankle) out. Thomas Rawls should see plenty of work with Alex Collins spelling him as the breather back. FS Earl Thomas (hamstring), DE Michael Bennett (knee), and LB Brock Coyle (foot) are also out. Thomas is dealing with a “first-degree” hamstring strain which should only keep him out one game. Bennett is nearing his return as well. C Justin Britt (ankle), WR Tanner McEvoy (toe), DE Damontre Moore (foot), and CB DeShawn Shead (hamstring) are questionable. Britt seems very unlikely to play after sitting out practice all week.
*C Evan Smith (knee) is going to sit, but the Bucs will get back LG Kevin Pamphile (concussion). Jacquizz Rodgers (foot), CB Brent Grimes (quad), TE Luke Stocker (ankle), and CB Alterraun Verner (not injury related) are questionable. The Bucs are expected to be careful with Rodgers, so it is likely he sits out another week. Charles Sims returned to practice Wednesday and could be ready to go when first eligible Week 14. He is a decent stash in deep leagues.
Patriots @ Jets
*Tom Brady (knee) only got in one practice this week, and it was a limited session on Friday. Still, there has not been much concern about his availability. It would be a shock if he does not play. The picture is not as rosy for Rob Gronkowski (chest, questionable), who practiced all week wearing a non-contact jersey. It seems unlikely Gronk is medically cleared to play this week, leaving Martellus Bennett (ankle, questionable) as the No. 1 tight end if he is healthy enough to play. Julian Edelman (foot), Chris Hogan (back), and CB Cyrus Jones (illness) are also questionable. Special-teams ace Matt Slater (foot) is out.
*Brandon Marshall (foot) was limited on Thursday, but the Jets were just managing his reps. He was not listed on the final report. C Nick Mangold (ankle) only got in one limited practice this week, but he is listed as questionable. It is unlikely he suits up. DT Steve McLendon (hamstring) is also questionable. CB Nick Marshall (ankle) and CB Marcus Williams (ankle) are out.
Panthers @ Raiders
*The Panthers are in rough shape on both sides of the ball, with LT Michael Oher landing on injured reserve with a concussion Friday while Luke Kuechly (concussion), DE Mario Addison (foot), and C Ryan Kalil (shoulder) were ruled out. All three sat out every practice this week. S Tre Boston (ankle), C Gino Gradkowski (knee), CB Leonard Johnson (chest), S Colin Jones (concussion), and LB A.J. Klein (concussion) are questionable.
*Latavius Murray (ankle) and Michael Crabtree (ankle) are both listed as questionable, but there is not much doubt about either. CB David Amerson (knee), C Rodney Hudson (knee), DT Stacy McGee (ankle), S Keith McGill (abdomen), LG Kelechi Osemele (knee), and ILB Perry Riley (hamstring) are also questionable. Amerson is the only one in real danger of sitting after missing practice on Wednesday and Thursday. OLB Shilique Calhoun is out after undergoing a knee procedure earlier this week.
Chiefs @ Broncos
*Jeremy Maclin remains sidelined, meaning Tyreek Hill, Chris Conley, and Albert Wilson should continue to see targets. It will not matter against the Broncos. Travis Kelce is the only usable member of the passing game. OLB Dee Ford (hamstring) and DE Jaye Howard (hip) are also out. Tied for the lead league with 10 sacks, Ford is a bigger miss than Maclin for the Chiefs, although the return of Justin Houston last week mitigates the loss somewhat. Marcus Peters (hip), ILB Derrick Johnson (Achilles’), CB Steven Nelson (neck), DT Dontari Poe (back), and DE Kendall Reyes (knee) are questionable for a banged-up defense. Peters should play after getting in a full practice Friday.
*With CB Aqib Talib (back) and LE Derek Wolfe (elbow) ready to go, the healthy Broncos will just be without LS Casey Kreiter (calf, out) this week.
Packers @ Eagles
*CB Damarious Randall (groin) and ILB Jake Ryan (ankle) look like they could be able to return this week, but ILB Blake Martinez (knee) and CB Demetri Goodson (knee) have replaced them on the sidelines. C J.C. Tretter (knee) and RG T.J. Lang (foot) have also sat out both days of practice.
*The Eagles have continued to say Ryan Mathews (knee) will play this week, but he has yet to practice. Darren Sproles (rib) is going to suit up against the Packers, but it seems likely Wendell Smallwood will get the early-down work Monday night. Hopefully we get some clarity before Sunday morning. RT Halapoulivaati Vaitai is out for a while with a grade-two MCL sprain.