The fantasy world was handed another fresh batch of injuries on Sunday, as Week 11 proved to be no more forgiving than the previous 10 weeks of NFL action. Quarterbacks and running backs were hit particularly hard this week, so waiver wires will be hopping with activity in coming days as fantasy owners look to fill-in roster holes and fortify starting lineups with the playoffs quickly approaching. Let’s dive right in and take a quick look at a few of Week 11’s most notable storylines in Monday’s Daily Dose.
Tough Breaks for Baltimore
Sunday was rough on the Baltimore Ravens, as the team was dealt two devastating blows in a 16-13 victory over the St. Louis Rams. Already playing without leading wide receiver Steve Smith, the Ravens promptly lost running back Justin Forsett to a broken arm early on Sunday. To make matters worse, after the conclusion of their Week 11 win, Baltimore announced that quarterback Joe Flacco suffered a torn ACL and will be lost for the season. The Ravens will now play the remainder of the 2015 schedule without the services of their leading passer, rusher, and receiver.
Matt Schaub will be pushed into the starting quarterback role in Baltimore, which won’t impact fantasy leagues beyond 2QB formats. The real intrigue in Baltimore that will catch the interest of fantasy owners involves running back Buck Allen. Allen handled a huge workload after Forsett left Sunday’s game, running for 67 yards on 22 carries, and catching five passes for 48 yards on six targets. The entire Ravens roster is in flux right now, but Allen is certainly worth a waiver claim this week as he joins Kamar Aiken and Crockett Gillmore as the primary weapons in the Baltimore offense.
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Rawls Running Hard
The fantasy world was given a swift gut punch on Sunday when Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch (abdomen) was labeled inactive prior to the 4:25 pm ET kickoff between the Seahawks and 49ers. Coach Pete Carroll seemed optimistic about Lynch’s “questionable” tag on Friday, but Beast Mode was unable to suit up, which gave rookie Thomas Rawls another shot to start for Seattle. Rawls had two 100-yard rushing efforts to his name before he got the starting nod on Sunday, but added a monster performance to his resume as the Seahawks topped San Francisco 29-13. Rawls ran for 209 yards and a score on 30 carries, and added another 46 receiving yards on three catches while looking incredibly tough along the way. The rookie running back showed the toughness of Lynch, but with far more burst than the veteran back has shown this season.
More interesting news surfaced about Lynch’s status after the game, as it was announced that Lynch is heading to see a groin specialist on Monday and that a sports hernia is possible. More news will emerge this week regarding Beast Mode’s injury status, but Thomas Rawls should be rostered in all fantasy leagues right now, as the potential for the explosive rookie to be the Seattle bell cow back carries loads of value with the fantasy playoffs approaching. If Lynch misses significant time, Rawls could be a 2015 league winner.
The Backup Boys
Numerous backup quarterbacks enjoyed starting roles in Week 11, as injuries and poor play resulted in new signal callers taking over for Denver, Houston, Philadelphia, Indianapolis, and St. Louis. Denver’s Brock Osweiler turned in the most impressive performance of these newly minted starters, completing 74.1 percent of his passes on Sunday for 250 yards and two touchdowns. Osweiler’s performance will create an interesting situation in Denver if Peyton Manning (foot, ribs) is healthy for Week 12, but coach Gary Kubiak should announce a decision on a starter in coming days.
Mark Sanchez was on the opposite end of the spectrum on Sunday, as he was just 26/41 for 261 yards with two touchdowns and a trio of interceptions. Philadelphia was crushed by Tampa Bay 45-17, and now gets just a few days of rest before facing Detroit on Thanksgiving. Sanchez will likely get another start on Thursday, but won’t be useful in fantasy leagues against the Detroit defense that shut down Oakland’s Derek Carr in Week 11.
With Brian Hoyer (concussion) out, T.J. Yates led Houston to a 24-17 win over the New York Jets on Sunday. Yates was smart with his passes, as he targeted the incredible DeAndre Hopkins on 12 of his 34 pass attempts and didn’t throw a single interception on the day. Yates’ performance is also worth noting because Houston is set to face New Orleans in Week 12. The Saints allow 293.1 passing yards per game and have given up an absurd 43.3 points per game over their last three outings. Yates could be worth a look for fantasy owners in need of a streaming option next week due to this cushy matchup.
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Injury Quick Slants
Devonta Freeman departed Atlanta’s game early on Sunday after suffering a concussion. Tevin Coleman stepped in and ran for 48 yards on 17 carries and will be a worthwhile add this week for running back-hungry teams. More news regarding Freeman’s health will be announced this week. … Charcandrick West (hamstring) is “day to day” as he deals with hamstring issues. Spencer Ware filled-in very well after West left Sunday’s game and is worth a waiver claim as we await news on West’s status. … Frank Gore (knee, quad) was banged up near the end of Indianapolis’ Week 11 game and his status will be worth monitoring this week. Ahmad Bradshaw would fill-in if Gore sits. … Vincent Jackson (knee) returned to the field on Sunday and caught four passes for 56 yards and a touchdown. Jackson can be safely inserted back into starting fantasy lineups moving forward. … Ka’Deem Carey suffered a concussion on Sunday after splitting the Chicago backfield work with Jeremy Langford. If Carey is cleared for Week 12, he will be a decent bet to share the workload with Langford again but will likely be forced out of the equation when Matt Forte is healthy. … Michael Floyd (hamstring) missed Week 11 after turning in an impressive Week 10 performance. Floyd’s absence led to a fantastic Week 11 effort from Arizona wide receiver J.J. Nelson.