An update on the latest injuries heading into Sunday’s games along with some news and notes on weather, quarterback changes and more.
It’s Sunday morning! Time to finalize your lineups in season-long and DFS formats. With so much news flying around all week, and a holiday weekend spent eating turkey and hanging with relatives, you might have had a tough week keeping up with it all. Well, you’re in luck.
Every Sunday morning here at SI Fantasy, we’ll condense all the major news and notes into this last-minute advice column to get you fully up to speed before the 1 p.m. ET games kick off. It will include everything you need to know from injuries, to surprise inactives, to crucial weather information and more. We won’t just tell you what’s happening, we’ll give you analysis you can use to help you win. Don’t set your lineups before checking Sports Illustrated on Sunday mornings
QB Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals (QUESTIONABLE)
Murray was a late addition to the injury report on Friday, popping up with a limited practice due to a hamstring injury. He will start today’s game, but if his mobility is limited it will certainly hurt the Cardinals and his fantasy owners. Right now he needs to be downgraded to outside of the Top 10 QBs this week. If he’s limited with his legs behind that offensive line with Aaron Donald and the Rams bearing down, it could be a long day for the rookie QB.
RB Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans (ACTIVE)
Henry will play through his hamstring injury, even if he’s not 100%. He’s a must-start and should still have plenty of success even in a tough matchup with the Colts. He has 347 rushing yards and four touchdowns in his last two games. Start him with confidence.
RB James Conner, Pittsburgh Steelers (DOUBTFUL)
Conner did get some limited practice work in this week but likely won’t be on the field when the Steelers take on the Browns. Benny Snell, who had a big game last week, should see the lion’s share of the carries again this week and is a flex play. Jaylen Samuels will still get some work in the receiving game, but isn’t reliable enough to start. Neither is Trey Edmonds nor Kerrith Whyte.
RB Matt Breida, San Francisco 49ers (OUT)
Breida won’t play today against the Ravens, but isn’t someone you could’ve trusted in your fantasy lineups. Tevin Coleman is the only 49ers back to start, and he’s an RB2 in this matchup. The biggest impact of Breida being out is moving Raheem Mostert to low-end flex territory.
RB Chris Thompson, Washington Redskins (ACTIVE)
Thompson hasn’t played since Week 6 but is expected to return this week. He’ll immediately take Wendell Smallwood off the field, but he’ll still be third in line for RB snaps behind Adrian Peterson and Derrius Guice. Thompson shouldn’t be in any lineups this week, but if he steps right back into his passing down role, he could be an interesting PPR play going forward if Dwayne Haskins uses him as a security blanket.
RB Jordan Howard, Philadelphia Eagles (OUT)
Howard still hasn’t been cleared for contact so it’s no surprise he won’t play on Sunday. A juicy matchup with the Dolphins awaits an Eagles team in desperate need of a victory, and Howard would have played a significant role in that game. Miles Sanders should have the biggest role for the Eagles, but don’t be surprised if Jay Ajayi is used almost as often and heavily in the second half.
RB Marlon Mack, Indianapolis Colts (OUT)
Mack will miss his second straight game with a broken hand. There is some hope that he’ll be able to play next week, but that’s still to be determined. Jonathan Williams should be the lead back yet again after two straight 100-yard performances on the ground. Nyheim Hines figures to see the passing down work as per usual. Jordan Wilkins will get some work in as well. Williams is an RB2 this week. Hines is a high-floor, low-ceiling flex.
RB Damien Williams, Kansas City Chiefs (OUT)
Williams missed practice all week with a rib injury and was ruled out by Andy Reid on Friday. The backfield work will likely be split between LeSean McCoy and Darrel Williams, making them both high-upside flex plays. Darrel Williams gets the slight nod for me as the KC back you want to play. Darrel Williams scored twice on a combined 25 touches for a combined 34.5 fantasy points when Damien Williams missed time in Weeks 3 and 4.
WR Golden Tate, New York Giants (OUT)
Tate suffered a concussion last week and was ruled out for this week’s game against the Packers on Friday. As with any concussion, there’s no timetable for his return. His absence gives a boost to Sterling Shepard, who’ll likely move back into the slot, and Darius Slayton, who burst onto the scene when Shepard missed time. Shepard is only a WR3 and Slayton a WR4 in what should be a rainy game in New Jersey.
WR T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Colts (OUT)
The star Colts WR suffered a setback earlier in the week and was declared out for Week 13. That’s tough news for fantasy managers who gutted through last week’s performance in hopes it was the first step to a full return to form. No other Colts WR is a reliable option this week, even if Parris Campbell returns, so check to see if any of these guys are available for you to add this week.
WR Alshon Jeffery, Philadelphia Eagles (ACTIVE)
It appears Jeffery will finally make his return to the field against the Dolphins this week. He’s been bothered by an ankle injury but was not listed on Philadelphia’s final injury report. Jeffery is a solid WR3 option against a Miami defense that has struggled mightily against No. 1 WRs so far this season. Fellow WR Nelson Agholor was also not listed on the injury report and will return to the field. That’s all great news for Carson Wentz owners, as he moves into QB1 territory this week.
WR Hunter Renfrow, Oakland Raiders (OUT)
Renfrow suffered an injury to his ribs last week and will likely miss multiple games. He’d become an intriguing high-floor play in deep leagues as of late, but is droppable now with bye weeks over and his uncertain recovery timetable. Tight end Darren Waller sees a bigger boost than any Raiders WR in his absence. The only Oakland WR worth starting going forward is Tyrell Williams as a WR3/4.
WRs Emmanuel Sanders and Deebo Samuel, San Francisco 49ers (ACTIVE)
Sanders (ribs) and Samuel (shoulder) are both banged up but are expected to play after not being listed on San Francisco’s final injury report. That isn’t a surprise given that they both played last week. It’s a tough matchup this week against the Ravens, but both Sanders and Samuel are WR3s. Samuel has been more productive than Sanders as of late, so he gets the slight nod if you’re choosing between the two.
WR JuJu Smith-Schuster, Pittsburgh Steelers (OUT)
Smith-Schuster will not suit up for this one. That isn’t much of a surprise after he didn’t practice all week with a knee injury he suffered against the Browns a couple weeks ago. Your replacement option will likely need to come from another team since neither James Washington or Diontae Johnson are anything more than low-end WR4s with Devlin Hodges throwing them passes.
WR A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals (OUT)
Green did not practice all week yet again and was officially ruled out on Friday. That’s not a surprise and it’s starting to look like he won’t play a game this season. He’s droppable in all formats.
WR Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs (ACTIVE)
Hill should be good to go after having a little extra time to heal from the hamstring injury he suffered two weeks ago on Monday Night Football. He has a great matchup against the Raiders secondary this week, a unit that’s allowed the most 20-plus yard passes in the league this season. Hill is a Top 5 WR this week and solidifies Patrick Mahomes as this week’s QB1 too, but be aware of windy conditions.
WR Mohamed Sanu, New England Patriots (QUESTIONABLE)
Sanu missed last week’s game with an ankle injury and is officially one of 17 Patriots players questionable for Sunday Night Football. After a huge 10/81/1 performance just before New England’s bye week, Sanu only caught two passes for four yards in Week 11. He’s too risky to wait on, but if you must Phillip Dorsett (who’s also questionable) is a decent fill-in option if Sanu is ruled out. Same goes for Kenny Stills.
WR Adam Thielen, Minnesota Vikings (QUESTIONABLE)
Fantasy owners need to be prepared because this looks like it will be a true game-time decision. Thielen told Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press on Friday that he would not play if he’s not 100%. “Probably not, no, just because I know that if you’re not 100%, you’re just going to come out five plays into the game anyway. So that’s probably the biggest difference with hamstrings from a different injury.” Bisi Johnson is likely the only replacement WR that will be available on Monday if he’s out, which is not a great option. Running backs Rashaad Penny or Alexander Mattison could be decent flex fill-ins if necessary, as is tight end Kyle Rudolph who has seen increased success with Thielen out.
WR Tyler Lockett, Seattle Seahawks (QUESTIONABLE)
Keep a close eye on this one heading into Monday night. Lockett was a limited participant in practice on Thursday but did not practice on Friday. He’s coming off his worst game of the season (1/38/0 on two targets) despite playing 86% of his team’s offensive snaps. He’s a WR2 this week if he plays, but if not DK Metcalf becomes low-end WR2 and Josh Gordon moves into WR3 territory.
TE George Kittle, San Francisco 49ers (ACTIVE)
Kittle gutted through a broken ankle last week and caught six passes for 129 yards and a touchdown against the Packers. He’s a full go for this week’s big showdown with the Ravens. Kittle was not listed on San Francisco’s final injury report and is a top-two TE this week, even in rainy conditions.
TE Evan Engram, New York Giants (OUT)
Engram’s foot injury continues to linger and he’ll miss another game this week. His backup Rhett Ellison will be out too. You’ll likely want to avoid the Giants’ TE situation altogether, but it is worth noting that Kaden Smith caught five passes for 17 yards and a touchdown last week with both Engram and Ellison out.
TE Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles (QUESTIONABLE)
Ertz didn’t practice much this week and will be a game-time decision. He told reporters “See ya Sunday” on Friday, so it’s expected he’ll at least try to give it a go. If he’s out, Dallas Goedert become a mid-level TE1 in a solid matchup against the Dolphins. Ertz owners should add/play Goedert if Ertz is ruled out. Other tight end options include Ryan Griffin and Jack Doyle.
TE Gerald Everett, Los Angeles Rams (OUT)
In what is a tough blow for Everett owners, the Rams tight end will miss Sunday’s sensational matchup with the Cardinals due to a knee injury. Some replacement options include Dallas Goedert, Ryan Griffin and Jack Doyle, but you may want to also consider Tyler Higbee. Higbee out-snapped Everett 42-14 in Week 11 and has out-snapped him in four of the last six weeks. Higbee has 10 combined targets in the last three games since LA’s bye week and did catch a touchdown against the Cardinals last week.
TE Jacob Hollister, Seattle Seahawks (QUESTIONABLE)
Hollister injured his toe against the Eagles in Week 12 but has been practicing on a limited basis all week. It doesn’t appear that he’s in any real danger to miss Monday Night Football, but if you’re risk-averse you could look to the combination of Dallas Goedert, Ryan Griffin, Jack Doyle and even Tyler Higbee to start for you this week. If you want to wait for Monday, Kyle Rudolph could be a solid emergency fill-in.
There are three quarterback changes of note in Week 13:
● The Bengals are turning back to Andy Dalton this week against the Jets in search of their first win of the season. The matchup is fairly favorable, as the Jets have allowed a combined 781 passing yards and eight passing touchdowns to Gardner Minshew, Ryan Fitzpatrick and Dwayne Haskins in their last three road games. That’s an average of 21.6 fantasy points. Dalton is a high-end QB2 this week.
● The Steelers are benching Mason Rudolph in favor of Devlin Hodges in their AFC North battle with the Browns. Why? “He has not killed us,” head coach Mike Tomlin said. There’s no reason to play Hodges in any format.
● The Broncos will give rookie Drew Lock his first career start against the Chargers. Denver wants to see what they have in the second-round pick. Fantasy owners should watch from the sidelines as well.
Weather is going to be an issue around the NFL from this point forward. Here’s what you need to know this week:
Packers @ Giants: Really bad weather is expected here. It’s going to be a rainy and maybe sleety day in the Meadowlands. Temperatures should hover around the mid-30s with sustained winds of about 10 MPH. Both running games should be featured fairly heavily. Give significant downgrades to Aaron Rodgers and Daniel Jones, but the former should still be in most lineups. Davante Adams is still a must-start, but you may want to bench every other pass-catcher in this game.
Buccaneers @ Jaguars: Wind is going to be a factor in this game. There should be sustained winds of more than 20 mph with gusts up to 37 MPH. Give a significant downgrade to Jameis Winston and Nick Foles. Neither can be trusted as QB1s this week.
49ers @ Ravens: Rain is expected throughout the game, but temperatures should sit in the mid-40s with only light wind. I’m making no major fantasy value changes, but it could hurt Lamar Jackson’s upside.
Redskins @ Panthers: Rain should clear up by game time. Winds will be a factor early, but should wane throughout the game. No fantasy value changes.
Jets @ Bengals: Light rain is expected at various points throughout the game. Winds should be manageable, so continue to keep the Jamison Crowders and Tyler Boyds of the world in your lineups. Same with Sam Darnold.
Raiders @ Chiefs: Wind could be a factor, especially early on. The game should start with wind speeds around 20 MPH and should stay pretty close to that number throughout. No major wind gusts are expected, so that’s helpful. Give a small downgrade to Patrick Mahomes but he’s still a must-start.
Source: Sports Illustrated – NFL
Read the full article here: Fantasy Football: Week 13 Sunday Morning Last-Minute Advice