I hope everyone had a happy and healthy Thanksgiving. The fantasy playoffs are almost upon us so every injury that pops up now is even more critical. Trade deadlines have either passed or are about to, so the waiver wire is your primary source for salvation if you need depth at certain positions. So, without further ado, let’s delve into the next edition of the fantasy football emergency room.
Devonta Freeman (RB-ATL) – Once again Freeman will sit out this week against Tampa Bay with a concussion. He did not reach the contact level of the league’s concussion protocol after being limited in practice during the week. This means that Tevin Coleman will once again be a RB1 option seeing most of the work in Atlanta’s backfield with a favorable matchup against the Bucs.
Kelvin Benjamin (WR-BUF) – Benjamin suffered a knee injury last week and his status for Week 12 is in serious doubt. He hasn’t practiced all week and is most likely going to miss this week’s game against Kansas City. Benjamin has not done much since being acquired by Buffalo amassing only four catches for 62 yards and no touchdowns in his first couple games. Jordan Matthews is expected to return this week so he would replace Benjamin as the Bills’ number one receiver for the week.
Matthew Stafford (QB-DET) – The Lions lost a tough Thanksgiving game to Minnesota and almost lost their quarterback when Stafford hurt his right leg late in the game. He appeared to be in serious pain when his leg got rolled over but remained in the game with both his knee and ankle in a brace. He will have several extra days to rest up for Week 13 when Detroit faces a tough Baltimore defense so monitor Stafford’s status over the next week and a half before making any roster decisions.
Chris Hogan (WR-NE) – As expected, the Patriots have ruled Chris Hogan out for Week 12’s game against Miami. He has been out for several weeks with a shoulder injury and right now there does not appear to be a set timeframe for when he might return. Tom Brady has been playing just fine with Hogan but his return would certainly put New England’s offense on another level. Danny Amendola will continue to see an increase in targets in Hogan’s absence and GMs should continue stashing Hogan if they have available roster spaces ahead of the playoffs.
Jimmy Graham (TE-SEA) – Graham did not practice in the middle of the week as he is dealing with an ankle injury. While it is not alarming that he missed some practice, it is still something to monitor ahead of Sunday because of how hot Graham has been over the past several weeks. He got off to a very slow start to the season but has really picked it up over the last six weeks with seven touchdown catches. Graham will have a salivating matchup this week against the 49ers so he is a must-start assuming he plays.
JuJu Smith-Schuster (WR-PIT) – The Steelers have ruled out Smith-Schuster for this week’s game against Green Bay. He is still dealing with a hamstring injury he sustained in last week’s Thursday night game. While it is a relief to know ahead of time, fantasy GMs will be missing a solid wide receiver who has become a vital part of the Steelers passing game. Smith-Schuster has caught 33 passes for 568 yards and five touchdowns but will give way to Martavis Bryant who is looking to re-establish himself after weeks of irrelevance.
Rishard Matthews (WR-TEN) – The Titans added Rishard Matthews to the injury report after he missed practice on Friday with a hamstring injury. This does not bode well for his chances of playing in Week 12 against Indianapolis so fantasy GMs should look for other options like Eric Decker and Corey Davis. Matthews has been Tennessee’s most productive wide receiver with 41 catches for 626 yards and three touchdowns but he can remain on the bench for now with this injury.
Will Fuller (WR-HOU) – Fuller has been out with cracked ribs and is not expected to play again this week against the Ravens. He still hasn’t been cleared to practice so the official word will come down before game time as he will give way to Bruce Ellington one more time. Fuller has been a touchdown machine this season but injuries have really limited him. His status for Week 13 will also likely be in doubt.
Emmanuel Sanders (WR-DEN) – Sanders missed practice earlier in the week with an ankle injury but did make it back onto the field. He has been dealing with the ankle injury for several weeks and even though he has played through most of it his value has been hampered by Denver’s horrific quarterback play. Paxton Lynch will get the start this weekend so Sanders could see an uptick in targets.
Sterling Shepard (WR-NYG) – The Giants were hoping Shepard would be able to play on Thanksgiving after sitting out last weekend’s game against the Chiefs with migraines. However, despite traveling with the team to Washington, Shepard was unable to suit up for their Thanksgiving matchup and missed his second game in five days. The Giants offense is a disaster but someone has to catch passes and Shepard is the most likely candidate when he can stay on the field.
Matt Forte (RB-NYJ) – The Jets are coming off their bye week and are hoping to have Matt Forte back on the field after dealing with a knee injury the past couple weeks. He had his best game of the year against the Bills and then got injured and hasn’t been back since. He will be a game-time decision this week against the Panthers which is not a favorable matchup. Forte would be nothing more than a Flex option in deep leagues if he is able to play.
Drew Stanton (QB-ARZ) – The Cardinals will most likely go with Blaine Gabbert this week against the Jaguars as Stanton continues working his way back from a knee injury. He has been limited in practice this week and could possibly be cleared to play in Week 12, but Arizona will still go with Gabbert for now. Neither would be a great fantasy option against a Jaguars defense that has been dominant in most games this year.
Zack Martin (OL-DAL) – The Cowboys have been in a freefall since Ezekiel Elliott started serving his suspension and injuries to their offensive line started taking its toll. Tryon Smith had been out but now Zach Martin wet down with a concussion against the Chargers on Thanksgiving. The injuries to the offensive line have exposed Dak Prescott and minimized the fantasy value of all of Dallas’s offensive players.
Danny Amendola (WR-NE) – Amendola seems to be perpetually injured but has managed to stay on the field more often than not this season. His presence is well needed due to injuries to several other Patriots receivers. He has been limited somewhat in practice due to a knee injury but this should not affect his status for this weekend’s game where he will once again see a lot of targets due to Chris Hogan’s absence.
Jay Cutler (QB-MIA) – The Dolphins have ruled Cutler out for this week’s game against the Patriots as he is still dealing with the effects of a concussion. Matt Moore will get another start in Cutler’s place and could grasp the starting job if he has a solid showing for an offense that has been abysmal for most of the season. Moore seems to have developed a rapport with Kenny Stills who is coming off a monster game so look for him to see a lot of targets again this week when Miami is likely playing from behind all day.
Michael A. Stein, Esq. is the Chief Justice of Fantasy Judgment, the industry's premier dispute resolution service. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Facebook and Twitter (@FantasyJudgment).