This season started out with a few high profile injuries but it seemed the injuries died down a bit as the season wore on, at least in terms of significant injuries to major players. Whelp, so much for that as Week 11 turned into a bloodbath. Multiple high profile players were lost for the season, and several others sustained multi-week injuries too. It was bad, bad, bad. Typically these injuries can be a good thing for fantasy owners who can exploit them and use the newly formed holes on teams’ depth charts to swoop in grab a new NFL starter late in the season.
The flip side of this is that with the loss of fantasy relevant players, several teams now also have gaping holes in their formerly solid fantasy lineup. Just a quick recap, Gio Bernard, Zach Miller & CJ Prosise were all lost for the season, and although not official yet, it sure looks like we’ve seen the last of AJ green for 2016 too. Lesser injuries included LeSean McCoy, Ryan Matthews, Darren Sproles, Robert Woods, TJ Yeldon & Tyreek Hill, who will all either miss a few weeks or will try to play through injury this week and everything in between. To further muddle this week’s injuries, Roger Lewis, Cody Kessler & Charcandrick West are all in the league’s concussion protocol as well… and that’s just covering the guys with any fantasy value on offense. If you’re an IDP player… sheesh, things were even worse, good luck with that. Anyway, hopefully you avoided significant injuries to your roster this week. If not, perhaps someone we recommend can help you make it into the playoffs and succed once the playoffs commence.
RB: Denard Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars
With the severity of T.J. Yeldon’s ankle injury unknown at this current time Robinson may find himself as the handcuff to the underperforming, fumble prone Chris Ivory. If Yeldon misses any significant amount of time it wouldn’t shock me to see Robinson take the starter role from Ivory. Shoestring was decentish back in 2014 so maybe he could be of some value if given the opportunity again.
RB: Rex Burkhead, Cincinnati Bengals
Gio Bernard’s 2016 season is over after being diagnosed with a torn A.C.L. which leaves the Bengal’s with two active running backs on their roster. Rex Burkhead is now the handcuff to Jeremy Hill and with injuries decimating the fantasy landscape at the running back position he is worth a speculative add.
WR: Paul Turner, Philadelphia Eagles
The wide receiver play for the the Eagle’s has been atrocious all season. But Sunday against the Seahawks may have been rock bottom. At one point in the 4th quarter Russell Wilson had as many receptions as every Eagle receiver, excluding Jordan Matthews, combined. Nelson Agholor had an especially brutal day, costing the Eagles a touchdown by lining up offsides and supplying his usual assortment of dropped passes. Agholor also made several statements after Sunday’s game indicating that he has lost all confidence in himself as a player. The quotes even caused head coach Doug Pederson enough alarm that Agholor may be given an in-season break from football to get himself together mentally. If Agholor does in fact miss any time, pre-season fan favorite Paul Turner may be the player to benefit from his absence. After hualing in 17 receptions during the pre-season, leading the league, Turner has languished on the Eagles practice squad until being promoted to the 53 man roster Monday. Turner isn’t big, or all that fast but he seemed to catch everything thrown his way in the pre-season. And if you’ve watched even one Eagle games this season it can not be understated how much the ability to actually catch the ball matters.
TE: Logan Paulsen/Ben Braunecker, Chicago Bears
The Bears have a tight end friendly schedule the rest of the season. They also now have Matt Barkley at starting QB, likely for the remainder of the season. Zach Miller’s season is over due to a broken foot. All these factors point towards whoever ends up as the starter at the TE position for the Bears being at least moderately useful in a pinch.
QB: Josh McCown/RGIII, Cleveland Browns
What can I say? Cody Kessler might be finished for the season after sustaining another concussion this past Sunday. Someone has to play quarterback for this team, don’t they? McCown will get the first shot this Sunday, RGIII will probably get the start the following week (assuming he’s cleared to play). I can’t imagine picking either up unless you play in 2 QB leagues, but I felt I should mention them anyway.
QB: Ryan Fitzpatrick, New York Jets
QB: Matt Barkley, Chicago Bears
See above (McCown/RGIII)
WR: Tyler Boyd & Brandon LaFell, Cincinnati Bengals
So, in case you missed it, AJ Green sustained a pretty severe hamstring injury on Sunday. Tyler Boyd picked up the slack and leapfrogged LaFell to become the teams #1 receiving option with Green out. Look for them to probably split targets going forward, Andy Dalton has to throw the ball to somebody besides Tyler Eifert with this team suddenly bad and trailing in most games. If you’re in really deep leagues or want to throw a dart, 3rd year player James Wright and rookie Cody Core might get extended looks once the Bengals officially pack it in for the season.
WR: Marquise Goodwin & Justin Hunter, Buffalo Bills
Robert Woods sustained a knee injury and the Bills will be without their top receiver for at least 1 more week. Goodwin is the next man up, and Hunter should see more looks in the redzone. Jacksonville’s defense has been highly underrated this season and I wouldn’t recommend playing any of these guys this week, but they might be worth a stash with a few decent fantasy matchups after this week. If you’re super desperate, don’t forget PERCY F’n Harvin came out of retirement too. Yuck.
RB: Wendell Smallwood & Kenjon Barner, Philadelphia Eagles
Ryan Matthews hurt his knee & Darren Sproles hurt his ribs, both are officially listed as day-to-day as of this writing with Sproles expected to play in week 12. Be that as it may, I can’t see a running back with a rib injury getting significant touches. Look for Smallwood to take over early down work and Barner to fill the traditional “Sproles” role. Much like the Bengals WR situation above, somebody has to run the ball here, and save for a costly fumble a few weeks back, Smallwood performed well when thrust into action earlier this season.
RB: Alex Collins, Seattle Seahawks
This Seattle backfield has been a merry-go-round all season thanks to injuries. Christine Michael in, Thomas Rawls out, then Rawls in, then back out, CJ Spiller made a cameo appearance, then CJ Prosise in, then C-mike cut, then Prosise out… you get it. Anyway, as of today, rookie Prosise is now expected to be out at least through the remainder of the regular season, C-mike is on the Packers, rookie backup Troymaine Pope injured his ankle, Rawls is sore after his first game action since week 2, leaving Alex Collins. It’s not sexy, but he’s all that they have left if something should happen to Rawls. Pope might be worth a stash too if his high ankle sprain turns out to be not as bad as originally feared.
This list is pretty disgusting. (Editor’s note: John’s actual quote “This is the shittiest group of players I’ve ever seen… and they’re all actually decent adds this week. F**king gross.) Hopefully you don’t need to add any of these players and it’s simply a luxury to add some speculative depth for the remainder of the year. If you do need help due to injuries, hopefully our suggestions can get you pointed in the right direction. A quick reminder , for some reason there are teams on bye-weeks this week, but bye-weeks come back in week 13 with 2 teams; Cleveland and Tennessee on bye, so if you already know you might need help to cover for a player next week, it might be wise to grab a player you need now if you have the bench space available. As always, thanks for reading, and feel free to reach out to us at @DFF_Shane and @dibari22 on twitter with any questions. Good luck in week 12!