Week 12 of the fantasy football season is here, and the Rotoworld crew has everything you need leave the weekend with 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 the original and best 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 single inactive and all the late-breaking news up to kickoff and beyond. I also occasionally tweet about football @RMSummerlin.
Dolphins @ Patriots
*Jay Cutler is out this week with a concussion, leaving Matt Moore to start in New England. That is good news for Kenny Stills, who has feasted with Moore under center the last two seasons. Miami will also be without RG Jermon Bushrod (foot) and DE Williams Hayes (back), who could be shut down for the season. LB Stephone Anthony (quad), S Maurice Smith (illness), and LT Laremy Tunsil (illness) are questionable. Tunsil should play after getting in a full practice Friday.
*Tom Brady (Achilles’) and Rob Gronkowski (illness) both missed some practice time this week, but they were left off the final report. Danny Amendola (knee) also should play through a questionable tag, but Chris Hogan remains out with a shoulder injury and Martellus Bennett (doubtful) is likely to sit because of shoulder and hamstring issues. C David Andrews (illness) and RT Marcus Cannon (ankle) will join them on the sidelines while DT Malcom Brown (ankle), S Patrick Chung (ankle), CB Eric Rowe (groin), and ST Matt Slater (hamstring) round out the questionable list.
Bucs @ Falcons
*Jameis Winston (shoulder) is out this week, and it is not clear when he will actually return. Ryan Fitzpatrick will continue to start in his place. Winston will be joined on the sidelines by DE Robert Ayers (concussion), CB Vernon Hargreaves (hamstring), and OG Evan Smith (concussion). DE William Gholston (neck) is questionable.
*Devonta Freeman returned to limited work on Thursday and Friday, but he was not able to clear the concussion protocol and will miss his second game in a row. Tevin Coleman should once again see a massive workload, and he has a much better matchup this time around. OT Ty Sambrailo (hamstring) is also out. Julio Jones was limited early in the week with ankle and knee issues, but he was not listed on the final report.
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Panthers @ Jets
*Activated from injured reserve Friday, Greg Olsen (foot) is ready to return for the first time since Week 2. There should always be some concern when a player returns from a serious injury, but the matchup is good enough and there are enough targets available in this offense to put Olsen right back into lineups. C Ryan Kalil (neck, questionable) also has a shot to return following a limited week of practice, but coach Ron Rivera did not sound optimistic early in the week. C Tyler Larsen (foot) and CB Captain Munnerlyn (illness) are also questionable.
*Somewhat surprisingly, Matt Forte (knee) got in some work on Thursday – he was listed as a DNP on the official report, but beat writers saw him running routes – and was limited on Friday. Coach Todd Bowles said he will be a game-time decision. If he is active, Forte will be a bottom-barrel RB3 while Bilal Powell will be just a desperation play. DE Muhammad Wilkerson (foot) and RG Brian Winters (abdomen) are also questionable.
Titans @ Colts
*Tennessee had a clean practice report until Rishard Matthews showed up as limited on Thursday with a hamstring issue which caused him to miss Friday’s session. He is officially listed as questionable, but that progression suggests he is a long-shot to play, leaving rookie Corey Davis as the clear No. 1 in a great matchup. He will be a viable play in all leagues if Matthews sits.
*Jacoby Brissett cleared the concussion protocol this week and was left off the final report. In a good matchup, he is a solid streaming option. DE Margus Hunt (illness) and OG Kyle Kalis (knee) are questionable while TE Darrell Daniels (hamstring) and DT Hassan Ridgeway (shoulder) are out.
Browns @ Bengals
*Isaiah Crowell (shoulder) missed some practice snaps this week, but he was not listed on the final report. That said, run game coordinator Kirby Wilson said the Browns plan to use Duke Johnson “as much as possible” moving forward, putting a big dent in Crowell’s already limited fantasy appeal. S Derron Smith (knee) is doubtful while Sammie Coates (knee, ankle) is out.
*Tyler Kroft picked up a hand injury last week and Brandon LaFell has been dealing with a knee issue, but neither was listed on the final report. Kroft is a good streaming option against a team he burned for two touchdowns in Week 4. CB Darqueze Dennard (knee) is questionable while LB Vincent Rey (hamstring) and S Shawn Williams (hamstring) are out.
Bears @ Eagles
*Dontrelle Inman (groin), Dion Sims (illness), RG Kyle Long (ankle), DE Akiem Hicks (knee), OLB Pernell McPhee (knee), CB Bryce Callahan (knee), OT Tom Compton (ankle), DE Mitch Unrein (knee), and Mark Sanchez (illness) are questionable. Inman, Sims, and Unrein got in full practices Friday, suggesting they will be ready to go. Inman has 13 targets in his two games as the Bears No. 1 receiver while Sims returning is a hit to Adam Shaheen’s streaming appeal. Players listed as doubtful almost never play, so LB Danny Trevathan (calf), WR Josh Bellamy (concussion), S DeAndre Houston-Carson (ankle), and DE Roy Robertson-Harris (hamstring) are likely going to sit.
*K Jake Elliott cleared the concussion protocol on Friday and was not listed on the final report. He will be a solid option this week. DT Beau Allen (knee) and TE Trey Burton (back) are questionable.
Bills @ Chiefs
*Kelvin Benjamin is officially questionable with a knee injury, but he is highly unlikely to play after sitting out all week. Jordan Matthews (knee) should be back despite a questionable tag, but rookie Zay Jones is a better fantasy bet. Charles Clay (knee) and Deonte Thompson (ankle) also look on track to play despite questionable designations. Buffalo will be without LT Cordy Glenn (foot, ankle), RG John Miller (ankle), and Mike Tolbert (hamstring). Travaris Cadet saw six targets with Tolbert sidelined last week.
*Albert Wilson (hamstring, questionable) is set to return after getting in full practices on Thursday and Friday. OLB Tamba Hali (knee) and DE Allen Bailey (knee) could also get back on the field after drawing questionable tags, but OLB Dee Ford (back) remains sidelined. LB Terrance Smith (concussion) will also sit.
Seahawks @ 49ers
*Jimmy Graham (ankle), LT Duane Brown (ankle), LB Bobby Wagner (hamstring), LG Luke Joeckel (knee), DE Dion Jordan (neck), DT Jarran Reed (hamstring), LB Michael Wilhoite (calf), and LB D.J. Alexander (shoulder) make up an lengthy questionable list. Graham is going to play after getting in a full practice Friday and remains a solid TE1. Joeckel also looks set to return, but Wagner, Brown, and Jordan are real question marks following DNPs on Friday. Coming off a quasi-breakout, Mike Davis will be sidelined this week with a groin injury, and he will be joined by Kam Chancellor (neck), OG Oday Aboushi (shoulder), and CB Shaq Griffin (concussion). With Richard Sherman (Achilles’) also out for the year, Seattle's secondary no longer looks like one to fear.
*George Kittle (ankle) is ready to return following full practices on Thursday and Friday, but WR Trent Taylor’s (ribs, questionable) status remains up in the air following a limited week of practice. RT Trent Brown (shoulder), RB Raheem Mostert (shoulder), and DE Solomon Thomas (knee) are also questionable while S Adrian Colbert (thumb) is out. Brown seems unlikely to play after sitting out Friday.
Saints @ Rams
*The Saints have been playing great defense the last nine weeks, but they will be without their top two corners as both Marshon Lattimore (ankle) and Ken Crawley (abdomen) have been ruled out. It is a big matchup upgrade for Jared Goff and the rest of a passing game which has struggled in the past against quality secondaries. Goff will be a solid tournament option this weekend.
*Robert Woods will miss at least a “couple weeks” with a shoulder injury according to coach Sean McVay. It is a tough break for the Rams, but it will open up more targets for Cooper Kupp and Sammy Watkins. Kupp is a better fantasy option because of his target share and work inside the red zone. The Rams will also be without RB Malcolm Brown (knee) and CB Nickell Robey (thigh) while Lance Dunbar (knee) and LB Bryce Hager (calf) are questionable.
Jaguars @ Cardinals
*Marqise Lee (knee) does not practice much and Leonard Fournette (ankle) could be limited the rest of the year, but neither was listed on the final report. CB Jalen Ramsey (hand) was, however, and does not expect to play despite a questionable tag. Ramsey sitting would be a slight upgrade for Arizona's passing attack, but it is still one to avoid outside of Larry Fitzgerald. RT Jermey Parnell (knee), OG Patrick Omameh (quad), and LB Donald Payne (hamstring) are also questionable. Allen Hurns (ankle) remains out, opening up targets for Keelan Cole and Dede Westbrook.
*Dealing with a turf toe injury, John Brown is out this week and could miss more time. J.J. Nelson will play through a chest injury, but rookie Chad Williams is the name to watch. DT Corey Peters will also sit while S Rudy Ford (knee), WR Brittan Golden (groin), DT Josh Mauro (ankle), RB Elijhaa Penny (knee), and Drew Stanton (knee) are questionable. Even if Stanton is healthy enough to be active, Blaine Gabbert will get another start.
Broncos @ Raiders
*Emmanuel Sanders (ankle) sat out Wednesday’s practice, but he was able to get in limited sessions on Thursday and Friday, putting him on track to play through a questionable tag. Also questionable for Denver are DE Adam Gotsis (ankle), TE Jeff Heuerman (knee), DT Domata Peko (illness), and OLB Shane Ray (wrist, ankle).
*Cordarrelle Patterson was added to the report with a hip injury on Thursday before sitting out Friday’s practice. That progression usually is a bad sign, suggesting he will be out despite a questionable tag. Johnny Holton (concussion) is also questionable along with RG Gabe Jackson (ankle) and LB Cory James (knee). CB David Amerson (foot) remains out.
Packers @ Steelers
*Aaron Jones could be sidelined several more weeks with a knee injury, and Ty Montgomery is doubtful because of an injury to his ribs. That leaves Jamaal Williams to once again rack up touches. He has not been doing much with them, but the volume is good enough to keep him in the RB2 conversation. DT Kenny Clark is also doubtful while Clay Matthews (groin), S Morgan Burnett (groin), CB Kevin King (shoulder), C Corey Linsley (back), RB Devante Mays (ankle), and OG Lucas Patrick (hand) are questionable.
*Mike Tomlin said JuJu Smith-Schuster was dealing with a “small” hamstring issue early in the week, but it was apparently big enough to keep him out of this game. With the rookie out, Martavis Bryant should see a bump in targets, but he was not doing much as the clear No. 2 early in the season. Still, he is worth a look in DFS tournaments because of the matchup and potential opportunity. Smith-Schuster will be joined on the sidelines by Joe Haden (fibula) and TE Vance McDonald (ankle) while S Mike Mitchell (ankle) is questionable.
Texans @ Ravens
*Will Fuller (ribs) is expected to sit on Monday night, leaving Bruce Ellington to once again operate as the No. 2 behind DeAndre Hopkins, who should be fine despite a foot injury which limited him the first two days of practice. With D’Onta Foreman out for the season, Alfred Blue should step into the No. 2 job behind Lamar Miller, but he has been limited in practice with a hamstring injury which forced him to sit last week.
*LT Ronnie Stanley has cleared the concussion protocol and will be ready to go on Monday night, but LB C.J. Mosley (ankle) and CB Jimmy Smith (Achilles’) are question marks after sitting out the first two days of practice.