Yesterday may have been Black Friday, but for many fantasy owners, Black Sunday came first.
A wave of injuries swept over the NFL in Week 11, leaving many stars sidelined and owners looking to the waiver wire with the trade deadline passed in many leagues.
The biggest fallen star is Bengals top WR A.J. Green, who went down with a hamstring injury just two plays into their game with the Bills. While there was some good news this week that it’s only a small tear he’s dealing with, Green will be out for several weeks at a time that fantasy players need him the most.
He is expected to return this season, but hamstring injuries can be tricky and there’s no guarantee he’ll be the same dominant force when he’s back.
Tyler Boyd took over as Andy Dalton’s favourite target with Brandon LaFell — who is dealing with a knee issue — also in the mix. Boyd is decent WR3 option, but is certainly not on Green’s level.
To make matters worse for Cincy, RB Giovani Bernard went down with a torn ACL, ending his season. Bernard would’ve seen his value increase as the Bengals best receiving back, but instead will be in a race for fitness heading into next season. The Bengals would ideally like to see Jeremy Hill get more work in the passing game, which has been a weakness in his career. If he can play all three downs, that’s a nice boost for a RB1.
SEA YOU LATER
C.J. Prosise, we hardly knew you.
After emerging as the top RB for Seattle two weeks ago, Prosise suffered a fractured scapula, which should end his season. He’ll be reevaluated in a couple of weeks, but there’s no timetable for a return.
That thrusts Thomas Rawls back into the workhorse role we assumed he’d have at the beginning of the season before his injury issues cropped up.
He’s a must-start with Seattle’s offence rounding into form and only Alex Collins behind him on the depth chart.
Usually, when a running back undergoes surgery on his thumb on Monday, playing on Sunday doesn’t seem too realistic. That’s not the case with LeSean McCoy.
The Bills running back needed surgery on his dislocated thumb which knocked him out of Sunday’s game, but reportedly would’ve come back in had the training staff been able to relocate the digit.
Head coach Rex Ryan says that McCoy is up for his usual heavy workload, so don’t be scared off by the questionable tag beside his name this week.
BIG FOR SMALLWOOD
The Eagles back field took a hit last week with both Ryan Mathews and Darren Sproles going down, leaving rookie Wendell Smallwood to carry the load.
Mathews hasn’t practiced this week with his knee injury and is unlikely to play in the Monday nighter with Green Bay. Sproles, on the other hand, got in a couple of full practices and will play through his rib injury.
Smallwood should get the majority of carries with Sproles taking his usual role as the passing-down RB. Kenjon Barner might also be in the mix for snaps, but it’s Smallwood that looks like the RB to back this week from Philly.
Want an idea of how bad Eagles receivers have been this season? Entering the fourth quarter of their game in Seattle last week, Seahawks QB Russell Wilson had as many receiving yards as the Eagles WRs crops combined with 15. Good for Wilson, terrible for the Eagles.
It just keeps getting worse for the Bears.
After losing Alshon Jeffery to suspension and putting top OL Kyle Long on the IR last week, this week they’ve lost QB Jay Cutler and TE Zach Miller for the season. In Cutler’s case, this could be the end of his time in the Windy City.
Matt Barkley will start under centre while Logan Paulsen becomes the top TE. Both should be avoided for fantasy purposes.
Start Carson Wentz, QB, PHI vs. GB
The Packers have allowed at least 29 fantasy points to three of the past four QBs they’ve faced.
Sit Blake Bortles, QB, JAC at BUF
Only three QBs have scored more than 19 fantasy points against the Bills defence this season.
Start Spencer Ware, RB, KC at DEN
The Broncos defence might scare you, but they’re much better against the pass and actually can’t stop the run.
Start Bilal Powell, RB, NYJ vs. NE
This is a bit risky since he’s behind Forte in terms of snaps, but the Pats have struggled mightily against pass-catching RBs this season.
Sit James Starks, RB, GB at PHI
The Eagles have only allowed double-digit points to one opposing RB at home this season.
Sit Doug Martin, RB, TB vs. SEA
Hasn’t looked good in his return from a hamstring injury, averaging just 2.4 yards per carry. Sit him in this tough matchup, if you can.
Start Steve Smith, WR, BAL vs. CIN
When he’s healthy, the old man can play. Has scored in two straight games and the Bengals struggle against slot WRs.
Sit Tyrell Williams, WR, SD at HOU
Will lose out on some targets with Henry and Benjamin getting healthy and has struggled against top pass defences.
In 104 games that Matthew Stafford has played, the Lions have only had a 100-yard rusher seven times. It has been 46 games since it happened, too.
ADD OF THE WEEK
Sammy Watkins, WR, BUF
The Bills top receiver returned to practice this week and should be returning to fantasy rosters, too, after being shelved with a foot injury following Week 2. He is eligible to play this week, but he’ll likely only start paying dividends either next week or in the fantasy playoffs.
DROP OF THE WEEK
Ty Montgomery, WR/RB, GB
The novelty has certainly worn off the Packers’ hybrid, as coach Mike McCarthy has turned to James Starks as his starting RB. Even before Starks came back from injury, the coach was shying away from the running game entirely, to poor results.
WAIVER WIRE DEFENCE
New York Giants DEF
There’s no reason to not pile on the Cleveland Browns. They’ve given up 36 points to opposing fantasy defences in the past two weeks while the Giants have been bringing in respectable returns since coming off their bye three weeks ago, averaging seven points per week.