Several players at both the running back and wide-receiver position were dinged up or suffered injuries in Week 11. The Fantasy Greek lists the most notable injuries that either occurred in Week 11, or remain relevant at this time, as follows:
|QB Michael Vick||Eagles||Concussion||Could Return Week 12|
|QB Jay Cutler||Bears||Concussion||Waiting Medical Clearance|
|QB Alex Smith||49ers||Concussion||Waiting Medical Clearance|
|QB Byron Leftwich||Steelers||Ribs/Shoulder||Likely OUT Week 12, Possibly Longer|
|QB Ben Roethlisberger||Steelers||Ribs||Expected to Miss 2 More Wks|
|QB Blaine Gabbert||Jaguars||Shoulder||Unknown|
|RB Willis McGahee||Broncos||MCL/Leg Fracture||OUT 6-8 Weeks|
|RB LeSean McCoy||Eagles||Concussion||Waiting Medical Clearance|
|RB Isaac Redman||Steelers||Concussion||Waiting Medical Clearance|
|RB Baron Batch||Steelers||Left Foot Injury||Unknown|
|RB Fred Jackson||Bills||Concussion||Waiting Medical Clearance|
|RB Ahmad Bradshaw||Giants||Foot||Undergoing Tests|
|RB Darren McFadden||Raiders||High Ankle Sprain||Missed Week 11|
|RB Mike Goodson||Raiders||High Ankle Sprain||Missed Week 11|
|RB Darren Sproles||Saints||Broken Hand||Missed Week 11|
|RB M. Jones-Drew||Jaguars||Lis Franc Injury||Questionable Week 12|
|RB Cedric Benson||Packers||Lis Franc Injury||Out For 1-2 More Weeks|
|RB DeMarco Murray||Cowboys||Foot; Ligament||Missed Week 11|
|RB Ben Tate||Texans||Hamstring||Missed Week 11|
|RB Beanie Wells||Cardinals||Toe Injury||Expected To Return Week 12|
|WR Julio Jones||Falcons||Aggravated Ankle Sprain||Limited Week 11; Possibly Misses Week 12|
|WR Donnie Avery||Colts||Concussion||Waiting Medical Clearance|
|WR Percy Harvin||Vikings||Ankle||Ankle Reportedly Still “sore and pretty tender”|
|WR Domenik Hixon||Giants||Ankle||Unknown|
|WR Antonio Brown||Steelers||Ankle||Missed Week 11|
|WR GregJennings||Packers||Groin||Could Be Back Before or For Fantasy Playoffs|
|TE Rob Gronkowski||Patriots||Broken Forearm||OUT 6-8 Weeks|
|TE Dennis Pitta||Ravens||Concussion||Waiting Medical Clearance|
|TE Coby Fleener||Colts||Shoulder||Missed Week 11|
|TE Aaron Hernandez||Patriots||Ankle||Missed Week 11; Could Return Week 12|
|LB Clay Mathews||Packers||Hamstring||Missed Week 11|
|CB Vontae Davis||Colts||Knee||No Timetable For Return|
* Note: The status of some of these players may not have been officially announced by their respective teams but is based on the best available information. Of course, a player’s status and availability can change at any time and may not be fully reflected above. Check for the player’s news for any official update. This list is obviously not exhaustive.
Also, for those that missed it, Lions WR Titus Young, who broke out on the scene after Nate Burleson was lost for the season, has been declared INACTIVE for the Texans game this Thursday. Apparently, an injury is not involved.
The Fantasy Greek will focus on those players fantasy footballers can target off waivers to fill in while some of the injured players try to make their way back onto the gridiron, hopefully sooner, rather than later, and players that may be on waivers, that you can consider adding to your team. In Week 12, there are three games scheduled for Thanksgiving Day, and they:
|Texans v. Lions||12:30 p.m. EST|
|Redskins v. Cowboys||4:25 p.m. EST|
|Patriots v. Jets||8:20 p.m. EST|
The bye weeks are over, so there will be sixteen games each weekend for the next six weeks.
Make sure to set your line-ups in advance and play the match-ups. Also, make sure to look out for The Fantasy Greek’s Special Thanksgiving Day Edition which will preview the Thursday games with roster recommendations for setting your line-up in the match-up. The Quick Hits — short list of Start ‘Em and Sit ‘Em players — will be posted along with our game previews for the weekend, later in the week.
In this week’s waiver target report, besides noting players that you can consider picking up off the waivers if available in your league, The Fantasy Greek will try to highlight players (as a match-up based play) that you may have to pick-up due to injuries, or because your other players have a difficult match-up. This week, you may want to consider the following players (if available on your waivers), if you need the help, or if you have the room on your bench. Please, do not drop a good player for any of the waiver-adds.
There will likely not be many options for a quarterback this week on waivers who also has a great fantasy football match-up. Nonetheless, we will mention a few quarterbacks that may or may not be on your waivers.
Tony Romo, Cowboys
Matt Schaub, Texans
Chad Henne, Jaguars
Colin Kepernick/Alex Smith
The Cowboys Tony Romo (313 yards, 1 TD) didn’t have his best game of the season nor his worst in Week 11. In Week 12, the Cowboys play a Redskins team at home who was giving up the second most fantasy points entering Week 11. The Fantasy Greek sees this turning into an old fashion Cowboys-Redskins shootout. A 300 yard passing game with multiple touchdown passes should be within the reach of Romo.
Week 11’s performance was a reminder that the Texans Matt Schaub (527 yards, 5 TDs, 2 INTs) is a better quarterback than the one we have seen in half the games the Texans played to date. As such, Schaub could well be on waivers and available for fantasy players needing the help. This week, Schaub faces a Lions defense that can give up a couple hundred yards passing and multiple pass TDs.
In limited action, the JaguarsChad Henne has been absolutely impressive.In limited action, the Jaguars passing game has come alive with Henne under center. In Week 11, Henne tore up the gridiron for 354 yards passing and 4 touchdown passes against one of the top-five fantasy pass defenses in the league, the Texans. This week, Henne and the Jaguars play a lesser Titans pass defense that is top-ten in most fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks. Henne makes for a fine option if you are forced to play the waiver wire due to injuries or in two quarterback leagues. Henne should be the Jaguars new quarterback going forward.
The 49ers Colin Kepernick showed exactly why he was such a highly touted draft pick in his game against the Bears. There is a good chance that Alex Smith makes it back to the gridiron this week, however. Whoever is the 49ers Week 12 starter, they will have a very favorable match-up against a Saints defense that was the worst entering Week 11 against the quarterback position, where 300 yards passing and 2 TDs is a realistic expectation.
With the number of injuries among running backs, the running backs available on waivers are likely thin. Yet, there are several that could be there and could be helpful in dealing with injury issues you may have this week or as longer term grabs. If you have Willis McGahee on your roster, you will have a few options this week. Otherwise, this is still not a week to pick up a running back just to pick up a running back. You have to have a need. Again, handcuff your top running backs with their back-up. Top running backs include Arain Foster, Ray Rice, LeSean McCoy, Adrian Peterson, Marshawn Lynch, Stevan Ridley, and Frank Gore. The reason top running backs should be hand-cuffed in fantasy is that typically, not always, teams that run the ball, run the ball well even with the back-up running back in the line-up. Don’t wake up on a Tuesday morning worrying whether you will have a viable running back play the following weekend, or worst yet, for the playoffs.
Beanie Wells, Cardinals
Ronnie Hillman, Broncos
Lance Ball, Broncos
Jonathan Dwyer, Steelers
Bryce Brown, Eagles
Jalen Parmele, Jaguars
Cedric Peerman, Bengals
Shane Vereen, Patriots
Cedric Benson, Packers
James Starks, Packers
The Cardinals Beanie Wells, who has been out since Week 3 of the season, is due back this week. Even if he is limited initially, by being eased back into action, he is worth adding to rosters now, if available. That said, note after games against the rush-friendly Rams and Jets, respectively, Wells will face the much tougher rush defenses of the Seahawks, Lions, Bears, and 49ers to finish out the season. Still, it would be difficult to pass on a starting running back if you need the help, and especially if you need the depth.
As many of you know, Broncos starting running back Willis McGahee is out for the next six to eight weeks with an MCL tear/leg fracture. In his stead, several Broncos are going to have to step up including rookie Ronnie Hillman (59 APY), Lance Ball (51 APY), and possibly even Knowshon Moreno. For now, The Fantasy Greek expects a time share between Ronnie Hillman and Lance Ball, favoring Ronnie Hillman. Moreno will be activated and likely be a change of pace back between the twenties. Hillman is the running back to target from waivers as a low-end RB2 or flex-play, with Ball being the consolation between the two.
With Rashard Mendenhall back, it was expected that Mendehall would dominate the carries and touches for the Steelers. That wasn’t the case though. Helped by the early exit of Isaac Redman, Jonathan Dwyer (81 APY) remained a material, and productive part of the offense. The fact is the Steelers could limit Mendenhall’s work in order to preseve him for the remainder of the season, and hopefully, the post-season. For fantasy football purposes, Dwyer should maintain low RB2 or flex-play value, at least until Redman returns.
With the Eagles LeSean McCoy sustaining a concussion this week, back-up Bryce Brown (35 yards) could be pressed into service this week against a Panthers rush defense allowing the tenth most fantasy points to the position. Besides making for a solid start should McCoy be a Week 12 inactive, fantasy players with McCoy need to add him as a hand-cuff of their premier running back before someone else does.
In Week 11, the Jaguars decided to give Jalen Parmele the start at running back over Rashad Jennings. Parmele (80 yards) took advantage of the opportunity and was productive against the best rush defense in fantasy football. Expect Parmele to keep the seat warm for Maurice Jones-Drew which makes him a viable short term waiver add for fantasy players in need of help. In Week 12, Parmele has a favorable match-up against a Titans rush defense that allows the fourth most fantasy points to opposing running backs. With his increased role in the offense, Parmele makes for a suitable handcuff for anyone with Maurice Jones-Drew.
As of late, the Bengals have given back-up Cedric Peerman more opportunities with each passing game. This past week, Peerman (75 yards) made the most of his opportunity against a poor Chiefs rush defense. In Week 12, Peerman might do better against an even poorer Raiders rush defense. Peerman is also a handcuff for BenJarvus Green-Ellis.
With Rob Gronkowski lost for the season, we could well see a transformation in the Patriots offense that could put greater emphasis on the running game. Whatever the case, Shane Vereen (51 APY, 1 TD) made the most of his opportunity to play this past week against the Colts. Week 12’s turkey-day opponent, the Jets, boast one of the weaker rush defenses in the league. Besides a hand-cuff to Ridley, Vereen could get a chance to do exactly what he did in Week 11, in Week 12.
The Packers Cedric Benson made it clear that he would return to the gridiron sometime in December, meaning, he could be available for all or some of the fantasy football playoffs. The Packers remaining schedule in December includes the Vikings, Lions, Bears, Titans, and Vikings.If you have a team that looks like it will make the playoffs, and you have a deep roster, now would be the time to add Benson. In the meantime, James Starks (80 APY) looks to have taken over the primary rushing duties for the team. While Starks does not make for a long-term add, he continues to serve as a low-end RB2 or flex-play.
Some of the wide-receivers we mention below may surprise you because they could be on your waiver wire right now. Otherwise, waivers could be awfully thin this week at the wide-receiver position in terms of quality fantasy starters for Week 12. This is a week to pick up a wide receiver if you can improve upon the talent of your roster.
Danario Alexander, Chargers
Justin Blackmon, Jaguars
Cecil Shorts, Jaguars
Julian Edelman, Patriots
Michael Crabtree, 49ers
Golden Tate, Seahawks
TY Hilton, Colts
Ryan Broyles, Lions
Harry Douglas, Falcons
Brandon Stokley, Broncos
Mentioned two weeks ago, Chargers Danario Alexander followed up last week’s breakout performance (134 yards, 1 TD) with another one of 96 yards receiving and 2 touchdowns. Alexander should be added from waivers, if still available, because he should continue to produce given his effectiveness in the offense so far. Indeed, one could argue that he is the Chargers best receiving option.
With Chad Henne under center for the Jaguars, highly-thought-of rookie Justin Blackmon B-L-E-W U-P the gridiron for 236 yards and 1 touchdown! Blackmon was so good that wide-receiver Cecil Shorts, who had a solid performance (81 yards, 1 TD), felt like an afterthought in the game. Given that Blackmon was targeted often and was spectacular in posting yards after the catch, Blackmon should be a top waiver-wire-add this week ahead of Shorts. The Jaguars have some favorable favorable match-ups coming up against the Colts, the Titans, the Bills, and the Patriots.
Very quietly, the Patriots Julian Edelman returned to the gridiron. Once on it, however,Edelman (105 APY, 1 TD) made a lot of noise all at the expense of Brandon Lloyd. With Rob Gronkowski out, Edelman’s role in the offense should continue to grow. Edelman is worth a roster spot and consideration as a WR3 play with your other options.
In the last three games, the 49ers Michael Crabtree has put together three very good outings, combining for roughly two hundred yards receiving and 4 touchdowns. Crabtree should continue performing at this pace with a Week 12 date with one of the league’s worst pass defenses this season, the Saints.
The Seahawks Golden Tate was mentioned as a waiver wire add last week as the Seahaws went on the bye. To reiterate, Tatewon’t wow you with his yardage (334 yards), but he will wow you with his touchdown catches (6 TDs). In the past three weeks, Tate has stepped up his game catching 143 yards and 3 touchdowns during that span. And, two weekends ago, he even threw the ball for a touchdown pass to Sidney Rice. While no one can promise a repeat of the passing touchdown anytime soon, it seems pretty certain that Tate remains a solid touchdown target in the red-zone. Tate makes for a decent WR3 especially with the Seahawks passing game coming alive. This week’s opponent, the Dolphins makes for a fair opponent where Tate could well get into the end-zone against a defense that has been in the top-ten in most fantasy points allowed over the past few weeks.
The Colts TY Hilton may have fallen out of favor in your fantasy football league. Since early on, Hilton has done little until the past three weeks. In the past three weeks, in two of three games, Hilton has been solid (202 yards, 3 TDs). Regardless of whether Donnie Avery was concussed (see above), Hilton should again have a substantial role against a Bills pass defense that has been porous.
Lions WR Titus Young has been declared INACTIVE for the Texans game this Thursday. In case the issue involving Young lasts longer than one week, Ryan Broyles would move up in the pecking order as a receiving option. While the Texans pass defense has been pretty good this season, the unit was exposed by the Jaguars this past weekend. Broyles would make for a low-end WR3 option this week.
Julio Jones (ankle sprain) was injured two weeks ago. This week, Jones aggravated his ankle injury while limited in play. More than likely, the Falcons will need to sit Jones sooner rather than later as they prepare to make a run for home field advantage in the playoffs. With this expected to be the case, WR Harry Douglas (48 yards) role should grow making him a decent WR3 option this week, against a Bucs pass defense that has struggled this season.
For the Broncos Brandon Stokley, he now has back-to-back TD catches for Weeks 10 and 11. While Stokley is not a must add from waivers, he is an option for fantasy players looking to build roster depth or for a match-up based play. However, keep in mind, that for Stokley to have fantasy value, he will likely have to score.
Some of the tight-ends listed below may be on waivers, others may not be. The tight-ends are listed below either because of their recent impressive play, or their upcoming Week 12 match-ups, or both. We have several listed because there are so many tight-ends with favorable match-ups this week. For tight-ends, there are several that have disappointed after some strong starts that happen to have favorable match-ups this week.
Dwayne Allen, Colts
Jermain Gresham, Bengals
Brandon Meyers, Raiders
Marcedes Lewis, Jaguars
Dallas Clark, Buccaneers
Should tight-end Coby Fleener miss yet another game this weekend, Colts tight-end Dwayne Allen (69 yards) is a solid play against a Bills pass defense that is generally top-ten in most fantasy points allowed to the tight-end position.
The Bengals Jermaine Gresham (69 yards) had another good game last weekend. In the past three weeks, Gresham has amassed 192 yards receiving and one touchdown.Gresham is primed to score another against a Raiders team that has been a source of fantasy football points to the tight-end position.
The Raiders Brandon Meyers, who is coming off a concussion, had a solid outing (55 yards, 1 TD) against the Saints. This week’s opponent, the Bengals, is even more generous to the position than the Saints.
With Chad Henne under center, theJaguars Marcedes Lewis not only continued being a receiving option but became a red-zone target that scored twice this past weekend. In Week 12, the Jaguars face a Titans team allowing the fourth most fantasy points to the position. This generally means, the Titans are tops in allowing tight-ends to score. So, if you are looking for a match-up based play, Lewis is one of them given his recent play and the change at quarterback for the Jaguars.
Josh Freeman seems to have discovered that one of the best tight-ends in NFL history is on the Buccaneers roster.Dallas Clark (58 yards, 1 TD) has now scored in three of the last five games. Clark will need to score to be a worthwhile play. Against this week’s opponent, the Falcons, that could happen as the Falcons entered Week 11 allowing the seventh most fantasy points to tight-ends.
Worth Monitoring: Visanthe Shiancoe, Patriots. With Rob Gronkowski out for the next six to eight weeks, the thought is one of the other Patriots tight-ends will step up and take Gronkowski’s place not only physically, but statistically. In the first instance, Aaron Hernandez (ankle) should see some increased work, and that is assuming he is active this week. Among the remaining tight-ends, The Fantasy Greek thinks Visanthe Shiancoe would be the logical replacement for Gronkowski. The reasons are simple. Shiancoe is a veteran. And, among the remaining tight-ends (Michael Hoomanawanui and Daniel Fells), Shiancoe spent five seasons as a starter. In his best season, Shiancoe had 596 yards receiving. In his best season, Shianoce had 11 touchdowns. That said, the Patriots could become wide-receiver heavy in the passing game. With regards to the Patriots tight-ends then, restraint needs to be exercised until the situation clarifies itself.
Worth Monitoring: Jermichael Finley, Packers. The PackersJermichael Finleyhas fallen far short of his TE1 fantasy football draft ranking. This past weekend, Finley made some big plays posting his most yardage in one game this season (66 yards) as well as scored his first touchdown since Week 1. If Finley’s involvement in the offense continues to grow, Finley can be back on fantasy gridiron’s before we know it.
Worth Monitoring: Benjamin Watson, Browns. Benjamin Watson hasn’t been a go-to offensive weapon as he was back when Colt McCoy was under center for the Browns. This past week, Watson posted his second highest yardage in a game this season (47 yards) and scored his second and third TDs against a Cowboys team that has been stingy (top-five) defending the position. While the Steelers, who the Browns play this week, defend the position fairly well, if Watson can be productive again, he will likely be a waiver consideration in the near future.
DEFENSES / SPECIAL TEAMS (DSTs)
Here are four defensive units that could be on your waivers that you could consider playing given their Week 12 opponent.
Everything about the Rams versus the Cardinals game points to a defensive battle of sorts. Entering Week 11, the Cardinals were allowing the fifth most fantasy points to opposing defenses/special teams while the Rams were allowing the twelfth most. Yet, it was the Rams that dominated the teams’ last meeting in Week 5. In that game, the Rams had 9 sacks, 1 DFR, allowed 282 yards and allowed the Cardinals to score just 3 points. Everything points to the Rams dominating this week’s game again, with the Cardinals allowing 1 sack, 5 interceptions, 1 DFR, and only scoring nineteen points just this past weekend.
The Patriots defense/special team play was extraordinary in Week 11 (1 sack, 3 INTs, 1 DFR, 2 DTD, 1 KTD). The Patriots could well duplicate this feat against a Jets team whose offense has from time-to-time imploded, and which was ranked fourth in terms of most fantasy points allowed at the beginning of Week 11.
The Bengals DST (3sacks, 1 DFR, 6 PA) were great against a Chiefs team that has struggled this season. This week, the Bengals play the Raiders. The Raiders allowed 3 sacks, 2 INTs, a DTD, and were limited to 17 points of offense in Week 11 to the Saints. The Bengals DST should be able to have a good game too against the Raiders.
Lastly, the Panthers DST makes for a plus start against the Eagles who were ranked top-five in most fantasy points allowed to opposing DSTs as of Week 11. In Week 11, the Eagles were exposed, giving up 4 sacks, 2 INTS, 1 DFR, and scoring only 6 points against the Redskins.While the Panthers are coming off a loss, defensively, the Panthers were solid with 1 sack, 2 INTs, 1 DFR, and 1 DTD. The Panthers DST makes for a decent pick up and play this week against the Eagles.
Good luck this week!
The Fantasy Greek