Monitoring players' injury status is crucial to fantasy football, from draft preparation to in-season roster moves and, ultimately, sit/start decisions. Starting this week, I'll comb through the official injury reports for each game and offer updates and analysis for not just fantasy-relevant players, but for all players whose availability could influence another player’s fantasy rankings.
Consider this a Week 11 injury report cheat sheet to reference once inactives are announced 90 minutes before kickoff in case any pivots are necessary for seasonal leagues or DFS lineups.
Tee Higgins, WR – The superstar rookie wideout didn’t practice due to illness, but do not rush to the waiver wire to grab A.J. Green. Instead, go get Auden Tate as a spot starter. He has more targets (11) than Green in the past two weeks.
LeShaun Sims, CB – Sims missed last week’s game and was replaced by Tony Brown. Brown did not fare well in his first NFL game — 49.1 PFF coverage grade — but Sims has not played much better this season in relief of the injured Darius Phillips.
He has allowed the most touchdowns (four) and highest passer rating (136.2) among Bengals defensive backs this season. He is projected to match up with Cam Sims, who has quietly compiled seven catches for 164 receiving yards over the past two weeks. Sims has been the team’s No. 2 with Dontrelle Inman sidelined.
Alex Redmond, G – The Bengals starting right guard could miss this game, but the OL is so poor across the board that the difference between the starter and backup is minimal at best. If anything, his loss hurts the run game, as he is the team’s highest-graded run-blocking guard. But it’s likely a moot point with right tackle Bobby Hart returning — he is the team’s highest-graded run-blocker (74.2) across the entire OL.
Geno Atkins, DI – Atkins is making his return to the lineup to theoretically help plug up the run defense, but his play has hurt his team. In the games he has been active, the Bengals have allowed 5.8 yards per attempt, 19.3% explosive run rate and 2.2 yards before contact. Without? 4.5 yards per attempt, 15.4% explosive run rate and 1.0 yards before contact.
Cornelius Lucas, LT – Lucas is the only real concerning injury for Washington, as he is already filling in for the starting LT Geron Christian Sr. Lucas has played well in relief over the past three weeks, earning the team’s second-best pass-blocking grade (80.7). If he can’t go, Morgan Moses will start at LT.
Moses filled in at LT for 24 snaps last week after Lucas got hurt and posted an abysmal 23.4 PFF pass-blocking grade. Alex Smith was under pressure on 40% of his dropbacks with Moses at LT, and that was a far cry from the pressure he saw with Lucas at LT (17%).
Defensive end Carl Lawson is by far the Bengals’ best pass-rusher, and he lines up over the left tackle 93% of the time. Adjust the IDP rankings accordingly and look to a cheap Bengals DST at just $2,300 on DraftKings.
Deshazor Everett, S – Losing Washington’s highest-graded safety would hurt the defense significantly. This team is already without Landon Collins, so if Everett can’t play Troy Apke would get the start.
Apke is the cheat code that could unlock the Bengals' deep passing attack. Washington has allowed just 40 passing plays of 15 yards or more this season — the second-lowest mark in the league. Twenty-six of them have come with Apke on the field. As I mentioned in the Week 11 rankings overview, this could be a spot where Tee Higgins blows up.
Drew Brees, QB – Brees is out for the next two weeks at least, so my initial thought was that Jameis Winston would be the starter. But news broke Friday from both NFL’s Ian Rapoport and ESPN’s Adam Schefter that Taysom Hill will start on Sunday.
Winston therefore is no longer in play and Hill becomes an interesting top-15 QB option because he can add value with his legs. In his last three games, Hill has averaged 6.6 carries and 44 rushing yards.
Hill seems like a potential question mark at QB, but PFF’s Sam Monson wrote about Hill’s prospects as the full-time starter this summer. Taking into account preseason and regular season passing numbers, Hill has been adequate — 65% completion rate, 7.7 yards per attempt, an average depth of target of 9.1, and a 74.7 PFF grade.
If Hill can just be average as a passer against a porous Falcons defense on top of his rushing production, he will be a solid QB in Week 11. Since 2018, he leads all QBs in broken tackle rate (32%).
And if you play in an ESPN league, Hill has TE-eligibility. He should be started over every tight end not named Travis Kelce.
Calvin Ridley, WR – Ridley missed Week 9 with a foot injury but had extra time to heal up over the team’s bye week. If he can’t go, Olamide Zaccheaus would operate as the team’s No. 2 WR. He ran the second-most routes and went for over 100 yards filling in for Ridley before the team’s bye week. Hayden Hurst would also likely see a bump, as his highest target total (eight) came in a game without Ridley.
Dante Fowler Jr., DE – For those looking to stream the Falcons’ DST, the play would be much better if Fowler were in the lineup. He ranks second on the team in total pressure. However, they generated a season-high in pressure rate (44%) without him, so it likely doesn’t move the needle too much. Under Raheem Morris, the Falcons’ pass rush has gone from the 28th in pressure rate (25%) to eighth (37%).
Cameron Jordan, Malcolm Brown DL – New Orleans boasts PFF’s No. 1-graded run defense (77.8) largely due to the combination of Brown and Jordan upfront. I won’t move Todd Gurley up in the rankings if just one player is inactive because of how inefficient he has been all year, but if both guys are out it would be a huge boost to the Falcons’ ground game.
Alvin Kamara, RB – It’s never a good sign when a player goes from limited to DNP in consecutive days, so make sure that Latavius Murray is rostered just in case. The matchup isn’t great, but last season in two games as the featured back, Murray averaged over 33 fantasy points on 31 touches.
Tre’Quan Smith, WR – Smith ran more routes than Emmanuel Sanders did in Week 9, so his absence would put Sanders into WR3 territory. The Falcons have allowed the seventh-most fantasy points to WRs over the past four weeks.
Josh Hill, TE – I listed Jared Cook as a start this week because the matchup heavily favors the tight end position. Hill saw his fewest snaps in Week 10 after being knocked out with a concussion. In his place, we actually saw Adam Trautman lead the team in snaps (38) over Cook which could make Trautman an interesting DFS play. He is just one week removed from a 3-39-1 performance.
Ryan Ramczyk, RT – Ramczyk is the team’s highest-graded run-blocker (80.2) and second-highest graded pass-blocker (73.2) on the offensive line. His absence would make it extremely tough to trust the Saints’ ground attack. Atlanta has allowed the second-fewest rushing yards to RBs this season.
C.J. Henderson, CB – The Jaguars placed their first-round rookie cornerback on IR this week, sliding Sidney Jones as the No. 1 CB. Jones has been by far the team’s best cornerback and will likely be tasked with “trying” to cover Diontae Johnson. This could create a situation where Chase Claypool sees better matchups, so he could be in for another big day.
Laviska Shenault Jr., WR – Jacksonville is 1-9 and has no reason to rush back their rookie wide receiver who owns an injury track record. He has been ruled out, so Chris Conley becomes a sneaky DFS option at just 3K. He has seen 16 targets over the last two weeks operating as the team’s No. 2. There is now a three-game sample size of Conley seeing eight targets per game when any other Jaguars starting WR is inactive on game day.
Doug Costin, DI – Costin will be returning to the lineup after sitting out Week 10. Before the missed game — dating back to Week 6 — he ranked as PFF’s sixth-highest graded run defender (87.0). If James Conner doesn’t break out of his funk on the ground, Costin might have something to do with it.
Mike Hilton, CB – Hilton has been practicing all week and will reclaim his role as the team’s starting slot cornerback. This would seemingly be an upgrade, but Cameron Sutton has been by far the team’s highest-graded cornerback (80.4). He ranks top-10 in fewest yards allowed per coverage snap (1.05) from the slot. Hilton (2.02) ranks 43rd out of 46 qualifying cornerbacks.
This becomes an upgrade for both Keelan Cole and Chris Conley. Cole (62%) and Conley (38%) both played a lot from the slot in Week 10. Conley ranked 10th in the NFL in yards per route run (2.63) from the slot this season.
Isaiah Buggs, DI – Buggs is going to play this week, but that might not favor the Steelers’ defense the way the team would hope. He ranks dead last on the team in PFF run-defense grade (41.0). Start James Robinson with confidence.
Senio Kelemete, G – He is the Texans’ second-highest graded pass-blocker and missed Week 10 with a concussion. Max Scharping started in his place and posted the worst pass-blocking grade (42.5) on the OL.
Left tackle Laremy Tunsil is also questionable, and he is by far their highest-graded pass-blocker (90.4). If both are unavailable, Deshaun Watson would be a fade for me in DFS. It would also be a massive upgrade for the Patriots DST who are available on many waiver wires.
Duke Johnson Jr., RB – Duke has been dealing with an illness; if he can’t go, add C.J. Prosise who is the primary backup. When these teams faced off in 2019, Johnson compiled 14 touches for 90 yards from scrimmage.
Stephon Gilmore, CB – The Patriots' top cornerback has been dearly missed because they have not held up well without him. They rank near the bottom in every defensive passing category: 29th in yards per attempt, 29th in explosive pass play percentage, 28th in passing touchdown percentage.
No. 1 cornerbacks have usually paid more attention to Will Fuller V, so I’d rank him behind Brandin Cooks, should Gilmore start. There were trade rumors that the Patriots were interested in trading for Fuller, so clearly they view him as a top-tier player. Last year when these teams played, New England held Fuller to just one catch on two targets.
Isaac Seumalo, LG – Seumalo graded well in the season-opener for the Eagles at LG (70.6), so his return should help keep his quarterback upright.
Vinny Curry, DE – Curry was placed on the COVID reserve list, making it unlikely that he plays in Week 11. The Eagles’ defender missed Weeks 2-5 this season and those were the only games where the defense allowed a RB to surpass at least 20 fantasy points (twice).
Myles Garrett, DE – Garrett was placed on the COVID reserve list and will not play Sunday’s game versus the Eagles. This makes the Browns DST much less appealing even against a turnover-prone quarterback like Carson Wentz. The game calls for rain, so that’s always good for a defense, but the Eagles DST might be the better option of the two.
Garrett ranks fourth in the NFL in PFF pass-rush grade (89.9) and leads all players in sacks. In the six games that Cleveland played last year without Garrett, their DST averaged just 1.5 fantasy points per game.
Jack Conklin, RT – Also on the COVID reserve list, the Browns’ starting right tackle has PFF’s second-highest run-blocking grade (80.0) on the Cleveland OL. Chris Hubbard is the backup RT, but he is also on the COVID reserve list. Kendall Lamm would get the start for the Browns.
He profiles as a much better pass-blocker than run-blocker. Even so, he is still a third-string tackle, so my confidence in the Browns’ passing attack would be shaky at best. Eagles DST is in a great spot.
Teddy Bridgewater, QB – Latest reports haven’t been optimistic about Teddy B making the start for Carolina this weekend. In his place, it will be either Philip “P.J.” Walker or Will Grier making the start. Walker is my favorite of the two, but both are in the low-end QB2 conversation because of how bad the Lions’ defense is. If either start, the Lions DST also needs to be strongly considered because both are extremely turnover prone.
Kenny Golladay, Danny Amendola, WR – Neither starting WRs practiced on Friday so both could easily be unavailable for Sunday’s action. This will thrust Marvin Jones Jr., Marvin Hall and Quintez Cephus into 3-WR sets.
Jones would rise to at least WR3 status in my rankings and Hall would be a great DFS pay-down option. He is just 3.8K and Carolina has allowed the fourth-most receiving yards to WRs in the past two weeks (219 per game).
This could also move T.J. Hockenson into the slot more based on his 43% snap share from the slot already in 2020. The Panthers have allowed the most yards to TEs in the slot this season.
D’Andre Swift, RB – Swift was added to the injury report Thursday with concussion diagnosis and he won’t see the field in Week 11. It’s a shame because the rookie had just broken out the week prior and was set up for success against a bad Carolina run defense.
The team will turn to Adrian Peterson and Kerryon Johnson in the meantime. It’s going to be a committee approach with both backs; Peterson will see early down work and Johnson will be used on third downs. Johnson leads all Lions running backs in third down snaps this season (69) and Peterson has seen 91% of his carries on first or second down.
Russel Okung, T – The Panthers' highest-graded tackle missed last week and it's looking iffy on whether he comes back for Week 11. His return would be a great boost, but it may not be detrimental as Trent Scott filled in quite well last week.
He posted the team’s highest pass-blocking grade (87.2) despite going up against the fierce Tampa Bay Buccaneers pass rush. Okung’s loss is still felt most in the run game as Mike Davis has yet to surpass nine fantasy points since Okung has been sidelined.
John Miller, RB – Miller has been a steady commodity at right guard for the Panthers all season and has missed just one game. That game in Week 7 corresponded with the first game where we saw Davis fail to put up CMC-type numbers. Davis will fall in my rankings if Miller is ruled out.
Donte Jackson, CB – Action Jackson has been banged up all season with a toe injury, so the team would be wise to sit him. He will be replaced on the outside by rookie Troy Pride Jr. who has really struggled this season with a league-worst 31.6 PFF passing grade. Wheels up for both Marvins on the Lions.
Jimmy Smith, CB – Smith is the Ravens’ highest-graded CB (80.2), so his absence could make A.J. Brown that much better of a play across DFS formats. Adam Humphries is also not expected to play, which would further condense targets to Brown.
Brandon Williams, Calais Campbell, DI – I opened the intro referring to the Ravens’ best interior linemen and how the Patriots were able to run effectively with them absent in Week 10. Baltimore will be in big trouble this week if both can’t play against the league’s second-leading rusher, Derrick Henry.
Campbell and Williams rank first and second, respectively, in run stop percentage among the interior of the Ravens’ defensive line this season.
Ben Jones, Rodger Saffold, OL – The Ravens’ losses on their defensive line might not make any difference because the Titans have also lost two key pieces to their offensive line. Saffold would be the biggest loss as the second-highest graded run-blocker (72.7) across the OL.
Jadeveon Clowney, DE – Clowney ranks second on the team in total pressures, so his loss would make it easy for Lamar Jackson to pick apart the defense. Ten of Jackson’s 14 touchdown passes this season have come from a clean pocket.
Breshad Perriman, WR – Perriman has commanded 15 targets, nine catches, 163 receiving yards and two touchdown passes in two games played with Joe Flacco this season. Perriman’s presence would make it hard to trust rookie Denzel Mims, who is coming off an encouraging eight-target game where he caught four passes for 62 yards.
Brian Poole, CB – The Jets’ lone star on defense at the cornerback position was placed on IR earlier this week. Pool earned a 79.5 coverage grade this season, spending the majority of his time in the slot. With him gone, Pierre Desir cut and Blessuan Austin also questionable, the Jets’ coaches have discussed playing safety Ashtyn Davis at cornerback.
The projected Jets starting defensive backs include Lamar Jackson, Bryce Hall and Arthur Malet. They all have coverage grades below 46.0. Start all Chargers wide receivers, including Jalen Guyton in DFS.
Joey Bosa, DE – The Chargers will get their premier pass-rusher back in Week 11. Their pressure rate has decreased in the last two weeks (36.1% vs 28.3%) without Bosa terrorizing opposing quarterbacks.
Mike Purcell, Shelby Harris, DI – The Broncos run defense has not been able to overcome the losses of Purcell and Harris. After opening the season as a top run-stuffing unit, they have allowed the most rushing yards over the past four games.
Matt Breida, RB – Breida has missed the last two games, but he has likely lost his shot to be the main guy in the Miami backfield. Rookie Salvon Ahmed is a strong RB2 even with Breida likely returning from injury.
Breida has one game this season with double-digit touches and has yet to play more than 32% of the team’s offensive snaps. Ahmed had seven touches and saw a 44% snap share in his first game. Last week, that jumped up to a 75% snap share and 22 touches.
Miami has run a one-back system all season, so I would expect the same to be true this week.
Irv Smith Jr., TE – Should Smith Jr. miss another game, fantasy managers can have confidence going back to Kyle Rudolph, who gets a plus matchup in Week 11 against the Dallas Cowboys. Big D has allowed the sixth-highest TD percentage to tight ends this season. On Monday night, Rudolph caught four of five passes for a season-high 63 yards, finishing the week as the TE12.
Cameron Dantzler, CB – The Vikings’ secondary has been banged up all season, but they could be getting back one of their rookies this week. This probably bodes well for Dallas because Dantzler has been a liability in coverage all year. In each of his full games played this season, he has allowed a touchdown in coverage.
Demarcus Lawrence, Randy Gregory, DE – Without the Cowboys’ two highest-graded pass-rushers, Kirk Cousins will have no problem ripping their defense to shreds. He is flirting with low-end QB1 status for Week 11.
Davante Adams, Allen Lazard, WR – Adams returned to practice Friday and should play, but Lazard’s status is still in question. Coming back from injury in a bad matchup is not a recipe for success for the Lazard in Week 11. If both were to miss, I would begrudgingly play Marques Valdes-Scantling because the targets have to go somewhere.
Jaire Alexander, CB – PFF’s highest-graded cornerback will be making his return to the lineup in Week 11, so all Colts wide receivers become hands-off.
Denico Autry, DE – Autry was placed on the COVID reserve list on Friday and will not play in Week 11. He leads the team in sacks and hurries, so without him the Colts’ defense could struggle to get pressure on Aaron Rodgers.
It's worth noting as well that the defense will return defensive end Kemoko Turay for the first time all season — he earned a 91.0 pass rush grade in limited action in 2019.
Sammy Watkins, WR – It’s been almost six weeks since we have seen Watkins on the field in 2020, but during his four healthy games, it’s important to note that he was averaging nearly 13.3 fantasy points per game and saw an equal target share in the offense (17%) to Tyreek Hill.
Coming off the team’s bye week, Watkins is ready to go in an excellent matchup versus the Las Vegas Raiders. Mecole Hardman also remains sidelined on the COVID reserve list, so more targets could find their way to Watkins.
Watkins has played 48% of his snaps from the slot this season, which means he will see plenty of Lamarcus Joyner. The Raiders’ slot CB has allowed the fourth-most yards in slot coverage this season.
L'Jarius Sneed, Rashad Fenton, CB – Sneed missed the last matchup against the Raiders, so having him available would put a damper on Derek Carr’s ceiling. He has allowed a team-low 26.6 passer rating when targeted this season.
Fenton is the Chiefs' highest-graded cornerback (75.1) this season and is questionable with an ankle injury.
Kolton Miller, T – Miller is the Raiders' highest-graded tackle and should return to the lineup after a two-week absence. Carr’s last two games have been some of his worst in fantasy, so getting back his stud tackle should be a boost to his fantasy stock.
Clelin Ferrell, DE – Ferrell earned his highest PFF defensive grade of the season (86.7) back in Week 5 versus the Chiefs. He leads the team in generated pressures and has the second-highest run defense grade on the team. He was placed on the COVID reserve list, so he will not play Sunday. His loss is a huge gain for Clyde Edwards-Helaire.
Andrew Whitworth, LT – If there were ever a time to fade the Rams’ offense, this would be the spot. The matchup is brutal versus the Buccaneers, who have allowed fewest rushing yards per game to RBs this season (51.5), and Whitworth cannot be easily replaced.
He ranked third in the NFL in PFF pass-blocking grade (90.5) and 12th in run-blocking (83.2). We saw how big of an impact the loss of Ronnie Stanley made to the Ravens’ offense. The two are held in a similar regard, so I’d be looking for alternatives to almost all Rams offensive pieces this weekend.
Ali Marpet, G – Marpet is still in the concussion protocol, so his status needs to be monitored over the weekend. The availability of the team’s leading offensive lineman will prove crucial to Brady’s protection. Without him, the OL might not hold up against the New Orleans Saints’ pass rush.