Fantasy Football: Week 12 injury roundup

2T7PTB0 Baltimore, United States. 16th Nov, 2023. Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) is sacked for a 7-yard loss by Baltimore Ravens linebacker Odafe Oweh (99) during the first half at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland, on Thursday, November 16, 2023. Photo by David Tulis/UPI Credit: UPI/Alamy Live News

• Late-season attrition: Joe Burrow, Mark Andrews and Michael Thomas all look to have suffered season-ending injuries, derailing many fantasy playoff hopefuls.

• Delayed return: Justin Jefferson was eligible to return off injured reserve last week, but the Minnesota Vikings appear to be slow-playing his return.

• Dominate your fantasy league in 2023: For up-to-date fantasy draft rankings and projections, check out PFF’s fantasy rankings tool!

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

Hopefully, the turkey and stuffing is digested and the Thanksgiving games were kind to your fantasy teams as we roll into Week 12 slate featuring five more divisional matchups and several more with significant playoff implications. With the strung-out schedule this week, all 32 teams are in action before a whopping six teams get the week off in Week 13.

Justin Jefferson’s return remains in flux, reportedly postponed until after the Minnesota Vikings‘ Week 13 bye while Rams RB Kyren Williams, who was a top 10 scoring RB prior to his injury, is due to be full-go this weekend. The Joe Burrow and Mark Andrews injuries are certainly unideal and hopefully do not linger, and they will take some savvy management to offset for fantasy players who rostered either at this stage of the season.

With four games already out of the way, let's take a look at the remaining 12. 

WR:CB Matchup Chart

QB Joe Burrow (wrist), Cincinnati Bengals

Burrow injured his throwing wrist on an odd sequence where he threw a touchdown, and it sounds like he will be out for an extended period of time, although the Bengals have not officially placed him on injured reserve yet. Leading the Bengals offense in his stead will be Jake Browning, who has been a member of the Bengals' QB room for the past two seasons. Swapping out Burrow for Browning at this stage in the season is not particularly encouraging for managers relying on Ja’Marr Chase or Tee Higgins, but a potential shift in philosophy to featuring the run game down the stretch could lead to heavy workloads for Joe Mixon as the Bengals try to take as much off Browning’s plate as possible.

WR Michael Thomas (knee), New Orleans Saints (IR)

After suffering a knee injury in week 10, the Saints have placed Thomas on injured reserve coming off their bye week, sidelining him until Week 16 at the earliest. In his absence, Chris Olave should be due for a bump in usage while youngsters Rashid Shaheed and A.T. Perry could see more looks as well.

TE Mark Andrews (ankle), Baltimore Ravens

Andrews suffered an ankle injury that led to surgery earlier this week, so he obviously has not practiced this week. The Ravens have not officially placed him on injured reserve, but the extent the injury will keep him sidelined for is to be determined, as it was initially reported to be season-ending. Without Andrews in the lineup, the Ravens will need increased production from their WR corps while backup TE Isaiah Likely has a chance to be a potential league winner with the opportunity.

WR Zay Flowers (hip), Baltimore Ravens

Flowers' practice status has fluctuated this week, as he missed Thursday but returning Friday, providing hope that the rookie will play against the Los Angeles Chargers. With Andrews sidelined, Flowers appears to be in line for a feature role alongside Odell Beckham Jr. and Isaiah Likely, but keep an eye out for any setbacks between now and Sunday night. Make sure you have a pivot in mind, such as Rashod Bateman or Beckham if Flowers suffers any setbacks.

RB D’Onta Foreman (ankle), Chicago Bears

Foreman was held out of a second day of practice Thursday after suffering an ankle injury in Week 11. Foreman has been solid in his role this season, providing some physicality to the Bears run game, but it sounds like they could be without him at least for this week. The Bears have options in the running back room, as Khalil Herbert continues to ease back in from an ankle injury of his own while rookie Roschon Johnson flashes in his limited opportunities with a similar downhill style to Foreman. If Foreman is able to play on an extra day's rest, the backfield usage is probably well-divided, making any of them tough starts against a vulnerable Vikings run defense.

WR Marquise Brown (heel) and WR Michael Wilson (shoulder), Arizona Cardinals 

After putting in a limited practice Wednesday, Brown sat out Thursday while Wilson has not practiced this week, creating some serious question marks around the Cardinals' WR room. Without their top two options on the outside, the Cardinals would turn to primarily featuring Greg Dortch and Zach Pascal while TE Trey McBride likely receives a bump in usage as well.

WR George Pickens (shin), Pittsburgh Steelers

After sitting out Wednesday, Pickens returned to practice Thursday in a limited fashion, providing optimism he will be good to go for the Steelers divisional matchup with the Bengals. With Matt Canada finally on the outs in Pittsburgh, many are hopeful a shift in playcalling will lead to a mini-breakout for the Steelers offense, and Pickens should be on track to contribute to that.

WR Tee Higgins (hamstring), Cincinnati Bengals

Higgins continues to struggle with a hamstring injury that has bothered him for a couple weeks, keeping him sidelined Wednesday and Thursday ahead of a divisional matchup with the Steelers. It sounds less likely that he will suit up on Sunday. With Joe Burrow already missing the contest, Ja’Marr Chase should see significant targets, but Joe Mixon appears to be the primary beneficiary of Jake Browning taking the reins under center.

WR Keenan Allen (shoulder) and TE Gerald Everett (chest), Los Angeles Chargers

Both limited Wednesday, Allen bounced back to a full participation Thursday, leaving little doubt he will be in uniform Sunday night. Everett missed last week with the same chest injury but appears to be trending in the right direction. With Everett sidelined and the bevy of other injuries the Chargers WR room has faced, Allen continues to dominate the Chargers' target share as they work to integrate rookie Quentin Johnston, but a game against a tough Ravens secondary keeps all but Allen in streaming territory.

WR Puka Nacua (shoulder) and WR Cooper Kupp (ankle), Los Angeles Rams

Kupp returned to practice Thursday after sitting out Wednesday while Nacua has gone from limited participation Wednesday to practicing fully on Thursday, putting both the Rams WRs on track to play this weekend. It is worth monitoring Kupp, in particular, heading into the weekend but expect him to play with minimal restrictions unless he suffers a setback.

Others to monitor

RB Kyren Williams (ankle), Los Angeles Rams

Williams is set to return from injured reserve this week from an ankle injury suffered in Week 6, giving the Rams run game some solid reinforcements after riding Darrell Henderson and Royce Freeman for several weeks. Expect a bit of easing back in, but he is in must-start territory this week. 

RB Derrick Henry (ankle), Tennessee Titans

Limited in practice this week, Henry is managing an ankle injury that doesn’t sound like it will fully sideline him, but with a sneaky tough matchup with the Carolina Panthers' run defense and Tyjae Spears‘ continued usage, it may be best to look elsewhere for RB help this weekend if possible. 

RB D’Andre Swift (ankle) and WR A.J. Brown (thigh), Philadelphia Eagles

Both were limited in practice this week, so it's hard to see either injury keeping them sidelined, but it never hurts to be prepared. Swift has been remarkably healthy this season after struggling with nicks and bruises previously, so his status may be a bit more fluid, but both situations are worth watching heading into the weekend.

WR Justin Jefferson (hamstring), Minnesota Vikings

Jefferson is reportedly going to hold off another game before returning to the Vikings lineup with Minnesota’s bye coming in Week 13. While a chance he is activated and plays is possible, it is slim enough to not risk taking a zero in your lineup if a pivot from Chicago or Minnesota is not available. 


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