The team that resides in the nation’s capital is having a real hard time lately. They have two key injuries this week and it’s starting to look bleak.
First they lost WR Leonard Hankerson for the season to a torn ACL. The doctors were checking his knee after an injury to his LCL suffered against Denver and that’s when they found the ACL damage.
Tight end Jordan Reed (concussion) is also up in the air for this week’s game too. He’s sat out the last couple days’ worth of practice and his status for Monday night against San Francisco is unknown. While he has the extra day this week, he’s not an advisable start this week.
I’d also be gunshy about playing RGIII for the same reason. He’s also starting to run out of receivers. It’s basically down to Santana Moss and Pierre Garcon, the latter of whom I am amazed is still healthy and upright at Week 12. Fred Davis isn’t inviting at the tight end spot. Alfred Morris adds nothing in the passing game (three receptions this season) so Roy Helu would be the only real pass-catching option out of the backfield.
Helu becomes a sleeper for this week in PPR formats because of the loss of Hankerson and Reed’s uncertainty.
Let’s take a quick whip-around the rest of the league. Seattle, Cincinnati, Buffalo and Philly are all on bye and we’ll skip the Saints and Falcons since they played last night.
Indianapolis RB Trent Richardson has appeared on the injury list with a calf problem. I think it’s more than a calf issue that has caused Richardson to run poorly since coming to Indy. He has less than 100 carries and less than 300 rushing yards since the trade. He takes on a staunch Arizona run defense this week and is not a recommended option. It’s likely the trade deadline for your league has come and gone so I’d hold him on your bench just to avoid someone else snagging him up.
In Dallas, WR Dez Bryant practiced in full after dealing with back issues the last couple weeks. He looks to be ready to roll as usual against the Giants. The Dallas defense is getting DeMarcus Ware (quad) and Morris Clayborne (hamstring) back into the lineup. It still won’t do much for a Cowboys’ defense that’s given up a ton of yards this season and is not a smart option against a Giants team that has won four in a row.
The Giants themselves are getting Hakeem Nicks (groin) and Peyton Hillis (knee) back to full strength. This should be the week Nicks breaks out against that sieve-like defense. A healthy Hillis will eat some of Andre Brown’s carries but he’s still a FLEX at best in a deeper league.
Wes Welker is dealing with a concussion he suffered Sunday night against Kansas City. He thinks he can play Sunday against New England. He didn’t practice Wednesday and was limited yesterday. Today’s injury report should provide more clarity on Welker’s status for Sunday. With this having to go through the league’s concussion protocol, your guess is as good as mine as to whether he will play.
Denver tight end Julius Thomas is questionable for this week with a knee injury he suffered against Denver. He missed a day of practice already and is another Bronco to watch on today’s injury updates. With this being a Sunday night game, your options would be limited if today’s update is negative.
On the other side of the field, New England is relatively healthy with Danny Amendola (groin), Rob Gronkowski (back) and Shane Vereen (wrist) all back in action this week for a second straight week. They gave Carolina a good run for their money but wound up being held up from getting the win.
Detroit’s favorite DiGiorno customer, Nate Burleson, is expected to be back in the lineup this week for the Lions. He’ll take his usual role opposite Calvin Johnson but the question is how effective he will be. Remember he’s coming off of a broken arm and might need to take a hard hit or two to get his confidence back after the injury. Burleson makes an okay WR3 option against lowly Tampa Bay.
Miami center Mike Pouncey is doubtful this week as he’s dealing with kidney and gallbladder issues. If he’s not in play this week, I’m benching all of the Dolphins. Not because he’s that important but the situation this week for Miami is going to be brutal. The entire left side of the line (Incognito-Martin-Pouncey) will all be out. Lamar Miller and Daniel Thomas will be finding rushing room hard to find. Ryan Tannehill will be likely be facing pressure on his blindside all day with replacement linemen all on one side.
And did I mention the Carolina Panthers are their opponents?
Green Bay wide receiver Randall Cobb is skeptical about coming back to play this season. He suffered a broken leg against Baltimore and was placed on the designated to return IR and is eligible to come back in Week 15. But Cobb doesn’t know if he can make that date…or any date.
For now, I would hold on to him in keeper/dynasty formats. If you’ve got the roster space to do it, you can try to stash Cobb and see if he comes back for your fantasy playoffs. He’s a low-risk, high-reward player that could pay high dividends late.
In Pittsburgh, WR Emmanuel Sanders is practicing in full after injuring his foot in the second quarter against Detroit. The Steelers take on Cleveland this week so this creates a good opportunity for Sanders. Expect Cleveland CB Joe Haden to be all over Antonio Brown. It would leave Sanders to matchup with a weaker cornerback and he could take advantage of it. Sanders is a WR3/FLEX this week with the situation.
Finally, the goalposts at the Georgia Dome are play-to-play after tight end Jimmy Graham tilted them last night. Graham dunked the ball over the goalposts like he usually does and the posts were slanted to the left. The maintenance crew came out and reset them to level before the extra point.
It just goes to show at this time of year seemingly everyone is hurt, even goalposts.
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