It is getting down to the wire in fantasy land, and it is time to string together the key wins that will propel you into the playoffs. Did you forget to replace Zach Ertz in your lineup last weekend or not realize DeMarco Murray was active? Better check out this injury report to make sure that does not happen again!
New Orleans Saints @ Buffalo Bills
The Saints continue to be fortunate when it comes to injuries, as only Kenny Vaccaro and Terron Armstead missed practice on Thursday. Missing Vaccaro would hurt, but there is good news; Guard Larry Warford seems likely to return after missing the last two games with an abdomen injury.
Buffalo also got some good news this week as Charles Clay returned to practice. Although he was limited on Wednesday and Thursday, the prolific tight end seems on track to play. Unfortunately, the left side of the offensive line is in trouble with Cordy Glenn and Ritchie Incognito both sitting out Thursday. Incognito should be fine, but Glenn’s potential absence is concerning.
Fantasy Impact: If Charles Clay is able to return this week, he is worth a speculative play, especially if Vaccaro is unable to go. However, much has changed since Clay was injured, including the addition of receiver Kelvin Benjamin, who will steal touches.
Green Bay Packers @ Chicago Bears
The Packers have not won a game since Aaron Rodgers was lost for the season, as Brett Hundley has failed to live up to expectations. Safety Morgan Burnett has been ruled out for at least this game, too, weakening a defense that already struggled to mask offensive deficiencies. Tackle Bryan Bulaga is doubtful as he continues to deal with a knee injury, and defensive tackle Quinton Dial has missed practice with a chest ailment. Linebacker Ahmad Brooks could return from a back issue this week, as he has been limited in practice.
Although it happened two weeks ago, the Bears were on a bye in Week 9, so I never touched on the devastating injury to tight end Zach Miller. On what looked to be a TD catch that was eventually overturned, Miller’s knee bent in the wrong direction, causing a torn popliteal artery that could have caused him to lose his leg. Thankfully, doctors were able to save his leg, but there is some doubt as the whether Miller can play football again. Backup tight end Dion Sims was held out of practice on Thursday due to an illness while Bryce Callahan, Tom Compton, Sherrick McManis, Roy Robertson-Harris, and Danny Trevathan all missed due to injuries.
Fantasy Impact: The Packers are reeling, but the Bears are battered. This may be the week that Hundley gets on track, but do not count on Jordy Nelson having any more monster games.
Cleveland Browns @ Detroit Lions
Cleveland had a laundry list of players who were limited in practice Thursday, but it looks like some big names could be coming back this week. Jabrill Peppers, Jason McCourty, and Briean Boddy-Calhoun all seem ready to go, which would be a huge boost for their defense.
The visiting Lions may be without T.J. Lang, who is suffering from a concussion and an illness. They are also likely without Ziggy Ansah and Jalen Reeves-Maybin. Ansah came back from a knee issue but is now dealing with a back injury, while Reeves-Maybin has an ankle problem. Detroit waived tackle Greg Robinson on Friday with an injury designation.
Fantasy Impact: Detroit has a chance to push for the division even though Minnesota appears to have a bit of a strangle-hold at the moment, but a short-handed defense will not help. Still, they are against the Browns, so play your skill guys like Golden Tate and Marvin Jones Jr.
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Indianapolis Colts
Pittsburgh is leading the AFC North, and they are getting healthy at the right time. Linebacker James Harrison was the team’s only non-participant while safety Mike Mitchell was limited.
Rumors are swirling now that Andrew Luck may never play in the NFL again, and we know for sure he is done for this season. The Colts also waived injured corner Vontae Davis who recently underwent surgery, and Kamar Aiken, John Simon, and Henry Anderson have all been out with various injuries.
Fantasy Impact: Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown, and Le’Veon Bell should all have monster games this weekend, so make sure they are in your lineup.
LA Chargers @ Jacksonville Jaguars
The Chargers are getting healthy at a good time to push for the playoffs as only linebacker Hayes Pullard was limited in practice this week.
Jacksonville is fairly healthy, too, although Marqise Lee has been a bit limited due to a knee injury. Despite the injury, Lee plans to play Sunday. Defensive lineman Marcell Dareus is the biggest question mark, as he is battling an illness.
Fantasy Impact: Lee is a solid flex play when healthy, so check his status on Sunday morning.
New York Jets @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Coming off his best game of the season, Matt Forte is out this week due to swelling in his knee. Offensive lineman Jonotthan Harrison appears doubtful with a hand injury, while Muhammad Wilkerson and Ed Stinson both missed practice and are highly questionable. Corner Morris Claiborne was upgraded from a non-participant on Wednesday to limited Thursday, so he is questionable.
Jameis Winston was trying to muscle his way through a shoulder injury, but after leaving last week’s contest early, he is out this week. Robert Ayers, Demar Dotson, William Gholston, and Donovan were all non-participants, leaving their statuses in doubt.
Fantasy Impact: Bilal Powell is in line for more touches along with Elijah McGuire, but neither is really worth a roster spot. With Winston out and Mike Evans suspended, Desean Jackson is a decent flex play in a pinch.
Cincinnati Bengals @ Tennessee Titans
Tyler Boyd is back for the Bengals, but now they will be without running back Jeremy Hill. Linebacker Kevin Minter remains out along with defensive tackle Pat Sims, while safety Shawn Williams is doubtful. Although he is officially considered questionable, kicker Randy Bullock’s status should be monitored closely.
Running back DeMarco Murray is dealing with a knee injury, but it does not sound like he is at risk of missing any time. Wide receiver Corey Davis has been held out of practice as well, although he is on track to play. The same cannot be said for safety Johnathan Cyprien who continues to miss time.
Fantast Impact: The Titans are in the thick of the AFC playoff race, and they draw a Bengals team that is lacking in defensive stars. Marcus Mariota should have a solid showing, but do not expect either DeMarco Murray or Derrick Henry to run away with the game (pun intended).
Minnesota Vikings @ Washington Redskins
Tackle Mike Remmers and guard Jeremiah Sirles are out this week as the Vikes travel to DC, but defensive end Everson Griffen is considered questionable. For the first time since suffering a devastating knee injury, Teddy Bridgewater will be dressed, but he will be backing up Case Keenum. Also expected to play is receiver Stefon Diggs who recently had a root canal. Stephen Weatherly and Ant Harris are questionable.
The Redskins have so many injuries, it would almost be easier to list their healthy players. Key injures to watch include tight end Jordan Reed, offensive linemen Shawn Lauvao, Spencer Long, Morgan Moses, Ty Nsekhe, and Brandon Scherff, and receiver Jamison Crowder. All of them and many more are questionable. Matt Ioannidis and Arthur Jones are out.
Fantasy Impact: If the Skins finally have a healthy offensive line, Kirk Cousins may stay upright against a tough Vikings team. Expect Reed to see plenty of targets if healthy.
Houston Texans @ LA Rams
Joel Heath and Dylan Cole are out this week, but only two other Texans were limited in practice. Those two were Johnathan Joseph and Jadaveon Clowney, both of whom are expected to play.
The Rams are this year’s Cinderella story so far, and they are in good position to win again this week. Only tight end Derek Carrier and defensive end Robert Quinn are doubtful
Fantasy Impact: The Texans suffered some major injuries throughout this season, and the sheer number of those injuries has more impact than the folks listed this week. Expect another good week from Todd Gurley.
Dallas Cowboys @ Atlanta Falcons
Dez Bryant has been limited by knee and ankle injuries this week, but he is expected to play. On the other hand, tackle Tyron Smith is doubtful. Tight end Geoff Swaim was injured in practice this week and is likely out.
Some big names are limited this week for the Falcons as Julio Jones and Devonta Freeman are each battling injuries. Duke Riley is out again, and kicker Matt Bryant’s status bears monitoring.
Fantasy Impact: If Jones or Freeman are limited at all come Sunday, it could spell disaster for your fantasy team. The biggest loss has nothing to do with injury, however, as there is no chance Ezekiel Elliott plays this weekend.
New York Giants @ San Francisco 49ers
Three linebackers are out this week for Big Blue – B.J. Goodson, Keenan Robinson, and Devon Kennard. Fellow linebacker Jonathan Casillas is questionable, while corner Donte Deayon is doubtful. Fortunately, Justin Pugh and Olivier Vernon are expected to play.
Joe Staley will make his return for San Francisco this week, but defensive lineman Aaron Lynch is out. Also out are tight end George Kittle and linebacker Elijah Lee. Corner K’Waun Williams and defensive lineman Solomon Thomas are questionable.
Fantasy Impact: Usually 49ers players are not worth a whole lot in fantasy land, but Carlos Hyde especially has a plus matchup this week.
New England Patriots @ Denver Broncos
Wide receiver Chris Hogan is out while Danny Amendola is questionable. Newly acquired tight end Martellus Bennett could play despite reports of a torn rotator cuff, but Marcus Cannon and Malcolm Brown will not play. Cassius Marsh, Stephon Gilmore, and Eric Rowe are all questionable.
Denver has yet to rule anyone out, but they have listed three players as questionable – Emmanuel Sanders, Todd Davis, and Donald Stephenson.
Martellus Bennett is worth a speculative add, but he likely will not make a big splash this week. C.J. Anderson did not receive an injury designation, but he will still lose carries to Devontae Booker.
Miami Dolphins @ Carolina Panthers
Jakeem Grant and Damien Williams have both been battling an illness this week, while Ja’Waun James and Michael Thomas we’re out due to injury. Headlining the Dolphins’ report is Ndamukong Suh who hurt his knee versus the Raiders.
Mike Adams, Chris Manhertz, and John Theus are all in concussion protocol, while Trai Turner is battling a knee ailment. Cam Newton and Graham Gano remain limited in practice, but they are expected to play.
Fantasy Impact: Williams became the lead back when Jay Ajayi was traded, but the role would go to Kenyan Drake if Williams cannot play. The Panthers should find success on the ground if Suh is out.