Week 13: Game Time Decisions - Injury Updates
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In this article we profile players that are battling injuries, leaving their playing status in jeopardy for the upcoming week. With three games on Thanksgiving, fantasy owners will need to check injury reports daily to ensure they set the optimal lineup in a do or die week for many owners making the final push for a playoff spot. Patient owners that held onto Percy Harvin and Michael Crabtree should be rewarded over the final month of the season. Harvin is expected to see a full workload as Seattle returns from a week 12 bye for a Sunday night meeting with New Orleans. Crabtree is nearing a return from an Achilles injury that has kept him out of action all season. He'll likely be on a snap count during the week 13 game against St Louis, so his owners would be wise to take a wait and see approach despite the favorable matchup. The Rams defense is allowing the 11th most passing yards per game (247).
Mathews' left in the third quarter of the week 12 win over Kansas City after re-aggravating a hamstring injury (originally suffered in week 10 against Denver). He's listed as questionable for the week 13 matchup with an injury riddled Bengals defense. Mathews has topped 100 yards in three of the past six games, but could very well be in street clothes when fantasy owners need him most. Veteran Ronnie Brown could get the start, but if Mathews is unable to play expect an uptick in value for Danny Woodhead (who has topped four catches in nine of the past eleven games and has 59 catches on the season).
The rookie from Vanderbilt suffered a concussion in the first half of the week 12 win over Chicago and his status is in doubt for a difficult week 13 matchup in San Francisco. The 49ers defense is allowing the 12th fewest rushing yards per game. On the season, Stacy is averaging 80 total yards per game with five total touchdowns. Fellow rookie Benny Cunningham (Middle Tennessee State) rushed 13 times for 109 yards and a touchdown against Chicago and could be positioned for 15-20 touches if Stacy is unable to pass concussion tests. Cunningham should be considered just a lower tier RB2/flex play against an improving San Francisco defense that held Alfred Morris to just 52 yards on Monday night.
The first year Jet suffered an ankle injury in the first quarter of the week 12 loss to Baltimore, but stayed in the game and finished with a disappointing nine carries for 35 yards on 12 snaps. Ivory's status is in doubt depending on the outcome of a MRI. Bilal Powell could be in line for a start against a struggling Miami run defense. The Dolphins are allowing the sixth most fantasy points per game to opposing running backs. Entering week 12, Powell had not topped 30 yards rushing since week 4, but he did finish the week 12 loss with 11 carries for 41 yards, while adding three catches for 24 yards. If Ivory is unable to play, Powell could very well finish as a top 20 fantasy RB in a favorable week 13 matchup.
Moreno suffered a bruised ankle in the loss to New England and was spotted in the locker room on crutches as he left the stadium in a walking boot. One of the best value picks of the fantasy season rushed for a career-high 224 yards on 37 carries against the Patriots, but his owners would be wise to target rookie Montee Ball via free agency or trade. Moreno has battled injuries throughout his four year career -- missing 20 games the past three seasons. He's averaging 106 total yards per game with 10 touchdowns on the season and his absence would be a crushing blow for fantasy owners. The Broncos have a 4pm kickoff in Kansas City, so owners would be wise to secure a backup plan if he's listed as questionable on the Friday injury report. In the week 11 win over the Chiefs, Moreno had 27 carries for 79 yards but was held without a touchdown. Kansas City's defense suffered multiple injuries during their loss to the Chargers as Tamba Hali and Justin Houston could be in jeopardy of missing the rematch with Denver. On the season, the Kansas City defense is allowing the 12th lowest fantasy PPG to running backs, including just five touchdowns to the position.
The PPR dynamo has been a frustrating player to own this season as a knee injury kept him sidelined for last Thursday's dream matchup with floundering Atlanta defense. Sproles also burned fantasy owners in week nine as a concussion on the first series put him in street clothes for the remainder of the game. He is averaging 60 total yards per game with just four touchdowns over ten games, but remains a solid PPR option with 48 catches. Pierre Thomas has emerged as the best of the bunch in the Saints backfield as he entered Week 12 having cleared 80 yards from scrimmage in six straight games. Thomas excelled in the week 12 victory over Atlanta, finishing with a season high 130 total yards. Thomas should remain on the RB2 radar (Sproles is best used as a Flex in standard leagues) this week despite a somewhat difficult matchup against a Seattle defense allowing the sixth fewest fantasy PPG to opposing running backs. The Seahawks are allowing the 17th most rushing yards per game (113).