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USATSI

Whether you got off to a great start in Thursday's games or you're looking to make up ground, you're going to have a lot of questions about your lineups this week, I know. Adam Aizer and Heath Cummings updated you on the latest news and answered some start/sit questions on this morning's FFT podcast, and Jamey Eisenberg, Dave Richard, and Heath are on CBS Sports HQ until kickoff of the 1 p.m. games to answer your questions and keep you updated on all of the news you need to know on the FFT live show. 

Make sure you check both out, but if you want more direct answers to your questions and other news updates, I have two more ways for you to win: Go to Twitter and use the hashtag "#AskFFT", where our whole team will be answering questions all morning; and go to the FFT YouTube channel to chat with Adam and I from 11:30 until kickoff. We'll be there right up until kickoff answering as many questions as we can, so make sure you're in the chat early to get your questions in. 

Here's the rest of our preview content to get you ready, and check out my updated position rankings at the bottom of the newsletter to help with any early lineup dilemmas you may have: 

Week 12 Injury Report

Denver Broncos v Los Angeles Chargers
Sep 12, 2021; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Tennessee Titans wide receiver Julio Jones (2) and Tennessee Titans wide receiver A.J. Brown (11) before the game against the Arizona Cardinals at Nissan Stadium. Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Quarterbacks

Zach Wilson will make his return to the starting lineup for the Jets after missing four games with a knee sprain, and he has a nice soft landing spot against the Texans. Nobody should be planning on using him for Fantasy, so the biggest question is really whether he'll play well enough to keep Elijah Moore's breakout rolling and to get Ty Johnson involved in the passing game. 

Running backs

McNichols is actually the biggest injury here, because it seemingly frees up Dontrell Hilliard to play a big role again. Hillard surprisingly emerged as the most-used running back for the Titans in Week 11, catching eight passes and finishing with 82 yards from scrimmage. The Titans have a tough matchup against the Patriots on the way this week, but given the Titans' injuries at both running back and wide receiver, it's going to be hard to go away from Hilliard coming off that kind of usage. He's in the RB2 discussion for PPR leagues.

The other interesting situation here is the Jets, with Carter placed on IR earlier this week. Johnson and Tevin Coleman figure to split work for the Jets in the backfield in a great matchup against the Texans, but can you actually trust either? Johnson played 20 snaps in Week 12 and had one carry and one target; Coleman rushed for a whopping 16 yards on five carries with one target of his own. Coleman probably needs a touchdown to have much Fantasy value, so you're hoping Johnson splits carries with him and gets a decent passing game role. He's more of an RB3, while Coleman is truly just a desperation play -- it wouldn't shock me to see La'Mical Perine out produce him. 

The Seahawks RB absences are also worth noting. Alex Collins figures to be the leading rusher against Washington, but DeeJay Dallas did match him in snaps last week, so he's an interesting beat-the-waiver-wire add this morning just in case he pushes Collins this week. 

These two are looking like game-time decisions, which isn't a bad thing for those of you with Patterson, who plays at 1.  If Patterson is active, you're playing him -- he's been one of the best players in Fantasy this season and has an excellent matchup against the Jaguars on the way. If he doesn't play, my preference would be to avoid the Atlanta backfield, but that may not be possible, so I would prefer Mike Davis to Wayne Gallman, especially in PPR. He wouldn't be a top-24 RB, however. 

The problem with Jones is he doesn't play until 4:25 p.m., so if you have to make a decision early, he's putting you in a tough spot. NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported Sunday morning there is "optimism" around Jones, who is pushing to play and will go through pre-game warmups to prove he's ready. The problem is, the Packers tend to be pretty conservative with injuries, and with a Week 13 bye coming up, they may opt to give him two full weeks to get back to full strength. I can't see into the future, so I can't tell you whether to sit an early player for Jones; if you have a viable replacement in the late slate of games, it's worth the risk, but otherwise, I would probably pass. AJ Dillon figures to see a solid role no matter what and is a decent starter even if Jones plays, so I would probably just keep him active.

Likely in: Saquon Barkley (ankle), Kareem Hunt (calf), Elijah Mitchell (finger), Damien Harris (neck), Rhamondre Stevenson (knee) 

I'm willing to start Barkley and Hunt as top-20 running backs this week and Mitchell is right in that range as well, so you're probably starting all three of those guys. And I'm probably passing on the Patriots duo, since both are expected to play and it's not like we have any reason one way or the other to consider one or the other more likely to be limited -- injury details don't tend to leak out for the Patriots. Expect another timeshare there, one that makes them both fringe Fantasy options until something changes to give one of them a real advantage. You're hoping for a touchdown either way.  

Wide receivers

The Titans already have Julio Jones and Marcus Johnson on IR, so they are incredibly short-handed for this one. Dez Fitzpatrick, Chester Rogers, and Nick Westbrook-Ikhine led the team in WR snaps last week, and Westbrook is the only one you could even consider starting coming off a 100-yard game, but you'd probably have to be pretty desperate to do so -- he turned eight targets into 29 yards in Week 4 against the Jets the last time Brown was out. He's not a top-40 WR for me. 

I'm starting Marquise Brown in his return against the Browns, and it really doesn't take much thought. He'd been a bit disappointing prior to the injury, with fewer than 40 yards in two of his previous four games, however he also had 44 targets in those four games, so there's no way I'm not starting him. He's a top-15 WR, while Rashod Bateman is in the WR3 discussion as he's had at least six targets in each of the first five games of his career. 

Tight ends

The hope is that Thomas will be activated from IR prior to Monday's game, but given the late kickoff there, you can't take the risk that he won't play unless you want to add Gerald Everett as a fill in just in case. I like Thomas' chances of returning to be a viable starting Fantasy option, however, so if he's available in your league, I would go out and add him unless I've got one of the handful of no-doubt-about-it, must-start tight ends. 

Updated rankings

Here are my latest rankings as of Sunday morning: 

Quarterback

  1. Lamar Jackson vs. CLE
  2. Tom Brady @IND
  3. Jalen Hurts @NYG
  4. Justin Herbert @DEN
  5. Aaron Rodgers vs. LAR
  6. Tua Tagovailoa vs. CAR
  7. Cam Newton @MIA
  8. Matthew Stafford @GB
  9. Kirk Cousins @SF
  10. Joe Burrow vs. PIT
  11. Russell Wilson @WAS
  12. Tyrod Taylor vs. NYJ
  13. Teddy Bridgewater vs. LAC
  14. Taylor Heinicke vs. SEA
  15. Ben Roethlisberger @CIN
  16. Carson Wentz vs. TB
  17. Matt Ryan @JAX
  18. Daniel Jones vs. PHI
  19. Mac Jones vs. TEN
  20. Trevor Lawrence vs. ATL
  21. Jimmy Garoppolo vs. MIN

Running back

  1. Christian McCaffrey @MIA
  2. Jonathan Taylor vs. TB
  3. Najee Harris @CIN
  4. Austin Ekeler @DEN
  5. Dalvin Cook @SF
  6. Joe Mixon vs. PIT
  7. Cordarrelle Patterson @JAX
  8. Leonard Fournette @IND
  9. Darrell Henderson @GB
  10. Saquon Barkley vs. PHI
  11. James Robinson vs. ATL
  12. Nick Chubb @BAL
  13. Myles Gaskin vs. CAR
  14. Dontrell Hilliard @NE
  15. Antonio Gibson vs. SEA
  16. Miles Sanders @NYG
  17. Aaron Jones vs. LAR
  18. Kareem Hunt @BAL
  19. Elijah Mitchell vs. MIN
  20. AJ Dillon vs. LAR
  21. Ty Johnson @HOU
  22. Melvin Gordon vs. LAC
  23. Javonte Williams vs. LAC
  24. D'Onta Foreman @NE
  25. Alex Collins @WAS
  26. Damien Harris vs. TEN
  27. Rhamondre Stevenson vs. TEN
  28. Devonta Freeman vs. CLE
  29. David Johnson vs. NYJ
  30. Mike Davis @JAX
  31. Deejay Dallas @WAS
  32. Latavius Murray vs. CLE
  33. J.D. McKissic vs. SEA
  34. Nyheim Hines vs. TB
  35. Boston Scott @NYG
  36. Jeff Wilson vs. MIN
  37. Devontae Booker vs. PHI
  38. Alexander Mattison @SF
  39. Rex Burkhead vs. NYJ
  40. Brandon Bolden vs. TEN

Wide receivers

  1. Davante Adams vs. LAR
  2. Cooper Kupp @GB
  3. Justin Jefferson @SF
  4. Keenan Allen @DEN
  5. Deebo Samuel vs. MIN
  6. Diontae Johnson @CIN
  7. Chris Godwin @IND
  8. D.J. Moore @MIA
  9. Mike Evans @IND
  10. Ja'Marr Chase vs. PIT
  11. Marquise Brown vs. CLE
  12. Terry McLaurin vs. SEA
  13. D.K. Metcalf @WAS
  14. Tyler Lockett @WAS
  15. Brandin Cooks vs. NYJ
  16. Jaylen Waddle vs. CAR
  17. Michael Pittman vs. TB
  18. Jerry Jeudy vs. LAC
  19. Elijah Moore @HOU
  20. Adam Thielen @SF
  21. Tee Higgins vs. PIT
  22. Chase Claypool @CIN
  23. Jamison Crowder @HOU
  24. Odell Beckham  @GB
  25. DeVonta Smith @NYG
  26. Brandon Aiyuk vs. MIN
  27. Rashod Bateman vs. CLE
  28. Mike Williams @DEN
  29. Kenny Golladay vs. PHI
  30. Jarvis Landry @BAL
  31. Marvin Jones vs. ATL
  32. Jakobi Meyers vs. TEN
  33. Laviska Shenault  vs. ATL
  34. Tyler Boyd vs. PIT
  35. Courtland Sutton vs. LAC
  36. Nick Westbrook-Ikhine @NE
  37. Van Jefferson @GB
  38. T.Y. Hilton vs. TB
  39. Dez Fitzpatrick @NE
  40. Russell Gage @JAX

Tight end

  1. Mark Andrews vs. CLE
  2. George Kittle vs. MIN
  3. Rob Gronkowski @IND
  4. Kyle Pitts @JAX
  5. Mike Gesicki vs. CAR
  6. Dallas Goedert @NYG
  7. Dan Arnold vs. ATL
  8. Evan Engram vs. PHI
  9. Tyler Higbee @GB
  10. Pat Freiermuth @CIN
  11. Noah Fant vs. LAC
  12. Hunter Henry vs. TEN
  13. Jared Cook @DEN
  14. Tyler Conklin @SF
  15. Logan Thomas vs. SEA
  16. Austin Hooper @BAL
  17. O.J. Howard @IND
  18. David Njoku @BAL
  19. Gerald Everett @WAS
  20. C.J. Uzomah vs. PIT