For most, this is the last regular-season week of Fantasy Football action. Putting together a good lineup is paramount. We can't control what happens on the field, but we can tell you who's in and who's out so you don't whiff when finalizing your roster.
Fringe Fantasy starters who are questionable include Matt Breida (ankle), Chris Thompson (toe), Phillip Dorsett (concussion), Mohamed Sanu (ankle) and Demaryius Thomas (hamstring). Julian Edelman (shoulder) is also questionable but figures to play.
Patrick Mahomes (knee), Derrick Henry (hamstring), Josh Jacobs (shoulder), Davante Adams (toe), Odell Beckham (groin), T.Y. Hilton (calf), Alshon Jeffery (ankle), George Kittle (knee, ankle), Deebo Samuel (shoulder), Emmanuel Sanders (ribs) and Robbie Gould (right quad) all got in some practice this week and are slated to play.
Notables who Fantasy managers should expect to be without in Week 13 include James Conner (shoulder), JuJu Smith-Schuster (knee), Golden Tate (concussion), Gerald Everett (knee) and A.J. Green (ankle).
Key offensive line injuries: Lane Johnson (concussion) will suit up for the Eagles. Carson Wentz typically plays his best when Johnson and the rest of his offensive line are healthy. ... Three-fifths of the Jets' starting offensive line is at risk of missing the game at Cincinnati. Right tackle Chuma Edoga (knee) is out, left tackle Kelvin Beachum (ankles) and guard Alex Lewis (elbow) are questionable. That won't help Le'Veon Bell. ... Texans lineman Tytus Howard (knee) is doubtful to play, making a tough matchup for Deshaun Watson a little worse. ... Browns left tackle Greg Robinson (concussion) has yet to be cleared to play. If he's out, Baker Mayfield's blindside could be jeopardized -- he has not played well when pressure's been on him.
Key defensive injuries: The Patriots have a lot of questionable defensive starters, none more significant than cornerbacks Stephon Gilmore (illness) and Jason McCourty (groin). Gilmore is one of nine questionable Patriots players with illness-related issues. Linebackers Dont'a Hightower, Jamie Collins and Kyle Van Noy are also considered ill. The situation bears watching between now and Sunday, but it would be a shock if anyone missed the game because of an illness.
Adam Thielen WR
MIN Minnesota • #19
Age: 30 • Experience: 7 yrs.
It's beginning to look a lot like Thielen will play at Seattle on Monday after practicing on a limited basis this week. Naturally, there's trepidation about him staying healthy for a full game, but Thielen's history suggests reliable production, and that's hard to pass up. He has double-digit PPR points in all but two games this year, and that includes a 9-point PPR game that he left in the first half in Week 7. Most Fantasy managers with Thielen will be low on trustworthy alternatives, so starting him is probably what most folks will do. If he's questionable, the best emergency replacement receivers to carry on the bench would include Bisi Johnson, Malik Turner and even Josh Gordon.
Zach Ertz TE
PHI Philadelphia • #86
Age: 29 • Experience: 8 yrs.
After Ertz got in a limited practice session on Friday, his first and only one of the week, he told reporters "see you Sunday," before leaving the Eagles facility. Despite the confident statement by Ertz, smart Fantasy managers should have a backup plan in mind in case he doesn't play. The Eagles promoted tight end Josh Perkins from the practice squad on Saturday, suggesting Ertz might not be ready to roll. Dallas Goedert would be the natural emergency-replacement tight end, but if he's unavailable, tight ends like Ryan Griffin (65% owned), Tyler Higbee (3%), Jonnu Smith (14%) and Kaden Smith (0%) should provide at least a few Fantasy points.
KC Kansas City • #26
Age: 28 • Experience: 7 yrs.
Williams didn't practice at all this week, a telling sign considering he had a week off following the Chiefs' Week 11 game versus the Chargers. Coach Andy Reid referred to Williams dealing with a rib cartilage injury, but it could be more significant than that. In the past we've seen Kansas City use LeSean McCoy and Darrel Williams about evenly at running back. McCoy is the better Fantasy option of the two and should be viewed as a flex. Darrel Williams is an interesting bench stash candidate since we don't know how long Damien Williams will be out and McCoy is considered over the hill at age 31.
Kyler Murray QB
ARI Arizona • #1
Age: 23 • Experience: 2 yrs.
Kyler Murray popped up on the injury report with a hamstring issue. He was a full participant in Friday's practice, but is listed as questionable. That seems a little odd, but perhaps we should just not sweat anything at this point. If he were to be a sudden inactive late Sunday afternoon, you're looking at either Brett Hundley or Drew Lock (assuming he starts) as your emergency replacements off the waiver wire. Hopefully we'll know more about Murray's status by early Sunday morning -- until then, it wouldn't be such a bad thing to have an alternative in case the early Sunday news isn't good.
MIA Miami • #34
Age: 25 • Experience: 5 yrs.
We're still waiting on Howard to get cleared to play football as he's set to seemingly miss his third consecutive game. Miles Sanders has been playing a ton in place of Howard (85% of the snaps) and falls into a dream of a situation at Miami in Week 13. The Dolphins rank 31st against the run and 30th in Fantasy points allowed to opposing running backs. Sanders should have his best game as a pro.
Evan Engram TE
NYG N.Y. Giants • #88
Age: 26 • Experience: 4 yrs.
For the second week in a row, Engram AND backup tight end Rhett Ellison (concussion) are out. Last week we weren't sure who would take their snaps, but the Giants answered that by giving rookie Kaden Smith nearly 100% of the playing time. He basically was a short-area outlet for Daniel Jones to find in a pinch, but the touchdown he scored was schemed up just for him. He's much safer in PPR than non-PPR.