Adam Thielen, Julio Jones, Zach Ertz, DJ Chark, and Deebo Samuel are just some of the notable WRs and TEs dealing with injuries and illness ahead of Week 12. Knowing the latest updates — as well as the backups who stand to benefit if these players are out — will be key when making your final fantasy start ’em, sit ’em decisions, and we’ll be delivering the latest news below.
For updates on banged-up RBs Christian McCaffrey, Chris Carson, and Raheem Mostert, click here; for news on more questionable RBs Austin Ekeler, Myles Gaskin, Salvon Ahmed, Giovani Bernard, JK Dobbins, and Mark Ingram, go here. For all the latest fantasy updates, follow us on Twitter @SN_Fantasy.
Is Adam Thielen playing this week?
Thielen is on the COVID list after reportedly testing positive and negative early in the week. At this point, it’s unclear if he’ll suit up on Sunday against the Panthers, but if he continues to test negative, it’s likely he’ll be out there.
Thielen is a top-10 option if he plays. If he’s out, Justin Jefferson would likely see more targets, but there’s no obvious backup WR who would also get more chances. If anything, Minnesota’s TEs and RBs would likely see more work in Thielen’s absence, giving Kirk Cousins an even lower ceiling than usual.
Is Julio Jones playing this week?
Jones (hamstring) started the week with a limited practice, which is a good sign even though coach Raheem Morris said earlier this week that Jones could be a “game-time decision” on Sunday against the Raiders.
Considering Jones has been dealing with hamstring issues virtually all season, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him get a week of rest, but this one will likely come down to Sunday morning. If Jones is out, both Russell Gage and Olamide Zaccheaus would have WR3/flex potential in PPR leagues, with Gage having a higher floor and Zacheaus having a higher ceiling.
Is Zach Ertz playing this week?
Ertz (ankle) was designated to come off the IR last week, and Eagles coach Doug Pederson said earlier this week that Ertz is “trending in the right direction” for Monday night’s game against Seattle.
Because the TE position is so weak, Ertz would be worth using as a low-end TE1 if he’s active. Dallas Goedert would also be in play as a starting option, though his ceiling would obviously be lower with Ertz in the lineup.
Is Deebo Samuel playing this week?
Coach Kyle Shanahan said last week that he “hopes” Samuel (hamstring) will be able to play this week against the Rams. The oft-injured WR started the week with two limited practices, which is a good sign for his availability.
Samuel will be tough to sit if he’s active, as he posted six catches for 66 yards and a score when these teams met in Week 6. Most of Samuel’s catches that week were right around the line of scrimmage, which negated the tough coverage of Jalen Ramsey. That type of game plan generally doesn’t lead to huge fantasy days, but it’s enough for Samuel to pay off as a WR3/flex in PPR leagues. If Samuel remains out, Brandon Aiyuk would see even more touches and remain a solid WR3. Kendrick Bourne and Richie James wouldn’t be worth using in a tough matchup.
Is DJ Chark playing this week?
Chark (ribs) started the week with a “DNP,” and while that’s not necessarily new for him, the ribs injury is.
Jacksonville placed several players on the IR this week, and with the season going nowhere, they might opt to be more careful with their key players like Chark. We’ll know more after Friday’s practice session. If Chark is out, Keelan Cole and Chris Conley would see more targets and have some flex value in a favorable matchup against Cleveland.