Marlon Mack RB, Colts: concussion
Marlon Mack is now on track to clear the concussion protocol in time for Sunday’s Week 13 matchup. He suffered the head injury last weekend, and has progressed through the protocol incredibly fast. After missing practice on Wednesday, Mack was upgraded to a full participant on Thursday. He still needs to be cleared by an independent neurologist, which, barring a setback, he should do before Sunday. Mack will still be a High Injury Risk for Week 13, but given that this is his first documented concussion, he should be okay.
AJ Green WR, Bengals: toe injury
Green is finally expected to make a Week 13 return after missing the past month with a big toe injury. It’s similar to the injury he battled in 2014 (turf toe), and recurring injuries like this are always difficult to shake. Even though he is about to hit his Optimal Recovery Time, he remains at a High Risk of aggravating the injury. His HPF has improved to Above Average, so he should play fairly well according to our algorithm. However, the risk of re-injury remains.
Doug Baldwin WR, Seahawks: groin strain
We warned before the season that Baldwin comes with a concerning Injury Risk. He battled a knee injury starting in the preseason and has battled a groin strain for weeks. The receiver missed practice on Wednesday, but his return on Thursday suggests he’ll suit up again this weekend. Unfortunately, he is only going to make things worse by trying to play through it. Baldwin isn’t one of those players who can still be very effective when playing hurt, as we’ve seen in recent weeks. He should only be considered a desperation flex play going forward. There are too many red flags here.
Kenyan Drake RB, Dolphins: shoulder injury
Playing through injuries is never a good idea and Kenyan Drake proved that in Week 12. He aggravated the shoulder injury he has been battling for weeks. While he is practicing on a limited basis this week, he won’t take part in any contact drills. Drake will be a boom-or-bust RB option for Week 13 as he shares the backfield with Frank Gore. One big hit or hard fall on his left side could end his day early.
Alex Collins RB, Ravens: foot injury
Alex Collins was somewhat of a surprise inactive in Week 12. He had returned to practice on Friday, but was ruled out Sunday morning. He finally returned to practice on Thursday, but we are still considering him highly questionable for Week 13. Even a mild foot injury requires 2-3 weeks to fully heal, so another week on the bench is the safest call. If he does play, the injury will make him a much less effective back. Collins’ role behind Gus Edwards also complicates his fantasy value.
Keke Coutee WR, Texans: hamstring strain
We warned that if Coutee didn’t take the full Optimal Recovery Time to get healthy, he was never going to shake this hamstring strain. Sure enough, he aggravated the injury again in Week 12. Coutee will be a game-time decision for Week 13, but his risk of aggravation is just too High. With recurring hamstring injuries that have now lasted for months and months, Coutee needs more than a few weeks for it to heal. His fantasy value has also dropped drastically with the addition of Demaryius Thomas.
Jimmy Graham TE, Packers: fractured thumb and knee injury
Though he gutted it out in Week 12, we still think it’s a bad idea for Graham to continue playing through a fractured thumb. He played limited snaps, catching only 3 passes for 34 yards, and we don’t expect his role to increase much this week. The Packers are out of playoff contention, so it’s just not worth the risk. On top of it all, he’s also now dealing with a knee injury.
Rex Burkhead RB, Patriots: neck injury
The Patriots have activated Rex Burkhead off injured reserve and the running back is first eligible to play in Week 13. The Patriots obviously value Burkhead and have a role for him behind Sony Michel and James White, but his fantasy value is still a little hazy. Though he’s just reach his Optimal Recovery Time, Burkhead remains a High Injury Risk as he continues to recover. Give him a week or so to shake off the rust before trusting him in lineups.
Sam Darnold QB, Jets: foot sprain
Sam Darnold is officially questionable for Week 13, but we still think it’ll be Josh McCown under center this week. The Jets want Darnold as healthy as possible before he returns, which won’t be until Week 14. McCown practiced in full on Friday and was removed from the final injury report, putting him on track to play despite back and hand injuries.
Stefon Diggs WR, Vikings: knee injury
Diggs missed practice on Wednesday and Thursday this week, but his return on Friday means it’s possible he still suits up this weekend. It’s unclear when Diggs suffered the knee injury, but a mild sprain still takes 2 weeks to completely heal, so he won’t be 100% for Week 13. The Vikings are officially listing him as questionable, but Diggs said earlier this week that he fully expects to play. His High Injury Risk and Below Average Health Performance Factor make him a very risky fantasy start this week.
Matt Bryant K, Falcons: back injury
Matt Bryant’s injury troubles just won’t seem to stop this season. He missed practice on Wednesday and Thursday this week with a back injury, making him truly questionable for Week 18. He missed 4 weeks earlier in the season with a hamstring strain, and has only played 2 games since making his return. It’s time to start looking for a backup, but if you decide to wait until the Falcons announce Bryant’s status, picking up Tavecchio, Atlanta’s back-up kicker, isn’t a bad option.
Others to Monitor:
Matt Breida RB, 49ers: ankle injury
Pierre Garcon WR, 49ers: knee injury
Tyrell Williams WR, Chargers: quad injury
Calvin Ridley WR, Falcons: ankle and elbow injury
Randall Cobb WR, Packers: hamstring strain
Peyton Barber RB, Buccaneers: ankle and shoulder injuries
Rob Gronkowski TE, Patriots: ankle and back injuries
Vance McDonald TE, Steelers: hip injury
Emmanuel Sanders WR, Broncos: heel injury
Eric Ebron TE, Colts: back injury
Charles Clay TE, Bills: hamstring strain
Todd Gurley RB, Rams: ankle injury
Gus Edwards RB, Ravens: ankle injury
Tom Brady QB, Patriots: knee injury