The Week 12 fantasy football injury report is intriguing, as several big names are coming out of Week 11 dealing with injuries. Let’s examine the significance of the injuries to Joe Mixon, Mike Williams, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Kadarius Toney, and more as we look ahead to a Week 12 highlighted by the Thanksgiving tripleheader.
Joe Mixon, CIN | Concussion
Mixon left the Cincinnati Bengals’ Week 11 game with a concussion. The average time for concussion absences is 6-10 days this season. Therefore, it’s touch and go whether we’ll see Mixon in Week 12.
In Mixon’s absence, Samaje Perine had a big day with three receiving touchdowns. Perine is worth a speculative waiver wire add in deeper leagues. However, next week is a tough matchup for Cincy’s backs as they face the Tennessee Titans, who have been good at restricting RBs so far this season.
If Mixon misses the game, Perine would not be a slam-dunk starter in 12-team leagues. With no bye weeks in the NFL for Thanksgiving week, there will be less urgency to start every back that should have a leading role for their teams. Perine is a greater priority in 14-team leagues and deeper.
Nonetheless, as Perine demonstrated last week, he has a high potential in the passing game. Consequently, he has put himself firmly in the frame as a late-round option in Underdog Fantasy Best Ball leagues for the remainder of the season.
Mike Williams, WR | Ankle
Unfortunately, Mike Williams’ return to the Los Angeles Chargers did not even last a full half. Having recovered from his ankle injury to play against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 12, LA ruled out Williams by halftime on Sunday Night Football.
Williams was seen jogging on the sideline during the second quarter but did not have his helmet. It was no surprise to see the Chargers rule him out heading into the second half. We will need to see what the long-term ramifications of the injury are. Hopefully, it was just a minor tweak of the previous injury as opposed to a serious issue that will keep him out for an extended time.
When head coach Brandon Staley spoke to the media Monday he said it was a re-aggravation of the ankle injury but that it was not considered “a significant re-injury.”
This week was always going to be a weird one for the Chargers’ WRs, with both Allen and Williams returning from injury. Therefore, it is tough to read too much into Josh Palmer and DeAndre Carter seeing the majority of snaps, as that could change with Allen seemingly healthy. Allen’s snap share should only increase going forward.
If Williams misses more time, it will likely be between Palmer and Carter for the other role in two-WR sets. The offense preferred Palmer in that role earlier in the season, so he should be the priority in lineups next week if Williams misses the game.
Justin Fields, CHI | Shoulder
Justin Fields left the field on a cart at the end of the game. It seemed like Fields was bothered by something in the second half, as he was not his usual dynamic self. However, it was difficult to pinpoint the injury until he was seen leaving the field holding his shoulder.
All we know right now is that the team doctors will evaluate Fields, and we will reportedly get an update from the Bears on Wednesday. If he were to miss time, Trevor Siemian would be the backup. However, that would have limited value in terms of a direct replacement for Fields.
Siemian might boost the passing game in some aspects, as he would be less keen to take off and run with the ball. Although, it would be an overall net downgrade for fantasy. The concern if Fields tries to play through the injury is that it would impact his dynamism and lead to him being a less definitive starting option than he has been in recent weeks.
Kadarius Toney, KC | Hamstring
After Toney had been healthy through the last two games for the Chiefs, the hamstring issue popped up again in the first half of their Week 11 game. Prior to the injury, Toney had been playing as the third receiver behind Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Justin Watson.
We will now need to wait for further updates on Toney’s hamstring as he is evaluated during the week. If Toney misses some time, Watson should be the third WR at worst. If JuJu Smith-Schuster cannot come back from his concussion, Watson could be in line to start next week.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire, KC | Ankle
Edwards-Helaire left the game in the middle of the first quarter with an ankle injury. Prior to the injury, CEH and Isiah Pacheco were combining for work in the Chiefs’ backfield. Kansas City appeared to be making a more concerted effort to get him involved this week before the injury.
After CEH left the game, Pacheco was the main back on early downs, with Jerick McKinnon seeing time on passing downs and around the goal line. If Kansas City rules out CEH, we would likely see Ronald Jones active on game days, but it is tough to know what his role would be at the moment.
Pacheco should be a top waiver wire priority this week if he is still available. Meanwhile, Jones is an intriguing deeper-league stash. If CEH misses time, Jones could be the handcuff to Pacheco on early downs for however long CEH is out.
Jaylen Warren, PIT | Hamstring
The biggest relevance of Jaylen Warren’s hamstring injury is to the fantasy value of Najee Harris. We did not see much of Benny Snell in relief of Harris, which is in contrast to when Warren is healthy. Harris has been improving his output in recent weeks and is back to a must-start if Warren misses time.
Snell is a consideration to stash in deeper leagues if he sees consistent work in Warren’s absence. He would also likely be the handcuff to Harris in the case of an injury to the Pittsburgh Steelers’ lead back.
Chase Edmonds, DEN | Ankle
The injury situation with Chase Edmonds’ ankle could end up having a significant impact on fantasy values in Denver. Early in the game, Melvin Gordon and Edmonds handled the majority of the work. However, after the injury, it was Latavius Murray as the early-down back and Gordon as the third-down back.
On Monday, we found out that Edmonds could miss multiple weeks with a high-ankle sprain while Gordon was released. That could lead to Marlon Mack being active in Week 12, with Devine Ozigbo elevated from the practice squad. However, the majority of value should be for Murray, who could see 25-plus touches this week.
Wan’Dale Robinson, NYG | Knee
The knee injury for Wan’Dale Robinson is frustrating — he appeared to be on track for a big day as a primary part of the offense. Unfortunately, head coach Brian Daboll confirmed Robinson tore his ACL in yesterday’s loss to Detroit.
In Robinson’s absence, Darius Slayton appears to be the receiver that could carry the most value.
Matt Stafford, LAR | Concussion
This is Matt Stafford’s second concussion in three weeks, and that means it is a major concern. The Los Angeles Rams QB will almost certainly miss Week 12, and it could be even longer. Neither John Wolford nor Bryce Perkins offers a lot of upside, especially with the Rams having some tough matchups in the coming weeks.
Outside of Superflex formats, it is hard to make a case for stashing Stafford. This offense has looked disjointed all year, and without Cooper Kupp, that doesn’t look likely to improve. Stafford’s upside is limited — and he is, for all intents and purposes, droppable right now.