NFL Injury News: What Fantasy Owners Need to Know for Remaining Week 12 Action

Rick Weiner@RickWeinerNYFeatured ColumnistNovember 23, 2012

PITTSBURGH, PA - NOVEMBER 12:  Dwayne Bowe #82 of the Kansas City Chiefs looks for running room after a third quarter catch while playing the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on November 12, 2012 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Pittsburgh won the game 16-13 in overtime. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Three games down, 13 to go in Week 12, a pivotal week in every fantasy league.

With many of us facing only one more regular season game before the playoffs start in Week 14, winning or losing in Week 12 can decide whether your team advances to the postseason or not.

A number of high-profile players are dealing with injury issues, players who could play a major role in your fantasy game this week.

Let's take a look at those players and what you need to know heading into the remainder of the Week 12 NFL schedule.


Michael Vick, QB and LeSean McCoy, RB, Philadelphia Eagles

Both Vick and McCoy are expected to miss Monday night's game against the Carolina Panthers as they struggle to recover from concussions, according to NBC Sports' Pro Football Talk:

Eagles' Michael Vick, LeSean McCoy expected to miss Monday night vs. Panthers

— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) November 22, 2012

Vick, who sustained his concussion against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 10, will be replaced for the second consecutive week by rookie Nick Foles, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

McCoy, who was carted off of the field late in the fourth quarter against the Washington Redskins in Week 11 with a concussion (h/t ESPN), will be replaced in the backfield by rookie Bryce Brown.

Even with the pair of rookies going up against the 2-8 Carolina Panthers, neither one is a recommended fantasy option in Week 12.


Fred Jackson, RB,  Buffalo Bills

According to the Bills' official Twitter account, Fred Jackson will be back on the field for the team when they take on the Indianapolis Colts:

Fred Jackson: full go, 100% expects to play Sunday.

— Buffalo Bills (@buffalobills) November 21, 2012

Bills head coach Chan Gailey confirmed that in a chat with reporters on Wednesday (h/t CBS Sports):

C.J. will start, but we're still going to play Fred. It takes two [RBs], it does. So we'll still play [both], Fred will get quite a few snaps but C.J. will start and get the majority of the snaps.

Even with his pass-catching and big-play ability, if the Bills are going to limit the amount of snaps that Jackson plays this week, he's far too risky to plug into your starting lineup.

At best, he's a low-end Flex or RB2 option this week, but look elsewhere before settling on him.


Darren Sproles, RB, New Orleans Saints

According to the Saints' official Twitter account, Sproles was a full participant in practice prior to Thanksgiving:

Vitt said Darren Sproles (Hand) was FULL at practice today #Saints

— New Orleans Saints (@Saints) November 21, 2012

The Saints are going up against the San Francisco 49ers, who field a defense that ranks seventh against the run, allowing fewer than 95 rushing yards per game.

Sproles isn't your workhorse back—he's a change-of-pace guy who is going to split carries with Mark Ingram, Chris Ivory and Pierre Thomas.

But Sproles is without question the most explosive and best pass-catcher of the group—and in New Orleans' pass-heavy offense, he'll put up decent numbers, even against a tough 49ers defense.

He won't have a huge day, but he's safe to get back into starting lineups, either as a RB2 or Flex option, especially in leagues who play with points per reception.


Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons

Jones, who re-aggravated his right ankle injury last week against the Arizona Cardinals, returned to Falcons practice on Thursday but was limited, according to ESPN.

He was only able to catch three passes for 33 yards last week, leaving the game early with the re-aggravated injury, and simply cannot be counted on in Week 12 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

If he is healthy enough to play, he could put up big numbers, as Tampa boasts the worst pass defense in the NFL.

But Atlanta may very well opt to hold him out this week as they hope to get his ankle healthy enough for the home stretch in the regular season.

Make other plans at wide receiver. If Jones winds up playing, it'll be a welcome surprise. But he's a very risky start this week given his ankle injury.


Dwayne Bowe, WR, Kansas City Chiefs

UPDATE: Courtesy of Adam Teicher of the Kansas City Star:

Crennel said he expects Bowe and Baldwin to play Sun. Said Lilja would practice today and Albert would try but unsure how much he would do

— Adam Teicher (@adamteicher) November 23, 2012

---End of Update---

Bowe left Kansas City's Week 11 game against the Cincinnati Bengals in the second quarter with a neck injury and did not return—and his status for Week 12 against the Denver Broncos is up in the air, according to the Kansas City Star.

Head coach Romeo Crennel would give no updates on Bowe's status and would neither rule him out or guarantee that he'd play against the Broncos, making him as questionable as a player could possibly be.

Like Jones, you simply can't count on Bowe for Week 12.

Make other plans, but be ready to put him back into your lineup if and when news comes out from Kansas City on Bowe's actual status for the game.


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